Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? (Who Guards the Guardians?)

A guest post by Jonathan Hoffman

On Sunday, the following Motion proposed by me and seconded by Harry Levine was on the agenda of the Board of Deputies of British Jews:

“The Board regrets the regular appearance of antisemitic material in The Guardian and its online blog “Comment is Free”.  The Board urges all who oppose antisemitism to refrain from buying the Guardian or advertising in it, until its Editor has proved that he is willing to confront the problem.”

The matter falls into the ambit of the Defence Division of the Board. They did not like the boycott element of the motion, so they proposed their own ‘spoiler’:

“The Board of Deputies of British Jews is appalled at the continued biased and anti-Israel reporting which appears in the Guardian newspaper, and its online web forum, Comment is Free, which regularly crosses the boundaries of legitimate criticism into the realms of antisemitism. The Board deplores the persistent lack of intervention and toothless approach to this issue taken thus far by the Press Complaints Commission, and expresses its support for initiatives which will create a transparent and robust regulatory system, to cover not only the mainstream press in general but also electronic, technical and specialist media.”

Their motion was discussed first (despite the fact that the only reason it was there was my motion).

The discussion was bizarre. Alex Brummer (a journalist now with the Mail, formerly The Guardian) stressed the importance of a free press and called the motion ‘intellectual fascism’.

Another former journalist (ex-Reuters) said much the same.

Alex Goldberg (an interfaith professional) said he has written for CiF and had always found the editing sympathetic and The Guardian is not an antisemitic newspaper: after all, the Guardian website features the “Sounds Jewish” podcast.

Someone quoted Jonathan Freedland as saying how careful and wide-ranging the daily editorial conference is.

Several people said that The Guardian is not an antisemitic paper (though, neither the ‘spoiler’ nor my motion claims it is, just that it carries antisemitic material regularly).

Three or four people said the motion was ‘toothless’ implying that they might support my motion. (I did not rise to speak as I wanted to speak to my own motion).

The ‘spoiler’ motion was defeated by a substantial majority (46-77).  I put this down to a combination of:

(a) the ‘hands off the free press’ argument

(b) the ‘toothless’ argument and

(c) – linked to (b) – those who wanted to vote for my motion instead. (I was in category (c) as was Harry).

Only after two hours was my motion addressed. But it wasn’t. The Chairman moved that ‘the motion be not put’ without any discussion and it was carried overwhelmingly. I put this down to a combination of the ‘hands off the free press’ argument and the fact that after two hours people’s attention span is reduced and they thought they had heard enough about The Guardian.

The ‘motion not be put’ device is completely undemocratic.  The Constitution (SO17) gives a Deputy the right to speak to a Motion and have it voted. If a Motion was frivolous or otherwise unacceptable I could understand that the Chair might call for a vote that it ‘not be put’. But no-one could say that of this motion – after all it was taken seriously enough that a ‘spoiler’ was tabled.

 But draw your own conclusions – you can read the speech I would have made – opposing the ‘motion be not put’ motion – below.

Here’s the text of my prepared speech:

We have a constitutional duty to advance Israel’s security, welfare and standing. We also have a duty to protect, support and defend the interests of Jews.

The Guardian is the polar opposite of advancing Israel’s security, welfare and understanding. It defames and lies about Israel continuously. Robin Shepherd has called it “the mainstream Anglo publication most hostile to Israel in the world.” Moreover it frequently crosses the line into antisemitism. After Israel released 1027 terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit, a Guardian columnist – Deborah Orr – unbelievably wrote that Israel chose the 1027:1 ratio for racist reasons. She wrote “there is something abject in their 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 neighbours.

I can cite many more examples. Former Ambassador Ron Prosor wrote: ‘Never has a British broadsheet so openly served the agenda of Middle Eastern extremism. The Guardian must be commended for its transparency: readers can no longer doubt its affinity for Hamas’.

This Motion needs to be debated. It needs to be debated because the Board must take a stand against The Guardian and must encourage others to do the same. A strong stand. “Deploring” and “being appalled” – as the defeated Defence Division motion states – is toothless (one of the reasons it was defeated). It is simply talking to ourselves.

It is time for the Board to take the lead in using economic leverage against The Guardian until things change. The Guardian matters. It is approximately the 200th most visited website in the world (for comparison, the BBC is the 45th). That’s tens of millions of unique users a month. The Board supports Advocacy Conferences but unless it’s willing to act and act decisively against the sources of delegitimisation, it’s fighting only one half of the battle.

