Guardian

Pond-dwellers can’t take the moral high ground


Time to catch up with Seth Freedman’s piece about Rowan Laxton, the UK senior Foreign Office official who unleashed a torrent of antisemitic abuse in a health club during Cast Lead and who was prosecuted for it last week – and found guilty.

At times like this Freedman oozes oleaginous sanctimony. It’s as if he is saying “Look at me, I am condemning antisemitism so how can you possibly call me antisemitic?”. Well – we do. This is the man who spoke of the “cancer of Israeli settlements”. The man who wrote:

“but surely if there was no zionism, there’d be no objection to letting the palestinians be part of the future state, and hence they’d not be “the same battered Palestinian population on its doorstep”. once you remove zionism from the equation, the rest of the racist policies currently in place ought to collapse like a house of cards, and the country becomes a democratic state for all its citizens.”

And Freedman has made a number of Nazi analogies, as AKUS documented here on CiFWatch.

Sure enough Freedman slips into this unctuous homily about the Laxton case the Livingstone Formulation (the antisemitic accusation that Jews use the charge of antisemitism as a means of stifling criticism of Israel (‘antisemitic’ because it denies the right of one – and only one – minority to protest about racism)) :

There are those, myself included, who refuse to ascribe to the theory that all anti-Israel sentiment is rooted in antisemitism: to take such a view, as many do, is both disingenuous and dishonest, and is more often than not employed as a means of stifling any honest criticism of Israeli government actions.

And next we get a “dog whistle” word (a device which is Freedman’s speciality):

The fear and paranoia that engulfs much of the Jewish community in England is only fed by actions such as Laxton’s [emphasis added]

The sentence is anyway nonsensical. “Fear” suggests that Freedman recognises a genuine emotion; “Paranoia” suggest that he thinks the fear is unfounded or exaggerated. It can’t be both. “Paranoia?” Antisemitic incidents as measured by the CST were higher in the first six months of 2009 than in any full year since records began in 1984.

What then gives Freedman the right to suggest that fears of Jews in the UK are unfounded or exaggerated? What unbridled arrogance! A statement you will never hear from Seth Freedman (or any Guardian author for that matter): “The fear and paranoia that engulfs much of the Muslim community in England is only fed by actions such as those of the English Defence League”.

Where is Freedman’s  recognition of the appalling fact that in a western democracy where individual safety should be guaranteed by the rule of law, British Jews should be forced to take on the duty of the state and spend millions of their hard earned cash to protect schools, synagogues and communal buildings from the threat posed by the unholy Jihadi/SWP alliance?

And why is it that the Guardian’s stable of one trick ‘as-a-jew’ ponies – Freedman, Lerman and Klug – think they are the bees’ knees when it comes to telling the world about antisemitism?

POSTSCRIPT

Freedman has a new piece on CIF about Yom Kippur. Should he wish to use CiF Watch to apologise to all those he has offended over the past year, we would be delighted to accommodate him.

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20 replies »

  1. “Freedman has a new piece on CIF about Yom Kippur.”

    Is Freeman a Rabbi? (Is he even Jewish, are house Jews, Jewish?) Why should he be writign about Yom Kippur?

    Oh yes, free speech, it’s free speech when you write hateful nonsense about Jews, it’s hate speech when you tell the truth about Jew-goys like Freedman.

  2. Freedman’s Yom Kippur offering is pedestrian and unenthusiastic. There is no love for Judaism there, rather a shame-faced description of our practices: admitting that he too carries out these strange rituals. He has no enlightening thoughts, no individual approach to this most holy of days. The only thing I learned was that the twelve steps of AA are taken from Maimonedes.

    Look instead at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1253820680660&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull This is an offering full of surprises and ideas novel to me. It begins as follows:

    Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of the Jewish year and it is also the strangest day, because it seems to negate all that makes us human. For this one day we step out of ourselves and become something else, something other. We are no longer part of this world as we know it. Denying our bodies food, drink, sex and any possible physical pleasure, we act as if the normal impulses that make us human no longer exist. It is almost as if we have slipped out of life into immortality.

  3. Titles are so important: I loved yours, Louise: Pond dwellers can’t take the moral high ground: inspired, amusing and involved.

    Seth’s Yom Kippur piece signalled to us from its title that it was going to be like a high-school essay:
    A day to take stock.
    Ho-hum.
    Y.a.w.n.

  4. Good article, Louise, but are you honestly surprised? This turnip would sell his granny if it improved what passes for his standing with al-Grauniad and “Georgina.”

    He is terminally conflicted isn’t he? In the past he’s rolled out all his family – his dad, mum, his sister – to boost the hits on his threads and his dad appears to believe that he himself has some sort of scholarly knowledge of Judaism.

    Mita, to have enlightening thoughts one has to have intelligence. Freedman used to be quick to open his mouth before engaging his brain (he’s rather less so now, particularly since he had to slink away in shame from the challenge of a debate with Petra Marqardt-Bigman). She is streets ahead of him in every respect, including her capability to argue coherently without being at all nasty. He on the other hand….

    And is the AA’s twelve step programme really taken from Miamonides? Does Sethele explain how and what made AA choose them, quoting the passages from the Rambam which bear this out, or might he be blethering yet again?

  5. Mita and SilverTrees – I went to the link in Freedman’s thread about Miamonides and I doubt that Freedman has read it fully or perhaps scarcely at all. I suspect that someone told him that the concept came from Miamonides, and he did a cut and paste job.

