The Guardian needs to print an urgent retraction and apology


Readers will surely remember Neve Gordon’s libellous article of July 29th in which he claimed that Israel had carried out ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Bedouins in the Negev region.  Last weekend (August 13th 2010) an interesting article by Kalman Livskind appeared in the supplement of the Ma’ariv newspaper which I think is worth translating in full.

“I find myself once more having to address the subject of the destruction of the illegal Bedouin gathering at Arakib and I will continue to do so for as long as the lying propaganda of the Left wing organizations and the ‘Ha’aretz’ newspaper on the subject continues.

‘Around 300 residents and among them many children were left not only homeless for the most part, but also degraded, frustrated and shocked’ was written this week in an editorial in the newspaper. ‘The State did not offer any alternative, compensation or aid, material or psychological, to residents whose village was destroyed and their world fell in upon them’. And now to the facts. Firstly, in Arakib there were never 300 people or even 100. Secondly, no worlds fell in. A few tens of residents of (the town of) Rahat took over that land only eight years ago and constructed several buildings without asking for permits from anyone, and now the State has come and enforced the law. Compensation? Aid? For what?

In addition the time has come to dismantle the fabrication invented by ‘Ha’aretz’ about Bedouins ‘remaining homeless’ once and for all. Write this down: 12 heads of households received eviction papers. All of them own villas of at least 200 square meters on a dunam of land in Neighbourhood 25 in Rahat. The villa of Abdallah Abu Madiram is house number 108 in the neighbourhood. One of his sons, Nidal, is at house number 27 and the other, Eyad, at house number 102. Siyah Abu Madiram lives at house number 25 with his children Aziz and Ali. Mohamed Said Abu Madiram lives at house number 26, like his brother Suliman. Salim Abu Madiram lives at house number 112, Ismail Abu Madiram at house number 8, Mohamed Salame Abu Madiram at house number 23 and Suliman Abu Jabar at house number 139. They are not unfortunate, not miserable and not homeless. Enough of this bluff.”

Of course I do not expect the Guardian to take the word of an Israeli journalist on this, or any other subject, so what I suggest is that the editor of CiF should contact Kalman Livskind and hear what he has to say. To make it easy for the Guardian, I will even supply Mr. Livskind’s e-mail: kalman@maariv.co.il. In addition, Harriet Sherwood could drive down from Jerusalem to Rahat in less than a couple of hours and check it out for herself.

However, if Kalman Livskind’s information is correct, the Guardian should not only publish a prominent and swift retraction of the disgusting libel propagated by Neve Gordon, it should also publicly announce that it is terminating all connections with him and explain in detail to its readers the reason for that decision.

Any other course of action on the part of the Guardian would be clear and indisputable evidence that it is a willing and active partner in Neve Gordon’s campaign to demonise Israel and that no libel of that country is too repugnant for it to print.

All that should take about 48 hours in my estimation. I’m counting.

39 comments on “The Guardian needs to print an urgent retraction and apology

  1. IsraeliNurse you are sadly out of date. You base your reportage on facts rather than on what you have gleaned from NGOs or interested persons. Your research is thorough and covers more than the gossip columns and the horrified exchanges of the internet hate sites. Your attitudes are your own and not those that are fashionable. You expect newsmedia to respond in actual time. Finally, and worst of all, you expect a reporter to leave airconditioned premises in Jerusalem in the August heat and to drive all the way to Rahat just to see some houses!

    The Guardian would never employ you.

  2. Villas in Rahat.
    The Zionists will never allow it….
    :)

    If only my sister in Yaaf (a stone throw from Taybe) would be as lucky…

    Did any one here contacted the Guardian about this article?
    And what about asking Neve Gordon for an explanation?

    If so what was the reply?

  3. Challenge the picture painted by Gordon by all means – but you’d give yourself greater credibility if you refrained from using the word “libellous” so liberally.

    And what’s that about “Thirty pieces of silver” in your previous piece about Gordon?? What if I were to use that phrase with all its associations against e.g. someone involved with the pro-Israel lobby?

    I mean: haven’t you (by your logic) just libelled Gordon there?

  4. pretzelberg you are arguing for argument’s sake and you haven’t the first idea what you are talking about:

    Let’s have some definitions of what constitutes “libel” shall we?

    “..libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image (emphasis mine). It is usually, but not always, a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant)….”

    “…libel 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others….”

    “..Publishing material without lawful excuse that exposes anyone to hatred, contempt or ridicule;..”

