Guardian

CiF Watch Exclusive: Alan Rusbridger’s Daughter, “BellaM” Reprimanded for Ad Hominem Attack on Melanie Phillips


Two weeks ago CiF Watch exposed the anti-Israel bias of a certain “BellaM”, a Guardian moderator.

“BellaM” made quite a name for herself with this unbelievably idiotic comment engaging in an ad hominem attack on Melanie Phillips in her capacity as a Guardian staff member.

BellaM

31 Oct 09, 9:53am

Staff Staff

I imagine she’s like that character in Little Britain who is violently sick every time she hears the words ‘black or gay.’ Except for Melanie, the word would be ‘Muslim.’

Her comment spurred post after post of mouth-frothing denunciation of Melanie Phillips in the now infamous Ed Husain thread that we reported on in our post Two Minutes Hate: Melanie Phillips bashing on the Ed Husain thread.

After posting our expose of BellaM this is what she tweeted:

screenshot3

Catch that? Instead of being thoroughly ashamed of herself, she views being exposed on CiF Watch as a biased anti-Israel moderator as some sort of badge of honor.

Anyway it gets better.  The Jewish Chronicle is now reporting that the “intervention of one of the Guardian’s supposedly independent moderators, the anonymous BellaM” further complicated the row between Phillips and Husain. According to the JC:

Though she has not been disciplined, the Guardian has reminded BellaM of the paper’s guidelines that staff posting on the site “should uphold a high standard of civility and avoid any behaviour that might bring the Guardian’s good name into disrepute”.

Wow. So who is BellaM?

Well suspecting in yesterday’s post covering the antisemitic moderation on the Steve Bell cartoon thread that BellaM may have had a hand in clicking the delete button a few too many times when pro-Israel posters legitimately pointed out the double standards of analogizing Israel’s security barrier with the Berlin Wall, we exposed who BellaM really is – a certain Bella Mackie.

It doesn’t end there though. It turns out that there is someone called Isabella Mackie that works for the Guardian and that Mackie is the maiden name of the wife of none other than Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger. According to the blog you gotta smile, Private Eye reported:

[i]n the future, parliamentary offspring would do well to follow the example of recent graduate Isabella Mackie, who had the grace to use her mother’s surname when taking a job on the Guardian’s website to disguise the act that she is the daughter of the paper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger.’

How embarrassing for Rusbridger and he probably had to step in to prevent her from being sacked – don’t you just love the nepotism!

So since we’ve got Daddy Rusbridger’s attention with this post (no doubt Bella will be running to Daddy for help), I’d like to ask him a few questions:

1. Why does the Guardian have an obsessive focus on the Israel/Palestine conflict that is quite out of proportion with any other conflict in the world? And why are the overwhelming majority of articles on the Israel/Palestinian conflict anti-Israel in their bias.

2. Why is your newspaper constantly delegitimizing, demonizing and subjecting Israel to double standards through articles and editorials by contributors that harbor openly antismetic views including by a fringe group of self-hating house Jews?

3. Why do you not ban posters that have a track record of making antisemitic comments? This website is replete with examples. Recently we wrote a post calling for a certain poster called IllegalCombatAnt to be banned for, among other things, engaging in Holocaust denial (which by the way took 16 hours to be deleted by your moderators – maybe Bella was on duty then). IllegalCombatAnt still has posting rights as do the numerous other antisemitic posters documented on this site.

4. Why do you instead ban pro-Israel posters? In particular why was AKUS and Cityca banned? Read their eminently sensible articles and posts and tell me what could have possibly warranted their banning other than the fact that they chose to tell the truth about Israel, something the Guardian is incapable of doing.  And on the subject of silencing dissent, why was Robin Shepherd denied a right of reply after he was defamed by house Jew Antony Lerman?

5. Why does the Guardian consistently delete comments by pro-Israel commenters? Again this website is replete with examples so don’t even bother denying this. Besides your own daughter has already tried denying that one and failed miserably.

