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Friday, 2 March 2012

Gareth Epps censors me on Tonge

A Liberal Democrat party member called Gareth Epps blogged an open letter to Nick Clegg about Baroness Tonge and free speech. I posted a comment including a link to my own blog, and Mr Epps responded with a comment (http://www.garethepps.org.uk/2012/02/29/dear-nick-clegg/comment-page-1/#comment-24268) in which he wrote:

"I have removed the link to your blog as I will not be held responsible for aiding people to read such nonsense. I can see I will have to tightly moderate further comments."

It is interesting to see that Mr Epps' impassioned defence of free speech only extends to nonsense with which he agrees, and not to nonsense (like mine) with which he disagrees.

11 comments:

  1. You are lucky I didn't censor all of your distortions, but chose to point them out instead.

    I have had to moderate a further comment from you as it oversteps the limit and goes into personal abuse.

    Perhaps in future you should be more honest in declaring your interest as an office-holder of Lib Dem Friends of Israel before posting comments containing deliberate misrepresentations and smears.

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    1. What "distortions"? I express opinions that are different from yours, and instead of debating those differences, you call it "distortions"? Fascinating.

      Anyone who knows me or knows my blog will know that I do not do 'personal abuse', nor do I engage in 'deliberate misrepresentations' - I tell the truth as I see it. What have I possibly ever said about you, Baroness Tonge, or anybody else that amounts to 'smears'? A tactic of the Left is to accuse anyone who disagrees of 'smears', etc - it is a very ugly tactic.

      As Gareth has removed the comment on his blog in which he claims that I went into personal abuse, I cannot show it to you, as it has been deleted. Whatever I now say, Mr Epps will now say: "Matthew Harris, you know that you engaged in personal abuse and you are deliberately misrepresenting what you wrote on my blog, as is typical of you and other mendacious friends of Israel."

      From memory, roughly what I wrote in that comment is that Gareth's accusation of my being dishonest was an attack on me personally rather than an effort to engage with my arguments, and that this sadly appeared to be typical of Gareth's approach - is this what he considers to be "personal abuse"?

      I also said that my blog makes it perfectly clear that I am a Vice-Chairman of Lib Dem Friends of Israel (LDFI), writing on this blog (and on his blog) in a personal capacity. I said that anyone who wants to know what I or LDFI really stands for, in contrast to Gareth's incorrect allegations as to what they stand for, can Google LDFI (http://ldfi.org.uk/) or my blog, read the sites concerned, and draw their own conclusions.

      I pointed out that I and LDFI strongly support the Lib Dems' policy of seeking a two-state solution that will bring peace, justice and security to Israelis and Palestinians alike, and that (alongside Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine) LDFI had supported the excellent amendment on this that was passed at September's Liberal Democrat Conference. This is completely true (http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2011/09/israel-and-tibet-at-liberal-democrat.html). I asked Gareth if he had seen LDFI's press release supporting (yes, supporting) Nick Clegg following Mr Clegg's recent press conference with the Palestinian President (http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2012/01/lib-dem-friends-welcome-cleggabbas.html).

      I also said that neither I nor anyone else involved in LDFI had ever 'hounded' Baroness Tonge or anyone else, and I called this a grotesque allegation - think about what the word 'hounded' actually means.

      I also said that mounting a reasoned defence of Israeli government policies (including a defence of illegal settlements) is different from contemplating the end of Israel and sharing a platform with someone who says the things that Ken O'Keefe said.

      I am sorry that Gareth felt the need to "censor" any of this and I am even more sorry that he should feel the need to falsely accuse me of non-existent "personal abuse"

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  2. But Jenny was hounded out by the Liberal Democrat friends of Isreal while deny it.....and what is about the settlements you are defending - th fact arabs are thrown out their homes and land.

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  3. When have I ever defended the practice of anyone being thrown off their homes and land? And I have never 'hounded' anyone.

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  4. What do you think the settlements are about Harris - if not Israel stealing palastinian land and throwing arabs of their land.

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    1. It is possible to build settlements on undeveloped land without stealing the land and without throwing people off the land.

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  5. not is that undeveloped land does not belong to you and the west bank and gaza and east jursuleuem does not belong to to Israel

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    1. Well, obviously, the land does not belong to me. How could any of the land belong to me? I don't own any land in this country, let alone in Israel/Palestine. In the 1940s, the UN voted to give most of the West Bank to a new Palestinian state (a state that was never created) and part of it to Israel. Instead, all of it was annexed by Jordan, who expelled the Jewish people whose communities had lived there (with other people) for many centuries. Israel then took it in 1967. It has never been part of a Palestinian state, as there has never been a Palestinian state. East Jerusalem, meanwhile, was intended by the UN in the 1940s to become an international zone; instead Jordan invaded and annexed it, and bulldozed the ancient Jewish quarter, as well as denying Jews access to their holy sites in the city. Israel then took it in 1967. Neither Jordan's nor Israel's ownership of the West Bank or East Jerusalem can be considered "legal" in any simple sense. Surely it is impossible to resolve different people's claims to these places without negotiation, especially as one of the claimants is a Palestinian state that has not yet been created?

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  6. God Haris u make me sick. The west bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, belong to the Palastinians and the only reason why there is not a Palastinian state is because liars like u and Ludford keep claiming you are in favour of a palastinian state but doing all you can to stop it in order to allow Israel to grab more land.

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    1. What has "God" got to do with it this blog? By addressing me as "Harris", saying that I make you sick, and calling me a liar, you risk giving readers the impression that you are an angry, ranting person who engages in personal abuse. I'm sure that nothing could be further from the truth, but that is the impression that you risk going to readers.

      So the ONLY reason - the only reason - that there is not yet a Palestinian state is that people like me keep pretending that we favour the creation of such a state, while really doing all that we can to prevent its creation, because we want Israel to be able to grab more land? Hmm. Is that really what you believe?

      I did not know that I had such power as to be able to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state. Can you please give me some examples of the things that I have apparently done to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state?

      What evidence do you have that I am lying when I say that I support the peace process? Do you think that these people (http://www.facebook.com/britsforpeacenow) are lying about it as well? This is the latest on the peace process, by the way: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/palestinian-prime-minister-to-meet-with-netanyahu-tuesday-1.424732

      As to who historically owns the West Bank (and Gaza), I have blogged about that here: http://matthewfharris.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/lets-create-first-ever-palestinian.html

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  7. Don't try and hide behind clever little words Harris. The Lib Dems friends of Israel have never been in favour of a Palastinian state, never will be in favour, and its said you have to lie and pretend otherwise.

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