In praise of the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism

In 2005, following several years which saw a disturbing rise in antisemitic violence across Europe, the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) reached a Working Definition of Antisemitism.  

Steve Bell 16.12.2012

Cartoon by Steve Bell in 2012 which was denounced by the Guardian Readers’ Editor as ‘echoing antisemitic imagery’ relating to ‘Jewish power’

Later in the year, the Working Definition of Antisemitism was prominently referenced at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Cordoba Conference.  And, since then, many other bodies have advocated its usage. The one-page Working Definition of Antisemitism (below) evolved as a result of the efforts of a large number of European institutions and human rights experts. 

The stated goal of the Working Definition of Antisemitism was to provide a guide (to EU members states) for identifying incidents, collecting data and supporting the implementation and enforcement of legislation dealing with antisemitism.

Here it is:

Recently, a commentator who has expressed sympathy for antisemites, and routinely calls for the end of the Jewish state, used his platform at a site notable for endorsing terrorism and equating Zionism to Nazism, to falsely characterize the Working Definition of Antisemitism as “an abandoned draft text.”

Whilst it is narrowly true that the website of Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the successor to the EUMC, doesn’t include the text of the Working Definition of Antisemitism – due to the fact that its mandate differs from EUMC – here are the facts:

  • The State Department report on Global Antisemitism in 2008 included the following:  The EUMC’s working definition provides a useful framework for identifying and understanding the problem and is adopted for the purposes of this report
  • The Working Definition of Antisemitism was cited by the US State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in testimony given to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (in Helsinki) in 2011, and is currently endorsed on the State Department’s ‘Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism’ page.
  • In 2010, the UK All-Party Inquiry into antisemitism recommended that the Working Definition of Antisemitism should be adopted and promoted by the Government and law enforcement agencies.
  • An official document published by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) recommends the Working Definition of Antisemitism as a valuable hate crime data collection tool for law enforcement agencies, and for educators.

Though most manifestations of antisemitism included in the Working Definition of Antisemitism shouldn’t even need to be pointed out (such as ‘calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion’), many who oppose it do so for the following reasons:

1) It defines as antisemitic the equating of Zionism with Nazism.

2) It defines as antisemitic calls for the end of the Jewish state.

It is of course no coincidence that this recent attack on the Working Definition of Antisemitism was leveled by a commentator who continually promotes the second charge at a site which has endorsed the first.

Yet, despite the protests from a few marginal, extremist voices, the Working Definition continues to represent a widely respected, useful tool for understanding modern manifestations of antisemitism, and this blog will continue to use it in our continuing fight against such racism at the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’. 

Guardian cartoonist draws upon antisemitic stereotypes in depicting Henry Kissinger

Here’s a recent photo of former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

kissinger

Now, here’s how Kissinger was depicted on June 8th by Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson, in a cartoon about the annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group in Watford. (The Bilderberg Group is  a policy forum consisting of influential people in business, finance and politics which consistently provides fodder for conspiracy theories due to the relative secrecy of the meetings.)

Martin Rowson cartoon 8.6.2013

Here’s a closeup.

rowson

A few observations:

  • Though the Bilderberg meeting includes other former political leaders vilified by some due to their involvement in foreign wars, such as Tony Blair for instance, Rowson chose only Kissinger (A German-born Jew) to depict as having blood on his (oversized) hands – inspired, presumably, by his role under President Nixon during the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Despite the antisemitic history of such caricatures – historically, the ‘big hooked nose’ (often in conjunction with a sneering expression) on a Jew is typically meant to suggest his depravity - Rowson chose to include such a stereotypically exaggerated nose among Kissinger’s other grotesque features. 
  • Rowson’s history at the Guardian includes cartoons which have employed similar motifs, including such facial features and the gratuitous use of blood to illustrate putatively sadistic Jewish behavior. Here’s one, titled Mindless in Gaza”, of Ariel Sharon from 2001:

GraunSharonSampson.jpg

Additionally, to provide further visual context, here’s a collection of Nazi and Arab antisemitic depictions – focusing on the hooked nose and oversized hands – which CAMERA published during the row over Gerald Scarfe’s ‘Sunday Times’ cartoon.  (Scarfe’s cartoon, which Rowson defended in an essay at the Guardian, is on the top right.)

anti semitic cartoons

Indeed,  if you compare Rowson’s cartoon with the most extreme racist depictions of Jews in the 20th century it isn’t difficult to see the overlapping facial features.  Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Rowson’s Kissinger with the infamous Nazi antisemitic caricature published by Julius Streicher’s Der Sturmer, titled ‘The Poisonous Mushroom’:

mushroom

Whilst we’re not suggesting that Rowson was intentionally evoking such comparisons, the Guardian’s readers’ editor Chris Elliott, in a post responding to criticism over Steve Bell’s Nov. 15 cartoon depicting William Hague and Tony Blair as puppets being controlled by Bibi Netanyahu, wrote the following:

I don’t believe that Bell is an antisemite, nor do I think it was his intention to draw an antisemitic cartoon. However, using the image of a puppeteer when drawing a Jewish politician inevitably echoes past antisemitic usage of such imagery, no matter the intent.

