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Comments about Boycotters use legal threats to try to silence criticism of antisemitism in UCU :
David Hirsh posted on August 26, 2008 at 11:38:31 PM
Sue Blackwell also threatens to use British libel law to silence her critics.
Sefton posted on August 26, 2008 at 11:49:43 PM
Bricup and democratic freedoms (for some people anyway)
“ This use of the law to interfere with democratic freedoms is a deeply worrying tendency - witness the 2005 Serious and Organized Crimes Act preventing protests around Parliament and Downing Street, and the decision last week to ban the march in Central London planned by the Stop the War Coalition.”
Trade Unionist posted on August 26, 2008 at 11:53:15 PM
Eric lee knows about intimidation from boycotters
Sue Blackwell's 'anti-Zionist' campaign against LabourStart - Jim Denham, August 2005
Ben Cohen posted on August 27, 2008 at 12:50:44 AM
Over on the Z Word blog (
I'm highlighting this appeal from Francis Sedgemore (
“This is gross violation of free speech, and a most disgraceful thing that the UCU activists concerned have done. It reflects very badly on the union as a whole, whether or not the action has official sanction. As a trades unionist I have made a formal complaint to the Trades Union Congress and UCU, and urge you to do likewise.
Trades Union Congress
telephone: 020 7636 4030
Dr Sally Hunt
Universities and Colleges Union
telephone: 020 7670 9729
If an activist in a union that espouses anti-racism takes her information on world affairs from a known white supremacist, then it is in the public interest that this be made public knowledge.”
Bennett posted on August 27, 2008 at 01:03:28 AM
Delich did a "John Wight"
LL not yet B posted on August 27, 2008 at 01:12:52 AM
Any first or second year undergad law student, i.e. me, will tell you that,
a. it is for the claimant to prove the statement made by the defendant was not true,
b. truth is an absolute defence.
Mr. Cushman's knowledge of libel corresponds to someone involved in family planning telling a teenager woman that if you have sex standing up, you won't get pregnant.
Saul posted on August 27, 2008 at 01:32:06 AM
" If I were to be inclined to use biblical references I might start talking about people without sin casting the first stone."
Is Mike Cushman really implying that those who brought this racism into the open have also linked to an overtly racist neo-nazi site within the UCU activist list?
Now, who was it talking about libelous statements again??
posted on August 27, 2008 at 01:43:42 AM
sorry, my fault, I wasn't clear enough, minor typo in the article.
the first backup of HP is at
that's the real, if temporary, one
I have created a backup of the backup, just in case someone decided to attack HP at blogspot.
my copy is
whereas anyone wanting to comment with the HP authors should use
clear as mud, eh?
Bill posted on August 27, 2008 at 02:17:14 AM
One wonders how they would respond to a negative review on a paper or proposal. It's not peer review! it's libel. Sue the editor
In any respect, if that link was made even "innocently" by a right-of-centre faculty member, he or she would be over a very serious barrel right now. Due process and basic fairness would demand the same of Delich. This is the kind of thing that makes conservative or even fair neutral watchdog groups drool and for very good reason.
And the UCU's priory here is not to confront it, or even to cover it up -- since it's already out of the bag. But rather to retaliate (or watch their members retaliate) against people who have brought up very serious questions as to the ethics and competence of their most "aware" and "activist" members.
Inna posted on August 27, 2008 at 04:46:15 AM
HP is now down for me as well--after a full day of uninterrupted service. Further the message is quite different from when HP goes down (fr some reason it tends to go down towards the end of the month for me). So, for the HP community that wants to comment--this is not a "normal" outage and now it looks like it hit over the pond as well. Go to:
to visit with friends.
S.O.Muffin posted on August 27, 2008 at 09:02:23 AM
Bill is spot on. Had, say, a boycott opponent published a link to conspiracy-theory drivel on an explicitly racist, anti-Muslim website (run by a former KKK leader and a neo-Nazi), we would have heard no end of it. And rightly so!
