Do Threats of Disorder Work?

As I wrote before, John Wight – a man who has difficulty recognizing white supremacist and neo-Nazi literature when it is goosestepping in front of him – is reporting that he and the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign have successfully intimidated persuaded the Edinburgh International Film Festival to return £300 in sponsorship money from the Cultural Affairs Department at the Israeli Embassy in London. If this were not acceded to, they would have initiated disturbances similar to those which have resulted in members of the SPSC being charged with racially aggravated behaviour during a concert given by associates of Daniel Barenbaum.

Pogroms during Nazi-occupied Norway

Pogroms during Nazi-occupied Norway

An article in today’s Scotsman confirms that money has been returned, citing a threat from participant Ken Loach to boycott the EIFF if it were not. This looks as if it is down to not accepting Jew Israeli money, as Israeli-made films will continue to be shown; and having telephoned the Israeli Embassy, and spoke to a slightly defensive (sign of the times, sadly) member of the Cultural Affairs Department, I was assured they were still sponsoring the EIFF.

Even if this is true, it should still be reasonable to ask if, as the Mexican and Danish Governments, to name but two, continue to appear on the EIFF honour board, the EIFF will decline similar support from only Israel and if it is in the habit of acceding to threats of extreme disruption as suggested in the e-mail which Wight claims to have sent on a previous occasion. Also, I have been the subject of apparent threats of violence from Wight on an Internet forum, whereas at least one other individual is said to have received direct threats on the Mound in Edinburgh.

The SPSC website is carrying a missive from its Chair, Mick Napier – a man who links the murders of unarmed teenage seminary students to another act of mass-murder a decade-and-a-half previously – which describes Loach as “one of the UK’s most prominent film makers”. I would hazard a guess that any Brit involved with Pirates of the Carribean have had a greater impact on international cinema than Loach.

Whereas Ben White takes an aloof intellectual detachment to assessing antisemitic thought, Loach says he finds its expression perfectly understandable. Rosie Bell provides an excellent analysis of such bedazzlement with one’s own sense of cleverness.

UPDATE – Over at Shiraz Socialist, John Wight can be seen explaining that he supports Hamas when they are fighting Israelis, but not when they’re behaving like Hamas. Archive text of his arguing that Israel is a hydra-headed monster and that, until the scales from their eyes (cf. Acts 9:18), “International Jewry” will stand in the way of human progress.



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