CifWatch: Idiots with too much time on their hands


by Sunny
26th August, 2009 at 9:12 am    

A bunch of people with too much time on their hands have launched ‘CIF Watch‘ – dedicated to ‘monitoring and exposing anti-semitism on the Guardian’s CIF’. Exposing racism is always a good thing to do… but why not expose all kinds of racism? Why not also “expose” anti-Muslim bigotry and racism on CIF? A lot of people these days tackling racism seem to be quite selective these days in their outrage. Now why would that be?

Also, why not point out that the CIF moderators have to read through thousands of comments every day and delete any crap they find that breaks the comments policy. But oh no, the minute something nasty is posted, and isn’t deleted, it’s clearly evidence that the Guardian newspaper itself is the spawn of the devil!

As if to back up my point, one of the first blog-posts takes a shot at writer Seth Freedman. Their conclusion:

Freedman’s sanctimoniousness towards a country which took him on – only to then be kicked in the teeth by him – is unbelievable.
If he dislikes Israel so much he can always go back to London and resume his glowing City career.

Damn these Uncle Toms eh? Why aren’t they sticking to the script that their race bounds them to?
Eeeedjats


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: CifWatch: Idiots with too much time on their hands http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5652


  2. Matt Borum

    Pickled Politics » CifWatch: Idiots with too much time on their hands- Andrew on Let’s out-smart the BNP inste… http://bit.ly/R2ovk


  3. Martyn Richard Jones

    Pickled Politics » CifWatch: Idiots with too much time on their hands – http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5652




  1. Dave Semple — on 26th August, 2009 at 9:46 am  

    If CiF Watch wanted to make themselves useful, instead of mucking about with anti-semitism or other forms of bigotry, they could instead flag up and quote (much in the manner of Speak your Branes) all the badly written, completely asinine articles that get posted there from people who clearly have no idea about the subject on which they wax positively lyrical.

  2. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2009 at 10:43 am  

    Don’t worry Sunny, somebody will eventually start ‘Pickled Politics Watch’.

    You’re just not on the radar yet.

    Anyhoo, haven’t you more important things to do today than score extra Brownie Points with your masters? Isn’t this the day you stop the mighty roar of London’s traffic in the name of Global Warming, and piss of everybody with a job they have to go, and appointments they have to keep?

  3. Rumbold — on 26th August, 2009 at 10:47 am  

    Chairwoman:

    ‘Pickled Politics watch’ would be hilarious.

  4. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2009 at 10:52 am  

    Rumbold, if somebody doesn’t do it, we may have to do it ourselves :) .

  5. Anonymous Coward — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:01 am  

    Sunny, you are indeed naive if you think these people are doing this for free (“too much time on their hands”).

    Israel is paying them. You only have to google around for how Israel and it’s numerous lobbies have started recruiting online activists.

  6. bananabrain — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:03 am  

    there’s already quite a lot of spittoon-watching going on, which is probably not meant to be hilarious, but due to the inadequate critical faculties of islamists, provides us with much amusement.

    anonymous coward:

    as far as i know, the israelis aren’t paying anyone. there are plenty of volunteers, i dare say.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  7. JuliaM — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:18 am  

    “…but why not expose all kinds of racism? Why not also “expose” anti-Muslim bigotry and racism on CIF? “

    Because people are free to set up any kind of blog they want, and this is what they’ve chosen?

    If you want a blog that does something else, set one up.

  8. bananabrain — on 26th August, 2009 at 12:08 pm  

    reading what they’re saying, i don’t think they come across as idiots at all. i think this is a genuine cause for concern and they are clearly stating that they are not following any particular left or right wing line, but are particularly concerned that moderate voices on israel/palestine are drowned out by the extremists.

    The Community Security Trust, a British charity established to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community in the UK, in both its 2007 and 2008 reports on Antisemitic Discourse in Britain, singled out ‘Comment is Free’ as one of the main purveyors of antisemitic hate in the mainstream media.

    the CST are not scaremongers. they are deeply serious people.

