Harriet Sherwood misleads on religious significance of the Western Wall


Harriet Sherwood’s June 25 report on the upcoming visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, devoted some text to outlining his itinerary while in the Holy Land, and included this passage: 

During his three days in the Holy Land, he is scheduled to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be the site of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection; the Western Wall, the most revered site in Judaism; and the Haram al-Sharif, the site of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque and the third-holiest place in Islam. All three sites are inside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

However, Sherwood gets the significance of the Western Wall and Haram al-Sharif wrong - an error which she has made previously and which has been made (and at times corrected) by other media outlets as well.

Haram al-Sharif is known in Judaism as ‘The Temple Mount’ (Har Habayit), and is identified in Jewish (and Islamic) tradition as the area of Mount Moriah where Abraham offered his son in sacrifice.  It is where the Second Temple stood between roughly 515 BCE until 70 CE and – while it is true, per Sherwood, that it is the third holiest place in Islam – it is recognized as the holiest site in Judaism. While the Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews are permitted to regularly pray, it derives its holiness from its proximity to the Temple site.

Western Wall (Kotel) looking towards Temple Mount (Har Habayit)

Western Wall (Kotel) looking towards Temple Mount (Har Habayit)

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Jews touring the Temple Mount (Har Habayit)

Though we have credited Sherwood recently on her progress towards more fair and accurate coverage of the region, this report on the Archbishop’s upcoming visit to Jerusalem includes clearly misleading information about the significance of these Jewish and Muslim holy sites which is simply not open to interpretation.  

(We recommend you consider reading a great CAMERA backgrounder on the issues surrounding the Temple Mount, here.)

185 comments on “Harriet Sherwood misleads on religious significance of the Western Wall

  1. In any other case, there would be calls for her reassignment, if not outright dismissal. The fact that she continues to distort truth and The Guardian continues to enable her to do so, underscores the fact that it nothing more than a propaganda sheet.

    • In any other case, there would be calls for her reassignment, if not outright dismissal

      Oh please. Was it really that heinous a crime?

      • Yes. Misrepresenting facts is often a case for dismissal in journalism which is why her comments are that damaging i.e., because it is a media report and misleads people.

        Adam is quite right in exposing her lack of professionalism.

        • I’m sorry but I’m with Prez on that. The mistake, while sloppy does not actually have a massive impact, and also as the article points out the mistake is widespread, and thus easy to pick up. HS should be reassigned for other things she has done, but this mistake should just be corrected.

          • I disagree 100%. I’m no journalist, but I’m sure that it’s in their code of ethics that a journalist should be informed on the subject about which they write. That means that Sherwood hasn’t been professional in informing herself or she is informed and is trying to mislead.

            • Furthermore, it does have an impact as it fosters ignorance on the issue and weakens Israel’s position on Jerusalem.

              • Michael, I disagree (and agree with Pretz and MM). In fact, if you asked 100 Jews on the street what the holiest place in Judaism is, probably a large proportion of them would say the Western Wall or one of its other names. This clearly isn’t the most heinous crime of Harriet’s, but it is important in the context of her overall record.

                • You all are ignoring a very key point. Sherwood purports to be a professional journalist. Most people you meet on the street are not. And therefore, she should be held to a higher standard for what she writes.

                • No Michael, I am not ‘missing the point’ There is something in newspapers called ‘Corrections’ they have been there for a very long time, and it is not always typo’s. The Journalist should avoid them, but not every factual mistake results in a sacking/redeployment, and certainly not a mistake that is sadly widespread.

                • That is true Matzoh Maker. Everyone makes mistakes, however Adam also cites her previous misrepresentations on the matter and yet she still continues to practice either sloppy or yellow journalism.

  2. El Graunid is protecting Sherwood from ‘exposure’. Her ‘articles’ are rarely open for comment where her misrepresentations can be exposed on CiF to a CiF audience.

    It’s all part of El Graunid’s pretence at being ‘Fair and Balanced’.

  3. Hi Adam Levick i have been reading so many untruths by this idiot women Harriet Sherwood over the weeks you have commented. She is a waste of space. You keep giving us the TRUTHS.

  4. It’s not like she’s got to look it up or something. For crying out loud, she’s there! She could just ask someone.

    • Jeff – she does ask people. All the time. She asks the PA. She asks the “arab street”. She asks Hamas. She asks the PSC. She asks JFJFP. She asks B’tselem. She asks UNRWA.

      She gets the answers she wants.

  5. Somebody is trying to hoodwink here. Prophet Abraham is the most revered Prophet in Islam. In fact all the key elements of Islamic faith are derived from Abraham, including the significance of Mecca and the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, the sacrifice every Muslim offers during the period of Haj are related to Prophet Abraham. All three main Monotheistic faith share many of the same Prophets and the revelations. It is therefore a dubious argument to say that the Jewish faith practiced this or that ritual before anybody else. All said and done the Arabs are also from the sons of Abraham. It is only racism that prevents us from recognizing that common humanity. I do not how Sherwood is misrepresenting. Please do not point me to the camera. Camera is lying.

    • It looks like you’re the one who is trying to hoodwink. Adam makes Sherwood’s distortion very clear: the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. We cannot go there for specific reasons.

      If the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Islam, as you’re purporting to imply, why do you turn your backs to it when you pray?

