By Lawrence DavidsonBackground: Weaponising anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism has been weaponised. That is, the Zionists, within and without Israel, are using the charge of anti-Semitism as a weapon to silence those who are critical of the Israeli state. In wielding this weapon, Zionist organisations and the media outlets they control or influence have released a flood of slander and libel. The charge of anti-Semitism is levelled at anyone who opposes Israels inherently racist policies and is supportive of Palestinian human rights. And, where the Zionists have sufficient political influence, as is the case in so much of the United States, they are making every effort to encourage laws that make criticism of Israel illegal because, they claim, it is ipso facto anti-Semitic. In this way, the weaponisation of anti-Semitism maliciously defames individuals, corrupts legal systems and also threatens any reasonable notion of free speech.
In cases where individuals and organisations are labelled anti-Semitic as part of a concerted campaign of defamation, one would hope that the libel laws would offer some protection and / or relief. And, as we will see, in some cases such as the United Kingdom and Australia, this has proven possible. However, in the United States this has not happened. To understand why requires a short history lesson on the evolution of free speech, as against the need to protect individuals, particularly public persons such as those running for office, from defamation.
American attitudes towards free speech, which form the foundation for much of the countrys legal thinking when it comes to libel, slander and defamation, can be traced back to the writing of John Stuart Mill (1806-73). Mill was an influential English utilitarian philosopher and liberal thinker who supported the growth of democracy in the 19th century. He also considered what aspects of democracy would need the strongest defence. For instance, he supported a very broad interpretation of freedom of expression. He laid out his position in an 1859 book entitled On Liberty. Here he argued that allowing a broad interpretation of free speech was the best way of establishing what is true and what is not. Even if an opinion is false, the truth can be better understood by [publicly] refuting the error. Mill had faith in the citizenry (or at least the educated middle class of his day) to recognise, through the process of debate, what is true when it came to public pronouncements. If any argument is really wrong or harmful, the public will judge it as wrong or harmful. Thus, for Mill the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, [in this case by suppressing his or her public speech] is to prevent harm to others. However, considering that defamation was subject to rebuttal, the citizenry would ultimately reject such falsehoods without state intervention.
Even though Mills faith in an educated publics ability to know truth from falsehood has proven, at least as far as this author is concerned, quite naive, Mills notion of erring on the side of government inaction when it comes to slanderous or libelous speech has had much influence in the United States.
In 1919, sitting as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a series of decisions that laid out the future standard for judging prosecutable speech: The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. The example Holmes used for such an extreme case was that ones First Amendment right to free speech would not permit someone yelling fire in a crowded theatre. The libel laws in the US have followed this same path towards setting a high bar for any demonstration that free speech has been abused. Thus, in terms of defamation one now has to prove that the presentation in question is meant to defame (and is not just an opinion) and is put forth with actual malice [New York Times v Sullivan 376 US 254 (1964)]. This is particularly the case for public figures bringing suit for defamation. Public figures in the United States seem to be in a special category of people who are expected to attract a certain amount of, apparently legally acceptable, slanderous and libellous abuse.
The fact is that, in the US, libel is so difficult to demonstrate in both federal and most state courts that such suits are only rarely attempted. It is clear that in this case protecting an idealised principle of free speech has taken precedent over protecting the reputations and public standing of individuals.
As it has turned out, this situation has given American Zionists a wide field to use the weaponised charge of anti-Semitism with near impunity. A good example of this has been the smear campaign waged against the Democratic Partys presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who is himself Jewish. Called an anti-Semite over and again, Sanders has relied on the American progressive community to defend him. There is no indication that either Sanders or his legal advisors have considered suing his defamers for libel.
The misbalance between freedom of speech on the one hand and recourse to legal protection against slander and libel on the other is greatest in the United States, and in this case, public figures appear most at risk. In England and some of the Commonwealth countries such as Australia, a somewhat greater balance exists, opening up the possibility of legally defending oneself against defamation.
Anecdotally, a key historical root in the evolution of this more balanced standard for Britains defamation law is the 17th century decision to outlaw duelling transforming an often deadly engagement into a supervised courtroom debate. As of today, English law allows actions for libel for any published [untrue] statements which are alleged to defame a named or identifiable individual(s) [including businesses] in a manner which causes them loss in their trade or profession, or causes a reasonable person to think worse of him, her or them. There are exceptions to and defences against this standard, but it certainly opens up a more reasonable opportunity for defending oneself against defamation than exists in the United States.
