Should publicly calling others "anti-Semitic", merely for criticising Israel, be considered Libellous?

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Erik Redburn
Should publicly calling others "anti-Semitic", merely for criticising Israel, be considered Libellous?

...............

Erik Redburn

The "you're just 'Anti-Semitic' so and so..." accusation has become such a common kneejerk reaction, designed to shut down criticism of the state of Israel's brutal treatment of its native population, that it's not only a travesty of its original meaning, but it seems to be used to limit legitimate freedom of speech even in personal venues like blogs.   So I'm wondering now...maybe they have a point.  Could/should that acusation itself be considered libellous if used in public by a noted public figure...and no evidence of actual racist intent or content can be shown?   Anyone?

Snert Snert's picture

If you go down that road then you'll have to add "Fascist" and "Nazi" and a whole slate of bombastic labels.  And if accusations of "racist" have to be backed up with "evidence of actual racist intent"?  We'll be converting our schools and hospitals to ad hoc courtrooms to handle the demand. 

kropotkin1951

In human rights law something is either racist or it is not there is no requirement for it to be intentional.  Other wise the focus shifts from the racism and its effect on the person subjected to it to the person perpetrating it.

In libel law if it effects your employment you don't have to prove malicious intent but if it is just run of the mill libel the courts will look to see whether the statements were intended to cause injury to one's reputation.  Again not was it intended to be racist but whether it is intended to be damaging to reputation. 

alQUACKsa

OBSESSED!  You people are unbelievable.  Doesn't this topic get tiresome after a while?  WHY is every other thread topic on here about Israel?

Unionist

alQUACKsa wrote:
WHY is every other thread topic on here about Israel?

To leave room for a few other topics.

alQUACKsa

On a related note, would calling Muhammad a pedophile be considered slander??

Michelle

Banned.

kropotkin1951

alQUACKsa wrote:

On a related note, would calling Muhammad a pedophile be considered slander??

No more than calling various of the previous catholic popes pedophiles. We know many catholic priests are pedophiles so it is not too great a leap to presume it started at the top.  People who are long dead can't sue or defend themselves.  However making statments like yours shows you are a bridge dweller.

__________________________________________

Soothsayers had a better record of prediction than economists

contrarianna

alQUACKsa wrote:

OBSESSED!  You people are unbelievable.  Doesn't this topic get tiresome after a while?  WHY is every other thread topic on here about Israel?

O Why, O Why, this "obsession" with Israel?

This deflecting tactic, claiming Babble posters are "obsessed" with the policies of Israel and its lobby is now standard fare everywhere. The fake pose of bafflement slyly hints of a "pathological" concern that can only by explained by antiesemitism.

Yet a million such threads could not begin to balance out the overwheming pro-Israel major media bias of Canada--but one can try.

One can not attack Canada's shameful complicity and support for Israel's pernicious policies without constant reiteration of WHY those policies are an abomination.

The Government of Canada now appears to be in total lockstep with Israel's policies (with the charming Avigdor Lieberman's unreserved approval).  Canada's relationship with Israel has become poisoness: marked by the erosion of the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty, its shared "border" and security agreement, its apologetics for Israel's killing of UN peacekeepers (including a Canadian), its silence (at best) on Israel's illegal settlement expansions and occupation, etc.--all make Canada a co-conspirator to Israel's crimes, and all to the erosion of Canada's (and the world's) real security.  Gone is Canada's international standing as a country with some remaining modicum of ethical and even-handed foreign dealings.  

In short, it behoves any Canadian who has any sense of morality, and who cares about the direction their country is going, to constantly reiterate WHY Canada should not unreservadly aligned more than any other nation with this brutal regime.

Sven Sven's picture

Snert wrote:

If you go down that road then you'll have to add "Fascist" and "Nazi" and a whole slate of bombastic labels. 

That's true.  Unfortunately, political discourse today is rife with people throwing labels at each other.  It's often either lazy and imprecise rhetoric or it's a conscious attempt to shut down a meaningful conversation (check out an earlier babble discussion on that latter aspect of labels [url=here[/url]">http://rabble.ca/babble/babblers-helping-babblers/potential-pitfalls-lab...).

JudyJudyJudy

contrarianna wrote:

brutal regime.

That's funny.  I see no mention of other "Brutal regimes" on here which leads me to believe one thing.  OBSESSED.

JudyJudyJudy

contrarianna wrote:

 

Yet a million such threads could not begin to balance out the overwheming pro-Israel major media bias of Canada--but one can try.

 

 

PARANOID!

Maysie Maysie's picture

Banned X 2

contrarianna

JudyJudyJudy wrote:

That's funny.  I see no mention of other "Brutal regimes" on here which leads me to believe one thing.  OBSESSED.

And which brutal regimes did YOU have in mind that have the degree of fawning endorsement and co-governmental complicity of Canada--the subject of the post?
Sorry, you'll have to change talking points.

JudyJudyJudy wrote:

PARANOID!

