Berchmans’ dehumanizing comment about Israelis: 266 Recommends & not deleted by CiF moderators

Below the line of Jane Eisner’s CiF commentary, “President Barack Obama’s calibrated AIPAC message, was this comment by serial Israel hater, and Jew baiter, Berchmans, responding to a passage from Eisner’s essay about Netanyahu’s relationship with Obama.

Imagine if a commenter had suggested that President Obama is morally subhuman? Is there any chance the comment would not have been deleted?

If you click on our Berchmans link, you’ll see a CiF commenter who:

  • Claims Ahmadinejad has not, in fact, denied the Holocaust,
  • Claims Iran is not pursing nuclear weapons
  • Endorses the views of Norman Finkelstein
  • Suggests that Hollywood and the media have pandered to Israel in advancing their Zionist narrative
  • Argues that the charge of “Holocaust denial” is merely a cynical means to  tar any criticism of Israel with the false charge of antisemitism.
  • Says: “modern antisemitism is an IDF-related phenomena”
  • Opines that Zionists engage in an orchestrated assault on opinion at ‘Comment is Free’
  • Suggests that Hamas’ charter is not antisemitic
  • Implies that Hamas is justified in hating Jews

Berchmans has not been banned or, unlike many pro-Israel commenters, to the best of our knowledge, been placed in pre-moderation.

The hate spewed by this commenter towards Israel, and the state’s Jewish supporters, with impunity, represents a perfect example of the biased moderation at ‘Comment is Free’.

Guardian readers skew conversation about UK, U.S. & Iran in a decidedly Semitic direction

As David T of Harry’s Place observed about Guardian Associate Editor Seumas Milne.

Milne’s greatest contribution to the Guardian Comment Pages has been to turn it into a soapbox for the RESPECT and Stop the War Coalition (StWC) projects: a Red-Green-Brown alliance between Stalinists, Trotskyites, and Islamists associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Milne evidently regarded his appointment to Comment Editor as an opportunity to promote the obnoxious politics of this alignment.

So, it didn’t come as a surprise to see Andrew Murray, of StWC, publish an essay at ‘Comment is Free’, “An attack on Iran must be stopped“, opposing a UK or U.S. attack on Iran to prevent the Islamist regime from attaining nuclear weapons.

What was a bit surprising however, was that Murray, whose essay warns of the threat posed by “Anglo-American aggression addicts” who are “gearing up for yet another crack at winning a senseless war in the Middle East,” didn’t once, in a nearly 700 word essay, mention the word “Israel”.  Rather, Murray argued against a war with Iran in the context of what he sees as the folly of the West’s broader war on terror, and U.S./UK military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Of course, the mere omission of the words “Jews”, “Israel”, “Zionism” or “Lobby” didn’t prevent ‘Comment is Free’ readers to not so gently move the narrative away from military decisions made by UK and U.S. political leaders, and pivot to a more desired target.

Powerful Jewish lobbies in U.S. and UK are pushing Obama to war against Iran (29 Recommends)

 Jewish lobby used the Holocaust as an excuse to give Israel the bomb, and developed anti-Islamic ideology to justify aggression against the Arab world. (11 Recommends)

Further, after reading many of the 286 comments in the thread, and noticing a characteristic fixation, I decided to have some fun with the web site Wordle.

The beauty of Wordle is that it allows you to quantify the degree to which comments beneath the line, in any given CiF essay, slant in one particular direction.

Wordle was fed every word from each of the reader comments posted after Murray’s piece and, excluding commonly used words like “the” (and the word “Iran”, because, well, that was  what the topic the essay was supposed to address!), churned out the following graphic of the most used words – represented in a size proportional to the frequency of their usage:


Note the enhanced size of Israel (a word used 220 times by CiF commenters), in contrast to words “U.S.” and “UK”.  

In fact the words “Jew” “Jews”, or “Jewish” were used more times (42) than the words “U.S.” or “United States” (33).

And, finally, and quite ironically given the following CiF commenter’s malign obsession with the Jewish state, note the moniker above the gigantic “S” in the over-sized word “Israel”. Yup, Berchmans!

Anti-Zionist CiF commenter accuses CiF Watch of the insidious tactic of trying to “sway” opinion

Well, it’s good to see that CiF moderators are not necessarily deleting every reference to our blog.

