ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

The Guardian Censors Jews

with 11 comments

Those concerned with freedom of speech and even the plain exchange of views in society should be alarmed at the Guardian’s treatment of Geoffrey Alderman:

“I can now reveal that, within days of the publication of my critique, I received an email from the Guardian telling me that, if I dared to continue writing for CiF Watch, I would no longer be able to contribute to CiF. It was, I was summarily warned, “an either/or choice”.

I can further reveal that I have now been placed on a special list of persons whose CiF comments will be reviewed in advance of their online publication.

Written by modernityblog

04/02/2010 at 16:19

11 Responses

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  1. The ‘special list’ is those that Mark Seaton said were ‘untrusted’, not so?

    Margie in Tel Aviv

    04/02/2010 at 17:40

  2. Margie,

    I assume so, but there’s more to this story. I doubt this is the first occasion.

    modernityblog

    04/02/2010 at 17:44

  3. Not sure why you’re said ‘Jews’ in the title. Their race and / or religion does not appear to have been a factor in the decision? Why bring it up other than to resort to familiar calls of anti-Semitism?

    P

    05/02/2010 at 22:45

  4. You try to work it out.

    modernityblog

    05/02/2010 at 22:49

  5. Good point, I forgot that those good folks at the Grauniad just are anti-Semites. Must be if they occasionally write critical stories about Israeli awar crimes and apartheid. No doubt they have a special office for finding Jews to censor.

    P

    07/02/2010 at 11:52

  6. Tut tut, jumping to conclusions and constructing a strawman.

    Try this, hypothetically, instead of Jew, substitute the word Christian

    and instead of animosity towards Israel substitute the notion of animosity towards Christianity,

    then replay CiF in your head, the CiF poster’s contributions (as in this example being fundamentally anti-Christian), then when a noted defender of Christianity is warned off, ask yourself why?

    modernityblog

    07/02/2010 at 15:03

  7. Well, I would say it’s you jumpting to conclusions, in that case.

    Your comparison is flawed because what Israel is to Jews is not what Christianity is to Christians.

    May I ask why, instead of writing that the Guardian is censoring pro-Israel commenters, you instead chose to use the word Jews? Perhaps I am jumping conclusions in assuming that you were trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but only you can know your own mind. Enlighten me…

    P

    07/02/2010 at 16:53

  8. It’s fairly bleeding obvious that the majority of “pro Israeli” posters at CiF, as you say, are Jews.

    It’s fairly obvious that many people, including yourself, are nearly completely utterly insensitive to anti-Jewish racism, if it doesn’t have an armband on it.

    And if people are insensitive to these issues then clearly they won’t understand why other people see them differently.

    Led a horse to water?

    modernityblog

    07/02/2010 at 17:12

  9. I really hope I’m not insensitive to any kind of racism. And where I find that I am, I’m more than willing to take steps to correct it.

    However, I think that if you are going to write post headings like that, you first need to ask yourself why this person was censored. Was it because he was Jewish or was it because of his associations with another critical website?

    Now, if it’s the former, then that would be utterly outrageous, and would call for severe criticism. However, I suspect that it was the latter.

    On the issue of how many of the pro-Israeli posters on the Guardian are Jewish, I have to say that it is far from obvious that ‘most’ of them are Jews. I believe you are mixing up two probabilities: the probability that IF someone is a Jew THEN they will be pro-Israeli, and the probability that IF someone is pro-Israeli THEN they will be a Jew.

    I think the probability of the former is fairly high, but the probability of the latter is probably not. Why do I say that? There are around 13 million Jews in the world. In the US there are about 150 million Christians. Even if you accept that the incidence of a pro-Israeli stance among Jews is extremely high (say 90%) the number of Christian pro-Israelis is bound to be higher. In fact, in order for their to be as many pro-Israeli Christians as pro-Israeli Jews, the incidence need be only 7.9% among this population.

    So I believe the numbers are against you.

    P

    08/02/2010 at 09:32

  10. P.eacock, you’re apparently quite ignorant of sampling theory.

    The statistcal universe of Americans is not the same thing as the statistcal universe of Guardian posters.

    P.eacock

    10/02/2010 at 02:26

  11. It was just an example to show how the numbers could stack up, but you make a fair point.

    Nevertheless, it doesn’t detract from the first part of the argument which is that the Guardian in all likelihood did not censor two people on the basis that they were Jewish as well as the confusion of the two distinct probabilities. I just think bringing race / religion / culture into this issue was an unwise and wrong-headed thing to do.

    But I’ve discovered that it’s very rare (I’m yet to find an incidence of it) where MB has retracted a position. I supsect that the probability of MB admitting he is wrong is low. The probability of him retracting a statement is also low. The probability of both ocurring together must be infinitesimally small.

    On a more positive note, this article by Yasmin Alibhai Brown makes the case for taking racism against Jews more seriously: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/yasmin-alibhai-brown/yasmin-alibhaibrown-still-no-hope-of-common-sense-in-the-war-against-antisemitism-1892286.html. It’s a wake up call to me, certainly. However, she is also critical of those who exploit it, which might be a wake up call to others.

    P

    10/02/2010 at 13:47


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