    • “Camera is lying”? Prove it, otherwise you are lying.
      Arabs wouldn`t know anything about Abraham without the Jewish religion, heritage and the tannach.
      Anyway, sell your propaganda at the fitting places.

    • “Prophet Abraham is the most revered Prophet in Islam”
      Eh? I thought your No 1 Prophet was Mohammed? Every other male Muslim is called ‘Mohammed’ whilst precious few get called ‘Abraham’. Sounds a bit too Jewish.

    • Careful, we know that Guardianists sometimes read Cifwatch, and the last thing we need is another self-hating Jew getting a Cif column.(The NK are weird. Plenty of Religious Jews are anti-zionist to one degree or other {as I myself am} but the suicidal nature of their actions is mind-boggling.)

  6. Misleading supposes knowledge which I doubt. She is just one of those undereducated who judge the world by their ideological preferences they learned, never criticising themselves, only those who do not fit their ideology.

    • Good morning Fritz

      ” Misleading supposes knowledge ”

      A fine observation. There is an implication that Sherwood had maliciously mislead or indeed and had read the corrections when all along she maybe just didn’t know.

      The article is not clear as to whether the mistake by Sherwood herself was corrected or whether such corrections were concerning the mistakes of other media outlets. A cynic might suggest that the article used language which does not help i e

      “- an error which she has made previously and which has been made (and at times corrected) by other media outlets as well.”

      This could mean Sherwood herself has been corrected or it could mean other medias mistakes were corrected. If the former then she is guilty of repeating a blunder consciously. If the latter then the offence is more forgivable.

      • No, as I already wrote ideologues ignore what doesn`t fit their view of the world, be that facts, knowledge, reason, causality, rationality, physical world, ..
        Ideologues when feeling threatened by contradiction, logic and facts tend to construct a conspiracy set in which they represent the pursued innocent who speaks out the oppressed truth and earns suppression by hidden powers, always just one step away from open Antisemitism.

      • Oh please. Sherwood has been in Israel for how long? And you are suggesting that, in all that time, she has not yet established a very basic fact about the religion that is central to the country’s life?

        So you’re basically saying, she’s not malicious, she’s just fundamentally incompetent. So that’s OK then.

        • ” she’s just fundamentally incompetent ”

          People make mistakes. This site is about tackling anti Semitism not attacking writers who do not have a complete grasp of a religion. It is a logical mistake to make. We all remember pictures of the joy in 67 with the dancing soldiers near the wall.

          It is a very very important place. I agree with Pretzelberg. This is an argument for arguments sake.

          • Rosco:
            “This site is about tackling anti Semitism not attacking writers who do not have a complete grasp of a religion.”

            Some how the 2 entwine when that religion happen to be Judaism and it is misrepresented in a manner that appear to be intentional.

            Suffice to say that it is not the writer who is under attack here but the editor who chooses to keep such writers.
            Maybe that editor has an agenda.
            Maybe that agenda is to diminish the responsibilities of a certain aspired nation who attack the only Jewish state in the world while removing layers from the connection that Jewish state has to the land it currently sit on.
            In other words that Editor, if indeed he behaves in such manner, is bordering into Antisemitism by allowing this to go on.

  7. Michael Perhaps you do not know this early Muslims faced Jerusalem not Mecca when praying.

    Also, the most sacred day in Muslim calendar is associated with Abraham offering to sacrifice his own son.

    Ignorance promotes racism.

    • No Abdul, I did not know that, but what does it matter? The fact of the matter is that Islam regards Mecca and Medina as holier than Jerusalem, whereas Mecca and Medina do not have any significance whatsoever in Judaism. The Temple Mount is the holiest place in the world for Jews, despite Sherwood’s attempts at lying and your attempts at diversion.

        • Premise 1: What she has said is incorrect.
          Premise 2: She has made that same incorrect statement in the past.
          Premise 3: She has been made aware of the inaccuracy.

          Simple arithmetic then takes over.

          • “Lying” would in this case mean saying e.g. the Temple Mount is sacred only to Muslims or that the Western Wall is the only holy site for Jews in J’lem..

    • “Ignorance promotes racism.”
      As in your ignorance as to what Michael might or might not know?

    • Yes, that`s a prove that the fearly muslims were formed as a Jewish sect breaking away from mainstream by adopting some of the pagan and the christian religion forming a new hybrid religion. :-)

      • And an Adaption of Byzantine and Sassanid rituals of subdueing enemies by throwing himself to earth, in devotion of a god.

    • Until they got annoyed that the Jews didn’t buy into the newly minted sham religion of Islam and set about massacring them.

      • I believe you’d find that over all and in line with the custom and gore of the era, the Muslims have been the better religion where Jews had managed to find ways to progress.
        By far better than the ways Christians behaved in the same era and the following millennium towards the Jews.
        The difference was that Europe experienced the Emancipation later on.
        The Muslim world is still waiting for its Bismark.

