ModernityBlog

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

Posts Tagged ‘The Guardian

Whisky, West Dunbartonshire Council And Fakes.

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In response to the symbolic boycott of Israeli products by West Dunbartonshire Council some people are organising a boycott of Scotch whisky.

It all seems to me a bit petty, given that West Dunbartonshire Council doesn’t actually import any Israeli products. Certainly, they use technology which is derived from Israeli know-how, that includes but isn’t limited to Intel chips, Microsoft XP software and Kinect.

However, the Council and the posturing Councillors are hardly going to inconvenience themselves by really boycotting Israeli technology, lest it proves too troubling, like giving up using Google (their key search algorithm was developed by an Israeli).

As for the retaliatory boycott, well I am not sure it makes the required point, but Drink Business Review explains:

“FJMC Executive Director Rabbi Simon’s boycott urge followed after Israeli-Anglo blogger and pro-settlement activist, Jameel Rashid publicized on his website a letter to several distilleries located within West Dunbartonshire.

In his letter he stated, the global counter boycott of Scottish whiskey products, distilled in the West Durbanshire council region, is beginning, and requested officers to cease the purchase of any goods that made or grown in Israel.

The West Dunbartonshire Council, while it has not responded publically to calls endorsing a boycott of locally manufactured spirits, has defended the decision which sparked the protest.

The council’s boycott only relates to goods ‘made or grown’ in Israel. The vast majority of mainstream books by Israeli authors are published in the UK, and are therefore not affected by this boycott. “

The intense interest in this issue has revealed an exceedingly unsavoury side to the instigator of the boycott, Councillor Jim Bollan.

Bollan seems perfectly comfortable contextualising the decapitation of a three-month old baby, as the JC reports:

“”Violence breeds violence. Have you any idea what may have motivated this man [Awad] to commit this crime? Could it have been because he may have seen Palestinian children slaughtered by the IDF?”

Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their children were murdered in the West Bank settlement in March. The youngest victim, three month old Hadas, was decapitated.

Responding to another pro-Israel activist, Mr Bollan declared: “Hamas was elected and are freedom fighters alongside the Palestinians fighting an illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel.”

Mickey Green of Scottish Friends of Israel said: “I’m not surprised he has sunk to this level. This is a man with pre-conceived ideas and a mental block to reason. He is functioning at a nasty, visceral level.

Judy reports that the fake Gay Girl in Damascus had form, as, er a “anti-Zionist” or something like that.

Marko at Greater Surbiton points out the Guardian’s complicity in this issue, The Guardian’s disgraceful treatment of Jelena Lecic.

Over at Though Cowards Flinch, Carl has a superb post on Chavez, anti-Zionism, and antisemitism. It is noticeable how the thread is almost monopolised by a particular “anti-Zionist”, who is keen to quibble and nitpick on these issues, but he can’t see any anti-racism. Well, not when it is aimed at Jews, that is.

Finally, Tim Marshall has a provocative post, The ‘Arab Spring’ And The Conspiracy Of Silence:

“Across the Middle East from the Arab leaders you can hear the sound…… of silence. A similar sound emanates from many Muslim ‘activists’.

Take the most glaring example – Bahrain. The allegation, backed by human rights groups, is that the Sunni ruled state opened fire with live rounds on peaceful protesters from the majority Shia population, killed large numbers of people, then followed up with a wave of arrests which resulted in widespread torture.

The response from Arab leaders? In the Gulf, the 6 nation Gulf Cooperation Council quickly sent troops to assist in the repression whilst most Western nations, aware of the US military fleet based in Bahrain did little to upset the old order. Elsewhere, the Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians, Algerians et al – just kept quiet.

During the Egyptian upheaval the House Of Saud was quietly horrified at how quickly the Americans let the Generals get their way and remove Mubarak. In private they let Washington know their displeasure, but to have complained openly would have been to do what you don’t do in the Arab political world in public (and to a lesser extent in our own systems) which is to tell the truth.

Update 1: This is a thoughtful perspective on Tom MacMaster, the fake blogger, Understanding #amina.

