Message from Managing Editor, Adam Levick
In CiF Watch’s inaugural post, Welcome to CiF Watch, we stated our intention to regularly post articles exposing the “bigoted and one-sided nature of the obsessive focus on Israel and by extension the Jewish people” at the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’ (CiF), and to expose the biased moderation process in the CiF comment section, which often tolerated antisemitism and censored the “voice of their opponents.”
Using as our standard the EU’s Working Definition of antisemitism, our aim was then, as it still is today, to combat antisemitism and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy both “above the line” in commentary and reports and “below the line” in the comment threads.
But I think it’s safe to say we also had a broader mission: to rightfully name and shame the Guardian – which fancies itself the “world’s leading liberal voice” – for their tolerance towards decidedly illiberal Judeophobic narratives.
While we believe CiF Watch has been successful over the past two years in eliminating certain regular anti-Zionist writers from the pages of the Guardian, improving the Guardian’s moderation process, and effecting a reduction in the volume of Israeli-related Guardian/CiF posts, there is clearly much more work to do.
And, while the Guardian’s notoriety has indeed increased, there remains two core problems:
- A consistent sanctioning of voices opposed to Israel’s very existence.
- Silence in the face of undeniable evidence of antisemitism when covering a story or editorializing on a particular issue – what we often refer to as their glaring antisemitic sins of omission.
In our inaugural post, we also asked you to join us in this fight and, rather than muttering under your breath “those Guardian 8@57@rds” and moving on, to help us carry out our mission by commenting on our threads, sending us copies of antisemitic and anti-Zionist articles and comments that you come across on ‘Comment is Free’ – as well as “pro-Israel” comments that are deleted by the moderators. Most importantly, we asked that you please tell your friends to visit CiF Watch.
Now, on our second anniversary, as our reputation has grown, and our web traffic and social media presence has significantly increased, we still rely on our faithful fans to work with us to continue fighting the good fight against antisemitism: a bigotry which Professor Robert Wistrich has coined ” the world’s longest hatred.”
Mostly, I’d like to take this time to thank our devoted CiF Watch volunteers around the world: Those, from various backgrounds and political orientations, whose dogged determination to take on the Guardian demonstrated what the powerless few can do against the powerful many – genuine liberal grassroots activism at its finest.
On our 2nd Anniversary, here’s a look back at a few of the most viewed CiF Watch posts.
Looking back: A few classic CiF Watch posts
The Guardian’s Israel obsession in one image
Using the Guardian’s own data of topics by country tags, we posted a map (created and published by the site, Views of the World) which empirically demonstrated the Guardian’s wildly “disproportionate” focus on Israel.
Guardian report on London Riots omits the race of ethnicity of the rioters but still mentions Jews
The post, which exposed the rank hypocrisy of Guardian reporters who were at pains not to mention the racial or ethnic background of the rioters, but still noted the alleged jeering of London police by Hasidic Jews, resulted in a revision of the offending passage, and the paper’s acknowledgment that the story in question was inconsistent with their editorial standards.
CiF Watch exclusive: Alan Rusbridger’s daughter, BellaM, reprimanded for ad hominem attack on Melanie Phillips
In one of the first CW posts to go viral, we exposed that the CiF moderator who engaged in a vicious and defamatory attack against Melanie Phillips was Isabella Mackie, and that Mackie was the maiden name of the wife of none other than Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger. Clearly embarrassed by the incident, the Guardian subsequently issued an official statement acknowledging that BellaM’s actions were inappropriate, noting that they “reminded BellaM of the paper’s guidelines that staff posting on the site ‘should uphold a high standard of civility and avoid any behavior that might bring the Guardian’s good name into disrepute.”
Israeli NGOs preparing Flotilla from Ashdod to Dublin
This satirical post by AKUS, which told of an Israeli “humanitarian” flotilla en route to economically depressed nation of Ireland, was circulated widely throughout the blogosphere, translated into several languages, and reported as a straight news story by at least one U.S. newspaper.
An open letter to Jonathan Freedland
Medusa adeptly addresses a post directly to Jonathan Freedland – amid reports that he was visibly shaken by the visceral animosity of anti-Israel activists at a recent BDS debate in London – in hopes that the Guardian correspondent can glean some important insights into the seriousness of the cognitive war against Israel and the degree of contempt for the state by BDS activists.
Ghajar: where the world sits on a fence
While CiF Watch is a blog, and largely post polemical pieces in response to Guardian/CiF commentary, we also at times engage in straight reporting directly from the region, and thus serve as an alternative voice on the Middle East – perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict which those who rely on the mainstream media, would not otherwise be exposed to. This report, by Israelinurse, from the town of Ghajar, directly on the Israel’s border with Lebanon, included the views Ghajar residents on the town’s future in the context of international pressure to divide the village.
CiF Watch Popularity:
Technorati, one of the most prominent website ranking sites, has recently been placing CiF Watch among the Top 25 most popular blogs (in the World Politics category) out of the tens of thousands of sites which they track – a number which is based on variables such as web traffic and the number of other sites which link to us.
As always, CiF Watch thanks you for your loyal support.
What Can You Do?
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