The explicit racism of a British journalist


Here’s an altered quote by a journalist who works for a British newspaper.

“The blacks of today scare me and I find it almost impossible to talk to most of them. Any criticism of the policies of African countries  is regarded as racism. Most papers and journals will not even publish articles on the subject for fear of a black backlash. Whites are often treated with ill-concealed contempt, yet the blacks are always the victims. Am I prejudiced against blacks? Alas, yes.”

Outrageous, isn’t it? Morally indefensible, don’t you think? Such naked racism should get this journalist fired, wouldn’t you say?

Ok, here’s the exact quote by a London Evening Standard journalist named Mira, as quoted in Haaretz.

The Jews of today scare me and I find it almost impossible to talk to most of them, including relatives. Any criticism of the policies of Israel – including the disgraceful treatment of Holocaust survivors as well as refugees from murderous regimes – is regarded as treason and/or anti-Semitism. Most papers and journals will not even publish articles on the subject for fear of a Jewish backlash. Goyim (gentiles ) are often treated with ill-concealed contempt, yet the Jews are always the victims. Am I prejudiced against Jews? Alas, yes.”

While writing posts at this blog on what we believe is antisemitism at the Guardian, our contributors often have to argue why particular narratives, tropes and passages should be interpreted as consistent with the EU Working Definition of antisemtism

Reasonable people can, of course, disagree with our analysis of what constitutes antisemitism, and we take the task of making persuasive arguments about the nature of anti-Jewish racism – especially when it concerns morally gray areas – very seriously.

To those critics of ours who argue that they are indeed opposed to “real” antisemitism, but simply disagree with us on what constitutes such bigotry, the case of Mira Bar-Hillel presents a completely unambiguous example to test your assertion.

If you sincerely oppose antisemitism, and believe that racism should not be tolerated within the UK journalism profession, then you must acknowledge that a woman stating clearly, and without qualification, that she is, in fact, ‘prejudiced against Jews’ should not be employed by a British newspaper.

It is that simple.

69 comments on “The explicit racism of a British journalist

  1. Not one of your saner postings, Adam. The journalist is clearly Jewish herself and tells us that she is “prejudiced against Jews” only because most of those she meets “regard any criticism of the policies of Israel …. as treason and/or anti-Semitism”. A position such as hers is not antisemitism in any rational sense.

    • Considering that Ms Mira Bar-Hillel herself is Jewish, how could she be considered an “antisemite”?

      Her father, Yehoshua Bar-Hillel, fought with the Haganah during the Israeli War of Independence, losing an eye.

      I believe that Mr Adam Levick must apologize for his apalling comment which accused an Israeli Jewish woman wose family helped create the state of Israel “antisemite”. Such a comment is shameful.

      • Bringing up her religion (which she was born with) and her father’s background (which she had nothing to do with relative to the time that was cited) is completely irrelevant to whether or not this statement is anti-Semitic. Which it clearly is, and the posting makes a salient comparison about how this kind of filth wouldn’t be tolerated in a different context (and rightly so) but gets a pass because of apologists. People are free to be apologists and also to be wrong, and that’s the case here.

      • “Considering that Ms Mira Bar-Hillel herself is Jewish, how could she be considered an “antisemite”?”
        Ha. Ha. I haven’t heard that one in a while.

        “I believe that Mr Adam Levick must apologize for his apalling comment…”

        No, Ms. Bar-Hillel owes the apologies and should be canned for her appalling comments.

    • Now who do you think would come out so militantly in defence of a racist who admits that she is prejudiced against people because of their religion.

      I can just see these same usual suspects kicking up a storm if one day the same brainy dame (got my sarky hat on) says that she is prejudiced against Moslems. But being against Jews? who isn’t?.

    • And why can’t a Jew be anti-semitic?
      You have no understanding of reality at all
      Goodbye, and enjoy la-la land.

        • I think refraining from insulting a Jewish woman merely because she is Jewish is patronizing. Had her pontifications been against blacks, gays, gypsies, but particularly Muslims there would have been uproar and she would have been in hiding.

