Guardian

Double Whammy


As if it was not enough that the pages of ‘Comment is Free’ featured last week an article by the noxious Antony Lerman essentially telling us that no Jews is no big deal, to drive the point home, the Guardian editors unleashed Dimi Reider from its arsenal of ‘useful idiots’ with an article entitled Mixed Messages on Jewish Marriage.

The pretext this time was an advertisement by the Jewish Agency that sought to stem the tide of Jewish assimilation. According to Reider, “[i]nstead of reaching out in dialogue, the ad attacks millions of people who decided to share their lives with a Jew.”

I saw the ad and frankly don’t see what all the fuss is about – its a well known fact that assimilation rates in the US (the largest diaspora community) stand at approximately 50% and its effects on Jewish continuity are devastating. 

As Yaacov Lozowick aptly pointed out 

“if you understand Hebrew you may agree that it doesn’t say much of what its detractors say it says. But that, of course, is standard: most reportage about Israel is non-factual, so why should this be any different?”

Anyway, the crux of the Dhimmi piece ends on this note which forms the thrust of his meandering article:

“It’s time for young Jews living abroad to proudly state that whether they are supportive or critical of Israel, they don’t have to be Israeli to be Jewish, and they don’t need Israel to tell them how to be Jewish. Moreover, it needs to be said – loud and clear – that while there is nothing wrong with seeking a partner who shares your heritage or faith, there is absolutely nothing wrong, and certainly nothing self-destructive, in marrying someone outside your community.”

Lets ponder on that for a moment. In essence what Reider is really saying is that Zionism should not form part of the Jewish identity, and if that was not destructive enough to the Jewish people, Jews should not shy away from assimilating into non-existence.

What is striking here is that most articles on CiF pick up one of those two themes but here, not missing a beat, we have both rolled into one: not only should the Jewish state disappear into non-existence but so should the Jewish people.

So what kind of reactions do you think there were in the comment thread to the Jewish Agency’s attempts to prevent assimilation?

Well there’s this from AzuraTheBlueDevil:

16 Sep 09, 4:53pm

It’s racism, pure and simple.

And then there is this from MilesSmiles:

16 Sep 09, 5:50pm

 I would be happy for my son or daughter to marry a person of Jewish background, provided they were not expected to convert, but I’m told that many Jewish parents think this would be a disaster and even, in extreme cases, disown their children

That’s the dirty little secret. There’s a lot of racism there and it is never confronted.

LibertarianSW joins the fray with this gem:

16 Sep 09, 8:00pm

 The Torah is clear: No marriage with Gentiles ……

And there’s this from RfSS (which is the only one deleted out of the collection above) (hat tip AKUS for posting on CiF Watch)

17 Sep 09, 2:06am

I’m getting sooo fed up with this whole jew-thing, day in, day out, always these jews.

Well RfSS may actually have a point. But who have we to blame? Ah well you need not look any further than the Dhimmi thread where you have, yes you guessed it, our flavor of the month good old Brian Whitaker trying desperately to prove that the Guardian is not obsessive about the Jooos by citing the following stats:

16 Sep 09, 6:02pm  Cif Middle East article count:

Iraq 1,708
Israel 1,496
Iran 865
Afghanistan 654
Lebanon 285
Syria 236
Egypt 166
Saudi 93
Libya 57

There’s a Gaza section with 348 articles but as far as I can see most of them are tagged “Israel” too.

This is an absolutely staggering statistic – approximately one quarter of articles on the Middle East are about Israel according to Whitaker’s own self-admission. Yet Israel has a population that consitutes approximately 2% of the entire Middle East  and is but one of 16 countries in that region, and this does not even factor in countries in the “Greater Middle East” such as Libya which Whitaker includes in his stats above.

Of course, as SergioBramsole notes “[t]his does not tell the whole story… Israel-related pieces on CiF get on average 200-300 “comments”, and 9 in 10 or thereabout have “negative” connotations.”

Well negative connotations is putting it rather mildly but I’m sure that if SergioBramsole had used stronger language, it would have certainly earned him a deletion.

Categories: Guardian

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65 replies »

  1. In addition this malevolent libellous lying post is still there, in answer to someone who queried “Libertarian’s” antisemitic lie you cite above:

    Recommend? (5)
    Report abuse
    LibertarianSW
    16 Sep 09, 9:48pm (about 11 hours ago)
    @Dikaisyne

    By the arrogant tone of your question you seem to know everything… Pitty that actually by Torah we can easily be talking about “oral torah” ….

    Yet, I will give the Chapter …7 , now go and find it.

