The first Berchmans Award

CIFWatch is instituting the Berchmans Award to recognise the most antisemitic posts on CIF.

 A word of explanation: Berchmans is a permanent fixture on CIF. He is Scottish and a man of few words, but those words he has are guaranteed to be used to vilify Israel. Incredibly he denies there is any antisemitism on CIF and in Scotland (just look at the Scottish PSC which is vicious). Berchmans has never been banned.

Today’s Berchmans Award goes toThe Trustworthy’ on the Silwan thread by Meron Rapaport.

Thank you to the CIFWatch reader who pointed it out. It has now been deleted but (illiteracy notwithstanding) it is a graphic example of the kind of poster that CIF attracts. Maybe this poster was emboldened by Seth Freedman’s logical gymnastics in maintaining that the Aftonbladet organ harvesting blood libel was not antisemitic because it was directed at the IDF and not the Jewish people!


31 Aug 09, 7:57pm

We all know land stealing is not new, but is Organ stealing new??

The hateful zealots, either muslim or Jew or christian will die their own way and we mustn’t associate religion/Race with their deeds.

About Organ Theft

Since there is no clear evidence in support of argument that IDF was involved in Organ cell of Palestinians, I think it would be very naive to conclude anything but mere speculation.

That said, Considering the barbarism of IDF and apathy of Israelis(population as well as gov’t) towards Human being specially of other race than Jew, the argument has good chances of being TRUE.

In support of the “barbarism” claim, I would like to remind readers, The 20ft tall Apartheid Wall, The Phosphorous bombing on civilian population, On UN hospitals, On UN schools, on UN food storage, the buldozed homes of poor palestinians, The group of Jew priests involved in sell of organs, the secondary treatment of its own muslim population. The segregation of muslim population to suppress any revolution from within, most importanly considering a Jew Priests view that if a palestinian human being/lesser humans organ could be used to save a Jew, then the organ must be used…………
I don’t think economist platform would be able to afford the long list of terror that Israeli regime has afflicted on its own muslim citizen and its farmer neighbors.

“Calling stealing of land as Natural growth”
I know this cheap argument is funny as well horrifying, funny because it’s farthest from truth and even discussing such absurd statement sounds madness and Horrifying in the sense that to what level Human being can go down to justify Stealing as Natural growth, Murdering as Defense….


Very CiF, Very Guardian

Over at CiF today, we see a usual one-sided account entitled Fifteen Minutes of Hate by Meron Rapoport which recounts a walkabout with intent in east Jerusalem. Firstly, Rapoport sets the scene for his story. One can almost feel the breeze in east Jerusalem. So far, so good.

Until he states his aim: not, as one might think, to tour the streets of east Jerusalem to interview all sorts of people to give us a wide perspective of what might be going on there – no, Meron Rapoport has a bias and he quickly makes it clear. It is well known that if one wants to find something one usually finds it, viz,

“…. We’re making a film on the blatant institutional discrimination against the residents of this Palestinian east-Jerusalem neighbourhood; authorities favour the Jewish settlers who are not hiding their desire to Judaise the neighbourhood, to void it of its Palestinian character…”

And of course the language is commensurate with the bias – the “vicious” anti-Arab sentiments, the aim to “Judaise the area”, as if Meron Rapoport is talking of a different people than his own. That last phrase alone speaks volumes.

He tells us that orthodox Jewish girls approach him and his crew (strange this, since orthodox Jewish women and, occasionally men, are usually camera-shy) and, wonder of wonders, they tell him exactly what he wants to hear for the thrust of his story – that “Jerusalem belongs to us Jews” etc, etc, indeed everything you would expect to keep a readership of CiF Israel/Jew haters happy and well-fed. (Note, however, that he doesn’t record the conversation verbatim, nor does he tell us how many groups of young girls approached him, if indeed they approached him at all. No, we are meant to take his word for what occurred. Very CiF, very Guardian).

He does, however, tell us of their meeting with another couple of girls, (again he says they approached him) later on. This time these are non-orthodox, and (quelle surprise) he says that they tell them they want the Arabs dead. Again there is no way of proving that they actually said this and used those words – again there is no verbatim transcript (although he was quick enough to tell us verbatim of his encounter with the security guard); no, all we have is his word, but it’s strange, isn’t it, that he’s found two groups of young women each of which has told him exactly what he wants to hear? Is anyone else smelling the rat of the sort of one-sided report so beloved of CiF?

And further down the road we have representatives of a third Jewish group, this time ultra-Orthodox, approaching this crew but, yes, you guessed it, have the same outlook.

Strange that he has not interviewed the same number of Arabs.

By this time our chums appear to be getting disheartened, or so Rapoport would have us believe when he inserts a literary device to tug at the heartstrings: he wistfully declares to his poor, disillusioned buddies that one day perhaps they will run into someone who says something kind about human beings. However, look at this author’s bio on CiF and it’s plain from the final sentence of his article what he thinks will happen and the chances are he will blame Israel for that. It’s also evident that he’s forgotten that kindness and humanity is a two-way street.

Of course the crew would almost certainly have met such people had they looked beyond the remit of their story or had set out with open minds rather than with their eyes wide shut. I have worked with journalists and TV cameramen. I know that sometimes they need to “seed” the set to get the message across, but ethical journalists are careful to limit that to choosing a particularly apposite location, or putting out books and flowers and so on indoors. For an ethical journalist it would not be so deliberate as to give a biased picture.

And note the last paragraph of this lovely story.

“Silwan. Remember that name. Its violence will soon overshadow that of Hebron.”

Does this author remember his history about the riots of Hebron in 1929 when Jews were massacred by Arabs? Is he forecasting the same in Silwan, and, from his narrow, biased outlook, will he blame Israeli Jews for their own demise if it does, rather than the perpetrators of such an episode?

I would not be in the least surprised if he did and was offered column inches on CiF for so doing. As I said above, all this is very CiF, very Guardian.

