General Antisemitism

Conal Urquhart quotes Ben White as a source in Guardian’s second whitewash of anti-Semitic preacher


Earlier, we cross posted Elder’s piece on the Guardian white wash of the anti-Semitic Islamist preacher,  Raed Salah (the leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel who spent two years in jail after confessing to funding Hamas) which noted that 6 of the 13 paragraphs of the piece (on Salah’s recent arrest in the UK) was devoted towards defending the radical preacher, and not one fact, from easily available evidence with anyone who has access to Google, of the grotesquely anti-Semitic sermons he’s given – including a 2007 speech where he reportedly accused Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread.

Not content with that blatantly misleading article, by Alan Travis, the Guardian provided Conal Urquhart an opportunity to pen an even more ideologically driven apologia for Salah, who quoted one of the most obsessively anti-Israel activists in UK, Ben White, as a source for story – describing the author of the book “Israel Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide” merely as “a writer and activist.” Urquhart quotes White as saying:

“The same government that sent police to arrest a Palestinian civil society leader from his hotel bedroom is changing UK legislation explicitly to facilitate the entry of accused Israeli war criminals,”

Salah, the “Palestinian civil society leader” who White contrasts favorable with Israel’s democratic leaders, said the following in 2007 which led to his arrest for incitement:

“We have never allowed ourselves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children’s blood…Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy bread.”

Salah also referred to Osama Bin Laden as a martyr and, according to The JC, Salah called Jews “butchers of pregnant women and babies”, and said “the Creator meant for [Jews] to be monkeys and losers.”

Of course, White, who has expressed sympathy for those who are anti-Semitic, would naturally view Salah with sympathy, and it’s only natural that Urquhart would quote him as a reliable source.

Urquhart’s journalistic malfeasance, however, hits a crescendo when, from the second to the last paragraph, he characterizes the hate preacher merely as someone “is despised by Israel’s right-wing.”

Evidently, you have to be on the “right-wing” to morally object to a vile bigot who advances the most crude and odious anti-Semitic narratives.  It’s as if, for activists at the Guardian like Urquhart, mouthing support for the rights of Palestinians automatically inoculates you from charges of racism.

Pro-Palestinian activism by Guardian reporters is so uncontroversial that they largely don’t even attempt to hide their political sympathies.

While of course not all anti-Israel bias is informed by hatred of Jews, it is beyond doubt that the institutional bias against Israel at the Guardian is often informed by a willingness to turn a blind eye to clear and unmistakable evidence of even the most explicit anti-Semitism.

57 replies »

  1. “While of course not all anti-Israel bias is informed by hatred of Jews,”

    Not anti-Semitic perhaps in their intent but most assuredly in their effect.

    Yes, this line was borrowed from Lawrence Summers.

  2. While the CiF commissioning editors seem to have realized that Ben White is raving loony, that message has yet to get through to the G’s reporters. I came across that article a couple of hours ago and was appalled to see the man being quoted as some kind of credible expert.

    • Urqhart originally asked White to contact him, presumably for his link to the meeting, on Twitter:

      @conalu
      Conal Urquhart
      @benabyad Hi Ben. Can I call you re Salah for the Guardian

      benabyad Ben White
      @
      @conalu drop me quick email ben@benwhite.org.uk & will pick up from there

      http://twitter.com/#!/benabyad

      Ben White was dreadfully keen to get Benny Morris banned from Cambridge for his racism. And he tried to ask him about his racist or dodgy pronouncements at LSE (not very successfully: he couldn’t actually formulate a question: http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/benny-morris-fends-of-allegations-of-racism-at-lse/#comment-8406).

      But was White half so keen to challenge Salah about his racism as he was Morris?

      And isn’t this a classic case of whataboutery, the very thing he routinely accuses ‘Zionists’ of?

      • Could you post a link or two to any racism expressed on the part of Benny Morris. Can’t say that I agree with all of his views but racist?

      • About that “benabyad”- abyad is “white” in Arabic. Ben White identifies with the Arabs so much that he even translates his name into Arabic and the Guardian asks for his opinions on I/P?

    • It also adds to White’s track record of not being very good at spotting antisemitism or antisemites, despite his rejoicing at the closure of YIISA.

  3. Evidently, you have to be on the “right-wing” to morally object to a vile bigot who advances the most crude and odious anti-Semitic narratives.

    Good point, Adam – about a rather preposterous one made by Conal Urquhart.

    • And certain people are opposed to both this and my previous post for what reason exactly?

  4. “…despised by Israel’s right-wing”???

