Guardian

Stratification of Antisemitism at the Guardian


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.

38 replies »

  1. 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.

    Yaacov is brilliant but naive.

    The Guardian has published articles
    – demonising haredi Jews for maintaining their identity
    – insisting Jews denounce themselves
    – demonising diaspora Jews the right for holding opinions about the Mideast
    – painting the haredi community as child molesters (without affording the community a right of response)
    – telling Jews how they must define themselves for purposes of school admission
    – asserting Jewish control of the US government
    – working a single word in the margin of a FO draft into a theory of Jewish control of the British government.

    In fact, the only Jews who would seem to satisfy the Guardian are those who have no discernible identity and no country. In other words, the Guardian is waging a non-stop war against the Jews demanding disappearance of any distinct identiy. That might be called cultural cleansing of the Jewish identity from the roster of identifiable peoples.

    If that isn’t Sturmer-level anti-Semitism (albeit more silkily expressed), then the moon is made of green cheese.

  2. The Guardian is not unique in that it uses the fact that Jews are at the same time clearly identifiable and a totally amorphous group without clear boundaries to their definition. This is why Israel is such a useful construct. Any crime to be identified within any group inside Israel is a manifestation of Jewish behaviour as may be seen among ”the settlers” when one looks at events in Sussiya, for instance.

  3. I think that CiF (and by extension the Guardian itself) is confused about the distinction between Israel as a state and the Jews who live there or support it around the world.

    It intensely identifies with Arab/Muslim suffering, most of which is caused by fellow Muslims (but Guardian/CiF chooses to ignore that very salient point) and is exacerbated by belligerent self-pity, exaggerated sense of entitlement and what I have heard described as a hair-trigger sense of grievance.

    Arab states and Islamists fail to make any distinction between Israel as a state and Jews generally (and hate them both equally, judging by their statements in the media and mosques)

    CiF editors are, I believe, much influenced by Brian Whitaker, who is far too intensely fascinated by all things Arabic/Muslim for him to be an objective commenter about the Middle East, as some of his “interventions” online on CiF threads have shown, and he therefore cannot see the wood for the trees.

    If it were merely a matter of “not liking” Israel, then there would be some indication that CiF editors and the Guardian would be able to take on board criticisms of CiF’s approach. However, this is more than “not liking” isn’t it – it’s visceral hatred.

    CiF has allowed writers who are committed to the destruction of Israel and her Jewish population to purvey their hatred and lies online under its banner and seal of approval, and to issue barely veiled threats to the UK government about what might happen if their “recommendations” are not accepted and acted on.

    It shows its bias against those who stand up to these people by deleting their contributions, which are more often than not carefully presented in a non-insulting way, and yet it allows the posts of those who insult and spread hatred to remain on line.

    It encourages mindless “asaJew” writers to perpetrate their rubbish to din home and underline its message of hatred and make it more acceptable because these Jews agree with it.

    It provides an umbrella of protection for every Jew/Israel-hating mouth frother on the planet to air his/her “grievances” thereby ensuring that this hatred endures and grows.

    The worst aspect of all of this is the complete and bone-headed lack of insight on the parts of the Editors as to how they are coming across to intelligent people who probably click once on CiF and, if they are sensible at all, never return because they feel soiled.

    Guardian Hates Jews is correct in that this behaviour has Sturmer-like qualities. My concerns are around its escalating nature and that more and more openly hate-filled rubbish is allowed to be spouted without hindrance.

  4. After the editor of Guardian Alan Rusbridger apologised for the paper’s libels regarding the “Jenin massacre” CIF displays the posts of the raving moron Moeran insisting that it took place anyway.

  5. Demeter
    Agree with you especially re. Whitaker’s malign influence. This chap is Silverstein’s special little friend, it returns out – why am I not surprised!

    Whitaker’s insulting interventions mocking members of the public/readers of the newspaper by ‘hinting’ that they must be paid agents of Israel/Mossad/the Elders show that he has drunk too deeply from that bottle labelled “Generic Arab conspiratorial paranoia”.

    I don’t think Whitaker is a bad man nor do I think he is a Jew hater – but he is a weak and unprincipled man. Had he been a strong and principled man, he would not have chosen to use his position on CiF to bully posters who are off-message. He is also an unconscious orientalist – which is very funny to watch.