    Moreover, in Antisemistism on Guardian Comment is Free Jonathan Hoffman authored a 57-page report dedicated to exposing examples of antisemitism on ‘Comment is Free’ which was submitted to the UK Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism.

    i know jonathan hoffman and he is a sincere sort of bloke, even if i don’t entirely agree with him on quite a lot of things. again, not a wolf-crier.

    all in all, i would have thought, sunny, that our experiences here on PP over the recent gaza conflict would show you that this is not a big fuss over nothing. it sounds from this post as if you still haven’t taken on board precisely how hostile the discourse in large parts of the UK blogosphere.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  9. Bill — on 26th August, 2009 at 12:13 pm  

    anonymous coward, I see the “Hidden Hand” aficionados of paranoid conspiracy theories are out in force today – “Jews never do anything for free….” (Do you think its time to review your medication, coward)?

    CifWatch is long overdue. Judging by the reaction to it here it’s already rattling cages. Good.

    And there’s absolutely no need to expose alleged anti-Muslim bigotry – we hear nothing else except how poor Muslims are victimised from the sites like this one, good ol’ CiF and of course the official Muslim websites.

    Perennial victims, all of them, and enjoying every single minute of it.

    CifWatch will balance the scales against Jew hatred. Good for it. I wish it every success.

  10. MaidMarian — on 26th August, 2009 at 12:29 pm  

    CiF takes itself too seriously, and is taken too seriously by many.

    It was good, but jumped the shark around the time of the 2005 election.

  11. ahmed — on 26th August, 2009 at 1:07 pm  

    Bill

    Perennial victims, all of them, and enjoying every single minute of it.

    yeah its great to be hated so and to be told you and your family are unwanted and threat just by their very existence

  12. ahmed — on 26th August, 2009 at 1:10 pm  

    bananabrain

    which was submitted to the UK Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism.

    Given it is far more prevalent, why isnt there are UK Parliamentary Committee Against Islamophobia?

  13. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 1:13 pm  

    Bill

    anonymous coward, I see the “Hidden Hand” aficionados of paranoid conspiracy theories are out in force today – “Jews never do anything for free….” (Do you think its time to review your medication, coward)?

    CifWatch is long overdue. Judging by the reaction to it here it’s already rattling cages. Good.

    And there’s absolutely no need to expose alleged anti-Muslim bigotry – we hear nothing else except how poor Muslims are victimised from the sites like this one, good ol’ CiF and of course the official Muslim websites.

    Perennial victims, all of them, and enjoying every single minute of it.

    CifWatch will balance the scales against Jew hatred. Good for it. I wish it every success.

    You claim that Muslims “enjoy” being victims -why then by your logic wouldnt Jews? Whats the difference between them?

  14. Paul Moloney — on 26th August, 2009 at 1:25 pm  

    How do I get employed by ZOG; seems like a handy earner? I’m not Jewish, but I have been mistaken as such by the Jews for Jesus crowd in NYC. So, not Jewish, maybe Jewish-ish.

    P.

  15. soru — on 26th August, 2009 at 1:33 pm  

    I think it would be pretty rare to find a non-Jew, non-Muslim who had bigoted views towards the one without them also having bigoted views towards the other.

    Quite likely the stereotypes the bigotry was based on would be _different_ (say Secretive and Conspiring vs. Noble but Dangerous), but they are unlikely to be very greatly different in _level of wrongness_.

  16. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

    “Israel is paying them. You only have to google around for how Israel and it’s numerous lobbies have started recruiting online activists.”

    Anonymouse coward – Indeed you are.
    I’m Jewish, my family’s Jewish, some of my friends are Jewish. Why haven’t any of us been approached to do this much vaunted undercover work for Israel?

    “You claim that Muslims “enjoy” being victims -why then by your logic wouldnt Jews? Whats the difference between them?”

    me – Because we’ve had 2000 years of being victims, and we’re fed up to the damn teeth with it.

