I am reluctant to post this. It will not make me many friends and possibly antagonize a couple of people I hold in esteem. But I do want to state my views. That’s why I became a blogger in the first place: To bother all of you with my (questionable) wisdom. That, for better or for worse, is the kind of person I am.

Veterans of the counter-jihadist part of the blogosphere are undoubtedly familiar with the storm cause by Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs (LGF). Back then LGF was a leading blog in the counter-jihad, until Johnson, for reasons best known to himself, started throwing all and sundry under the bus, accusing them of Nazi sympathies and other forms of human depravity. The end result, fortunately, resulted in a complete marginalization of LGF and left the counter-jihad (mostly) in tact.

Three years on, and yet again the counter-jihad blogosphere is wracked by a storm of in-fighting. Pamela Geller, of Atlas Shrugs, initially withdrew her support for the English Defence League (EDL) after some vague and unsubstantiated claims the top of the EDL had been infiltrated by ‘neo-fascists’, turning the EDL into an anti-semitic Nazi party.

The EDL has a Jewish Division, led by a Roberta Moore, who sought active co-operation with the Jewish Task Force. The latter is described as a far-right American group, whose leader Victor Vancier has been imprisoned for terrorism offences. Not wanting to be associated with terrorism, the leadership of the EDL openly distanced itself from the Jewish Division, stating “If they [the Jewish EDL] continue with their plans to forge links with the terrorist JTF, the EDL will have no option but to sever its links with the Jewish division as we cannot support terrorist sympathisers”. Mrs. Moore refused to sever links with the JFT, which eventually let to her leaving the EDL (or was she thrown out, after all?). This seems to be the proximate cause of the current rift.

Ms. Geller (and in her wake: Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch) initially denounced the EDL for distancing themselves from Roberta Moore, seeing in it a sign of increasing anti-semitism and fascism within the inner circles of the EDL. In turn, this forced Tony Robinson, leader of the EDL, to publish a statement affirming the EDL’s support of Israel as the only free and democratic nation in the Middle East. Moreover, the statement emphasized that extremist ideas, whatever their origin, will not be tolerated.

Gates of Vienna and others published an open letter, challenging Ms. Geller to put up concrete evidence of anti-semitism in the EDL’s leadership, or, failing to come up with such evidence, apologize and (re)state her support for the EDL. Ms. Geller, evidently realizing she jumped the gun dramatically, has done the latter, but refuses to do the former, insisting that she didn’t really withdraw her support for the EDL, called them anti-semitic fascists or called upon ‘genuine anti-jihadists’ (1) to leave the EDL. And to put insult to injury, she referred to those taking her to task over her hysterical overreaction as “bottomfeeders [who] just bang keyboards and jockey for position on the bottom of the food chain”. By which she evidently referred to the camp led by GoV.

In the mean time the ‘recent unpleasantness‘ (the slightly coy term used by Baron and Dymphna of GoV) has descended into some pretty petty squabbling. As happens so often, the original cause is all but forgotten. What is left is a rather tedious ‘he said – she said’ back and forth, completely divorced from the issue that started all this. Neither side seems to be willing to give the other the benefit of the doubt, increasing the acromony on both sides. Which is why I initially didn’t want to get involved. My dad taught me early on not to step into a dogfight, unless you want to get mauled. Additionally, there are aspects to the whole situation that make picking a side and sticking with it a bit of an iffy proposition.

The fact is: Ms. Geller did initially, and completely prematurely, withdraw her support for the EDL. In subsequent posts she conveniently forgot about that little outburst, making us believe her withdrawal of support was meant as a conditional. This is not what her initial post said. In her initial post, Ms Geller stated: “Now that the person whom I most trusted in the EDL, Roberta Moore, has resigned, as she was increasingly uncomfortable with the neo-fascists that had infiltrated the administration of the group, I too am withdrawing my support from the EDL“. And with that she caused the EDL substantial and, as it turns out, unwarranted harm.

To err is human, and this would seem to be a case where personal preferences got in the way of an objective appraisal of the situation. Ms. Geller could have said so, telling the EDL she had it wrong. But that is apparently asking a tad too much of Ms. Geller.

However, her weariness of GoV and affiliates is, if slightly hysterical, not completely unfounded. There exists an unfortunate tendency over at GoV (and elsewhere) to cast the counter-jihad, or the merits of Western civilizations, in racial terms. As just one example I give you a Fjordman essay published on GoV. In an otherwise excellent recent essay, ‘When Treason Becomes The Norm: Why The Proposition Nation, Not Islam, Is Our Primary Enemy‘, Fjordman concludes: “The only way to restore sanity to our countries is to restore the concept that a country is the homeland of a nation of closely related people with a shared heritage” (2).