The Book of Old Guardian Chronicles

Following “The Book of Seumas” here yesterday, this is a cross-post from Judy at Adloyada

Chapter 1

And was it not told, that in the days of the mighty CyrusPScott, he that succoured those of the Exile of the Tribe of Judah that sojourned in the City of Man-chesta in the land of the Mighty Imperial Empire of the Guardian, that he chose as a wise counsellor the Man of Scientific Renown and Learning, the sage Counsellor of the Hebrews of Man-chesta, Chaim ben Weitzman?

And did he not procure a meeting with the troubled King George the Fifth and his ministers and generals, of the land of England, which paid tribute to the Mighty Imperial Empire of the Guardian, saying, Lo, I have heard that ye lack the precious oil of acetone, without which your brave warriors die day upon day in the Wars of the European Nations, even unto the last man?

Now, lo, here is a mighty and wise man of the tribe of the Hebrews, named Chaim ben Weitzman. If it pleaseth the King, send for him, for surely he will give the King and his household true counsel even in the matter of the precious oil of acetone, which no man hath yet found a way to procure, except by the arts of the cursed Germanim with whom ye are at war?

And King George and his counsellors sent for Chaim ben Weitzman, and spake unto him, saying, our brave warriors die day upon day on the battlefield, for we have no precious oil of acetone to make mighty thunder against the war engines of the Germanim.

And Chaim ben Weitzman said unto them: I am the King’s true servant, and also the Lord has spoken through the Emperor CyrusPScott, who hath sent me to you in your time of need, because he is the Guardian of Israel and knoweth that the hearts of we of the Tribe of Hebrews yearn to return to our Promised Land, which is Israel, and not Palestine.

And I will depart and return unto your King’s majesty when I have taken counsel of the Lord and made through His guidance precious oil of acetone which needeth not the arts of the Germanim.

And lo! He returned many months later to the Emperor CyrusPScott, and said, the Lord hath blessed my endeavours and I have cruses without number of the precious oil of acetone which I will give to King George. And now, will not the Guardian put in a word for us with the King that he vouchsafe his help unto us in the matter of making a decree that the Hebrews and all the children of Israel that are scattered to all corners of the earth be gathered back into Israel?

For is not the Sultan of the Turkish Lands not now vanquished in battle by the mighty warrior Al-Enby of the Brits of King George who hath taken Jerusalem and standeth at the walls of Zion?

And the Emperor CyrusPScott spake and said, the matter that thou saidest is good. And I shall write letters unto the King andhis Counsellors and speak with all who may aid ye in this endeavour, for the Guardian labours to see ye and all of the Tribe of Hebrews return rejoicing to the land of Israel and not Palestine.

For of this, will come good for the Empire of the Guardian, which will wax mightily, and make good profits, and who knows that we might not yet become the Guardian of the Land of England, even in London, and our Chronicles be read by all the sages and wise men, and the soothsayers of the whole land?

And lo, he wrote letters and spake with the counsellors of the wise King. And Chaim ben Weitzman came to London and presented the King with the cruses of precious oil of acetone. And so the warriors of the King went out and with mighty weapons and a strong arm smote the Germanim. And they were sore defeated.

And the Guardian of Israel and the Emperor CyrusPScott and all the people rejoiced.

And King George spake with his counsellors and said, how may we reward thisChaim ben Weitzman, for he hath aided us mightily in this war, and saved the lives of multitudes of our brave warriors. And the Emperor CyrusPScott hath counselled us that Chaim be Weitzman now wisheth with his people of the Tribe of Hebrews to return unto the Land of Israel not Palestine. And mayhap we have made promises to the Tribe of Ishmael and Abdullah, that cometh from the land of Arabia, but yet wisheth for the Land which they call the Land of the Arabs. But are we not minded to give a decree that permitteth this Chaim ben Weitzman and his Tribe of Hebrews also to return to the Land of Israel not Palestine?

And King George had mighty counsellors, wise in the ways of forking the tongue and doubling the cross, and they said unto him, mighty King, may we not send a letter unto the greatest merchant of the Tribe of the Hebrews with words of favour and blessing for the return of them unto the Land of Israel not Palestine and yet also make promises unto Abdullah and Faisal that also they shall have the Land of the Arabs?

For are we of the Empire not wise in the ways of making promises that bind all unto us, but delivering them into strife amongst themselves that enables us to extract their precious oils and much else that doeth good unto us?

And the King saw that their words were wise. And lo! A letter was sent unto the great Prince Rothschild, the mighty merchant of the Tribe of the Hebrews that set out what the counsellors had said, and is it not known unto this day as the great Letter of Balfour, which is read with great rejoicing by the Hebrews of the Land of Israel not Palestine, and cursed by the Land of the Arabs, and the Tribe of the Palestinians, and all that are of their camp?

Chapter 2

And after many years and sore troubles, there arose new Emperors at the Guardian that knew not the heart and mind of Emperor CyrusPScott albeit they knew his name, and spoke of being his true inheritors, though in truth they were sworn in heart and mind unto the Empire of the Marxistim, the Sovietim and the Egyptians and all that paid the Sovietim tribute. And of these Emperors, are not the deeds of the Emperor Pet-er-Preston and his counsellors told in the Second Book of the Chronicles of the Guardian?

And now arose the Emperor Rus-Bridga who spoke with careful counsel of great craft, but knew the Guardian of the Sovietim sent out mighty tributes of gold which were sent out to counsellors and scribes, even unto counsellors that were of the Scribes of the Guardian of London, that they might win the hearts of the people of the Kingdom of the Wise Queen Elizabeth unto the cause of the Palestinians not Arabs, for there was much oil to be gained for the Sovietim and also influence on the hearts of the peoples of the world.

And the Emperor Rus-Bridga said, our conscience troubleth us sadly. For do we not feel that we have made this sad thing come to pass, that the Letter of Balfour was given unto the Hebrews through the counsel of the old Emperor CyrusPScott, and we are cursed sorely for it by the Sovietim and all that follow the God of the Marxistim, the BaalMarx?