    **************

    Alan Rusbridger, Georgina Henry, Matt Seaton, Brian Whitaker:

    – You are knowingly publishing antisemitic discourse.

    – You are a disgrace to your profession.

  2. Amazing statistics. More amazing is the fact that Whitaker published them thinking they help to disprove the claim.

    Calculating the number of casualties and the volume of the effected population in each of the conflicts in the middle east, the numbers just prove the overwhelming emphasis western media is giving to the I/P conflict.

    I would have loved to see the number of articles on Sudan or possibly the ones dating back to Ruanda. They will prove how much news companies like the Guardian base their reporting on ratings, and how much on of fulfilling their sacred journalistic duty.

  3. So, according to Reider, ” there is nothing wrong with seeking a partner who shares your heritage or faith”. How nice.

    It reminds me of Tevye’s line : It’s no shame to be poor, but it’s no great honour either..

    Or maybe this from a self-deprecating Jew : I’m proud to be a Jew; but even if I weren’t proud of it, I’d still be a Jew, so I may as well be proud.

    You know, the Guardian really loves Jews. We should be flattered. We’re good for its circulation; we create interest and controversy. Jews are news.

    One caveat : perhaps CW should be more careful not to respond to every single provocation by crying wolf. Let us reserve our best shots for the most heinous articles. Some are just pinpricks. We should also avoid wallowing in bad news. Good news from the Jewish world can serve as a useful weapon against morbid antisemitism.

  4. Has anybody noticed that the commissioned authors don’t seem to mingle with us any more? There have been some interesting exchanges in the past when relevant points in the debate have been raised from the floor and been answered.

    However recently although several commenters regularly address questions to the authors there have been no responses at all. i wonder whether they are just growing more cowardly than they used to be or whether it is another new policy that is carefully being kept from us

  5. Today’s quota kicks off with an editorial on Israel. I have a bet with my partner that by the end of the day there will be three more.

    Jews and Israel make money for the Guardian. Money is all the Board cares about given that times are desperate for the newspaper. If their CiF editors can show that this strategy is working – 200 + comments on each article x 3 times a day – making the advertisers happy (with a further 200 +? from those who read but don’t comment), and the strategy is to launch CiF as a pay to view site within the year, the Board will not trouble its pretty little head pondering whether this cynical strategy (hyper-critical scrutiny of one nation and one people) is ‘morally’ or ‘journalistically’ correct let alone in line with the Guardian’s purported USP as a ‘moral’, ‘liberal’ paper (as opposed to, say, the Daily Mail).

    This strategy dovetails with Whitaker’s personal agenda. Here is Whitaker in 2002 – Selective Memri:

    “All it takes is a small but active group of Israelis to exploit that barrier for their own ends and start changing western perceptions of Arabs for the worse. It is not difficult to see what Arabs might do to counter that. A group of Arab media companies could get together and publish translations of articles that more accurately reflect the content of their newspapers. It would certainly not be beyond their means. But, as usual, they may prefer to sit back and grumble about the machinations of Israeli intelligence veterans.”

    Arab Media Watch and Whitaker’s own Al-Bab did not not do the trick. But the small but active group of sub-Marxists at the Guardian (print and CiF) have been able to make a good living out of Israel and Jews while at the same time feeling virtuous, on the side of the underdog, speaking truth to power. Israel as the brutal, thieving, child-killing, genocidal bully; the Jew (with his ‘exceptionalism’) destined for the dustbin of history – this sells to the public the Guardian assiduously courts. Those of us who attempt to set the record straight – what laughter we must provoke.

    The Guardian had a determined group of IRA supporters – including Georgina Henry – too. See this Spectator article – ‘Republican cell at the heart of the Guardian’ written in 2000: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3724/is_200002/ai_n8878582/?tag=content;col1

    There is a way of reading and posting on sites – including CiF – which does not leave a footprint for the advertisers. You need to use Firefox as the browser and enable/disable something or the other. Someone told me how to do it a while back – but I have forgotten. Does anyone know how to do it?

    Finally – is there a way of formatting comments on this site – bold, italic etc?

  6. Winds of change blowing from the direction of CIF
    ————-
    CommunityMod
    17 Sep 09, 10:00am (14 minutes ago)

    OFF-TOPIC WARNING

    Please keep your comments on the subject of the article. Comments that are off-topic will be removed.

