Jean Ziegler is a progressive who opposes injustice. How do I know? The Guardian told me.

According to the Guardian’s Thomas Blaser, ‘We let them starve‘, Oct. 5, Jean Ziegler, a Swiss author and politician, and former UN Special Rapporteur for Food, is a “prolific writer” who has boldly “taken on the cause of the developing world…and against injustice.”

The Guardian author helpfully adds the following to assist readers in understanding Ziegler’s politics:

“His combative and at times polemical style has earned him much admiration, but also vilification…particularly from Switzerland‘s liberal-conservatives, closely related to big business, and of course the major Swiss banks, for denouncing their hiding away of stolen funds such as those of former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, [and those from] Jewish people who perished in the holocaust.

He is also a vocal critic of global capitalism’s effects on the developing world, especially Africa.

So, Ziegler, as framed by the Guardian, seems like a decent enough fellow, and a genuine humanitarian.

  • He’s opposed to ‘big business’ and greedy bankers. 
  • He’s against injustice and exploitation.
  • He’s an advocate for the poor and downtrodden.
  • He fights those who continue to exploit Holocaust victims.

Well, unfortunately, the Guardian left out quite a bit of information on the European ‘human rights activist’. 

Jean Ziegler actually has a record of cozying up to dictators who violate human rights, and has shamefully abused and exploited Holocaust memory.

He has praised Robert Mugabe, once claiming that the Zimbabwean dictator has “history and morality with him.” 

In 1986, Ziegler was an adviser to Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, found guilty of genocide in 2006, and helped draft his one-party constitution.

Ziegler has also defended Fidel Castro, and once expressed “total support for the Cuban Revolution”.

Ziegler co-founded, co-managed, and eventually won the Muammar Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights.

The prize, established in 1989, has been awarded to such tireless anti-racists as Fidel Castro, notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Bin Muhammad —who claimed that Jews control the world – and the late French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

In 1996, Ziegler wrote a letter of support for Garaudy, who was convicted in a French court for denying Hitler’s genocide, defending his Holocaust-denying tract for its “rigor” and the author’s “unwavering honesty.”

Here’s an informative video by UN Watch, on Ziegler’s extremism, from 2008.

The certainly don’t make ‘progressives’ like they used to.

48 replies »

  1. “He has praised Robert Mugabe, once claiming that the Zimbabwean dictator has “history and morality with him.”

    In 1986, Ziegler was an adviser to Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, found guilty of genocide in 2006, and helped draft his one-party constitution.
    He has praised Robert Mugabe, once claiming that the Zimbabwean dictator has “history and morality with him.””

    Cif watchers may care to know that Mengistu, who is currently holed up in Zimbabwe under Mugabe’s wing, has reputedly asked Ethiopians on Facebook, following the death last week of his Ethiopian dictator successor Meles Zenawi, “Shall I come back?”

  2. Based on his (Ziegler) appalling credentials to speak up for humanitarian causes, and by airbrushing out his dubious political leanings, the Guardian has found a “hero” to promote its views.

    Pass me a sick bag please.

    • On more UN sponsored human right activist from the dubitante kind promoted by the leading liberal voice.

        • Not the whole world pretzel only the the minority – antisemites masquerading as “Israel critics”.

          • But you – and many others here – do tend to automatically label critics of Israel as anti-Semites.

              • I’m sure a trip to the Guardian’s website and “comment is free” will provide plenty of people who will agree with your thinking pretzelberg….but meanwhile back here in the real world we work to higher standards

              • Pretz,
                are you serious?
                I implore you to get a membership at the Jewish library and knuckle down. You need to read more or talk to people who know about these matters. Oy Vey.

                • No – I don’t need to talk to bigots like you.

                  Adam Levick has called himself a philosemite on this very website.

                  Should I suggest you “get a membership at the Jewish library and knuckle down”? No. That would be an incredibly stupid and arrogant thing to say.

                  • “Adam Levick has called himself a philosemite on this very website.”

                    …..well of course, Adam Levick is Israeli. Go figure. 🙂

                  • ” Should I suggest you “get a membership at the Jewish library and knuckle down”? ”

                    Thanks, I have had one for some time.
                    Learning never stops.

                    • I could imagine the Russian librarians smacking you if you display such disrespect and all round bad education. They mean well! Different generation.

                    • Pretzl,

                      “Strange. I’m not aware of a Jewish library that teaches bigotry and intolerance.”

