13 thoughts on “Plaut Loses Appeal in Nazi Abuse Case – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Some of the smears about Gordon are a relic of 1950s McCarthyism and the Cold War, especially the ‘commie Jew’ rubbish, and only in America could the ‘commie Jew’ rubbish hold any sway!

    Who cares whether Gordon was influenced by Marxian philosophy in his youth, or not, especially in this day and age? Most academics today must take into account the influence of Marxian philosophy & economics on academic theories upon the academic theory.

    Plaut should be taken to task over his smears and boycotts of Israeli Academics – truly this is an hypcritical stance. The message that both he and Dershy broadcast is that it’s a no-no to boycott Israeli Academics, but then Dershy is hypocritically silent about Plaut’s incitement to persecution of Israeli Academics who have supported the refuseniks, who self-define as zionists.
    This is such a confusing message to be sending out to the up-and-coming young Jewish academics both in Israel and elsewhere. They both deserve roundly condemning for their mixed messages regarding Academic Freedom.

  2. Some of the smears about Gordon are a relic of 1950s McCarthyism and the Cold War, especially the ‘commie Jew’ rubbish, and only in America could the ‘commie Jew’ rubbish hold any sway!

    Who cares whether Gordon was influenced by Marxian philosophy in his youth, or not, especially in this day and age? Most academics today must take into account the influence of Marxian philosophy & economics on academic theories.

    Plaut should be taken to task over his smears and boycotts of Israeli Academics – truly this is an hypcritical stance. The message that both he and Dershy broadcast is that it’s a no-no to boycott Israeli Academics, but then Dershy is hypocritically silent about Plaut’s incitement to persecution of Israeli Academics who have supported the refuseniks, who self-define as zionists.
    This is such a confusing message to be sending out to the up-and-coming young Jewish academics both in Israel and elsewhere. They both deserve roundly condemning for their mixed messages regarding Academic Freedom.

  3. What a little hypocrit. You crow about stopping a “SLAPP suit” against you by Neuwirth, but you cheer Neve Gordon’s SLAPP suit against Plaut. You do so because you pretend that if a harassment suit is not filed by a “rich corporation” then it is not a SLAPP suit and is not anti-democratic and is ok. And just because Israel has not yet outlawed them, stifling free speech with a SLAPP suit is ok, you say. Having hardly taken a breath after denouncing the Neuwirth “SLAPP suit” against you!
    Then we have the fact that the court ruled that everything Plaut wrote about Gordon is factually correct but that it is not nice to use the “J” word (Judenrat) about someone who served as a human shield for murerers and terrorists. No court in any other democratic country would agree that this is “libel.” It is free speech. You also forgot to tell your readers that the same court declared your hero and role model Norman Finkelstein to be a Neo-Nazi and Holocaust Denier!

  4. Richard, you stated that Plaut is “lying” when he said the court overturned the verdict.
    Here is an excerpt from the article you linked to:
    ———————-
    The majority opinion said that Mr. Plaut was entitled to criticize Mr. Gordon’s pro-Palestinian actions and other views, including his support for Norman G. Finkelstein, a professor of political science at DePaul University who later resigned from his position after losing a tenure bid in a highly publicized case that focused on his criticism of Israel (The Chronicle, September 14, 2007).

    But the appeals court agreed that Mr. Plaut’s use of the term “Judenrat”—or “Jewish council,” as the wartime Jewish leadership groups in Europe that were forced to collaborate with the Nazis were called—was unacceptable in Israeli public debate.
    ———————————-

    I am afraid that I don’t understand it the way you do…it said Plaut had every right to criticize Gordon, but it is politically incorrect to use Holocaust allusions. It says he DIDN’T libel him.

  5. “Richard, you stated that Plaut is “lying” when he said the court overturned the verdict.”

    “An Israeli appeals court has upheld a libel judgment that resulted from a dispute between two Israeli academics, but drastically slashed the damages.” (Chronicle headline)

    ‘Upheld’ = “Overturned” ?

    “A lower court in Nazareth found Mr. Plaut guilty of libel in May ”

    … so found guilty of libel ..

