Tony Curzon Price, Editor in Chief of OpenDemocracy, Defends Habeeb, JahJah

Here’s Tony Curzon Price, in the comments thread below:

“Why has OpenDemocracy started commissioning articles by racists and supporters of terrorism? Why is it printing articles by Hezbollah activists, spreading “Zionist plot” conspiracy theories?”

Here is my answer to your important question.

It is very easy for the web to become a series of micro-echo chambers. Imagine if everywhere were like Harry’s place – itself a valuable and fascinating site whose RSS feed I always check … what would happen when “the other side” wanted to try to enter a conversation? They’d simply be thrown out and rejected. And so the possibility of discovering the other would simply not be part of our world. That’s not being defensive about “Hearing all sides …” — it is believing passionately that we need open and UNbalanced public spaces to survive. Keeping them open is not easy; opening new parts is not easy. (You might try it one day).

Would OpenDemocracy also publish pieces written by neo Nazis like Kevin MacDonald?

If MacDonald submitted an article – as many cranks do – here: then someone on the editorial team would read it and would come to a judgement on whether to publish. That judgement would give a lot of weight to the text in question and a little weight also – it must – to the author, the wider circumstances, the agenda etc. I find it hard to know without the text in front of me. Maybe you don’t.

Although, actually, they probably wouldn’t:

It might well be a tough hurdle for the person described in the wikipedia entry for MacDonald ( ) to produce a text I’d like to publish.

Why is that Tony? Do you judge White European racists to different standards?

As far as I can tell, Tony just doesn’t believe that there’s any problem at all with Habeeb and JahJah:

and a few factual clarifications, now.

About Abou Jahjah on oD:

Sameh Habeeb:

On openDemocracy – SH’ work

About SH:

Go and read the texts for yourself, and square that up with what is described here.

OK Tony. JahJah, you know about already:

[A]ccording to various media reports, Abou Jahjah is a former Hezbollah fighter who has claimed to have received ‘’some military training” from the organisation. He was also the head of the Arab European League when it published a Holocaust Denial cartoon for which the organisation was fined earlier this year, and was excluded from the UK by the last Labour government.

Here’s what you need to know about Habeeb:

  • Habeeb’s Palestine Telegraph recently published a highly supportive interview with the neo Nazi and Holocaust denier, Fredrick Toben.
  • It also published an article claiming that “Zionists” planned WW1 and WW2 in advance.
  • It claimed that Israel took part in the Haitian disaster relief, in order to steal organs.
  • It published an article claiming that Israel had imported 25,000 Ukrainian children, to harvest their organs.
  • It published an article by the antisemite, Gilad Atzmon, on the Holocaust on Holocaust Memorial Day.
  • It published a video by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, David Duke.
  • Habeeb’s Palestine Return Centre invited the prominent Hungarian neo Nazi, Kristzina Morvai, to speak at a conference, and then defended the decision by threatening to sue the anti-BNP campaigning group, Nothing British, for pointing it out.
  • Habeeb asks the question “who controls the media?“.

This is the man you describe as a “young citizen journalist” and “our correspondent in the Gaza Strip

Go and read the texts for yourself, and square that up with what is described on OpenDemocracy.

Would Tony Curzon Price allow these claims to be made in OpenDemocracy? Why not?

Is OpenDemocracy’s position that they’ll publish outspoken racists, as long as they remember to mind their P’s and Q’s? If that is so, why ever not publish Kevin MacDonald?