6. By the same token why are antisemitic comments consistently not deleted by your moderators. Again spend a few minutes on this site and you’ll see what I mean. The evidence we have accumulated in the space of under three months is simply breathtaking and no doubt will serve in the future  for reports and studies into antisemitism in the United Kingdom. And speaking of reports why did you ignore the 2008 report on Antisemitism on Guardian ‘Comment is Free’ by Jonathan Hoffman? This report was submitted to the UK Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism, an indictment in and of itself. Is this the kind of reputation you want for the Guardian? And while I’m at it let me remind you of the hollow and meaningless words of Matt Seaton to the  Jewish Chronicle last year“[w]e have a zero-tolerance policy on antisemitic postings or any other form of hate speech.” Oh really.

7. Have you ever asked yourself what makes the Guardian such a fertile ground for attracting antisemitic views? Did you try taking our recent poll where posts from the neo-Nazi website Stormfront were largely indistinguishable from the comments posted regularly on the Guardian/CiF Israel/Palestine threads? And did you know the Guardian’s very own cartoonist, Steve Bell, may actually follow Stormfront threads. Here’s what the estimable Yaacov Lozowick, former director of archives at Yad Vashem, had to say on the subject:

[CiF Watch] seem to be demonstrating how the Jew haters of the Left and the Jew haters of the Right are coalescing in the way they see the world. They don’t need to copy from each other, if their processes of cognition have converged. It is that convergence which is significant.

8. And tell me what on earth is your commissioning editor of “Comment is Free”, Brian Whitaker, doing insinuating that pro-Israel posters are paid agents of the Israel government fanning the flames of Jewish conspiracy theory? And this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Brian Whitaker making a fool of himself. In fact here is what I wrote in the last hyperlinked post to Brian Whitaker:

Now Brian if you really want to defend the charge that the Guardian promotes antisemitic discourse both above the line and below the line you are more than welcome to defend the indefensible.

Here’s an offer. Why don’t you write an article for us explaining why you think this is not case? I’ll publish whatever you write. In particular, our readers would be intrigued to know the following: Why do you feature a disproportionate number of writers deeply hostile to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state many of whom are self-hating Jews and have a track record of antisemitism? Why do you tolerate antisemitism in the comment threads? Why for example have the numerous antisemitic commenters that populate CiF not been permanently banned – it’s not as if you are oblivious to this? Why do you delete comments putting forward a pro-Israel position? Why did you ban AKUS, Cityca and others? And why do you insinuate that pro-Israel posters are paid agents of the Israeli government?

You can email me at contactus@cifwatch.com with your submission. I’m standing by.

Brian never submitted anything and the silence is deafening.

9.  And while we’re at it, why didn’t Elisabeth Ribbans, managing editor of the Guardian, respond to Dennis MacEoin’s critique of Guardian editorial anti-Israel bias. Did he not deserve a response either?

10. What do you think the other board members of the Guardian Media Group and the Scott Trust will say when they discover the depth of antisemitism on the pages of the Guardian? I find it hard to believe that they would just shrug their shoulders particularly those that are independent members of the board.

11. And what do you think your advertisers will say when they too discover that many a guardianista harbors deeply antisemitic views?  Just take a look at this Tomasky thread and you’ll see what I mean (I note that HSBC Bank advertised on that thread).

12. Last but not least do you not think that CiF Watch readers and more generally the Jewish community is owed an explanation as to what steps you intend to take to clean up your act or will you continue to stick your head in the sand just like Georgina Henry, Matt Seaton and Brian Whitaker do.

Alan the Guardian is losing money hand over fist and the ship is sinking. The question is are you going to clean house before its too late?

99 replies »

  1. Louise,

    unfortunately the JC seems to have missed Private Eye’s irony in describing BellaM as “having the grace to use her mother’s maiden name”, as though it were an example of honest transparency for MPs to follow.

  2. Nice job CIFWatch & Hawkeye, doing great work.

    “You set a table before me in the presence of my adversaries”

  3. So the “Guardian has reminded BellaM of the paper’s guidelines that staff posting on the site “should uphold a high standard of civility and avoid any behaviour that might bring the Guardian’s good name into disrepute”.”

