Guardian

Bapthorpe has been banned…finally


It appears that the Guardian has finally banned William Bapthorpe, the infamous commenter that publicly advocated the slaughter of Jews.  If you click here, you’ll see all his comments have been deleted.

I wonder why it took so long to do the decent thing and ban him? Well better late than never Matt.

While your at it though, how about Banning the Ant for Holocaust denial or is he/she too in your circle of trust?

38 replies »

  1. I suspect that the outcry against al-Grauniad and CiF reached such proportions and the incident was in so many other outlets that Matt Seaton could do nothing else.

    It’s good that he’s been despatched but there are many others like him.

  2. No great loss – but is it really necessary to phrase it in a way that implies that WB wants all Jews on the planet dead?

  3. Pretzelberg – I reread what had been said at the top of the page. It clearly said he advocated the slaughter of Jews. I am not sure why you think that means all Jews. I agree with you that he is no great loss but wonder why the Granudiad held onto him for so long

  4. pretzel, has it ever occurred to you that, having phrased his death wish for the settlers on the West Bank in terms of their Jewishness, having got his wish Bapthorpe might not want to stop there?

    The very fact that he referred to them as Jews rather than (as he believes) illegal settler people gives an indication of his Jew-hatred, which does tend to be all-consuming in the hater.

    I believe I understand what you are driving at, but can’t you see how it comes across – how it came across from you originally? None of us know you personally, so we have to rely on what you write here, which means that you have to make yourself crystal clear and spell things out!

    Now I don’t believe that you agree with Bapthorpe, nor do you want to see Jews murdered, and you take antisemitism seriously, but it is more than a tad naive and nitpicky of you, isn’t it, to try to encourage us to take Bapthorpe’s nastiness less seriously by assuming that he would want only West Bank Jews killed?

    I don’t want a long drawn out discussion with you about this either pretzel. I have read your point of view, you now have mine.

  5. Margie,

    (a) LaHenry doesn’t want to be seen to be giving in to a rival blog, or

    (b) Bapthorpe is either on the Guardian staff, along the lines of BellaM, or is related to a CiF staff member, or

    (c) Bapthorpe is a “special friend” of CiF.

    I honestly don’t believe that the coven expected there to be such a furore, either, so used are they to their ignorance about what constitutes antisemitic hate speech there. I seem to remember that Seaton et al were offered some sensitivity training about antisemitism but turned it down.

    That says it all, really.

  6. In a way I didn’t want him banned. WB’s comments showed the world the kind of bugs that found home at Cif. He was a useful idot that lay exposed Cif’s agenda.

  7. pretzel:

    Here’s one way to think about the Bapthorpe comment.

    Instead of wondering if he was calling for the murder just of Jews on the WB, or all Jews, think about where his kind of comment leads.

    So, for example, on a column praising Miep Gies, we had what I consider an incredible comment, redolent of ignorance or bias or both:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/jan/27/holocaust

    KeithSimmonds

    27 Jan 2010, 10:13AM

    no-one seems to know why the holocaust happened really.

    That exhibits phenomenal ignorance about the long history of institutionalized anti-Semitism in German that Hitler was able to tap into (you may find Amos Elon’s book about the story of Germany Jewry very interesting – “The pity of it All”) specially following the situation in Germany after WW I, the rise of Communism, there, the accusations against Jews of both being bankers controlling world capitalism and Communists determined to destroy world capitalism (cognitive dissonance so often associated with racism), and the famous Evian Conference (think of that next time you open a bottle of pure Evian water) where every country, to the delight of the Nazis, refused to take more than a few Jews from Germany.

    The reason that the Holocaust could happen (really!!) was that the ground had been laid for a long time by comments and attitudes like Bapthorpe’s, culminating, of course, in the mass verbal attacks and then physical attacks by Hitler and his group. Words lead to actions (not just against Jews, of course) and the delicate differences between calling for the murder of just some Jews vs calling for the murder of all Jews is easily lost.

  8. Hawkeye

    I don’t believe without the pressure from this site that Bapthorpe would have been banned. He was begrudgingly banned by the Guardian.

  9. AKUS,

    Instead of wondering if he was calling for the murder just of Jews on the WB, or all Jews, think about where his kind of comment leads.

    That seems a reasonable assessment.

    On the one hand, the comment was clearly driven by anger with the settlers, but on the other, once you’ve called for the murder of one group of people, then you’ve crossed the rubicon, and calling for the murder of other groups becomes but a small step.

  10. @ Serendipity / Margie

    Fair enough. I just found the phrasing OTT. Why not say “advocated the slaughter of West Bank Jews”?
    But I don’t want to get into a lengthy discussion on this either or make a big deal of it.

    @ AKUS

    KeithSimmonds? Oh jeez.
    Although to be honest, he also seems a bit of a simpleton.