    “…. li·bel (lī′bəl)

    noun

    1. any false and malicious written or printed statement, or any sign, picture, or effigy, tending to expose a person to public ridicule, hatred, or contempt or to injure a person’s reputation in any way
    2. the act of publishing or displaying publicly such a thing
    3. anything that gives an unflattering or damaging picture of the subject with which it is dealing
    4. in ecclesiastical law and formerly in maritime law, a written statement containing the plaintiff’s grievances; initial pleading…”

    “…In Gatley on Libel and Slander:

    “Libel is committed when defamatory matter is published in permanent form or in a form which is deemed to be permanent. Defamation published by spoken word or in some other transitory form is slander.”

    “Justice Parke wrote in O’Brien:

    “Everything printed or written, which reflects upon the character of another, and is published without lawful justification or excuse, is a libel whatever the intention may have been.”

    “In Pollard, the US Supreme Court adopted these words:

    “(Defamation), in writing or in print, says the commentator, has always been considered in our law a graver and more serious wrong and injury than slander by word of the mouth, inasmuch as it is accompanied by greater coolness and deliberation, indicates greater malice, and is in general propagated wider and farther than oral slander.”

    In journalism:

    “Libel is published defamation of character, as opposed to spoken defamation of character, which is slander. Libel can expose a person to hatred, shame, disgrace, contempt or ridicule; injures a person’s reputation or causes the person to be shunned or avoided; injures the person in his or her occupation.”

    Now, pretzel, which of these do you not understand?

    Gordon libelled the Israeli government and his own people and CiF facilitated the dissemination of that libel. And, being CiF, not only will it refuse to apologise or refuse to publish anything else from the malignant Gordon, it will continue to present his and other similar opinions as facts and perpetuate that and similar libels.

    Pretzel don’t reply to me. I know that you are not able to put yourself in the shoes of others and understand why they think as they do, therefore you argue from your own viewpoint alone without regard to the opinions of others.

    Instead spend your time looking over Neve Gordon’s articles and his history and ask yourself why he should remain in the state he so obviously hates. Perhaps the disability benefits are better there than anywhere else.

  5. @sarah leah ‘Now pretzel which of these do you not understand?,’ ‘Pretzel don’t reply to me I know that you are not able to put yourself in the shoes of others and understand why they think as they do,therefore you argue from your own viewpoint alone without regard to the opinions of others’.

    Which is it Sarah leah?’Pretzel which of these do you not understand’? or ‘pretzel don’t reply to me.

    From some of your previous comments I think you find it is you,that are not able to put themselves in the shoes of others and understand why they think as they do.
    Only bigots suppose their views are not open to debate or disagreement’

  6. Let’s face it, Israelinurse, it won’t happen unless and until the Israeli government takes out a court action against the Groan.

    I really wish it would. Such a thing would send out a message to everyone who thinks that Israel is fair game for whatever lies they choose to print.

  7. @ SarahLeah

    No, I have better things to do than argue for argument’s sake – so you are completely mistaken (or simply lying on purpose).

    Obviously I know what the term “libellous” means in variuos contexts (so that’s a good 10 minutes of your life you’ve wasted above!).

    It is simply my opinion that the term is used far too liberally on this website. You evidently disagree. Fine. Let’s leave it at that.

    Pretzel don’t reply to me.

    So you make childish accusations against me and then tell me not to reply!!!

    Did you graduate (like certain others here) from the school of one-way debating?

    And you’ve said some really nasty things about me in the past – so why don’t you stop replying to me?

    Give it a rest, for God’s sake.

  8. SarahLeah:

    “therefore you argue from your own viewpoint alone without regard to the opinions of others.”

    I’ve always thought that was compulsory on these sites …….

    That statement goes very well with “Pretzel don’t reply to me.”

  9. Pretzelberg, there you go again – deliberately inflammatory, eg “lying on purpose.” Why would SarahLeah do that?

    Also, why cannot you reply civilly to people who disagree with your views?

    And you should know all about one way debating, not least because you are incapable of putting yourself in others’ shoes and seeing yourself as they might see you. It’s not your fault, it’s just the way you are wired and it should not and does not detract from when you write and argue sensibly.

    For myself, I really don’t blame SarahLeah, mindthecrap. Pretzel nitpicks because he is who he is. He is discourteous and dismissive of others’ opinions if they happen to disagree with his. This makes SarahLeah post “fair comment.”

  10. Hairshirt:

    At least Pretzel’s comments are shorter than SarahLeah’s. I’m surprised that he actually read her comment to the end. He gave his opinion on the article; she gave her opinion on him.

  11. Pretzel – stating that Israel has carried out ethnic cleansing is a libel.

    Actually, I don’t think that can be repeated enough.

    I also think that someone who deliberately seeks to cause harm to his own nation by exploiting his position to publish deliberate libels about it – and receiving payment for that in the process – is pretty despicable.

  12. @ SarahLeah,

    “Perhaps the disability benefits are better there than anywhere else.”