  6. 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.

    This is the core of one of my basic problems with CIF. The use of celestially presented ‘unbiased moderation’ to penalise comments that do not tie in with the GWV.

    I particularly like the comments of MoveAnyMountain. He is never angry or vicious and nearly always presents his arguments very well. Some of his comments are deleted. I suppose it could be that his positions on almost everything are diametrically opposed to the GWV and also that his comments are usually very highly recommended that are the cause of his deletions.

  7. The Guardian finds people who have some Jewish ancestry like Richard Goldstone and Seth Freedman and uses them as a cover. They point to these characters and say we can not be anti-Semitic because we use these writers. It is a neat debating trick but it does not exonerate the Guardian from what the Guardian does every day. The Guardian’s articles whip up hatred against Israel and Jews abroad as well. The Guardian knows this but they do not stop it. The Guardian wants to provoke anti-Israel hatred and then wash its hands, like Lady MacBeth, of the results.

  8. We are seeing a new development in the Guardian’s ability to attract anti-Semites which is the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the monikers being used by posters:

    The Tisdall thread, about Israelis denit Turkish rage (how does he know and who cares anyway?) seems to have attracted an unusually large number of purely anti-Semitic comments, even by the Guardian’s lax standards:

    The comment below was deleted (but only, I might add, after I posted it on CW’s “Debating the Holocaust” thread) but the moniker remains even though we know that the Guardian has the ability to make comments simply disappear.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/22/israel-turkey-goldstone-gaza?commentpage=3
    hooknosed
    23 Oct 09, 1:10am (28 minutes ago)

    they are feeling the heat now that one of their own did them in

    This post was deleted before I read the actual comment but I have a funny feeling that I know what “d(e)chosenp(eople) might have been hinting at with his/her choice of moniker:

    dchosenp

    23 Oct 09, 3:44am (about 10 hours ago)
    This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.

  9. Boycotting the guardian wonder boy has worked,it’s stuck on 58 comments.His usual cheer squad are about the only ones posting there.The last post was about 15 hours ago.

  10. JubelFoster

    Goldstone is the first that I know of to claim twice in one article that he an “as-a-Jew”:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/oct/21/goldstone-report-israel-gaza-war-crimes-un

    I begin with my own motivation, as a Jew

    As a Jew, I felt a greater and not a lesser obligation

    ——

    Like so many other Jews, I have nothing but contempt for those like the Guardian’s house Jews who try to authenticate their efforts to condemn Israel and their fellow Jews by hiding behind the “as-a-Jew” ploy and thereby claiming to be representative of a higher standard than all those other Jews who disagree with them or, in this case, the Guardian.

  11. Boycott – I wonder if he – and the Guardian – are not feeling the ground starting to burn under their feet now that CW is on their tails, publishing the daily outpouring of hatred, and being picked up by numerous blogs and newspapers. The days when Golden Boy could compare israelis to nazis with impunity are coming to an end.

    There seem to be fewer Nazi analogies being used in the articles, and they are reduced to more roundabout ways of attack – e.g., Tisdall’s silly article about Turkey, an editorial about Iran’ nuclear policy, etc. The golden boy may find that when he makes one of his apparently frequent trips home some people are holding their noses and crossing to the other side of the street to avoid him.

  12. Tisdall’s article was the absolute pits,too silly for words.He claims that Israeli leaders are living in a parallel world,and just don’t get it.
    This from the people at the Guardian that actually DO inhabit a parallel world.Not even Lewis Carroll could come up with some of the characters that post on CIF and the Guardian in general.

  13. From the Tisdall article:

    amvet
    23 Oct 09, 4:08pm (19 minutes ago)
    One thing is sure, as the global number one terrorist state, Israel is an economic, moral, and political burden for its slave, the USA. Not to worry. Israel controls our government and news media and the possibility of reform is almost nil. Remember when the Israelis murdered US servicemen on the ship Liberty, “our” press and politicians wet their pants to deny the truth. Amvet

  14. The editors of the Guardian are not active antiSemites in the sense that they would be obsessed with all the garbage about Jews owning the media or the banks or Hollywood or whatever other myth is being spread on nutty neoNazi web sites. The Guardian’s obsession is with Jews as a nation state being able to defend itself. The Guardian likes Jews to be in the Tony Lerman, Seth Freedman, Richard Goldstone mode: nerdy intellectuals who engage in selfabasement and Israel loathing. The Guardian has special anger toward Jews like Ariel Sharon or Bibi Netanyahu or the late Moshe Dayan (a man that the Guardian really really hated). These are proud Jews who won’t apologize for being Jewish and won’t turn the other cheek when antiSemites attack. Lerman, in contrast, will join the jackals in consuming his own. Lerman is the Guardian’s type of Jewish man.