The Guardian’s Oxbridge Elite, Press TV And The Kirk.

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Firstly, thanks to Engage for pointing me towards Ben Gidley’s piece at Dissent, The Politics of Defining Racism: The Case of Anti-Semitism in the University and College Union. Clearly, Dr. Gidley is very knowledgeable on this topic and a pleasure to read, here’s a snippet:

“Racism is mercurial. It mutates over time. Pseudoscientific racial theories are now spouted only by marginal cranks. Notions that different races are different species have come and gone; eugenics has come and gone; words like “Aryan” and “Semitic” are starting to sound quaint. The period since the 1980s has seen the rise of cultural racism, or racism that focuses on cultural differences rather than biological ones.”

In class related matters, the Guardian asked its staff, who’d been educated at Oxbridge and had it helped them in their career. Hmm, not a hard question to answer. Next, they’ll be saying old Etonians dominate the British establishment.

The New York Times on Ratko Mladić, chocolates and genocide. I expect that Ed Herman and Diana Johnstone will be up in arms shortly. Balkan Witness has a good page on Herman and other’s denial. NPR is worth a read.

Time has an informative piece on the psychology of dictators, and I suspect that its findings apply more broadly than many would care to admit.

Political Betting looks at political leadership and finds that Ed Miliband has a lower rating than William Hague (when he was Tory leader, briefly), good graph.
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No Comment On Antisemitism At The Guardian?

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Today’s Guardian has a good piece by Jonathan Freedland on antisemitism:

“We may want to believe it went away, but it never did. Not even in the late 1940s, immediately after the revelations of the Holocaust confirmed the murderous place where antisemitic discourse could lead. There were still English literary critics around in those years to refer to the Jews as “Shylocks”, still crime novels with the conniving Jew as the arch-villain. We may want to see the likes of Galliano as relics from another era or as mere eccentrics, but they are expressing a set of attitudes that remain deep in the soil and which have never been fully shaken off. They can appear in the most respected institutions, voiced by the most respectable people. Even when they seem to be dozing, they are never quite dead.”

Yet curiously the Guardian has not enabled comments on this particular article.

It is their right, they can do what they please, but I can’t help wondering if they were fearful of another deluge of antisemitic comments which are frequently found within the pages of the online Guardian and Comment Is Free.

Written by modernityblog

03/03/2011 at 15:34

Racism, Hamas And The Guardian.

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The Guardian’s coverage of Hamas’s racism is often problematic, but it’s not necessarily for the content rather than the downplaying of Hamas’s racism.

As *if* it is incidental to their beliefs.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as the Hamas Covenant shows, oozing from it you will find bigotry and racism towards Jews, conspiracy theories, etc, the lot.

Next, if you were going to report Hamas’s attitude towards the new UN curriculum then you might at least include their initial reaction in 2009:

“”The refugee camps committees categorically refuse to let our children be taught this lie created by the Jews and intensified by their media,” the committees’ letter said. “First of all, [the Holocaust] is not a fact, and secondly, those who added it to the curriculum intended to mess with our children’s emotions.”

Why not mention Khaled Meshaal’s Holocaust revisionism?

Meshaal is a major Hamas leader and his thinking is central to Hamas’s outlook on the world. On the 31st of March 2008, Khaled Meshaal tells a Sky interviewer:

“KM: We don’t want to harm any religion in the world. We don’t deny the holocaust.
But, we believe the Zionists have exaggerated the numbers to get sympathy from other nations. But, there is Palestinian suffering caused by Israel.”

So, the Guardian, if you are going to comment on Hamas’s racism, please at least make an effort.

Update 1: From last year, In The Age of The Internet: More Racism At The Guardian.

Written by modernityblog

28/02/2011 at 16:20

Words Matter.

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Thanks to Bob for directing me towards a piece on the JC by Jennifer Lipman, here’s the concluding bit:

“Why cause a fuss.

Here’s why. Let’s look at where Mr Greenslade made the comment – in a blogpost condemning the intolerance and bigotry of the EDL.