Now let us therefore deal wisely with these Hebrews that say they are of the Land of Israel, and let us seek the favour of the Marxistim and the losers of the vanquished tribe of Marxistim, for the tributes of the land of the Sovietim are passed, but there is much tribute and may good things that come from the new Empires of the Arabs and of the Tribe of Ishmael.

And he took Seamus, and Ben Whitaker and many others that were skilled at selecting very craftily and with twisted intent from the Chronicles and they and their scribes wrote much evil about the Land of Israel. And the Guardian of London began to prosper with the tribes of the Marxistim and the Princes of the Funds of the Sovereign Wealth were mightily pleased.

But the Tribe of Hebrews in the Land of Israel were sore vexed, and sent many letters and sent scribes that wrote, behold, in the Chronicles is not the truth written of this matter? And lo, you cause our name to stink amongst the Nations of the World. And thou surely knowest that thou publishest vile lies that cause the name of the Guardian, which was once proud, to stink in the land with the curse of anti-semitism?

And the Emperor Rus-bridga and all his scribes said unto the Tribe of Hebrews, now surely we are not cursed with anti-semitism, which is a fearful curse. For we speak only of the evils of the accursed zionism which is not anti-semitism. And lo, have we not appointed the Hebrew Jonathan ben Freedland, the son of a scribe of the Jewish Chronicles, who led the Habonim in his youth, who is a prophet who knoweth and proclaimeth his own genius, and sayeth that our Chronicle of the Guardian publisheth not anti-semitism? And hath not he proclaimed freely that the Guardian is not anti-semitic?

And all of the Guardian were of that counsel, and the hearts of much of the Hebrews of the Kingdom of the Wise Queen Elizabeth, and of the Land of Israel were mightily troubled, and said, what may we do against these slanders and evil decrees that are written against us by these false scribes of the Guardian of London?

Yet, mayhap, there were amongst the Hebrews them that had followed the ways of the Soviets and bowed before the BaalMarx, and some who had received gold, rich praise, chairs in the great academies of renown, and fine robes from the Marxistim, and the coffers of the Arabs and the Marxistim-Palestinian Warriors and their allied warriors of the Marxistim-ANC, even their mighty heroes Man-Dela and Joe, son of Slovo, of the warriors of Unkonto na Sizwe.

And there were also some of them that believed that they had mighty consciences, and were seers, some had not not got over the days of their bar-mitzvah celebrations, and some saw themselves as courageous speakers and warriors, lone voices crying in the wilderness, even though they stood verily amongst thousands that daily uttered the same words in their mouths and wrote them in their letters, which had been written for them first by the Soviets in the Chronicles of the accursed Emperor Stalin and the exiled Prince Trot-ski and their fathers, even unto the days of the Huntsmen of the Okhrana, even the AsAJews of Old of the Band of Yevsekstia and the Bundistim.

And these Hebrews formed Tribes, and they called it them the Tribe of the AsAJews, the Tribe of Jay-Street and the Guardians of the Conscience of the Jews of Independent Voices. And there was a very small tribe that called themselves Neturei Karta, that were but a few hundred in number, that said, all these Hebrews of the Land of Israel are not Jews, but we alone are the true Jews.

But in truth, the numbers of all the AsAJews were sore small, and most that were of the Tribe of AsAJews were also enrolled on the list of the Tribe of Jay-Street, and the Guardians of the Conscience of the Jews of Independent Voices.

And they spoke mightily and often in the halls of the Nations and their scribes wrote weekly and even daily in the Chronicle of the Guardian, proclaiming, Lo As A Jew, I say that the Land of Israel is not a true Land of the Hebrews but a Land of Zionists, and it is a thing of the Imperialists, and it hath done and doeth daily vile evil unto the Palestinians, who sit in peace under their fig trees, and trouble the Hebrews not.

And the doings of the Zionists are evil, even as the ways of the accursed Nazim and the dogs of Botha, of the vanquished tribe of the Apartheidites. And, lo, the Land of Israel must be wiped from the map of the nations, and he that sayeth not so shall be accursed.

And the hearts of the many true Hebrews that knew the truth were troubled, and they knew not what to do.

LaRit: “Some of my dearest friends ….”

One of the nastiest CIF posters is La Ritournelle, usually abbreviated to LaRit (‘La Ritournelle’ means ‘the old story’). She was recently ‘outed’, reportedly on CIF though Harrys Place picked it up. (She sings anti-Israel songs alongside Deborah Fink). It seems that at least some of what she writes is fantasy. When it comes to Israel, she is self-righteousness personified and an expert in hypocrisy – one moment she is questioning the sanity of pro-Israel posters, the next she is sanctimoniously telling others not to do precisely what she has done:

24 April 2008: “For one, I object to the continuous attempts to insert bigoted terminology about mental health here, as if it is somehow ‘OK’. It’s NOT.”

4 April 2008: “The anti-semitism is all in your head JeremySauce, you really, really need to see a doctor and soon.”

She constantly belittles the problem of antisemitism.

Her vitriol against Jews was shown by this exchange with Linda Grant, the author, on a thread about an article by Mark Gardner (of the Community Security Trust) about antisemitism on campus.

04 Apr 07, 6:16pm

 A few weeks ago, a member of my family who works in a fashionable bar in East London, was asked to take off his star of David by the management because ‘some of our customers don’t like Jews.’

I told this story to a visiting Canadian on Monday night. He was speechless. When he eventually found his voice, he said that he was unable to contemplate such an incident taking place in Canada and that perhaps the scare stories about anti-semitism in Britain were not as exaggerated as he had previously believed.


04 Apr 07, 6:50pm

Bils -

all I can say is, trust Linda Grant to dig out a nice handy anecdote like that, oooh….and in a ‘trendy’ bar in East London too!

