Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 16 Comments
"One of the tragedies of the recent war is that Haifa University was not razed to the ground by Hizbollah. We can only ask them to aim better in the next round. You see Haifa University is home to the mass libeler Steven Plaut. And he just disgraces the "good" name of the school on a daily basis. I am one victim of his favorite slander." - Barry Chamish
Yes it's another week and another edition of the Barry Chamish follies. There's probably some depth of egotism in hoping that terrorists destroy an entire university because someone he doesn't like works there. Luckily Barry himself was far away sitting out the war delivering lectures in Messianic Churches while Israel was under fire. While Haifa was actually being bombed, Chamish himself continued his old tradition of penning pieces defending the Arabs and claiming the whole war was a conspiracy of another critic of his, Daniel Pipes.
In 2003 already Chamish's op-eds were appearing in Al Jazeera as well as numerous neo-nazi outlets. With his move back to North America, Chamish resumes marketing himself to the same conspiracy New World Order crowd he got started with back when he was writing books about UFO's. Except this time he comes parading himself as a victim of the 'Israeli' government who he claims tried to kill him repeatedly.
Somehow it's hard to imagine why the otherwise efficient Israeli intelligence network had so much trouble with a middle-aged Canadian who always looks like he just woke up off a three week bender; but I guess you don't have much credibility with the 'Conspiracies 'R Us' crowd unless intelligence agencies have tried to kill you. (The Canadian Mounties have tried to assassinate me on numerous occasions with loaded moose but luckily I survived and I'm here to expose their evil ways to you! Buy my book!)
Meanwhile this leaves Chamish' junior partner David Rutstein to manage the Israeli side of the operation. Chamish who ironically enough accuses just about everyone of being agents and informants has a better half who admitted on video to being a government informant who spied on right-wing Jewish groups. Which just goes to show you that as the old saying goes, the more the pot throws around accusations, the blacker it really is.
Chamish and Rutstein hit on the legally dubious tactic of spamming people with emails supposedly coming from Yitzchak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres and Yigal Amir and others. For a while I was getting barraged every day with these emails promoting their latest stunt. But you can't keep a bunch of good shlockmeisters down.
Chamish and Co. had previously hijacked Jonathan Pollard's site and turned it into their own blog and when asked to stop by Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu's office, Chamish responded by accusing Rabbi Eliyahu of being a 'Sabbatean.' Now they've done it to Jerusalem Post columnist Calev Ben David, with a fake blog attributed to him and spam emails supposedly originating from him.
Never one to miss a trick, the blog comes complete with links to Chamish's and Rutstein's own advertisers so he can smear a man and financially profit from it too. And there's lots of spam supposedly originating from Calev Ben David too popping up in mailboxes. The most obvious thing about these kinds of tactics is the sheer pettiness. A Haifa professor debunks Chamish and Chamish wants to see Hezbollah bomb an entire university to the ground. A Jerusalem Post columnist tells them they can't exploit an event to promote themselves and so they create a fake blog and spam smearing him.
The second most obvious thing is that the sort of people who rely on tactics like this are the sort of people who have nothing tangible to offer besides hysteria and enemy lists and personal attacks and the targets of their outrage are inevitably credible established journalists. Impersonating Calev Ben David in a way reveals the jealousy behind their motivation because in the end Chamish and co. would like to be Calev Ben David but aren't capable of actually doing what it takes, sticking to the facts rather than working to create a cult of personality around themselves. So instead they aim for publicity and do whatever it takes to get it.
As Chamish now delivers rambling addresses claiming everyone is out to get him, the sad truth is he's the one out to get himself.