An informed reader might well have recognised the wider point – that Jewish people, given the history of the last century, should be at the frontline in the fight against fascism.

It’s an important and logical argument. But here’s the thing. As the famous quote goes: “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.”

History teaches us as Jews not only to stand up in the battle against bigotry, but also that bigots don’t always read newspaper articles in an informed way.

The generations of ordinary people who hated the Jews did so not least because of the ugly and cheap stereotypes peddled by respected writers and commentators.

They learnt intolerance from the politicians – in Tsarist Russia to Nazi Germany and beyond – who blamed public woes on Jewish conspiracies, from the caricaturists who saw in Jews an easy target, and from journalists who didn’t recognize, or didn’t care to recognise, the power of their words.

Words matter. As Greenslade knows (and blogs about regularly), especially online they have a life beyond themselves.

A throwaway headline in the Daily Star can become another tool in the EDL’s war-chest, regardless of what the story actually was.

A news article about a “Muslim’s” actions – when religion is of little relevance to the story – is fodder for the bigot’s cause.

And an unnecessary line about Jews having “negative views” about Muslims, from an informed and respected writer, is yet another piece of evidence for the antisemitic extremist as to why he hates Jews.
Words always matter. “

Written by modernityblog

11/02/2011 at 21:23

In The Age of The Internet: More Racism At The Guardian.

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The Internet should aid research, it should enable people to be better informed, particularly those in the West, where it is more widespread.

Yet it is still possible to find educated journalists, with access to the Internet, who don’t know the basics.

Instead of Googling Carlos Latuff and realising that he has a propensity for publishing racist cartoons against Jews and Israelis, instead of doing that the Guardian decides to push his work.

Rather than familiarising themselves with Carlos Latuff’s racism, the Guardian becomes complicit.

Readers will remember that Carlos Latuff is notorious for his participation in the Iranian regime’s International Holocaust Cartoon Contest.

Fire Or Bigots, Which Is Important?

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The Wire: Just Journalism’s daily updated blog covers something that struck me too.

I have been reading the Guardian again (after a lapse of some 20 plus years), trying to follow the Wikileaks stories and very interesting they are, whilst doing this worthy enterprise I was compelled to read the rest of the newspaper and in parts it’s not too bad.

However, a story covering the forest fires in Israel was another issue.

Given similar prominence on the same page, was an article which detailed how some idiots, some bigots in an Israeli city don’t like rooms being rented out to Israeli-Arabs by a Holocaust survivor.

It is interesting in one way that it shows the dynamic of Israeli society and how the bigotry was rejected by many Israelis themselves, but rather telling as yet another example of the Guardian’s negative coverage of Israel and Israelis.

I think it’s very wrong for some idiotic and moronic Israelis to argue that Israeli Arabs shouldn’t be given rooms, but it’s not exactly headlined stuff.

At least when compared to a forest fire where more then 40 people have been killed.

If your intent was to demonise Israelis and prove that they were racists, to the core, then you might find such a story interesting, then again you might also ask why Israelis and Jews can’t even set foot in many Arab countries, for fear of being killed, a slightly graver issue, but not one that the Guardian wishes to cover.

I think it shows you the Guardian’s warped sense of proportion that an article detailing forest fires and the resultant deaths are given side-by-side with this story of animosity towards Israeli-Arabs, which many Israeli organisations are making a very conscious effort to fight.

Sadly, the Guardian’s intense scrutiny of the Middle East doesn’t venture much beyond Israel, or to be equally critical of the other 22 countries nearby, I wonder why?

Written by modernityblog

04/12/2010 at 02:23

Explaining The EDL And The Guardian.

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My reason for writing the post, Imagine you’re a British neofascist, was to convey the political absurdity of the Guardian’s original photograph.

The implied meaning of the photo was to connect the EDL with Israel, and so in turn to Jews.

It was to imply, in a not too subtle fashion, that Jews could be EDL thugs too, that was the message coming from the Guardian.