They did it in Australia. Faced with a similar problem with “The Age” newspaper in Melbourne, the Jewish leadership took a stand. They severed ties with the newspaper, accusing it of “clear and consistent vilification of the world’s only Jewish state”. They did it in Australia – are we really too timid and too much of a pushover to do it here?

When this Motion was debated in Defence Division there were four objections raised. All are easy to answer.

The first was “People will say we’re trying to control the media”. Simple response: We must not let antisemites tell us how to deal with antisemitism

The second was “We don’t believe in boycotts”. The Defence Division says our Motion will “undermine the community’s long held opposition to boycotts”.

Ah yes .. I remember now …. That was the same opposition which led the Board of Deputies to resolutely refuse to join the Boycott of Nazi Germany which began on 21st March 1935. The Board continued to refuse to join the Boycott throughout the 1930s. It was on the wrong side of history then. Is it really going to make the same mistake again?

The third argument was “There are not enough Jewish readers/advertisers of the Guardian to make it successful”. My response is that this is about building a coalition of right-thinking people. There are plenty of non-Jews who will support us. Indeed there are plenty who are mystified as to why we have not done it already.

The final argument was “A debate/vote will show us divided”. My response to that is So What? Is it so shameful for Jews to be seen to be disagreeing? We are a notoriously disputatious people – we disagree all the time for heaven’s sake.

Many people have told us that we should not have to move this Motion. The Executive should have acted long ago. I completely agree. It is shameful that the Executive is not sponsoring this Motion just as it was shameful that the Board failed to join the Boycott against Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

That makes our right to have the right to have this Motion debated unquestionable.  Standing Order 17 gives us that right. If this Motion was frivolous then we could accept that this Motion be not put. But the Defence Division clearly does not think it frivolous since we have spurred it to come up with its own Motion.

If a Deputy cannot have such an important Motion debated, then we might as well shut up shop and go home … what is the point of becoming a Deputy … and what kind of example is this to the young people we are trying to persuade to become Deputies…??

121 replies »

  1. Let’s face it Jonathan, the BoD are almost to a man/woman archetypal dhimmis who care more about jockeying for the New Year’s Honours list than they do about the welfare of British Jews.

    Sometimes the boat just has to be rocked.

    The BoD is unelected and certainly cannot claim to decide anything or do anything as stupid as this in my name. Perhaps you are going about this in the wrong way? Perhaps we should be pushing for an elected body.

    Phrases from Rabbi Shalom Lewis’ Rosh Hashanna sermon, “Ehr Kummt” springs to mind here and is appropriately applied to this BoD farce:

    “..Not all Germans were Nazis – most were decent, most were revolted by the Third Reich, most were good citizens hoisting a beer, earning a living and tucking in their children at night. But, too many looked away, too many cried out in lame defense – “I didn’t know.” Too many were silent. Guilt absolutely falls upon those who committed the atrocities, but responsibility and guilt falls upon those who did nothing as well. Fault was not just with the goose steppers, but with those who pulled the curtains shut, said and did nothing…”


    “..We are at war… yet too many stubbornly and foolishly don’t put the pieces together and refuse to identify the evil doers. We are circumspect and disgracefully politically correct….”


    “..Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil…”


    “..The sages teach – “Aizehu chacham – haroeh et hanolad – Who is a wise person – he who sees into the future.” We dare not wallow in complacency, in a misguided tolerance and naïve sense of security…”


    “…Isaiah warned us thousands of years ago – “Oye Lahem Sheh-Korim Layom, Laila v’Laila, yom – Woe to them who call the day, night and the night, day.” We live on a planet that is both Chelm and Sodom. It is a frightening and maddening place to be…”

    I suggest that people read the whole sermon. Google “Shalom Lewis Ehr Kummt”

        • It honesty, it is sort-of elected, as the boards of synagogues decide whom to send on the basis of “buggin’s turn”. What communal organisations do to choose deputies, however, is another question

        • Then demand of your synagogue or other organisation that they hold an election and you can stand. The elections for the next three year cycle are taking place now. You never know, you might even get elected, after all, someone voted for Hoffman!!!

  2. After all the “discussion”, what was achieved?

    The Board of Deputies fail the the Jewish people. It’s quite evident that anti-semitic discourse is being allowed to continue unchallenged by a number of spineless members. There are only a few options open to deal with this: write and complain, not buy, take it to law or all 3. There is nothing “fascist” about standing up against anti-semitism. There IS however something perverse about allowing anti-semitic sympathisers being given a regular platform and not dealing with this in a manner that sends out a clear message.

    Sometimes that message has to be blunt.