As far as I’m concerned that is the wrong conclusion (correlation is not equal to causation, I believe. But I’ll leave that for another post). It defines a country in terms of blood-ties, of ethnicity, of race. It is a rather exclusive definition that denies or ignores the groups of immigrants that have settled in European countries throughout history and have become an integral part of many societies. In the case of Holland I will only have to point to the relatively large numbers of Portuguese Jews or French Huguenots that settled in the Netherlands during the 16th and 17th century. Over the last century Holland has seen influxes of Chinese, Malukkan, Syrian Orthodox Turks and Vietnamese refugees (in roughly chronological order) who have all nestled in Dutch society and have become valued parts of it.

If determining whether anyone belongs anywhere is based exclusively on pedigree, as Fjordman seems to suggest, these groups are not Dutch and, more importantly, will not be allowed ever to be viewed as Dutch, no matter how much they integrate and/or assimilate. I know I am going to sound like a left-wing liberal here, but: That is unjustified, unjust, narrow-minded and downright xenophobic. And completely counter-productive: it will breed a lot of (understandable) resentment in groups that do try to fit in, while doing exactly nothing to remedy the problems with groups that reject Dutch/Western society to begin with.

Being part of a ethnicity that has been historically on the receiving end of this type of thinking, Ms. Geller is quite understandably allergic to such thinking. Which might explain her rather prickly reaction to the GoV open letter. For that one cannot blame her. I find the idea to pass judgement over fellow humans, based on ethnicity, race or pedigree, without taking any account of the personal, individual merits of a person, to be repulsive. And it is diametrically in opposition to the paleo-conservative idea of personal liberty, personal responsibility and personal accountability, principles I hold inviolable if we are to promote real freedom.

So you see, both sides have their faults, while equally both have proven their considerable merits in the past. Entering the fray will run the risk of alienating one or both sides (as this post undoubtedly will. So be it) and be left friendless. So best not to get involved, other then as a spectator, right?

But then I read the “bottomfeeders” remark made by Ms. Geller.

This comment (as the entire post) leaves the impression of being shot from the hip. Ms. Geller was evidently irritated by the response her premature condemnation caused. It would have been for the best if Ms. Geller has waited to cool off some, before taking to the (digital) pen. But she didn’t. Crying. Spilt milk. No use.

There is a whole host of blogs, large and small, good and not so good, that grapple with contemporary issues, like the counter-jihad. All of them contribute their bit, and as far as any attempt at sincere analysis, contemplation and discussion is involved all of them deserve a little acknowledgement for their bit. That Ms. Geller sees fit to dismiss a goodly portion of them as ‘bottomfeeders’, jockeying for position ‘on the bottom of the food chain’, speaks to an incredible arrogance and lack of humility.

It may well be true (and it is) that Atlas Shrugs is one of the big fish in the counter-jihad. But the fact that it is, is only half by the design and efforts of Ms. Geller. The other half is mere chance. Not many bloggers have the time or resources to devote to their blog the way Ms. Geller does. She is extremely fortunate that she is. Granted, she makes the best of both, and she is to be commended for the hard work she has put in. But the fact remains, that she finds herself in circumstances, not all of her own making, that allow her to do what she does. That is where ‘dumb luck’ comes in.

That she fails to remember this, but goes on to dismiss a whole set of bloggers, doing their bit with what they have, is as graceless as it is petty. That she dismisses bloggers on the basis just of disagreeing with her, is pretty damn vindictive as well. She may well be the queen of the counter-jihad. But she shows herself a cold-hearted, arrogant sovereign who apparently believes she must be served, rather then serving her constituency (there’s a lesson here, I guess).

In turn this suggests that Atlas Shrugged is no longer devoted to the anti-jihad per se, but is now entirely devoted to the inflated sense of self of Ms. Geller. As the Charles Johnson saga showed: That way madness (and ruin) lies.

I have no dog in this race. The counter-jihad is a minor (though not irrelevant) part of KV’s stated aim: To preserve my country as a free, just and sovereign nation. As such I am not a hard-core counter-jihadist. At best, KV could be described as the silent outsider watching the action around the bar. On matters anti-jihad I think both Gov and Pamela Geller are important resources. Neither is perfect, both have considerable merits.

But there’s no denying a couple of items: Ms. Geller refuses to admit she made a boo-boo. And she, rather mean-spirited, dismissed as irrelevant and pointless those bloggers that take her to task. This state of affairs leaves me with more sympathy for GoV, warts and all, then for Atlas Shrugs. Ms. Geller has done the entire movement a great disservice. First by smearing the EDL, then by unnecessarily antagonizing what could/should be natural allies, fracturing the resistance to islamisation in the process. And all because she could not find the grace and magnanimity to own up to a mistake.