This was not the first time that I have run across this (implied) argument and when you consider the politics and history behind it then it doesn’t bear much scrutiny.

However, let us step back and be clear that the EDL leadership are made up of neo-Nazis and their allies.

We know this from circumstantial evidence, video footage, the publication of EDL events on neo-Nazi bulletin boards and above all from the statements of the one-time founder of the EDL, Paul Ray.

Ray admits that neo-Nazis took over the EDL in a video clip, here.

But perhaps we should consider some of the underlying issues and see what comes out.

In this form of arguing by innuendo, what we are meant to believe is that the neo-Nazis and their close associates, who actually run the EDL and decide policy, have suddenly taken a liking to Israelis, and by inference Jews.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Clearly, an alternative line of reasoning is possible, that the neofascists within the EDL are lying about their motives.

It is a simpler and much more straightforward answer because otherwise we have to explain away why neo-Nazis would suddenly take a liking to Israelis, and Jews.

The problem being is that, neo-Nazis don’t like Jews, and in particular Israel as it is seen as the centre of Jewish power. That is something that all neo-Nazis fear the most. A central theme to Nazism is the notion that Jews control and manipulate events around the world from a central location, in this case Israel. [Warning: illustrative links to original Nazi propaganda, nasty racist material.]

It is hardly credible that entrenched neo-Nazis would suddenly wake up one-day and decide “Yes, we like Israelis.”

It seems incongruous, and ever so improbable.

Why people would advance these arguments in one way shape or form I can’t say, they are nonsensical because you have to assume a multiplicity of tenuous assumptions, that just don’t hang together naturally.

For example, firstly, you have to assume that neo-Nazis are honest about their motives. Secondly, that you can take their word as truthful. Thirdly, that they are sincere in their beliefs. Fourthly, that they have changed completely, to now liking Israelis and Jews.

Which is all rather ludicrous and contrary to the evidence.

Possibly the reason that this argument, by innuendo, is pushed is that those people advancing it are completely ill-informed about the nature of the EDL?

Or conceivably they know next to nothing of politics or history? Perhaps they haven’t thought about the issues? Maybe they are prisoners of their own prejudices, they want to believe the worst and so do.

I can’t say one way or the other but what disturbs me is that seemingly highly educated individuals would erroneously jumped to the conclusion that neo-Nazis have suddenly grown a love for all things Israeli, and Jews in particular.

It doesn’t make sense.

Surely, following Occam’s razor, the simpler answer is probably the correct one? And in the case of the EDL that means they are merely putting on a front and lying.

Of course, if you’re going to seriously argue the EDL really like Israelis and Jews then it is incumbent on you to provide some concrete evidence other than a flag.

Also you would have to explain how neo-Nazis have come to this conclusion and why. Above all, you would have to explain how neo-Nazis have dropped their all-consuming hatred of Jews and are now to be taken seriously.

It’s not too surprising that those most keen to advance these arguments are often themselves fierce critics of Israel, but to argue that the neo-Nazis in the EDL leadership should be taken at face value is naive at best.

Some gullible types might be taken in, but that doesn’t change the historical evidence nor the fact that the EDL leadership are neo-Nazis and their allies.

Again, so anyone trying to advance this argument would:

1) have to explain why the EDL leadership are not neo-Nazis
2) need to argue why those neo-Nazis are sincere and should be taken at their word
3) detail precisely why the EDL had taken this position, etc etc

I favour the simplest answer that the neo-Nazis in the EDL are lying and using this as a ploy to wrong foot their opponents.

Seriously, why should we believe the EDL?

What compelling reason is there that we should suspend our natural scepticism of political activists? If we would take the words of mainstream politicians with a pinch of salt, then surely the EDL’s and their assorted neo-Nazis’ deserve more than a handful?

Ultimately, the EDL are not what they say they are, and anyone semi-serious on these issues shouldn’t be fooled by them, and certainly not Guardian journalists.

PS: I am away for a few days, so if you haven’t commented before you’ll get stuck in the moderation queue for the first time, that’s how it works.

Please be patience .