  7. John: Such interesting comments. For HTML mark ups you can italicize with ……………. and write in bold with ……..

    I had a look at Firefox in the light of your comment and found two new add-ons as follows;
    Private Browsing
    new Sometimes it’s nice to go undercover. When this feature is enabled, you won’t leave a single browsing fingerprint behind for others to discover. You can slip in and out of private browsing mode quickly, so it’s easy to return to what you were doing before as if nothing ever happened (you can also browse privately all the time).

    and
    Forget This Site
    new Having second thoughts about having visited a certain Web site? With this feature, you can remove every trace of that site from your browser—no questions asked!

  8. Clearly not! Would you mind explaining that again for an amateur like me?

    Meanwhile I shall switch to Firefox and use the various add-ons whenever I read the Guardian on-line – thanks for that info.

  9. My apologies John: I hope that this time it succeeds, otherwise if you tick the box asking to be notified of new entries what you see in your email box will contain the markings I am attempting to explain. To start a marking enclose either b for bold or i for italics in matching greater than or smaller than signs: as follows . To indicate the end of the bold or italics you need to enter a backward slash / between the < and the i (or the b).

    Clear as mud?

  10. From today’s editorial (ie in the print version as well as CiF):

    The Israeli government, accustomed to being the tail that wags the dog..

    PetraMB remarks (so far undeleted):
    Faisal… ah, and here’s something that the Saudi prince and all his princely brothers would for sure applaud in return:

    “The Israeli government, accustomed to being the tail that wags the dog”

    … in fact, it’s not unusual to find cartoons on this subject in the regional newspapers, and the images then are such that some of these cartoons have made it into exhibitions illustrating antisemitism in the Arab media

    Don’t tell me the writer of this editorial did not know exactly what he was doing. Not a slip of the pen, this is a deliberate, considered comment – the code is understood by all.

  11. As a matter of interest, there are by my count 8 “for comment” articles (including an editorial) so far this week about Israel and/or Jews and connected issues, such as the Toronto Film festival boycott and Fonda’s recantation on CIF/The Guardian and about another 15 (!!) that are not open to comment on the main website since Monday September 14th for total of 23 articles so far this week that in one way or another deal with Israel, Jews, and Jewish issues.

    Whitaker’s number, shocking as it is, I am sure, grossly understates the Guardian’s dangerous obsession with Israel and Jews. If the number of articles dealing with the three topics of Israel, Jews, and Judaism was compared with all articles dealing with the ME on the website in CIF and the main site it would be even higher than 25%, and would dwarf the attention paid to any single topic whatsoever.

    With the possible exception of the death of Michael Jackson.

  12. While on the topic of the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and matters Jewish:

    After massive coverage of the 2009 Venice Film Festival by the Guardian before the results were announced, I was not able to find a single reference to the fact that an Israeli film, won top honors ( Israeli film ‘Lebanon’ wins Golden Lion) in Venice on the Guardian’s website. On the contrary, much was made of Colin Firth winning “Best Actor” – but apparently no mention of who won “Best Film”.

    Suddenly the cone of silence descends on coverage of Venice.

    This despite the excessive coverage of everything negative the Guardian can find to throw at Israel. If I am wrong, maybe a keen-eyed reader of CW could point out where the Guardian mentions Israel’s success.

    Perhaps the Guardian had used up all available space alloted to Israeli and Jewish affairs and just didn’t have room to commend the makers of that powerful drama.

  13. AKUS

    Have to agree – too many articles – impossible to keep up. Hate fest all round. Our common humanity is being drowned in a sea of words.

    Hello Moishe. Missed you . Dog x

    Yes – just what *did* you say about MJ?

  14. Looks like mods are in their usual form! Just caught this.

    katygarden
    17 Sep 09, 2:07pm
    Dear Moderator,

    Why is it ok for a commentator to call this ‘racism’, AzuraTheBlueDevil – 6th comment from the top, but not ok to suggest that use of the term ‘racism’ is incorrect?

  15. An interesting post on the Kosky thread:

    BloodDiamonds
    17 Sep 09, 2:18pm (5 minutes ago)

    Oh Mr Kosky, what a right royal bollocking you have recieved here, rightly so.
    Who in hell do you think you are kidding? This load of codswallop may get you some pats on the back at the local synagogue, but what as to your career and your employers reputation?

    This kind of transparent and insipid propaganda/damage control must be seen for what it is, judging by the comments of astute readers it has been judged, rejected outright and debunked to the point of relegation to the trash bin of journalistic history.

    How are you at say emptying trash bins or maybe gardening, taxi driving??

    Who will give pat him on the back?

