Morning Star “Clarification” over Shamir article.
“Clarification” over Shamir.
Today’s Morning Star carries this in a small box piece under the headline:
Clarification over Shamir article in Saturday’s Star.
(I reproduce the one already posted here, which does not appear to differ from that printed on Page 4 of the Morning Star, Monday September the 24th)
A NUMBER of you have raised concerns over the decision to reprint an article by Israel Shamir on the Russian band Pussy Riot that appeared in the weekend’s Morning Star.
The paper would like to reassure readers that the piece was syndicated from Counterpunch in good faith without knowledge of the author’s background.
We would like to reiterate the paper’s commitment to publishing writers who reflect and remain steadfastly committed to the values of anti-racism, anti-fascism, international solidarity and social justice that the paper has campaigned for ever since its establishment.
It remains guided by those goals and will seek in future, wherever possible, to establish the full biography of writers before publishing their work.
In the meantime the Morning Star would like to distance itself from the opinions of the author of the piece, which do not reflect our position or those of the wider movement.
We apologise wholeheartedly for any distress caused.
There remain a number of unanswered issues and points:
- What exactly were the “concerns” and what was the “distress” about Shamir and his article? The Morning Star is silent. The very vivid anger expressed here and elsewhere at his anti-Semitism and far-right opinions is apparently best left unsaid.
- In the same vein: how far does the Morning Star wish to “distance itself from the opinions” of Shamir and what opinions do they wish to remain far from?
- If the Morning Star is committed to the “values of anti-racism” and “anti-fascism” why were they unaware of the fascist and racist views of one of the most notorious international propagandists for the far-right, Israel Shamir?
- As numerous posters on this Blog have said, it is hardly necessary to establish the full biography” of Shamir before realising this: a simple Google enquiry would have done, that is, assuming the staff of the Morning Star has, unlike most well-informed people, not heard of Shamir.
Rosie Bell has said that the phrase “We apologise wholeheartedly for any distress caused” is clumsy and reeking of management-speak.
The ‘clarification’ does not condemn Shamir.
It does not condemn his fascist views.
It fails to ‘clarify’ anything that has come out in this controversy, except that the “decision” to “reprint” ultimately comes from an arrangement to “syndicate” material from the (as we have shown, dodgy) US publication Counterpunch.
This ‘clarification’ is not just evasive: it is wholeheartedly inadequate.