The Guardian, Khaled Diab and the Gilad Atzmon antisemitism test


Khaled Diab’s essay at CiF, “Hacking away at Arab and Israeli stereotypes“, is quite misleading. His objective isn’t to tear down stereotypes about Israelis, but to highlight and promote them. 

Diab, commenting on recent reports of Saudi hackers who “scaled up their cyber offensive against Israel by paralysing the websites of El Al airline and the Tel Aviv stock exchange”, quoted an Israeli journalist observing that such Arab tech prowess shattered the “feeling that Israel is a technological ‘superpower’ and a hi-tech nation”.  And, later, Diab saw Israeli surprise at the adeptness of the hackers as evidence that Israelis “apparently do regard their nearest [Arab] neighbours as being backward.”

While Diab, later in the essay, acknowledges (albeit in a perfunctory manner) Arab stereotypes of Israelis (which he suggests have nothing whatsoever to do with antisemitism), it’s in the following passage where his polemical veneer of  ‘peace and reconciliation’ vanishes.

Commenting further on the Israeli reaction to the apparent Saudi hacking, Diab writes.

Some commentators went even further. “The Jewish state is pretty devastated by the idea that a bunch of ‘indigenous Arabs’ are far more technologically advanced than its own chosen cyber pirates,” Israeli jazz musician Gilad Atzmon observed wryly on his blog.

The “Israeli jazz musician”, Gilad Atzmon, whose blog Diab evidently reads, is the author of a book, The Wandering Who?, which the Community Security Trust characterized as “probably the most antisemitic book published in this country in recent years.”

But, as I noted in a previous post, merely characterizing Atzmon as antisemitic doesn’t do him justice.  Atzmon advances crude, hateful, and demonizing rhetoric about Jews which is on par with the most vile Judeophobic charges ever leveled.

In that one video I linked to earlier, Atzmon leveled charges against Jews which are identical to the charges he routinely advances on his blog – the site which Diab refers to.

They include:

  • The explicit charge that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world, and an endorsement of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Gilad Atzmon’s antisemitism, quite simply, is as odious as anything you can find on a white supremacist or neo-Nazi website.

So, here’s a friendly suggestion to Guardian Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott, on how (per his mea culpa in Nov.) he can “avert accusations of antisemitism“, at his paper:

Don’t publish essays which approvingly cite the wisdom of one of the most notorious antisemites of our day!

11 comments on “The Guardian, Khaled Diab and the Gilad Atzmon antisemitism test

  1. I’m not really interested in arguing any point beyond the hack/tech/cultural issue. The fact that there is one lone hacker in Saudi Arabia is not a sign that the culture is advanced. It isn’t like the Israelis can go and arrest a hacker working in Saudi Arabia… and it isn’t like as if the Saudis don’t have the money to pay for expertise. The Israeli cultural is more then just one hacker. The Israeli culture is a culture of intelligence and the free exchange of information. Information can be bought, but it must be bought out of the incubating tech culture that it grew. A hacker who incubated in a Tech culture and then went rogue would be industrious to hide behind a third world regime so that the other hackers who share his knowledge can’t get to him. It is not however a sign that Saudi Arabia is a place that is fertile for thinking.

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  3. The Atzmon quote was a big mistake by Diab – especially given his innocent description of the former.

    But overall I think Diab meant well. The crucial part was not Atzmon or indeed the hacking attacks, but rather the idea that exposure to “the other side” could help break down mental barriers.

    • Hmmm, nice catch! Revealing ignorance more of the Graun CiF writer than anyone else.

      Israeli Jews know full well the Arabs in Palestine display a diversity of skin, eye and hair colors. It’s the anti-Zionists who keep harping on the narrative of “the white European Jewish settlers who have dispossessed the indigenous brown Palestinian natives,” in contradiction not only of the above-mentioned fact of Arab racial diversity, but also of the fact that brown-skinned Jews are now the majority of Israeli Jews. But it’s immaterial to them—they’d find out another “reason” to hate the Jewish state. I’ve had my tries at telling them, on their forums, exactly what I just wrote here, and you know how they responded most of the times? “Alright, oriental Jews may be the majority now, but they’ve wholly imbibed the Arab-hatred of the Ashkenazim.” I kid you not.

      It’s just like with the utter collapse of the dream of achieving a post-racial America following the election of a black (or half-black) president: In reality, those with an ax to grind will make sure to keep the flame of race-hatred alive. Their slogan, unspoken, unwritten, yet implicit in every one of their action, is “Racism now, racism tomorrow, racism forever!”

      I hate this perpetual race-cardery. If I kept a forum of my own (not enough free time for that, I’m afraid), one of the comments rules would be a total ban on the use of the Race Card. It’s a show-stopping ad hominem, and those who opt to use it instead of arguing by logic and evidence need to be disarmed of that illegal rhetorical weapon.

        • Adolf didn’t care much. Semitic though the Mufti may have been, his intense Jew-hatred meant it was love at first sight between the two. Both of them probably thought that the business of taking out the Semite (in the Nazi imperialist point of view) or the infidel (in the Islamic imperialist point of view) could be pursued after the mutual alliance had done away with that pesky Eternal Jew first.

  4. Any tech savvy school child could have done what this “Saudi hacker” did.In fact he did Israel a great favor by waking us up to the hostile hacking of Israeli sites.

    Lets wait for the surprising and devastating responses from the Israeli and Jewish hackers.

    These responses have already started.

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