  16. Woops. Here is what Rothkopf says:

    “(Walt and Mearsheimer) may not be anti-Semites themselves but they made a cynical decision to cash in on anti-Semitism by offering to dress up old hatreds in the dowdy Brooks Brothers suits of the Kennedy School and the University of Chicago. They did what the most desperate members of academia do, they signed up to be rent-a-validators, akin to expert witnesses who support the defense of felons with specious theories served up on fancy diplomas. They would argue that they were daring to speak truth to power. In reality they were giving one crowd in particular precisely what it wanted to hear.”

    The Guardian Board may not be anti-semites themselves but they have certainly made the choice of cashing in on anti-semitism.

  17. peter, you ventured onto the Kosky thread? I only saw yesterday that within a few hours, some 200 comments had piled up there — it must be a zoo, and you deserve 72 virgins for going in there!!!

  18. sababa

    You must be an anti-peterthehungarian wishing me this present.
    72 virgins!? Even Giacomo Casanova would escape from this kind of paradise!

  19. It seems to me that there is an other CIF under your radar in the Netherlands.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1115395.html

    The review of the content on the discussion forum of Volkskrant ? a well-respected mainstream newspaper – revealed several instances of Holocaust denial, which were all removed within hours of complaining to the moderator. “…

    …The report nonetheless alleges that Volksrant’s discussion forum is “dominated” by activists who are “polarizing the debate” and, in some cases, expressing anti-Semitism. …

    …Henk Müller, a Volkskrant journalist who is responsible for the opinion section of the paper’s website, said that Visser’s report was “politically oriented and lacking substance.” He said the forum tries to strike a balanced tone, and places great importance on removing anti-Semitic content.

  20. Hi Dog! Missed you too. x

    I made some comments about MJ’s alleged pedophilia and anti-Semitism. Another commenter (guiteau I believe) made a nasty comment about how I’m okay with Palestinian children being killed, I responded, and things got ugly. But they didn’t ban me just yet. Later on that thread, i posted a quote from Jackson,and ONLY a quote with just MJ’s words. And I was removed…

    As pissed off as I am at the CIF mods, I’m not sure how I feel about this CIFwatch. It feels a bit paranoid. But CIF is out of control with its censorship.

    I must say, I find this “Berchmans Award” quite insulting. Even when I disagreed with Berchy (most of the time) and felt he may have occaisonally been a little too dismissive of peoples concerns about anti-Semitism, this award thing seems rather mean spirited for someone who’s obviously decent-hearted.

    moishe

  21. moishe, shame you were banned, your “crimes” don’t sound so severe, especially since quite a few poison plants seem to have an eternal life on Cif!
    I’m not so sure about Bercher’s “decent heart”; while I myself often don’t have patience to try to read or make sense of his posts, I noted in the old times that a poster named Shachtman, who was quite left-wing in his views, was very persistent in arguing that Berch was expressing antisemitic attitudes.

    peter, I apologize, and to prove that I am not an anti-hungarianite, I change your deserved award to 72 generous portions of the very best goulash!

  22. Moishe

    CiF mods are certainly capricious – you’ve probably seen from this site that AKUS is now banned – at least as AKUS.

    I come to cifwatch to watch the world turning. I haven’t really got the hang of it yet. I agree about Berchie – he is not AS – he is pro people left wing.

    I was very surprised to see LWOJ (ABL as DAn Rickman) heavily criticised here too. The ‘new anti semitism’ definition is very broad – it is a mistake to net those who are actually supporters of Israel as a self determining home for Jews, their culture and religion, particularly peeps from within the Jewish community who want to further constructive debate.

    What I know about MJ could be written on a pin head – if he was an anti semite I prefer to keep it that way. Too many haters in the world.
    Dog x

  23. Irish –

    We appreciate you coming here.

    Have you and Moishe looked at the collection of comments by Berchmans we assembled in the Commenters area of this site?

    As for Dan Rickman’s article it was simply an atrocious piece of work that denigrated orthodox Judaism particularly his moral equivocation of orthodox Judaism with other forms of fundamentalism – and on the 8th anniversary of 9/11 of all days! Orthodox Jews hardly strap bombs to themselves in the hope of 72 virgins. Tosca took him apart spectacularly and Rickman passed up an opportunity to defend himself here on the pretext that he was offended of being called a useful idiot which is precisely what he is as are Dhimmi, Freedman, Lerman, Shabi and all of the Guardian’s other self-hating house Jews.

    I note too that we were not “netting” Rickman on anything to do with Israel and the “new antisemitism” and we intentionally excluded him from our list of antisemitic contributors when we prepared this site. In light of his piece last week, we obviously need to give this some reconsideration.