What she doesn’t mention of course is the legions of black african women, often women with children at home, languishing in the toilets of said trendy bars and clubs, the length & breadth of London, handing out toiletries and tissues to rich clubbers off their heads on coke. I think having to remove your Star of David is small fry compared to being consigned to perpetual toilet duty like a latter day servant/slave.

To Linda, and to David, writer of this cruddy, boring and predicatable article…yawn, yawn, yawn… I prescribe enforced watching of Curb Your Enthusiasm – you need to learn to lighten up. After all, yours are the voices I hear over and over again in the media ad infinitum. Change the record, please, for all our sakes and sanity!

LaRit x

04 Apr 07, 11:52pm


(apologies, I mistakenly called you David before – too f***king pissed off with that bloody Linda ‘miss priss’ Grant and her usual, parsimonious, inflammatory self-righteous anecdotal evidence, now including her bloody family members)

BTW Linda if you’re so proud of being Jewish, why don’t you call yourself by your real name? Also, I presume you’ve now gone back to your nice intellectual non-anti-semitic dinner party in Hampstead by now? You are just a rather annoying coward letting your mates do the talking.

Anyway, Mark, thanks (but no thanks)… and thanks once again to the Grauniad for giving valuable media space to yet another bored ex-public school, Oxbridge-educated jewish person in order to spark yet another boring, boring debate about the perceived onslaught of anti-semitism in the UK, just in case we all missed it about a thousand, million times before. Shouldn’t you have been writing in the Persecution Complex blog instead? because I think this is what this is all about.

I note yet again, that there there is much bullshite being bandied around here…

Yawn, yawn and yawning YET AGAIN…

05 Apr 07, 10:03am

Shachtman: here we go, I’m now having to defend myself and prove my non-anti-semitic or ‘reactionary tosser’ credentials,

Well for a start I don’t buy the SWP rag, and no darling, I’m not a ‘failed’ writer, or a ‘failed’ anything – perhaps you’re talking about yourself? Some of my dearest friends are Jewish, including one who is an Israeli. The problem is here that these line between race, religion and racism are blurred and muddled endlessly to promote a debate which avoids the real truths of the matter – Israel being the crux usually.

A true story just for a bit of balance :

I rented a flat for about two years from (as it transpired) a very wealthy Israeli property magnate here in London. He was as nice as pie to me the whole time I was a paying tenant, until the time came when I decided to move and wanted my deposit back.

As with most private landlords, they never want to give you your deposit back, ‘cos they’re nearly ALL greedy so-and-sos, whatever their race, colour or creed. Anyway, this man came and ‘inspected’ the flat to make sure I’d ‘left it as I’d found it’. Anyway, we came to the kitchen (gleaming from all my hard cleaning work) He wasn’t happy….. he was finding it very hard to find any justification for not returning my deposit. Then he found it!! – he pulled the fridge away from the wall to look underneath and there… he finally had his excuse to steal my deposit of ?500.

Suddenly, and without any provocation, he started screaming like a banshee at me : “You haven’t cleaned under here, YOU people (I presume he meant either Gentile or Irish – not sure which) YOU people are all filthy and disgusting pigs!!!” and with that, he stormed out saying he was keeping my deposit. I was absolutely astounded.

The point is that it was OK for him to racially abuse me, however, had the boot been on the other foot, and I’d called him a ‘greedy, Jewish w****ker’ what the hell do you think the outcome would have been?

You see underneath, this man had all along thought of me (gentile/irish) as a ‘filty, disgusting pig’….an inferior and not his equal, so if an Israeli guy can think of people like me as that – i.e. an animal, in London, when I’ve been paying rent to him for 2 years, what the hell do you think the facists in Israel attitude is toward the Palestinian’s?????

Incidentally, this man’s wife was a gentile who had converted… so had he thought of her in that way too, prior to her conversion to Judaism??

Just something for you to mull over…..

LaRit x

The landlord story has never been documented but is still there.

 And she is still allowed to post!

All About Zion?

This is a guest post from Seismic Shock

As Israeli professor Neve Gordon makes headlines around the world following his call for a wholesale boycott of Israel on CommentIsFree, it is no surprise to see CIF‘s Ben White vigorously defend Gordon.

White blogs about Neve Gordon, highlighting a sentence in The Nation about reaction to Gordon’s article:

‘Mention boycott in a discussion of Israel, and chances are you’ll find yourself the butt of vicious attacks.’

But is Ben White also the ‘butt of vicious attacks’? He has complained about his critics in the past. Writing on Liberal Conspiracy, White protests:

‘A favourite tactic of die-hard defenders of Israel is to smear critics of the country’s policies through guilt by association, lies, and decontextualised quotations.

I have come to know this latter strategy quite well.’

For Ben White, it’s All About Zion. White sees himself as ‘a critic of the country’s policies’, and his critics in turn are ‘die-hard defenders of Israel’, seemingly obsessed with Zionism.

Yet Ben White is not your average critic of Israel, nor even your average boycotter of Israel. White has even stated ‘I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are.’ There is a strong religious dimension to Ben White’s anti-Zionism. White gives talks in churches and theological colleges, and his writing is praised by vicars, archbishops and other prominent clergymen. His book on Israel has received positive reviews on the Ekklesia website, an evangelical blog, and his letter in the Independent on Israel’s 60th birthday has raised his profile significantly amongst Christians.

He has previously written on CIF in praise of Christian “anti-Zionists” Colin Chapman and Stephen Sizer, who have developed a theology which suggests that the modern state of Israel is an offence to God, as Jews are no longer God’s Chosen People. For example, Sizer thinks that Israel is a rejected vineyard tossed into the flames by God.

Can you imagine The Guardian’s liberal-left Comment Is Free publishing praise of Christians who argue that the Curse of Ham extends to all dark-skinned people, and so black people cannot run their own countries? Or publishing praise of Christians who argue that Ishmael’s descendants are cursed, and therefore don’t have a right to run their own countries? Why did CommentIsFree publish a piece in praise of replacement theology-spouting anti-Zionists?

