The Guardian’s New Israel Line-Up

A guest post by AKUS

For better or for worse, CiFWatch is achieving its mission in forcing change at the Guardian through informed criticism and satirical commentary over the last year or so.  There is a new line-up of writers and the viciously anti-Israeli amateur “as-a-Jews” seem to have been given their marching orders. Very few of the columns written by the new set of authors appear on CiF. Perhaps the message finally got through, with the disappearance of Georgina Henry and Matt Seaton, that the endless denial of Israel’s legitimacy accompanied with anti-Semitic commentary and nauseating attacks on Israel has added little value and caused a great deal of damage to the Guardian’s reputation no matter how many mouse clicks the faithful generated for them

As a kind of score-keeping device, and using some recent columns as my source, it appears that the editorial staff has divided the workload as follows:

Political matters:

Ana Carbajosa in Jerusalem – generally writes in Spanish for  El País (Spain). Articles:

Israel’s cabinet split over fresh building freeze despite US offer of military aid

Chilean miners accept Israeli invitation – if their relatives can go too

Flotilla matters:

Owen Bowcott – Owen Bowcott is a senior reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly the Guardian’s Ireland correspondent and also worked on the foreign news desk. Articles:

Gaza aid team trapped on Greek boat

Gaza aid convoy Britons held on Greek captain’s ship

Religious matters:

Jill Hamilton – The Duchess of Hamilton has an MA in Near and Middle East Studies from SOAS at the University of London. For the past five years – while completing her PhD on Patriarchy, the Dark Side of Legal Pluralism – she lived partly in the Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. She writes for the Catholic Herald and has written numerous books including God, Guns and Israel (History Press) now in its third edition. Articles:

Pilgrims fill Jerusalem’s streets

An end to Bethlehem’s unholy row

Crazy Stalinist Opinions:

Seumas Milne – Seumas Milne is a Guardian columnist and associate editor. He was the Guardian’s comment editor from 2001-7 after working for the paper as a general reporter and labour editor. He has reported for the Guardian from the Middle East, eastern Europe, Russia, south Asia and Latin America. Articles:

The Palestinians of Israel are poised to take centre stage

West Bank and Gaza:

Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem: Largely banished from reporting inside Israel. Articles:

Israeli plan to build hundreds of homes in West Bank settlement risks US anger

UN in Gaza orders weapons to protect its head

Israeli army chief’s letter on military conduct to be read to every soldier

Battery hens’ reality on Israeli farm exposed by hidden webcam

Putting a negative spin on Israel using Israeli literature

Jonathan Freedland – Jonathan Freedland writes a weekly column for The Guardian. He is also a regular contributor to The New York Times and The New York Review of Books, and presents BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series, The Long View. Articles:

My family, the enemy

David Grossman: ‘Israel is a lofty idea, and it’s worth fighting for’

Pure hatred section:

The “Letters” page has been handed over to the anti-Israeli brigade – frequent “contributors” such as Tony Greenstein, Ken Loach, and the rest of the IJV, PSC XYZ we-hate-Israel alphabet soup brigade getting letters published there when they cannot get columns of CiF, or even, in Greenstein’s case, are banned from commenting there.

Of course, this still means that Israel gets more coverage than any other country in the world except the USA and Europe at the Guardian.

For the time being, largely gone are Seth Freedman, Rachel Shabi, Ben White, Tony Lerman – the motley crew that, day in and day out, used CiF as their platform to attack Israel’s legitimacy and Israel’s very right to exist in the language of 1930’s Nazi columnists (and allegations that Israel exhibits Nazi-like behavior and practices apartheid) with creatively made-up “facts” and historical distortions. We’ll have to wait if the new approach really is fairer to Israel or if the loss of mouse clicks will encourage a return to the bad old ways. In the meantime, we still need to get them to clean up the “Letters” page.

20 replies »

  1. Seth freedman,Rachel Shabi,Ben White,Tony Lerman,could come in handy on Yom Kippur,as Kapparot.Especially Ben White.

  2. I have no doubt that the odious Henry Siegman will reappear in the Guardian. He is the Guardian’s favorite Jew. He trumpets himself as the only Jew with a conscience. His financial ties to the Arab world are never mentioned, although a simple google search would uncover them. Siegman gives cover to outright antisemitism and he seems glad to do so. When Siegman dissapears from the Guardian, I will know that there is a God above looking down on all of us.

  3. I’ve said before that shedding White, Lerman and Silverstein would be a step in the right direction for CiF.

    Whatever happened to Petra MB?

  4. For better or for worse, CiFWatch is achieving its mission in forcing change at the Guardian through informed criticism and satirical commentary over the last year or so.