  24. Hawkeye

    Hello – thanks for welcome.

    I didn’t read Dan’s article as criticising OJ – he does, after all, belong to the Orthodox community himself. He was expressing genuine concern about fundamentalism among some members and the infiltration by groups with fundamentalst interpretations of scriptures. By this he meant literalism rather than violent extremism.

    The 3 Abrahamics have literalist’fundamentalists within their ranks – all three have their moderates too. Internal dialogues can sometimes become quite heated and can chase people away.

    We had a vicar in the village church – nice friendly guy, welcomed by all, church members and otherwise. A Pentacostalist group ‘took over’ the church – and the vicar – the result was people suddenly speaking in tongues and seeing the devil around every corner. My late husband carved a large dragon for the junior school. – when he died the now fundamentalist vicar refused my husband a religious funeral – declaring D and i to be pagans. I haven’t been to church since.

    There is room in all the faiths for differece, it is said ‘there are many ways to God’ – once acrimony and self righteousness creep in differences can become unbridgeable chasms.

    I say again – Dan, at no point – equated people within the Orthodox community with terrorist bombers. Do you think it is ok to claim he did?

  25. Hi Irish

    I don’t think Berchmans is antisemitic but there’s something wrong when he denies antisemitism when it’s pretty obvious , or excuses it.

    With regard to antisemitism in Scotland :

    First he challenged people to give him one example of antisemitism in Scotland. So i did.

    So Berchie then said that there had only been one reported instance of antisemitism in Scotland. So somebody quoted from the all Party Parliamentary committee on antisemitism which listed about a dozen examples of antisemitism in the last three years or so.

    So Berchie changed his tack and now claims that there was no antisemitism in SCotland before the 2006 war in Lebanon.

    And i’ve given him the email address of the Scottish Jewish communal organisations so he can ask them about examples of antisemitism in Scotland but he never took me up on my offer.

    So there’s something rather nasty about Berchmans denial of antisemitism.

    And he’s made excuses for a comment defending Nazi actions against Jews in Eatern Europe during the war and made excuses for holocaust denying Ahmadinejad. Here’s the two examples.

    1) Berchman’s reply to somebody who said the comment quoted below was antisemitic was to say

    “Berchmans
    Comment No. 1084806
    January 27 19:37
    GBR HABIBTI

    .

    ## ROKOSSOVY2 .. vicious anti-Semitism.##

    .

    When you are hammering and you catch your thumb …what do you accuse
    the hammer of ?

    🙂

    B”

    Here’s the actual antisemitic quote. It’s a no-brainer with regards to the fact that it’s antisemitic (and very much of the far right.)

    Rokossovsky2
    Comment No. 1084018
    January 27 10:06
    USA And does “confronting the past” include remembering the “synagogue
    gatherings” in the 1930s by Kiev NKVD officers who had just
    participated in the forced starvation/extermination of 6-7 million
    Ukrainian men, women, and children? At a time when any “church
    gathering” would have been a quick ticket to a mass NKVD grave or the
    Gulag.

    See p. 111 of Special Tasks by the very pro-Jewish Stalinist spymaster
    Pavel Sudoplatov.

    Most people were innocent of atrocities, but when one group’s thugs
    murder innocents, the victim group’s thugs take revenge … if enough
    of them survive. What happened in Europe in the 1930s and early 1940s
    was essentially the same as what we have seen in Yugoslavia, Africa,
    etc. No one group has exclusive rights to victimhood. An ethnically
    unbiased Genocide Day would be more inclusive, truthful, and
    appropriate.

    See also the 28May99 Chronicle of Higher Education article about
    University of Chicago professor Peter Novick’s concern at how the
    Holocaust was being used as a moral hammer to justify immoral acts —
    like us forcing our war crime Kosovo war on the Serbs with Rambouillet
    Appendix B, for example. (See also Fred Smoler’s enthusiastic
    July-August 1999 American Heritage article about the use of the
    Holocaust to justify that war crime … war. Even the U.S. Holocaust
    Memorial Museum remembrance committee issued a statement supporting
    Kosovo … shamefully.)

    Is this Holocaust Day an annual event … or something special cooked
    up to implicitly legitimize Israel illegally attacking Iran … and
    starting World War 3?

    Lou Coatney, Macomb Illinois”

    2) With regard to Ahmadinejad Berchman’s comment was as follows

    “##Ahmadinejad is pretty clearly an anti-Semite ##

    .

    Well ..if the Catholics were strangling the Palestinians he’d probably be anti Catholic …what’s your problem with anti Semitism if its earned?