  2. Agreed: a rather bizarre post, given that it does acknowledge the fact that Mira Bar-Hillel is herself Jewish, which surely makes such simplistic and simpleminded conclusions inappropriate. And the comparison between Bar-Hillel’s words and the version with ‘blacks/whites’ substituted in is spurious. Yes, it reads as racist if we assume that the writer is white. But if the writer was black – as would have to be the case for it to be a meaningful parallel with the Bar-Hillel quote – then would you really be sure you could arrive at that conclusion so quickly, and so assuredly? Wouldn’t it a little more complex than that?

    • You’re truly suggesting that Jews can’t hold antisemitic views? The term “self hating Jews’ is thrown around too much, but in this case, how else would you characterize a Jew who admits to be prejudiced against Jews?

      • Your original use of the black analogy is interesting, Adam. You wouldn’t look far to find blacks who are critical of black African governments. With a little effort you could find blacks who are not fans of Martin Luther King or who think Obama is a Muslim. No-one, however, would call such people ‘self-hating blacks’. They just have opinions, with which one may or may not agree.

        What makes Jews different?

        • That would be a great analogy if African Americans had a history of lying about African governments, discounting most or all of what those governments said while giving their adversaries a free pass on documented lies, either saying falsely that African governments were the world’s worst human rights violators or providing convoluted explanations as to why those governments violations were worse qualitatively even as they were lesser quantitatively, and in increasing numbers of cases calling for those governments to be dissolved and their citizens to become second-class people at best or being mass-murdered at worst. The facts show that even more extremist African Americans do not have this history. That’s the difference.

        • I don’t even begin to know how to unpack that. Suffice to say that people do, in fact, call such people self-hating blacks. Among other terms. For good reason.

      • I think she admits to being prejudiced against Jews who basically defend what is immoral,inhumane and downright evil! Any rational and sensitive person living in liberal democracy would feel the same.However,because she is in fact Jewish she must be a “self-hating” Jew whatever that is!Pure nonsense!

        • No, snotty, you don’t think. That’s way beyond your habilities. You only know how to hate. Go back to the sewers, troll.

        • In the sense that both Nat and myself have outlined above. Bar-Hillel isn’t saying she “hates” Jews – that word has been put into her mouth, without a scrap of evidence (“prejudice” does not immediately imply, much less equal, “hatred” – again, it’s simplistic to suggest otherwise). The very fact that she is referring, in part, to her struggle to relate to members of her own family suggests to me that this is far more complex than base anti-Semitism, and that you are willfully overlooking its complexity in order to smear her with that accusation.

          • The very fact that she is referring, in part, to her struggle to relate to members of her own family suggests to me that this is far more complex than base anti-Semitism, and that you are willfully overlooking its complexity in order to smear her with that accusation.

            Indeed.

          • “prejudice” does not immediately imply, much less equal, “hatred” – again, it’s simplistic to suggest otherwise”.
            Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking, connecting prejudice against someone to not liking them. Have to keep that in mind so I remember that a prejudiced individual is actually expressing a great deal of positive emotion towards whatever he or she is prejudiced against–it’s just too hard to be positive in a straightforward way! (last part was sarcasm).

          • chrisjamescox,

            Latch on to a dictionary. Keep it with you at all times. It could be the difference between sounding intelligent or making yourself look foolish, as you have done here.

          • It’s amazing how complicated anti-Semitism gets when people are trying to make it go away.

            What actually qualifies at anti-Semitism in your mind?

            This sort of sophistry is standard with racists of all stripes as they try to insist that they’re not bigots unless they say some specific set of magic words.

    • Would I cut some slack for a black journalist spewing this sort of nonsense about black people? No. I might feel bad for them, and wonder what in their lives had made them see their own so narrowly, but I wouldn’t pretend they were doing anything but mouthing racism to the delight and endless quotation of non-black racists.