        • I really find it tireing the ‘oh the Christians were even worse’. I am not comparing. Anyways I am talking about the very start, when Mohammed went after every Jew he could get.
          As I have written below, of course there were some very good Muslem rulers.
          And there were occasional good Christian ones too- e.g. Poland at the begining of Jewish settlement there, and arguably Rudoulf II (King of Bohemia at Maharal’s time)

    • Abdul, perhaps you don’t know that most Jews/Israelis are not religiously observant. We don’t take the Bible as being literally dictated by God. I think we are attached to Jerusalem/Zion for cultural, historical, sentimental reasons. When you talk of Abraham/Ibrahim, we would mostly consider him an inspired mythical person not a real one. I don’t know the worldwide percentage of Muslims who question the authenticity of the Quran, but I imagine it’s far smaller than the equivalent Jewish or Christian believers regarding the Bible. Hence the clash of civilisations and the difficulty of integrating Muslims in secular European states…

      • You’re just as bad as Sherwood, cynic2jours. You attempt to portray Israeli society as secular with the religious as some fringe group. In reality, the majority of Jews in Israel practice Judaism to some degree. It’s the segment of Judaism called “haredi” that is the minority, but a significant one at that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Israel
        The only difference between you and Sherwood is that she actually has the potential to influence.

        • ‘Just as bad as Sherwood’ in your opinion. Why are you so sensitive to differing opinions on Judaism? I gave my own sceptical view of religion, arguing that Judaism is more progressive, more tolerant than Islam (or Christianity) – and you bite my head off. Talk about intolerance! You say that the majority of Israeli Jews practise Judaism ‘to some degree’. They eat Jewish food, and enjoy Jewish holidays you mean?

          • That’s an interesting question. I’m not Israeli and I’d like to know about the relative percentages of religious versus non-religious Israeli Jews. I thought the majority consisted of secular people. Does anyone have the facts about that?

  8. Ironically an article featured today on the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency website was surprisingly forthright about the status of the Western Wall and Temple Mount in Judaism.

    The article about the shooting of a mentally ill Jew by a Druze guard at the Kotel reported that “The shooting took place shortly before 8 a.m. as the plaza in front of the Western Wall, the holiest site Jews are currently allowed to pray”. The article goes on to explain that “The site is venerated by Jews as the last remnant of the wall supporting the Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Above it is the compound housing the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Known to Jews as the Temple Mount, the compound is a deeply sensitive location.” Ma’an goes on to share a fact almost always ignored by Western media “Jews are not allowed to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.”

    Ma’an Article at http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=608462

    • Michael Behar:
      .” Ma’an goes on to share a fact almost always ignored by Western media “Jews are not allowed to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.”

      Rabbinical consensus in the post-1967 period in the Religious Zionist stream of Orthodox Judaism held that it is forbidden for Jews to enter any part of the Temple Mount,[75] and in January 2005 a declaration was signed confirming the 1967 decision.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mount

      • This is no longer a consensus and many Rabbis and religious groups visit the Temple Mount on a regular basis. What is most egregious and what you seemed to miss is the outragous ban on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Police and minders monitor Jewish visitors to the holy site to prevent even the hint of a pryaer exiting their lips,

        • The properly orthodox don’t, because it is clearly stated in Torah that you may not enter the Mikdosh while ritually impure. Furthermore the heter of impurity is permissible when effecting the community only applies to sacrifices. These groups mostly are reform (and thus not really Judaism any more than Christianity) or groups whose ideology undermines their understanding of Judaism. This still gives no right to Muslims or any others to ban Jews from the Temple mount if they were pure, but as far as authentic Judaism goes it is not permissible to ascend the temple mount.
          (I am aware some argue that they know the exact location of the temple and avoid going on it but that is a very dodgy approach halachacly)

  9. Just to clarify a point- it is true that Temple mount is the holiest place, but the Western wall derives it’s holiness not just from it’s proximity, but from a Medrash that says it was where the Shechinah went by the time of exile.

  10. Another arguable inaccuracy:

    he is scheduled to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be the site of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection

    There must be 20 sites in and outside Jerusalem with that claim – half of them within that one church alone!

    Ah, those crazy Christians …

  11. I’d like to know when this propaganda notion of Jerusalem as the “3rd holiest site in Islam’ was first cooked up. Where’s the League Table of Islamic holy sites? Damascus and Baghdad have been the seats of Caliphs, whilst for most of the Arab thenTurkish occupation of the Holy Land, Jerusalem was a backwater, ignored by all but a few pesky persistent Jews and Christian monks.

    • To be fair, Suleiman the Magnificent did build the wonderful walls we now have, but he was rather unusual as he was good to the Jews.
      funny how the most successful Moslems (Turkish Suleiman and Kurdish Salah-al-Din) tended to treat their Jewish subjects far better. Treat the Jews well and you will be successful it would seem

      • I see someone did not like my post. Was it me saying STM was good to Jews, or saying that being good to us Jews is a sensible thing? ;-)

  12. Try to look at this from a neutral perspective. Could it not be that Sherwood was merely attempting a three-way perspective in one paragraph, incorporating one site for each of the three different religions?

    Of course an account in a history/geography book would be more accurate.
    But this is a media report.
    It looks like you’re looking for an argument for argument’s sake here, Adam. And where is this “clearly misleading information” anyway?

    • Because by doing show she makes out that Temple mount is a) Less significant to the Jews than the Western Wall
      B) as unsignificant to Jews as the other site mentioned- A Church!

      • But she does not say or imply that the Temple Mount is unsignificant to Jews.

        Where I would correct her copy, however, is to at least say e.g. “Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount” (or vice versa).

        • She makes out there are three sites, one holy to Jews one to Muslims and one to Christians. This leads the casual reader to infer each one is unique to that religion.

          • But surely the essential point is that the archbishop is visiting one site for each religion. The context of his visit to the Temple Mount would not appear to include the Second Temple (and the Holy of Holies).