                      You would not know either way, since you lack the fundamentals and refuse to follow up on my advice and check them out.
                      The library being in Berlin is a treasure trove of precisely the things cifwatch is all about.

                      They even have some fascinating books on Marxism and anti semitism/anti Zionism. A topic you have twice dismissed out of hand.

                      The historian Goetz Aly is also someone who has come up with terrific stuff regarding 19th century German anti semitism and much more. Here is a link

              • Pretzl,
                Yet another good reason to broaden ones mind. Philosemitism is a two edged sword. For some it hides a darker or ignorant aspect, where as for others it is a genuine appreciation of Judaism or one of its myriad facets.

  3. He has praised Robert Mugabe, once claiming that the Zimbabwean dictator has “history and morality with him.”

    That alone would make him ‘beloved’ of Guardianistas.

    Time and time again, I am reminded of the rank delusions of Guardian commenters and writers.

  4. Just when you thought AL-Guardian could not get any worse it does Wonder who AL-Guardian is gonna show its shrinking readership in the light of history and morality….qaddafi, sadddam, chavez the list is endless

    • One commenter posted a comment last week about a post on Hugo Chavez that if Chavez ate live babies on television, The Guardian would still be printing eulogies to him.

      Being anti ‘West’ trumps every thing else under the sun for The Graunids.

  5. Interestingly, Libya under Khadaffy also was part of the landgrabbers, in neighbouring countries as shown in this documentation.

    In the following debate Ziegler did not adress this issue, but focused on Western multinationals as guilty. He was refuted by the other participants who adressed Libya, China, Saudi-Arabia and other countries and their firms as the biggest investors in landgrabbing.,broadcastingNum=1139954,day=6,week=15,year=2010.html

    What else must we know about hypocrisy?

    • Arte TV is a bit like Guardian. Hypocrisy comes naturally to them, but they are too busy sipping wine and munching pretzels to notice.

      • Arte TV is a bit like Guardian

        Yes – way too intelligent and high-brow for the likes of you, Daniel and the other mental midgets here.

        • Arte’s recent piece on Goldman Sachs was very, very biased and failed to meet basic journalistic standards across the front. How stuff like that gets past the bosses in Strasbourg I do not understand?
          There is a crass lack of balance in many of their features. Borderline character assassination, and all paid for by public money. Worrying indeed. A classic case of “progressive” media strutting their stuff.
          Instead of the usual back slapping a little more out-of-the-box would be lovely.

          • From the vast array of ARTE’s programming, Daniel picks on a negative report about Goldman Sachs.

            Just look at yourself. Pathetic.

  6. Mr. Ziegler is quoted at a website of the Palestinian Information Centre as saying this in 2007;

    “NEW YORK, (PIC)– Jean Ziegler, the UN special rapporteur on right to food, castigated the Israeli occupation and described it as the only “colonial regime” which refuses to abide by any international law, calling on the UN to adopt an effective policy forcing Israel to respect human rights and the Geneva Convention.

    “The Israeli occupation is a colonial regime and an illegal military occupation from the UN’s point of view, it continues to annex more Palestinian lands; and thus the Israeli occupation is the worst in the history of colonialism,” Ziegler stated in a TV interview.

    The UN official underlined that the Israeli occupation is causing starvation, physical and psychological oppression to the Palestinian people, but he noted that there is Palestinian resistance, questioning the reason behind the EU’s complicity with the Israeli occupation and why US funds are protecting this occupation.

    The rapporteur described the EU countries as completely “hypocritical” because they refused the results of democratic elections supervised by them after they saw that the winner is Hamas, pointing out that the Europeans should have the bare minimum of principles.

    Ziegler pointed out that the human situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is deteriorated, because the UN statistics revealed that 65 percent of the population of the West Bank are suffering from malnutrition; besides, the Gaza Strip, which is inhabited by more than 1.5 million people has turned into a big prison as a result of the Israeli siege imposed on it.

    He also described the Quartet on the Middle East as a mere shop front, calling on the UN and the EU to withdraw from it as long as their presence in this Quartet is meaningless and useless.”

    It maybe that Mr. Ziegler did not say this, but, I have not been able to find anywhere where he repudiated or denied the views he is quoted as expressing.
    Along with his support for dictators and his views above I can see how he fits the profile for a “Guardian” progressive.