    How about – “despised by anyone who isn’t on their knees, wearing a tin-foil hat and praying to Little St Hugh of Lincoln to protect them from the scary organ-stealing untermenschen”?

    What the f*** next? “The Anti-Dreyfusards – Brave Progressive Vanguard standing up against the juggernaut of Imperialist Zionist Hasbara”?

  5. Must admit, articles on Israel are rather thin on the ground of late at cif. Guess they’re holding back for the flood that’ll no doubt follow during and after the flotilla thingy.

  6. Well, it goes to show, yet again, that the codified and blatant anti-Semitism of the Islamist movement is so normal and unremarkable to the European mindset, that it is not even worthy of a mention – let alone condemnation – by those who march under the banner of progress and humanity.

    • the codified and blatant anti-Semitism of the Islamist movement is so normal and unremarkable to the European mindset

      That is complete and utter bigoted bullshit – as well as being offensive.

      • No it isn’t.

        Since when is it bigoted to call out Islamist antisemitism?

        To folk other than you, I mean.

        • Can you not understand that such blanket statements about “the European mindset” are offensive?

  7. Pretzelberg, and anyone else who’s interested:

    White is a “credible expert” only insofar as he emotes about Israel on exactly the same wavelength as the Guardian and shares the same anti-Israel obsessions and distortions, attributes the same to Israel as the Groan does, &c &c. If he’s ever cured of his anti-Israel animus, or writes thoughtfully rather than bangs on about his anti-Israel obsession, then he’ll be dropped by ALL his like-“minded” associates.

    But I doubt he’s capable of that.

  8. http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=191782

    Have you heard the term “Playing on a level football pitch ?” Where’s the difference here ? Anti Semitic sermon’s and Anti Gentile Sermon’s .. Don’t tell me non-Semitic Jews who cry antisemitism are more important than Gentiles .. According to the Talmud that is the case so who’s the real hater here ?? No-one as they are equal !!

    • Would yo be so kind to explain the meaning of “non-Semitic Jews”?
      Rabbi Ovadia maybe the well known Nordic Jew?
      You must be from the Shas party if you think that the word of the Rav is the word of the Talmud…

      • You can’t regard Ashkenazi/Khazar/Atheist Zionists as Semitic .

        I was about to bother to comment on the term “Semitic” – until you brought up the Khazars.

      • Actually before the creation of the Zionist state of Israel Jews and Arabs lived in peace for centuries !!

        Peace, as in Hebron 1929 ?

        • Sabra and Shatilla – sorry – that was committed by morally superior Christians like you. In fact if you read anything about the Lebanese war you would know that Israelis considered the Lebanese Christians to be the most cruel and vicious of all of the factions. Which is not surprising to anyone who is familiar with your Christian mentality – like European Jews, who have a thousand years experience. You call Sabra-Shatilla massacre ? You European Christians can give your Lebanese brothers a good lesson in massacres. Reminds me of an article in Slate where the author asked if “European Civilization” is an oxymoron.

          You make the regular mental morons and midgets on this site look like rank amateurs.

          • Which is not surprising to anyone who is familiar with your Christian mentality

            Steady on, mate.

    • Don’t tell me non-Semitic Jews who cry antisemitism are more important than Gentiles

      ????

    • aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrgh! The rogue apostrophe! The last vestige of a murderer of English grammar!!!!

  9. Urqhart originally asked White to contact him on Twitter:

    @conalu
    Conal Urquhart
    @benabyad Hi Ben. Can I call you re Salah for the Guardian

    benabyad Ben White
    @
    @conalu drop me quick email ben@benwhite.org.uk & will pick up from there

    http://twitter.com/#!/benabyad

    Ben White was dreadfully keen to get Benny Morris banned from Cambridge for his racism. And he tried to ask him about his racist or dodgy pronouncements at LSE (not very successfully: he couldn’t actually formulate a question: http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/benny-morris-fends-of-allegations-of-racism-at-lse/#comment-8406).

    But was White half so keen to challenge Salah about his racism as he was Morris?

    And isn’t this a classic case of whataboutery, the very thing he routinely accuses ‘Zionists’ of?

    • But was White half so keen to challenge Salah about his racism as he was Morris?

      Exactly. White was so outspoken in his efforts to get Morris disinvited – but as far as I know has remained silent re. the various anti-Israel (and worse) hate preachers on UK campuses.