    I very much doubt that is the case… :)

  13. Perhaps, then, nowhere else will have him?

    Or he prefers to rub salt into his own wounds by blaming Israel for them?

    MindtheCrap, pretzel often argues just to see himself in print. He must have been bored then because sometimes he is capable of talking sense. My long post to him was belt and braces – in case he didn’t know what “libel” was.

    And I took issue with him because, as Israelinurse implies, he seems to be minimising the harm done by libels perpetrated by Gordon and CiF, who facilitated that perpetration, but then that is his strong suit – and he has minimised other things here before, just because he (as if he is the most important arbiter and the decision-making processes of everyone else should accede to his) cannot see anything amiss in them.

    Gordon is the worst sort of parasite on Israel – who defames her abroad and lives off her social security benefits.

  14. Pretzel can’t keep away from nitpicking. “but you’d give yourself greater credibility if you refrained from using the word “libellous” so liberally.”

    ok so you don’t like IsraeliNurse. We got the message. As you said yourself, give it a rest now.

    sigh

  15. IN, don’t hold your breath, there’ll be no apology, no retraction and Gordon will be kept in use As A Jew(ish Israeli).

    Hairshirt mentioned Israel suing slanderers and libellers in court and it’s something I’ve suggested many times in the past. Unless there is a good diplomatic or legal reason, why doesn’t Israel simply use lawfare to stop these appalling lies being spread. Litigious people know they will be treated with a great deal more respect – look at Galloway. (No pun intended btw).

    Among all the units of the IDF, an anti-Libel brigade would be a useful new addition.

  16. SarahLeah:

    To put it subtly – who cares? Pretzel, who admittedly is a pain sometimes (who isn’t?), is one of the minority of commentors on this site and the other one who actually thinks before posting and I respect him for that.

    As for a Libel Brigade, I suggest that you speak to any lawyer who will explain to you that suing on this type of issue is a dangerous tactic because it gives the other side a public stage to spout his views. News is news, not opinion. Ever hear of Kastner ?

  17. MTC

    “Pretzel … actually thinks before posting”

    Except that, for Pretzel, it is the same old thought repetitively, “What can I find to dispute? What can I find to dispute?”

    Then he’d be impressed with himself for finding something to dispute.

  18. “he’d have spent his efforts finding arguments for Bormann, Frank, Kaltenbrunner, and Göring.:

    SarahLeah: any thoughts on “libel” ??

  19. Since when did pilpul become a substitute for debate?
    This pretzel fellow rarely if ever states an opinion on anything other on other people’s opinions.

  20. However, if Kalman Livskind’s information is correct, the Guardian should not only publish a prominent and swift retraction of the disgusting libel propagated by Neve Gordon, it should also publicly announce that it is terminating all connections with him and explain in detail to its readers the reason for that decision.

    Don’t hold your breath BUT, I will archive a link to this thread to post on any future rants by Gordon on CiF.

  21. mindthecrap: You are right. Who cares? Let pretzel blow bubbles if he likes.

    As regards any court action giving voice to the other side, in case you hadn’t noticed the other side has a steadfast and loyal voice in papers like the Groan and in organisations like the PSC, ISM, and elsewhere online.

    Islamic supremacists are quick to resort to lawfare if things are not going their way. This in itself shows bad faith – they say that they are against western democracy and its laws and yet are quick to use the freedoms those offer against those they perceive to be in their way or a threat to them.

    Like cityca, I believe that the IDF should have a lawfare division – it’d certainly tie up the haters’ time and money so that eventually they would think twice and twice again before they resorted to spouting malicious rubbish which could not be supported by evidence.

    First in line could be Neve Gordon, followed closely by the Guardian.

  22. cityca, I do remember your writing here before about Israelis resorting to lawfare in the UK and elsewhere just as their opponents do.

    If you would like to write to me at hairshirt@gmail.com I would like to hear your ideas.

  23. How come, semtex, that pretzel can be allowed to insult people left right and centre without any criticism from you and yet you start bleating if people repay him in the same coin? I am assuming that you don’t find his remarks minimising occurrences of antisemitism for example offensive either?

    Many posters here do.

    If he can’t take it then he shouldn’t dish it out, should he?

    This isn’t CiF. People can say more or less what they like but there’s a very fine line between expressing a valid opinion and blowing bubbles, as SarahLeah describes it, just to insult. I would imagine that that’s when posts get slung into moderation.

    If all this upsets you so much semtex, then you are on the wrong blog aren’t you?

  24. Snigger.

    How true. What we need is a site where everyone expresses the same opinion and reinforces each others ideas. Anyone expressing contrary opinions should be banned by the moderators or hounded mercilessly by the other readers.

    I would also like CifWatch to post more articles that expand on the theme of Israel being the only true democracy in the Middle-East, compared to its neighbours where any opposition is ruthlessly suppressed by the authorities.