  15. TiredOldDog posting on Hundal’s ‘Nick Griffin’s great night’ out has some fun and teaches a lesson. First he deadpans:

    “I am not British and, frankly, I’m OK with that. Not being British, I usually skip all your local bickering about Boris and Gordon and Tony. None of my business, not interesting. As those who’ve noticed my posting on CIF know that I am here for the IP subject and general human stuff.With the Griffin thing, I made an exception. I watched the QT clip. I think I got an accurate enough of the man to say the following:

    Sunny,
    If this guy becomes chief, get your tan ass out of there.

    Brits,
    The Germans allowed a cranky sick f%^k to become chief. I hope to god you are not going to repeat that catastrophe. Also, I dont see you handling this well.

    Sincerely,
    TOD”

    This deliberate tease annoyed Lord Summerisle who responds:

    Yes, thanks for that TiredOldDog. I have no idea what we’d do without you.

    And leaves the goal open for TiredOldDog to score:

    You’re welcome. I didn’t mean to offend anybody. I just wanted to give some british posters a taste of a foreigner telling you how he sees you and and advising you what to do. On the IP threads, Brits do that to others all the time.

    If I may ask, is what I see inaccurate ? Is my advice not appropriate ?

    Haha.

  16. Yaacov Lozowick certainly has done a sterling job with this (and all his other) posts that pick up on what’s going on at the Graun/Cif, and he’s very good at showing that this is not something to just shrug your shoulders at. I’d say it helps that he is a historian, and worked at Yad Vashem — but that’s just silly ole me; the Editoriat would probably shrug off what Lozowick says just as they’ve shrugged off other serious voices before.

    John: right, this is a very nice one by TOD!

  17. Sid Bachrach

    I strongly object to you calling Freedman an intellectual.

    He is, to use the Guardian’s terminology, an ethical cretin.

  18. Sid Bachrach, what is your definition of an”active antisemite?”

    In some ways the CiF Editors are worse than open antisemites – they take advantage of those lacking in impulse control and with too much time on their hands, and earn their salaries by deliberately setting out to crank up their near to overflowing hatred.

    That sort of cynical exploitation has to be worse than despicable.

  19. “..– I wonder if he – and the Guardian – are not feeling the ground starting to burn under their feet now that CW is on their tails, publishing the daily outpouring of hatred, and being picked up by numerous blogs and newspapers. The days when Golden Boy could compare israelis to nazis with impunity are coming to an end…”

    Ooh, I hope so!

  20. We can fight back by not participating. Boycott CiF. Nothing permanent, just for a while. Let ’em stew in their own juices… without Jews. Starting day I’ll stop posting for a week maybe longer.

    Am Yisrael Chai

  21. If some space aliens wanted to probe this planet and had access only to CiF, they would have likely concluded that Israel was bigger than Russia landwise, had more people than China and was responsible for every evil thing under the sun.

  22. Sid Bachrach has the Guardian exactly right. The Guardian’s editors will never accept a Jewish people or Jewish State that can and will defend itself. It is Israel’s insistence on its right to defend itself and to meet its attackers with force that enrages the Guardian. For Tony Lerman, the whole concept of an Israel Defense Force with pilots who dare to do things like take out a Syrian nuclear facility fills Lerman with rage. Lerman likes Jews to be like him: easily pushed around, mousy and too timid to defend his fellow Jews. The Guardian has found a whole stable of nominally Jewish writers who are from the school of selfdenigration and selfdenial. Lerman, Silverstein, Freedman, and now Goldstone. Richard Goldstone is the apotheosis of the Guardian’s kind of Jewish male. He sits on a panel with aggresively antiIsrael activists such as Chinkin and Jilani and nods his head at every insult directed against Israel. Tony Lerman would have fared well on the Goldstone Commission. Sid, Seth Freedman is not an “intellectual”. He actually thinks of himself as a man of the streets, a tough guy. It is all laughable but that is what Freedman thinks of himself.