    Has it really?

    I just had another look at the notorious Ed Husain thread, and was genuinely astonished (in the circs) to discover that Bella’s ghastly comment is STILL THERE.

  4. Why is this matter so terrible for the Guardian? The paper has a large readership amongst unworldly, sheltered student types who like the kind of immature rubbish that Bella and other Guardian people provide.

    Staying in business is all about knowing your audience.

  5. simon
    I wish you were right, but the Guardian has a strong readership base among the BBC and the civil service (as well as the unworldly student types you suggest) and it forms opinion about Israel and Jews.

  6. Yohoho
    From what she writes it seems that BellaM has about as much judgement as a custard tart ……….

    ………….I’d better stop now. I’m feeling sick.

    Feeling sick? Bella M – a custard tart? More like a mustard fart

  7. As stated by many, great sleuthing!

    This really deserves more publicity- can it not be linked to friendly sites?

    Too many people who read the Guardian religiously would appreciate knowledge of these goings on whether they know it or not.

  8. Don’t all fall off your chairs at once – but I’m with you on this one.

    I’d seen some rather snotty comments before from BellaM – also on threads unrelated to I/P.

    There is no way she should be kept on as a mod.

  9. pretzelberg
    I’m not falling off my chair and in fact, I posted some nice things to you at the bottom of ‘Will the penny drop’ article.

  10. Hawkeye

    “…….Catch that? Instead of being thoroughly ashamed of herself, she views being exposed on CiF Watch as a biased anti-Israel moderator as some sort of badge of honor……”

    Would anyone expect a different response? Wow. at least we can now see why the Guardian’s anti Israel policy is consistent from top to bottom. Its a regular “family” of Israel bashers. Within the group of moderators (etc.), no doubt, it is worn as a “badge of honor”.

    Your good work is coming to fruition, Hawkeye.

  11. Victor, daily fix of what?

    It seems to me that the CiF commentariat is very keen and eager for Palestinians to fight against Israel for their own state rather than collaborate to build one. It’d be much more positive for them to support the ousting of Hamas and encourage the Palestinian people to elect a moderate government which will work for their good rather than put them deliberately into harm’s way to score propaganda points.

    These CiF imbeciles don’t realise that their attitude reinforces the perpetual “victim” status of Palestinians and that they are cranking up the aggression. I have read elsewhere on this blog the argument that such hatred is equivalent to an addictive drug and to follow on from that, perhaps the Guardianista mouth frothers would go ape if their fix of hatred were withdrawn and they had to go cold turkey.

    No worries, though. They’d always have Stormfront (I would wager that many of them already add to and feed off that cesspit of hatred regularly) and judging from the reactions to the Cifwatch poll recently there’s precious little difference in world view between Stormfront and CiF.

  12. pretzelberg – There is no way she should be kept on as a mod.

    After this, her daddy will probably have to ‘let her go’. After all, the ‘high moral positions’ of the Guardian has been sullied by these astonishing revelations.

    Rusbridger is probably quite busy on the phone at the moment arranging employment for her at press TV.

  13. “should uphold a high standard of civility and avoid any behaviour that might bring the Guardian’s good name into disrepute”.”

    Too late!!

    The Guardian’s “good name” disappeared down the toilet long ago.

  14. JerusalemMite

    I laughed over that one. Truth is that she will probably be promoted into the editorial department with Daddy.

  15. Lesson to Bella M: Always deny you are an anti-semite no matter how much proof they have. That advice is meant in a good way. Maybe not. Depends.

  16. If the Guardian is catering to the anti-Semitism of its readers, why is it losing money? I mean the Guardian’s Judenhass appeals to the Jew-hating upper crust of British society, so why is it losing readers? I’m being serious. Or is it other factors involved, the recession and the internet as a source for news? Just wondering..

  17. Lawrence – Comment may not be free because the likes of BellaM are moderating it, but readers do get a free look and that only helps the Guardian’s revenues if advertisers pay the freight.