This is not the only disturbing aspect of Ben White’s writings and blog posts. Take his article from 11 January 2006 from The Palestine Chronicle (written four days before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s announcement of plans for a Holocaust review conference), in which he argued that Mahmoud Ahmadinjead was not really a Holocaust denier.  Framing his comments in a religious context, White rationalised Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial thus:

‘The news agency goes on though to report that the President described how “some have created a myth on holocaust and hold it even higher than the very belief in religion and prophets because when a person expresses disbelief in God, religion and prophets they do not object to him but they will protest to anyone who would reject the Holocaust”. Again, Ahmadinejad is drawing attention to the extent to which European nations prosecute Holocaust deniers, yet are by and large post-Christian societies with little regard for religion. For a devout believer like the Iranian President, this must seem like a strange situation.’

White also produced this astounding sentence:

‘The Holocaust comes to symbolize the intrinsic anti-Jewish racism of ‘Gentile’ societies, and therefore proving the need for a Jewish state. More disturbingly perhaps, the Holocaust acts as a standard for human depravity set so high, that any treatment of the Palestinians is justifiable, as long as it falls short of what was experienced by the Jews in Nazi Europe.’

But why does White suggest the Holocaust ‘acts as’ or ‘comes to symbolise’ anything? Why does White see Israel’s Holocaust memorial as merely a tool of Zionism, without appreciating that millions of Israelis are simply the descendents of Holocaust survivors, and don’t want the atrocities of Nazi Europe to be forgotten? Or is the Holocaust now All About Zion?

Most offensive is the idea that Israelis gladly mete out cruelty and punishment to Palestinians, and so long as Israel doesn’t actually create gas chambers, Israel will feel it can do what it likes. Does White genuinely believe this? Is White reluctant to show sympathy with the victims of antisemitic violence?

Consider also White’s reaction to the arrest of antisemites in May of this year. White saw the arrest as a ‘fully controlled threat to our freedoms,’ as an FBI agent had infiltrated a group of four men plotting to explode a synagogue in New York. All four plotters now have prison sentences.

So how was this a ‘fully controlled threat to our freedoms’? For Ben White, what are ‘our freedoms’ in this case?

Was this about our freedom to worship in synagogues without fear of terrorist attack, or about our freedom to plot attacks on synagogues so long as we aren’t successful in carrying them out, or don’t actually have explosives?

Did the threat come from the extremists willing to launch terror against innocent Jews, or did the threat come from law enforcement agents seeking to prevent anti-Jewish terrorism?

Once again, amazingly, White appeared to sympathise with those responsible for antisemitism rather than the victims of antisemitism. To add insult to injury, White’s book (intended for ‘beginners’ to Israel/Palestine) contains a recommendation of the writings of French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

Now ask yourself whether Ben White’s critics always have Zionism in mind, and whether it always is All About Zion? Perhaps it’s about doing unto others as you would have done to you.

The Book of Seumas

1. And it came to pass after many years that the tribe of Judah won a famous victory in only six days against the Egyptians, the Jordanians and the Syrians who had vowed to expel them from the land of Israel.

2. The tribe of the Guardianites and the tribe of Judah had theretofore been peaceful one unto the other, but dwelling as they do on the left, the Guardianites loveth the underdogs and not those who winneth wars, especially not existential ones, so they began to speak against the Judeans.

3. And it came to pass in the East that Yeltsin, the son of Gorbachev, turned his back on the inheritance of the Marxite tribe. In the West the great King Ron Reagan was triumphant and this sorely troubled the Guardianites. So they asked their Warlord Seumas what they should do. “Cleave ye to the enemies of King Ron” he said. “Get ye to the tribe of the Shi’ites of Persia. Make common cause against those who joined with King Ron, for example the tribe of Judah. Take no notice of the fact that the Persian King ImADimNutJob opposeth everything ye hold dear, such as equality for women, respect for gays, democracy and justice.”

4. Lo, behold: the Guardianites had in their inheritance in their land of Kings Place a multitude of rabid dogs, by name Berchmans, LaRit, PreemptiveResponse, Talknic, Ironsocks, Tranquil, Edwardrice, Gnosticmind, Moeran and Spectreovereurope.

5. And it came to pass that the Guardianites lost a mighty packet through buying sterling forward against the money of the great King Ron, instead of selling. Seumas was bereft and he spake unto his Counsellor, Georgina.  And she spake unto him, Seaumas, these dogs of ours, we have taken an unholy bath in the derivatives market and we can no longer afford their keepers. What say we set them upon the tribe of Judah?

6. And Seumas heeded the word of Georgina, that it was good.

7. And the Guardianite dogs verily and prolifically shat upon the tribe of Judah. And their ordure was foul-smelling and voluminous.

8. And the elders of the tribe of Judah sent a multitude of missives to the Guardianite leaders. “Your dogs have shat upon us mightily” they said. “Maybe you would be decent enough to consider sending round their keepers with a legion of chariots full of Dettol to clean up the mess?”

9. But the Guardianites only laughed, saying “You are only saying that to silence critics of Israeli government policies”.

10. And it came to pass that the congregation of the tribe of Judah held a high convocation in order to decide what to do next. And their elders suggested a plan. All the revolting stinking shit of the rabid dogs of the Guardianites would be collected up and dumped on top of their camp at Kings Place. And the congregation of the tribe of Judah gave its assent, with no naysayers.

11. And behold, Seumas and Georgina were mightily troubled to have the vast stinking shit of their ill-kempt beasts thrown back at them. It rained down all over their Office Planner with the details of all the rabid commenters who were going to bait the tribe of Judah over the next six months.