            • I am not arguing about what caused the mistake, as you say it could be just how it turned out. I am just pointing out that it does do exactly this- imply the Temple mount is nothing to do with Judaism. I’d Like to ask Sherwood if she can guess why I fast on tisha b’av- it certainly isn’t because I’m not hungry.

          • Yes, it might have that effect on some readers.

            But is it really that relevant within the context of the article?

  13. Is not Cairo also more significant to the Jews than to the Muslims? Is it not from Egypt that they were first exiled?

  14. Is not Cairo also more significant to the Jews than to the Muslims? Is it not from Egypt that they were first exiled?

    • What on earth are you on about Rosco – er, I mean Jerry? Since when does being slaves in a place for several hundred years make that place holy?

    • Jabal Karim! Ah, we haven’t missed you, and yet you’re back with a vengeance.
      Now I see that you still haven’t been able to surpass your feelings of deep inadequacy, and are still posting with English-sounding handles.
      Why is that? Even Iqbal was much prouder of his heritage, than you are… And it is Iqbal who is your national poet, isn’t he?

    • Hmmm. Nice Trolly. But did you know Medina had a sizable Jewish population before Mo the Maniac Massacred Men who wouldn’t be Muslimfied?

      • As if SerJew has ever made something even vaguely resembling a meaningful contribution to a thread!

        Here’s to Jerry Thompson and SerJew – what a couple they’d make!

  15. Off topic maybe but on BBCwatch there is a similar complaint. A guy gets shot for shouting Allahu Akbar and the complaint is that the BBC also mix up the holiest place. No sense of outrage that a guy can be shot for shouting…that’s cool but lets get at the Beeb . Desperate .

    • “Desperate”? What the hell are you talking about?
      “The guy” was shot because he was acting suspiciously alongside the “Allahu Akbar” fulminations. It’s not as if Israel did not have extensive experience with people shouting “Allahu Akbar” and then detonating themselves, killing scores.
      Incidentally, the guy is being held on charges of murder. I am sure justice will be served.
      But if this your best trolling mode, you’re in deep, cerebral troubles.

        • He can’t leave; trolling is his raison d’etre.
          Meanwhile, I’ve seen his spirited defence of the fascist “Nick” — truly revolting.
          Doesn’t he remind you of someone though? — a *slightly* more eloquent version(devoid of sexual innuendo too) of “Sanity”?
          They all come in ready-made forms these trolls…
          Mods, over to you, on this issue.

          • ” Mods, over to you, on this issue.”

            So let me get this right. I remind you of a troll who used sexual innuendoes and although you admit I don’t you are going to report me to the mods anyway ? I must be a dangerous man one to be feared I guess.

            I will attack the “fascist Nick ” when he uses fascist language. I will also attack him if anyone can quote me anything he says that is fascist ( that is if I last long enough )

            • “I must be a dangerous man one to be feared I guess”
              No Rosco not dangerous, just a fantasist and Bulls**t merchant with an obvious dislocated relationship with the truth.
              ‘Feared’? Absolutely not. Why would anyone fear a pitiful excuse for a human being like you Rosco?

            • Ah, the fear runs deep doesn’t it? Are you afraid you will be deprived of your little sandbox, where you’re free to splash around, tossing out the occasional anti-Israel slur or invective — otherwise giving you a reason to continue living your miserable life?
              You’re very lucky you landed on this site, whose comment moderation is typically lax. Because “Nick” whom you extol, has been known to propagate on this pages the idea(pace Fascism) that Jews brought the Hebron Massacre on themselves; and yet he has not been, so far, banned.
              True, you’ve got a lot of anti-Semitic “learnin’” to do before you reach “Nick”-ensian nadirs, but you seem like a happy, and prodigious student.
              Still, the level and tone of your trolling is very reminiscent of the erstwhile troll I had mentioned. While I’m inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt, it’s very clear your objective here is either to draw unneeded attention to yourself(per “Sanity”), or to genuinely troll — and I am quite befuddled as to which is worse.
              My advice, a strong one at that, is for you to clear off. Nobody’s forcing the contents of this site down your throat — but someone(like you) who thinks people use the Holocaust “to silence criticism” belongs in a mental institution, not by a computer.

          • Commentary: “I’ve seen his spirited defence of the fascist “Nick” — truly revolting.”

            Yes, the mask slips to reveal the malice parading as ‘humanitarian’ concern.

            And here we go again: “I will also attack him if anyone can quote me anything he says that is fascist”. Classic obfuscation from someone completely up their own sanctimonious arse.

        • ” He keeps telling us that he will leave the website ”

          Really? My goodness I must be getting old. I honestly don’t remember . But if you say I did I wont disagree last time I did you called me a twit and I don’t know if I can take such brilliant invective.

            • Fritz You are the one being economical with the truth my friend On my very first post I wondered if it was right for me .That was it…one post . You said “he keeps saying it”

              You should not have to fib to make a point. You see my problem…you say Nick is a fascist but if you fib about me ..how do I know you are telling the truth about NIck ?

              • Poor my, you have to convince me of your sincere interest and you failed.
                Two times you mentioned to leave the Website, you posted disinformation about Israel, you defend NSNick, so just fuck off.

                • Fritz “so just **** off ”

                  Well that is really going to have the managers of CIF quaking in their lattees.