The Holocaust and its causes are still within living memory. While journalists and cartoonists should be free to express an opinion that Netanyahu is opportunistic and manipulative, in my view they should not use the language – including the visual language – of antisemitic stereotypes.

Echoing Elliott, whether or not Martin Rowson had racist intent is not as relevant as the more fundamental point: that a cartoonist for a “liberal” broadsheet should possess the moral decency to strenuously avoid employing visual language which historically represented the major antisemitic motifs in the long and bloody persecution of Jews.

Who’s the most bigoted Guardian or ‘Comment is Free’ contributor?

The Guardian published a relatively humorous April Fool’s story yesterday titled ‘Guardian launches augmented reality specs to offer immersive liberal insight‘: 

Guardian Goggles

The story introduced the ‘new’ technology in the following manner:

“…this newspaper announces a groundbreaking development in the modern history of the media: a pair of web-connected “augmented reality” spectacles that will beam its journalism directly into the wearer’s visual field, enabling users to see the world through the Guardian’s eyes at all times.

As the wink and the nod by the Guardian contributor who penned the piece was evident, the otherwise painful evocation of such a dystopian scenario can, at this point in the ‘story’, be forgiven.

The satire continues:

“The motion-sensitive spectacles, known as Guardian Goggles, incorporate translucent screens in the lenses, overlaying the wearer’s view of their surroundings with a real-time stream of specially curated opinions from the paper’s reporters, critics and commentators.

Again, such a truly chilling prospect is at least clearly meant in jest.

However, in the subsequent passage their light-hearted parody becomes infused with the unmistakable reality of Guardian Left ideology.

“The spectacles also feature optional built-in anti-bigotry technology, which prevents exposure to non-Guardian opinions by blacking out columns by Melanie Phillips or Richard Littlejohn, among other writers, as soon as the user attempts to look at them.” [emphasis added]

It’s quite telling that, of all the examples of real racism they could have chosen to illustrate the ‘features’ of this faux technology, they chose Phillips – whose informed and serious commentary on the very real danger posed to the West by the violent and reactionary values of radical Islam clearly runs afoul of their political sensibilities.

However, instead of belaboring this particular point, we thought it would be edifying to include a short list of real bigots who they could have cited in that passage, and who also are either employed by the Guardian or have contributed to ‘Comment is Free’.  (Please consider participating in the poll at the end)

Here’s a list of a few of the antisemitic contributors they’ve published in recent years, and is in no particular order:

Deborah Orr,Guardian journalist: ‘Chosen people’ smear

orr

Though Orr’s logical failures in analyzing the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011 were breathtaking, the following passage from her Oct. 19, 2011, piece (later revised) is particularly worth noting, as it suggests that Jews are inherently racist:

there is something abject in [Hamas's] eagerness to accept a transfer [of prisoners] that tacitly acknowledges what so many Zionists believe – that the lives of the chosen are of hugely greater consequence than those of their unfortunate neighbors.”

Steve Bell, Guardian cartoonist: Jewish conspiracy

bell

Whilst you can read these posts to read about Bell’s mockery of the very notion of antisemitic tropes, the following cartoon which he published at the Guardian during the November war in Gaza is most illustrative of the place where Arab Judeophobia bleeds into Guardian “liberal” commentary.

Steve Bell 16.12.2012

Raed Salah, ‘Comment is Free’ contributor: Blood libel and Jewish supremacy

salah

As we’ve noted, an extremist cleric named Raed Salah became a Guardian cause celeb during his 2011 legal battle with UK Immigration Authorities despite his record of promoting violence and racism – which included his recitation of a poem promoting the medieval antisemitic narrative that Jews use the blood of non-Jews to bake their “holy” bread.  

When Salah won his final deportation appeal – at a UK Immigration Tribunal which, nonetheless, concluded that Salah did in fact promote the blood libel – the Guardian awarded him an essay at ‘Comment is Free’.  

Salah’s used his polemical victory lap, published on Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day in 2012, to smear the UK Jewish community by suggesting that their support for Zionism was akin to endorsing an ideology of “supremacism”.

