Guardian

Guardian reader on “belligerent” Jewish race: 72 Recommends, not deleted by CiF Moderators


I originally thought about posting this Guardian reader comment, posted beneath the line of the CiF essay “Netanyahu and Obama’s prickly alliance against Iran, Jonathan Freedland, March 6, despite the fact that I assumed it would be deleted by CiF moderators. But, 27 hours after being posted, it’s still there. 

The commenter using the moniker theolderb” (whose real name is listed as Stephen Barraclough) is concerned that his suggestion that Jews are a “belligerent” race would make him sound racist.

Evidently, CiF moderators don’t think so.

39 replies »

  1. It has since been removed. The length of time it took for the moderators to remove it is, of course, appalling, and the seventy-two “recommends” is just horrifying.

  2. “It has since been removed. The length of time it took for the moderators to remove it is, of course, appalling”

    There are dehumanising posts BTL on this site that, even after being notified, Adam has declined to moderate, and limply claims that CiFWatch doesn’t have the staff to moderate posters who routinely spout anti-Muslim hate speech.

    “and the seventy-two “recommends” is just horrifying”

    Sure. But, in terms of readership, based on some back of an envelope calculations, according to Alexa, CiF gets of the order of 10,000 times the traffic CiFWatch gets. Proportionally, there is several orders of magnitude more support for anti-Muslim hate speech on this site than there is anti-Jew hate speech on CiF.

    • A complaint that does not cite a single example. In some circles criticism of Muslim laws and practice regarding women and gays is discounted as hate speech. In some circles criticism of Muslim clerical endorsement of suicide bombing and other acts of terrorism counts as hate speech. Without a concrete example of hate speech against Muslims from CIF watch commenters, and the explicit approval of such comments by other commenters here, dubitante’s complaint carries zero weight. Besides, the Guardian is one of the most widely read newspapers in the world, and as a well financed professional organization has a special obligation to police itself.

      The cif commenter even refers to the Jewish race– as blatant an act of racist speech as possible, yet dubitante seeks to minimize its presence on CIF by criticizing CIF Watch without citing any evidence whatsoever.

      • Here’s a recent example:

        http://cifwatch.com/2012/03/05/berchmans-dehumanizing-comment-about-israelis-266-recommends-not-deleted-by-cif-moderators/comment-page-1/#comment-68844

        Another, this one by a regular whose name is a contraction of “Sand Nigg3r”:

        http://cifwatch.com/2011/08/21/muslim-public-affairs-committee-uk-spokesman-zionists-are-most-vile-animals-to-walk-the-earth/comment-page-1/#comment-53638

        Another by CiFWatch’s most racist regular:

        http://cifwatch.com/2011/08/21/muslim-public-affairs-committee-uk-spokesman-zionists-are-most-vile-animals-to-walk-the-earth/comment-page-1/#comment-53643

        And these are just picked randomly. It would take genius to be able to read the comments on this site and not see it as a cesspit of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate speech.

      • There was also a recent comment that described European Muslims as “angry and parasitic”, which received 21 unanimous 5 stars before being moderated. I have it archived if you’re interested.

        SerJew’s response, which begins with “Great Post”, goes on to say “Amen” and how he agrees with the poster. Currently unanimously appraised with 5 stars.

        http://cifwatch.com/2012/03/04/arthur-nelsons-occupied-mind-why-the-guardian-left-cant-take-arab-antisemitism-seriously/comment-page-1/#comment-68745

        It appears that the lessons of demonising religious minorities in Europe have escaped such posters. The irony is painful.

        • Not all of your examples are racist hate speech. There is nothing inaccurate or racist in calling “genocidal ayatollahs” or “the pint sized president of Iran” lesser beings.” Those who incite murder and genocide are lesser beings. It has nothing to do with their race or creed. It is a moral assessment.

          In your first link we see you defending the chant “marg bar” (Death to___) as merely the equivalent of “down with.” Your insensitivity to the deaths of Jews and Israelis would be laughable if the stakes were not so high. Do you think a gay person in a school where gays have been beaten should be sensitive to the nuances of the chants of his tormenters? Do you think his tormenters care one bit whether gays, having a history of being beaten to death, should not be threatened with any word that could be construed as a death threat? Any person using the word “death” in any language has made a death threat. Period.

          Beyond this, the fact is that the translation of choice seen in countless signs is “Death” (http://cifwatch.com/2011/08/22/what-the-guardian-wont-report-pro-palestinian-activists-in-london-israel-must-be-destroyed/) makes a mockery of your orientalist justification of the chant “Death to Israel.”