    And to “Mostly Harmless”, you just like stirring the muck. This point has been denounced long ago.What a stupid comment!

    • Not only “a number” of them, they refused overwhelmingly even to discuss it.

      They are complete and utter disgrace and I am ashamed that people would believe they are acting on my behalf, the charlatans.

      • There was a full debate and two votes, so it was discussed and dispatched, democratically. Few were anything but critical of the Guardian, but this was about tactics and avoiding empty gestures. Jews who ‘get it’ avoid the Guardian anyway, but it undermines the arguments against boycotts of Israel to engage in boycotts.

    • Dubi you are right. Well done to the Guardian for publishing this story. BUT – have you seen the comments? I haven’t read them all, just the first 20 or so, but it is astonishing the level of hypocrisy, blindness and double-standards the commenters show.

      The first comment from CIF-Watche’s old pal Berchmans sums it up, really. He quotes the article:

      ## Leftwing antisemites despise Israel, ## and goes on to say:

      “This is way too serious a subject to be discussed in such an amateur and provocative manner. The above phrase can only be taken as implying that leftwing critics of Israel condone antisemitism or worse are actually antisemites.

      If this were a post it could be could be deleted as hate speech. Awful. Truly awful. How did this sneak past the editors?”

      In his words – awful. Truly awful.

      • In the same way, GoonerEll ,that the comment inciting the killing of Israeli government ministers did (and that was surely against UK law) and remained online for all to see for nearly two days before the idiot Chris Elliott (he of “facts are tricky things” infamy) woke up and deleted it.

        Israeli-hatred with its twin, antisemitism, are so commonplace that they are no longer noticed and certainly not at the Guardian. It’s not a matter of sneaking them past the editors. The editors probably know all about them but, since such hate speech is part of the Guardian World View, they choose to turn a blind eye to it.

        • You need to accept that criticism of Israel and anti-Jewish racism are entirely separate.

          One could certainly be inspired by the other, and it often is, but to make the mistake of equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism is to make the same anti-Semitic mistake of holding Jews responsible for the actions of the Israeli regime.

          • The point is, dubi, that Berchmans’ post suggests that there is no such thing as a left-wing antisemite, and that the author of the article has made some sort of terrible faux-pas or worse, committed “hate speech” by suggesting such a thing.

            To deny that there are anti-semites on the left wing is patently ridiculous and that his comment has been recommended over 100 times is good evidence that this lie is accepted amongst CIF protagonists.

            This point alone make it important to state that “left-wing antisemites despise Israel” and show that it is far from a “pointless and vacuous statement.”

            • I disagree. I think.

              I can’t work out whether it’s a tautology, or a dangerous equation. Of course there are left wing racists, and centrist racists, and right wing racists. This part is certainly a tautology. It is trivially true. It could have been equally true (or false) to write that right wing anti-Semites despise Israel.

              But why did the author pick “left wing”? Could it be that “left wing” is a euphemism for people with perhaps higher regard for human rights and a lower tolerance for perceived injustice?

              By specifically stating that “left wing” anti-Semites despise Israel, rather than “anti-Semites despise Israel”, for me implies that there is an association between “left wing” and “anti-Semite”.

              • It’s important to state for exactly the reasons why you say it is not important. I would say that “everyone accepts” there is antisemitism on the right wing, but I know you – the mistress of verbal dexterity, will latch on to that and refuse to address the point of my post on the basis that I am making unsubstantiated assumptions, so I won’t. Instead, I will say that it is not widely disputed that there is antisemitism on the right, but (as is evidenced by Berchmans and others of his ilk) there is outright denial that it could possibly exist on the left.

                Read the original statement again, because you have fallen into the same trap as Berchmans. The author does NOT say that all left-wingers are antisemites or that all critics of Israel are antisemites. It does say that those on the left who are antisemitic (can we agree that they exist?) despise Israel.

                To me that is indisputable. The whole point of this article is that these particular people then use the left’s admirable desire to protect human rights, distorting the truth, applying age-old antisemitic tropes to a “clean” target (“we’re not criticising Jews, we’re criticising Israel’s policies – Oh, is it a Jewish state? Well I never noticed!”) and over-emphasising the negatives of one party without context and without paying even the slightest lip-service to the fact that they are (by demonising Israel) supporting some of the most reactionary anti-liberal regimes in the world today.

                The sad thing is that the wider left has been taken in by this.

                • “I would say that “everyone accepts” there is antisemitism on the right wing”

                  I think even I would let that one slide 🙂

                  Actually, and this is possibly a function of the circles I run in, I see more anti-Jewish racism on the left than the right, but more racism in general, and specifically anti-Muslim racism on the right.