O dear. out of talking points, I guess.
Nevertheless, well argued Herr Doktor. I especially like the all-caps part of your diagnosis--and the exclamation point at the end of it--ah, well yes, the exclamation point, mmmmmm!

Michelle

Banned again.

Caissa

Banned on the Run.... Oh, wait McCartney was mentioned in a different thread. Weekend can't come quick enough.

Unionist

Well, now, it's JudyJudyJudy's turn to cry.

 

Tommy_Paine

 

Glad he's gone. Could never stand Carey Grant.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Since the mods seem to be popping in and out, could someone please change the thread title? It's "publicly" not "publically" and it's "libellous" not "libelous".

"Criticising" with an "s" instead of a "z" is acceptable, albeit eccentric.

Jaku

Spelling flames are lame...as to the topic at hand...branding an individual as an anti-Semite or racist can be libelous already. However given the fuzzy "fair-comment line especially after the Rafe Mair case:

"The justices ruled unanimously that, although Mair clearly defamed Kari Simpson - comparing the local activist to Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan for her remarks about homosexuals -  his comments were protected as fair comment."
 
http://tinyurl.com/yde9ejq
I highly doubt it will fly in a Canadian Court.

Sven Sven's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Since the mods seem to be popping in and out, could someone please change the thread title? It's "publicly" not "publically" and it's "libellous" not "libelous".

"Criticising" with an "s" instead of a "z" is acceptable, albeit eccentric.

Must be an American as "libellous" is spelled "libelous" in AmE. Tongue out

Tommy_Paine

"Criticising" with an "s" instead of a "z" is acceptable, albeit eccentric.

 

You mean there's words that can be spelled different ways? 

There's hop for me yet.

oldgoat

And again.  That was odd, the account showed to me as still open.  Definitely shows as closed now.

oldgoat

speling erors corected.

Erik Redburn

Sven wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

Since the mods seem to be popping in and out, could someone please change the thread title? It's "publicly" not "publically" and it's "libellous" not "libelous".

"Criticising" with an "s" instead of a "z" is acceptable, albeit eccentric.

Must be an American as "libellous" is spelled "libelous" in AmE. Tongue out

 

Oh oh, I knew my roots in the 'tween generation would be exposed oneday, I regularly swing either way when it comes to Americanese or Canadian (English) but sometimes get confused and mix the two together.   Which form of Anglo-esque is 'publicly' though?   Innocent

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

"Publicly" is regarded as the correct spelling throughout the English-speaking universe.

"Publically" will become appropriate only when somebody invents the new adjective "publical" to replace "public".

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

"Publically" will become appropriate only when somebody invents the new adjective "publical" to replace "public".

It's libellus to criticise my speling in public, Al.

 

Erik Redburn

M. Spector wrote:

"Publicly" is regarded as the correct spelling throughout the English-speaking universe.

"Publically" will become appropriate only when somebody invents the new adjective "publical" to replace "public".

 

True enough but not necessarily true in all cases grammatically, Spector, and technically there is no 'English-speaking universe' but only one partial portion of one small planet where thankfully we remained free from the kind of language academy which still forces the more sophisticated Francais to adhere to archaic spelling conventions.  (unlike Our perfectly rationally standards of spelling...)   But hey, lets not get too nitpicky on what's just an online forum.  Otherwise oldgoat and Michelle will find themselves with even More onerous duties laid at their overcrowded doorsteps...   =:)>

Jacob Richter

I'm an post-Zionist, one against the idea of a discriminatorily Jewish state but one for an Israeli state with a non-Jewish majority at peace with the Jewish minority.

Erik Redburn

Unionist wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

"Publically" will become appropriate only when somebody invents the new adjective "publical" to replace "public".

It's libellus to criticise my speling in public, Al.

 

 

What about lowly typos, they worth a stiff rebuuke or only a publical spanking?

Polunatic2

For some reason I couldn't edit post 31 where I wanted to add:

Perhaps sometimes an op-ed is more powerful than a libel suit. 

Polunatic2

From Haaretz (yes it has two a's - like aardvark)

Netanyahu's speech / Cheapening the Holocaust

by Gideon Levy

Quote:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cheapened the memory of the Holocaust in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. He did so twice. Once, when he brandished proof of the very existence of the Holocaust, as if it needed any, and again when he compared Hamas to the Nazis.  

Erik Redburn

alQUACKsa wrote:

On a related note, would calling Muhammad a pedophile be considered slander??

 

Only applies to the living Quack, but that ugly old distortion could be deemed offensive enough for banning.  (betrothing children to adults was common to many cultures and didn't mean the grownup slept with them till they also reached what was considered adulthood way back then)  So sorry I missed your intelligent contributions.

Erik Redburn

Sven wrote:

Snert wrote:

If you go down that road then you'll have to add "Fascist" and "Nazi" and a whole slate of bombastic labels. 