                • You think of yourself as a manager of CIF? You are one of those who support Antisemitism at Al Guardian?

              • .”how do I know you are telling the truth about NIck ?” rascal

                Hmm, another selective 100% skeptic. You and planktonberg have a lot in common.

          • Rosco,
            I called you a twit. I was brushing up on my British, in American I would have omitted the t and w in favor of an initial sh.

            • Dear Jeff I beg your pardon . I am so mesmerised by the level of debate I was confused. It is a little strange to be called names conferring idiocy on an English guy by an American. But you spelled it right . A read letter day.

              • “It is a little strange to be called names conferring idiocy on an English guy by an American.” – Rosco burns with a bigotry toward America and Americans.

              • “It is a little strange to be called names conferring idiocy on an English guy by an American. But you spelled it right . A read letter day.”

                Rosco putting to one side the obvious racism of your remark.
                “But you spelled it right” Oh dear, that is so wrong as to be painful to read.
                ” A read letter day” Do you mean ‘red-letter day’ or are you now making up your own language as well as fantasies about yourself and family?

                • Yes I meant red letter day. I was having a little fun.He called me a rude word .Did you notice? It was Oscar Wilde like in its inventiveness. He changed the word twit to a word a bit like it only spelled with an sh . How we laughed.

                  As for being anti American I held citizenship for 7 years . I was one.

                • “As for being anti American I held citizenship for 7 years . I was one”

                  Of course you were Rosco.
                  Was this before or during the period you were the first man to land on the moon and discovered a cure for cancer?

    • Even you can’t be so dumb Roscoe to think that the victim was shot simply because shouting Allahu Akbar.
      Second thought after reading your other pearls – you definitely can.

  16. Thanks anyway to CiFWatch for the heads-up that there is a new head honcho in Canterbury.

    “Justin”, eh? Only in the C of E …

  17. Well cynic2jours, this has been a lesson for me. You obviously only read the harshness of my criticism and not the gist. I don’t have a problem with your skeptical perspective of religion. As a former agnostic, I don’t believe that it’s possible to convince another to be religious through debate. That is rather something that one must come to understand on a personal level.

    I take exception to your gross mischaracterization of Israeli society as mostly secular. If you had read the wiki article that I’ve posted, you would find that only 42% consider themselves so. Thus, it is misleading to state that “most Israelis/Jews are not religiously observant.” The Wiki article shows that 58% practice Judaism ranging from haredi to traditionalist (not strictly adhering to halacha). Even if one were to combine the 25% that are self-described as “traditionalist” and the 42% that are secular, a majority of representing 67% of the population conveys a different image than the sweeping word, “most.”

    And that does generate a problem for Israel as it reinforces the radical leftist position that Jews do not possess a legitimate claim to the land.

    • We all make mistakes, Michael, and we should keep learning from them.
      I’ve learned a lot from this blog, by the way.

      I didn’t read your Wiki article, unfortunately, and I’ll admit that my opinion is based on a generalization and subjective. I may be wrong, but on the other hand, who knows how deep religiosity runs in the human heart? Judaism as a civilisation is my preference because I was never a believer in the conventional-orthodox sense.
      I respect religious Jews but I ask them to do the same for me. ‘Agnostic2jours’ should be my new moniker, perhaps..

      As to your point about radical leftists, I’ve never had anything to do with them, nor do I believe that Israel’s legitimacy is based solely on the Bible.

      • First, I have stated quite clearly that I don’t have a problem with your being agnostic, as I was once one myself. I was shown that I was wrong about my lack of faith in a very personal way. I have also not implied that you are a radical leftist. I think that your statement services their agenda, even if unwittingly.

        Whether a person is a true believer or only engages in a set of behavior patters, only G-d knows.

        My criticism, and I’m sorry that I was harsh, is based solely on your generalizing and consequent trivializing the role that religion plays in this country.

  18. ” the radical leftist position that Jews do not possess a legitimate claim to the land.”

    This is not what my understanding of what a radical leftist position is but is in fact an exaggeration typical of those attempting to portray it as unrealistic and unachievable posturing. My understanding is based on being such a person some 30 years ago and I admit that maybe I am a little out of date . However in those days a simple return to the 67 lines was what I understood to be the stance….achievable, moderate even boring.

    I can see that this is unhelpful if the desire is to paint lefties as out of control extremists.

    • “However in those days a simple return to the 67 lines was what I understood to be the stance”
      Armistice lines, that is, wannabee manager of CIF, lost in time. A rollback without war, Israel should give away gifts without being given anything back.
      Suicide is an action on state level only dictatorships are known for.
      Why don`t you fuck off (‘stop commenting here’ for the sensible soul) as you keep suggesting to yourself?

      • ” Why don`t you f*** off ”

        Dear Fritz, I feel at a disadvantage .As a newcomer I am loath to use such scintillating verbiage for fear of moderation ,whereas the managers here will be used to your witty ripostes.

        Hence I repeat my earlier reply that the CIF managers , whilst wondering what new attack is in store from the foremost critical site ,must be quaking as they sip their Chardonnay this morning.

        • Well, as you are deeply interested in the mood of your colleagues at CIF, your unwanted incoming should be followed by your imminent outgoing.
          Greetings to your colleagues at Al Guardian.

    • What do you think radical leftists mean when they chant H”V “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free?”

