In spite of the rubbish peddled recently on CiF as evidence of the folie-a-deux between Georgina Henry and Matt Seaton about the community policy it seems that our old mucker, Seth Freedman is still afforded special status there. Status, that is, to make as much of a fool of himself as he always has.
Regular readers of CiF and CiFWatch scarcely need to be reminded that Freedman is a very confused person. He vacillates between his own form of sympathy for his adopted country and misguided condemnation of it. In his recent offering, for example, having rooted for the Bil’in and Nil’in protesters in the past, stones and all so to speak, we now see him supporting the non-violent action of Sheikh Jarrah protesters:
The path of violent protest in Bil’in and Nil’in has proved to be a cul-de-sac, with ever-harsher measures taken by the army response and ever-increasing scepticism from those on the Israeli street. In the hiatus resulting from the army’s announced closures in the villages, protest organisers would do well to consider how they proceed when the restrictions are lifted – and taking a leaf out of the Sheikh Jarrah protesters’ book is no bad place to start…..
Now this shows some insight on Freedman’s part, but I am not going to hold my breath that it will last. Non-violent protest is to be preferred to the sort of violence which usually obtains on the West Bank, stoked by the ISM and its hangers on. However, not surprisingly, Freedman’s detractors below the line, whose sympathies lie with more with the bare-knuckle approach of the ISM, are not at all impressed by this new, peaceable (for the moment anyway) Freedman. One of these, boblondon, got into a protracted exchange with Freedman, (both Freedman’s and his posts were subsequently deleted, but not before we got hold of it). Unfortunately we couldn’t get one of the comments but the following should give readers a flavour. My comments are in the text:
18 Mar 2010, 10:57AM
where exactly do I tell the Palestinians how to fight their own struggle? To which quote are you refering exactly?
I think you dont know much about the history of Palestine, the first intifada (1986 – 1993) is widely viewed as a success of sorts, it foreced Israel into some, limited concessions in the form of Oslo, and was an unarmed uprising, so I dont know what you are on about when you talk of “deliberate murder of women and children”.
Plus by the way I have spent 7 months in Palestine and have been shot at by Israeli snipers breaking curfew to bring supplies and medicine to locals trapped in their homes during 4 day long invasions of Nablus. Seth lives in West Jerusalem and stands at the back of demonstrations well out the way of any tear gas or rubber bullets, I know this as ive met him!
Let us not forget that Freedman cannot bear to let an insult pass. Boblondon (who seems far too proud to be healthy that he has been shot at by Israeli snipers, or so he says) is implying that Freedman “… stood at the back of demonstrations well out the way of any tear gas or rubber bullets….”, ie that Freedman lacked the courage of what he said were his convictions. So Freedman has to reply:
18 Mar 2010, 11:26AM
boblondon – ” Seth lives in West Jerusalem and stands at the back of demonstrations well out the way of any tear gas or rubber bullets, I know this as ive met him!”
i live in jaffa
(Well, Freedman used to live in Jerusalem. Boblondon doesn’t say when these demonstrations took place. They could have met. Then Freedman goes on to try to rubbish boblondon’s contribution to the ISM’s bareknuckle fight. Note the “I tried it once and didn’t like it” play and the attempt at sarcasm at the end):
more importantly, are you seriously suggesting you’re more qualified to speak just because you ‘brave’ the teargas and rubber bullets by acting as a shield for the stonethrowers at the front of the crowd? do you see yourself as somehow more heroic and courageous for standing in the line of fire? i did it once, and never again – why on earth would i want to provide cover for those attacking the army (or the other way round, should such a situation arise)? but kudos to you for getting shot at – that story must go down a storm at soirees and dinner parties.
And now we come to the “I’m braver than you are..” bit, where the usual, to be expected adolescent braggadocio is displayed – see “… I have arguably exposed myself to greater personal danger during my time in Palestine than you. …” from boblondon below. Note that he doesn’t go to the West Bank for “bragging rights” though. I am glad he made that clear….
18 Mar 2010, 11:40AM
are you seriously suggesting you’re more qualified to speak just because you ‘brave’ the teargas and rubber bullets by acting as a shield for the stonethrowers at the front of the crowd?