That's true.  Unfortunately, political discourse today is rife with people throwing labels at each other.  It's often either lazy and imprecise rhetoric or it's a conscious attempt to shut down a meaningful conversation (check out an earlier babble discussion on that latter aspect of labels [url=here[/url]">http://rabble.ca/babble/babblers-helping-babblers/potential-pitfalls-lab...).

 

But seriously Sven, we're already going down this road thanks to the extreme application of this principle by noted defenders of Zionism.  And I'm talking libel here, by influential personalities in public venues, not mutually agreed upon slander between friendly rivals.   (or should that be friendally?)

Erik Redburn

Jacob Richter wrote:

I'm an post-Zionist, one against the idea of a discriminatorily Jewish state but one for an Israeli state with a non-Jewish majority at peace with the Jewish minority.

 

I don't think anyone on the left has a problem with that.

Erik Redburn

Polunatic2 wrote:

For some reason I couldn't edit post 31 where I wanted to add:

Perhaps sometimes an op-ed is more powerful than a libel suit. 

 

Probably true too but problem is all the major publishers here are pretty much in lock-step with those who only want existing laws interpretted in favour of one particular party's interest.

Erik Redburn

kropotkin1951 wrote:

In human rights law something is either racist or it is not there is no requirement for it to be intentional.  Other wise the focus shifts from the racism and its effect on the person subjected to it to the person perpetrating it.

In libel law if it effects your employment you don't have to prove malicious intent but if it is just run of the mill libel the courts will look to see whether the statements were intended to cause injury to one's reputation.  Again not was it intended to be racist but whether it is intended to be damaging to reputation. 

 

But that just raises more interesting but knotty questions.   Would such things be better challenged as a matter of violating now accepted human rights, of those who may only be criticising such abuse of others, or would old fashioned personal libel laws be more appropriate?   Which would be wiser in such cases?  And in the unlikely event that any judge in North America had the courage to make such a ruling, could it be extended to the more common tactic of saying this sort of thing is "anti-semitic" in all cases (without even needing to explain why or how) then mentioning so and sos name in relation to it....well that could open up a whole can of worms.    Or would that be too dangerously broad an interpretation for everyone, including those only looking for a fair application of laws protecting our supposed right to criticise state leaders without being publicly slimed etc?    So many interesting issues worth exploring here.  Any other opinions would be welcome here; only considering possibilities here, good bad or indifferent.

Erik Redburn

Anyhow, I'd agree with others that this idea would probably be like opening Pandoras box --at least if it's taken more than one step beyond existing libel and hate laws which probably go too far as it is. 

kropotkin1951

I doubt if anyone on this board has enough discretionary income to launch lawsuits for being called anti-Semitic.  Even when judges award damages they are often nominal and if one is lucky they will have ALL their costs ordered paid.  Not a lucrative endeavour and potentially a very costly one.  Now if you are rich it might be like a personal SLAPP suit strategy where anyone who points out your fascist ways is faced with bankruptcy if they don't retract the statement.

kropotkin1951

In libel law truth is a full defence. So if you can prove the person is a fascist or anti-semetic then you are allowed to say so.  However if truth is the defence the onus in court is on you to prove the truth of your statement.

Michelle

Regarding "libelous" or "libellous" - I think it can go either way, but the rule I learned (which I've since heard is an Americanized one), is that you double the letter if the syllable that ends with the letter is stressed, but you don't double it otherwise.

So, since it's "LI-bel-ous" it's not doubled.  Same with "COUN-sel-or".  For "repel" however, it would be "re-PEL-ling".

BTW, am I the only one giggling over the fact that someone corrected the spelling of "libellous" in the thread title, and then randomly capitalized it? :D

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

BTW, am I the only one giggling over the fact that someone corrected the spelling of "libellous" in the thread title, and then randomly capitalized it? :D

Yes, you are. The rest of us are either furious or indifferent.

By the way, "criticise" is British. The Canadian spelling would be "pretend not to notice".

 

Erik Redburn

KPK:  "I doubt if anyone on this board has enough discretionary income to launch lawsuits for being called anti-Semitic.  Even when judges award damages they are often nominal and if one is lucky they will have ALL their costs ordered paid.  Not a lucrative endeavour and potentially a very costly one.  Now if you are rich it might be like a personal SLAPP suit strategy where anyone who points out your fascist ways is faced with bankruptcy if they don't retract the statement."

Ya, thats just one of the systemic biases with libel laws, probably lots of others we never hear of.  Don't make it right but does make it something to keep in mind.  

 

remind remind's picture

giggle

KeyStone

"I doubt if anyone on this board has enough discretionary income to launch lawsuits for being called anti-Semitic"

Richard Warman to the rescue!

Prophit

Frankly I consider Mr. Warman quite heroic. After all few others would take on neo-Nazis online and he has. As well I understand he also has a defemation suit pending against Ezra Levant. he should be hailed as a hero.

remind remind's picture

*snerk*

Prophit

Great comeback Remind

remind remind's picture

Thanks.

Jaku

Im sure many here support Warman. I sure do.

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