General Antisemitism

Meet The Telegraph’s Josie Ensor, who, “as a Jew” finds CiF Watch’s posts on antisemitism “funny”

Josie Ensor is a reporter at The Daily Telegraph, who used to work for the English-language Daily Star in Beirut, and periodically contributes to the The Huffington Post. Her CV notes also that she has contributed to the Guardian, but I was unable to find any such contributions by Ensor on the Guardian’s website.

Ensor came to our attention today when she evidently came across our blog and Tweeted the following.

Then, after we Tweeted a response asking her why she evidently doesn’t take our blog’s commentary on antisemitism seriously, she responded with this:

Oh, yes. “As a Jew…”

While most of Ensor’s work is not polemical, an indication of her politics can be found in a 2009 essay she wrote for Huffington Post (cross-posted at her personal blog), where she, in a story about Gaza aid convoys, sought the sage advice of Hamas and Hezbollah supporter, George Galloway – introducing the story with the clear suggestion that Galloway’s views, that “Israel was a liability, a leech on the blood supply of the US and all countries that support it” have indeed been vindicated.  

But an even more accurate barometer of just how seriously Ensor takes antisemitism can be found on her personal blog – specifically, her review of Caryl Churchill’s play, Seven Jewish Children.

In the review, Ensor breezily dismissed charges that the play was antisemitic, as an argument only coming form “pockets of critics and academics”, and indeed reverently treats the anti-Jewish agitprop as a serious meditation on Palestinian subjugation.

As Anthony Julius noted recently in a letter to the Guardian about the play:

In Trials of the Diaspora, I argue that Caryl Churchills play Seven Jewish Children is antisemitic. Churchill (Letters, 4 March) denies this characterisation, writing that I rely on the line “tell her there’s dead babies, did she see babies?”.

I had in mind the following lines, among others. “Tell her we killed the babies by mistake / Don’t tell her anything about the army.” “Tell her I look at one of their children covered in blood and what do I feel? Tell her all I feel is happy it’s not her.” “Tell her I wouldn’t care if we wiped them out.” “Tell her I don’t care if the world hates us, tell her we’re better haters, tell her we’re chosen people.”

Ensor’s review concludes thusly:

A patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Churchill says she intended her play to be a political event, and LAU’s cast and director see the vision through with more than a little verve. The audience was handed slips of paper at the end of the performance with the message: “Dear Europe, Sorry about that cloud of ash over your heads and that you can’t travel anywhere. We feel just the same. Sincerely, Gaza.” “Seven Jewish Children” shows that fog may work to quieten [sic] the people of Gaza, but they will not be silenced. [emphasis mine]

In the closing passage of Julius’s Guardian letter, he writes:

“In this play, Jews confess to lying to their own children and killing Palestinian children. They also confess to something close to a project of genocide. And they freely acknowledge the source of their misanthropy to be Judaism itself.

None of this seems to bother Churchill”

Nor, as a Jew, does it seem to bother Josie Ensor. 

33 replies »

  1. The Telegraph is one of the last rational serious newspapers in the UK.

    Is it possible that they knew of her background and still hired her?

    • JerusalemMite The Telegraph can produce some awful journalism and can occasionally sink to the same levels as The Guardian, although on the whole it is one of the better newspapers in the UK. Sadly that is not much of a record as the quality of newspapers in the UK are a shadow of what they used to be.
      My own preference is for The Times even if it is hidden behind a ‘paywall’

  2. I wonder what she considers to be ‘real’ antisemtism? Perhaps she needs physical bloodbaths to convince her. Perhaps psychological bloodbaths are too tame or not personal enough for her.

    I see that she takes anti Palestinian activism, even imaginary activism, a great deal more seriously.

  3. Howard Jacobson has a rather a lot to say about the kind of Jew that Josie Ensor represents:

    Jacobson’s demolition of the ‘Ashamed Jews’ wins Man Booker

    ‘It is a dark and difficult comedy about contemporary antisemitism and about how contemporary Jews deal with it. It is a sharp and political satire on the “as a Jew” affectation, by which some attempt to mobilize their Jewish identity as an ideological weapon against Israel; some also try to mobilize their Jewish identity against the efforts of the overwhelming majority of Jews who gently and quietly try to live in a contradictory world. The “as a Jew” activists are happy to reassure the British intelligentsia that there is no significant problem of antisemitism in the UK. Jacobson challenges this bland and one-sided reassurance with a funny and complex narrative in which he outlines a more challenging reality. Tonight some, at least, of the British intelligentsia has shown that it is not necessarily convinced by the strange “as a Jew” variant of identity politics.’