Yes, the recent unpleasantness is most unpleasant. Let us hope the damage will not be permanent.


(1) By implication, she seems to say the EDL (and its supporters) is hence NOT genuinely anti-jihadist. As Vox Day is fond of saying: The adjective modifies the noun.What is special about a anti-jihadist to make him/her genuinely so? By what standard is that adjudicated. And by whom? Ms. Geller?

(2) Be sure to read the comments as well, to get a feel for the sometimes quite uncomfortable turns the discussion takes.

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11 Responses to Unpleasantness

  1. DP111 says:

    As I wrote at Tundra blogWhat Geller and Spencer have to realise is that the EDL is not a one person band such as that of Geller and Spencer. It is a grassroots organisation based on English working class patriots. There are unsavoury people in any organisation. Can the Democratic or Republican party in the US guarantee that are no racists or anti-semites or anti-Christian or homophobic etc groups in their midst? Can any people’s movement do it? Of course they cant. But neither parties encourage in word or deed, any acts that may bring them to such a pass. So it is with the EDL as well. That is what Tommy Robinson wrote in his letter.In addition, neither Geller and Spencer have to deal with hate filled Muslim mobs, police hostility, a hostile media, and even legal sanction. Its also likely that the state has infiltrated EDL. Tommy Robinson has a huge task at hand dealing with all the above. I just hope that he has the inner strength to stand up to all this, for it is too much for one person. Then to be attacked in this fashion by supposed friends, when the matter could have been dealt privately, is a bit much.The EDL, first and foremost, stands in defence of the UK, and the West as a whole -that is its prime goal. It success, is due in large measure because of the courage of its members who have not just taken to the streets but gone into hostile territory, amazingly in England itself.Since 9/11 there gave been numerous blogs that have bemoaned the Islamisation of the West. After millions of posts, there is nothing to show for it, as these posts, no matter how great, are electronic digits that simply vanish in the ether. This digital stuff can be ignored by Muslims and the authorities., as they have no real visibility. Now for the first time, we have a movement that is on the streets. It cannot be ignored. Its the greatest movement on either side of the Atlantic. There is nothing like it.

  2. DP111 says:

    Spencer and Geller, though excellent in what they do, and they are good, do not compare to the boots on the ground that the EDL can furnish. The EDL is not afraid to confront forces allied against it, regardless of the danger. To confirm that the EDL is a threat to the policy of the elite to flood Europe with Muslims, here is more evidence how frightened the authorities are of the EDL. Muslim community leaders must be pleading to the politicians to do something about the EDL.EDL leader is banned from protest activityStephen Lennon – who is also known as Tommy RobinsonThe leader of the English Defence League has been banned from organising or taking part in any of the group’s protests as part of bail conditions.Stephen Lennon, of Layham Drive, Luton, pleaded not guilty to a public order offence, which is alleged to have happened at an EDL rally in Luton town centre on May 26 against Euro MEP Richard Howitt.At Luton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the 26-year-old was granted conditional bail to reappear before magistrates on October 31 for a trial.As part of his conditions he must tell Luton police, within three days, if he is to move addresses.He must also not knowingly organise, travel to, or participate in any march, demonstration, protest or similar within ten miles of Luton.In addition he must not send any article, letter, fax or email that seeks to promote or publicise any match, demonstration or protest in the open air within ten miles of Luton.http://www.luton-dunstable.co.uk/News/EDL-leader-is-banned-from-protest-activity-01072011.htm

  3. Excellent post, KZ. I've read your blog over the years to keep up on Dutch issues, and I've generally found both Ferdy and your insights to be very thoughtful. This post is a perfect crystallization of why I keep coming back to it.I have missed this latest drama in the anti-jihad community as I actually read GoV and Geller's site a lot less often than yours, but it raises some concerns I have had about both localities for some time; that Geller had a very choleric personality that would lend her to go down this kind of route, and the increasing presence of more racialist lines of thought via some individuals at the Gates. While this post might annoy some readers, I'm actually very happy to see that it has been noticed here as well, as it was those factors that made those sites only occasional visits for me in recent years.At this juncture I also agree that the GoV crowd is less problematic. At the very least (last I checked), the Baron shut down the comment thread in the Fjordman article you mentioned, were racialism was starting to crop up. If the Sys-Admins of GoV are concerned about the situation as well (as they appear to be), that speaks well for the site, as they ultimately control its content. Geller has been less thoughtful with her own comments, though, which is disappointing. As I don't want to exacerbate things, I will just leave the situation lie as it is.However, I personally feel that some of these tensions (in particular the increasing racialism of this day and age) are being are being exacerbated by the actions of the elites here in the West, in their promotion and increasing fascination with totalitarianistic social systems of one form or another. Very few places feel safe these days from either public or private sector hoodlums, whereas just a few years ago I could name at least a dozen areas off the top of my head that were in a stable position. Add to that the current economic problems we face, and it creates an environment where radicalism, both good and bad, can find a voice.In any event, both the political and economic problems that have led to this mess could have been minimized or, in some cases, avoided altogether. However, due to malice aforethought in some cases or to rank stupidity (or sometimes even both!) in others, these problems were not dodged and were even occasionally maneuvered into on purpose as part of a scheme. That the worst of the West, have begun to bring the worst of the rest, is a testament for how low civilization has been brought.