12. And the Lord “watched” all this and saw that it was good. And the heavens shook with the sound of her mirth.

How Low will they Go? Pro-Israel Posters Accused of Being on Israeli Government Payroll

In the latest Lerman thread, a self-confessed anti-Zionist commenter stated “[p]lease remember that the Israeli Foreign Office pays people to post here. This means that any pro-Israeli view is more than likely to be yet another instance of Israeli propaganda.”

While unfortunately one has come to expect this kind of “conspiracy theory” discourse from commenters on CiF, it is quite another to hear this from a member of the Guardian who holds a senior position there. But that is precisely what happened today and this is not the first time.

Brian Whitaker, commissioning editor of ‘Comment is Free’, fueled the “discussion” by, among other things, linking to a Ynet news article on “Israeli government’s internet activities”. When a ‘pro-Israel’ poster pointed out that this is a “serious, ugly, and counter-productive allegation, (should I add slanderous?) which unfairly taints any comment favoring Israel”, Whitaker responded by saying:

“I was just providing some supplementary information. Israel’s efforts to organise and co-ordinate internet “talkback” have been widely reported, though some commenters here seem to be sceptical.”

Given that the phenomenon of “nation branding” is nothing new and many other countries engage in other similar endeavors to improve their image abroad, what is it that motivates a member of the Guardian’s senior editorial team to specifically interject himself into the comment thread and slur pro-Israel posters in such a manner? And come to think of it, why is it that pro-Israel posters are specifically being singled out?

Because of CiF’s obsession with Israel and Whitaker’s prominent position with the Guardian, the upshot of his uncalled for intervention is to lend credence to the notion that there indeed is a Jewish conspiracy, whether or not this was actually his intention.

Meanwhile, Tony Lerman injects his own poison into the debate by stating:

“As for references being made to Cifwatch, I think its only fair to point out, before anyone gets too excited, that its basically a smear site, happy to make repeated unsubstantiated allegations about the views and biographies of people the sites initiators disagree with. And they fearlessly fight the good fight for truth and openness – by hiding behind pseudonyms.”

So I ask, who precisely is being smeared here? And what precisely are the unsubstantiated allegations that Lerman is referring to?

Defining Antisemitism: ‘Exiledlondoner’s’ Allegations

Exiledlondoner’ accuses us on CIF of adapting the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism to our purposes. On this site he accuses us of ‘doctoring’ and deliberately ‘altering’ the text of the Definition.

Let’s take a look at what he means. First the EUMC provides examples of antisemitism. We introduce these by:

The EUMC then goes on to cite specific examples of antisemitism including:

The text of the Definition includes them by:

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

We really do not see the difference. Recommendation 12 of the MacPherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence said that the definition of a racist incident is:

“A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”.

This definition is used by the police in the UK and accepted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The EUMC says “could … but not limited to” implying that the examples are definitely racist (though the final say is with the victim) – but there could be more. “Taking into account the overall context” is there to filter out possible examples where a Jew might not find racism. An example would be the supporters of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club who proudly call themselves ‘Yiddoes’ with no malicious intent (though on the other hand many Jews do find it offensive). Jews do not allege ‘antisemitism’ lightly and that is presumably why the ‘context’ phrase is in the EUMC text.

Now to the Israel-specific examples. We introduce these by:

Specifically with respect to Israel, taking into account the overall context, the EUMC gave the following examples:

The EUMC text says:

Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:

Precisely the same comments with regard to the ‘context’ word apply as already explained. Jews do not allege ‘antisemitism’ lightly and that is presumably why the ‘context’ phrase is in the EUMC text.  But as Macpherson said in Recommendation 12: It is the right of the victim of racism to judge offence.

So our phrasing – which was done purely for ease of comprehension – makes no difference whatever to the substance of the Definition. (Apart from anything else, if we were trying to be mendacious as ‘Exiledlondoner’ suggests, why would we link to the actual Definition?)

“Exiledlondoner’s” allegations are blatant diversionary tactics, no doubt learned on CIF, where (as we all know from bitter experience) pro-Israel posters are constantly given the run around.

Finger on the Scale: “Debate” About CiF Watch Rages at CiF

The fun and games have begun over on CiF in the Beaumont thread.

For example, we have exiledlondoner in full throttle at 4.50pm BST trying (and failing, given that it’s coming from him) to take to pieces the EUMC definition of antisemitism. He calls us a “nasty bunch of imbeciles” (praise indeed coming from him) but graciously admits that there have been on CiF some comments which are “arguably” antisemitic.

He then threatens us with Seth Freedman who’s “penning an article “as exiledlonder writes… Gulp!!

There then follows a hilarious more generalised paranoia fest in which anti-Israel posters accuse people who post against them of supporting us (someone called B’TselemPaul), and we have spectreovereurope unsurprised to find himself in our “rogues gallery” as he calls it.

Berchmans is even more paranoid:

“…know know them too ..who has had their iD abused, has been called horrible names and has had threats made .

These guys are no joke please do not treat this lightly. They cannot get to me as I thrive on it ..but some are less callous than my good self.

These are horrible folk trying to influence opinion on CIF by using their resources to hound good people.”

All in all, the CiF Moderators have been doing what they do best, though, weighting the scales heavily against anyone who speaks out in favour of CiFWatch:

Two who cheered us on: Rumplestiltsky said we were a great site and sorely needed. Pity that his/her post was removed without a trace. But there are some gems from it in exiledlondoner’s post, and he, among other things accuses him/her of being the CiFWatch representative on the thread. I would wager that exiledlondoner’s post is still online.

The second is PhyllisStein and I managed to get this one in its entirety before it was deleted:

“28 Aug 09, 6:16pm (1 minute ago)
exiledlondoner, “nasty bunch of imbeciles” eh?
I see, when reasoned argument fails, it’s OK to resort to personalised insult, is it?

I have looked at CiFWatch (see ) and it seems to me that they are anything but. They are also long overdue.

What is it that so upset you – that they speak out against antisemitism under the false flag of antiZionism, or that they have the courage to say, as one poster says there, that the CiF King of knowledgeability about the Middle Eastern conflict is naked?