    B”

    I think it’s pretty obvious that Berchman’s defends far right antisemites. So it’s no excue to describe him as pro people left wing.

    Anyway hope you’re well Irish (and you too exiled). Not been commenting much on CIF due to other fun things to take care of at the moment !

  26. Shachtman

    hello Max

    Wondered where you were. I haven’t done much on CiF – too many articles with too many people saying the same thing – again and again – whatever the article is actually about. Like some kind of nightmare roundabout.

    Right – Berchie. His comments are open to interpretation. It seems to me that the kind of comment you ref. from him is Berchie’s way of saying that the Israelis (Jews) must expect retaliation for the wrongs they commit against the Palestinians – and that they would retaliate in the same way if the ‘enemy’ were Rastas, Anthroposophists or whatever.

    The I/P violence is two way and inevitably both sides seek to justify their own actions – posters who take sides can seem unreasonable to the ‘opposition’ – very often the discussions are just unreasonable all round.

    This site is dedicated to highlighting AS – particularly on CiF – AS should be exposed, with this I entirely agree. I am still not sure if there is a place for me here – I am not here to defend AS – obviously – more, I suppose, to try to understand why a new definition is required.

  27. Irish – good to see you here.

    Re the number of articles on CIF and the Guardian as a whole – see my comment above – as of this morning my time, about 23 this week, 15 not open to comment, and some just reprints of earlier ones in the hope, i suppose, that quantity makes up for quality.

    I noted today that while Brian Whittaker was allowed to post a set of statistics about the number of articles (twice -see the article above for one) when Dikaisyne referenced this article on the thread it was dleted.

    Also his article in response to to the editiorial about “Dangerous Real Estate” which was on topic and innocuous – no insults, etc., highly “recommended”.

    There seems to a definite attempt to give the impression of overwhelming support to the Guardian’s bias by simply eliminating comments that show them to be wrong, or support Israel. I wouldn;t call this anti-Semitism, but it is a real issue in terms of freedom of expression, and opne exchange of opinions. Another example was the reinstated comment by Petra.

  28. AKUS – here is Dikaisyne’s deleted comment from the “Dangerous Real Estate” thread.

    Anyone care to explain why it was deleted?

    ————-
    Dikaisyne
    17 Sep 09, 12:58am (1 minute ago)

    “[Israel’s]idea of the powers and prerogatives of a Palestinian state falls well below Arab expectations”.

    Primarily Israel’s idea that a peace agreement stops the Arabs employing suicide bombers, rockets, mortars, snipers, incursions, Arab League boycotts, propaganda, falsified history books, Holocaust denial etc. against Israel “falls well below Arab expectations”

    Anyone who thinks this is about how many apartments are built in Jerusalem or Ariel is kidding himself. Israel has made it clear that it has no intention of giving those areas to the Arabs, and until the Arabs align their expectations with that reality, this will continue. In fact, as is quite clear from the last discussions between Olmert and Abbas, that has been clear to the PA leadership for some time.

    The Obama administration got itself into a corner by tying an agreement on the WB to the number of apartments, specially in areas that it knows, or would know if it had listened to the experienced negotiators from previous administrations, that Israel has no intention of giving away. Mitchell has been put in a situation, a bit like Colin Powell was with the Bush administration, of looking like a well-meaning, but irrelevant, dupe.

    The result has been an Arab expectation that somehow Obama will “deliver” Israel, and not necessarily only the occupied territories, to the Arabs. The result has been a cessation of any talks and the development of vastly overblown Arab expectations.

    On the contrary, rather than “delivering Israel”, the administration is now trying to get out of its self-inflicted dilemma by softening its position, specially since it is coordinating with Israel in the military sphere as America prepares for possible action against Iran.

    The Arabs are are in for another bitter lesson about the differences between fantasies and reality. They might do well to remember that the administration is more concerned about 47 million Americans without healthcare, 9%+ unemployment, Iran, and the economy than the number of Jewish apartments on the WB.

  29. Re: the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and matters Jewish:

    After massive coverage of the 2009 Venice Film Festival by the Guardian before the results were announced, I was not able to find a single reference to the fact that an Israeli film, won top honors ( Israeli film ‘Lebanon’ wins Golden Lion) in Venice on the Guardian’s website. On the contrary, much was made of Colin Firth winning “Best Actor” – but apparently no mention of who won “Best Film”.

    Suddenly the cone of silence descends on coverage of Venice.

    This despite the excessive coverage of everything negative the Guardian can find to throw at Israel. If I am wrong, maybe a keen-eyed reader of CW could point out where the Guardian mentions Israel’s success.