    First this re. Zuroff’s “the Holocaust was not an unavoidable natural disaster” …
    “i agree with this but like a natural disaster no one seemed able to prevent it and no one seems to know why it happened.”

    i.e. contradicting himself.
    He then later appers to have had yet another change of mind …

    “im fully of the opinion that it could have been stopped.”

    And just look at the stuff he’s been coming up with on the Cesarini thread:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/29/chilcot-inquiry-oliver-miles?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

  11. Pretzelberg. This is precisely what he said, ‘they must be slaughtered, every man, woman and child’
    Why are you protecting him?

  12. I wonder if they are just removing the evidence?

    So their actions may not be as noble as they seem.

  13. At least he seems to support the 2-state solution.
    – Live Jew state and dead Jew state – or –
    – Final solution state and temporary solution state.

  14. I doubt that CiF is capable of being noble, even to its pet causes, without getting something out of it. I am inclined to agree with you, modernity, that it is removing the evidence.

    AKUS – “…The reason that the Holocaust could happen (really!!) was that the ground had been laid for a long time by comments and attitudes like Bapthorpe’s, culminating, of course, in the mass verbal attacks and then physical attacks by Hitler and his group…”

    You have hit the nail on the head. The challenged below (and some above) the line on CiF are so used to this kind of antisemitic discourse that it no longer registers.

  15. @ Margie

    I am not protecting him.
    My point has more to do with what I consider OTT phrasing and formulation on this website. But I suppose that’s something we’ll just have to agree to disgree on.

  16. How long would a comment last and how much support would it get if somebody wrote:
    The Arabs must leave Judea and Samaria, and if they refuse to leave peacefully then they must be killed, every man, woman and child.

    How long would the post last and how much time would it take to ban the poster?

    How about if this Type of comment was posted daily, only without mention of killing, but a daily dose of Arabs must leave Judea and Samaria.

    How long would the posts last?

  17. AKUS

    Agreed. The drip drip of accumulating bile cannot be ignored.

    Anybody who grew up in the latter part of the 20th. century must be aware of this. How can they fail to be – unless it suits a personal agenda?
    Instances of mass murder resulting from racist/tribal hatred or religious bigotry are too numerous – from the Holocaust through Rwanda and many more.

    I posted link on the comment thread to the Shepherd/Whittle case. The judges ruling that although their site is US registered prosecution here was right as most of the material on the site was generated in UK will intensify the debate.

    Different countries have different laws – hate speech is ‘allowable’ in many instances . Many use the distinction between free speech and incitement to protect racist haters.

    Leni

  18. Pretz.

    I think that CIFWatch is a reaction to CI(F). It certainly ‘chimes’ with my opinion of CI(F). Almost down to a T.

    If some of the comments on this site are a teeny weeny bit OTT, this is because the obsessive demonisation of Israel/Jews by the present Guardian management led by Rustbucket, is so disgusting, vile and deplorable. They are trying desperately to generate a perception in the minds of uninformed people that Israel is a racist zealot controlled rogue state with the intention of destroying the one Western Liberal Democracy in the Middle East. (Albeit – far from a perfect democracy)

    I give my full support to attempts by this site to bring to the attention of rational people the underlying evil of the nature of The Guardians endeavor.

  19. Let’s try it shall we?
    “They must be slaughtered, every man woman and child”

    Somebody we don’t like or approve of.

    hmm The Labour Party
    The BNP
    The British in Germany
    The Royal Family
    Hamas

    Any reactions?

  20. Margie

    I have seen numerous comments advocating the death of all Hamas members and their supporters.

    This is one of the many problems around trying to combat all racism – speak in defence of one group and you stand accused of supporting another. This is not always the case.

    Supporting the rights of Palestinians and their desire for a homeland in no way means you support the destruction of Israel or her people. It is often read as such.

    I oppose anti-semitism, anti-Muslimism , in fact I oppose any hatred launched at any group. Hatred is negaive, dangerous and in the end destroys the haters.

    There are those on either side of the I/P conflict who call for the destruction of one or the other – these people constitute the the extremist minority. It is not possible to put a hair between them – they are joined at the hip.

    Leni

  21. Pretzl do you really believe that that is a comparison? I wanted to show how amoral it is to call for the death of anyone but I see you don’t get it.

    Leni, I believe, knows my attitude to killing very well, indeed.

  22. Margie

    I do. I actually am aware that very few here advocate the killing of anyone – i was referring to extremist comments which appear across the board in many blogs.

    Leni x

  23. “That exhibits phenomenal ignorance about the long history of institutionalized anti-Semitism in German that Hitler was able to tap into”

    AKUS, that is just a silly criticism. Do you really expect the average person (Jew or Gentile) to be knowledgeable about the pre-war history of German anti-Semitism?

    The fact of the matter is that anti-Semitism in pre-war Germany was not unique in any way, and the anti-Semitism of eastern European countries was far more prevalent and vicious, with a greater tendency toward violence.

  24. One cheer for CIf. I doubt if they would have banned Bapthorpe without the exposure given to his hate-posts on this and other blogs.