                • Although it’s like talking to a wall, I’ll repeat: “Marg bar sibzamini” is satire against your buddy. You could ask the brave Iranian youths who shouted this slogan – in case you find one who wasn’t killed or isn’t being tortured by your buddy Ahmedinajad, who receives moral support from your comrade in apologism for Ahmedinajad at Press TV, Galloway.

                    • We’ve already agreed that Marg bar isn’t a threat of violence. Haven’t we? You were quite clear that marg bar sibzamini wasn’t a call for vegecide.

                      There’s a telling entry in Rick Steves’ travel blog:

                      “As we were struggling to drive away in a horribly congested street, our guide made a telling aside. He declared, “Death to traffic.” Then he said, “Because we can do nothing about this traffic, we can all say ‘Death to Traffic’.” Did he mean kill all those drivers that were in our way? Does Iran really mean death to the US and Israel? Or is it a mix of international road rage, fear, frustration — and the seductive clarity of a catchy slogan? This quirky cultural trait might be worth looking into and trying to understand.”

                      Do try. It’s really important that you try. “Death to traffic” isn’t a threat of violent road rage, “death to potatoes” isn’t a threat of vegecide, and “Death to Israel” isn’t a threat of military aggression against Israel.

                  • al-gharqad dubi just can’t understand that delicate etymological shades won’t influence states excercising their obligation to self-defense and preempting the destruction of their people. The pseudo-scholarly analysis of the words of a Holocaust denying (a favorite hobby of dubi himself) dictator won’t change the reality – the world/Israel must get rid of the Iranian nuclear threat.

                    • “We’ve already agreed that Marg bar isn’t a threat of violence. Haven’t we?”

                      No we haven’t, professor of linguistics.

                      I’ll repeat the question:
                      Do you know Farsi better than the Iranians themselves?

                      http://en.irangreenvoice.com/article/2011/apr/19/3058

                      peterthehungarian,

                      “The pseudo-scholarly analysis of the words of a Holocaust denying (a favorite hobby of dubi himself) dictator won’t change the reality – the world/Israel must get rid of the Iranian nuclear threat.”

                      Let’s just say that I wouldn’t shed a tear if Ahmedinajad uses some apologists for dictators and useful idiots as human shields.

                    • Just clarify:

                      Is “Death to traffic” a threat of violence against traffic?

                      Is “Death to potatoes” a threat of violence against potatoes?

                      Is “Death to Israel” a threat of violence against Israel?

                    • “states excercising their obligation to self-defense and preempting the destruction of their people.”

                      More open threats of military aggression from Israel in the last 24 hours. But it’s the Israeli people who are to be afraid. Another reality inversion. You’re well trained indeed if your mind willingly accepts such suggestions.

                      “The pseudo-scholarly analysis of the words of a Holocaust denying (a favorite hobby of dubi himself)”

                      Another intellectually feeble attempt to accuse me of Holocaust denial without any evidence.

                    • It seems that the professor stubbornly ignores the translation by Iranians of “marg bar dictator”:

                      http://en.irangreenvoice.com/article/2011/apr/19/3058

                      He also ignores another point which I repeat in the hope of an answer:

                      “Marg bar sibzamini” is satire against your buddy.

                      But hey, the professor knows Farsi better than the Iranians themselves:

                      When Iranian students chant “death to the dictator” they are just expressing their “disdain”… in case they could get their hands on dubi’s pal, they would just have a chat with him to express this disdain…

                    • Another intellectually feeble attempt to accuse me of Holocaust denial without any evidence.

                      A lot of evidence dubi in your posts on Cifwatch. Holocaust denial has more than one form, one of them is to assert that the Jews themselves provoked it by their behavior or (your way) certain Jews supported the Nazis so they are responsible too.

                      You’re well trained indeed if your mind willingly accepts such suggestions.

                      Yes dubi I’m extremely well trained to take seriously the death threats of political/religious leaders against Jews, it is in my genes inherited from my ancestors who didn’t believe them and started to get the picture on the train to Auschwitz. I understand your frustration dubi but this won’t happen again.

                      But it’s the Israeli people who are to be afraid.

                      The Israeli people don’t need to be afraid anymore – exactly this is the point. The Jews now have their own state (very frustrating for your kind of human right champions I know) and if the are threatened they have the power to preempt the implementation of these threats.