Oh, and any would-be EDL supporters, please read my comments policy, twice.

Update 1: I thought it would make it easier to post the previous instalment, Imagine you’re a British neofascist, below:

This is going to be difficult, but imagine you are a British neofascist:

“Further, imagine, that you long for the days when you can openly worship Nazism, as your forbears in and around the leadership of the British National Front used to do.

Imagine your frustration, you are a British neofascist and yet you can’t be open about it, you can’t express your admiration for David Irving or visit extreme right-wing Japanese groups without someone finding out.

In short you are in a pickle, you want your odious ideology to succeed but realise that most people would sooner eat their own vomit than join you in the Nazi salute.

Then you have a bright idea. Why not hide the extremes of your neofascist ideology? Why not wear a suit? Why not try to pick on the weakest in society as your heroes from Nazi Germany did, but do it with a twist?

Cunningly, as a devious British neofascist, you would not attack the ultimate target: Jews, directly

No, that wouldn’t work, so you have to think of another scheme.

Who to attack? And who to whip up hatred against? Who to use to build a street army?

Then in a flash it occurs to you, you’ll attack immigrants, but stop, that hasn’t been too successful for the BNP. What else can you do?

Ahh, attack Muslims, but not directly, not whilst wearing your suit.

So you infiltrate a new organisation, you make sure that all your neofascist and neo-Nazi pals are in key positions of power, and eventually take it over.

Still you’re worried, as a devious British neofascist, that your political enemies with see through these tactics, and then it hits you, how to throw them off the scent?

Pretend that you like Jews. Get one of your knuckle headed friends to get an Israeli flag or two. And when you walk around wave it a lot. What a laugh!

Your mates think it is funny, they hate Jews with a passion, but it is a big wind-up and people don’t know how to react, many stop and think, others are fooled and some like your natural opponents in the liberal minded Guardian suddenly think that a bunch of neo-Nazi skinheads have converted to Zionism, how wrong could they be!

All the same, as a British neofascist, you don’t mind if the Guardian takes pot-shots at Jews.

In fact, you think it is funny, that highly educated journalists don’t really understand modern neo-Nazism, letting you have your way. And once you’ve whipped up enough hatred against the Muslims then you can turn to other ethnic minorities, and eventually Jews.

Whilst all this is happening you, as a British neofascist, will have an able ally in the Guardian as they don’t much care for Jews or Israelis either. Plus the fact they haven’t worked out that you can’t stand Jews or liberals, but their gullibility blinds them to the fact that neofascists are frequently dishonest about their motives.

The Guardian types don’t know that you will do anything to get power, even tell fibs. But none of that will matter once you’ve grown from a proto-street army to an organised force, all of that will be too late.

But, as a British neofascist, you thank your lucky stars that the Guardian editorial staff seem to know next to nothing of history, care even less and have their own set of prejudices.

Then you trot off to polish your steel capped-boots, ponder a recruitment campaign at the Guardian, all with a smug grin on your face.”

Imagine that.

Actual Guardian article on the EDL, published on August 21, 2010

Guesting At CiF Watch.

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I have a guest post up at CiF Watch, imagine you’re a British neofascist.

Neo-Nazis And The Guardian.

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It is often very hard to distinguish the real thinking behind remarks left at Comment is Free.

Some are obviously offensive, others are openly racist and many others are borderline, full of euphemisms, twisted reasoning and questionable assumptions. Plus the fact that many of the most extreme racists have learn to hide their views under a mountain of verbiage or post-modernist twaddle.

So articles like that of Efraim Zuroff’s No time limit for Nazi convictions are most welcome, not only for their content but as they serve a secondary purpose of highlighting those with sympathies for the Extreme Right.

I will leave readers to analyse the full content of the thread, some 159 comments and see how even on this topic certain Far Right posters on Comments is Free can’t resist making snide remarks about Jews or Israel.

I am sure readers will notice that those on the thread so sympathetic to Heinrich Boere are often equally bitter against Israel and Jews, which is hardly a coincidence, is it ?