                  “…but (as is evidenced by Berchmans and others of his ilk) there is outright denial that it could possibly exist on the left.”

                  To me, and this is subjective, the author of the article is intimating a link between left wing critics of Israel and anti-Jewish racism. Berchman seems to be thinking the same and disagreeing with it.

                  “The author does NOT say that all left-wingers are antisemites or that all critics of Israel are antisemites. It does say that those on the left who are antisemitic (can we agree that they exist?) despise Israel.”

                  You’re right, from a semantic perspective. But for me, and again this is subjective, as most/all anti-Jewish racists could conceivably despise Israel, by choosing to single out left wing “anti-Semites”, the link is made in the reader’s mind between left wing critics of Israel, and anti-Semitism.

          • No I don’t because far too often on CiF they are not, in the terms of the EUMC definition of what constitutes antisemism..

            And stop it already with the one “could” certainly be inspired &c, when your own nasty little blog does its utmost to inspire it, by obsessing nonstop about Israel’s alleged “crimes”, never once providing a rounded picture.

            So please don’t come here and lecture us about what is and is not antisemitism when you do your best on said nasty little blog to inspire it by your one-sided vituperative criticism of the one democracy in the Middle East.

            • Obsessing non-stop? I barely have time to publish a single blog post.

              This site publishes demonstrably inaccurate articles with inspired regularity. It also allows and encourages racism to flourish below the line.

              This site cannot possibly function as intended from that vantage point.

              • “This site cannot possibly function as intended from that vantage point.”

                Great. Thanks for you “unbiased” verdict. Now, just leave, go scribble your pseudo-scholarship elsewhere.

          • “You need to accept that criticism of Israel and anti-Jewish racism are entirely separate.” prof debutante.

            Don´t generalize, debitante. Monomaniac, obsessive, apoplectic, hysterical, one-sided, demonizing, delegitimizing, double-standard, selective, simplistic, mendacious, ignorant, blood-libelist cum nazi-card styled accusations are not “criticism of Israel”, but masked Judeophobia.

            YOU need to accept that what passes for criticism of Israel is just barely disguised Judeophobia.

          • Tanya doesn’t strike me as an anti-left type. I would imagine it was because most criticism of Israel comes from the left – especially the more extreme kind of criticism.

          • I am reminded of the poster WageLabourer on the CiF thread:

            “Your reduction of anti-semitism to criticism of Israel …”

            Tanya did no such thing, of course.

          • “You need to accept that criticism of Israel and anti-Jewish racism are entirely separate.”

            Depends what it is about Israel that’s being criticized.

            Criticism of a certain policy or set of policy of Israel may not stem from Jew-hatred; it may be well-meant, though woefully misguided. (In fact, I’m a harsh critic of certain Israeli policies myself, though in the opposite direction than left-wing critics.)

            Criticism of Israel in essence, as with the talk of it being “conceived in original sin,” “a European settler-colonial enterprise” or anything on that vein, is Jew-hatred most surely, for it denies the Jewish nation their right to sovereignty on their one and only piece of land in the world. It is Jew-hatred just as certainly as it would have been Greek-hatred to opine in the 1820s that the Greeks had no right to renew their sovereignty on Hellas.

      • Berchmans and Ben White straight in there, seizing on the chance to challenge Tanya’s Israel comments (which were hardly the focus of the article). Berchmans’ “hate speech” ripose was pathetic even by his standards.
        There was also JBoyBaggins’ ludicrous suggestion that Tanya was saying “You’re either with us or you’re against us” or “Either you’re a frothing anti-semite lefty-liberal or a Zionist.”

        it is astonishing the level of hypocrisy, blindness and double-standards the commenters show.

        “it seems an attack on a Jew is automatically labelled an anti-Semitic attack regardless of motivation for the attack.”
        This is the same poster who came out with the old chestnut that “Antisemites are those that do not like many peoples”.

  3. The problem with sites like CifWatch and its ilk is always going to be one of credibility.

    If you’re going to attack a newspaper like the Guardian for inaccurate reporting or racism directed towards Jews, it’s hard to take you seriously if your own site is a toilet of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism and full of sloppy inaccurate articles.

    If you really want to take on the Guardian, and it’s a worthy cause, you need to hold yourself to a higher standard, not a lower one.

    • dubitante, stop it!

      Who cares whether numpties like you don’t take CiF Watch seriously? CiF obviously does.

      As for CiF Watch holding itself to a higher standard, if you are right it could begin by banning spoilers like you and moistly. That could only do good.