    With CW’s revelations of mismanagement and misdeeds at the Daily Hypocrite, it is not surprising that advertisers are leaving while free-loading anti-Semites are going there attracted by the warm welcome they receive.

    So its heading one way – lots of support from those who see it as the best place on the web to bash Israel and express anti-Semitism per se or disguised as anti-Zionism (I do not distinguish between the two) and lots of paper revenues and advertising disappearing as those who have to pay the piper realize how awful the music really is.

  18. I’m sorry, and I may well be missing something here (?); but, what on earth is wrong with criticising the hateful, murderous state of Israel?

  19. Can we add yogibar to the cifwatch poll and see if we can guess whether they originate from cif or stormfront?

  20. Who goes on the web and asks to be effed,and adds a picture with the request,to be effed.I don’t usually comment on someone’s looks,but for bellamack I will make an exception.bellamack,that picture is off putting.And is not going to generate too many effing offers.

  21. BTW Big Daddy tweets too.But there are no requests to be effed in his tweets,how tweet,the whole family tweets.

  22. Yogibar:

    “I’m sorry, and I may well be missing something here (?); but, what on earth is wrong with criticising the hateful, murderous state of Israel?”

    I’m sorry, What on earth is wrong with criticising you for only belatedly stopping beating your wife?

  23. Harvey he’s probably paying her below minimum wage. Al-Grauniad is losing money hand over fist so they just can’t get the staff these days.

    Yogibar, so long as you criticise China, Saudi, Gaza under Hamas and others for all their human rights abuses whenever you feel moved to criticise Israel for hers (real or alleged) then go ahead.

    But I have to say that you should get your money back from the social skills training classes – “hateful, murderous..” &c &c is a dead give away.

    (Jonny Moses – I think that Yogibar is somewhat in his cups).

    Lawrence, perhaps al-Grauniad is losing money because, it having been hit by the recession, it employed Seth Freedman to do double duty as a “writer” and as its financial adviser. He’s probably as hopeless at the latter as he is at the former, and in his case if you pay peanuts then you certainly get monkeys and I haven’t heard of a monkey which gave good financial advice :~))

  24. Great work Hawkeye and CiF watch. If it weren’t for people like you all would be lost. It’s Winston-Churchill-in-your-face truth when we need it. THANKS.

  25. Isn’t it funny how the right-on, lefty media, people who rant every day about equal rights, multiculturalism, sexism etc etc always seem to have a blind spot where their offspring and relatives are concerned.

    Look at all the minor dynasties in the BBC. Does anyone think the likes of Lilly Allen, Biannca Jagger, Stella McCartney and so on would be famous had they not got famous parents?

    Jobs, connections, private education. They do everything that they would sneer at mere mortals for doing.

    I wonder of she went through a “blind” interview process? Did her interviewers know who she was. Did she even have an interview? What kind of creature would even consider taking on a position through patronage.

    And, hardly surprising, her position is safe.

  26. Dear Alan

    So not only have you thrown me on the streets – you also gave Bella a job against all the rules of nepotism and have failed to sack her when she displayed blatant bias, thus demonstrating the bias of your Moderators for all to see.

    The folks back at Labour High Command must be really proud of you. What a gift for the Conservatives. May they use it well.

    How right Julie Burchill was to bail out of the hypocritical Guardian. Thanks for doing me a favour.

  27. Congratulations on this scoop. You folks are shining a much needed light on the miasma which is the Guardian’s Editorial policy on the Middle East.

    Long may you continue. May they reconsider and reform.

  28. Fran – Congratulations on this scoop. You folks are shining a much needed light on the miasma which is the Guardian’s Editorial policy on the Middle East.

    The Guardian’s Editorial policy on the Middle East is only one aspect of the fraud perpetrated against the public. There is also the laughingly called ‘Moderation policy’ which is not what they say it is. What it is is a tool used the tip the scales on various threads so the basically, only the GWV is allowed to ‘shine through’ and talented ‘NON GWV’ commenters find their commenting rights withdrawn with no explanation.

    Yet morons like Moron, Berchmans and other social misfits are allowed to maintain their rant against the one Liberal Western Democracy in the Middle East.