No not at all, I made those comments in response to a personal attack from Te1ecaster where it was suggested I was some sort of armchair general, and your bravery was praised, I thought it fair to point out that I have arguably exposed myself to greater personal danger during my time in Palestine than you.
I wouldnt say what Ive done is particularky (sic) heroic, but anyone working in the occupied territories has to show a level of courage. Actually I dont really tell that story very often; I dont go to Palestine for personal gain, bragging rights, cif columns or book deals – how about you?
18 Mar 2010, 12:12PM
then i can finally throw in the towel and move back to enfield to dine out on my near misses with the rest of the ism special forces vets.
well you would have to join first to become a vet, but if I remember rightly when you requested to join up with us you were denied as you were still a reservist soldier, which was the beggining (sic) of your animosity towards us.
Well, if you think that Freedman would let boblondon get away with that, you have another think coming. Note the “you’re making it up” below, a sure sign that Freedman is displeased and, when Freedman is displeased ’tis but a short step from there to accusing anyone who criticises him of lying. Note also, the careful wording of :
“… i asked to be allowed to spend time working with ism and see the work they did as part of my post-army education – and subsequently i was allowed to do just that on several occasions (they’re well-documented, i’ve written about them all) – so when it comes to my reasons for despising ism you’re way wide of the mark – as in, you’re making it up….”
18 Mar 2010, 12:19PM
boblondon – “well you would have to join first to become a vet, but if I remember rightly when you requested to join up with us you were denied as you were still a reservist soldier, which was the beggining (sic) of your animosity towards us”
i. i was never a reservist soldier, not even close. as in, you’re making it up
ii. i asked to be allowed to spend time working with ism and see the work they did as part of my post-army education – and subsequently i was allowed to do just that on several occasions (they’re well-documented, i’ve written about them all) – so when it comes to my reasons for despising ism you’re way wide of the mark – as in, you’re making it up
iii. i have no idea who you are (despite you excitedly claiming to have met me) – that said, i have animosity towards the ism as a whole, not towards individuals – so when you say ‘your animosity towards us’, you’re implying i have a personal problem with you. i don’t, since i neither know nor care who you are. as in, you’re making it up
This stupidity persists until the Community Mod’s intervention:
18 Mar 2010, 12:46PM
Would contributors please endeavour to remain on topic and avoid extended personal disagreements.
What then, caused the rift between the ISM and Freedman, who wanted to join them as part of his “post-army education” (but more likely as a way for him to “write” about the experience and make money from it)? Some clues can be found in the drubbing he got here and here.
In the Heathlander blog (at the first link), Freedman is roundly abused by one David Wearing (of CiF anti-Israel fame?) who accuses him of being some sort of double agent who supports Israeli atrocities:
“…. Freedman works very well as ‘hasbara’ propaganda. Israel can probably live with his criticism of the settlers provided that, when it really matters, he deploys the credibility built up over several critical articles to join the supporting chorus for Israeli atrocities. Support for mass murder from purported humanitarians carries far more weight than that from the usual Zionist suspects. If he didn’t exist then the Israeli Public Affairs dept, if they were smart, would invent someone like him….“
It’s downhill all the way after that on the Heathlander blog, as the egregious Tony Greenstein and Mark Elf line up to put the boot in too.
The article at the second link, the rebuttal statement to Freedman’s article (or rather “tirade”) about Bil’in on 20th January 2010 by ISM London, got no hits at all however. Pete Jones, the ISM activist who authored the rebuttal (and who is therefore probably a “very important person”) tells us that he actually lived in Bil’in “for almost two months.” (!!) The rebuttal has all the buzz words, too, such as referring to stone-throwing youth as being involved in Bil’in’s “struggle“ as well as references to the distorted reality so beloved of Islamist sympathisers as follows:
“…in fact the Palestinians’ own long tradition of non-violent resistance has a lot to teach us all, from the protests and strikes against the British occupation in the 1930s onwards….” (Why no mention of the Hebron massacre? Perhaps it wasn’t non-violent enough for them).
Freedman’s criticism of the ISM and his support of peaceful protest may be evidence either of a real change of heart (but as I have said above, I shall not hold my breath for that to happen) or of the sort of pernicious envy which wants to strike out at others because they are perceived to have denied one respect or what are believed to be one’s rights. My money would be on the last two. Freedman is still smarting that the ISM turned him down.