  23. Sergio, that’s like Mercator’s projection of Greenland and shows just how skewed the GWV is.

    Perhaps some cartographer could map the GWV. Or Dry Bones?

  24. Richard Goldstone is the apotheosis of the Guardian’s kind of Jewish male. He sits on a panel with aggresively antiIsrael activists such as Chinkin and Jilani and nods his head at every insult directed against Israel.

    Bang on target.

  25. The golden (tarnished) boy’s article has 60 comments and is tanking,last one posted 3 hours ago.The seethe site hasn’t closed shop for the night,hoping that some passerby might drop in and post there.Now he can go back to one of these palestinian villages that he so likes to visit.He will collect stories from palestinian taxi drivers,farmers,sheep herders,or even from that farcical idiot moeran,to write in his next article.I have a feeling that he is toast…………..Masha’Allah.

  26. But boycott, he was trying sooooo hard with this piece on Blair!!! I mean, Bliar (I’m learning Cifflish!) — this should have attracted a couple of hundred comments in no time at all, it’s such a beautiful irresistible set-up: a Palestinian saving his shoes, and instead hurling insults at Tony — there should have been a tsunami of heartfelt solidarity! Wot a shocking appalling despicable irresponsible let-down!

  27. Ariadne and Sergio – Your comments gave me an idea – do you remember the famous New Yorker cartoon of how New Yorkers view New York, as most of the US with the rest vanishing into the distance?

    Something like this:

    or this:

    That’s how the Guardian sees Israel – the largest issue in the world, with everything else fading into the remote distance.

    If there is someone out there with a good cartooning ability, you do do something like this with a massive Israel in the foreground and tiny remote peaceful Arabs herding their sheep in the distance — a visual of the GWV

  28. John Brown – If there is someone out there with a good cartooning ability, you do do something like this with a massive Israel in the foreground and tiny remote peaceful Arabs herding their sheep in the distance — a visual of the GWV

    Great idea.

    I think that that is a really great idea. A map of ‘Palestine’ on a piece of cardboard filling up most of the foreground and far, far back, visible only because the map doesn’t cover the whole screen, some visual representation of Darfur with mass of dead black bodies mimiking holocaust photos, Grozny in Chichenya as a city razed to the ground by Putin and Russian military action and the ‘Detention Camps’ in Sri Lanka. Some graphic representation of the problems in Western China too for good measure.

    Also a representation of the gradual Islamisation of Europe like a greeny color starting to block out the UK and Western Europe.

    Something that personifies the Guardian’s rampant obsession with the Palestinians and Israel, Muslims and Jews to the exclusion of what is happening in the world today.

    Any takers???

    By the way. I heard a Guardian Reporter on SKY discussing the Nick Griffin appearance on the BBC. He was very enthusiastic. Yet, I notice that no BNP representative has been allowed to post an article on CIF setting out the aims of the party. I don’t actually have a position on whether publicity in that way is positive or negative for the BNP but, however I feel about Nick Griffin, the audience was a ‘set up’. I noticed no ‘obvious Islamists’ among the audience and there was no discussion of Muslims who hate the UK and its liberal laws. There were no supporters of the BNP present either

    Why wasn’t Bungle there? And Tammimi?

  29. The Guardian editors can not stand it when they see the IDF. The IDF does not aplogize for defending Israeli citizens and it’s soldiers performed brilliantly in Gaza. The Guardian prefers a Rchard Goldstone who grovels to the anti-Semites and begs for admission to exclusive country clubs and dining clubs. Goldstone is a weakling who can not and will not stand up to the anti-Semites. Like Seth Freedman and Tony Lerman he begs for admission to a club whose members do not want him. Had Goldstone been around in 1939 he would have been Neville Chamberlain’s cheerleader and been featured in the Guardian.

  30. Ariadne & John Brown,

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

    This is CiF in a nutshell. Why should we lend credence to cretins by participating? Boycott CiF. Don’t post.

  31. Sergio, I like both John Brown’s and JerusalemMite’s ideas for graphics. But the one you show is absolutely true and without humour. It’s a long way from Menachem Begin saying “Arabs kill Arabs and Jews get the blame” which has some resigned though black humour in it.