    And that is apart from allowing such phrases as Carpet Bombing, Massacres, Ethnic Cleansing, Apartheid etc to be used flagrantly against Israel.

    The Guardian management has marked Israel for denunciation, denigration and de-legitimization. If it said this openly, I could have some respect but it claims to be ‘fair’ and, don’t laugh, ‘balanced’.

  29. Expecting the Guardian and its ilk to recognise its bias and change is futile in the extreme.

    Rusbridger et al just don’t believe that they or anything they’ve said or printed in the newspaper (or on Cif) is biased, anti-Semitic or unreasonable. They live in a universe where everyone takes it as the norm that Israel is evil, non-whites are flawless and Jews act in a cabal to influence others to support Israel’s darstardly plans for the enslavement and destruction of the Palestinian people.

    The more you complain the more you reinforce their view point. Angering Jews (or anyone else who supports Israel’s right to exist) encourages them and reinforces their beliefs that they are correct.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t complain – I think this blog and the other agencies that highlight this hypocrisy are vital, like HonestReporting and CAMERA – but we have to complain to the right people. Not (just) the editorial – how about advertisers and sponsors? What else can we do?

  30. Has anyone seen this?

    Alyth Synagogue London: Wednesday 18 November 7.30pm Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) event – “Nowhere to Belong: tales of an extravagant stranger”. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown will perform her one woman, Shakespeare inspired show about the challenges of belonging. Tickets £20 pre booked / £25 at the door.

    Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has made many antisemitic comments. She went to all three Party Conferences and then wrote “all three parties were lavishly entertained by the over-influential Friends of Israel”.

    http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/yasmin-alibhai-brown-and-the-over-influential-friends-of-israel%E2%80%9D/

    Who will they invite next … George Galloway? Nick Griffin?

  31. JerusalemMite

    The Guardian’s Editorial policy on the Middle East is only one aspect of the fraud perpetrated against the public. There is also the laughingly called ‘Moderation policy’ which is not what they say it is

    Don’t forget their other areas of distortions, lies and biased silences. They are trying to stuff the public with the following opinions too:

    The US is worse than Nazi Germany and anyway a third world economy, 9/11 was an either an understandable act or the work of the Mossad, CIA, Bush government (take your pick),

    Hamas, Taliban and Hezb’allah are freedomfighters,

    Iran, Syria are democracies wishing world peace, Ahmadinejad is a democrat and a benign man of the people,

    The ex communist countries of East-Europe were pretty good for the people and now when they are in the hands of the neocon worldcapitalists
    the population wants the Soviets back ,

    Cuba, Venezuela are second only to the Garden of Eden etc

    Israel is not their only hobby but undoubtedly bashing it can bring to them many allies and supporters especially a crowd of uneducated ignorant losers who never would read the Guardian without some hatefests against Jews going there.

  32. “Rusbridger et al just don’t believe that they or anything they’ve said or printed in the newspaper (or on Cif) is biased, anti-Semitic or unreasonable.”

    Like daughter, like father:

    “We are forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about how the dream of a sanctuary for the Jewish people in the very land in which their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped has come to be poisoned. The establishment of this sanctuary has been bought at a very high cost in human rights and human lives. It must be apparent that the international community cannot support this cost indefinitely.” – Alan Rusbridger

    http://tinyurl.com/yc23eft

  33. PeterTheHungarian. Don’t forget their other areas of distortions, lies and biased silences. They are trying to stuff the public with the following opinions too

    Believe me. I don’t forget the other obsessive areas of interest to the GWV. The very basis of their obsession with Israel is somewhat an offshoot of their raison d’etre. To oppose United States hegemony over the whole world and return the ‘masses’ back to the ‘delights’ of socialism/communism.

    They deplore the fall of the ‘great and inspiring Soviet Union’. Shameless Milne in particular, when not castigating Israel for being so successful is involved in vilifying the United States in one way or another.

