The Guardian’s (Jewish) Anti-Israel Defamers: Hyperbole & Vitriol as “Progressive” Thought

This is a guest post by blogger DAPHNE ANSON

Daphna Baram, an anti-Zionist sabra based in the UK, has been for some time one of the Guardian’s small but eminently useful claque of Israel-delegitimising Jews.  CiF Watch readers may recall her piece for Comment is Free in February 2009 entitled “It’s time to rethink Zionism”, which contained such malicious phrases as “The desire for ethnic purity that drove out Palestinians and bars the way to democracy in Israel” and claimed that the results of the Israeli general election had “brought to the surface some of the most rotten fruits of a debate that has been going on throughout the state’s existence: the idea that a mono-ethnic Jewish state is feasible, legitimate and desirable”.  Okay. We know where she stands, then.

This week, Tuesday, 3 August, Comment is Free carried Ms Baram’s  highly tendentious and mischievous “Who will speak up for Israeli citizens’ right to free speech?”, subtitled “Liberal Israelis who dare to speak out against the treatment of Palestinians may soon be facing prosecution”. The operative word, of course, is the “may”, but that was entirely irrelevant to Ms Baram as she pressed home her propagandistic drivel, as well as to the Israel demonisers who infest Comment is Free; in their accustomed fashion they rushed to supplement Baram’s anti-Israel bile with the usual nonsense of their own.  And, inevitably, they were ready with jibes regarding “whataboutery”, which they aim at anyone who dares to mention that Islamic states such as Iran are the real enemies of democracy and freedom of speech, or who ask why they’re quick to denigrate Israel yet seldom if ever say one word about true human rights abuses in, for example, Darfur, Iran, Tibet, or Burma.  As we know only too well, CiF generally ignores the reality of oppression in such places because CiF’s meat and drink is focusing on supposed oppression in The Zionist Entity.

Ms Baram opened her onslaught with the risible claim that the top talking point in Israel today is Pastor Niemoller’s now rather hackneyed remark which begins “First they came for the Communists …”  No matter that the remark seems more applicable to somewhere like Iran or Taliban-run Afghanistan – we’re used to such hypocrisy from the Guardian’s anti-Zionist zealots.

Next, she made the demonstrably false assertion that “Naturally, a shrill self-righteous choir castigate those who seem to compare Israel to the Germany of 1933-1945. But actually nobody does.”  Really?   Is Baram wilfully blind?  Did she not see for herself the many obscene analogies drawn by the usual suspects regarding Israel’s anti-terrorist Operation Cast Lead and the Nazi liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto?  (She herself has not been above dragging in her Polish grandmother – and not in a nice way – into a propaganda piece she wrote elsewhere about Arab refugees.)

And then we come to the core of her onslaught – the insistence that certain proposed items of legislation tabled in the Knesset will be used to prosecute not only Israeli Arabs who refuse to swear  a mooted oath  of loyalty to the state but also to all those big-hearted  “pesky lefties” who propose boycotts of their own country.  “This spirit of xenophobia, and the hunt for traitors and backstabbers, naturally increases the already alarming levels of racism in Israel,” Baram tells us. “The demand for proof of loyalty is no longer confined to the Palestinian citizens, but directed at the Jewish ones, too. This new racism is widening its scope …. [T]he current atmosphere marks anybody who is not Jewish as a prospective enemy.”

Call me a neo-con – I’ll wear the label with as much pride as I do the Zionist tag – when I say that I would have thought that any state, anywhere in the world, would be duty-bound to prosecute citizens who actively undermine that state’s national security.  Proposing boycott and divestment against one’s own nation sounds somewhat treasonous to me.