    Perhaps the Guardian had used up all available space alloted to Israeli and Jewish affairs and just didn’t have room to commend the makers of that powerful drama.

  30. AKUS

    Miss you on CiF – Dikaios just doesn’t have your bite !

    If comments are quickly removed it is impossible to judge them. The mod policy is difficult to fathom – I can’t judge how much influence the abuse button has – I don’t think an abuse report automatically results in deletion – at discretion and understanding of TP probably major factor.

    The number of I/P threads is in response to number of comments they attract – this shows there is an interest in the topic as well as boosting ad. revenue.

  31. Does this look familiar? Time for a Dutch version of CIFWatch?

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1115395.html

    The review of the content on the discussion forum of Volkskrant ? a well-respected mainstream newspaper – revealed several instances of Holocaust denial, which were all removed within hours of complaining to the moderator. “The situation in Volksrant’s forum can be described as better [than on Hyves,]” Visser’s report states.

    The report nonetheless alleges that Volksrant’s discussion forum is “dominated” by activists who are “polarizing the debate” and, in some cases, expressing anti-Semitism. It recommends the forums’ moderators work toward creating a more balanced debate about the Middle East and take a more nuanced approach when dealing with issues pertaining to the Holocaust.

    Henk Müller, a Volkskrant journalist who is responsible for the opinion section of the paper’s website, said that Visser’s report was “politically oriented and lacking substance.” He said the forum tries to strike a balanced tone, and places great importance on removing anti-Semitic content.

  32. John Brown

    Thanks for posting diskaisyne’s comment. I had not seen it.

    The change, anounced today, in US missile defence system- ships stationed in Med – this may make difference to relations with Iran. Can we expect a positive response from Russia? A Med based system would, I assume give greater protection to Israel. I don’t know time scale for completion of new system.

    This is where I have difficulty with this site – am I on topic to respond to post from CiF?

  33. Irish – perhaps in time Dikaisyne will improve!

    But frankly, I think that with the reckless bannings, mysterious deletions, and super-abundance of articles churning the same turbid waters, its really hard to keep up one’s interest.

    I think that may occasionally affect the moderators there as well, and just for fun they delete or ban people – when they are not chasing talknic’s latest incarnation!!

  34. Hi Irish.

    My feeling is the same re CIF – it’s the same people on both sides saying the same thing. I guess i just can’t be bothered much these days and the comments on this site are similar to being on CIF. With regard to Berchmans, he has an almost obsessive desire to justify antisemitism. Antisemites have always had their own justifications for antisemitsm , blaming the actions of Jews. This is what Berchmans does and it’s quite sickening to see him do so. He plays the role of a “Useful idiot”. He’s quite frankly a disgrace. The fact that he played down the antisemitism of somebody who justified the antisemitism of the Nazis in Eastern Europe is pretty foul. I know several hardline antizionists and they would never do such as thing. He’s sick.
    Apologies if i don’t reply but as i say i’m pretty bored re CIF and don’t want to end up having the same ad infinitum conversations on this site either.

  35. Irish -Just before i go !

    “I am not here to defend AS – obviously – more, I suppose, to try to understand why a new definition is required.”

    There’s no new definition of antisemitism , it’s just a clarification and a bringing together of what antisemitism is – that is if you are referring to the EU working definition. I don’t think it’s perfect but it’s a good basis for understanding antisemitism.

    Antisemites always use real events for excuses for antisemitism. Today they usually use the cover of antizionism. Though not all antizionism is antisemitic, nearly all antisemitism today adopts the cover of antizionism.

  36. Irish ” It seems to me that the kind of comment you ref. from him is Berchie’s way of saying that the Israelis (Jews) must expect retaliation for the wrongs they commit against the Palestinians – and that they would retaliate in the same way if the ‘enemy’ were Rastas, Anthroposophists or whatever.”

    Sorry but you’re wrong. Berchmans makes light of Nazi antisemitism – Israel didn’t even exist at the time. The most charitable thing you can say about Berchamns is that he has some kind of compulsive disorder.

  37. Shactman – Apologies if i don’t reply but as i say i’m pretty bored re CIF and don’t want to end up having the same ad infinitum conversations on this site either.

    Fundamental difference.

    Truth about PRO Guardian posters doesn’t get moderated on this site.

  38. Irish – The number of I/P threads is in response to number of comments they attract – this shows there is an interest in the topic as well as boosting ad. revenue.

    Reasonable.

