General Antisemitism

Thoughts on the Guardian while at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism


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Along with my CAMERA colleagues, I’ve been participating in the Global Forum for Combating Antisemtism, a three-day conference in Jerusalem organized to allow activists from around the world the opportunity to strategize on best practices in combating the various manifestations of anti-Jewish racism.

During one of the plenary sessions, I was able to ask Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch if he could shed some light on a phenomenon addressed often at this blog: the Guardian’s consistent failure, when reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, to report on the pervasive  antisemitism within the Arab and Muslim Middle East – what we’ve characterized as their glaring antisemitic sins of omission.

Marcus replied to my query concerning the putatively liberal media group’s silence in the face of such bigotry by suggesting that Guardian contributors may find it easier to accept the ‘grievance excuse’ rather than acknowledging the existence of hateful, violent ideologies.  Those who embrace the ‘grievance excuse’ argue, with varying degrees of explicitness, that it is indeed Jewish (or Israeli) behavior which often incites anti-Jewish racism and violence.

One moral corollary of the grievance excuse for antisemitism pertains to the similar tendency to contextualize terrorist attacks by radicalized Muslim citizens of Western countries  as understandable responses to U.S. or UK foreign policy – a narrative advanced, among others, by Glenn Greenwald, Seumas Milne and Rachel Shabi.  

Though the lethal terror attack against Lee Rigby in London by Michael Adebowale did not have an antisemitic component, the failure by these Guardian commentators to deal honestly with the extremist, reactionary interpretation of Islam which inspired his unimaginable savagery follows the same antisemitic logic, denying moral agency to the perpetrator while demanding a moral accounting from the victim.

‘Jews’, the Israeli Holocaust Studies professor Yehuda Bauer insisted during his keynote speech at the Forum, just a few minutes ago, “don’t cause antisemitism’.  ‘Only antisemitic logic and ideology causes antisemitism’, he declared.

While we should acknowledge our inability to know with any degree of certainty whether Judeophobia haunts the thoughts of the Guardian contributors we scrutinize, the intellectual poverty which feeds their polemical obfuscations and moral abdications in the face of even the most grotesque expressions of Jew hatred is undeniable, and shameful.

19 replies »

  1. One of my favorite lines in this context is most certainly ” The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz ” .

  2. The obvious cause of antisemitism concerning Israel is the determination of the Zionists to make people think their actions, whether real or imaginary, are the work of the Jews.

    Israeli forces do the same thing, banging on peoples doors in the middle of the night and yelling “Yahoud, yahoud”.

    • No. it is just the usual hatred of jews and becuase of it the only state of the Jewish people. Nice try however. Zionist in Israel by the way are Jews

    • And here we have Nick the antisemite again, fresh from polluting BBC Watch, he has to leave his vile droppings here too.

      As to the contents of your comment – it is all lies of course. The IDF never do such a thing. However your beloved Arabs have no problem at all shouting “Itbah al Yahud!”

    • Those who embrace the ‘grievance excuse’ argue, with varying degrees of explicitness, that that it is indeed Jewish (or Israeli) behavior which often incites anti-Jewish racism and violence.

      Read that part of the article, did you?

    • Nick: “the determination of the Zionists to make people think their actions are the work of the Jews.”

      Ah, now he makes it clear that he is a sanctimonious left-wing Jew-baiter rather than a neo-Nazi asshole. The only discernible difference is Nick’s self-delusional fig-leaf that Israel being full of ‘Juden’ is purely coincidental to his offensive ‘anti-Zionist’ Jew-baiting.

    • Just like in the Holocaust! Wait, no. There wasn’t Israel at the time…
      Your lies exposed, as well as your anti Semetism.

    • OMG. I just read Nick’s post AFTER posting my comment. Please let me make it clear that my “hear hear” referred to Adam’s article, not to Nick’s despicable ejaculation.

  3. I wonder if the Guardian was discussed at the conference? They have perfected the art of spreading poison and lies about Israel, while keeping (mostly) just on the right side of the anti-Semitic line.

    This is a tactic which needs to be discussed, dissected, and exposed.

  4. … the failure by these Guardian commentators to deal honestly with the extremist, reactionary interpretation of Islam which inspired his unimaginable savagery follows the same antisemitic logic, denying moral agency to the perpetrator while demanding a moral accounting from the victim.

    Surely that should read “the logic behind anti-Semitism” rather than “antisemitic logic”?
    😉