Here are the relevant passages in Salah’s commentary:

“Despite the Israeli policy of “transfer” – another term for ethnic cleansing – the Palestinians will not go away. The Israeli state can occupy our lands, demolish our homes, drill tunnels under the old city of Jerusalem – but we will not disappear. Instead, we now aspire to a directly elected leadership for Palestinians in Israel; one that would truly represent our interests. We seek only the legal rights guaranteed to us by international conventions and laws.

The Palestinian issue can only be resolved if Israel and its supporters in Britain abandon the dogmas of supremacy and truly adhere to the universal values of justice and fairness.” [emphasis added]

Ben White‘Comment is Free’ contributor: ‘Antisemitism is understandable’

white

White is a professional Israel hater who has expressed sympathy for Palestinian ‘martyrs’, and who once defended Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from “charges” that he denied the Holocaust – and whose views on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict were recently tacitly endorsed by Hamas.  He continues to publish at ‘Comment is Free’, despite having never once distanced himself from a 2002 essay he published on the extremist online site, CounterPunch.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece, titled: Is It ‘Possible’ to Understand the Rise in ‘Anti-Semitism’?,

I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are”. This after linking the rise of antisemitism with “the widespread bias and subservience to the Israeli cause in the Western media”.  There are, in fact, a number of reasons. One is the state of Israel, its ideology of racial supremacy and its subsequent crimes committed against the Palestinians. [emphasis added]

Musa AbumarzuqComment is Free’ contributor: Official in the terror group, Hamas, which openly calls for the murder of Jews

hamas1

Abumarzuq was published twice at ‘Comment is Free’.  His most recent piece offered insights into his “concerns” about Israeli violation of human rights – “liberal sensibilities” which CiF editors evidently were able to reconcile with his leadership role in a group which endorses the antisemitic conspiracy theories and openly calls for the mass murder of Jews.

(Note: In addition to Abumarzuq, the list of Hamas members published at ‘Comment is Free’ includes Ismail Haniyeh, Osama Hamdan, and Azzam Tamimi.)

Please cast your ballot for the most antisemitic Guardian or ‘Comment is Free’ contributor.  When voting, feel free to choose another Guardian contributor which, for the sake of brevity, we didn’t include in the list. 

Steve Bell continues to giggle about antisemitism

Here are the last three cartoons by the Guardian’s Steve Bell:

Feb. 4

feb 4

Feb. 5

feb 5

Here’s his latest, on Feb 6.

Steve Bell's If… 06/02

As we revealed yesterday, Bell’s body of work includes several cartoons about Israel which employ the blood motif, and a few which depict Jews pejoratively as the ‘chosen people’.

His latest two cartoons evidently demonstrate that he finds the whole idea of antisemitic tropes (which he SO cleverly spells as “Aunty Semutic”) amusing, despite the fact that he was warned to avoid engaging in depictions which evoke classic Judeophobia by Guardian readers’ editor, Chris Elliott.

tumblr_m3ri2xiV2n1rtflzjo1_500

Steve Bell

I can’t wait to see his next schoolbook doodle about those overly sensitive, silly Jews. 

Steve Bell has fun with antisemitic tropes

 

Here’s a Steve Bell cartoon published on Feb. 4, in response to an apology by Sunday Times’ owner Rupert Murdoch over the controversial Gerald Scarfe cartoon.

bell (1)(The second frame is a reference to a comment by Murdoch in November, complaining that the “Jewish owned media” is consistently anti-Israel.  The final frame is a reference to Sooty, a popular glove bear and TV character from the 50s.)

As we noted in our post, the cartoon could arguably be interpreted as suggesting that Zionists have a significant degree of control over the media.

Today, Feb. 5, Bell revisited the trio of Murdoch, Bibi and Sooty, and published this, titled ‘On Murdoch, Netanyahu and the little bludger.

bell

If, Bell is indeed perplexed – or, perhaps, amused – with the notion of “antisemitic tropes”, I know just the right person to help him understand its significance.

Guardian readers’ editor Chris Elliott – who criticized Bell’s cartoon in Nov. which depicted Netanyahu controlling Blair and Hague like puppets, and warned: “…using the image of a puppeteer when drawing a Jewish politician inevitably echoes past antisemitic usage of such imagery” – wrote the following in Nov. 2011, in a post titled ‘On averting accusations of antisemitism“:

[Comment is Free] moderators…are experienced in spotting the kind of language long associated with antisemitic tropes such as Jews having too much power and control, or being clannish and secretive, or the role of Jews in finance and the media.

