General Antisemitism

On the explicit antisemitism of the Guardian’s Deborah Orr

Of course, that the Guardian published a report on the Gilad Shalit deal by a journalist as hostile to Israel as Deborah Orr is not surprising to anyone remotely familiar with the paper adeptly characterized by Robin Shepherd as the mainstream Anglo publication most hostile to Israel in the world.

Nor is it surprising anymore when they publish essays or letters about Israel by commentators with a well-documented record of engaging in explicit antisemitism. While such contributors are often of the Islamist variety, recently they provided a forum to two of the most prolific modern (leftist) antisemites – Alison Weir and Gilad Atzmon.

However, as even the Guardian typically assures that such contributors maintain at least a thin “progressive” rhetorical veneer to furtively advance classic Judeophobic narratives, Orr’s latest piece stands out as a simply ugly, and thoroughly unrestrained, expression of animosity towards Jews.

As we noted the other day, a peculiar, morally illogical argument, that the prisoner swap in which Gilad Shalit’s release for the release of 1027 Palestinian  terrorists was somehow evidence of Israeli racism, was being advanced by more than a few Guardian readers beneath the line.

One commenter wrote that the deal meant that, for Israel, “one Jew = a thousand Muslims…a chilling message”.

However, while you can dismiss such vitriol, which turns any semblance of logic on its head, as the musings of few intellectually challenged bigots of no particular significance, Orr’s piece not only parrots this simply bizarre idea, but takes it even further.

Orr wrote:

“It’s quite something, the prisoner swap between Hamas and the Israeli government that returns Gilad Shalit to his family, and more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to theirs…[which is] an indication of how inured the world has become to the obscene idea that Israeli lives are more important than Palestinian lives.”

Of course, beyond the absurdity of the apparently serious suggestion that Israel is unique among the nations in prioritizing the protection of its own citizens over citizens of other countries, the broader moral logic of this passage is stunning.

It seems that only someone with a simply immutable hatred for Israel could frame the nation’s willingness to release over a thousand terrorists, many with the blood of innocent Israeli lives on their hands – the large majority of which possess a sociopathic absence of remorse for their murderous acts – in exchange for just one of its own citizens as evidence of the state’s racism.

In the annals of political commentary I truly think you’d be hard pressed to find a similar supposition, that an asymmetrical prisoner swap demonstrates racism on behalf of the party forced to agree to release a greater number of enemy prisoners.

However, Orr, emboldened by her accusation against Israel, devolves further, and subsequently, in an attempt to contextualize the inherent racism of the Jewish state, writes:

“At the same time, however, there is something abject in [Hamas’s] eagerness to accept a transfer that tacitly acknowledges what so many Zionists believe – that the lives of the chosen are of hugely greater consequence than those of their unfortunate neighbors.”

The antisemitic use, and profound distortion, of the idea of Jewish “chosenness” – from a passage in the Torah widely understood as a Jewish requirement to uphold an especially high standard of ethical behavior – has a long and dark history.

In 1973, the Soviet Union actually initiated a debate at the UN on the subject of Jews as the chosen people, which they argued was evidence of the Jewish religion’s inherent racism.

Indeed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most widely distributed antisemitic forgery in history – a book still quite popular in the Arab world – is premised partly on the idea of Jews’ “chosenness”. 

A distortion of such “chosenness” is a widely used theme in perhaps the most popular antisemitic site on the web, Jew Watch – replete with quotes such as these:

“The Jewish conception of the Jews as the Chosen People who must eventually rule the world forms indeed the basis of Rabbinical Judaism.”

The most well-known white supremacist in the U.S., David Duke, uses the theme of Jews’ “chosenness” to prove that Jews are the most racist people on the planet.  Duke, in his book, “Jewish Surpemacism“, argues:

“Israelites are a “chosen people,” chosen by God above all the other peoples of the world…[which] is a blatant expression of ethnic supremacism.”

The odious notion of Jewish supremacism, inspired by such distortions of Jews “chosenness”, has actually found fertile ground previously on the pages of the Guardian, as their foreign leader editor David Hearst characterized, in a Guardian piece published in August, Israel’s only two moral choices as either accepting a one-state solution or continuing to represent the supremacist ideology of Zionism.   

Former Guardian journalist Jonathan Cook argued on the pages of Mondoweiss a couple months back that Israel’s problem with the Islamic Movement’s Raed Salah was owed to the fact that his Islamic faith was “incompatible with the state ideology of Jewish supremacism.” 

Of course, the moral inversion of complaining that Jews oppress others out of a sense of supremacism is exquisite.  

You don’t need to be an academic to understand that Jews have indeed been chosen throughout the ages for opprobrium, persecution and slaughter to a degree without historic parallel, inspiring Professor Robert Wistrich to characterize antisemitism as the world’s longest (and most lethal) hatred.

Orr, who in an angry diatribe published by The Independent in 2001, titled  “I’m fed up with being called an antisemite“, commented that merely believing, as she does, that “Israel is a shitty little country” doesn’t make her an antisemite.

Perhaps, but when you suggest that Israel is a racist nation because Judaism is racist by design you’re most definitely a virulent antisemite.

And, when editors at a newspaper publish such unbridled hatred, they represent an institution which is a moral accomplice in the historic cognitive warfare against the Jewish people.  

18 replies »

  1. I think you’re being too kind calling Orr’s effort a “report.” It reads more like a drunken rant.

  2. Cut the woman some slack. She’s “married” to Will Self. She’d have to be a saint not to turn antisemitic

  3. The little shitty Israel produces more start-up companies than South-Korea, Japan, India, Canada and the UK. (are you listening Debbie?)