Beneath Guardian Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott’s post, “on averting accusations of antisemitism“, which made a clear reference to our blog – “organisations monitoring the Guardian’s coverage examine the language in articles and the comments posted underneath them online…as closely as the facts” – which we’ll comment on soon, were a few interesting comments.

This one by serial Israel hater, Berchmans, did contain the odious suggestion, which he’s leveled before, that Zionists cynically “use” the Holocaust to deflect criticism of Israel, but also leveled an accusation which is just funny.

Do you hear that?  He’s “accusing” CiF Watch of the evidently unique Zionist tactic of “trying to sway opinion”.

Next, we’ll no doubt be accused of the colonialist methods of employing facts, logic and common sense in defense of Israel.

Berchmans’ dire warning of our Hasbara infiltration received 72 recommends. 

Berchmans’ off-topic Israel hatred of the day: On the IDF and dead Palestinian children

Berchmans is a frequent commenter beneath the line at CiF, and, as we’ve noted previously, though typically a man of few words, the words he does use are usually guaranteed to be used to vilify Israel and the state’s Jewish supporters.

Berchmans recently commented beneath a commentary by the Guardian’s Simon Tisdall, “Erdogen plays Palestinian savior, but what about the Kurds?“, Sept. 21.

In response to a commenter who argued that “Turkey must compensate the Armenian people for its deliberate genocide by Turkey…the Armenians’ children are still waiting”, Berchmans, never one to let the actual topic of a CiF commentary stand in the way of expressions of hatred towards Israel, wrote:

So, to Berchmans’, the IDF’s job is to kill and inflict suffering upon innocent Palestinian children.

While such a comment is clearly hateful and off-topic, it’s also (as its not been deleted) evidently consistent with the “community standards” at Comment is Free.

Revisiting the Berchmans Awards for Expressions of Hate Against Jews, Israel & Her Supporters

Though CiF moderators may be doing a slightly better job of cleaning anti-Semitic filth from their pages these days, a recent comment by a Guardianista named Berchmans recalls a CW post from 2009 called The first Berchmans Award” – an award dedicated to exposing  to recognise the most antisemitic posts on CiF. 

Berchmans is a permanent fixture on CiF.  And, as we noted, he may be a man of few words, but the words he does use are guaranteed to be used to vilify Israel and her supporters. 

More recently, in response to a CiF essay by Timothy Snyder titled, Lithuania neglects the memory of its murdered Jews“, July 29, about Lithuania’s failure to deal with their involvement in the mass slaughter of Jews during the Holocaust, Berchmans said the following.


Of course, citing Norman Finkelstein is par for the course for Berchmans, as Finkelstein’s views – as expressed in his book “The Holocaust Industry”, which characterizes Israelis as “basically Nazis with beards and black hats” – naturally endears him to anti-Semites and Israel haters the world over.

No, the vile accusation that the Holocaust is cynically exploited by my country and our Jewish supporters does not dignify a reply, but it does need repeating that the memory of the anti-Semitism (the “respectable bigotry” of the time) which led to the murder of one out of every three Jews in the world is, to be sure, a constant reminder of why this blog continues to fight anti-Semitism (and the assault on the Jewish state’s legitimacy) advanced by Guardian reporters, CiF contributors, and commenters like Berchmans.

Why were these deleted? (Does Berchmans work for the Guardian?)

Simon Tisdall’s atrocious CiF piece Jan. 3 “Now it is Palestine’s turn to create facts on the ground (which Israelinurse dissected very effectively) produced quite a few pro-Israel comments, some of which were inexplicably deleted.

And, then:


I don’t know about you but I think the question of whether Berchmans works for the Guardian is a perfectly reasonable one.

However, at least one Guardian moderator disagreed:

At the very least, the fact that this comment was deleted does raise some eyebrows. ;)

The Berchmans Drubbing

Oh dear it seems Berchmans (who comments here as Heres to Davy and Abandon Hope) got a bit of a drubbing on the Lerman thread from Mark Gardner, Communications Director of the CST.

Here’s the pertinent part of Mark Gardner’s response:

I remember Berchmans comment, the one you said “was something like…

‘Scotland in all it’s history never had a single recorded anti semitic incident until the 2006 Israel/Hezbollah war when a Jewish child was attacked’ “.

