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

Posts Tagged ‘Cif

Amazon Vs. CiF.

with 6 comments

I simply couldn’t resist this, as Seismic said, “Mercifully, the moderators at amazon are less “hands-on”:

From an Amazon review of Ben White’s book:

” 1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful, unbalanced, and ultimately unhelpful, 10 Jul 2009

By Entrepreneur (London) – See all my reviews

Ben White is known to be a very biased writer. He approaches the situation in Israel from a highly prejudice point of view, and makes no effort to be balanced or even handed. So if you’re an unthinking Israel hater, you might like this book, as it’ll add fuel to your fire of hatred. But if you are looking for an intelligent assessment of the complex and terrible situation in the Middle East, and it’s causes, look elsewhere. While White claims to be dealing with the origins of the situation, he does everything but. He prefers not to mention terrorism, and successful measures to stop it.

This author prefers everything to be black and white, good or bad, right or wrong. And for him, Israel can only do wrong. Having gone on the record as ‘understanding why’ people are antisemitic, one might question his reasons for this. No serious author on this topic should be this blinkered, limited, and prejudice. Such an approach is part of the problem, not the solution.

White neglects to mention vital events, such as Israel disengaging completely from Gaza in 2005. He ends many of his quotations just a bit too early, thus bending their meaning to his needs, but totally misrepresenting the original sense of the original source. And his sources all turn out to be form totally anti Israel writers. No serious author limits themselves in this way, and thus this reader can only conclude that White wasn’t aiming for balance, but for dogma and and bile. On that score, he succeeds (hence the 1 star I have awarded him), but as a wannabe author and peace activist, he needs to try much harder.

A dreadful little book. “

Written by modernityblog

11/07/2009 at 19:15


with 5 comments

Seismic has the Guardian bang to rights with their silly moderation policy and even sillier control freakery in trying to form the terms of the debate.

Not only do “anti-Zionists” like Ben White ban critics from public meetings, but they can’t take factual corrections of their own faulty research. As shown below, White used made up quotes from Ben Gurion to paint a bleaker picture of his views and the situation in pre-1948 Palestine.

Fake quotations from the Talmud and the Zionist leaders, including Ben Gurion, used to be confined to neo-Nazi and Extreme Right web sites, but now they are entering the mainstream thanks to War on Want, Ben White and Pluto Press, oh, not forgetting the Guardian’s role.

My last comment on that Ben White thread was thrown into moderation and I would expect, given the capricious nature of the moderation policy on CiF around these topics, that it won’t see the light of day, other than on this blog, just a reminder:

“I find it fascinating that a liberal newspaper, The Guardian, which apparently champions freedom of speech and freedom of expression has such a one-sided moderation policy.

So far I have had three, fairly innocuous, comments deleted.

I do, however, feel fortunately that neither the Chinese State, nor the Guardian’s moderators and their bosses, have control over the wider Internet or I suspect there would be a serious diminishment of the exchange of views as a result.

Still, the Guardian’s desire to control the terms of the debate does not go unnoticed in the wider blogosphere.

Shame about CiF, I used to like it.

That is the problem with power, it goes to people’s heads be they, Prime Ministers, Presidents, journalists, politicians or lowly Internet moderators.

Anyone interested can read the Guardian’s laughable community-standards (moderation policy). Shame they only partly implement their own guidelines on “We will not tolerate racism…”.

Written by modernityblog

11/07/2009 at 18:37

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The Guardian, Moderation and Anti-Jewish Racism.

with 4 comments

I can see that when a final reckoning on the CiF project at the Guardian is conducted that it won’t be too pretty.

Certainly, the Guardian’s CiF has stimulated debate, but what safeguards have been put in place to avoid it being used to foster racism and bigotry.

Latterly the Guardian introduced some moderation but in the more contentious threads many racist remarks still slip through.

The racist remarks that slip through a notable for one particular reason, they are normally aimed at only one social and ethnic minority, Jews.

Other bigoted comments which attack gays, blacks, the Roma, or even Muslims, etc are picked up with great speed and deleted before you could say “worried liberal”.

But it would be a fairly easy task to implement a careful moderation scheme which also manages the outpouring of anti-Jewish racism. Sadly, the Guardian and its staff are seemingly incapable of doing that relatively simple task.

I can’t determine if it is a lack of will, an indifference, a deficit in training or just plain laziness which means the Guardian forums on anything remotely connected to Israel often become a hotbed of barely concealed anti-Jewish racism.

This is surely surprising, as the Guardian, being Britain’s only liberal daily newspaper should be in the forefront of the opposition to anti-Jewish racism, but as we saw when it pushed Churchill’s nasty racist play, Seven Jewish Children, it is clearly losing its moral compass, or at least playing to the lowest common denominator. I’m not sure which.

Either way it is not an edifying sight, still it reminds me of what Dave Rich wrote:

“It is often said, not least by CST, that criticism of Israel is perfectly legitimate, just as it is of any other state. Equally, though, people who want to criticise or campaign against Israel should exercise care that their activities do not invoke or allude to traditional antisemitic imagery or language.

Written by modernityblog

10/07/2009 at 18:53

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The Guardian Getting Touchy About Own Racism on Cif.

with 21 comments

Well, not really. My impression is that the Guardian doesn’t mind criticizing Israelis or Jews, but can’t stand it when their obvious prejudices are pointed out.

I have been following an article by Ben White on CiF, and had commented:

“I can only wonder, in say 10 or 20 years from now, when someone is writing a potted history of how anti-Jewish racism came to resurrect itself in England, how the Guardian, as a liberal newspaper, will fare?

Not too well I suspect.

Here’s Eric Lee’s account of that meeting.

Then a few minutes later my remarks had been deleted:


10 Jul 09, 2:18pm (about 1 hour ago)
This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.”

Which is somewhat strange, as my comment was fairly innocuous. I can only assume that they are a bit touchy about being reminded of the racism that they are pushing.

Update: Other poster at CiF had similar problems (from the comment above):

I had the following deleted. CIF moderation told me it was because i had made personal attacks on WHite.

1) Ben – Would you support Israel building the wall along the Green Line ?

Why have you banned a Jewish person from attending your book launch tonight ? Because he’s from a pro-Israeli organisation. Can you not take debate ? Or is it so there isn’t a repeat performance of the anti-semitic abuse (Hitler was right) dished out at the last meeting for your book launch.

You have already written that you can understand why some people are antisemitic which says it all.

2) Hi Syd. Hoffman is definitely banned from the meeting. It’s a War On Want meeting for his booklaunch. Either WOW have banned Hoffman or White has forced WOW to ban him. If it’s WOW then Ben should call fro Hoffman to be allowed entry to the meeting.

“At a recent meeting arranged by White, a woman was jeered when she said her Jewish-sounding name prior to asking a question. Another Jew present was told the Nazis should have finished the job.

Seems that Ben White in his new book has been using false quotes. Bearing in mind he’s a Cambridge graduate in English it’s strange that White has done this as he certainly has the capabilities to source and check his quotations correctly. Bit of a whiff !

No wonder War On Want don’t want Hoffman at the book launch tonight.”

Update 2: Another poster comments:

“I have attempted to criticise Ben White’s neglect of any Israeli perspective on the fence (pro or con) in three varying forms, all non-aggressive or accusatory. I also tried to link to Harry’s Place which have an important response to Ben White’s arguments. All have been deleted. This sort of biased censorship in a mainstream newspaper strikes me as frightening more than anything else.”

Update 3: Seismic has two pieces on White and his attitudes.

Written by modernityblog

10/07/2009 at 15:49

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