        • Do you realise the import of what you have written here, dubitante? You have, almost word for word, projected onto this page what is true about CiF and the flavour of its own nasty comments about Israel and Jews!! There is hope for you yet, if you can realise the import of what you have done and put yourself in the shoes of Zionists/Jews who have to wade through the rubbish printed there! psychological projection

            • What part of my post did you not understand dubitante? Read it again and try to read between the lines of it too.

              Look up what is meant by “projection” – a psychological term – which is what you did in your post, as I am sure someone like Mitnaged would agree. And wilful misunderstanding and attempts at deflection are not particularly intelligentt, are they?

      • I should also say that you have posted racist articles before, it’s just not what was in my head when I wrote the comments above.

        Also interesting to note that my comment criticising “snigger’s” racism on this cite was deleted, but his racism isn’t.

        Again, a higher standard Adam, a higher standard.

        • you are accusing CiF Watch of racism just because it criticises the egregious nature of Islamism aren’t you?

          And yet you would probably be the first to argue that singling out of Israel is not antisemitic.

          Remember to criticise Islam is not racist.

    • “In this regard, you are very mistaken when you say that CiF Watch shows anti-Muslim racism (not least because Muslims are not a race).”

      Racism isn’t about biology. Jews aren’t a race either, but they can still fall victim to racism, as I’m sure the authors of this site will attest. I see no reason to use terms like anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to enhance the uniqueness of what is common, garden variety, ignorant racism.

      “The vast majority of criticisms here are of the attitude of Islam to Jews”

      Read what you’ve written again. Islam doesn’t have an attitude any more than Judaism has an attitude. People have attitudes. Do all Muslims think the same way? Do all Jews?

      “as illustrated by its statements about Zionism and Jews”

      Islam doesn’t make statements. It’s a religion, not a press office.

      “because of its dark ages death cult mentality”

      I don’t like the term Islamophobia, but you’re making a compelling argument for it.

      “and because it is, rightly, seen to be the driver of most of the antisemitism in the world today”

      Seen by whom?

      • I’m sorry, Yohoho, but you failed to get dubitante’s point. She is saying it is not “Islam” who has done all these things (though I suspect she would dispute that some of them are factually correct in any case) but “certain Muslims”.

        You ask: “how many followers of Islam/ism have had the courage NOT to follow the herd to kill Christians or attack Jews.” I can’t say I know a representative sample of the world’s Muslims, but I am pretty confident that none of the ones I have gone to school and university with or worked with over the years have ever killed a Christian or attacked Jews.

        I can’t post links to their biographies, I’m afraid. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

        Personally, I agree with Dubitante on this point. Generalisations about Muslims/Islam is no better than generalisations about Jews/Judaism.

        • That’s pretty much what I said in the comment that never arrived. I recommended “The Missing Martyrs” as a book that might help with the skewed perception of Muslims that we get through the corporate media.

          • Can you recommend a book that will help with the skewed perception of Jews and Israelis that we get through the corporate media?

            This is a genuine request.

          • .” I recommended “The Missing Martyrs” as a book that might help with the skewed perception of Muslims that we get through the corporate media.” debutante

            “Corporate media”!? Wow, what a sweeping generalization this is! This is pretty biased and mindless anti-media rant. Shame on you, debutante.

          • From the New York Times review of ‘The Missing Martyrs’ September 9th 2011.
            “While Kurzman’s book is a contribution to the study of Al Qaeda and Islamism, it is a highly selective one. His provocative view that there are so many “missing martyrs” — that there are, indeed, “so few Muslim terrorists” — makes sense only if one concentrates narrowly on the United States and not, for example, on Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan. The people of these countries have suffered daily terror attacks in the name of Al Qaeda’s ideology for at least a decade, many of them conducted by suicide bombers, who have been plentiful. For Iraqis, the statistics Kurzman provides — “Global Islamist terrorists have managed to recruit fewer than one in 15,000 Muslims over the past quarter-century and fewer than one in 100,000 Muslims since 9/11” — offer little comfort. By this calculus we are talking of more than 10,000 individuals. No other terrorist phenomenon compares to it in scale.”

            • “The people of these countries have suffered daily terror attacks in the name of Al Qaeda’s ideology for at least a decade”

              And many of them have also suffered terror attacks from western armed forces seeking to “liberate” them. Hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children killed in Iraq. Countless civilians slaughtered in Afghanistan.

              US/UK sanctions on Iraq, resulting in the deaths of 400,000 children.

              Our terror just doesn’t look like their terror. Doesn’t mean it isn’t terror.