However, regardless of whether Bell understands (or takes seriously) the lethal history of such racist tropes employed against Jews, a bit of research into his work may provide some insight into why (per his BBC Radio debate with Stephen Pollard) he was so dismissive of accusations that the Scarfe cartoon arguably evoked the antisemitic blood libel.

These cartoons are on Bell’s website: (Below each cartoon is the exact caption used by Bell to identify and date the image.)

2002, blood motif.

1745-12-4-02SHARONBLOODFLAG

1745-12-4-02SHARONBLOODFLAG

2001, blood motif.

1560-7-2-01_SHALOMSHARON

1560-7-2-01 SHALOMSHARON

 

2001, blood motif

1561-8-2-01_WAILINGWALL

1561-8-2-01 WAILINGWALL

Finally, here are two Bell cartoons which evoke an entirely different trope.

1998, Jews as ‘Chosen People’. 

4291-4-5-98_GODSCHOSEN

4291-4-5-98 GODSCHOSEN

1998, Jews as ‘Chosen People’:

4293-4-5-98_GODSCHOSEN

4293-6-5-98 GODSCHOSEN

Here’s another relevant passage from Chris Elliott’s post on antisemitism noted above:

“Two weeks ago a columnist [Deborah Orr] used the term “the chosen” in an item on the release of Gilad Shalit, which brought more than 40 complaints to the Guardian, and an apology from the columnist the following week. “Chosenness”, in Jewish theology, tends to refer to the sense in which Jews are “burdened” by religious responsibilities; it has never meant that the Jews are better than anyone else. Historically it has been antisemites, not Jews, who have read “chosen” as code for Jewish supremacism.”

Guardian reader bemoans the effectiveness of CiF Watch

The following reader comment beneath the line of a Steve Bell cartoon on Feb. 4 – which, as we argued in a post, could arguably be interpreted as suggesting that Zionists have a significant degree of control over the media – was priceless.

as

It didn’t occur on the date the reader believed, but on Nov. 6, 2011, there was indeed a post by Guardian readers’ editor Chris Elliott which made a thinly veiled reference to CiF Watch, and argued that “reporters, editors and writers” must be more careful to avoid “lapses into language resonant of antisemitism”.

Whilst, I don’t know if anything we do, per the comment above, can exactly be characterized as “well-orchestrated” and, per SantaMoniker, the idea that we’re “powerful” is risible.  Additionally, antisemitism at the Guardian clearly has not disappeared since Elliott’s warning (Bell’s cartoon on Nov. 15 depicting Bibi controlling Blair and Hague as puppets suggests the limits of Elliott’s control over such content), but if the result of our work is that the Guardian is even a little bit more careful to avoid having their voice “diminished” by evoking antisemitic canards, then we’re clearly doing something right. 

 

The Guardian, Steve Bell, Bibi and more puppet-like control

Here’s the cartoon published by Steve Bell, Guardian on Nov. 15, titled: Tony Blair and William Hague’s role in Israel-Gaza clash.

Steve Bell 16.12.2012

As we noted in a post the day after the cartoon was published (a graphic depiction of the puppet-like control Bibi had over Blair and Hague in the context of the two British leaders’ expressions of support for Israel’s recent war in Gaza) the cartoon evoked the antisemitic canard of Jewish control over non-Jewish British politicians.  Further, Bell’s cartoon was almost indistinguishable from what is routinely published in the Arab media (in cartoons and in prose) alleging unimaginable Jewish control over world leaders.

Bell defended the cartoon, arguing thus:

“I can’t be held responsible for whatever cultural precepts and misapprehensions people choose to bring to my cartoon.”

Today, February 4th, evidently in response to an apology by Sunday Times’ owner Rupert Murdoch – over the controversial Gerald Scarfe cartoon (published on Holocaust Memorial Day), which depicted mangled, tortured bodies being buried over with bricks laid by the bloody trowel of a murderous Netanyahu – Bell published the following, titled: Steve Bell’s If … on Rupert Murdoch’s apology to Israel.

(Note: the second frame is a reference to a comment by Murdoch in November, complaining that the Jewish owned press is consistently anti-Israel.  The final frame is a reference to Sooty, a popular glove bear and TV character back in the 50s.)

bell

Is Bell mocking Murdoch’s complaint that media companies with Jewish owners are anti-Israel by noting that indeed the opposite is the case – that powerful Zionist Jews in fact exercise too much control over the media?

Admittedly, such graphic depictions inevitably leave a lot open to interpretation.  