        • And on the subject of proportionality, I repeat, the Guardian is an enormous institution which, in comparison to CIF Watch, has unlimited resources. It has a special duty to police itself.

          And if there is an occasional offensive remark posted here, where is your nuanced understanding of the effects of persecution on the victim? Your defense of “Death to Israel” demonstrates a moral flexibility that excuses offense when the offender has been victimized. But I suppose anyone who excuses death threats to Jews and Israelis could never see a Jew as a victim.

          • “And on the subject of proportionality, I repeat, the Guardian is an enormous institution which, in comparison to CIF Watch, has unlimited resources. It has a special duty to police itself.”

            My argument is that support for hate speech is proportionally much higher on this site than on CiF. That is indicative of readership, not resource.

            “Your defense of “Death to Israel” demonstrates a moral flexibility that excuses offense when the offender has been victimized.”

            I’m not responsible if you fail to understand that literal translations don’t always make for the best translations. Translations are not substitutions, they are culture-specific.

            For example, the Persian which translates literally to English as “I’ll pull your eyelid” makes no sense. It has to be idiomatically translated as “I’ll ask a favor of you”. Unless you believe that Persian people are predisposed to pulling eyelids.

            • “you fail to understand that literal translations don’t always make for the best translations. Translations are not substitutions, they are culture-specific.
              For example, the Persian which translates literally to English as “I’ll pull your eyelid” makes no sense. It has to be idiomatically translated as “I’ll ask a favor of you”.”

              An idiotic half-truth (although it’s better than the usual lies at least).
              While it is true that literal translations are not always correct, but many times they are.
              When an Arab tells you that you are an ibn-sharmuta, then the correct (and literal) translation is that you are a son of a whore.
              As for the culture specific, idiomatic translations:
              When an Ethiopian tells you that “your mother fucks among the reeds” (an Ethiopian curse), even you can understand that he didn’t say that your mother is a virgin.

              • I agree. Sometimes literal translations are correct. But, unless you’re arguing that marg bar sibzamini is a threat of violence against potatoes, it’s hard to argue that marg bar should be translated literally.

                Marg bar Shah, marg bar dictator, marg bar sibzamini, marg bar McDonalds.

                Grow up.

                • For the mentally challenged, I’ll repeat: “Death to potatoes” is satire against your buddy.

    • .Sure. But, in terms of readership, based on some back of an envelope calculations, according to Alexa, CiF gets of the order of 10,000 times the traffic CiFWatch gets. Proportionally, there is several orders of magnitude more support for anti-Muslim hate speech on this site than there is anti-Jew hate speech on CiF.

      It’s the quality and not the quantity that counts.

      Many readers of CiF are vehemently hostile to ‘The Guardian Bible’ as witnessed by rational comments completely hostile to Guardian orthodoxy which are heavily recommended. Many more that 72 recommends.

      Sadly, most of those rational opinions are ‘disappeared’ as the number of recommends rises.

      Remember MoveAnyMountain?

      • “It’s the quality and not the quantity that counts.”

        How does one assess the quality of a “recommend”?

        “Sadly, most of those rational opinions are ‘disappeared’ as the number of recommends rises. Remember MoveAnyMountain?”

        Sadly, I don’t read CiF, so I don’t remember him/her. Would be difficult to comment without knowing the details.

        It’s hard to ignore the fact that proportionally, there is thousands of times the support for hate speech on this site than there is on CiF.

        • Dubi:

          “…Sadly, I don’t read CiF, … Would be difficult to comment without knowing the details….It’s hard to ignore the fact that proportionally, there is thousands of times the support for hate speech on this site than there is on CiF.”

          Now how did you come to that conclusion if you do not read CIF?

          Oh, you took private lessons with Miss Sherwood?

          You couldn’t even begin to grasp the word fact or details…

          Shame on you!

  3. “Gosh, those Jews, they got massacred and downtrodden for so long I was sure they’d turn out nicer people than to go around defending themselves.”

    A common confusion. How could suffering fail to turn us into a people ready to do whatever will make a Western liberal feel warm and snuggly inside?

    Especially after the Western liberal cried his or her eyes out over Anne Frank, and was in a community production of “Fiddler”? We OWE it to them not to take up nationalism or self defense.

    (Sorry, occasionally I get twitchy.)

  4. Nothing that the Guardian does in regards to Israel is surprising,That whole nasty raggedy piece of trash called the Guardian is built on hatred for Israel.

    It’s engineered to smear,denigrate,and falsely accuse Israel of everything under the sun…..