David Hearst complains of a “disgusting” site which monitors the Guardian

Yesterday, we cross posted a piece by the CST on a forum held at the Front Line Club in London which was titled “Critiquing the media’s approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict” and included British Islamist, Ibrahim Hewitt, ex-BBC Middle East correspondent Tim Llewellyn, and Guardian foreign leader writer David Hearst.  The discussion was chaired by Mark McDonald, a founder of Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East.

Sure enough, the event did not disappoint, with participants continually attempting to explain the dangerous influence of the Israel lobby (which was alternately referred to as the Zionist lobby and the Jewish lobby) on media coverage of the Middle East.

Highlights include this from Llewellyn about the apparent fear of the Jewish lobby within the UK media:

Why are we afraid of [the Jewish lobby]? That’s what I don’t understand.

Is it because. I can see it in the BBC. They’re frighten’, these people are quite aggressive, right. The Jewish Lobby is not much fun. They come at you from every direction.

Here’s Hewitt on Zionist “sleepers” all around the world:

It’s very telling that…the Israeli Foreign Ministry actually issued a directive to the hasbara people, the propaganda people, around the world, start placing articles…so they were very confident that they had the ability, the people in place to be able to do that…said a lot, if they can just basically give this directive and all these sleepers all of a sudden wake up and start doing things. There are clearly people in positions of influence who are able to do this.

Here’s a clip of some of the more inflammatory comments:

However, there’s another fascinating glimpse into the mind of the British anti-Zionist left in comments offered by Hearst, which you can hear if you forward to the 24 minute mark of the full video.   Here’s part of what Hearst says:

In my short time as lead writer [at the Guardian] I felt that pressure very, very personally, both within and outside the organization.

 If you just Google my name you’ll see…there’s a whole organization which is there to monitor everything I write from a point of view of antisemitism. I mean, the who thing is disgusting….but it’s pressure. It really is pressure.

In addition to his pejorative reference to our blog, what most stands out is that Hearst genuinely seems shocked by the criticism of his work by monitor organizations like CiF Watch – groups which use the power of the written word (and other democratic mechanisms) to hold his colleagues accountable to the EU Working Definition of Antisemitism and the professional standards of the UK editors’ code.

In monitoring the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’ for antisemitism we’re often struck most by their contributors’ appalling hubris and over-sensitivity to criticism – convinced, it seems, that they should reap the privileges associated with their profession without the corresponding responsibility to engage in accurate, ethical reporting.

In case Hearst needs to be reminded, here are the words of  C.P. Scott, the Guardian’s former editor and owner, which appear on our masthead:

‘The voice of opponents no less than that of friends have a right to be heard’. 

Regardless of the smears directed against this blog by the likes of Hearst, we will continue holding them to account, and certainly won’t cease in our efforts to expose their relentless, often bigoted assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish state and on the integrity of its passionate supporters ‘all around the world’.

47 replies »

  1. In the past few days a poster who was comparing the militarisation of early zionists with the Palestinians was called an antisemite, an idiot , a shit and his sexuality was called into question. I dont know what you consider to be disgusting but that ticks a box or two for me

      • “Rosco Burns” comes here and hijacks the discussion before anyone has a chance to comment on the anti-Semitic nature of the discussion in the video. “Roscoe” wants to make it about puppeteer “Nick” in order to divert our attention away from the matter at hand; a tactic he no doubt learned from watching the PLO do it for so long.

    • In the past 65 years, Israel has been called a Mistake, an Apartheid State, Land Thieves, Child Killers, and the Land of Jewish Supremecists. I don’t know about you, but those disgusting labels are sure signs of Anti-Semitic Scumbags.

      Kind of weird, huh?

    • Rosco yesterday you posed yourself a question.
      It was “I wonder if this is the right site for me” You then made similar points about the treatment of poor ‘Nick’, although yesterday you used his name and not as above ‘a poster’.
      If you had bothered to look at the posts of ‘poor Nick’ you would see that there are good reasons why he is called an anti-Semite, an idiot, a shit. I would also add that he is a liar and a coward who runs and hides like a naughty child when he is asked any questions or to justify some of his outrageous claims.
      By now surely you have finished wondering ‘..if this is the right site for me.’ That is if you hadn’t already decided before starting to post here. But, please whatever you decide, before you start moralising about the treatment of ‘poor Nick’ and start labelling this site ‘disgusting’ find out why ‘poor Nick’ gets the responses he does.

      • There doesnt seem to be a way to bunch up all his comments to get an overview and so far I have read only about half a dozen . Each sets off a series of scornful cries of anti semitism and insults which I described above. He seems to know a lot more history than I do hence it is hard for me to judge whether he is being accurate .