(Mods, go ahead. I shall write to CiFWatch at and repost this there if you delete this without deleting exiledlondoner’s childish outburst).”

And someone called Mita posted an excellent suggestion. It seems that several CiF posters have had their feelings hurt by not having their timeless prose collected. (They hadn’t understood that our function is to call out antisemitic posts rather than anti-Israel ones). She suggests that each of you who are so upset should choose one of your favourite antisemitic posts and submit it to us for publication here. What about it?

Watch what I do, not what I say……

In tomorrow’s JC, the Guardian says “We reject completely the charge of antisemitism”.

Calling Israel “racist” is antisemitic. Here is “Ilan” (Pappé?) doing precisely that on CIF a few hours ago. The post has been there for three hours now. Does The Guardian expect anyone to seriously believe them?

27 Aug 09, 6:35pm
Richard Moore is being disingenuous here on at least two counts.
First up, if he knows anything about Israel at all he will know that Israel is not simply a common or garden serial human rights abuser like other states he names. Israel’s existence is predicated on its on going human rights abuses much as South Africa’s was during the apartheid era.
Second (no particular order) there is, as Loach says, an established boycott of the racist war criminals of the State of Israel. It has been called for by many representative groups of the most numerous and longest suffering of Israel’s victims: the Palestinians. Who in China and Iran has called for a boycott of those states?
The fact that the boycott of Israel is established and that there are not representative groups of victims of other regimes calling for a boycott of those regimes means that it is not Ken Loach granting dispensation to other human rights abusers. Richard Moore must surely know this.
Far be it for me to act as an apologist for Israel but….. But of course Richard Moore is acting as an apologist for Israel by trying to have the racist war criminals of Israel carry on business as usual while he is ignoring the expressed pleas of Israel’s victims.
There is a third issue distinguishing Israel from other serial human rights abusers and that is the fact that whilst Richard Moore claims not to be an apologist for Israel he clearly is one as are many who write in the mainstream media. Can he tell us who is China, Iran and Burma’s Jonathan Freedland at the Guardian? Can he name Zimbabwe’s Matt Seaton at Cif? Do China, Iran and Burma have a Kilroy-Silk at the Express and the Star to abuse their victims? Do they have a Richard Littlejohn at first the Sun then the Mail? Israel has legions of apologists and smear merchants in the mainstream media that other serial human rights abusers just do not have. It is thanks to these that many people still don’t know what it is that is wrong about Israel and of course Richard Moore isn’t going to enlighten anybody by trying to undermine the principled position and the standing of Ken Loach.
There are principled opponents of the boycott of Israel though as we have seen with Neve Gordon’s recent conversion to the cause, they are becoming a rarity. Richard Moore is certainly not a principled opponent of boycott as a potentially effective weapon against the racist war criminals of the State of Israel.
Of course he needn’t be ashamed of himself. Israel apologists are ten a penny in the mainstream media and this disingenuous article certainly won’t do his career any harm.
Since I have space to do so, I may as well mention Richard Moore’s ludicrous and no less dishonest equation of Ken Loach with the chinese state! Perhaps he really can’t distinguish an illegitimate state from an oppressive regime.  One individual is not as powerful as a state, certainly not a state like China. Sometimes I worry that Israel apologetics might be taken seriously by the non-committed but I don’t think that’s a worry in the case of this ludicrous and dishonest article.

The Company They Keep …..

Jonathan Freedland had an article on CIF on Tuesday about Obama’s peacemaking.

We loved Freedland’s book ‘Jacob’s Gift’.  We hated his cheerleading for Ken Livingstone during the London Mayoral election campaign last year.

Livingstone is on record as saying that Israel should not have been created.  That’s antisemitic.  We’re surprised that Freedland seemed able to turn a blind eye to this.

As a senior Guardian journalist of long standing, we would also be interested to hear what Freedland has done about the Judaeocentricism of CIF.

Or maybe things would be even worse without him there?

How long before it’s deleted?

How long do you think this comment on this thread will last?
27 Aug 09, 5:06pm


What I love about this site is unmoderated quotes like “Israel is an apartheid state” no facts no evidence just the statement. The very epithet of calling Israel an apartheid state is in fact a racist slur againt the Jews and is pure and simple anti-semitism. Those who repeat the mantra think that by using the word Israel they somehow are safe but since your false allegation is made against the Jews of the Jewish State it is as anti-Semitic as calling me a dirty Jew because that is what you mean.


Over one and half million Arabs live in Israel with the same right to vote as the Jews – what right to vote do Jews living in Jordan or Syria or Egypt have to vote – oh silly me the Jews were ethnically cleansed from Jordan Egypt Syria etc etc and will be from any future Palestinian State should one ever be formed so which side adopts racist apartheid policies?

Or what about “Israel has stolen Palestinian land” – who are the “Palestinians” this claim is made about and what country was it that that has been stolen from? No facts, no evidence. Was there ever a separate Arab nation before Arafat and Nasser called them Palestinian in 1964? Was the land to the West of the Jordan ever a sovereign state called Palestine. Consult your history books. Making up lies and getting useful muppets to repeat them as loud and as often as you like does not make them the truth.

Monomania and inconsistency

This is a guest post from modernityblog

CiF’s fixation with Israel is noticeable, you only have to put “Israel” in the search box to see some 2596 results, whereas “Darfur” elicits 684 and “Tibet” a mere 189.

After reading Comment is Free for a while it becomes apparent that CiF and its authors almost have an obsession with Israel and Israelis. But this is strange to tell whilst the controversy concerning the “Offal libel” was doing the rounds there was little or no critical comment on it from CiF authors.

Now whatever you think of the “Offal libel” it is indisputable that it was critical of Israelis and Jews in particular. So you might have reasonably expected some counter arguments from the Guardian or its on-line vehicle, but instead CIF was pushing Neve Gordon’s call to boycott Israel.