I remember it because I nearly fell off my chair when I read it. Not at all wishing to sound like someone who obsesses about his childhood, (because I really, really don’t, and my memories are overhwelmingly positive) but Berchmans obviously wasn’t there when my Jewish primary school cap used to get thrown into the traffic by kids from other schools, along with the antisemitic abuse.

Glad to hear he wasn’t hiding in the secondary school toilets when the other kids made disparaging remarks about my mis-shapen shmeckl; and obviously he wasn’t acting as a mere bystander when the local NF kid tried to beat me up in the corridor; nor was he in the park on the numerous occasions when I was subject to antisemitic abuse and threats of violence; nor in the Chinese takeaway when the same thing happened etc etc etc

I didn’t report any of the above to police, teachers etc, because I just thought it was normal. At school, there were casual antisemitic remarks on as many days as there weren’t. (I went to a pretty bad state secondary school.)

I repeat, I am not, to the best of my knowledge, psychologically scarred by it, or at all bothered by it, and this is the first time I’ve thought about it all for many years: because at the time it felt just like being called ‘specky’ or ‘plooky’ (trans: ‘spotty’) or whatever.

But the notion that there has been (and is) no antisemitism in Scotland is very very stupid indeed: and is far stupider than even Tony Lerman’s part-hidden underlying suggestion that those who express concern are merely some kind of Zionist frauds.

Funny how Berchmans went conspicuously silent and turned up in the thread a day later right at the end only to ignore Gardner’s comment.

But I support them despite the difference in political stance

Yesterday, Brian Whitaker penned a piece on the assassination of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.  As to be  expected, such a topic generated no shortage of expressions of support for Hamas. For starters, we had this despicable comment from Berchmans who makes no bones about his support for Hamas as a resistance movement.

Yes. Peace to all indeed everyone except the Jews that this genocidal movement seeks to wipe out in the course of its “resistance”.

And look what jaw dropping comment it triggered (along with 22 recommendations!).

Continue reading

When Will the Penny Drop?

“Comment is Free” for once published a decent article on the Israel/Palestinian conflict that presented a moderate Palestinian viewpoint. If this, together with the fact that Seth Freedman was demoted to CiF Belief, is a signal that the Guardian editorial policy is undergoing change then this is certainly to be welcomed but somehow I’m not holding my breath because change at the Guardian is often short-lived.

Besides the comment thread was a cesspit of antisemitic comments once again, the perpetrators of whom were “Comment is Free” regulars that the Guardian refuses to ban. As MindTheCrap astutely observed:


9 Nov 2009, 12:49PM

It is interesting that on this rare occasion that CiF actually has a Palestinian discussing internal Palestinian affairs, the knee-jerk “experts” in the CIF crowd automatically reject his views because they are contrary to their simplistic script. Which leads to the question – are they really pro-Palestinian or simply anti-Israel?

So lets start off first of all with the self-appointed defender of antisemitic speech on CiF Watch, good old Berchmans with the following tireless classic:


9 Nov 2009, 5:16PM


## Quite a few Anti Semites posing as Anti Zionists today…##

Care to grow a pair and name them? If not..No to tired vague and referenceless allegations of anti Semitism from tired and vague posters! :)


Well Berchmans if you do insist.

Here’s the first one by orwellwasright taking a page right out of the Brian Whitaker playbook.


9 Nov 2009, 1:33PM

InappropriateName: everything you post is so inherently flawed and full of such contradictions I’m not sure that replying isn’t akin to something masochistic:

“The old “Israeli government propaganda” myth – people still fall for it. Shame.”

Ah, so you’re suggeting that Israel doesn’t engage in propaganda; that the idea is a “myth”? And you’re to be taken seriously on here? I guess you’ve never heard of the National Information Directorate? Missed the reports regarding the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s paying people to post pro-Israel comments on forums?,7340,L-3744516,00.html

The old “Israeli government propaganda” myth” indeed. Hilarious assertion, InappropriateName…

“And Israel does that for no particular reason, does it?”

Well most objective observers are pretty clear on their understanding of why Israel breaks ceasefires, and it’s because they can’t accomplish their illegal aims of territorial acquisition in a climate of peace and reconciliation. Think about it (if you’re capable) – Israel’s territorial expansion has been conducted entirely under the guise of conflict. It is the modus operandi for the creation of Greater Israel.