Not that the Guardian would like it if a fair few of its on-line posters were thought of as neo-Nazis or their sympathisers?

Nation Or Government?

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Colin Shindler’s letter in the Guardian highlights some of the dodgy thinking behind the Guardian editorial which uses the phrase:

“Both events in London and Washington are the marks of an arrogant nation that has overreached itself. “

Arrogant nation?

Not as Shindler points out Government or administration (if we were discussing North America), but the Guardian editorial writer chose to use the words “arrogant nation”

That says to me that he or she has wider problems with the very notion of Israel, and not the actions of a particular administration.

The Guardian editorial will have been the product of much discussion within that newspaper, and the writer will have been a highly educated individual, lucid, experienced and in command of his or her words, so the choice of “arrogant nation” is particularly revealing of their underlying psychology, or should that be complex.

Written by modernityblog

25/03/2010 at 11:56

Meretz UK

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Meretz UK is organising a number of talks and one of them is particularly topical:

“Sunday, 21 March – 19.30 Hagai van der Horst: Looking into anti-Jewish and anti-Arab racisms in The Guardian and The Independent.

According to Hagai van der Horst anti-Jewish and anti-Arab racisms exists in some of Britain’s finest liberal newspapers. Furthermore, these two racisms, evident in The Guardian and in The Independent, can be viewed as in polar opposition to one another:

1. Hatred towards ‘the Jew’ is often portrayed as the religious and all powerful internal enemy.
2. Hatred towards ‘the Arab’ is often portrayed as the political and weak external enemy.

Recent press coverage will be shown to demonstrate this, including amongst other things, footage about the Peace Talks, the 2006 Israel – Lebanon war, the Palestinian Authority elections, and reports on the Holocaust and the Naqba. A must see informative talk, for anyone interested in the Middle East and the British Liberal tradition. Don’t miss it! Hagai van der Horst is currently completing his PhD research at SOAS (University of London).”

Here’s more.

I do hope that Meretz UK will record the event, either as an MP3 or a video clip.

(H/T: Bob from Brockley)

The Guardian’s Blindspot.

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There is an excellent article in today’s Guardian, dealing with the growth of Far Right groups in America and it highlights how aggressive rhetoric from people like Glenn Beck may have contributed to that rise, as it reports:

“How far such language is now part of the mainstream political discourse was confirmed by Politico today, which reported that it had obtained a Republican national committee document detailing plans to raise election funds with “an aggressive campaign capitalising on ‘fear’ of President Barack Obama” and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism”.”

So the Guardian is right to point out that aggressive rhetoric in the public discourse can have dire consequences, the rise of the Far Right, the potential for incitement, racial violence, etc

All very observable and easily documented, based on the evidence.

Yet the irony is that the Guardian, in the form of its electronic service, Comment is Free contributes to such racism on a daily basis.

Granted, it is not the bellicose demagoguery of American talk show hosts, it is rather very English, understated, but the effect is similar.

Instead of attacks on President Obama, creeping socialism etc, instead of that Comment is Free posts outpourings of anti-Jewish racism, conspiracy theories and attacks on Israelis on a daily basis.

And that is the Guardian’s blindspot, their inability to see how they are actively contributing to anti-Jewish racism.

(H/T: Adam Holland)

Written by modernityblog

05/03/2010 at 14:20

The Guardian Censors Jews

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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

Advocating The Slaughter Of Jews.

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I don’t read the Guardian nowadays so I find that CiF Watch provides a very useful service in documenting the ongoing racism which is found in the paper, and particularly on Comment is Free.

The stuff you see there is nauseating and invariably attacks Jews under the guise of “Zionists”, but I haven’t seen any CiF posters advocating the slaughter of Jews, until now.

A certain user, WilliamBapthorpe, posted the following on 6 January 2010, 1:08 PM:

“We’ve been doing that for the last forty years till we’re blue in the face. Sadly there’s only one way to deal with these religiously motivated maniacs who think their superstitious beliefs from international law. 1. We asked them to leave their squats, kindly. 2. If they don’t, we force them to at gunpoint. 3. If they still refuse, they must be slaughtered, every last man, woman and child.