  3. Say, you two antisemitic lovebirds, I am sure you’re all aware of Gilad Atzmon, who is himself Jewish – no doubt your favorite pal.
    But he practices Holocaust denial(along with other Judeophobia, and compared with him, “sencar” here has a lot to learn).
    Does that absolve him of antisemitism? He *is* Jewish after all?
    Both of you, are disgusting, to say the least — all too eager to defend antisemitism.(but of course under the “venerable” guise of “anti-Zionism”)

    • Commentary, I believe that Ms Bar-Hillel has motive to sue Mr Levick. Let’s see how long this post remains on CIF Watch…

      • “I believe that Ms Bar-Hillel has motive to sue Mr Levick.”
        Really Nat.

        What legal grounds does Ms Bar-Hillel have for suing Mr Levick?
        Which court will the hearing take place in?
        Would that be Jerusalem, London or The Hague?

        I find it hard to envisage the ‘Met’ flying over to Israel to slap the cuffs on Mr Levick, although we do have an empty cell now that Abu Qatada has been released again.
        Never fear Mr Levick if you end up being ‘banged up’ in a British Gaol I’m ready to start the “Release the CiF Watch One” Campaign.

    • C101,

      It turns out that Holocaust denial isn’t anti-Semitic “per-se.” Just ask Noam Chomsky, he’ll tell you all about from his secret chamber down below the deep structure.

      • “Oh, I’ve had Atzmon’s admirers look me right in the eye and explain that he’s not even a teeny bit anti-Semitic.”
        Then you must have had a good look into theirs. Tell me, was it a glazed look?

        • ‘Fervid’ is the term that comes to mind. They’d seem like perfectly nice and normal people, quite passionate about things, if it weren’t for the part where you quote Atzmon’s exact words and they shake their heads and smile and explain that he didn’t say that, they’re sure, because he’s such an amazing man.

          • Whats amazing about him? What, they never met an anti-Semitic saxophone player before?

            I enjoy your comments, Makabit. You’re insightful and have got a way with words.

            Example: “It’s amazing how complicated anti-Semitism gets when people are trying to make it go away.” Excellent.

  4. Astonishing that even at CIFWatch we find apoligists for antisemites. Yes, a Jew can be antisemitic, take a look at Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelsteing; and no, it is not grounds for a lawsuit to call a spade a spade. Truth is a valid defense in any libel action.

  5. “Yes, a Jew can be antisemitic, take a look at Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelsteing”
    I’ve read quite a lot of Finkelstein’s work, as well as some of Chomsky’s. Nowhere did I see any antisemitism. They take political positions (not always the same) on Israel, Palestine and related subjects. It’s only in the fevered imagination of CiFWatchers and those who drew up the EU Working Definition of antisemtism that their views could be interpreted as antisemitic.

    • Only a typical second-hand antisemite such as yourself can think you can hide your petty hatred with pseudo-intellectual little speeches. Deep down you are still a little ashamed of yourself, and that’s why you are still a petty closet Jew-hater. Why don’t you try to be honest for once? You could be the new Julius Streicher.

    • sencar (sounds like a brand of decaf),

      If you’ve read and listened to Chomsky and haven’t found anything anti-Semitic, then (and I really hate to say this) you haven’t read and listened enough.

      • sencar,

        Alternative theory: If you listen to Chomsky and aren’t detecting the anti-Semitism, maybe you’ve listened too much, and are just brainwashed.

      • That’s a pathetic response, if you will excuse my saying so. Please quote something from Chomsky that is anti-Semitic and I’ll be happy to reply.

        • “That’s a pathetic response, if you will excuse my saying so.”
          I won’t excuse it.
          There’s nothing pathetic about it.
          “Please quote something from Chomsky that is anti-Semitic and I’ll be happy to reply.”
          Your reply is not something I actively seek. And I don’t have quotes in front of me, nor will I spend my time trying to please you. I could, but I have other things to do.
          If others wish to do so, then that’s up to them. Off the top of my head though, I do seem to recall Chomsky saying that Jews control New York City, but it’s not enough to have 98%, they want 100%. Something along those lines, and of course that is anti-Semitic. (“you’ll notice that NYC isn’t in Israel, that’s not even controversial” – that’s my Chomsky impression, pretty good, huh?, Of course when Chomsky says something “isn’t even controversial,” it usually means it’s quite probably extremely controversial, and based on a false assertion that he promulgates).
          I would also say that writing a forward for a book denying the Holocaust (using falsified “evidence,” of course) is an anti-Semitic act, and Chomsky’s excuses only make it worse.
          As for you, I’ve settled on the alternative theory listed in my previous comment.