However, after the row following Bell’s cartoon in November, Chris Elliott – the Guardian’s readers editor – responded to complaints, noting that the image of Jews having a disproportionate influence over the US and British governments has often been replicated by anti-Jewish cartoonists in the Middle East since the end of the second world war, and concluded thus:

“While journalists and cartoonists…should not use the language – including the visual language – of antisemitic stereotypes.”

Given Bell’s reaction to the row over the Scarfe cartoon – where he mocked the notion that the cartoon was antisemitic during a BBC debate with Stephen Pollard and refused to answer Pollard’s question as to whether he was even aware of the history of antisemitic cartoons in the Arab media – it seems clear that the Guardian cartoonist remains, at the very least, breezily unconcerned with the damage caused by “using visual language” which evokes “antisemitic stereotypes”.

A place where Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell can find “real” antisemitism

On the ‘Today programme on BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 29th January, there was a debate between Stephen Pollard of the Jewish Chronicle and Steve Bell, political cartoonist for the Guardian, over the Gerald Scarfe cartoon in the Sunday Times published on Holocaust Memorial Day – depicting mangled, tortured bodies being buried over with bricks laid by the bloody trowel of a sinister Israeli leader.

Pollard advanced an argument similar to the one he made so eloquently in The JC today, arguing that the cartoon slips into antisemitism because it invokes the blood libel, and while papers should always have the right to publish offensive material, possessing such freedom to offend doesn’t mean that it is always the correct decision to do so.

Bell disagreed, and argued as follows:

“Apologising for this cartoon – for once it wasn’t a bad cartoon – I think Stephen Pollard invokes terms like “the blood libel” and kind of ‘genocidal hate rage’…. he’s attributing this to a cartoon which is actually … it’s sort of like a mirror image of the cartoon Scarfe did the week before … President Assad clutching the head of a baby … not a squeak about that …

The problem with the State of Israel and the Zionist Lobby is that they never acknowledge the crime of ethnic cleansing upon which the State was founded …”

Bell’s fictitious history of Israel’s founding is as characteristic as it is malicious, as it was the tiny Jewish state which was forced, a couple of years after the Holocaust, on the day of its founding, to defend against five invading Arab armies intent on extinguishing their presence from the river to the sea.  Bell’s revisionism also excludes the shameful episode after Israel’s founding, in which hundreds of thousands of Jewish citizens of Arab countries were punished for the crime of Israel’s continued existence by being systematically expelled – that is, ethnically cleansed – from land where their ancestors had lived for hundreds of years.

Also during his debate with Pollard, Bell the historian also warned against using “the term ‘blood libel’ loosely and ridiculously”, and then added:

“Extraneous notions like ‘blood libel’ are dropped in and sensitivities are talked up .. the very word ‘antisemitic’ becomes devalued .. ‘they’ throw it around with such abandon, if there really is antisemitism it’s actually getting ignored.”

So, what does Steve Bell know about “real” antisemitism? My guess is that he doesn’t know too much. 

While Bell was all too willing to publish a cartoon (during Israel’s military operation in Gaza) depicting weak, cowardly British leaders being controlled like puppets by a powerful Jewish leader, when has he ever employed such graphic agitprop to mock “real” antisemites who occupy the landscape of the Arab Middle East?

Did the “populist” liberal satirist ever fancy the idea of caricaturing Egypt’s President Morsi, for instance, who characterized Jews as descendants of apes and pigs, and who told his fellow citizens to nurse their children on Jew hatred?

Additionally, has he ever thought to ridicule Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for engaging in Holocaust denial?

Finally, has it ever occurred to Bell to mock the ubiquitous commentators and clerics in the Arab and Muslim world who still peddle in the most bizarre Jewish conspiracy theories, such as the charge that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children to bake their ‘Sabbath’ bread? 

If he ever decided to do so, Bell could have used text from an actual poem by a radical and quite well-known Islamist preacher – demonstrated in a UK Immigration Tribunal ruling on Feb. 8, 2012, to be a clear reference to the antisemitic blood libel - which included the following: 

“We have never allowed ourselves, and listen carefully; we have never allowed ourselves to knead the bread for the breaking [of] fasting during the blessed month of Ramadan with the blood of the children.  And if someone wants a wider explanation, then he should ask what used to happen to some of the children of Europe, when their blood used to be mixed in the dough of the holy bread.”

Of course, if Bell did decide to direct his righteous ire at those who engage in such “real” antisemitism – and perhaps even at arrogant, hypocritical media groups which have actually championed the cause of such crude and unrepentant racists – he’d be hitting just a wee bit too close to home.