“All these terrorist groups sing from the same hymn sheet. Doesn’t really matter about the name – it’s the motives that you look for.”

Not one for nuance, are you? Lump them all into the same category – makes it much easier for you to get your head around, I suppose. No matter that it completely removes context and detail – you obviously manage without that.

Then there is this one from ooh lets guess, none other than good ol’ Berchmans jumping on the orwellwasright bandwagon.


9 Nov 2009, 2:19PM


## Has there ever been any evidence that even one post on CiF was from one of these “paid” posters? ##

It is always an own goal to suggest folk are paid when there is no need. Enough people are clearly fixated enough and angry enough to do this without cash…smearing lefties as haters seems to be all the compensation required. The fact that a tiny and occasionally brutal country can command so many posts in a Brit lefty paper…do you not find that weird?


And here is Papalagi true to form abusing a pro-Israel poster :


9 Nov 2009, 2:38PM

Sydk asks:

Was this a thread on the Journal of Psychiatry, where contributors were asked to present some of the more deranged ideas mooted by ostensibly (but seriously questionable) sane individuals.

I know that for you the idea that Palestinians are humans is a crazy idea. The reason is because you are a unrepentant racist with a criminal mind.

And here’s another one from Papalagi that reeks of Jewish conspiracy theory:


9 Nov 2009, 5:18PM

Millifield wrote:

A mockery is then made of international law and any nation populating or making claim to a disputed territory, from the Basque to the Kurds, could independently declare a State without negotiation. A dangerous precedent would have been set, and thereby an even more dangerous world created.

Given Israel’s history, it’s a bit funny to see you writing this. It seems that it created a more dangerous world for a lot of people, that it created a lot of conflicts and that it led to allowing some countries to attack other people and to claim that the territory of those other people are “disputed territory”. But you don’t like to talk of Israel itself as disputed territory, do you?

And what would an I/P thread be without Moeran (or Moron as we like to call him) – here’s some interesting CiF Watch trivia, Moron was a secondary school headmaster


9 Nov 2009, 3:51PM


To your list of Israeli desires should be added a passive “foreign” workforce to provide cheap labour, confined except when working in secure bantustans.

Then there is this from rubberneck wishing for the destruction of the Jewish state:


9 Nov 2009, 12:37PM

Israel has broken every single ceasefire first with it’s illegal state assassinations of democraticaly elected representatives of the Palestinian people.
Israel has no interest with peace. It will only concede land if it loses it in a war.
It’s enemies are learning fast. Gaza is one thing but attack Iran and the end will be in sight.

And finally there is this one from KrustytheKlown:


9 Nov 2009, 3:55PM

When Jews buy land with actual cash at three times the price it is still never ”Jewish land” but belongs to someone else in the eyes of the bigot brigade.

It’s always interesting to note when one of our Zionist friends uses the word “jews’ instead of “israelis’. They invariably do so to cultivate sympathy and a sense of victimhood (You never hear them speak of ‘Jewish tank bombers” and they’d probably accuse anyone who did use that phrase of the ol’ A.S.) And, of course, accusing people of the ol’ A.S. sp precisly what such posters do when referring to Israelis(or pre-state Zionists) as ‘jews’.

But more fascinating still is the notion that when ‘jews’ buy land, it somehow becomes ‘jewish land’. I was quite unaware than land took on the religious affiliations of its owners upon purchase (or theft). What happens? Does the plot of land go through a conversion ceremony, with a rabbi present? Or something like that?

It would seem to me that if the Guardian really wanted to solve the problem of antisemitism on its I/P comment threads it would ban each and everyone of the antisemitic posters listed above. Problem is it doesn’t and you’ve gotta wonder why.

The first Berchmans Award

CIFWatch is instituting the Berchmans Award to recognise the most antisemitic posts on CIF.

 A word of explanation: Berchmans is a permanent fixture on CIF. He is Scottish and a man of few words, but those words he has are guaranteed to be used to vilify Israel. Incredibly he denies there is any antisemitism on CIF and in Scotland (just look at the Scottish PSC which is vicious). Berchmans has never been banned.

Today’s Berchmans Award goes toThe Trustworthy’ on the Silwan thread by Meron Rapaport.