    A small victory, and hopefully one that will keep them looking over their shoulders. But given the endemic and deep-rooted hostility of the Guardian to all things Israeli, and Cif’s long tradition of casual antisemitism there is still a long way to go.

  25. Hello Moishe

    Great thanks/ Still waiting for the party on the beach open to allcomers irrespective of – well anything. All humans welcome – dogs too.

    x

  26. Moishe – suppose you are right and many do not know the history of Germany at some high level (inflation, rise of Fascism, etc.) which is actually hard to believe given the coverage in documentaries and history lessons at school – then shouldn’t someone like KeithSimmonds either spend some time learning about it before commenting, or say nothing at all?

  27. AKUS,

    I disagree, I think you were right in the first place.

    If people are going to comment on these topics the very least they could do is educate themselves a bit.

    It isn’t terribly difficult, with plenty of material on the television, even a channel dedicated to history, which has plenty of coverage.

    I think the problem is that there are a lot of people who want to make arrogant and sweeping comments on these topics and yet have very little knowledge, education, sympathy or a sense of history.

    They probably wouldn’t hold forth on any other subject with such minimal understanding and lack of empathy.

  28. @ moishe / AKUS / modernity

    modernity:

    “If people are going to comment on these topics the very least they could do is educate themselves a bit.”

    In an ideal world, yes. I’m stilll not sure what to make of the ignorant KS.

    BTW: just yesterday I was watching a doc film about WWII, in which I learned that Bulgarian Jews (as the sole exception in E Europe) survived.
    Did you know that? I certainly didn’t.

    One factor is probably that it was never actually occupied. I hardly think this is evidence of the Bulgarians being angels (see their behaviour outside their own borders), but still …

  29. Pretzel – re Bulgarian Jews – yes – I did know that. It is fascinating and rather unexpected since we think of Bulgaria as backward Eastern Europe, not the enlightened Western Europe, where, of course, with the possible exception of Denmark, the Jews were packed off with the assistance of local fascists.. But before WWII, and Communism, Sophia was one of Europe’s great capitals – the Orient Express ran there – and we have tended to forget that given the disastrous period it went through after WW II.

  30. pretzelberg,

    Perhaps we should compile a reading list for you?

    And maybe Margie and Mitnaged could assist in other areas?

    I know it would be cumbersome (having watched the exchanges, etc), but Margie/Mitnaged might help you understand people a bit more, if you really made an effort to listen to them.

  31. Pretzelberg:
    Re Bulgarian Jews – the Bulgarian King and the army were anti-semitic. The Nazis carved up the Balkans and gave Macedonia to Bulgaria which put them under military rule, i.e. out of the reach of the Bulgarian parliament. The Nazis wanted the Bulgarians to ship their Jews to the concentration camps but parliament and other groups protested so strongly that the king and army had to back down. But these groups had no influence in occupied Macedonia and so the Macedonian Jews were shipped off to ther deaths with “the help of the local [Bulgarian] fascists”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_the_Republic_of_Macedonia
    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?ModuleId=10005355
    The conclusions is that overall the Bulgarians were no better and no worse than most Europeans.

  32. modernity, thanks for my part for the vote of confidence but no thanks. pretzelberg couldn’t afford me and the therapy could go on for years without any guarantee of success.

    AKUS, it seems to me, from some of the drivel written by certain posters on CiF and here and often in quick succession (which is a dead giveaway) that these people only want to hear themselves speak, or, in effect talk “at” people without any awareness of whether they are being understood or whether the person is even listening.

    Young children often say the first thing that pops into their heads and perhaps the same is true of so many posters to CiF. Others are, I believe, of a different type – they appear to say a lot and to be erudite but closer examination of what they write reveals that it is vacuous and devoid of serious content other than the one thing they batten onto.

    Such people also tend often to overpersonalise criticism of what they SAY as being criticism of THEM so they simply cannot let things lie and clang on and on about some tiny little point of what to them is principle, but is really rubbish, because they don’t want to “lose” the argument. They seem to be unaware of how they come across and the damage their behaviour does to their dignity.

  33. pretzelberg

    ” is it really necessary to phrase it in a way that implies that WB wants all Jews on the planet dead?”

    Good point .

    Margie

    , ‘they must be slaughtered, every man, woman and child’
    Why are you protecting him”

    Bagthorp said.. the settlers who would not move out of theirsettlements …it has been expanded out ..as only CIFwatch can do.. to make it.. “slaughter all Jews”. I have many times said this was stupid ,pro violence and an own goal ..but it is a paranoid nonsense to say he said ” Jews should be slaughtered. ”

    Yohoho

    “ignorance about what constitutes antisemitic hate speech there.”

    Who isnt ignorant ??? when it is the standard accusation to remarks about OTT IDF violence??… you walk on eggshells for fear of some outraged pro Isralei calling you anti Semitic.

    A disgusting, cheap and totally ignorant thing to call people.