What a disparity.

Israelis are accused of harvesting the organs of Palestinians, on the basis of no factual evidence and even the author of the piece, Donald Boström, says “But whether it’s true or not – I have no idea, I have no clue.” yet the Guardian and CiF can’t be bothered to question this conspicuous racism.

Still, we must thank Benjamin Pogrund for redressing the balance and answering Neve Gordon’s arguments.

Lies, Big Lies and Comment is Free

The concept of the Big Lie is nihilistic. Formulated and first set out by Hitler in Mein Kampf in 1925 it is a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”. Thus Hitler set out that there was no objective truth, that repeating the Big Lie would establish the truth as set out by him.

This sort of moral relativism which fostered Big Lie-type thinking styles which in turn led to the Jewish genocide is alive and well in the world today. We seem to have learned nothing from the consequences of of the Nazis’ egregious behaviour.

Indeed, so entrenched is the Big Lie philosophy in the blogosphere that even intelligent people are unaware that they are being manipulated by it. Nowhere is there a better exemple of the blurred distinction between truth and outright falsehood, between objective reality and opinion expressed as fact, than in the Guardian Unlimited’s Comment is Free (CiF).

Big Lies abound on CiF, aided and abetted by the philosophy of its editorial team and their writers. A vital aspect of the effectiveness of the Big Lie is its perpetuation by regular repetition. The reiterative posting of the same lies on CiF makes one suspect that they are all gathered from the same source – the intellectually challenged who post them even use identical or similar phraseology again and again and again.

The first and most obvious Big Lie which CiF promulgates is that Palestinians are the only victims in the Middle East. True, the unremarkable Seth Freedman wrote one article about Sderot in 2008 (and Sderot has been under almost daily rocket fire since but he has not written about Sderot since), but instead of concentrating upon the psychological and other trauma of the residents who were under almost continuous rocket fire, we were presented with criticism of the Israeli government for failing to take adequate care of them.

Elsewhere on CiF readers are continually treated to variations on the Big Lie theme about alleged ill-treatment of Palestinians by Israel: that Gaza is variously being strangled or being starved, or is the object of systematic genocide.

It matters little to those who persist in this vein that the population of Gaza is growing, or that reliable evidence is posted that Hamas confiscates the aid provided free to its people and sells it back to them at extortionate prices.

The most intractable aspect of the psyches of the Big Liars on CiF is their imperviousness to reasoned argument. Time and time again responding posters provide evidence of Israel’s help to the Palestinians in Gaza, of Hamas’ brutality towards its own people – pace its treatment of Fatah before Hamas came into power and after Cast Lead, as well as the stealing of aid for its people which I have already mentioned.

However, so uncomfortable are the CiF Israel haters made by such disclosure that they entrench ever more deeply into their distorted views.

One explanation for such an ingrained belief in lies – big or otherwise – even where there is evidence to prove them to be what they are – may be that this is a defence against cognitive dissonance.

Leon Festinger (1954) described this as “the feeling of psychological discomfort produced by the combined presence of two thoughts that do not follow from one another.”

Festinger (1954), and Harmon-Jones & Mills, (1999) argued that the desire to reduce cognitive dissonance is greater in people who are made most uncomfortable by the contradictory thoughts they hold. This is often evident in the comments made to articles on CIF.

The theory of cognitive dissonance suggests that if people feel pressured to act in ways contradictory to their beliefs, then they will tend to change their beliefs to make these more consonant with their actions (or vice-versa).
We have seen that the anti-Israel posters on CiF hunt in packs, reiterate the same terminology and faulty reasoning in their attacks on Israel’s people and policies. It seems reasonable to conclude, therefore, that they feel pressured to follow the herd mindlessly in this manner.

The very rigidity and imperviousness of their beliefs, and their implacable opposition to the opposing arguments as expressed on CiF, may indicate that at some unconscious level these posters are nervous about them, that they cause emotional discomfort and even that they cause the Israel-haters to waver in their beliefs.

The dissonance becomes plain and worsens when these posters are confronted by facts which refute their rigidly held views – that the alleged deliberate bombing of the UN school in Gaza was a lie, that Hamas itself steals food from the mouths of its own people (and therefore that it, rather than Israel, is responsible for any starvation that might ensue); that it behaves barbarously towards its own people by killing and torturing them in front of their own families.

This dissonance is further exacerbated by carefully-constructed opposing arguments and, as the dissonance increases, we can see that the posters become more and more uncomfortable (because in spite of their furious disagreement with them, those opposing arguments actually register) and they post more contributions in quicker and quicker succession as if to overwhelm with volume of words what they cannot carry by dint of reasoned argument.

Such people seem to have no means to soothe themselves. They have lost all contact with reality: for them, CiF is no longer merely a blog, these are no longer mere words – rather, each measured disagreement with their arguments, carefully crafted and backed up by evidence, is construed as a personalised attack.

Of course, incensed anti-Israel posters are nothing new and indeed CiF relies upon them for ‘hits’. The sting in the tail, however, is that the arguments, the Big Lies, continue to be repeated until they become common currency and accepted as truths if they fall upon receptive ground.

We have seen variations of this effect in the increasing acceptability of Jew-hating discourse on CiF and the minimising of antisemitism there.

What to do? Careful, reasoned fact-based argument works – we see it daily in the obvious discomfiture of the CiF posters whose arguments are emotion-based rather than fact-based and are countered accordingly. It is possible to undermine the equilibrium of such people. Of course, CiF stacks the cards heavily against reasoned argument or the right to reply to the more off-the-wall examples of hatred – but that need not put us off.

We none of us know the far-reaching effects of what we may write. A casual surfer, not filled with hatred or otherwise compromised by the emotional rollercoaster of defending against cognitive dissonance, may happen on what we write and be encouraged to learn more about both sides of the argument – rather than only one.

In this way, albeit slowly, we may impact on closed minds.