A ‘Comment is Free’ essay by the extremist who evoked the “real” medieval blood libel cited above, Raed Salah, was published on April 19, 2012, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial day.

salah

US Guardian and the UK Guardian – 2 blogs separated by a ‘unit-ary’ language

A guest post by AKUS

Do you notice slight differences in the header concerning Israel between the US version and the UK version below (see arrow)?

new

Yes – the US version suggests that Israel will build one thousand two hundred new settlements (on the West Bank).

A more rational editor in the UK, apparently realizing that even the Netanyahu’s government would be hard put to cram 1,200 new settlements into the West Bank, chose instead to use an almost equally misleading term of “settlement units” (aka – “apartments”).

In the body of the articles, the text is the same – initially referring to “settlement units” and then the more accurate term, “apartments”:

aptsThe error in the US header and the ambiguity in the text of the article indicate Guardian group-think about Israel’s so-called “settlement building” – a narrative which ignores the fact that there has not been a new settlement of any significance in the last four  years, other than a couple of swiftly removed caravan or tent efforts.

The idea of 1,200 new settlements (that is, 1200 entirely new communities/towns across the green line) seems quite feasible to such writers and editors, indicating also that they don’t know too much about the size or geography of the West bank.  Thus, their decision to characterize any home built for Israelis in the West Bank not as “apartments” but, rather, by using a new term in alignment with their broader view – a “settlement unit”.

Also, note the subtle difference in the description of the same issue by Harriet Sherwood in her Christmas Day article ‘Bethlehem celebrates first Christmas since UN recognition of Palestine (in which she manages, by the way,  to totally overlook the large presence of Palestinian Authority police in Bethlehem, as reported here yesterday by Judy Lash-Balint):

unit

It’s possible that Sherwood, who seems to be gradually gaining insight into what makes Israel tick – an understanding, it seems, that accelerated markedly after a couple of rockets landed near Jerusalem, where she is based – actually acknowledges that potential occupants of these “settlement units” are just people for whom homes are being built, not cartoon characters drawn by the Guardian’s Steve Bell who live in “settlement units”.

If Palestinian leaders refuse to sit down and work with the Israelis in good faith to reach an agreed set of borders between Israel and a putative Palestinian State, Israel is giving notice that it will not sit and wait for the phone to ring.

Calling apartments Israel builds (while the PA refuses to negotiate any borders) “settlement units” will not make the apartments any less home to more and more Israelis, as Sherwood, at least and possibly alone among Guardian staff, may now understand.  

But when will the Palestinian Authority get the message?

Guardian features prominently in watchdog group’s ‘Top 10 Media Fails of the Gaza War’

HonestReporting published their ‘Top 10 Media Fails of the Gaza War‘ and the Guardian claimed the number 5 and 9 slots.

Placing at number 5 was Steve Bell’s cartoon of hapless British statesmen being controlled by a seemingly omnipotent Jewish leader.

bell

HonestReporting’s Alex Margolin wrote the following about the cartoon:

“When it comes to building a Hall of Shame in coverage of the media war against Israel, you can always count on The Guardian to compete for a high place on the list. And this year is no exception.

This cartoon of Benjamin Netanyahu published on the first days of the war offers so many different aspects of media bias, it’s hard to pick out the worst ones. Start with a classic anti-Semitic trope of Israel manipulating and controlling Western leaders. Then there is the strong implication that the real motive behind Israel’s operation is to manipulate the election.”

Seumas Milne’s essay’s explicitly endorsing the right of Palestinians to kill Israelis placed at number 9.

milne

Margolin:

It takes a man of extraordinary bias to look at thousands of rockets flying into Israeli cities, and to conclude, despite all evidence, that it’s the Palestinians and not the Israelis who have the right to defend themselves. Seamus Milne is that kind of man.

“To portray Israel as some kind of victim with every right to “defend itself” from attack from “outside its borders” is a grotesque inversion of reality,” he writes, dismissing the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza as irrelevant.

“So Gazans are an occupied people and have the right to resist, including by armed force (though not to target civilians), while Israel is an occupying power that has an obligation to withdraw – not a right to defend territories it controls or is colonising by dint of military power,” he adds.

It’s unclear which war Milne is watching, but the Palestinian attacks consisted of nothing but attacks on civilians and Israel has already withdrawn entirely from Gaza. Talk about a grotesque inversion of reality, Seamus…you lead the way in showing how it’s done.

You can read the complete top 10 list here.

If you recall, the Guardian was also the undisputed winner of HonestReporting’s 2011 Dishonest Reporting’ Award.  

US Congressional resolution supporting Israel makes Glenn Greenwald’s head explode

Western government support for Israel’s right to defend it’s citizens against Hamas really infuriates some people.