        However I have seen nothing at all that could even be tangentially described as anti semitic but I will keep reading

        • Rosco if as you admit “He seems to know a lot more history than I do hence it is hard for me to judge whether he is being accurate” How can you judge whether the ‘scornful cries’ aimed at poor ‘Nick’ are accurate or not?
          If as you admit that ‘Nick’ , “..seems to know a lot more history than I do…” then your knowledge of the history of the region must be at rock bottom, because poor ‘Nick’ relies on half-truths and deliberate lies which he copies and pastes then when challenged runs away and hides for a while.
          I don’t ask nor expect you to take my word for it, just go along to the National Archives in Kew look at the original documents, some not all are available online, then make your own decision as to whether poor ‘Nick’ and his knowledge of history or truth and fact, is anything more than risible.

      • I tried to read more posts but it seems a task too far.My machine keeps crashing.However despite finding no evidence of Nicks antisemitism I have to congratulate the writer who took a poster to task for attacking Greenwald because of his private life. This was unexpected and my feeling is that the below the line posts are what people are talking about when they attack the site

        • “…are what people are talking about when they attack the site” rascal burden

          Which people? If you´re referring to your buddies, then that’s a proof of this blog’s success.

        • I said I couldnt find any .Maybe you could remove your head from the dark place it is in and give me a quote

          • As I said before, rascal burned,”nick” is an obvious obsessed Jew-hater and if you don´t find evidence of it, that´s because you basically agree with him, which makes you as hateful as he is.

            Let me insist: this is not the right blog for you: people here haven´t much patience with your type of hypocrite.

          • As you don`t adress the articles in your postings, you are just one of these trolls who hate jews..

            • In fact, in his very first post this rascal burp was already whining and defending nick-a-Natzie. He´s probably a sock-puppet for one of the contumacious anti-Semites that hate this blog.

            • I am pleased you ask for my view on the article.It is a little self justifying but not extreme. Unlike your post. My inlaws are famous…2 arrived in the UK in 38 the rest all perished the entire extended family.There are several books about them.

              If you apologise and make it believable I might name them

              • Rosoc Burns: “my in laws are famous etc”

                Well, your illustrious friend Nick – who you say knows a lot more about history than you shows complete contempt for your dead relatives, having made insults about a Jew from Poland who, peering into the abyss that was about to engulf his family, your family and every other Jewish family in central Europe, dared to fight back against the anti-Semites that would later devour them.

                As for knowing a thing or two about history, all I see Nick doing is cherry-picking a few choice quotes off the internet to justify a mind corrupted by anti-Semitic libels and conspiracy theories. Haven’t seen him use his independent thought processes to put together a coherent argument against the ‘Zionists’ without using the scaffolding of these convenient cut and paste statements.

                Still, what seems most important for you Rosco, is your desire to keep your place in polite society. You wouldn’t want to ruin a good dinner party by offending the middle class sensibilities of todays Jew-baiters with profanities and insults.

              • If you apologise for your hate of jews maybe your invented inlaws will forgive you.
                Natzie/Nat/ .. is back.

    • The most savage and shocking attacks are routinely carried out on anyone daring to challenge the Israel Lobby.

      How about the son of two Holocaust survivors who, supposedly on the basis of what he posted, is now derided for having a mother who was a kapo?

      The victim cannot sue, since one cannot libel the dead, but how unpleasant can the Zionists get?

      • Hey, nick-a-Natzie, are you still trying to get banned, as you were from elderofzyon and harrysplace? At least you have a new friend in this rascal boredom.

      • “Nick” says:
        “The most savage and shocking attacks are routinely carried out on anyone daring to challenge the Israel Lobby.”
        What sort of “shocking attacks” are “routinely” carried out? Be specific. Anyone’s life in danger? Again, cite examples.
        What sort of bold and daring “challenges” to the “Israel Lobby” (what’s it’s name? address? Stationery?) are you referring to, besides the usual anti-Semitic conspiracy mongering we’re used to seeing, e.g. in the video above? Again, be specific.

        • That’s just the usual tactic of Jew-haters: victimization. They think they can lie with impunity lies and get really pissed-off when challenged. This nick-a-Natzie was so annoying with his relentless lies that he was banned from elderofzyon and harrysplace. A total loser.

          • Jew haters ? When I was a kid a Jew hater was someone who hates Jews. On these threads it seems to be someone who politely asks for evidence when another is called an anti semite.

            Let us hope for a strong safe Israel as a homeland for Jews . One that is so strong that her people can take a little criticism.

      • And what of the Palestinian lobby,the Arab lobby,the Islamist lobby?You surely cannot seriously argue that these lobbies are not incredibly powerful and incredibly unpleasant?
        And if the ZioIsJew lobby is so all powerful,so sinister,so omnipresent,how come israel is continually being singled out for obsesssive microscopic analysis and criticism?
        Oh,and by unpleasant do you mean something like why don’t you just fuck right off?