  19. ” What do you think radical leftists mean when ”

    It means they are lunatics. They might be radical leftists but this is no protection from debilitating mental illnesses. Being a leftist obviously means you have a better understanding of the overarching reasons for wars, exploitation and history but the extra burden of knowledge can crack one up ( and yes I speak here with absolute authority)

    To suggest Palestine has a future that is independent of the needs of the Jews is farcical.

    • “To suggest Palestine has a future that is independent of the needs of the Jews is farcical.” rascal burnout

      What an arrogant twat. You are as farcical as your “famous in-laws”.

    • “.. the extra burden of knowledge can crack one up ( and yes I speak here with absolute authority)”

      He can`t stand the heat. Such a loooser. I`m sure he will earn a lot more of ‘o’s, as he stays on, with his extra burden of hot air.. :-)

    • “Being a leftist obviously means you have a better understanding of the overarching reasons for wars, exploitation and history”
      Really? Does it? Did you ever contemplate that quite possibly a historian with no particular political axe to grind might have a better understand of a subject?

  20. Rosco “To suggest Palestine has a future that is independent of the needs of the Jews is farcical.” This statement is Racist in the extreme do you not think?

    The issue is not whether anybody has a legitimate claim to the land but whether anybody has the right to throw out those who live on that land and have been doing so for centuries. Both this legitimate right and Palestinian cannot exist unless they serve the needs of the Jews is racist in the extreme.

    Also, I know many Jews who do not subscribe to the view that Palestinians only exist to serve the Jews or that Palestinians have no rights to their lands.

    • Now we have a fake she-troll, a perfect match to rascal burnout. These annoyed anti-Semites are positive proof of this blog’s success.

      As for you, dr. smith, hypocritical moron, go whine about the US occupation of native-american lands.

    • Yeah I know many Jews in Israel who would agree with that, not that an ignorant, self-righteous troll like you would know the difference.

    • “Also, I know many Jews who do not subscribe to the view that Palestinians only exist to serve the Jews or that Palestinians have no rights to their lands.”

      A sentence with no real meaning. I’m impressed.

    • Marxists are millenarists and self-styled gnostics. They think they have the key to everything that happens in the Universe. Never mind that their “theory” is full of contradictions and inconsistencies; in fact, they will excuse that by babbling some BS about Hegelian dialectics. As for all their failed “predictions”, they´ll put the blame on the “reactionaries”, the CIA or whatever excuse they can fabricate. Marxism is a failed ideology, a failed philosophy and has a sad legacy of totalitarianism, human suffering and millions of corpses.

  21. To suggest that Palestinians have no future independent of the Jews is racist both against the Jews and the Palestinians. Palestinians need to be free independent of anybody else and I am sure most Jews except the die-hard Zionists do not want to enslave Palestinians.

  22. Fritz and Michael you are both die-hard racist. The good news is racism is on the decline and you are two of the last few surviving racists.

    • I’m a racist? Listen ignorant troll, I suggest that you google a neighborhood in Miami called Overtown. It’s where I lived, by choice, for about a dozen years before moving to Israel.

      Anyone who has been to Israel knows that it’s not a racist society. It’s only libero-fascist ignorant trolls like you that try to paint it as such. And right that racism is on the decline. The good news is that there is no room for you in the future.

    • Except in Pakistan, where you “Jim”(Jabal), hate Hindus, Jews, Christians, Kashmiris, even Shi’a Muslims(not necessarily in that order, of course) and just about everyone else, who isn’t 100% Pashtun.
      Hell, you even banished your most treasured son, the only successful scion you’ve ever had, Abdus Salam, because — Gasp! — he was Akhamdi!
      And you dare preach to others about “racism”…
      Hilarious, were it not also deeply tragic.

  23. Of course not Michael –
    but than here is Jewish Chronicle disagreeing with you
    Beitar Jerusalem has never had an Israeli Arab or Palestinian player. In fact, some Beitar fans were so outraged by the signing earlier this year of two foreign Muslims that there was an arson attack at the club and a mass walkout from the stadium when one of them scored his first goal.

    • So, in that case, the US is a racist society because of the Rodney King verdict; the UK is a racist society because of the Bradford riots, huh?
      How is it possible for each of the following are Arabs: one of the three Supreme Court justices is an Arab; a former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset; a former Miss Israel; the Head of Emergency Services at Hadassah Hospital; high-ranking officers in the IDF?

  24. Funny that Commentary101 – Pakistan has just elected a Non Pakhtun Prime Minister, Its Chief Justice is Baloch, Its President is a mix between (Sindhi & Balochi) and the Chief of Army is alo non-Pakhtun so where do you get this rubbish from. You must belong to the IDL that pretends to be anti-racist but is racist to its core. Your knowledge of Muslims is also, it seems, derived from the Idiots Guide to Islam published by the BNP

    • Did you, or did you not, declare Akhmadis as “non-Muslims” and thus kick out Abdus Salam(‘Yes’ or ‘No’ would be fine)?
      Do you, or do you not, hunt Shi’a Muslims down in Pakistan?(Yes or no, as always — you’re not capable of more than that, I know)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Shia_Muslims#Pakistan
      And I quote:

      Pakistan has been seeing a surge in violence against Shia Muslims in the country in recent years. The violence has claimed lives of thousands of men, women and children. Shia make up at least 20% of the total population in Pakistan and come from different ethnic backgrounds. Doctors, businessmen and other professionals have been targeted in Karachi by Sunni Muslim militants on a regular basis.