Yes, that’s right, he is advocating that Jews in the West Bank be slaughtered.

You might think that such a comment would get the user banned from CiF, but no. He is still posting, eventually the comment was removed but WilliamBapthorpe’s account is still very much alive.

It is astonishing that the CiF moderators and editors didn’t ban the user, in fact he’s still actively posting as his account shows “williambapthorpe’s comment 12 Jan 10, 12:55pm (15 minutes ago)”

You would imagine that even people at the Guardian would realise that a line has been crossed?

But no, they didn’t.

You might want to email georgina.henry@guardian.co.uk and ask her why.

Update 1: Over at Robin Shepherd’s blog, Matt Seaton, editor of Comment is Free, tries to defend the indefensible. I would recommend reading Mitnaged’s reply:

13. Mitnaged Says:
January 12th, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Excuse me, Matt Seaton, but which planet have you beamed in from?

Today’s not so little incident from the egregious Bapthorpe is the result of your deliberate cultivation of a climate of Israel-hatred above the line which often results in barely-concealed Jew-hatred below it from the usual suspects whom you would not dream of banning, and yet you ban pro-Israel posters (many of whom happen to be Jewish) at the drop of a hat!

Your blog allowed incitement towards killing Jews, Matt Seaton, to remain online for long enough for other blogs, eg CiF Watch, to pick it up.

You say “..As for contributors being ‘frequently banned merely for voicing politely worded comments which oppose the demonisation of Israel’, I would love to be presented with a single instance (since I note you do not offer one). As you and I have discussed, you yourself have an open invitation to contribute to Cif…”

You banned me, Matt Seaton for far, far less than you allow WilliamBapthorpe to continue posting. I opposed your allowing Hamas terrorists and apologists for them to post on CiF. Hamas hates Jews doesn’t it? I opposed their Jew-hatred, politely and assertively. I did not call for all of them to be killed or for any of them to be harmed. But I was banned permanently from CiF.

“The idea, moreover, that Cif (or the Guardian more generally) is waging a ‘campaign of hatred’ against Israel is demonstrably untrue.”

I have this strange sensation of sinking into an alternative reality Matt Seaton. Demonstrate for us HOW it is untrue (given the number of ill-researched, badly constructed articles which are economical with the facts about Israel which you commission for CiF).

“We work hard to maintain a wide range of voices on all topics, with an appropriate editorial balance..”

You may work hard but not on this. If there is such a “wide range of voices on all topics” why is CiF so obsessed with the Israel-Palestine issue? Why are there so few articles by comparison about the appalling human rights in Saudi and under Hamas in Gaza? Why are there not frequent articles about the continued breaches of the cease fire by Hamas, and their effects on the citizens of Sderot and the surrounding areas?

“…this includes vigilance and sensitivity in our coverage of Israel and the Middle East…”

See my previous question and again, no it doesn’t. You are much less sensitive to Israeli opinion than you are to anti-Israel opinion. This is reflected by the heavy emphasis on anti-Israel articles, Matt Seaton (note: above the line by means of the articles) which makes it easy for people like WilliamBapthorpe to publish his incitement to murder and other egregious nonsense below the line.

“… The notion that we enable and abet ‘bigotry’ is so far wide of the mark, Robin, that, frankly, it damages your authority and credibility as a journalist and author in promoting it…”

Now you are becoming hysterical Matt Seaton. Of course CiF aids and abets bigotry! It publishes ill-researched anti-Israel opinion as hard fact and such editorial ineptitude , as I have already written, opens the door to the hatred below the line. Your moderators show their bias time and time again.

And the sentence above to Robin puts paid entirely to whatever shreds of credibility you and CiF might ever have had.”

[My emphasis.]

Update 2: Yaacov Lozowick has another take on the matter, please do read his letter to the Guardian, it makes an important point.

Update 3: Here’s Simply Jews take on it.

Written by modernityblog

12/01/2010 at 14:22

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