Some of those who shamelessly profit from using race hate to demonise others are not big enough to say sorry, content merely to sling the mud at those unable to defend themselves. And their number, I suspect, now includes the Community Security Trust.
The CST’s now infamous report Engine Of Hate, which Zelo Street covered yesterday, claimed to have identified 36 Twitter accounts that it suggested were the “engine room”, the providers of fuel to the boilers of hatred. But very soon a problem entered, although, like that apology, the CST has not admitted it to be a problem, or even worthy of comment.
Those 36 Twitter accounts were selected party because they used hashtags like #GTTO (Get The Tories Out). This has, let us not drive it around the houses for too long, nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism. One might have thought that the CST, if it wanted to demonstrate anti-Semitism, would not use such criteria.
So the trawl for suitable Twitter users to demonise caught accounts such as that run by Rachael Cousins, and even Scouse Girl Media, which is run by a Labour activist from Merseyside. Also caught was a Tweeter from the South West called Cornish Damo. None of these accounts indulges in anti-Semitism. None of them. At all.
It gets worse: the CST has then used, as if this were some kind of clincher to demonstrate that those it had identified were bang to rights, any hostility to Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson as further evidence that it has not only caught, but demonstrated, anti-Semitic intent. But those who oppose Watson do not demonstrate anti-Semitic intent, or indeed any anti-Semitism at all, by so doing. Shaun Lawson picked up on this very quickly.
As he put it, “The CST appear to be suggesting that you're 'antisemitic' if you’ve: 1. Angrily criticised Rachel Riley … 2. Angrily criticised Tom Watson … 3. Used the hashtag GTTO (Get The Tories Out) … 4. Referred to what al-Jazeera exposed in their film, The Lobby … 5. Criticised Luciana Berger”. The CST needs to take on board that complaints against The Lobby of anti-Semitism and breach of impartiality were dismissed by Ofcom.
But mention of The Lobby, and indeed any of the criteria identified by Shaun Lawson, means Labour activists who have not indulged in anti-Semitism are now being lumped in with individuals who have. While the CST continues to ignore calls for corrections and retractions, the mud they have slung continues to stick. That is the worst part.
And now has come the CST’s admission that only 12 of the 36 Twitter accounts it both identified and named have posted anti-Semitic Tweets. The group has needlessly defamed 24 individuals. It hasn’t retracted or apologised. And it appears unwilling to do so.
So Damo, Rachael Cousins and Scouse Girl Media are left to try and defend themselves as best they can, fearful of being attacked online, or worse, tracked down and attacked physically, while those who hang on the CST’s every word as if it were unvarnished fact compound the smear. As the Tweeter known as Jews Sans Frontières put it, “[the CST’s] Dave Rich's redbaiting even extends to Holocaust victims”.
The thought occurs that the CST may have selected some of its targets, knowing they did not have the means to go to law in order to defend themselves. That only makes it worse.
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