    The rest of the piece at the link:

  4. The irony is she joined The Telegraph from the Lebanese Daily Star. Doesn’t she see the irony? How she, as a White, Privileged Western Anglo-phone non-Jewish Jew, can live securely in a Lebanon, reporting from an Arab world which has effectively expelled its indigenous Arab Jews?

    Why does she think her view is so privileged, unique or special? Why does she think she is tolerated, except that she toes the line?

    She says she is concerned with real antisemitism. What about the real antisemitism that expelled most of the Jews indigenous to the Arab world, but which tolerates westerners such as herself, so it can spin itself the line that it is anything but antisemitic?

    Here is her facebook page. The wee thing is barely out of her teens.

    • Perhaps she has already purchased one of the CiFWatch ‘I am not a Jew’ T-shirts. Or perhaps a whole collection of them.

  5. When she was working in Beirut, I wonder how seriously she took the antisemitism of Hizbullah? Did she publish any articles?

  6. Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah released its first manifesto in almost 25 years this month, renewing its resolute position against the Jewish State. The organization’s leader Hassan Nasrallah told a captivated audience in south Beirut via satellite link from a hiding place that their resistance against Israel remained unchanged.

    What was different from early Hezbollah rhetoric, however, was the distinction made between Zionists and Jews, with Nasrallah plainly saying that their problem with Israel was “not because they are Jewish,”– lines which did not appear in the original 1985 mission statement, when their slogan was the “Islamic Revolution in Lebanon.”

    Yet it seems what Hezbollah says and what they do are two very different things. They say their war is not against Jews but on the “Zionist entity,” yet just a few weeks earlier they broadcasted a diatribe against the teenage Holocaust victim Anne Frank on their local TV station Al-Manar, renouncing her diary as Zionist propaganda.

    The group has always said in no uncertain terms that they wish to eliminate the state of Israel, but some far from choice quotes over the years have often blurred the line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

    • What it does do is emphasize the Hizbollah realisation that the new emerging Syria may be hostile to Hezbollah and Iran so they are looking for friends elsewhere.

      However, I suspect that those ‘friends’ are vehemently anti Israel anyway so the distinction is hardly necessary.

      But if I was a PR person and advising the Middle East lunatics, one of my suggestions would be to differentiate between Israel and Jews.

      Of course, another suggestion would be to get a new religion and grow up.

  7. Josie Ensor writes

    ‘Hizbullah must stick to their new manifesto…renewing its resolute position against the Jewish State’, a group which, ‘has always said in no uncertain terms that they wish to eliminate the state of Israel’.

    Is this what she supports? She continues, ‘some far from choice quotes over the years have often blurred the line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.’

    Presumably her insisting that Hizbullah stick to its goal of eliminating Israel, if that is what she means, could in nowise be construed as ‘real antisemitism’?

    Note what she also reports, but doesn’t come as describing as ‘real antisemitism’:

    ‘However, the Lebanese government still refers to Lebanese Jews as Israelis in official documents despite having no connection to the Jewish State, and with their religion marked on their ID cards it can be hard for them to live a normal life.’ [no kidding. How hard was it for Josie Ensor to go about her business?]

    Isn’t this antisemitism real enough for her, real enough for her to call it what it is?

    Isn’t it interesting that Josie Ensor could go openly about Beirut and Lebanon, as privileged, white, western Anglo-phone, non-Jewish Jew, but Lebanese Jews, for the most part, cannot?

    And she objects if Anglo-Jews highlight the hypocrisy of The Guardian, in this regard?

    She’s also written for the JC

  8. ‘When it was first performed at London’s Royal Court Theatre in the wake of the 2008-9 Israeli incursion on Gaza there were cries of blood libel by certain pockets of critics and academics, who called Caryl Churchill’s play “Seven Jewish Children” “horrifically anti-Israel;” accusing her work of being ‘”beyond the boundaries of reasonable political discourse.” One year on and there was no such outcry at this week’s performance at the Lebanese American University’s Gulbenkian Theatre.’

    Not outcry against antisemitism in the Lebanese American University? Really? That’s surely a surprising event, worthy of notice. In a state which defines all Lebanese Jews as de facto ‘Israeli;.