The same can be said for a Commonwealth country such as Australia. Here, the primary purpose of the law against defamation is to protect citizens from false statements about them that may cause harm to their personal or professional reputation.
Lets take a look at a few recent examples of successful challenges to libellous defamation issuing from Zionist sources.
Members of the United Kingdoms Parliament and those running for Parliament who are critical of Israel or otherwise supportive of Palestinian rights have suffered repeated exaggerated and fabricated allegations of anti-Semitism. Finally, in 2019, one such victim, Mrs Audrey White, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Liverpool Riverside, decided to sue the British paper the Jewish Chronicle for libel. She was able to prove that this Zionist paper had, over a series of four articles, published fake allegations that she was an anti-Semite. These pieces turned out to be part of a campaign of false charges waged against many left wing politicians. Ultimately, in early 2020, the paper was forced to admit, in print, that it had lied about Mrs White, and pay damages and court costs. It was also demonstrated that the paper had engaged in unacceptable obstruction of the investigation that led to the libel ruling.
This is not the first time the Jewish Chronicle has been sued for defamation. In August 2019 the paper was forced to pay a cash settlement to InterPal, a British charity providing aid for Palestinians. The Jewish Chronicle had implied that interPal was a terrorist organisation. The paper now faces a financial crisis and is reportedly operating with a $2 million deficit. It is staying afloat due to financial contributions from community-minded individuals. [Editors note: on 8 April 2020 the Jewish Chronicle announced that it has gone bankrupt and will cease publication.]
A similar series of events have taken place in Australia. Again, political figures are targets if they are critical of Israel or otherwise supportive of Palestinian rights. Take the case of former Labour Party MP Melissa Parke, who had the courage to assert that, To say that Israel has become an apartheid state is not anti-Semitic; it is a simple statement of fact and international law. She went on to suggest that Palestinian resistance, including retaliatory missile launches from Gaza, were a consequence of decades of brutal occupation. Finally, she drew attention to, and criticised, Zionist influence on Australian politics. For this she was described as an anti-Semite in a front-page story in the tabloid Herald Sun and similar piece in the paper West Australian. She was also slandered by Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia / Israel and Jewish Affairs Council. He publicly described Parke as a fanatic and someone trafficking in conspiracy theories. She sued them all for defamation. To date both the Herald Sun and the West Australian have been forced to published retractions and offer apologies.
The weaponisation of anti-Semitism by the State of Israel and its Zionist allies worldwide should serve as a clear warning to American legislatures and courts that it would be both fair and wise to bring the countrys libel laws into closer conformity with those of the UK and Australia. Indeed, it can be argued that to simply ignore the defamation that is now being rolled out by the Zionists actually puts free speech in danger. Here is how this is happening.
The profuse and persistent use of slander and libel is an attempt at censorship. If you will, it is an attempt to silence a certain category of speech under the cover of free speech. The United States has a worse-case scenario of this fraudulent approach because American Zionists seek to use slander and defamation as a basis for novel speech-restricting law. Here they weave a particularly tangled web declaring that it should be illegal to stand in opposition of one form of racism (Israels racist policies towards the Palestinians) because to do so supposedly reflects another form of racism (they can assert this only by equating opposition to Israeli policies with anti-Semitism). It is enough to make your head spin!
John Stuart Mills 19th century assertion that If any argument is really wrong or harmful, the public will judge it as wrong or harmful has proved unreliable. Most people are buried in their local affairs and, in the present case, have no objective information or experience to judge the behaviour of a foreign country in this case, Israel. All they can go on is media and government messages which, in the US, are influenced by pro-Israel lobbies. This means that, with the possible exception of college campuses, there is no public debate as Mill would understand it. So, how is the average member of the public to judge Zionist slander and libel to be wrong and harmful?
The situation really demands legal recourse to seek retraction and compensation for purposeful falsehoods, not only for the sake of peoples reputations and public standing, but also for the sake of maintaining a reasonable doctrine of free speech. Weaponised words and concepts are, most of the time, synonymous with falsehood and propaganda. In that environment, free speech is diminished and corrupted.