              • “US/UK sanctions on Iraq, resulting in the deaths of 400,000 children.”

                How do you know that? Al Jazera? The Iranian Tv? Talk about credibility and whoppers.

        • I also meant publicly spoke out against such killing as well, GoonerEll. You may not be able to say, but how many of the people you mentioned have stood up against Jew-hatred perpetrated by Islam? It would take bravery indeed.

          And Islam, in the form of its rules about abrogation made sure that the more peaceful verses of the Mecca koran were superseded by the more war like ones of the Medina koran so that its prophet could thieve, plunder and aggrandise himself. You can read more about abrogation in

          Abrogation is adopted by Islam as a mechanism for resolving confusion about apparently contradictory verses, and the later, more violent verses supersede the former and are used as pretexts for various behaviours today.

          The later verses include all those which inspire hatred of kufar, such as the so-called “verses of the sword” and particularly of Jews, and order the faithful to propagate Islam by the sword if it cannot be done peaceably.

          This indeed means that Islam (note I do not say and never have said all Muslims) is responsible for providing the rationale for violence against kufar but those Muslims who are not thought to believe enough to perpetrate such violence are also often killed by the allegedly more pious.

          Bernard Haykel sets out the mental gymnastics entailed in the wilful killing by Muslims of other Muslims, whether deliberately or as collateral damage:

          “… Serious criticism has emerged within jihadi ranks and internal reassessments of the situation are under way. The nub of the dispute centres on the killing of civilians, particularly Muslims, in suicide bombings. It underscores that the jihadi’s Achilles heel lies in their contentious and unrigorous justifications for the permissibility of suicide attacks…

          “Sanctioning Killing

          Jihadis base their claim that islamic law sanctions suicide operations in which Muslim civilians are killed on two arguments. The first relates to prophetic traditions allowing the historic use of siege engines, like the giant catapult, against an enemy who holds Muslims as human shields. This is referred to in Arabic as the tatarrus argument, from turs or shield. The second argument also draws on a tradition in which the prophet Muhammad tells his wife, Umm Salama, that the innocent people killed with an evil army that is entirely destroyed will be resurrected on judgment day and judged according to their good intentions. In other words, they will be saved and go to paradise. This is known in jihadi sources as the resurrected according to their intentions argument.

          “Quoting and elaborating on these, jihadis make comparisons and analogies with the situation in Iraq to justify their attacks. For example, they claim the Iraqi civilians are being held as human shields by the occupying US-led forces, and that the pious among them who die in the attacks will be resurrected and sent to heaven. In short, the jihadi position consists of saying there is religious sanction for the killing of Muslim civilians and neither the innocent victims nor the bombers are doomed to suffer in hell. It is important to note that an obsession with questions of salvation underpins all these discussions. Views and tactics have to be made to coincide with an understanding of God’s will…”

          I do not generalise about Muslims. I disagree that I am generalising about Islam.

        • “Generalisations about Muslims/Islam is no better than generalisations about Jews/Judaism.” goon

          Do you reckon that this very statement of yours is a generalization? Yeah, I guess not.

      • Sigh, it seems my comments, as well as being deleted, are now either being held back or just hitting the bit bucket. I don’t have the patience to write it out again, but just to add:

        “And finally this, which is self explanatory of the immutable link in the Islamist mind between Jew and Zionist”

        The Islamist mind? Is it a hive mind? Like The Borg? Pure racism.

        • Imagine the reaction here to a comment along the lines of “the immutable link in the Jewish mind …”

          • A longer discussion, but we continually distinguish between Islam and Islamism – the latter clearly denoting a political ideology with very clear doctrines, beliefs and practices as understood by the overwhelming majority of its adherents. “Immutable” may be too strong, but I disagree that its racist or analogous to “the Jewish mind”.

            • This “sweeping generalization” pseudo-issue is just a politically correct ruse to deflect discussion. Ideologues such as dubitante, pretzle and sencar use generalizations all the time, when talking about “settlers”, “zionists” or even this blog. It´s humungus hypocrisy and pseudo-scholarly BS. Enough of this non-sense!

            • It’s a fair point, BUT – the term Islamist and Muslim are often (and incorrectly) used interchangeably. Just as “jihad” and “holy war” are often (and incorrectly) used interchangeably.

              • Yeah, and also “religion of peace” is often (and incorrectly) used to characterize Islam.

                BTW, you once again used a sweeping generalization. Please, cite precisely which individual persons “often” interchange Islamist and muslim.