    “In a 2-to-1 ruling last week, a three-judge panel of the appeals court, also in Nazareth, upheld the trial court’s ruling”

    ….and still found guilty …

    So ‘upheld’ and ‘found guilty of libel’ means ‘overturned’ and ‘not guilty?’

  6. PS There was no “conviction” because it was a civil suit, not a criminal suit.

    Gordon did not deny any of the facts in the case but thought being called a “Judenrat wannabe” was not permissible under freedom of speech, and the idiot judges agreed. Down goes freedom of speech.

  7. Speeking of freedom of speech, I read recently that a bus driver had to pay a security guard 30,000 shekels becasue he called him a “kooshi”. I don’t favor insulting speech, but I don’t think it should penalized by court. I may start suing people myself everytime they hurt my feelings.

  8. Sagi: First there is no such thing as a SLAPP suit in Israel so calling Gordon’s suit such is absurd. Second, I believe as in the Talmud that dinah d’malchuta dina hu (“the law of the land is the law”). In other words, I observe the laws of my own country & take advantage of legal defenses offered to me by those laws. I don’t expect Neve Gordon to follow laws or principles of U.S. law because he’s subject to Israeli law. Third, if I was an Israeli my comments would still not have entitled her to prosecute me because I called her a “Kahanist” and not a Nazi. Calling someone a Kahanist esp. if their views ARE Kahanist is not actionable. Fourth, Plaut has done far worse than calling Gordon a Juden-rat & kapo. He’s attempted to get him fired from his job on political/ideological rather than academic grounds.

    As for the issue of free speech, I’ve never claimed I’m a free speech absolutist. Speech that advocates harming individuals is not protected speech in my mind. Masada2000 often violates this principle by issuing physical threats against Michael Lerner & advocating rape against Jewish women.

    the court ruled that everything Plaut wrote about Gordon is factually correct

    This is patently false. The court didn’t rule on whether the statements were “factual.” In fact, Gordon is not a Judenrat nor a kapo. So how could the court have ruled that these statements are “factually correct?’ It ruled on whether the statements were permissible under the law.

    No court in any other democratic country would agree that this is “libel.”

    Interesting that Sagi doesn’t seem to appreciate the laws of the state of Israel & claims that it is not truly democratic. That’s an argument I often make though in other contexts. Glad we agree on something. And again this is factually false since various countries have laws prohibiting various forms of speech. Germany I believe has laws regarding “Nazi speech” that are similar to Israel’s.

    the same court declared your hero and role model Norman Finkelstein to be a Neo-Nazi and Holocaust Denier!

    You’re so obtuse you don’t understand the diff. bet. a court saying you can call someone a Holocaust denier and a court saying someone IS a Holocaust denier. The judges didn’t make the latter determination–only the former.

    Bar Kochba: I think you’re prob. right. The appeals court if I understand the judgment (& I haven’t seen the actual papers) upheld portions of the lower court ruling and overturned others. But the main pt. to me is that it upheld a significant finding of the lower court against Plaut & that the latter champions the ruling as a total vindication which it is not.

    Gordon did not deny any of the facts in the case

    Didn’t deny them? He denied everything Plaut said about him.

    the idiot judges agreed.

    So much for respect for the rule of law. I guess you think judges who agree with you are brilliant solons…

    I may start suing people myself everytime they hurt my feelings.

    So you think being called a “Nigger” (e.g. “kooshie”) would merely “hurt your feelings??” And you think a bus driver should be allowed to use racist language toward a customer (I presume the security guard was a bus rider) in a public conveyance?

  9. Judy: Neuwirth is not a rich corporation. But she IS a public figure somewhat akin to a public official (though she is not an elected official). She didn’t like the fact that I called her a Kahanist & tried to stifle my ability to call her that by filing a frivolous lawsuit. That’s the essence of what a SLAPP suit is.

  10. Amir: I certainly agree with you. But the situation is diff. than one in which one private individual insults another. In this case, a bus is a public conveyance & the driver prob. made the comments publicly in front of others, which would add to the damage done to the victim’s reputation and self-esteem. I’m not arguing one way or the other about the legal action, but I am arguing that the insult was very severe & worthy of serious punishment.

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