Those who routinely demonize the Jewish state and parrot the most ludicrous claims about Israeli villainy – and excuse or ignore the racism, incitement and violence of Islamist extremists in the region – simply can’t wrap their mind around the fact their anti-Zionist view is extremely marginal.

The mind of Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell was evidently ready to explode upon hearing the expressions of support for Israel by British foreign secretary William Hague and former PM Tony Blair. So, Bell expressed, in cartoon form, his belief that the only possible explanation for this maddening political dynamic is the puppeteer like control exercised over the subservient British leaders by Israel’s Prime Minister.

Another ‘anti-Zionist head-exploding’ moment occurred when the U.S. House and Senate overwhelmingly passed non-binding resolutions backing “Israel’s right to self-defense”.

There’s nothing unusual about such a resolution, as popular support for Israel in America, based on polling by Gallup over the last 45 years, has been consistent and overwhelming - a fact which CiF contributor Glenn Greenwald, whose fear of powerful Jewish forces in the U.S. borders on the conspiratorial, simply can’t fathom.

He expressed his frustration today, thus: 

Poor Glenn. The Congressional resolutions, which audaciously affirmed that “no nation”, including Israel, “can tolerate constant barrages of rockets against its civilian population”, actually passed unanimously

In his essay on Nov. 2011, on ‘averting accusations of antisemitism‘, Guardian readers editor Chris Elliott warned Guardian journalists and commentators to avoid “antisemitic tropes such as Jews having too much power and control.”

Elliott also noted that “three times” he had “upheld complaints against language within articles [which] could be read as antisemitic”, such as his decision to delete the term “slavish” (to describe the US relationship with Israel) from a report by Chris McGreal.

Glenn Greenwald’s characterization of the democratically elected U.S. legislative body as “subservient” to Israel (and/or the Jewish lobby) similarly contains antisemitic undertones, but also represents, to quote Walter Russel Mead, a sign that the ‘Comment is Free’ contributor is among those who are “baffled, frustrated and the bewildered” and therefore “seek[s] a grand, simplifying hypothesis that can bring some kind of ordered explanation to a confusing world.”

“Anti-Semitism”, wrote Mead, “is one of the glittering frauds that attract the overwhelmed and the uncomprehending.”

The anti-Zionist left is increasingly defined as much by their intellectual laziness as they are by their blind subservience to the logic of historically right-wing Judeophobic narratives regarding the dangers of Jewish control.

Guardian publishes cartoon showing Israeli leader as puppet master controlling Hague & Blair (Updated)

Here’s a cartoon by Steve Bell, Guardian, Nov. 15., titled “Steve Bell on Tony Blair and William Hague’s role in Israel-Gaza clash – cartoon”.

Some relevant background:

Here’s a cartoon in Al-Ahram Weekly, October 4-10, 2012 (Egypt) depicting both Romney and Obama kissing Bibi’s hands.

Here’s another Al-Watan cartoon of Obama nad Romney on Sep­tem­ber 10, 2012.

The Saudi paper Al-Watan, on October 11, 2008, published this, depicting Jews were puppet masters, controlling both McCain and Obama.

The message the Guardian cartoon is trying to convey – similar to the Arab cartoons posted above – is unambiguous.

Bell is complaining that recent expressions of support for Israel’s operation in Gaza by UK foreign secretary William Hague (and Tony Blair) suggest they are being controlled by the Prime Minister of the Jewish state. 

Walter Russel Mead summed it up best in response to a BBC journalist who stated recently that “The American Jews influence US foreign policy and that explains Washington’s unwavering support for Israel.”

“…weak minds…are easily seduced by attractive but empty generalizations. The comment attributed to August Bebel that anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools can be extended to many other kinds of cheap and superficial errors that people make. The baffled, frustrated and the bewildered seek a grand, simplifying hypothesis that can bring some kind of ordered explanation to a confusing world; anti-Semitism is one of the glittering frauds that attract the overwhelmed and the uncomprehending.”

Steve Bell simply couldn’t accept that British expression of support for Israel’s action in Gaza is based on their understanding of the threat posed by Hamas and other terrorists movements, or other strategic considerations.

He needed an easy explanation as to why his nation’s leaders don’t share his hostility towards Israel, and the temptation to attribute such a vexing dynamic to sinister Israeli control was too great for him to resist.

The Guardian cartoonist has succumb to historically antisemitic (and necessarily reactionary) narrative which imputes Jewish power and Jewish control to the decisions of non-Jewish world leaders.

(Bell, and the Guardian, needs to be held account, so please consider emailing the Guardian’s readers editor, Chris Elliott, reader@guardian.co.uk, to respectfully voice your complaint.)