      And what of this?

      As of April 2012, Pakistan did not provide a legal system for registration of marriages for certain minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Bahai’i. Denial of recognition of Hindu marriages is often used to intimidate and harass Hindus. Married Hindu women have been forcibly kidnapped and married to Muslims, and are left without legal recourse due to inability to prove their previous marriage. It also makes it difficult for Hindus to obtain the Computerized National Identity Card.

      My my, you’re all racists to the core!
      When you elect your first Hindu prime-minister, and stop your criminal acts in Kashmir, I might be convinced…
      Until then, you’d want to shut up, scum…

  25. Michael raise it with the Jewish Chronicle. besides one Judge in the Supreme Court does not constitute a society. However, the whole Football ground represents that society manifold compared to the Judge or Miss Israel. However, if you are glutton for punishment I can supply many more examples. Let me know, but hurry before I get banned for being outspoken against racism.

    http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Racism-violence-against-Africans-soars-in-2012

    Here is another example from the Jerusalem Post Inflammatory and “xenophobic” remarks toward African refugees, a lack of affordable housing, persistent destruction of Palestinian and Beduin homes and a lack of freedom of speech were the top issues flagged by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) in its annual report titled “The State of Human Rights in Israel and the OPT” published Sunday.

    According to the report, the government’s refusal to adopt affordable housing laws combined with the continued destruction of public housing in Israeli Arab communities indicates that the state of housing in Israel and the West Bank has deteriorated in the past year.

    • Do you have an “ACRI” in Pakistan, Jabal?
      Or do you kill all dissenters, you know, like you offed Benazir Bhutto?

    • One of three judges, so if anything, that’s overrepresentation. You also conspicuously ignore the comment about the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and ranking officers in IDF.

      Freedom House rates Israel as “free.” Speaking of racism, have you heard of places like Yonkers, Mount Laurel, and Cicero?

    • Jim. You seem to be confusing evidence that there is some inequality/some racists/some racist incidents in a country with evidence that it is, per se, a racist society.

      Israel is not perfect. Of course there are some policies, incidents, individuals and groups who others find distasteful and could be labelled “racist”. Of course there are. As there are in EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

      But to call Israel a racist society on the basis of these examples is simply a denial of the truth. Israeli is the only country in the middle east in which you are free to worship in whatever manner you choose (or none) without fear of persecution or victimisation from the state. Israel is a highly cosmopolitan society that has actively welcomed large groups of immigrants from Yemen, Ethiopia, Russia and Sudan amongst others (although these have not all experienced smooth assimilation into society) – people with vastly different ethnicities and cultures.

      Ah, you say, but what about the treatment of the “Palestinians”. If you accept the definition of Palestinians as being Arabs who lived between the Jordan and the Med between 1947 and 1967 and their descendants, you will find that many of them are now full Israeli citizens with equal voting, property, employment and other rights (how racist must Israel be to allow so many Palestinians to integrate fully into all levels of society), many others now live under the civil control of their own “elected” leaders in Gaza and the PA areas (and look how un-racist they are). Others are not so fortunate, and languish in refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt etc where they are denied citizenship and treated as sub-humans.

  26. Commtentary101 I do not know why you think I have any authority to declare somebody’s faith. Any body’s faith is between them and their God. Nothing to do with me or anybody else.

    Do you know who assassinated Rabin?

    • I’ve asked you specifically, Pakistani Troll: whether you know who killed Benazir Bhutto, and why?
      I’ve asked whether Pakistan has “ACRI”-like organisations?(The answer, for zetetic readers is a sound, and flat No; there are no “Civil Rights” in an Islamic Republic(like Pakistan), and much less for the ethnic minorities therein; any opposition is typically treated with political assassinations, much like poor Bhutto got).
      Now, why do you oppress Hindus?
      Why do you prosecute your Shi’a?
      What of the Bahai’is, the Buddhists, the Christians in your midst?
      You’re all terrible, unmasked, and unabashed racists, promulgating to boot, terrorism in Kashmir.
      You should be ashamed of yourselves. I hope the ISI is watching.

  27. Lebanal Are you a lawyer? I like your approach to defense. My Lord there are murders committed every day so what if my client killed a few that is nothing in comparison to the thousands that were killed today across the world. Which establishment did you qualify from.

    Now if you want to know who else other than the Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Chronicle considers Israeli society racists. Than look no further various General Assembly resolutions have found Israeli actions against Palestinians racist and illegal or war crimes. Now you can argue that the General Assembly is full of Blacks and Asians or Arabs but than you will be making a racist point. Self defeating in this context.

    • Yes Jim, as it happens I am a lawyer. And your straw men and complete non-seqquiturs would be demolished by any court in an open justice system.

      In case you missed it, I said very clearly “Of course there are some policies, incidents, individuals and groups who others find distasteful and could be labelled “racist”. Of course there are.”

      I am not defending an individual against a murder charge. I am prosecuting in a libel case. You are attempting to smear an entire nation on the basis of the actions of a few. That is simply unacceptable.

      Your argument is the equivalent to those who say that because some black people are murderers, you should cross the road when you see one to remain safe. But of course, you wouldn’t say that, because “it’s racist”.

      • And you add to your rap sheet mis-representation of the editorial stances of the JP and JC. By publishing articles that refer to racist incidents or people in Israel, they are NOT demonstrating that they “consider Israeli society racists”. They are performing the actions of open and honest journalists, acknowledging the bad things that happen in Israel as well as the good.