  4. Klein Verzet says:

    Really there is nothing to disagree with that. And with respect to this: "Then to be attacked in this fashion by supposed friends, when the matter could have been dealt privately, is a bit much.". Bang. On.

  5. Klein Verzet says:

    Jeremy,Thanks for the kind words! You are of course right in observing that the Baron and Dymphna are doing their best to keep the discussion civilised and productive. I was not trying to dismiss or condemn GoV. Just observing a phenomenon that irritates (and worries) me.You make a good point in observing that the refusal of our elites to listen to common worries tends to breed ever more extreme views. I tried to counter those in this post. We have a (in-)valuable goal we are working towards. And we must try our damnedest to preserve that goal and not let one tyranny replace another.And I agree, it is a sad commentary on this day and age, that we have been descended into a situation we are fighting on more fronts the one to keep/regain our God-given freedom.

  6. DaffersD says:

    A spot on comment by DP111 as always and a very good post on this subject.   I have always been impressed with what Ms Geller has acheived, she has done very well indeed, however I find her a bit too shrill for my liking at times and that causes her many issues, not least one where people do not take her seriously at times, this was one of those times.The EDL once again under their superb leadership acted promptly to this issue and she should have apologised and laid out the revised facts, she did not.   She should realise that at this point, a lot of people see her knee jerk reaction as even more of an example of her shrill nature and as such will start to ignore her, which is a shame.    I first came across you blog when you connected to my post on UpPompeii and I have been reading your blog since that time especially on the trial of Geert Wilders.An issue that will not go away is that of the false accusation of racism, for me to even suggest that there are differences between the races is taken as racism, and in technical terms it is, however at no more do I even suggest that other races are less human then I am…    The issue is one of culture, simple as that, those that accept Western culture and practice it, freedom of expression etc., are one and the same as me, at one point I suggested that a black man dripping with gold treating all women as whores was not part of my culture, but a black man who acted the same way was and I did that in response to a real racist.     As far as I am concerned Islam is the "Religion of Xenophobia", it rejects other people humanity who are not Muslims, I would suggest that people start using that simple senetence when speaking of Islam, its easy to back up with their religious text if some one attempts to take you to task for calling it that.    Remind them taht the UK government agreed not to ban certain parts of the Koran which was Xenophobic.   People get it from comments like that, it sinks in.    The Islamics are trying to merge their culture into ours, we must break that by calling Islam out for what it is.Anyway keep up the great work.DaffersD / AJUKDD

  7. Klein Verzet says:

    Hi Daffers,Thanks for the compliment. Your observation is one that bears repeating over and over: In the end it *is* a matter of culture and whether or not the individual accepts it as his own, or not. If he/she does: Welcome, make yourself at home. If not: Please go somewhere you like it better.

  8. KV,You are welcome! And thank you for your compliments as well. There does seem to be a certain fascination with absolutist systems among officialdom, as well as some of the people who want to replace said officials. It goes hand and hand with the increased desire in some these days to cause undue suffering to others, and that both are cropping up at the same time is truly concerning.I must admit that I was not suggesting that you had a significant issue with GoV though. The main site, at least in the past (since I don't frequent it much anymore), has generally been OK. It was mainly some of the questionable positions being taken by some of the readership there that I was referring to.

  9. DP111 says:

    Thanks KV and DaffersDDaffersDWhere have you been? You are missed at UPP.http://uppompeii1.uppompeii.com/

  10. Klein Verzet says:

    I must admit that I was not suggesting that you had a significant issue with GoV though. No, I got that. Just wanted to clarify for innocent bystanders happening by.And about the lure of absolutism: I understand that, up to a point. An absolutist ruler will get things done more quickly and efficiently then a democratic one, who has to account for all the differing views existing in his/her kingdom (much in the same way that evil reaches its objectives more efficiently then does good. The short and wide road versus the long and narrow).But it is a short-sighted notion. If you begin denying certain freedoms to others, ultimately you will find you've thrown away those freedoms for yourself. Just ask Trotsky or Bucharin how that worked out for them.

  11. DaffersD says:

    I sent an email to Gandalf about 6 months ago as I lost the PW and the like and got nothing back, I am ready to start posting again.

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