  10. Pretzel, you don’t know much about European culture and its relationship with Judaism, if you find it offensive when someone points out the inherent anti-Semitism in Christian theology – the defining moral barometer of Europeans, or its relationship with the most potent political movements in Europe, which incorporate eliminationist variations of anti-Semitism into their visions of ‘progress’. In that regard you become offensive, when you ignore or play down the damage Europeans have done to the Jewish nation and the ideology which has driven it. The most destructive episode of which came only 70 years ago, not as an aberration, but as the logical conclusion of a culture steeped in racism and hatred. Your ignorance in this matter betrays your own bigotry.

    • Your ignorance in this matter betrays your own bigotry.
      You are the ignorant one here. And I am most certainly not a bigot.

      Calm down and stop the personal digs.
      Of course there is a notorious history of anti-Semitism both in the Christian church and in Europe. But while it obviously still exists to a worrying degree, it is not “inherent” today in Christian theology (this, in particular, is where you are ignorant) – nor is it “the defining moral barometer of Europeans”.
      You are also being dishonest in claiming that I “play down the damage Europeans have done to the Jewish nation”.

      Where I specifically took issue with your post was your reference to “the codified and blatant anti-Semitism of the Islamist movement is so normal and unremarkable to the European mindset”.
      I repeat: this is nonsense.

      We’re not all bad, y’know.
      😉

  11. Pretzel, culture, by its definition, is a generalisation, a commonality of shared history, identity and beliefs. European culture regarding Jews has been largely hostile and destructive, and in fact, there is no recompense or reconciliation with recent history in this regard, as the annihilation of central European Jewry leaves nothing left to be salvaged or restored.

    And in this context a morally rehabilitated Europe – as Germany has tried to be – would be sensitive to this reality. But instead I see a Europe in which its intellectual and progressive vanguard delve into that sewer of anti-Semitism and fish out the old tropes and libels, humiliating and ridiculing Jews with their comparisons between Israel and Nazism, while at the same time willfully ignoring or denying that another fascistic ideology – the Islamist movement – defines itself by its hostility to Jews.

    Europe’s relationship with the Jews casts a long shadow over its soul. The very essence of what it is, is entwined with the Jews, and now as in the past, European culture can be judged by its attitude to Jewish interests and how it combats anti-Semitism.

    • Europe’s relationship with the Jews casts a long shadow over its soul.

      I agree.

      But instead I see a Europe in which its intellectual and progressive vanguard delve into that sewer of anti-Semitism and fish out the old tropes and libels, humiliating and ridiculing Jews with their comparisons between Israel and Nazism

      I likewise find such comparisons utterly disgusting.

      But it is only a minority of people who make such comparisons – and they do not represent the “intellectual and progressive vanguard”, let alone the people on the street.

      That is why I challenged your comment.

  12. Pretzel, Jew-baiting used to be a minority sport when the likes of Nick Griffin were ridiculed and sidelined for publications like ‘Who are the Mind Benders?’, but now the same sentiments are in the mainstream and have become part of the established way of thinking: the manipulation of the media by the powerful Zionist lobby is standard fare in the Guardian is it not? And to argue otherwise is to labelled as an enemy of freedom, peace and progress. I didn’t say every white European Christian is an anti-Semite – and I’ve never considered you in that vein, but from where I’m standing, European culture is regressing back to its default position regarding its hostility to Jews.

    • Jew-baiting … but now the same sentiments are in the mainstream and have become part of the established way of thinking: the manipulation of the media by the powerful Zionist lobby is standard fare in the Guardian is it not

      There are indeed far too many comments along those lines BTL at CiF.
      But websites do tend to attract nutters – and BTL comments on CiF are representative of neither Guardian readers nor British people in general.

      I nontheless feel, however, that both you and this website are right in that greater media exposure of the ME has sadly seen an upsurge in anti-Semitism. In the UK’s case a lot of the latter can be attributed to the Muslim community. But not all.

      • Which people precisely? I mean apart from ignoramuses who don’t know English grammar?

  13. Your opening comments about “Khazars” and “non-Semitic Jews” speak volumes about your views on anti-Semitism.

    • You have posted great comments on today’s Zuabi thread. The moron-midgets here should be ashamed of themselves.

      • So can I use the term “midget-moron” – or have you copyrighted that as well?
        😉

    • that vile breed of vermin …

      And you even put quote marks around “anti-Semitic” as if the term does not apply!

    • Well, you must be King of Bullshit in that world, judging by what you babble here.

      And I see another rogue apostrophe. Idiot, plurals don’t NEED apostrophes!

      And you are a troll and an ignorant one. Wear that badge with pride.

  14. Obsessive is quite the word for Ben White, who is now a full-time stalker, following and harassing Jews on Twitter. Watch his timeline, he is deranged (and bored).