This is a cross-post from Yaacov Lozowick’s Ruminations (for those of you not familiar with Yaacov Lozowick, he is the author of the highly recommended book, Right to Exist, A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars and has written prolifically about antisemitism at the Guardian – if you click here you’ll find a veritable treasure trove of over two years worth of posts)
A few days ago CiF Watch posted a piece about the followup at CiF to an article by Harold Evans. It’s an interesting story for the way it demonstrates three layers of anti-Jewish animosity at the Guardian.
The first is the editorial level of the paper: what get’s published in it. Any long-term reader of the Guardian will recognize that it’s editors really don’t like Israel. Really really. Yet they’re not Nazis, they’re not even Hamas, which means not only that they don’t hate Jews in Manchester, they don’t even automatically hate everything about Israel. Sometimes the remains of their Enlightenment conditioning shine through, and they’ll see Israel in a rational light. Often not, of course, but it can happen. One remnant of this is their insistence on the occaisional airing even of a pro-Israel piece on their pages or on CiF. The Evans column that launched our story was one such: veteran British journalist Harold Evans described the Goldstone Report for the travesty it is.
Then there’s the level of The Guardian’s readership, or at least the segment of it that leaves comments on CiF. A few of them are valiant folks trying to stem the tide by leaving rational comments based upon reality (irrespective of their conclusions: I’m not saying that rational thought must inevitably lead one to agree with a particular political viewpoint). Most commenters at CiF, however, are stark raving mad. They also hate Israel, America, and anyone who doesn’t join them in this hate, such as a venerable Old Boy Englishman such as Harold Evans. They have not the slightest interest in facts, save as clubs to beat the Jews with -and they’re impartial to the factuality of the facts.
This makes CiF Exhibition A for anyone trying to document the state of Jew hatred in the early 21st century. Such people and such ideas exist out there, make no mistake about it.
Then there’s the intermediate level, between the editors of The Guardian and the cesspool of the commenters. This is the level of the CiF moderators, Guardian employees of a lower rank than the editors, who decide which comments are too injurious to remain posted – and by default, what is acceptable and may remain. Because of their existence, The Guardian owns all the content of CiF, above and below the line; feverish hate-filled rantings posted by commenters and not removed by the moderators have been actively condoned by the Guardian staff.
One of the important services of the CiF Watch group is that they’re collecting and documenting the actions of the Guardian moderators. They’re capturing copies of comments before the moderators delete them. This means we get to see the comments that are so extreme and offensive even the Guardian staff can’t live with them – so that’s valuable and interesting. It also means we get to see what sort of rational and fact-based position is routinely deleted for not adhering close enough to the Guardian party line. This is where the mediators show the true colors of the editors: an occasional pro-Israel column can be tolerated, but only to a limited degree. Fig leaves, yes; full-blown debate and airing of counter arguments, not acceptable.