    • “and those who drew up the EU Working Definition of antisemtism that their views could be interpreted as antisemitic.”

      Oh yes, we must watch out for them. Maybe their hiding under your bed?

  6. But she says “the Jews of today…am I prejudiced against Jews? Alas Yes” What does such a statement make her then – a really nice concerned Jewish mother or a harpee?

  7. Notice how the veneer of “anti-Zionism” has disappeared. This lady is now saying “Hi, I’m an anti-Semite and it’s OK for you to be one too,” as the Nats, the chrisjamescox’s et al dissemble.

    If someone on this site let it slip out that pink isn’t his favorite color pretzelberg would write 7 comments in a row calling them homophobic and chastising every commenter passing by for not condemning it.

    • This lady is now saying “Hi, I’m an anti-Semite and it’s OK for you to be one too”

      Mira Bar-Hillel, at least, is saying nothing of the kind.

  8. By the way:
    “Am I prejudiced against Jews? Alas, yes.” – Mira Bar-Hillel

    anti-Semitism, noun, – hostility or prejudice against Jews.
    It’s in the dictionary. Look it up.

    • Oh come off it, Jeff. Clearly she is talking specifically about I/P.

      Then again: I don’t know a single Jewish person who would say that “Any criticism of the policies of Israel … is regarded as treason and/or anti-Semitism.”

      Yes she’s batty. But a bigot?

      • Those were her own words, not mine, and certainly not Adam Levick’s.
        Hold her responsible, please. You’re free to write her a letter.

  9. That some Israel hater non-Jewish asshole are trying to define for the Jews what is antisemitic and who is an antisemite is simply astonishing.

  10. Like all generalisations, Bar-Hillel’s comment is fatuous. I understand her to mean that SOME Jews she has met, members of her family included, exasperate her by adopting positions she finds untenable and make her prejudiced against them. By claiming that papers and journals are scared to publish anti-Israel material for fear of a backlash indicates how divoirced she must be from what is going on around her in the UK media. All in all, not to be taken seriously.

    • Clearly her claim that “Any criticism of the policies of Israel – including the disgraceful treatment of Holocaust survivors as well as refugees from murderous regimes – is regarded as treason and/or anti-Semitism” is preposterous.

      I can’t think of a single Jewish friend or colleague to whom the above applies.

      • “I can’t think of a single Jewish friend or colleague to whom the above applies.”

        It’s an anti-Semitic trope.

  11. “If you sincerely oppose antisemitism, and believe that racism should not be tolerated within the UK journalism profession, then you must acknowledge that a woman stating clearly, and without qualification, that she is, in fact, ‘prejudiced against Jews’ should not be employed by a British newspaper.

    It is that simple.”

    Point.

  12. Get some professional help Adam. The race/sexist/anti-Semitism/Islamophobe/homophobia industry needs to be shut down.

    People like you WILL incite a civil war one day.

  13. I regard both quotes, whether referring to blacks or to jews, as acceptable. No group, however oppressed, should be exempt from criticism. Victims should be protected from oppression, not “protected” from reason.
    Our laws used to conform to a “reasonable man” standard. This standard has been removed in favor of a purely subjective standard when it comes to minorities. Any verbalization they don’t like, no matter how accurate, has become taboo. Our news media no longer regard truth as a goal; journalism students are taught that improving the image of minorities (and consequently blackening the reputation of European heritage westerners) is the prime directive. In my childhood that prime directive worked in favor of jews: nowadays it works against them. (Amazing to see how far and how quickly that pendulum has swung!! I do believe the news and entertainment industries could have the masses declaring darkness at noon and revoking the rules of gravity at any time they like!) In either case, journalistic deviation from the goal of truthfulness is the villain.
    Be suspicious, and -yes- prejudiced, against any group that will not tolerate rational discussion. Whether pro or anti Israel, pro or anti “black culture.” Be most suspicious of all of those groups which threaten critics with death.

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