Thank you to the CIFWatch reader who pointed it out. It has now been deleted but (illiteracy notwithstanding) it is a graphic example of the kind of poster that CIF attracts. Maybe this poster was emboldened by Seth Freedman’s logical gymnastics in maintaining that the Aftonbladet organ harvesting blood libel was not antisemitic because it was directed at the IDF and not the Jewish people!


31 Aug 09, 7:57pm

We all know land stealing is not new, but is Organ stealing new??

The hateful zealots, either muslim or Jew or christian will die their own way and we mustn’t associate religion/Race with their deeds.

About Organ Theft

Since there is no clear evidence in support of argument that IDF was involved in Organ cell of Palestinians, I think it would be very naive to conclude anything but mere speculation.

That said, Considering the barbarism of IDF and apathy of Israelis(population as well as gov’t) towards Human being specially of other race than Jew, the argument has good chances of being TRUE.

In support of the “barbarism” claim, I would like to remind readers, The 20ft tall Apartheid Wall, The Phosphorous bombing on civilian population, On UN hospitals, On UN schools, on UN food storage, the buldozed homes of poor palestinians, The group of Jew priests involved in sell of organs, the secondary treatment of its own muslim population. The segregation of muslim population to suppress any revolution from within, most importanly considering a Jew Priests view that if a palestinian human being/lesser humans organ could be used to save a Jew, then the organ must be used…………
I don’t think economist platform would be able to afford the long list of terror that Israeli regime has afflicted on its own muslim citizen and its farmer neighbors.

“Calling stealing of land as Natural growth”
I know this cheap argument is funny as well horrifying, funny because it’s farthest from truth and even discussing such absurd statement sounds madness and Horrifying in the sense that to what level Human being can go down to justify Stealing as Natural growth, Murdering as Defense….


Finger on the Scale: “Debate” About CiF Watch Rages at CiF

The fun and games have begun over on CiF in the Beaumont thread.

For example, we have exiledlondoner in full throttle at 4.50pm BST trying (and failing, given that it’s coming from him) to take to pieces the EUMC definition of antisemitism. He calls us a “nasty bunch of imbeciles” (praise indeed coming from him) but graciously admits that there have been on CiF some comments which are “arguably” antisemitic.

He then threatens us with Seth Freedman who’s “penning an article “as exiledlonder writes… Gulp!!

There then follows a hilarious more generalised paranoia fest in which anti-Israel posters accuse people who post against them of supporting us (someone called B’TselemPaul), and we have spectreovereurope unsurprised to find himself in our “rogues gallery” as he calls it.

Berchmans is even more paranoid:

“…know know them too ..who has had their iD abused, has been called horrible names and has had threats made .

These guys are no joke please do not treat this lightly. They cannot get to me as I thrive on it ..but some are less callous than my good self.

These are horrible folk trying to influence opinion on CIF by using their resources to hound good people.”

All in all, the CiF Moderators have been doing what they do best, though, weighting the scales heavily against anyone who speaks out in favour of CiFWatch:

Two who cheered us on: Rumplestiltsky said we were a great site and sorely needed. Pity that his/her post was removed without a trace. But there are some gems from it in exiledlondoner’s post, and he, among other things accuses him/her of being the CiFWatch representative on the thread. I would wager that exiledlondoner’s post is still online.

The second is PhyllisStein and I managed to get this one in its entirety before it was deleted:

“28 Aug 09, 6:16pm (1 minute ago)
exiledlondoner, “nasty bunch of imbeciles” eh?
I see, when reasoned argument fails, it’s OK to resort to personalised insult, is it?

I have looked at CiFWatch (see ) and it seems to me that they are anything but. They are also long overdue.

What is it that so upset you – that they speak out against antisemitism under the false flag of antiZionism, or that they have the courage to say, as one poster says there, that the CiF King of knowledgeability about the Middle Eastern conflict is naked?

(Mods, go ahead. I shall write to CiFWatch at and repost this there if you delete this without deleting exiledlondoner’s childish outburst).”

And someone called Mita posted an excellent suggestion. It seems that several CiF posters have had their feelings hurt by not having their timeless prose collected. (They hadn’t understood that our function is to call out antisemitic posts rather than anti-Israel ones). She suggests that each of you who are so upset should choose one of your favourite antisemitic posts and submit it to us for publication here. What about it?