    Doesn’t explain the relative number of ‘Hate Israel’ posts to the number of Pro Israel posts. I suppose that I can understand The Guardian using Jews to write the anti Israel posts, nitpicking about certain negative points of Israel’s policy.

    After all, they don’t want want to be accused of Antisemitism. However, it would be interesting to see which of the ‘House Jews’ manage to get their offerings published elsewhere. I know ‘Our Sethele’ has had some stuff published on “Press news” but that hardly counts.

  39. Dikaisyne’s post was spot-on in its analysis of the current Israel-Arab diplomatic impasse. Many thanks to John Brown for preserving it.

    As for why it was deleted, maybe this sentence had the Arab apologists up in arms :

    “The Arabs are are in for another bitter lesson about the differences between fantasies and reality.”

    Even though it’s common knowledge that many Arabs are fond of hyperbole and sometimes find it difficult to separate fact from fiction ( not unlike some regulars on CiF ) . .

  40. Hawkeye

    ‘ …As for Dan Rickman’s article it was simply an atrocious piece of work that denigrated orthodox Judaism particularly his moral equivocation of orthodox Judaism with other forms of fundamentalism – and on the 8th anniversary of 9/11 of all days! Orthodox Jews hardly strap bombs to themselves in the hope of 72 virgins. Tosca took him apart spectacularly and Rickman passed up an opportunity to defend himself here on the pretext that he was offended of being called a useful idiot which is precisely what he is as are Dhimmi, Freedman, Lerman, Shabi and all of the Guardian’s other self-hating house Jews…’

    Do you realise that this statement is defamatory ? Were you not an anonymous poster – but clearly identifiable – this remark would certainly be actionable in law. Dan Rickman is well known within his community and these unfounded accusations could damage his reputation. I don’t understand why you are trying to blacken his name in this way.

  41. Hawkeye

    Hello again. I am also concerned by some of your refs. to the CiF poster Larit. Several weeks ago another anonymous CiF poster published information which identified Larit by her real name and her profession. You are making very damaging accusations. I don’t know if the CiF poster who instituted the attack on Larit and subsequently hounded her across several threads is associated with this site or not – I am not accusing you of identifying her – but the possibility is there. I challenge the idea that Larit is AS – proving it in a court of law would be difficult.

    We all agree that AS should be challenged. If genuinely AS individuals are identified is there not a better way of doing this than demonising individuals, attempting to damage their careers and generally blackening their names in the public blogosphere which gives access to anybody. False ,libellous accusations could lead to prosecution under hate crime law as well as civil actions for defamation.

    Leni (CiF afancdogge)

  42. Irish:

    “Do you realise that this statement is defamatory ? Were you not an anonymous poster – but clearly identifiable – this remark would certainly be actionable in law. Dan Rickman is well known within his community and these unfounded accusations could damage his reputation. I don’t understand why you are trying to blacken his name in this way.”

    With all due respect Irish and I appreciate your views here but you are dead wrong. It is absolutely not defamatory and not actionable in law. I’m merely expressing an opinion about Rickman and others based on the rubbish that he wrote and besides Dan Rickman and others on CiF are public figures whom I have a right to express an opinion about just as Rickman and others have a right to express their views. From where I come from the laws of freedom of speech accord you the right to express such views that we do here and I kindly refer you to the seminal case of New York Times vs. Sullivan on the subject matter. Nothing here is intended to smear. I repeat nothing but we have every right to express our opinions on these public persons and expose the antisemitism as we see it.

    It is sickening the way in which the defamation laws are abused in countries outside of the US (e.g. in the UK – look up Rachel Ehrenfeld for proof of this) to shut down freedom of speech and if Rickman or others want to test the US courts on this matter they are welcome to waste their money and bring it on – they’ll lose, they’ll spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process (we won’t have to pay a dime ourselves for legal representation) and they’ll give us lots of free publicity because of many of the novel issues that would be raised in the case.

    Gotta run.

  43. “I don’t know if the CiF poster who instituted the attack on Larit and subsequently hounded her across several threads is associated with this site or not – I am not accusing you of identifying her – but the possibility is there.”

    It was not us if you are asking. LaRit is a stinking antisemite and its well documented on this site. Frankly I don’t care who the hell she is. I do care however that she is spreading her poisonous antisemitic comments in a mainstream media forum and it is the comments being made by her under the moniker LaRit that we care about. If she’s got a problem with that so be it. Its our right to exercise our First Amendment rights.

    “False ,libellous accusations could lead to prosecution under hate crime law as well as civil actions for defamation.”

    Leni, again with all due respect you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Why not post under afancdogge rather than Irish?