    He’s not exactly renowned for the quality of his research, is he?

  6. SilverTrees

    Your comments about Seth Freedman made me smile. You know, I think we’re a bit unfair to compare him to Petra. She must be at least 20 years older than him, and a serious academic, while he’s a jumped-up journalist and would-be writer on CiF.

    I think we’re in danger of exaggerating his importance. Self-hating, self-important Jews are a dime a dozen, unfortunately. It’s only when they claim to speak for the whole Jewish community that I get annoyed.

  7. Louise, the point about paranoia you highlight: I think some time ago, maybe even last year, there were a few pieces where Freedman offered his “insights into the Jewish psyche” and driveled on and on about how paranoia is an ingrained part of Jewish existence. I remember this because for a while, he kept coming back to this theme, and the stuff he wrote was to my mind really offensive. But it seems that he is always greatly impressed by even the most shallow ideas that pop up in his head, and since Cif seems to publish whatever he comes up with, he has probably concluded in all modesty that he is the greatest thinker of the millenium.
    As Fairplay suggests, it’s true that much of what he writes is puerile nonsense and is in many ways not worth wasting any time on, but for whatever reasons (perhaps personal connections) Cif has allowed him to publish his incoherent ramblings 2 or 3 times per week, and to some degree, that has made Cif’s I/P site what it is, which is to say: it was the “quality” of his stuff that attracted “quality” posters like LaRit etc.

  8. This Freedman character was a former banker,as someone further up pointed
    out that he would sell his granny if it suited his purposes.Selling anything else would not bother his conscience,not when he hasn’t got one.

    I doubt whether he writes his own posts,as his style of writing changes with every post.

  9. Mita

    “Freedman’s Yom Kippur offering is pedestrian and unenthusiastic.”

    Yes and only generated 7 comments. We should probably start thinking about boycotting Freedman’s next piece and see how the Israel bashers do without us on the thread.

  10. Sababa – But it seems that he is always greatly impressed by even the most shallow ideas that pop up in his head, and since Cif seems to publish whatever he comes up with, he has probably concluded in all modesty that he is the greatest thinker of the millenium.

    Indeed.

    Probably the best description that if have seen of Freedmans ramblings.

    Has he had his ‘articles’ published anywhere?

    Press TV perhaps?

  11. Why doesn’t SF write for the Israeli media,besides the obvious that he’s not good enough,I would still love to see SF post on Israeli sites,where we can tear strips off him.Without fear of being moderated or deleted.

  12. Wow, I thought it was just me. Interesting to see so many share my opinion of another of the Guardian’s ‘house’ Jews. I started off gently chiding him for washing ‘our’ dirty laundry in public, i.e. yes Israel’s not perfect but I see no reason to give the enemy more ammunition. This was before I realised that as has been said above, he’d sell his grandmother for the chance to have his name up on CiF.

    So he leaves the UK and his job in banking (?), makes aliyah, serves in the IDF, and on leaving, turns round and attacks the country that’s given him a new home.

    Nice. What a mensch*
    *(yiddish for decent person).

  13. From Seth Freedman’s ‘Vile miscegenation squads’.
    sethfreedman
    29 Sep 09, 5:48pm (about 1 hour ago)
    zhakaryauk – “OK, Seth, I was wrong about that”
    “so keep quiet then – unless you want to retract your barb about me ‘spreading a little more poison’, don’t bother trying to engage me in any kind of discourse”.

    The delightful Seth Freedman replies to a poster on his article. Later on a poster enquired whether as an Orthodox Jew, he dates non Jewish girls. It will be interesting to read his reply.

    I wonder if the aggression in his answer, ‘so keep quiet then’, demonstrates just how insecure he feels at writing what he must know is hateful, harmful rubbish?

    I can’t remember which article it was but in comparing himself with other Jews he wrote, ‘….we…’, to which I replied, ‘We? What we? You are no longer we. You are them’, so angry was I at his siding with ‘the enemy’. Funnily enough, he went very quiet after my response. Perhaps it touched a nerve.

    Seth is a nasty piece of work, happy to do down his own to make a living. There’s no doubt that he thrives on the controversy he causes – the more he winds us up, the more we respond and the bigger his post count, which I imagine is what the Grauniad score by. I did at one time on CiF suggest the boycotting of his writing on the basis that without us responding to his pieces, he will only get his disciples and after a while, that will get tedious, the numbers will fall and CiF will drop him.

  14. Seth didn’t tell us if he dates Jewish girls or others. He also didn’t answer the question about how widespread these squads are. I have only ever read of them in the mixed suburbs of Jerusalem and the articles I read also described the fact that Jewish women who went to live with Arabs or married them often require to be saved from unpleasant situations, because norms are so different.

    There were descriptions of non-Jewish women from abroad also being rescued by the squads.

    I can imagine Seth reading these articles and these comments when he is all grown up feeling very ashamed of himself.

  15. There’s something very dehumanising about the word “miscegenation”. Could he be “miscegenated”, perhaps?

  16. This SF jackass is fighting with the posters that don’t agree with him.Out of 82 posts 8 are his.As mentioned ignore the creep,he will shrivel and fall off.

  17. mita: “I can imagine Seth reading these articles and these comments when he is all grown up feeling very ashamed of himself.”

    Wow, you must have an extremely lively imagination!!! I can’t imagine that he will be “all grown up” — I mean, the guy must be about 30… and “feeling very ashamed of himself”??? Completely unimaginable!