Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

A Tale of Two Vehicles

“Every day we have people who are hurt, every day we have people who are insulted," French Jewish leader Richard Abitbol has been quoted as saying recently.
"We can be hurt by words, but we don’t mind, but when we are hurt by a knife, a gun, you can’t say I don’t mind. In a few decades, there will be no Jews in France. And there is also a problem in Europe. There are almost no Jews now, they are leaving. So, it’s terrible what I will say, but Europe is continuing in peace what Hitler had done by war."
 And now comes this report, of a kosher store near Paris being set alight.  That's cultural enrichment for you.

The threat to European civilisation, to the values of the Enlightenment, to Jews, and to women's rights, posed by the inexorable mass migration of Muslims into Europe, does, of course, agitate many minds concerned for the future of the continent, with foreboding expressed by numerous well-informed and decent people including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray, Melanie Phillips, and Mark Steyn, to name a mere handful.

Their warnings, which should make free peoples everywhere pause for thought, seem to cut no ice with the Australian-based so-called Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI), a high-handed censorious thought-policing organisation about which I've blogged several times before. 

What would appear to be its increasing focus on right-wing "hate speech" seems to be borne out by a recent article by the OHPI's CEO (and, whisper it softly, sole staffer?) Dr Andre Oboler on the Jewish website J-Wire:
'After Charlottesville American attitudes on Hate Speech are shifting....
The gap between violent extremism and hate speech has narrowed after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017.
The rally which became violet, ultimately led to the vehicular attack by a 20 year-old far-right activist which killed Heather D. Heyer and injured 19 others. President Trump’s refusal to call out right-wing extremism following the attack became a tipping point in American attitudes to hate speech....'
The article goes on to explain that under new rules Twitter has closed a number of right-wing accounts, but those of 'military or government entities' will not be affected.
'The new rules seek to “reduce the amount of abusive behaviour and hateful conduct”, a move which still seeks to create some sort of distinction between “speech” and “action” even as it enlarged the scope of what crosses the line into unacceptable activity on Twitter. A spokesperson explain that, “If an account’s profile information includes a violent threat or multiple slurs, epithets, racist or sexist tropes, incites fear, or reduces someone to less than human, it will be permanently suspended”. When it comes to Tweets, hateful imagery will be hidden and users will have to click a button to see it. Such imagery includes “logos, symbols, or images whose purpose is to promote hostility and malice against others based on their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin”. This sends the message that those promoting hostility and malice against minorities can continue to use Twitter for this purpose provided their account isn’t clearly setup exclusively for this purpose....
Finding hate symbols like swastikas or racial slurs with such approaches is straight forward as the context in which they appear seldom matters. Other hate speech which uses more general language is harder to detect....
Twitter has taken an important step to tackle online hate, but there is a growing concern that rather than tackling the online hate which has the most impact on society, the focus is instead drifting to those forms of hate which are the easiest and cheapest to find. If we want to stop the spread of hate, we need to do better.'
Unfortunately, the OHPI has become known for meddlesome mischievousness and double standards.

Take a look at its latest report, concerning the recent Flinders Street outrage in central Melbourne shortly before Christmas, in which a driver mowed down pedestrians in cold blood (one of the badly injured, a gentleman of 83, has since died).  

Notice how, referring to a number of tweets by "islamophobe" Amy Mek, the OHPI seeks to downplay or even deny the oppression of women in Islam  (Dr Oboler abhors "islamophobia"):

And notice how the OHPI is now (is that the royal "we" its CEO is using, incidentally?) liaising with the police, already, in the state of Victoria (where violent crime by youths of South Sudanese background is spiralling out of control) in thraldom to political correctness:

No wonder so many people abhor the Online Hate Prevention Institute's meddlesome mischievousness and double standards.

We see this abhorrence in the three comments that Dr Oboler's J-Wire article attracted:

Do we really want a privatised censorship?
Do you all understand that one day pro-Israel speech could be deemed “hate speech”?
Sorry, but I don’t agree with “hate speech laws”. What a person thinks doesn’t hurt anyone: what they say can lead to someone being hurt, but it is what they DO that can hurt people, and that is punishable by law, as it should be.
I have seen many good people hurt by these “hate speech laws” simply for telling us news we are not hearing, and expressing a concern for the safety of innocent people – and that often includes Jewish people. To be labelled “far right” these days is merely to be proud of your race, faith and country, and unwilling to throw it all away for some disastrous Utopian fantasy.
Freedom of speech is the most important asset we have, and we must not sacrifice any of it in the false hope of protecting innocent people. Rather, we should meet any hateful speech we hear with a deafening crescendo of disapproval and ridicule.
Readers may well not be aware that Dr Oboler is the self-appointed censor of online “Hate Speech.” What is “hate speech”? No one knows – it is whatever he thinks “hate speech” is. I and others have repeatedly asked him how he defines “hate speech,” and he has consistently refused to answer. In matters of defining “hate speech,” he is the prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and executioner, and the court proceedings are secret. Sounds like North Korea? You bet it does. And how many examples of, say, leftists calling Israel “genocidal” or “an Apartheid State” has he zapped? How many online Islamic sites denouncing the Jews in anti-semitic terms has he zapped? Maybe zero is the answer? Only right-wingers need apply. Frankly, if it is a choice between some ratbag online nonsense and a self-appointed private censor answerable to no one, the latter is the more dangerous. America has a First Amendment to protect its people from self-appointed censors.
 Yep.  As someone once said, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" ...

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