  17. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2009 at 1:40 pm  

    “all in all, i would have thought, sunny, that our experiences here on PP over the recent gaza conflict would show you that this is not a big fuss over nothing. it sounds from this post as if you still haven’t taken on board precisely how hostile the discourse in large parts of the UK blogosphere.”

    bananabrain – Antisemitism is Sunny’s version of Peter Pan’s Tinkerbell. He’s too grown up to believe in it, so it doesn’t exist.

  18. Bill — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:00 pm  

    @me – the clue lies in my first sentence above, about the inherent paranoid fixations and readiness to fall for conspiracy theories on the part of many Moslems. Add to that their prophet’s injunction that all other religions or peoples will betray them, and the paranoid soup thickens and and concentrates.

    Paranoia cannot flourish where there is no sense of victimhood. If people are really not out to get them, then how come their prophet – who can never be wrong – says they will be betrayed by everyone except other Muslims? So the paranoia and sense of victimhood endure as does the tendency to blame everyone else but themselves for anything which doesn’t do as they want it do.

    Add to those the highly exaggerated “gimme, gimme, you owe us” sense of entitlement about almost everything plus what I have heard referred to as a hairtrigger sense of grievance which is threatening to others even when it is not acted out, and we have the “victimhood” being an excuse for such violence.

    Jewish people in my country have never had this exaggerated sense of entitlement and never have made threats of violence if they don’t get what they want. Jews don’t demand that the wider society dances to their tune either. They don’t want to force their faith and practices onto other people and make demands that these be given more importance.

    Where they are victims they don’t use it to manipulate society into giving them what they want by making threats. The Jews I know are good citizens and neighbours.

  19. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:00 pm  

    chairwoman

    me – Because we’ve had 2000 years of being victims, and we’re fed up to the damn teeth with it.

    Thats irrelevant- the point is every one is the same
    nobody enjoys being a victim whether its for 2 years or 2000 – or are you agreeing with Bill that Muslims enjoy being victims?

    If you looking at Genocides in Europe Id remind you that Aushwitz was in 1945; Bosnia in 1995. And perhaps for the first time in a long time, Jews are not being victimised now.

    bananabrain – Antisemitism is Sunny’s version of Peter Pan’s Tinkerbell. He’s too grown up to believe in it, so it doesn’t exist.

    Werent you on here complaining that Sunny was talking about anti-Muslim bigotry ? Bit of a double standard hey?

  20. bananabrain — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

    chairwoman, hur hur hur.

    “me” (or is this munir/blah, back under a new alias, i seem to remember a “me” getting smacked about over at the spittoon?):

    perhaps for the first time in a long time, Jews are not being victimised now.

    that’s not the opinion of the parliamentary report, or the CST, or me (for what it’s worth)

    ahmed:

    Given it is far more prevalent, why isnt there are UK Parliamentary Committee Against Islamophobia?

    i think you’ll find it probably isn’t a given, in that case. at any rate, there are plenty of organisations monitoring islamophobia, probably because there are about fifteen times as many muslims in the UK as there are jews; one can hardly say it isn’t a hot topic. why don’t you ask your MP? i certainly think islamophobia is a big problem that needs addressing, but i don’t think that’s what you were implying somehow, in which case i refer you to the comments above about conspiracy theories.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  21. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:06 pm  

    Bill

    @me – the clue lies in my first sentence above, about the inherent paranoid fixations and readiness to fall for conspiracy theories on the part of many Moslems. Add to that their prophet’s injunction that all other religions or peoples will betray them, and the paranoid soup thickens and and concentrates.

    Paranoia cannot flourish where there is no sense of victimhood. If people are really not out to get them, then how come their prophet – who can never be wrong – says they will be betrayed by everyone except other Muslims?

    When did the Prophet say that? You are simply lying.
    And you are aware that in Islam Muslims can marry Jewish and Christian woman and followers of other religions are allowed to practice theirs. Why would that be allowed if “all other religions or peoples will betray them”

    Bill

    Jewish people in my country have never had this exaggerated sense of entitlement and never have made threats of violence if they don’t get what they want.

