John Wight – Man of (Not So Much) Violence (?)

UPDATE – 9 JUNE. A number of comments have been left from an apparent associate of Wight casting doubt on the original blog-post at the Scottish Patient; which has now been removed. I cannot comment on it further, in that case.

In this missive, I discussed allegations made by Kevin Williamson of the Scottish Patient against John Wight of the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, whom Williamson said had threatened an unnamed individual with extreme physical violence in the presence of witnesses and Police. The following response has been made by a poster called FrankEllisEurorailTicket:

Actually since Williamsons malicious attack, one of the witnesses, one of the “5 peace activists who heard the threat” has come forward on Socialist Unity to challenge Kevins version of events, and she is a friend of Williamson and a political enemy of Wight. This personal campaign is pathetic.

I am quite happy to make clear I do not endorse Williamson’s allegations if proof is provided to show they are inaccurate and that the testimony of this one witness outweights that of the four who potentially remain: hearsay from a third party in one blog comment is difficult to verify, though. Williamson stated that Police had been involved, so I would assume there is record of this. A good way of settling this would be with a repudiation from Williamson himself, and I have contacted him.

This would still leave, however, Wight’s documented comments against me in a heated exchange on an Internet forum, as well as his endorsement of CODOH literature and use of objectively antisemitic argument. Thus, as I said at the time, I would not be *surprised* if Williamson’s allegations turned out to be accurate.

One month after Williamson made his allegations – and, as far as I can see, during which time there was no response to them – the matter was discussed again at Shiraz Socialist. During this heated exchange, Wight denied… or was it refuted?… no, definitely denied… the allegations and stated that the unnamed individual was Williamson himself: whomever it was should have no bearing on the level of accuracy. Wight also stated that it had been [Williamson] who had promised to “see him later” during a discussion at the Socialist Unity blog. I requested verification of this, but none was forthcoming; so I assumed it was merely as the time Wight stated the only reason he did not sue David Hirsh of Goldsmiths College, UCL for defamation was that this open-and-shut case [in Wight’s favour] would cost too much.

Return to the quoted comment, and pay especial attention to the final sentance. As I have said before, in my experience, polemicists against the state of Israel often appear to be reluctant to have directed against them any inconvenience for their campaigns against private individuals seeking to promote their films or normalization of Israeli cultural and social activity in this country. As well as Tali Shalom-Ezer, director of Surrogate, this also includes the members of the Jerusalem Quartet emsemble – including a friend of Daniel Barenbaum, who borrows his cello – which Wight’s colleague at both the SPSC and Socialist Unity blog, Mick Napier, suggests are rifle-men. Does he think this is the Untouchables, with Uzis in violin cases?

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4 Responses to “John Wight – Man of (Not So Much) Violence (?)”

  1. FrankRyansEurorailTicket Says:

    This is just a very personal smear campiagn. You accept the original hearsay from Williamson but not the hearsay from Williamsons friend Catriona Grant who was there. None of you have actually given any eveidence of any actual violence by Wight, just insinuation. Its a hatchet job.

  2. Alec Says:

    Of course this is about Wight individually: he’s willingly placed himself in the public sphere on this subject with his involvement in campaigns against normalization of Israeli cultural activity in this country, and his support for Hamas when it’s fighting Israelis (its other political goals are a different matter, I hear). Yet, he now appears unwilling to accept negative comment.

    I say appears, ‘cos he ain’t responding personally, is he? You are. (And, judging from your proffered e-mail address, I suspect your identity.) Why does Wight not defend himself? Actually, I can offer a suggestion… when he comments free-style on blogs he tends to slip-up by linking to CODOH or alluding to classic European/Christian antisemitic tropes.

    I would say that he’s realized he should leave undermining solidarity campaigns for Palestinian Arabs to other people whilst he drives Tommy Sheridan about, but he also fluffs letters to the Independent. Presumably proof-read and revized, he *still* ends up implicitly accepting that Hamas poses a graver threat to Israeli security than Saddam Hussein did to the UK or USA, yet implores it to pursue greater and greater acts of violence.

    And, I am not accepting unquestioning Williamson’s word over Grant’s, or that of anyone else. I am reviewing information as it comes in. This is the first time someone has even mentioned Grant’s name to my knowledge. As I said to Wight in the thread at Shiraz Socialist, this introduction of information piecemeal or not responding to explicit questions is not the reasoned defence you and he claim to be pursuing. It strikes as a conscious attempt to mislead.

    My awareness of Wight began before I saw Williamson’s allegations. If it makes you feel better, I would willingly retract any endorsement of them, and simply say that Wight does not know when to and when not to post literature from white supremacist sites, or that he alludes to Acts 9:18 whilst calling Israeli Jews an opposition to human progress.

    Oh, and repeat Bruce Kent’s words:

    ==> “If this Wright is the man who announed that ‘ we are all Hezbollah now’ at a rally in Edinburgh that I spoke at about two years ago I distanced myself very clearly from his remarks at the time and went on to praise the courage of Israeli army refusniks and the Women in Black.I do not believe that violence solves problems– usually it creates even more.I hope I also said,as I usually do,that to equate the cruelty of the territorial Zionists with the best of Judaism is a disgrace.To criticise what the State of Israel does in relation to the Palestinians is not to be anti semitic. To use a phrase like ‘international Jewry’ is racist abuse which I condemn as strongly as I can.”

    ==> Anyway I agree with you. For anyone to use the term ‘international jewry’ is so offensive that it casts an anti semitic light on all he says.Bruce”

  3. FrankRyansEurorailTicket Says:

    See The Scottish Patient where Williamson now paints a different view of Wight after actually meeting him, the caricature is somewhat different from the man. This personal smear campaign is cringeworthy.

  4. Alec Says:

    You need a crash course in legal representation. “Innocent until proven guilty” does not mean the alleged guilt of an individual is not discussed. If so, I’d like to know how you believe the Police and court system works.

    I’ve skimmed the Scottish Patient, and not found a retraction. D’you have a link? Next, I never did endorse allegations against Wight. But, if it makes you feel better, I will state clearly… I do not endorse the allegations which Williamson made on his blog.

    Please, please invite Wighty to comment! I want to see what links he has!

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