But once a boycotter links to an anti-Semitic conspiracy-theory drivel on an explicitly anti-Semitic (and anti-Black) website (run by a former KKK leader and a neo-Nazi), then the reaction of the boycott machine is to silence those who (quite rightly) are highlighting it. They are maliciously interfering with free speech, but then what can you expect from Stalinists? They cannot send their opponents for "re-education", so at least they can use the ridiculous British anti-label laws to intimidate ISPs.
There is one, and only one, effective reaction to this. They wanted to prevent the few hundreds of HP readers from reading about it? Take care that the story of UCU boycotters and David Duke reaches millions. Publish it on blogs (and not just in UK). Try to get it into press (and not just in UK). Make them pay!!!
posted on August 27, 2008 at 09:17:03 AM
the cheek of these people is amazing! academic respect for the sourcing of references seem completely alien to them, their inability to discern the difference between genuine debate and the conspiracy laden rantings of fascists makes me weep for their students.
Mark Gardner posted on August 27, 2008 at 10:37:43 AM
Having sacrificed the struggle against antisemitism on the altar of Fighting Evil Zionism, now the useful idiots reach the next stage in the trajectory - not simply bystanders for antisemites, but selective collaborators "when the facts speak for themselves".
They used to spout that Zionists collaborate with antisemites. Ha! Can't wait for that accusation to arise again. Why don't they also advise people to buy the David Duke book that's advertised alongside the article, "Jewish Supremacism". They could always just tippex out the word Jew and replace it with Zionist, then it would be anti-racist wouldn't it?
Nevertheless, I wouldn't say linkning to the KKK-lite David Duke site is any more stupid than what we've previously seen. We've known since the New Statesman cover fiasco (golden star of david pierces union jack) that the left's smug arrogance and ignorance re antisemitism knows no boundaries. Similarly with the (non) reaction to Tam Dalyell's Jewish cabal.
The useful idiots could have apologised. Anyone seen any sign of that? An apology for linking to a KKK-lite website? No, just like New Statesman and the rest. (Note - NS did not apologise when initially approached by Jewish communal reps, and only apologised when their offices were 'occupied' by self proclaimed Jewish anti-Zionists.)
posted on August 27, 2008 at 10:40:01 AM
It is no surprise that those who wish to silence other voices through an academic boycott also wish to remove freedom of speech from those who criticise them. The scandal is the presence of fascists in higher education. This story demonstrates that they are fascists because they are unable to distinguish their own opinions from those of fascists, and because they act like fascists in their approach to open discourse.
posted on August 27, 2008 at 01:29:06 PM
I doubt, JR, that either Delich or Cushman are fascists. That moniker is slung around too freely, besides, which makes it quite meaningless. Let's agree that their behavior shows them as utter morons.
Anyway, why I came here is to recommend Ami Isseroff's post:
And if you still have a leftover minute after this:
Cheers, I hope HP will get back soon.
Oniad posted on August 27, 2008 at 02:07:08 PM
Can anyone let me know if they think Cushman or Haim will establish themselves as the anti-Zionist Shtadlan of the UCU?
posted on August 27, 2008 at 03:17:15 PM
thanks snoopy, I shall be doing a pick of the posts shortly (I am a bit of a slow blogger).
I think some of you scholars are needed at
it seems that a few posters there are very confused about the nature of David Duke's web sites and the issues, sadly I haven't got the wits or energy to explain it to them, but if one or 2 of you could, that would help, thanks.
Brian Goldfarb posted on September 09, 2008 at 11:52:05 AM
Unfortunately, LL but not yet B, truth is _not_ an absolute defence in libel cases: a statement in England & Wales may be true, but may still lose a libel case for the defendant. This is why Harry's Place ISP weaselled out of continue to provide for Harry's Place. In the US, having established that the statement was true, it would have told the complainant to take a running jump.
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