- Assault on rights to free speech, dissent: 99 ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers say in open letter - ThePrint - July 5th, 2020
- Freedom of expression is under threat in Lebanon - Middle East Monitor - July 5th, 2020
- No masks allowed: stores turn customers away in US culture war - The Guardian - May 24th, 2020
- Vaccination and coronavirus: Public good clashes with choice, freedom - UPI News - May 24th, 2020
- Have We Weaponized Virtue? - lareviewofbooks - May 24th, 2020
- Hate Speech and the New Tyranny over the Mind - Heritage.org - May 24th, 2020
- [ANALYSIS] The right to call the government crazy - Rappler - May 24th, 2020
- How a 20-year-old student put the spotlight on Australian universities' cosy relationship with China - The Guardian - May 24th, 2020
- Freedom of Speech Is Under the Gun as the Virus Spreads in Russia - The Nation - May 11th, 2020
- Divorcing Parents Have a Right to Post Their Stories Online, Court Says - The New York Times - May 11th, 2020
- Gov. Whitmer becomes target of dozens of threats on private Facebook groups ahead of armed rally in Lansing - Detroit Metro Times - May 11th, 2020
- Readers' Letters: 'Hate bill an attack on free speech and could affect football and comedy' - Evening Telegraph - May 11th, 2020
- Big TCPA Supreme Court Oral Argument Complete: Here Are the Top 10 Things You Need to Know About the Barr v. AAPC TCPA Review Right Now -... - May 11th, 2020
- Assange's US Extradition, Threat to Future of the Internet and Democracy - CounterPunch - May 11th, 2020
- Readers React: Are the reopen protests about free speech or presidential politics? - The San Diego Union-Tribune - May 6th, 2020
- The SNPs war on free speech - Spiked - May 6th, 2020
- The best political reads to keep on your bookshelf - Spectator.co.uk - May 6th, 2020
- A Contrarian's View of the Uses, and Abuses, of Free Speech - Jewish Week - April 9th, 2020
- Update: Signature Gatherers and Solicitors | Downey Brand LLP - JD Supra - April 9th, 2020
- U of I protests of the 1960s - Illinois Times - April 9th, 2020
- China Appointed To UN Human Rights Panel To Help Identify Threats To Free Speech - The Daily Wire - April 9th, 2020
- How the Chinese Government Undermined the Chinese People's Attempts to Prevent and Respond to COVID-19 - Heritage.org - April 9th, 2020
- ACLJ to File Amicus Brief with Supreme Court in Pro-Life Speech Case Battling the Abortion Distortion - American Center for Law and Justice - April 9th, 2020
- The Right Constitutional Philosophy for This Moment - The Atlantic - March 31st, 2020
- Lebanese Activists Fear Hezbollah-led Government Is Using Coronavirus to Solidify Power - VOA News - March 31st, 2020
- Improving decision-making in the face of growing misinformation - Ecofin Agency: Economic information from Africa - March 31st, 2020
- Ming Pao row: If we learn anything from the virus outbreak, it should be the importance of free speech - Hong Kong Free Press - March 31st, 2020
- Freedom of speech 'is the property of the left of politics' - Sky News Australia - March 31st, 2020
- No one is safe from the puritanical poison of wokeness says SIR JOHN HAYES - Express - March 31st, 2020
- ASG introduces three resolutions, votes on advocacy committee - The Daily Northwestern - March 5th, 2020
- Why Toby Young and other robust white men are using free speech to whip universities - The Guardian - March 5th, 2020
- A Slap in the Face: Chinese Readers Share Their Coronavirus Stories - The New York Times - March 5th, 2020
- Opposition to Ted Nugent - Villages-News - March 5th, 2020
- Bitcoin Is the Technology of Dissent That Secures Individual Liberties - Bitcoin Magazine - March 5th, 2020
- NRB Resolves that Religious Liberty & Freedom of Speech Must Prevail - MissionsBox - March 5th, 2020
- The Guardian is not a fan of Toby Young or free speech - The Post Millennial - March 5th, 2020
- No platforming nowhere near as productive as debate or conversation - The Badger Herald - March 5th, 2020
- When The PC Police Come For Our Books - The Jewish Press - JewishPress.com - March 5th, 2020
- Following the crowd - Education - WORLD News Group - March 5th, 2020
- How progressives and conservatives have changed the debate over freedom of speech - Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) - February 27th, 2020
- What transgenderism and Islam have in common: Destroying free speech - Lifesite - February 27th, 2020
