The fallout from our battle with the Guardian, over their curious mention of Hasidic Jews in one out of a series of reports which bent over backwards not to note the ethnic background of the rioters or spectators, and which resulted in a revision of, and apology about, the offending passage, is still being felt.
We’ve been receiving quite a bit more emails of late, and I thought I’d post this one, whose email address and last name I deleted.
Date: Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 7:28 PM
Subject: I’ve just been reading your blog
I’ve come across you in my travels and do find your attacks on the Guardian and Observer rather perplexing. When I saw the video a day or two ago I was intrigued to see a group of orthodox jews taunting and running away from the police during the riots in Tottenham. It’s not a racist or ant-semitic observation, simply a matter of fact. Whilst most of those actively involved in the rioting wore masks to hide their identity, here was a group of participants making no attempt to conceal themselves and we could all see that they were drawn unmistakably from a particular group. This was obviously worthy of comment.
What are you so sensitive about? It looks to me as if any view of the world other than your own is “anti-semitic”. For me, this has worrying echoes of being “non-aryan”. Israel is not always right; there are other people who have a claim on the land which Israel has appropriated; Israel should seek peace, not confrontation. This is not racist – I’d say the same about any people or government who behaved as Israel does. [emphasis mine]
I don’t know about the Guardian’s blog because you’ve only just introduced me to it, but please, don’t try to pretend that what anybody can clearly see on this video footage is anything other than what it is – orthodox jews joining in the police-baiting.
So, I simply couldnt’ resist, and decided to take him on. Here’s my slightly revised response.
Your note is perplexing to say the least.
We never posted anything about the video you’re referring to – though, in fairness, the Hasidic Jews in the video were not rioting, merely on the streets where the thousands of non-Jewish rioters were being confronted by police.
What we did post about was a Guardian story which singled out Jews who were allegedly jeering police, though that same story, and subsequent riot-related posts at the paper, were at pains not to describe the ethnic or racial makeup of the rioters. So, as we pointed out, and as the Guardian admitted when they revised the piece in question as “inconsistent with their editorial policy”, it was curious that the writer, Paul Lewis, decided to focus on the fact that a few of those watching the riots were allegedly Jews.
As far as “echoes of “non-aryan”….I’d ask you what that means, except that we both know very well what that means. You’re suggesting, aren’t you, that this blog’s passionate support for the rights of Jews, and for Israel’s existence as a homeland for the Jews, is somehow morally equivalent to Nazi racial supremacism?
So, in your mind, it’s apparently a sign of racial supremacism that Jews, who make up 2/10 of 1% of the world’s population, desire one homeland and you find it racist that Jews living outside Israel often have an emotional attachment to that homeland.
Have you really thought this through? Are the 57 members of the Islamic Conference (that is, 57 self-described Islamic states) racist? Or, closer to our democratic country, is Greek nationalism racist (98% of Greeks are Greek Orthodox…not much diversity there, huh)? Are the French, Germans, Spanish, Kurds or any other group in the world who either desire, or wish to maintain, a national homeland consistent with their unique national culture or ethnic origin, racial supremacists? And, further, does the fact that those living outside these nations, but who feel a bond with the nation anyway, based on a common ethnic/religious background, indicate racism?
No, only Jewish ethnic pride, and nationalism, bothers you. I wonder why this is?
And, finally, you note “Israel should seek peace, not confrontation.” Wow, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur I’ve ever read. It’s simply amazing Israelis have never thought of that! In fact, as you evidently don’t know, the Palestinians rejected two Israeli offers of statehood (in 2000 and 2008) and turned them both down.
Tell me, Peter, how would your nation react to thousands of missiles raining down on your civilian communities?
How would your nation respond to 63 years of belligerency by states on your border, to terror attacks which have killed and maimed thousands, and the promotion of explicit and continual hatred directed towards your nation in the schools and state controlled media of the governments which border yours?
Similarly, how would you respond if your nation was surrounded by designated terrorist groups (such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad) who reject negotiation under any circumstances and openly seek nothing less than your state’s complete destruction?
Essentially, you don’t know a whole lot about our region, do you?.
But, if you do wish to understand the complex political dynamics of our quite dangerous neighborhood a bit better, I’d humbly suggest seeking your news about the Middle East from papers other than Guardian and their ideological allies.
But, thanks for reminding me, and this blog, why we fight.
Oh, yeah. One more thing. Am Y’israel Chai. It means “The Jewish Nation Lives!”
I’m so sorry but, as arduously as state and non-state actors in our neighborhood try to extinguish us, we’re not going anywhere.
We’re here to stay.
Adam LevickJerusalem, Israel
- Guardian report on London riots omits the race or ethnicity of rioters – but, still mentions Jews (cifwatch.com)
- Harriet Sherwood’s truncated history of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (cifwatch.com)
- Having some fun with the Guardian’s selective ethnic radar (cifwatch.com)
- The Guardian’s Paul Lewis & London Riots: 13 stories, 12,000 words, & only 1 ethnicity mentioned (cifwatch.com)