  9. One can only feel sorry for this foolish, rootless, badly-educated, rather stupid girl. She apparently does not understand her own reporting, which tells us a lot about her.

    She is technically Jewish, I suppose, but she is like the Wicked Son, she is not connected to us in any real sense, but her friends make her feel that she is not really connected to them, either, unless she openly and betrays Jews in public. Can you seriously imagine what it must be like to live in such fear?

    And she is so stupid that she doesn’t realize that the sort of people she tries so desperately to please don’t hate just “Zionists,” they despise Jews and they would ultimately discard her anyway, once she had proved her usefulness to them. If she were my daughter I would be ashamed of the job I had raising her – no Jew should ever be this unaware of our history.

    • Well, that explains how she was able to work in Beirut with probably more security than the average native Lebanese Jew.

      And she writes as though the Lebanese American University’s making no outcry against antisemitism were unusual or worthy of note.

  10. Forgive my incoherence above, I have a bad migraine and should not really be posting (but of course I am, anyway).

  11. Well, let me tell you, Josie Ensor went to the same school as my daughter, in fact the same class. Yes, her mother was born jewish, but to get into this ‘church’ school, her family made sure she attended the local church. No, mine didn’t! Nothing about her upbringing is jewish, her mother decided she was jewish when it suited her. When I heard she was a journalist for the Telegraph I was shocked, she definitely was not the brightest pupil – her bien pensant views show this!

    • Well, that explains how she was able to work in Beirut with probably more security than the average native Lebanese Jew.

      And she writes as though the Lebanese American University’s making no outcry against antisemitism were unusual or worthy of note.


    • Stephen Fry without the talent.

      Fry (Jewish mother; Uppingham School – a “Christian Foundation”) wept buckets when contemplating his relatives being murdered in Auschwitz on Who Do You Think You Are? in 2006. A couple of years later, he was signing this letter:

      We’re not celebrating Israel’s anniversary


      “We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.”

      • Anyone of real intelligence would have invested energy and time in finding out the truth of allegations like those made about Israel. Going to the lengths of signing letters on the basis of media reporting is a kind of moral dereliction.

        Fry is a tremendously positive person in all other ways I have knowledge of and his attitude to Israel is out of character. I can’t help but agree with Irit: dead Jews are pathetic and can safely be cried for, but live ones are much more of a nuisance. You might have to invest actual effort in finding out facts and you might have to disagree with people you like or whose good opinion is necessary to you.

        Altogether too much effort.

        I don’t know Ensor and she strikes me as not having much moral conscience or depth.

      • Yes, they sure do love the dead Jews. It is the living, breathing ones who have the temerity to want to keep breathing that they have the trouble with.

  12. Ensor is a creep. Glad she finds the Guardian’s relentless demonisation of Israel “funny”. No doubt she thinks this demonisation will have no consequences.

    When they come for her in the night she’ll still be saying it’s not really anything to worry about.

  13. Josie Ansor “as a Jew” worked in Beirut.

    You have to wonder what she had to do to be able to work in Beirut “as a Jew”

  14. “If all the Jews gathered in Israel,it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide……Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Commander

    I wonder if she shook the hand of this pig when she worked in Beirut “as A Jew”

  15. Off-topic in a certain specific sense but on-topic in an exceedingly important general sense:

    (The website on which this video was originally hosted was seriously hacked shortly after this video was posted there.)

    Renowned Islamic Ideologue Defines Iran’s Foreign Policy

    Please share

    (I posted this comment also in the post titled “CiF contributor Ghada Karmi promotes Greater Palestine”.)

  16. Web page of another instance of the video clip:’s-foreign-policy

    The speech is by Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi, a member of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution in Iran.

    Translated by Laleh Gillani

    PLEASE BE AWARE: I think that visiting the hacked original site which hosted the video, the site, may compromise any computer that visits it, or may, at least, record, and provide to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRIGC), the ip address of, any computer that visits it.

  17. As a Jew she is more interested in real Antisemitism….

    She writes for the Guardian and as a leftist she wouldn’t know antisemitism if it bit her on her ample bum…..

  18. A Christian Jewish convert, who turns a blind eye to antisemitism against native Jews in her former place of employ, mocks Jews concerned with antisemitism.

    What’s new?

  19. I wonder if josie endsore ever saw “freedom fighter” and “resistance” hezbullah doing their nazi salutes?

    josie endsore is not a journalist. She’s a socialist propagandist.