                Please, “corporate media” won´t do, ´cause, ya know, that´s another sweeping generalization, eh, debutante?

              • Jihad IS holy war dubitante, regardless of the taqiyya you have chosen to swallow!

                No doubt you’ve fallen for the “jihad is an inner struggle” shtick told to the gullible.

        • Of course not, but there are few openly dissenting voices or actions aren’t there? Why do you think that is?

      • perhaps you can tell me how many followers of Islam/ism have had the courage NOT to follow the herd to kill Christians or attack Jews where Islam/ism is the main belief system

        Hate speech pure and simple – and of course it gets plenty of thumbs up here.

        Oh dear, CiFWatch. What have you spawned?

        You might want to take down your anti-bigotry banner while you get your own house in order.

        • @pretzelberg No it isn’t you silly little personl. It’s a simple, if a tad emotionally charged, question. It should get an answer given the context of the post to which it replied.

          Hate speech is what is regularly spewed from pulpits in Gaza and the West Bank as well as posters below the line to CiF columns who incite the killing of Israeli/Jewish government ministers.

          If you can’t tell the difference between that and a simple question then there really is no hope for you

        • “Oh dear, CiFWatch. What have you spawned?” pretzel

          Congratulations! You´ve just made yet another sweeping generalization, putting all people in this blog in one basket (which, BTW, includes yourself). This is hate speech pure and simple. Shame on you! Apologize immediately and individually (generalized apologies aren´t acceptable).

          • You´ve just made yet another sweeping generalization, putting all people in this blog in one basket

            I was referring to Yohoho’s comment. That is hardly a “sweeping generalization”, nor is it “putting all people in this blog in one basket”.

            But you know that. Why the dishonesty?

      • “Racism isn’t about biology.”

        Then I suggest you use a new word. The Marxist Left has gotten away with the Race Card far too often.

        “Jews aren’t a race either, but they can still fall victim to racism,…”

        Only in those cases where the Jew-haters make it so. The Nazis viewed the Jews as a race, so their Jew-hatred was also racism. Anti-Zionism, by its critique of Israel as a “White European Settler Colonialist” state, shows itself to be a branch of the tree of anti-white racist hatred, so anti-Zionist Jew-hatred is also racism.

        Operatively I don’t think these facts are of much important—I oppose Jew-haters for the sole reason that they are enemies of the nation I belong to, whatever reason they posit for their Jew-hatred. But still, it’s fascinating to see how the Marxist’s “anti-racist” constructs bend to poke them in their own eyes. As post-Obama United States shows, there are no more diligent keepers of the flame of race-hatred than the Marxists.

        “Islam doesn’t have an attitude…”

        It has doctrines. Among which, the doctrine that a land once under Islamic control should never return to non-Islamic hand. Another: The doctrine that a genocide of the Jews will precede the eschaton (the “There is a Jew behind me” quote).

        “Islam doesn’t make statements.”

        Hiding behind literalism as usual. What a casuist we have in this poster!

        “Seen by whom?”

        By any eyes not blinded by the Marxist “the West can do no right” belief.

        • “Hiding behind literalism as usual. What a casuist we have in this poster!”

          Exactly. This sophomoric type of word-games is what mr/ms debutante thinks is scholarship. It´s just fraudulent rethorical trash.

    • If you’re going to attack a newspaper like the Guardian for inaccurate reporting or racism directed towards Jews, it’s hard to take you seriously if your own site is a toilet of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism and full of sloppy inaccurate articles.


  4. Guardian has small in numbers but influential supporters in the civil service, government and academy – not to mention the BBC which acts as Guardian’s mouth organ.

    I’m afraid formal boycott motions will achieve very little. On the contrary, they’ll see it as a triumph.

    Der Stürmer would have been proud of a Jewish boycott. Same here.

  5. Mr Sweethearts, you could at the very least do me the courtesy of spelling my name correctly. I do not think that the Muslim community who , justifiably,speak up and try to act EVERY time they are offended are often described as intellectual fascists. When Jews , however have the temerity to stand up for themselves all hell is let loose.What is more I for one do not hide behind a soubriquet!

  6. I see Hoffman has removed his ad hominem. Good move, if you think no one knows his modus operandi

  7. And Mr Sweethearts ( I don’t recognise that as a typical Jewish surname, by the way ) you do not represent the Jews either but I , at least, was elected by my community.
    You still can’t spell!!!

    • As for a “typical Jewish surname”, are Bayfield, Millett, or Janner? Are Brittan (as in Leon) or Lawson (as in Nige and Nigella)? Some of us have names which have been Anglicised, some names are of German origin (Rosenthal, Goldberg and, ahem, Hoffman).