UPDATE: Per The JC, Steve Bell responded to criticism that his cartoon is antisemitic, thus:

“I can’t be held responsible for whatever cultural precepts and misapprehensions people choose to bring to my cartoon. My intention, I think, is fairly clear.”

UPDATE II: The Guardian published a letter (21.00 GMT, Nov. 16) protesting Bell’s cartoon by the CST’s Dave Rich.

Competing with the Saudis

Tom Gross has just published a series of antisemitic cartoons from the Arab world on the flotilla incident. The example below is from the June 2, 2010 edition of Al-Iqtisadiyya, a Saudi newspaper.

Now ask yourselves this: is the imagery in the cartoon above all that different from this one by Steve Bell that appeared in the Guardian on June 1, 2010?


For more examples of cartoons from Tom Gross’ Mideast Media Analysis click here.

Why was this deleted?

I’ve read this comment three times over from the Steve Bell thread earlier this week and for the life of me cannot figure out why it was deleted.

Before…

After…

This comment doesn’t even express a pro-Israel position but is somewhat neutral in its commentary which goes to show just how radical the Guardian moderation team is.

I can only surmise that the Guardian moderators are so far out of touch with reality that they truly believe that there is moral equivalency between Israel’s security services and Jihadist mass murderers and the suggestion of anything to the contrary is verboten.

Contrast this with an example of an undeleted comment in the same thread that engages in classic Jewish conspiracy theory under the thinly veiled  euphemisms of “Zionist” and “neocon”:


But what else can one expect when Peter Preston, a veteran Guardian editor, echoes JRuskin’s sentiments above the line with this article last year?

Does Steve Bell read Stormfront?

To commemorate the 20th year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this is the disgustingly antisemitic cartoon that the Guardian is running by cartoonist, Steve Bell.

11.11.09-Steve-Bell-on-20-005

So in light of the results of our “Comment is Free”/Stormfront poll, I thought I’d take a look at what the folks over at Stormfront were talking about. And lo and behold there is a thread entitled “20 Years on: Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989″. Here’s a screenshot:

stormfront berlin

If you can make it out, there is a link posted in the Stormfront thread. And if you follow the link, it takes you to a neo-Nazi blog that has a post from two days ago with an image that looks awfully similar to the Guardian cartoon. Here’s the screenshot.

screenshot3

So lets take a look at what text follows the image.

Today, the lousy Zionist, Fifth Columnist media has been going on and on about the fall of the Berlin Wall twenty years ago, way back in 1989. But dear reader, what about the “Separation Wall” in Israel standing right now? This giant wall (far bigger than the Berlin Wall) was substantially paid for by your tax dollars, without you even having the least clue — because the real powers that be don’t want you to start questioning the whole deal in the first place!

Why does the media remain silent about all this, pray tell? Just think about the unbelievable hypocrisies today foisted on America’s head by the Zionist-controlled media. You thought we had a free media, right?

These hypocrisies have now become insane. They constantly have things in the media about how evil Hitler once was and how victimized the Jews were 65 years ago, yet these Jews are freely ghettoizing and victimizing the Palestinians right in the present day — right the hell NOW!

The Jews stand before us, having the unmitigated gall to proclaim themselves “the light unto nations.” What a filthy joke that is. But the joke is on us, friend. They feel they can freely get away with all kinds of travesties, including pure murder, since so few of us are the wiser and can’t think straight unless someone on the GD TV tells us how to!

There’s more but you get the idea. Now here’s the interesting part. Not only does the text above provide the subtext to Steve Bell’s cartoon but notice how it also says “the giant wall (far bigger than the Berlin Wall)” and compare that with “Twice as High Four Times as Long” in the Steve Bell cartoon.

Now this could all be pure coincidence but given Steve Bell’s track record of antisemitic cartoons (see here, here and here), I can’t help but think that Steve Bell is looking a bit like the Guardian’s very own Mark Garlasco.

Update

In reviewing the comment thread to the Steve bell cartoon, we have a comment from none other than “Comment is Free” contributor Ben White with a thank you note to  Steve Bell. This is of course the same Ben White that understands why some people are antisemitic. The same Ben White who has flirted with Holocaust denial. And the same Ben White who in his young thug’s primer Israeli Apartheid: a Beginners Guide recommends French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. The convergence of far left and far right ideology on the pages of Britain’s flagship left wing newspaper becomes clearer by the second.

BenWhite

11 Nov 2009, 9:23AM

Contributor

Thanks Steve.

http://palsolidarity.org/2009/11/9226

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/11/2009119151639325464.html

This Wall will also fall.

http://www.israeliapartheidguide.com