        Do I need to link to the many thousands of articles that these organs have published about the multitude of acts of kindness and goodness that go on in Israel on a daily basis to prove my point?

    • Jimmie Antisemite calls whole nations to his defense, but it doen`t help his case, the lies of Jimmie are too obvious.
      The General Assembly, you racist, is not full of Blacks, Asians or Arabs, but of representatives of mostly authoritarian states, if not outspoken dictatorships.
      So your defending line is formed by regimes which despise human right, international law and civil law, that fits.

  28. Lebanal If you are doing a libel case you should be targeting the Jewish Chronicle and the Jerusalem Post, or even the UN General Assembly – I am not accusing anybody of anything.

    As for Commentary101 Ex General Musharraf is being charged with Benazir’s murder. He is currently on remand on various charges within Pakistan. You will remember him he is the only Head of State from Pakistan who spoke at the AIPAC meeting in the US.

    You still did not say which establishment you qualified from.

    • “You still did not say which establishment you qualified from”. None of your business. I do not rely on this site on my qualifications. I rely on the strength of my arguments. Do you intend to address these, or just keep diverting.

      As for your allegations against the JC and the JP – I refer you to my submissions above.

      You don’t need to tell me how much the UNGA is biased against Israel. I am fully aware of that, thanks, but you can’t answer for them. You can, however, answer for your comments, which are frankly absurd.

      By the way – should you ever be sued for libel, my advice is not to rely on a defence that “yes, but others are far more libellous than me.”

    • Musharraf spoke at AIPAC?!
      (And he’s not an “Ex-general”: He is an EX-PRESIDENT having served for over 7 years).
      What the hell are you talking about, you deranged loon?!
      Oh, but wait, I get it: Everything you can’t whitewash about Pakistani racism and crimes you declare to be “Zionist”.
      So tell us, are those Pakistanis killing Buddhists, Akhmadis, Shi’a, Christians, &c, with almost weekly suicide bombings — are they “Zionists”, or, God-forbid, Jews?!
      You’re a disgusting racist.

  29. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, stated that Israel is committing serious Human Rights violations, and called on Tel Aviv to stop its settlement construction activities, and to release Palestinian political prisoners.

    She also said that Israel is still holding captive more than 5000 Palestinians under very difficult conditions, and that Israel’s occupation and its practices are illegal.

    And here is the US view

    The U.S. Department of State has released a report that chastises Israel for its policies of “institutional discrimination” against its Palestinian citizens, as well as those living in the Occupied Territories. The report, issued as part of the department’s new Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, focuses less on the morality of the policies themselves, but their implementation. While the report is quite mild in its criticism, it demonstrates the changing tide of U.S.-Israel relations: no longer will the U.S. defend Israel on everything, and without scrutiny of the nation’s egregious human rights violations.

    So Lebanal this will keep you busy with some very high profile libel cases for a few years.

  30. Lebanal as a lawyer you need to pay attention to detail. As I said before “I am not accusing anybody of anything” –

    Again, which establishment you qualified from because it seems you are not very competent as a Lawyer.

    • Jim. I think it is you who needs to pay attention to detail. My monicker is Labenal, not Lebanal as you keep (deliberately?) writing.

      “I am not murdering you, honest” as the man said as he plunged his dagger into the victim’s neck. Your defence skills really need work.

  31. Commentary101 – Trust me he is an ex-General – no matter what he told you at the AIPAC meeting. Keep up with changing situations. He became the President because he was a General and held on to his army post until he was ousted from the Presidency. He is also being charged with treason for overthrowing government through a military coup.

    He is definitely ex-General now except perhaps as an Honorary. There is nothing honorable about a person charged with murder and treason. He is ex-President and ex-General for sure.

    • What does He have to do with AIPAC, YOU MORON?! (What AIPAC meeting?!)
      Don’t you see: like all anti-Israel(and anti-Semitic) bigots, you’re criminally insane!
      Do they have mental health clinics in Pakistan? Check yourself in.

  32. Labenal Pay attention to significant details and keep to the point. Why did you plunge a dagger into somebody’s neck? The objective must have been to commit murder. I am not the Lawyer here. I wonder how you would defend yourself? Would it be that he was a potential terrorist and you were doing preemptive self defense. May be. But only where racist laws prevail.

    • Jim – I see I have to spell it out for you. You keep saying “I am not accusing anyone of anything.” I am pointing out that that phrase is meaningless if your posts consist of nothing but accusations of racism.

      My murder analogy was supposed to be about you – you are the accused here. I’ll put it another way – it makes no difference how much you protest your innocence if your actions prove you to be guilty.

      “But only where racist laws prevail.” Eh? What? So the use of self defence is racist? OK. Right. And you question MY legal competence?

  33. Lebanal – Palestinians are fully aware of that kind of justice where no matter how much they plead and what proof they provide to say this is their house or they have lived here for generations this is not their house the racist law has spoken. The soldiers are there to enforce the law.

    I am getting the picture of the establishment you might have qualified from.

    You do not have to spell it out for me. I find difficult to remember the spellings of foreign sounding names.

    • More diversion. I am bored with your trolling now, Jum. Oh sorry, I couldn’t “remember” how to spell your name, even though it is written clearly at the top of your many posts on this thread.

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