    As has been published on this site before if I remember correctly, it is:

    White=Bad
    Black/Brown=Good
    Israel=Bad
    Palestinian/Arab/Iranian/(Not European)=Good
    Being rich=Bad (Except the senior staff at the Guardian and SWP)
    Being poor and hungry=Good
    Walking to work=Good
    Riding in a limousine=Bad

    The list is endless.

  34. I’m rather tardy in reporting this, but last week I began posting on CiF.
    I’m invariably polite – and I’m invariably pro-Israel.
    My very first post was deleted within – literally – the space of five minutes.
    Unfortunately, I didn’t keep a copy, as I had no reason to believe that it would upset the Moderator. Boy, was I wrong!

  35. Okay, Jonathan – so you bemoan a moderator for expressing her personal judgement; and yet expect her to excersise the self-same faculty while moderating threads. Now, if she was entirely neutral then she would not delete any posts at all – discretion obviously requires some form of judgement. Moreover, you accuse her of ‘ad hominem attacks’ and then refer to her as “mouth-frothing”, “infamous” and “unbelievably idiotic”. That’s by the by, however.

    The Guardian presumably did not take your hard-hitting insinuations clearly, so I’ll hazard some approximate answers to your various questions in their stead:

    “Why does the Guardian have an obsessive focus on the Israel/Palestine conflict that is quite out of proportion with any other conflict in the world?”

    Possibly because it’s of more interest to more people than any other conflict in the world; and it has international implications which the others lack?

    “Why is your newspaper constantly delegitimizing, demonizing and subjecting Israel to double standards through articles and editorials by contributors that harbor openly antismetic views including by a fringe group of self-hating house Jews? ”

    Is it not fair to infer that the term ‘self-hating house Jew’ is derogatory towards somebody on the basis of being Jewish? Does it not touch upon the anachronistic anti-Semitic trope of ‘court Jews’? Would that not constitute an anti-Semitic attitude if your own perspective is accurate? Is it not inevitable that a left-wing paper would prioritise left wing points of view?

    “Why do you not ban posters that have a track record of making antisemitic comments? This website is replete with examples.”
    = Irony, Jonathan. There’s missing a trick and then there’s lacking sense.

    “Why do you instead ban pro-Israel posters? In particular why was AKUS and Cityca banned?”

    You would have to ask them, but if they were honest they would probably own up. And there’s no need to be quite so pompous now, is there? If people are posting under pseudonyms to begin with then substitutes can be easily formed.

    “Have you ever asked yourself what makes the Guardian such a fertile ground for attracting antisemitic views?”

    It’s an international newspaper of high standing; it’s universally accessible, and has more credibilty than any other newspaper – for better or worse, incidentally. And this is beside the point of what actually constitutes anti-Semitism: your own definition is neither objective nor sincere, Jonathan.

    “Did you try taking our recent poll where posts from the neo-Nazi website Stormfront were largely indistinguishable from the comments posted regularly on the Guardian/CiF Israel/Palestine threads?”

    Perhaps the same users are capable of accessing more than one website? Perhaps the Stormfront users opinions on liberals and left-wingers are pertinant here?

    “here is what I wrote in the last hyperlinked post to Brian Whitaker”
    Citing yourself as an authority is hardly credible, Johnathan.

    “And while we’re at it, why didn’t Elisabeth Ribbans, managing editor of the Guardian, respond to Dennis MacEoin’s critique of Guardian editorial anti-Israel bias.”

    Maybe she doesn’t read CIFWatch? I think it’s her loss personally. It must leave her deprived of thoughtful talking points such as this. Personally, I enjoy few things more than spending time with my CIFWatch posse.

    “What do you think the other board members of the Guardian Media Group and the Scott Trust will say when they discover the depth of antisemitism on the pages of the Guardian? […] And what do you think your advertisers will say when they too discover that many a guardianista harbors deeply antisemitic views?”

    Advertisers are interested in making money; whatever else may go on in the world is likely to leave them unmoved.

    “Last but not least do you not think that CiF Watch readers and more generally the Jewish community is owed an explanation as to what steps you intend to take to clean up your act or will you continue to stick your head in the sand just like Georgina Henry, Matt Seaton and Brian Whitaker do.”

