Andy Newman’s racist left: And, how I became a “right wing troll”

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

I was labelled as such yesterday by Andy Newman and his comrades at Socialist Unity by merely posting the following message beneath their cross-post of Newman’s CiF essay on Gilad Atzmon.

Adam Levick

The blog I manage, CiF Watch, just posted an essay on your recent critique of Gilad Atzmon.

If you’re interested in reading it, here it is.

The post I linked to, by Hadar Sela, “Andy Newman’s Socialism of Fools: The remarkable staying power of leftist antisemitism“, called out Newman for the inherent hypocrisy of his criticism of Atzmon’s antisemitism in the context of Newman’s own associations with Islamist, and Islamist friendly, groups which oppose Israel’s very existence, and advance unambiguously antisemitic agendas.  

Sela also observed the cynicism of Newman’s agenda, as not informed by a sincere opposition towards antisemites, per se, but only those, like Gilad Atzmon, whose anti-Jewish rhetoric is so extreme as to hurt the Palestinian cause.   

I later checked my comment at Newman’s site for any feedback and saw this:

Apparently, the word “inflammatory” for the socialist clique which Newman associates includes any commentary which goes against established anti-Zionist leftist orthodoxy.  Such views are clearly counter-revolutionary and therefore outside the realm of acceptable debate. 

My comment, however, did elicit the following from Newman, who posted this below my deleted post.

You need to be a special type of idiot to think that my article is evidence that I am equivalent of Nick Griffin.

You also concentrate on the words “far right” that I have already explained was inserted by the Guardian editors.

And clearly in your book ALL solidarity with the Palestinians or political disagreement with Zionism is anti-semitic; making you a zealot of the most extremist stripe

Comment by Andy Newman — 3 October, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

So, just how zealous is CiF Watch?

Well a clue can be found in a recent piece at Socialist Unity criticizing both our friends at Harry’s Place – a blog which exposes totalitarian, pro-Islamist and antisemitic tendencies on the left (such as Socialist Unity) – and CiF Watch.

They wrote:

“Harry’s Place also served as a catalyst for the launch of CiF Watch, a website allegedly dedicated ‘to monitoring and exposing antisemitism on the Guardian newspaper’s ‘Comment is Free’ blog’. However, as with Harry’s Place, its main task appears to be to be the smearing of anti-Zionists and voices critical of Israel.”

The post – after condemning Harry’s Place as “Islamophobic” for “smearing” the honorable  George Galloway, Ken Livingstone, Jenny Tonge, Medhi Hassan, and Seumas Milne – added:

“It [Harry’s Place] is a sewer of racism and reaction that is committed to providing unfailing support to a state, Israel, which is engaged in apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Palestine.”

In the exquisite moral inversion which informs Andy Newman’s politics, those who call for the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state, and consistently espouse Judeophobic narratives, are progressives in good standing, while those who oppose such dangerous bigotry are reactionary and racist.

As Hadar Sela observed:

 [Zionism] is the (still, for some) ‘radical’ notion that Jews are equals and that as such they are, like any other nation, entitled to dictate their own destiny through self-determination. A Left which is anti-Zionist is a Left which denies the right of Jews to that equality, and therefore racist. 

This is undeniably the racist left which Andy Newman inhabits. 

12 replies »

  1. Adam, two points
    1. Notice the wording “Right Wing Troll, deleted”, as if the person himself and not his message had been dealt with.
    2. Such summary justice makes it appear as if Andy Newman’s blog is so insecure in its political conviction that the very presence of a ‘right wing troll’ is apt to upset the balance of its readers without even raising the question of its presumably subversive theories. Or is it like the Guardian, jealously guarding its own province?

  2. In order to identify anti-semites it might be useful to have either the Gilad Atzmon Test or even the Andy Newman Test:

    anyone supporting these people immediately identify themselves as racist bigots.

    For example, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their support for Atzmon out themselves as twenty-first century equivalents of cultural Nazis.

  3. Well, Newman’s true colours certainly shine through, don’t they? I read Hadar Sela’s article and nowhere in it did I see any suggestion that this mope was the equivalent of Nick Griffin, and you didn’t make such a comparison either so why the OTT reaction and the hysteria?

    He’s just another overblown windbag who doesn’t like to be disagreed with and bested by “uppity Jews”.

    Well tough. He had better get used to it. If he can’t stand the heat he should stay out of the kitchen and stop writing such rubbish which makes the criticism inevitable.

  4. Derek, you may have something there, but such a scale or test needs to be systematically constructed doesn’t it, and validated and tested, preferably by people with no particular axe to grind.

    Having said that, I agree that the evidence is unmistakable among some Jew-haters, who circulate the same tropes with little variation and even less thought.

  5. A real pleasure to follow all the contortions and somersaults of the Marxist orientated factions of the UK extreme left as they try to retain the facade of anti- Israelism to patch over their ingrained hard-core antisemitism. Vicki Pollard of “Little Britain” fame, with her “yeah but, no but ” routine couldn’t have done it better.

  6. “systematically constructed doesn’t it,”

    For the Andy Newman Test I would, of course, use Bruno Latour’s ANT methodology.

  7. Incredible your comment was deleted! Who do these people think they are??? Or where do they think they are more to the point!

    • Or where do they think they are more to the point!

      Norwich (in 1190), or Berlin (in 1934), or Tehran or Ramallah or Cairo or London etc. (at the present time, in 2011)

    • Richard, I think that THEY think they are the CiF moderators with the attendant delusions of omipotence and grandeur. ‘Tis the first-order symptom of the authoritarian mindset to react to criticism as if it is dissent and then to try to obliterate it. What a pathetic, intellectually-stunted reaction, rather than to argue the case like a fully fledged intelligent human being!

  8. I should wear that badge with pride, Adam, although it means little because it’s awarded by the epitome of a loony Left wing troll.

    You obviously struck a raw nerve. Keep up the good work!

    I agree with Silver Trees to be insulted and abused by the Trots. is not only an honour it also shows you’re being effective.

  10. Eh. Whatever Mr. Newman’s political apoplexies over being so closely associated with GA, regardless of what he does or doesn’t do, they’re still married via the Hard Left. That’s his problem. How it resolves for him, I am surprised to realize I really COULD NOT care less. GA’s on your team, Andy. Have fun!