- Hitler would be very proud of the Aalst Carnival in Belgium! - The Times of Israel - February 27th, 2020
- Facebook and Zuckerberg keep getting freedom of expression wrong - The Next Web - January 21st, 2020
- Sheffield Arena urged to cancel event by 'homophobic' Trump ally - The Guardian - January 21st, 2020
- Ninth Circuit Affirms Anti-Libel Injunction, Rejects Overbroad Portion - Reason - January 21st, 2020
- What we still havent learned from Gamergate - Vox.com - January 21st, 2020
- Montclair State Univ. Sued for 'Unconstitutional' Speech Policy and Favoring One Student Group Over Another Based on Their Beliefs - CBN News - January 21st, 2020
- POV: Trump's Executive Order Aimed at Protecting Jews Will Have a Chilling Effect on Freedom of Speech at Colleges - BU Today - December 21st, 2019
- 92% of Americans think their basic rights are being threatened, new poll shows - USA TODAY - December 21st, 2019
- Trump's Executive Order Targets Federal Funding to Universities in Suppression of Speech on Palestinian Rights - International Middle East Media... - December 21st, 2019
- Washington State's Mike Leach responds to Donald Trump impeachment: 'I'm yet to hear what he did wrong' - Sports and Weather Right Now - December 21st, 2019
- Impeachment won't slow the global rise of the radical right but an alternative vision might - Salon - December 21st, 2019
- Over Regulating Intermediaries: Threat To Free Speech? - Inc42 Media - December 15th, 2019
- Charter of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom to be adopted - News - The University of Sydney - December 15th, 2019
- Is YouTube Cracking Down on Free Speech With New 'Harassment Policy'? - NewsBusters - December 15th, 2019
- Johnson orders universities to protect freedom of speech - Stock Daily Dish - December 15th, 2019
- Freedom of speech must trump safe spaces in universities, minister says - Stock Daily Dish - December 15th, 2019
- Alberta premier says energy war room will be respectful as it takes on critics - CFJC Today Kamloops - December 15th, 2019
- Amnesty International Canada Questions Freedom of Speech and Assembly - Reason - December 13th, 2019
- Why we need to stop believing freedom of speech is a dangerous thing - Marie Claire UK - December 13th, 2019
- Drawing the Line: When Does Freedom of Speech Go Too Far? - SUNY The New Paltz Oracle - December 13th, 2019
- RTI is Inbuilt within Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression, says Bombay HC - Moneylife - December 13th, 2019
- Opinion: The clear line between hate speech and free speech - DW (English) - November 26th, 2019
- Appleton school board signs off on policy that some say endangers free speech, others see as a constitutional safeguard - Post-Crescent - November 26th, 2019
- What to Be Thankful For | Cato @ Liberty - Cato Institute - November 26th, 2019
- Universities Enabling the Hijacking of Free Speech When Jews are Involved - The Times of Israel - November 26th, 2019
- Documentary Takes Aim At Higher Eds Free Speech Violations - Washington Free Beacon - November 26th, 2019
- Should the First Amendment protect language deemed to be hate speech? - The Vector: NJIT's Student Newspaper - November 26th, 2019
- Fight to protect your freedom of speech - The Saint - November 26th, 2019
- Improv joke reaction: What about free speech? - Mount Airy News - November 26th, 2019
- Trump defends Yovanovitch attack: 'I have freedom of speech' | TheHill - The Hill - November 17th, 2019
- 'Critical Infrastructure' Bill Is a Major Threat to Freedom of Speech - Shepherd Express - November 17th, 2019
- Free speech rights a concern in Wisconsin water resolution - Minneapolis Star Tribune - November 17th, 2019
- Freedom of speech and freedom from lies - Opinion - Cape Cod Times - November 17th, 2019
- Trump: 'I Have Freedom of Speech Just as Other People Do' - MRCTV - November 17th, 2019
- Freedom of speech and its consequences - BCLocalNews - November 17th, 2019
- Free speech in Canada: It was bad five years ago. Do you think it's gotten better since? - National Post - November 17th, 2019
- The American Internet Sucks. The Alternative Is China. - BuzzFeed News - November 17th, 2019
- On free speech, a new era and that blocking thing | Editorial - Chico Enterprise-Record - October 27th, 2019
- Sydney University to consider updating Freedom of Speech Charter - News - The University of Sydney - October 27th, 2019