    How are you owed anything, Jonathan? How can you cite “the Jewish community” given your own acrimonious assessment of left-wing Jews? You can’t really have your cake and eat it now.

    Best wishes.

  36. Richard Hutton:

    You seem to be speaking as a representative of the Guardian.

    I have stated numerous times that I have no idea why I was “banned”, since the Guardian does not see fit to explain why.

    Here are links to two of my several assumptions:

    http://cifwatch.com/2010/01/13/who-gets-banned-on-comment-is-free/

    This happened instantly while commenting on the article Why a boycott of Israel is wrong by Rivka Carmi, which she wrote in response to Neve Gordon’s heavily criticized article proposing a boycott of Israel (excluding, of course, a boycott of himself and his articles for the Guardian). Rivka Carmi is the president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel, where Neve, for lack of a better word, teaches.

    Those “banned” are never informed as to the reason for their banning, so I have to try to recall the events as best as I can. I was at work at the time, absolutely appalled by the cyber-mobbing attack on Ms Carmi orchestrated by the anti-Israeli crowd on the thread following her article. At work I was unable to keep a record of my comments, which were all deleted (as were, later, some of the most offensive that I was complaining about). However, I was banned after writing my third (now deleted) or fourth or other (now “disappeared”) comment that was something to the effect of:

    “The words of the mob attacking Ms Carmi are reminiscent of the cries of the crowds baying for blood around the guillotine in Paris”.

    If you doubt the truth of my comment, take a look through the comments that remain on the thread. Roughly speaking, 90% include attacks on Israel and attacks on Ms Carmi and her opinions, in a manner that would not be tolerated for an instant if the author was one of the Guardian’s stable of Israel-bashing writers. The deletions of comments are so extensive one must assume they were removed because they were supportive of her and opposed to the attacks launched on Israel – or, perhaps, as vile as I pointed out. In addition, the excessively large number of recommendations approving the comments critical of Israel and Ms Carmi give you an idea of what the thread was like before being cleaned up.

    But be that as it may – which is the comment that should result in banning?

    “The words of the mob attacking Ms Carmi are reminiscent of the crowds baying for blood around the guillotine in Paris”.

    Or:

    “Sadly, there’s only one way to deal with these religiously motivated maniacs who think their superstitious beliefs trump international law. 1. We ask them to leave their squats, kindly. 2. If they don’t, we force them to [leave] at gunpoint. 3. If they still refuse, they must be slaughtered, every last man woman and child.”

    http://cifwatch.com/2009/09/03/combating-biased-moderation-how-to-save-posts-before-deletion/

    Ariadne – yes, I’m afraid my oppostion to the howling lynch mob calling for Rivka Carmi’s head was more than the Guardian could tolerate. Possibly my reference to the mob as reminiscent of crowds gathered by the guillotine did the trick, and for a while I’ll have to sit things out.

    Not a bad thing altogether – the increase in anti-Israeli invective, anti-Semitic comments thinly masked as pleas for academic freedom, endless postings of faked “quotes” attributed to Ben Gurion and others, etc. were taking up more time than I can afford in efforts to refute them

    That thread was the worst I have seen since Freedman accused the parents of the just murdered Habad Rabbi in Mumbai of being Rottweilers, which, I thing, set the bottom of the pit for CIF, though the comments on the Carmi thread come close.

  37. Richard Hutton

    By the way – “self-hating Jew” and “court Jew” are never, in my experience, used by anti-Semites – it would defeat the purpose they have in mind which is making use of these useful idiots by claiming that “as-a-Jew” their anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist, and often anti-Jewish opinion must have a special authenticity.

    The Guardian uses them all the time.

  38. This is the Guardian you’re moaning about. It’s a national newspaper. They’re not generally known for unbiased reporting and fair comment. Stoking controversy is what they’re all about. You’ll be waiting a very long time to find a newspaper that is completely honest, fair and accurate about anything ever. I wouldn’t really worry about what they do, the web has levelled the playing field and you can have your say and right of reply just as easily as anyone else.