Mercifully, some magnificent rejoinders (I suppose they can also be termed “pearls before swine”) to Baram’s Israel-defaming idiocies have not been removed by CiF moderators.  I especially like one by Peter Jackson:

“This article follows a familiar pattern on CiF, and the comments likewise. The author takes some quotes from extreme right-wing politicians and commentators in Israel, mixes them in with proposed extreme right-wing laws that will never be passed, and then suggests that these quotes and proposed laws represent the secret thoughts of all Israelis. The commentors then seem to assume that these laws have all been passed, and that professors like Neve Gordon are being rounded up in plain vans alongside all members of B’Tselem and Peace Now…. Can’t we wait until the Great Persecution of liberals actually starts before slagging it off?”

And there is this from FergusQuadro:

‘Talking of racism, I suppose you missed the statement by Abbas this week Ms Baram because for some reason it didn’t appear in the Guardian or the UK press where Mahmoud Abbas said:  “I’m willing to agree to a third-party that would supervise the agreement, such as NATO forces, but I would not agree to having Jews among the NATO forces, or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land.”

As well as this, from Geoffrey Alderman:

“It is worth bearing in mind that Israel is at war and that in war even a liberal democracy is permitted…to curtail civil rights. For instance, during WWII habeas corpus was suspended in the UK and people considered a danger to the state were imprisoned without trial (including one sitting Member of Parliament).”

The MP referred to by Professor Alderman was the pro-Nazi A. M. Ramsay, who shortly after war was declared in September 1939 wrote a poem based on “Land of Hope and Glory” entitled “Land of Dope and Jewry”.  Also among those arrested was Oswald Mosley, as well as Admiral Barry Domvile, who would later peddle the fantasy that, between them, Jews and Freemasons control the destinies of the world.  Pure rubbish, of course, but a conspiracy theory with a long history.  It appears in The Book of the Kahal by an apostate Jew in nineteenth-century Tsarist Russia called Jacob Brafman, whose work undoubtedly influenced  the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  That’s why my alternate term for “Theobald Jew”, which I first encountered on CiF Watch, is “Brafman Jew”.  It’s equally apt, don’t you think?

14 replies »

  1. Duvidl might stick with “Theobald Jew”, because it encapsulates the fact that the Jewish people is an ancient people and has always (well, at least since 1144 and probably since the Bible) had these revolting treason-mongers, as have other peoples.

    Here is Hawkeye’s superb concise explanation of the term from the archives. “According to the Benedictine monk Thomas of Monmouth in his The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich (1173), it was an apostate Jew, a certain Theobald, who, swore that Jews had killed twelve-year old William, a tanner’s apprentice, to fulfill their “Passover blood ritual” in the fateful year of 1144—the first recorded such episode in a long line of murderous defamations.”

    Also, let us not forget the present-day blood libel peddlers not of the Jewish faith, viz: the Guardian’s “blue baby” Victoria Brittain and “Haitan disaster victim organ harvester” Jenny Tonge.

  2. Apologies. Duvidl was speaking in his Duvidl persona, not as Ethylene’s mum from a previous post.

  3. You mean you have multiple personas! I’m shocked!
    What should we call the non-Jewish blood libel pedlars?
    Something [substitute an appropriate word] Tonges?

  4. Duvidl once etta bagel on the Hong Kong islet of Peng Chao and also many a bagel in Tokyo, although it was in one of his other multiple personas. As to Tonge, Yvetta should know that Duvidl has already given her the soubriquet “Poison Tongue”. Here is a song by Duvidl, from the archives:

    Poison Tongue (to the tune of “Robin Hood, Riding through the Glen”)
    (Hat tip: Carl Sigman from “The Adventures of Robin Hood” TV series 1955-60)

    Jenny Tongue, Poison Tongue, shvitzing in the Lords,
    Lib-dem joke, Tongue will croak slime, bile and eat its words.
    Feared by Nick Clegg; a Tongue-lash he’ll beg
    From Poison Tongue; up his bum; yum-yum-yum.

    (trumpet riff solo with coconut shell hoof percussion and whoopee cushion)

    Poison Tongue licks the crumb from the terrorists’ table.
    Scalds the lips of Lib-dem schnips.
    She’s no Betty Grable.
    Loves Jeremy Thorpe; at them we’ll gawp.
    Poison Tongue; takes a bung; upstairs slung.