    • I’m a Lefty. And there are a bunch of Lefty Zionists. I guess being Left Wing doesn’t really matter when it comes to defending Israel’s right to exist.

        • Actually, Greg, it’s pretty easy. I don’t worry too much about changing other people’s minds; my main concern is survival, not petty, bullshit politics. And when somebody wants to challenge me on my thoughts, it’s pretty easy to shoot them down by pointing out the ignorance of their basic straw man argument. Yay, interwebz. What a fun place.

      • You go, koufax. I have repeatedly pointed out that antisemitism and antizionism is no more a left/right issue than it is a Jew/non-Jew issue, and that lazy categorisations of “lefties” as antisemites are not helpful.

  2. Tim Llewellyn is a “founding father” of Arab Media Watch whose leaders have, over the years, often met up with editors and senior journos at various national papers as well as monitor and critique reporting which they view as biased/inaccurate. So, that’s okay but doing the same from a Jewish/Zionist perspective isn’t?

  3. Hearst is Jewish. However his parents, Holocaust survivors, brought him up as a Christian. Quite understandable, given what they’d gone through.

    That’s all you really need to know about how he got here from there.

    • The long-hidden or deliberately suppressed Jewish connection is not uncommon as a basis for anti-Semitic criticism of Israel. Hearst is thus a good example. Very often, accompanied with the sudden “discovery” of the amazing heritage of the Jewish people before they were “corrupted”, uniquely among nations who all except Jews are entitled to have national pride, by the evil of nationalism.

      There are many others – Miriam Margolies suddenly discovered her “as-a-Jew” roots in similar fashion after proudly spurning any Jewish connection for he entire life, just to name one of the more bizarre examples. An example of a gentile’s Jewish connection to hatred of Israel (and Jews) is African American Alice Walker, who was once married to a Jew, and after their separation has made a career out of antisemitism that it is impossible not to connect to her emotions regarding her former marriage. I believe she has a new book out which according to reviews would make Goebbels blush.

    • No. It is not really understandable at all. It’s called joining up with the bullies. Nazi anti-semitism fed on historic christian anti-semitism and besides, Nazi’s killed ‘christianised’ Jews as well.
      Although I do understand that what you mean is on a human emotional level we can see why they did it.

    • That’s all you really need to know about how he got here from there.

      Please do explain.

  4. Well the sad thing is that CiFWatch is even necessary. I started following it after I became disturbed by the blatant psychiatrization of Melanie Phillips on CiF, and the obvious failure of the CiF moderators to realise that this is a discrimination, both of people with mental health problems and of course Melanie Phillips. Since then I have found nothing disgusting in CiFWatch. something else which woke me up is that I happen to be reading Alois Prinz’ biography of Hannah Arendt. That put anti-semitism in an historical context for me. The task of opposing anti-semitism is not just the task of Zionists, Israelis or jewish people, it is ever civilised person’s responsibility.

    Since then

  5. Hearst’s comment is a perfect example of the inability of people at the Guardian to accept that criticism of their obsessive attacks on Israel are legitimate and well-founded. They believe in “freedom of expression” – as long as it is their freedom – and get extremely upset when it is directed at them, by for example, CifWatch, which regularly exposes their “errors”. Other examples are Greenwald’s snarling replies to criticism, and even more so, Richard Silverstein of Tikkun Olam.

  6. I used to be astounded at the levels of Antisemitism coming from Jewish or those who have Jewish heritage and I am only surmising but perhaps fear is part of the reason why. It’s hard to be Jewish under a barrage of hate, it’s hard to put your head above the parapet and argue for the right of the state of Israel to be a safe and secure ‘Jewish Homeland’. Much easier to join in with the haters where it is probably much more comfortable. These people should remember that during the Holocaust it didn’t matter a jot and if you had one Jewish parent regardless of your politics,you were herded into a cattle truck heading for the camps and ovens too. There were Jews who helped push other Jews into the ovens…I liken those people to present day Jewish Antisemites. As for me, I’m Jewish and proud to stand up for Israel.

  7. Well this is terrific news. It means Cifwatch is doing its job, which is holding people like Hearst to account, and exposing their lies and propaganda.

    Hearst seems to think he can demonize Israel and insult the Zionist movement while remaining immune from criticism himself. Like most bullies, he can dish it out but he can’t take it. I am delighted he finds the pro-Israel campaign personally painful, and is feeling under pressure.

  8. “Regardless of the smears directed against this blog by the likes of Hearst, we will continue holding them to account, and certainly won’t cease in our efforts to expose their relentless, often bigoted assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish state and on the integrity of its passionate supporters ‘all around the world’.”

    Well said.