  25. MindTheCrap

    I would also like CifWatch to post more articles that expand on the theme of Israel being the only true democracy in the Middle-East, compared to its neighbours where any opposition is ruthlessly suppressed by the authorities.

    Not sure that such a good idea. There are great sites ‘out there’ which emphasize our democratic and modern credentials. Perhaps best to concentrate best of CiF as a center for ‘Hate Israel’ commenters.

    If I include any link to CW on CiF, the comment is deleted pretty quick seeming to expose the sensitivity of CiF to the work that CW does.

  26. Now you are talking bollocks mindthecrap and I suspect you know full well that you are.

    If you really want to contribute to a site where groupthink rules OK, why not post to CiF, or try to?

    And as for your suggestion about articles, why not write one and submit it to the editors here? Unlike the other place it will almost certainly be considered. I for one would be interested to hear what you have to say.

    semtex, the clue probably lies in the “more or less” and whether what you like to say was deemed to be offensive. I imagine that even though this site isn’t CiF there are rules about what is and is not allowable. I don’t have the first clue whether your posts have been pulled or why, but you do if that has happened to you. Why not use your time profitably and go back over them, if you’ve kept copies, and try to figure out why?

  27. Snigger, SarahLeah et al:

    My sensing is that people get very hot under the collar whenever Jews/Zionists/Israelis are given time to defend themselves in print and moreover when they do so very well. These people should get over themselves or b*gger off.

    Were I one of the editors here, I would obviously want to see whatever any poster wrote before I gave it my support. If the poster were cruising for a bruising it’d be easy for him/her to perceive any rejection of his/her erudition as trying to stifle HIM/HER.

    Whatever else CiFWatch publishes it should not be from people who are expressing variations of the Guardian useful idiot line, although I don’t necessarily believe that mindthecrap will do or be either.

    I would object to having to read reformulated CiF “arguments” under the guise of “it’s my right to say it” here.

  28. @silver trees ‘my sensing is that people get very hot under the coller whenever Jews/Zionists/israeli’s are given the time to defend themselves in print and moreover when they do so well very well. These people should just get over themselves or bu*gger off’.

    And so speaks the great voice of reason, if you dont like what we say b*gger off. Great, that will help resolve a lot of issues, if you, and others keep sticking your fingers in your ears going la la la la la ‘we cant hear you’, that’s going to work a treat isn’t it?.
    Goodness sake

  29. semtex your paranoia and whingeing do you no favours particularly since you address only the second part of my post, and you overpersonalise it too – I note that you take the “we should b*gger off….” to mean you, which is not really what what I said!

    My post is my opinion and I am entitled to voice it, whether you agree with me or not. There may be individuals who enjoy listening to whingers who get overheated if they are not agreed with or their sensitivities tippy-toed around, but I don’t. I’d be willing to bet that others don’t particularly either.

    Disagree by all means but don’t whinge if you yourself are disagreed with. That’s a reasonable request to make of any grown up.

  30. HairShirt

    Also, why cannot you reply civilly to people who disagree with your views? … Pretzel nitpicks because he is who he is. He is discourteous and dismissive of others’ opinions if they happen to disagree with his.

    Strange how you don’t take issue with the OPENING posts of Greensleeves (“nitpicking”), SarahLeah (“you haven’t the first idea what you are talking about”) or indeed Toko LeMoko (“Had he been at Nuremberg, he’d have spent his efforts finding arguments for Bormann, Frank, Kaltenbrunner, and Göring”).

    The aggro always begins AFTER I disagree with something in an article or by another poster. I only get impolite a) if personally attacked or b) someone writes something offensive.

    To take MindTheCrap’s example re. me and SarahLeah: “He gave his opinion on the article; she gave her opinion on him.”

    Look at your double standards, HairShirt – especially re. Toko LeMoko.

  31. Sigh…

    I shall sum it up pretzelberg – it is not all about you!

    You are very easily offended and yet don’t hesitate to offend – or perhaps, to give you the benefit of the doubt, you don’t realise when you do offend. If the aggro begins, it’s probably BECAUSE of the way in which you disagree, not THAT you disagree.

    And you do nitpick. Greensleeves et al do not.

    Definition of nitpicking:

    “Minute, trivial, unnecessary, and unjustified criticism or fault finding.” (Note the “minute” and note particularly the “trivial.”)

    and “–verb (used without object)

    “to be excessively concerned with or critical of inconsequential details.”

    (Note the excessively concerned and the focus on “inconsequential details)

    or (and this is what you do best, pretzelberg)

    “to criticize by focusing on inconsequential details.”

    I have read some of your posts on CiF, where you would not be allowed to get away with any of this. Try to post here and not do it, there’s a good chap.

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