"the state of Israel was created 'on the pretext of Jewish suffering' from the second world war"The authors at Tumeke are politically hard-left activists; most notable is Tim Selwyn, who was convicted and served prison time for sedition after he threw an axe through the window of the Prime Minister's electorate office. In addition, the Tumeke blog publishes a lot of material that we disagree with, which is routinely badly argued for and poorly supported. Not surprisingly, this site does not feature on our blogroll. The only thing that Tumeke publishes that we find of interest is their blog rankings. They helpfully publish these on a sub-blog, Tumeke NZ Blogosphere.
The current boycott is over some inflammatory remarks Tim Selwyn made in response to the Iranian President Ahmadinejad's remarks at the recent UN's anti-racism conference.
Tim cited The Guardian who reported that
...[protestors] heckled Ahmadinejad after he branded Israel a "cruel and oppressive racist regime". He said the state of Israel was created "on the pretext of Jewish suffering" from the second world war.Tim then said,
Problem is though, what he said, it's all true isn't it? The Jewish State is set up for Jews - quite specifically to benefit them as a race and a religion - and they carry out massacres in refugee camps (like they did earlier this year) in order to carry out the colonial/land confiscation/occupation/subjugation template upon which Zionism has been practiced. That's all true isn't it - no matter how you cut it. So he said it at the right place but he said it at the wrong time - Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day gave the extra pressure on Poland and Germany to cave. [Emphasis added]
We can definitely see how this is inflammatory. The phrase "it's all true" suggests that Tim agrees with everything Ahmadinejad said, including the statement about a "pretext" of Jewish suffering. However you could read Tim as specifying the charge of Israel being a racist state as the element he agrees with (a highly questionable and extreme statement). What the all applies to is ambiguous and could be interpreted either way.
We are left uncertain whether Tim is a holocaust denier or not; and uncertain that, if he is, what that requires us to do. We have not seen any evidence to suggest that he is a holocaust promoter. That said, we have seen enough to stand firm in our decision to not add Tumeke to our blogroll and to continue to have little time for the content of their blog; we will not be offering their authors any guest posts in the near future.
However, we fail to see that a link between featuring on Tumeke's blog rankings and endorsing the content on Tumeke's site has been established; the suggestion that MandM featuring on the blog stats on the sub-blog Tumeke Blogosphere amounts to MandM being complicit in or endorsing the comments make on the political blog Tumeke doesn't follow.
Given this, joining the protest is not morally required although we respect the decisions made by our fellow bloggers to withdraw their blogs from his stats completely. The situation for MandM is slightly more complex as we run the Top 10 NZ Christian Blog rankings. For us to join the boycott we would have to not only withdraw our stats from Tumeke Blogosphere's rankings but also cease using them.
The MandM top 10 score is obtained by averaging Tumeke Blogosphere's stats with HalfDone's. On HalfDone's stats MandM is ranked number 1 Christian blog, on Tumeke's stats we are usually ranked around number 3 as different formulae are used to obtain each. If we drop Tumeke's stats from our formula then we are left with only HalfDone's which automatically hands us the number 1 spot on our own rankings; we are concerned that joining the boycott will look like a bit of an 'own goal'.
On the other hand, prior to the boycott, not every Christian blog that HalfDone ranked featured on Tumeke Blogosphere's stats and now a couple of the Christian blogs that did have joined the boycott so they too will no longer feature on Tumeke's stats. This means that I now have too many blogs that do not feature on Tumeke's stats to make my formula fair. The obvious solution is that I either stop using Tumeke's stats (might as well join the boycott) or I develop my own formula or I stop doing the stats.
So until these things become clearer or further evidence or argument is presented, we will remain with the status quo and will not be joining the boycott. Feel free to help us work through the issues in the comments.