  8. Some people don’t like Israel or Jews or Jewish Israel. To paraphrase your argument, fine, avoid Israel or Jews, and yet these low lives get up boycotts of Israel and up to all sorts of lying shenanigans which take advantage of the lack of intelligence of the great unwashed out there, including, it seems, the BoD.

    I have news for you sweetheart. The Jewish community is already a laughing stock because it fails to grow a spine in the face of threats masquerading as antiZionism, to the safety of Jews, or to act decisively against them because it’s too afraid to rock the boat.

    As Serendipity quoted above, ““..Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil…”

    What precisely have YOU done lately to better the lot of Jews in the UK?
    What gives you the right to criticise the sentiment of what is written here?

  9. Elected? Was there a one person, one vote process? Surely you mean selected by your synagogue board, because it was buggin’s turn. My synagogue, also part of the Reform Movement, nominates deputies and it is up or down to that person to decide whether he or she wants the exulted post.
    Well done, though, for spotting the typographical errer (did you see what I did there?)

  10. Sir you are in error. We have a one member one vote election and my re-election was unanimous.
    I did spot the typo. You really are a clever kid. Can’t wait to see what you will be like when you grow up.

  11. Re-elected unanimously? Wow, that’s some feat. I don’t think even Brezhnev or Saddam could have claimed that. I suppose I’ll have to talk to some people at Hendon reform just to find out exactly how that worked.

  12. While these threads are post moderated, and some inappropriate commentary may take a while to be removed, please note that, per the commenting guidelines, ad hominem or racist comments have and will continue to be deleted. Thanks.

  13. Well, thanks for your efforts Jonathan, but lets face it, the BoD is a self-serving pile of shit. The anti-Israeli invective published at the Guardian contributes to the hostile – and at times explicit antisemitic climate that the BoD member’s own sons and daughters are subjected to on British university campuses, yet they remain spineless – always careful to play a subservient and inoffensive role, and thus remaining irrelevant and unrepresentative of your average Jew in the street.

    • Abba Eban used to call them “The Order of the Trembling Israelites”, very aptly I think.

      And they are certainly irrelevant to me.

        • You dare to post here after all the offensive sweeping generalizations about the people of this blog? Why the heck you insist to post here if you find this blog so distateful? Why you keep acting as a kindergarten teacher?

        • Yet another whining post from you. You are surely have a masochistic issue. Listen, if you already declare the death of CiFWatch, why don´t you leave and go whine elsewhere?

        • You sound as if you have experience of both, perhaps because you have been slung out of both? You must REALLY have ticked them off!

  14. I am a Deputy. I was there. I expected Jonathan’s motion to be defeated: while I agree with him, I accept that his tone does not chime in with the Anglo-Jewish establishment.
    What shocked me was that the Defence Division’s eminently considered and reasonable motion was defeated. Those who spoke against it made the specious argument that this motion attempted to muzzle the Press. It did not. Censure is not censorship – and who could think that the BoD has the power to censor a British broadsheet, anyway? They also made the risible argument that the Guardian hosts much Jewish content. Such content is worse than useless: it provides a sandpit for British Jews who oppose Israel, or just want to ignore it completely.
    I wonder whether the Board quite realises what it has done? By defeating the Defence Division’s motion it has effectively derogated from those sections of the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism relating to Israel. It has given a free pass to the demonization, delegitimisation, dehumanisation of and double standards for the Jewish State, not just in the Guardian, but in all British media.
    The reason why the Guardian is so insidious is because its tone – reasonable, secular, multicultural, progressive, sceptical and humorous – is so appealing to bright, young intelligent and articulate Jews: the very people who we need as future leaders of our community. It appeals most to the young for whom the Shoah is ancient history; whose memory of Jewish history perhaps does not stretch beyond the Lebanon campaign, and therefore can be easily seduced into thinking Israel is nothing but an outdated colonialist oppressor.

    • “…is so appealing to bright, young intelligent and articulate Jews: the very people who we need as future leaders of our community.”

      People that fall for the lies, distortions and mendacity of this grotesque sewage known as Der Guardian, are neither bright, nor intelligent. They are gullible, stupid and ashamed of themselves (and suicidal). These people are most definitely NOT qualified for leadership of a community they in fact seem to despise.

  15. @dubitante, you haven’t answered my question above. I will repeat it

    Can you recommend a book that will help with the skewed perception of Jews and Israelis that we get through the corporate media?

    This is a genuine request.

    If you haven’t heard of or read one, then why not say so?