    (trumpet riff solo + coconut shell cracking sound effect)
    DS Al Coda

  5. “Daphna Baram, an anti-Zionist sabra based in the UK, has been for some time one of the Guardian’s small but eminently useful claque of Israel-delegitimising Jews. ”

    What is also significant with these “as-a-Jews”, and specially the “as-an-Israeli” type is that the Guardian is quite skillful at employing those with a a personal agenda that they are working out on its web-site/ For example, we have exposed the source of Tony Lerman’s animus towards the British Jewish community due to his record at IJPR, Shabi’s due to her parent’s background as unsuccessfully immigrants to Israel when they fled Iraq.

    I once did some research into Dafna Baram, since the last name is immediately recognizable to Israelis. She comes from the extremely well-connected Baram family which played a major role in the establishment of the state of Israel and is the granddaughter of the famous (in Israel) Moshe Baram (minister in various cabinets) and cousin of Uzi Baram, one-time Minister of Tourism.

    I believe she is working out some family issues by attacking the state that her family was so instrumental in helping create.

    Oddly, or perhaps not, you can find a good bio on this Palestinian website:

    She is a daughter of Haim Baram. In the 1950s, her grandfather, Moshe Baram (1911-1986), was head of the Jerusalem Workers’ Council; he also served as a cabinet minister in Yitzhak Rabin’s first government.

    See this October 2004 debate in the Oxford Union where, with Avi Shlaim, she supported the proposition that “American Foreign Policy is the greatest threat to Israel’s security” against Greville Janner (Lord Janner) and Benny Morris.

    Compare that with the Guardian’s bland bio, designed to hide the real connections here:

    “Daphna Baram is a freelance writer and journalist. Her features and articles have appeared in the Guardian, New Statesman, Independent, Jewish Quarterly, Ha’aretz and Yediot”.

    Or perhaps – just another Israeli working out her personal issues by trying to destroy the state that grandpa Moshe helped to build.

  6. The Guardian is a newspaper . It has people who write for it . They write articles…set the suduko , make up crossword puzzles and tell us how much Celtic lost by:(

    It is an inanimate object. The CIFWatch narrative is that there is a controlling mindset…an overarching theme …hatred of Israel ..hatred of decency…love of sandals…this is nonsense …the Guardian staff are all individuals…yes …they are individuals..:)
    I thought people might be interested in this description of the Guardian. It’s a dear sweet old newspaper without a grain of animus in its corporate heart, caring for its readers with crosswords, Suduko, soup recipes in cold weather and fostering an attitude of searing hatred towards Israel.

    All true of course.

    What fascinates is the description of ”Cifwatch” as having a narrative as if it were, indeed, a person.

  7. Brilliant contribution to the lyrical art, Duvidl Crockett!

  8. I was present at the debate in the Cambridge Union some years ago, at the debate entitled “This House believes Zionism is a danger to the Jewish people”.
    The proposers were all Jews, and Baram was one of the speakers.
    It is hard to convey to those not there the degree of vitriol and sheer hatred pouring from the mouth of Baram.
    This was not a participant to reasoned debate, rather someone with a paranoid obsession to do and say whatever she could to harm Israel.
    For her, truth was a dispensable commodity.
    She obviously has problems—- she needs a good shrink.

  9. Or a good something else.
    She has vowed never to have children. So at least she won’t be replicated.

  10. Pretzelberg

    “Quite why she had to open her piece with the Niemöller quote is beyond me”.

    A) The cliche about as dar as her limited IQ streteches

    B) She wanted to get the Israel-Nazi Germany ball rolling (and she did – not a few commented approvingly)

  11. Daphna Baram should also be aware of all those antisemitic websites with Israeli flags on, the Magen David replaced by the swastika, etc.
    I can’t believe she hasn’t seen them.