    Jews don’t demand that the wider society dances to their tune either. They don’t want to force their faith and practices onto other people and make demands that these be given more importance.

    Neither do Muslims. And are you aware that the rights Muslims are asking for are the same ones that Jewish people in the UK have? And how did Jewish people get them other than by asking for them ?

  22. The Common Humanist — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:09 pm  

    “Given it is far more prevalent, why isnt there are UK Parliamentary Committee Against Islamophobia?”

    Am not sure that is quite true.

    Islamistaphobia – definately. The dislike of islamic religious extremists is, thankfully, very common.

    The dislike of ordinary muslims is irrational and far far less common, thankfully.

  23. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:21 pm  

    The Common Humanist

    Islamistaphobia – definately. The dislike of islamic religious extremists is, thankfully, very common.

    The dislike of ordinary muslims is irrational and far far less common, thankfully.

    really? What do you mean by “religious extremists”? Any Muslim man in a beard or women in hijab/niqab? -since they are the main overwhleming target of Islamophobic attacks. Are you saying that disliking Orthodox Jews or turban wearing Sikhs is acceptable and thankfully should be very common?

  24. The Common Humanist — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:21 pm  

    Me,

    I don’t want to sound overly picky but strictly speaking Bosnia wasn’t a genocide.

    It might have been if the West hadn’t intervened to save the Bosniaks.

  25. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

    The Common Humanist

    Am not sure that is quite true

    Suggest you open a right wing tabloid or do a search on the number of mosques that have been attacked in the UK or attacks on Muslims here

  26. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

    Given it is far more prevalent, why isnt there are UK Parliamentary Committee Against Islamophobia?”

    The Common Humanist

    Am not sure that is quite true

    Suggest you open a right wing tabloid or do a search on the number of mosques that have been attacked in the UK or attacks on Muslims here

  27. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

    Given it is far more prevalent, why isnt there are UK Parliamentary Committee Against Islamophobia?”

    The Common Humanist

    Am not sure that is quite true

    Suggest you open a right wing tabloid or do a search on the number of mosques that have been attacked in the UK or attacks on Muslims here

  28. The Common Humanist — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:30 pm  

    “What do you mean by “religious extremists”? Any Muslim man in a beard or women in hijab/niqab? -since they are the main overwhleming target of Islamophobic attacks”

    No, that would be irrational.

    “Are you saying that disliking Orthodox Jews or turban wearing Sikhs is acceptable and thankfully should be very common?”

    No. Why on earth would you draw that inference?

  29. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:30 pm  

    perhaps for the first time in a long time, Jews are not being victimised now.

    banana brain
    that’s not the opinion of the parliamentary report, or the CST, or me (for what it’s worth)

    Really? Where in the world today are Jews being subject to pogroms or genocides as they were in the past?

  30. thabet — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:31 pm  

    They’ve obviously go a lot of time on their hands if they’re sitting around watching bottles of cleaning liquid.

  31. The Common Humanist — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:31 pm  

    I think PP is having server issues!

    You trust right wing tabloids?

  32. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:33 pm  

    The Common Humanist

    You trust right wing tabloids?

    er.. its the tabloids that are doing the demonisation of Muslims

  33. The Common Humanist — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:38 pm  

    I agree, I just don’t trust the stories in them, i.e. when they say ‘Muslims want this, did that’ etc etc etc adnauseum when matters are investigated it rarely turns out to be true.

    Did you see the programme Peter Obourne did regarding the demonisation – very good indeed. He is a good chap despite being a wingnut. I thought it was a very telling sequence when he replaced muslim for jew in a series of headlines and then showed them to people, who were understandably shocked. So not all rightists are in the with the Mad Mel Philips line.

    I appreciate that for a variety of reasons the site is not liked here but Harrys Place does a good job of identifying progressive muslims from islamists.

  34. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:39 pm  

    “really? What do you mean by “religious extremists”? Any Muslim man in a beard or women in hijab/niqab? -since they are the main overwhleming target of Islamophobic attacks.