    The little shitty Israel has more companies registered on NASDAQ than South-Korea, Japan, Singapore, India and all of Europe together

    We are busy to make our world better, the Deborah Orrs of this world are busy trying to eliminate us. A simple question of priorities.

  4. What I find interesting is that she talks about the value of human life and the interpretation being that Israelis and/or Jews don’t value a Moslem life, hence the Gilad Shalit ratio. She, and others, know full well that all human life is valued, but this is a case of how much more one is willing to give up to preserve it.

    Yet never has it been interpreted that Israel chose to release/ preserve 1000+ people in order to secure the release of of just one of their own.
    What Israel did not do is send out suicide missions across the world to murder 1000+ people to secure one release or promote their cause.

  5. The Guardian calls Deborah Orr a leading political and social commentator, but she has no idea about the meaning of the “chosen people” concept in Judaism, thinks that Israel means “God’s people” and hasn’t any clue about the definition of anti-semitism as Jew-hatred.
    I don’t want to think about the not leading commentators….
    The educational system in the UK needs an urgent reform.

  6. Orr’s interpretation is absurd.But then she writes for an absurd publication.
    Of course,other faiths have concepts of “choseness” in them,but only Jews it seems receive criticism for this.(There are also other barriers/walls in the world,and many other territorial disputes,but again,only Israel seems to receive any criticism.)

    Ps – England is not a shitty country,although it is comparitively little.

    • Although England is comparatively little, Duvid did have to avoid some dog mess on the pavement as he walked to the corner shop this morning. Last week he had to avoid some vomit on the pavement near his local pub; not the first occasion. Last year Duvid had to reprimand a drunk from said pub for urinating against Duvid’s front garden wall. On visiting a nearby Do-it-Yourself store some time ago, Duvid saw a bucket by a wall in the car park, inside which Duvid noted a steaminjg pile of human excrement. What’s not to like about modern Britain?

      • Why play the game of selective facts and uncharitable interpretations?
        Best left to the haters on CIF, don’t you think?

  7. The first Palestinian Christian, Justin Martyr, said that circumcision was to mark Jews out from the rest of humanity, to punish and dispossess them as a punishment for their sins. That’s how he thought Jews were chosen.

  8. To be fair to Deborah Orr, one must concede that she is an expert on the subject of sh*t, in fact she writes nothing else!

  9. Amazing how much the Anti-Semit “logic” could be twisted by hate…

    If Israel would have killed 1,027 Palestinians in order to save Gilaad Shalit, then we would be right to say “The life of one Israeli is 1,027 times more valuable to Israelis than the life of a Palestinian”. However, in reality, Israel didn’t kill 1,027 Palestinians for Shalit, in fact it Reluctantly agreed to release 1,027 dangerous Palestinians terrorists – many of whom took an active part in the murder of hundreds of Israeli civilians – in order to free one kidnapped soldier… So how does that make the same equation?

    If anything, one should conclude that after the Shalit deal the lives of Israelis have become ridiculously cheap for Palestinians. For example: One of those Palestinian terrorists who were released in the deal is Walid Abd al-Aziz Anajas, who was convicted for the murder of 36 Israeli civilians, but ended up serving less than 9 years in prison – that’s less than 3 months for every Israeli life he took. Another Palestinian released is Nasir Sami Yataima, who was convicted for the murder of 29 Israeli civilians, but ended up serving less than 9 years in prison – less than 4 months for every Israeli civilian he murdered – and so the list goes on and on, to finally includes some 400 Palestinian murderers who took the lives of some 500 Israelis and did a short and easy time in jail for it…

    Needless to say that all of those Palestinian terrorists, who are responsible for intentionally murdering hundreds of Israeli civilians – mostly unarmed men, elderly people, women, children and babies – were all welcomed and embrace as heroes, not only by Hammas people, but by the entire Palestinian society – led by President Mahmoud Abbas, who presided over the official welcoming ceremony in Ramallah…

    In conclusion, it is hard to learn from the Shalit deal anything about the way that Israelis value the lives of Palestinians, but it’s easy to learn from it about the way that the Palestinians “value” Israeli lives – just as it is easy to see how the Anti-Semit “logic” is twisted by hatred when ever you read Deborah Orr.

    • Thanks for add this level of detail Oded Israeli. One has only to imagine that two parties other than Israel and Palestinians were involved in a such a
      swap of prisoners, to see that Deborah Orr and her pathetic ilk would never dream of propounding such preposterously confused gibberish, mistaking it
      for some really informed insight into the meaning of `Chosen People’ in the
      tradition of Judaism.
      Shalom to you and all who remain of good will.

  10. People like Deborah Orr who have the temerity to express obviously bigoted antiSemitic views publicly (now “OK” for the Left!), need to becalled out for exactly what they are–racist bigots, pure and simple.

    Her criticixms of Israel are so irrational and divorced from truth, combined with a stunning avoidance of discussing Islamist terrorism and other violence, shows how fundamentally dishonest she is.

  11. These pieces by the likes of Deborah (the Racist Bigot ) Orr even on re-reading, are so wrong-headed and full of obvious out and out lies, that 1 has to wonder about the real motivation of the Guardian types.

    Hard to believe that they could be just some totally addle-brained stupid and bigoted Leftists, unfettered by minor details like truth, as they do appear. Has anyone considered that their relentless and mindless bias against Israel, contravening all logic, could be motivated by some Arab petrodollars?

    Why do you think all those “Departments of Mideast Studies” are cropping up at Universities across the U.S. , and that they’re all horribly antiSemitic?
    Guess who it turns out is funding them!

    Think about it.