Guardian’s Jewish problem: Paper praises extreme antisemitic site CounterPunch as ‘progressive’


Mainstream left-wing antisemites do not, typically, explicitly accuse Jews of engaging in global conspiracies.

They do not, typically, explicitly advance the narrative of the duplicitous money-grubbing Jew.

They do not, as such, advance the ancient antisemitic blood libel.

And they typically do not, per se, warn their readers of the injurious effects of Jewish power on society.

Nor do they deny the Holocaust.

However, as this blog is continually demonstrating, the most egregious antisemitic sin of far left broadsheets such as the Guardian is their legitimization – even praise – for antisemites who do advance such racist calumnies about the Jewish people.

The Guardian’s recent editorial in praise of Alexander Cockburn (In praise of the Cockburns, July 23rd) represents a perfect example.

In the editorial, the Cockburns (Alexander and his father and brother) are characterized as “…aristocratic radicals” who “have been pillars of progressive journalism for decades.” Here’s the editorial in its entirety. 

“When distinguished sons and daughters follow distinguished parents it is easy to mutter about charmed circles. Yet there are genuine family talents that span the generations. The Huxleys and Freuds are examples, and the death of Alexander Cockburn is a reminder that the Cockburns are another. These radical aristocrats – or aristocratic radicals – have been pillars of progressive journalism for decades. Claud Cockburn, although not without some blind spots, battered at received wisdom in the 1930s. His sons, Alexander and Andrew, continued the tradition in the United StatesAlexander indicating that continuity by calling one of his columns Beat the Devil, from the title of his father’s novel. Here, Patrick Cockburn has been for years one of the best Middle East reporters and analysts. Alexander’s writing has been praised as the key to “a life of joyful and creative resistance” – a fine phrase that could well be applied to them all.” [emphasis added]

To be begin with, Claud Cockburn joined the Communist Party and “worked closely with the Soviet agents who orchestrated both acts of violence against the anti-Stalinist left and the propaganda which whitewashed those acts.”  He could easily be characterized as an “intellectual hatchet man for Stalin”.  (Note that in 1936, Harry Pollitt, then General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain, asked Cockburn to cover the Spanish Civil War.  “Harry Pollitt” would later become the nom de guerre of Seumas Milne – prior to joining the Guardian – in his days working for the pro-Stalinist paper, Straight Left.) 

Regarding Alexander Cockburn’s site, that paragon of progressive thought known as CounterPunch:

  • Counterpunch has repeatedly run articles by prolific antisemite, Gilad Atzmon. Briefly, Atzmon has questioned whether the Holocaust occurred, while simultaneously arguing that, if Hitler’s genocide did occur, it can partly be explained by Jews’ villainous behavior.  Atzmon also explicitly charged that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world, and has endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, arguing about the document that “it is impossible to ignore its prophetic qualities and its capacity to describe” later Jewish behavior.
  • Counterpunch published an article by Alison Weir which alleges that the blood libel, (the charge that Jews ritually murdered gentiles), is true and is related to the false  reports, in 2009, regarding Israeli thefts of human organs from Palestinians.
  • CounterPunch’s Alexander Cockburn has advanced the argument that Jews have a stranglehold on the U.S. media. 
  • CounterPunch published a rant by Jennifer Loewenstein, about a “Gazan Holocaust”, which included a passage referring to Israelis as “Neo-Jewish Masterswho used the Gaza war as a “pretext to carry out mass murder of the Arab Untermenschen.”

As Adam Holland observed, specifically regarding the Alison Weir blood libel charge, but also serving as relevant understanding of the ideology of CounterPunch and Cockburn:

“It is outrageous that they would present the anti-Semitism of the middle ages as progressive…portraying [Jews] as intrinsically reactionary and criminal. In doing this, Counterpunch has turned the definitions of “progressive” and “reactionary” on their heads.”

I can’t think of a better characterization of the Guardian Left: an institution which continually turns definitions of “progressive” and “reactionary” upside down. 

Finally, at times we’re asked why precisely we charge the Guardian with promoting antisemitism. We are also similarly challenged by well-meaning commentators who suggest that we may, at times, overstate the case regarding the institution’s Judeophobic sympathies.

Well, if you are among such critics, the Guardian’s characterization of CounterPunch – whose unapologetic vilification of Jews is simply part of their ideological DNA – as “progressive” should serve as a poignant illustration of the Guardian Group’s Jewish problem and, indeed, a vindication of the mission of this blog.

19 comments on “Guardian’s Jewish problem: Paper praises extreme antisemitic site CounterPunch as ‘progressive’

  1. I wonder if the Guardian editorial was written by Seumas Milne? Doubt if it was Jonathan Freedland….

    Thanks for setting out the charge sheet so very clearly. We know what the Guardian is, but even so, it’s amazing that it has the face to put this stuff into an editorial rather than have it appear in CiF.

    I also doubt that Rusbridger wrote it, but he must have approved it.

  2. Counterpunch is a favorite source for the more virulent BTL commenters on CiF. That lunatic papalagi was a great admirer of its content before he disappeared..

    • He is probably a victim of austerity measures in government institutions, the PC for the inmates’ use has been crashed and no funding for repair.

  3. The Guardian and all Left Wing commentators are careful to couch what they say in the kind of language which can easily conceal prejudice; they don’t come out with too any explicit giveaways. They usually want more ‘up front’ anti- Semites to do that for them, like Muslims, particularly the Falestini, naturally. They couldn’t give a damn aboutvthese people, not really, they are just a group they can tether their own bigotry to. These are the people who deny, deny in the face of all evidence, that there are any Jewish working class Israeli’s. This would ditch the Falestini in a heartbeat, just like they do with anyone they luxuriate in feeling superior over. All the while they will tell us how the Jewish people have enriched the world, blah, blah, blah. It means nothing.

  4. The hagiographies of Cockburn by some lefty journalists are sickening. I’ve challenged a few of them with facts, such as those outlined in the post, about his antisemitism. Total silence from them.

  5. Can I just say I’m glad the prick Cockburn is dead.

    I will not pretend to be sorry. He published a putrid hate-filled little rag, and the world is better and brighter without his sick witterings. If I knew where his grave was, I’d be dancing on it right now.

  6. Sympathies with Islam and antisemitism are the glues that bind the far left with the far right. Counterpunch represents what modern Nazism is

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    • pam is your post badly phrased?

      Because if you mean it as it is written “Anti-Semitism is a badge of honor today. It means you’re fighting evil.” To be anti-semitic is a badge of honor, to be anti-semitic is to be fighting evil.
      Then can I, with all due respect, suggest you slither back into the primeval, pus filled swamp where you and all other anti-semites belong.

  10. Israel Shakiest and Gilead Atzmon are not Holocaust deniers. If you can’t make your point without lying – you’re worthless. Also former Counterpunch writer Ross Vachon is a much fiercer anti-Zionist than any of the names published. He’s too extreme for Counterpunch.

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