    CiFWatch has forced change at the Guardian??? Hmmm …

  5. I agree with Haig Hanasian about Henry Siegman. Siegman has been the Guardian “go to guy” when the Guardian needs a prominent Jewish name to belittle Israel. Tony Lerman and Seth Freedman are considered useful but still small fry at the Guardian. Henry Siegman is a much bigger name and he moves through the salons of Europe’s Left much easier than do Freedman or Lerman. The only figure comparable to Siegman who can do the Guardian’s bidding is Richard Goldstone. Goldstone has been used to the point of saturation already. He has been given the editorial pages of the Guardian and the New York Times and has taken to the BBC airwaves so many times that his shelf life may be over. But in Henry Siegman, he can used sporadically but in the most opportune times. Siegman mentions in every antiIsrael column that he is, of course, Jewish but that has nothing to do with his “objective” findings. Siegman never mentions, nor do his editors, that Siegman has cultivated deep financial ties to the Arab world. That information is readily available to anyone who cares to look, which the Guardian does not.

  6. ‘Kapparot (Hebrew: כפרות‎, Ashkenazi pronunciation, Kapparos) is a controversial Jewish ritual practiced by some Jews on the eve of Yom Kippur. The person swings a live chicken or a bundle of coins over one’s head three times, symbolically transferring one’s sins to the chicken or coins. The chicken is then slaughtered and donated to the poor for consumption at the pre-fast meal’

    Thank you for augmenting my knowledge of the language and practices of CiF Watch contributors

  7. Richard Tebboth

    Presumably you also didn’t know that Kapparot is an example used by antisemites to show how “different” (and ridiculous) Jews – i.e. all Jews are.

    Note that the definition you quote says “some” Jews.

    Perhaps you can identify the CW contributors who belong to the Neturei Karta sect.

  8. Tebboth fantasizing as usual. Didn’t notice ”some Jews”? Decided it meant :cifwatch contributors?”

    Get your head read.

  9. People, I see that Richard Tebboth is being his usual hate-filled self and an idiot to boot. Typical antisemite who takes a little knowledge, generalises from it and tries to sound clever.

    He fails

  10. Hmmm. Christians drink Christ’s blood, Hindus bow to statues with multiple arms, and Shia (including small children) cut themselves until dripping with blood.

    But Tebboth fixates upon an obsolete practise present only in a tiny minority within the Jewish minority. We always knew those with anti-Israeli fixations would reveal themselves as anti-Semites.

  11. Socialist Realist – I wouldn’t want him to get more hits but have you seen Tebboth’s web page? I went there. Once. Fixated is the word.

  12. Well observed Akus.

    I wonder when the Guardian pages last got such a thorough overhauling. It does seem very much as though the response is to the too close observation of cifwatch and its cadre of writers. The cifwatch articles about Israel that used to appear daily, often several at a time, have now dwindled to a few a week and you sometimes read a Judeophobe (or antisemite in plain language) lamenting the few opportunities he has to express his passion.

  13. Don’t be too sure that the mix has changed for good. Though the departure of the odious Henry woman is good news, it’s early days yet.

    But assuming the incessant flow of propaganda and demonization has in fact slowed, I doubt CIFWatch can take all the credit – and they probably wouldn’t want to. CIFWatch does a fantastic job of exposing the bigots, both authors and posters, but kudos also to the Community Security Trust who have also got the Guardian on their radar.

  14. Am I alone in checking up to find that the Guardian Online has neither reported nor commented on the latest CST Report naming it as a major catalyst for antisemitism in the UK?

  15. Richard Tebboth,next Yom Kippur I will give the chicken a miss,I will use you instead for Kapparot.

    Richard do you understand what that means,you will inherit all of my sins, and all of my mistakes,all of my misdoings,you will also inherit my loathing for the Guardian.

    Richard Enjoy

  16. benorr, he’s a fine example of the antisemite. One dip into a website. Something looks funny about Jews. Where does he go to understand further? Into his own bigotry! Then he attaches the funny thing to CW.

    If only they could think. Research. There’s no humility there at all. And no reason outside themselves.

  17. Ad hominem abuse as usual

    May I remind you that it was the anonymouse ‘benorr’ who first raised the Kapparot issue.

    As this was not in my vovabulary I found the quotation on Wikipaedia. If you have problems with its wording it is open to you to amend it.

    Bigotry, ignorance, sins etc..
    I am still studying the Wannsee conference and trying to understand how a civilised nation could be so corrupted into irrationalism.

  18. I am still studying the Wannsee conference and trying to understand how a civilised nation could be so corrupted into irrationalism.

    Good. The Nazi Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is worth researching too.