    “Are you saying that disliking Orthodox Jews or turban wearing Sikhs is acceptable and thankfully should be very common?”

    The Common Humanist

    No. Why on earth would you draw that inference?

    Because you said the dislike of ordinary Muslims is far far less common yet it is Muslims in beards and especially Muslim women in hijab/niqab (the equivalent of Sikhs and Jews mentioned above) who are the main targets of Islamophobic attacks

  35. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:45 pm  

    The Common Humanist

    Me,

    I don’t want to sound overly picky but strictly speaking Bosnia wasn’t a genocide.

    It might have been if the West hadn’t intervened to save the Bosniaks.

    You are thinking of Kosovo. Bosnia certainly was a genocide – the West sat on its hands doing nothing while Europes oldest Muslim community was subject to ethnic cleansng, concentration and rape camps and the destrucution of its heritage as a deliberate policy

    The UN war crimes tribunal has found Bosnian Serbs guilty explicitly of genocide
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1470928.stm

  36. bananabrain — on 26th August, 2009 at 2:48 pm  

    me: at no point have i said that islamophobic attacks should not be stopped. they should be. the oppression of any group is wrong.

    Where in the world today are Jews being subject to pogroms or genocides as they were in the past?

    so you’re saying as long as it isn’t a pogrom or a genocide, then it isn’t “victimisation”?

    how about my having to pay for a full-time security guard outside my child’s primary school because the police don’t have the resources to deal with the scale of the threat to the jewish community? you show me an islamic school with fences, barbed wire and CCTV to prevent attacks by extremists and racists. i was in belfast not so long ago. jewish schools look like northern irish police stations.

    the police don’t seem to think we’re imagining it, either. or parliament.

    but never mind, there hasn’t been a pogrom in england since 1290, so everything is rosy.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  37. Jai — on 26th August, 2009 at 3:11 pm  

    The Common Humanist, Bananabrain, Chairwoman,

    “me” (or is this munir/blah, back under a new alias,

    Yes it’s Munir yet again, as is “Ahmed” and as was the now-deleted “Nas”, “Asif”, and rapidly approaching two dozen other aliases Munir has used since he was banned from PP. Ironically, it correlates very well with the second part of this thread’s title.

    Considering that Munir has obsessively persisted in attempting to comment on this blog so many times despite being told directly by PP’s editors that he has been banned and despite the fact that nearly all of his subsequent comments have been deleted, it should tell you something about what kind of person he is (on top of everything else we already know about him) and whether such an individual deserves any kind of response by other participants on this website.

    Unless – for some reason — Munir believes that any “inconvenient” restrictions of the British legal system don’t apply to him personally and therefore has no problems with publicly and repeatedly breaking the law in this manner, it’s also interesting how he is ignoring the fact that persistently contacting others via electronic communication methods (including blogs) when the recipient (in this case, PP’s editorial team) has clearly told him to stop constitutes a criminal offence in Britain, and thereby provides PP’s owners with grounds to prosecute him if they wished to do so. Given Munir’s extensive online history of repeatedly making racist comments about Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs, coupled with the explicit threat of making similar statements about Christians, I’m sure the police would find the matter extremely interesting for that reason too.

  38. bananabrain — on 26th August, 2009 at 3:15 pm  

    thanks for that, jai. his writing style, preoccupations and way of argument all give him away without any need to see the guy’s IP address.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  39. The Common Humanist — on 26th August, 2009 at 3:26 pm  

    “You are thinking of Kosovo. Bosnia certainly was a genocide – the West sat on its hands doing nothing while Europes oldest Muslim community was subject to ethnic cleansng, concentration and rape camps and the destrucution of its heritage as a deliberate policy”

    I don’t disagree with the actual events – the Serbs attempted genocide but due to UN intervention (late but still) it was averted. Lets not argue about semantics though. A crime is a crime is a crime.

    The West acted late but act it did.

  40. The Common Humanist — on 26th August, 2009 at 3:27 pm  

    Ah, just seen Jai’s post. Understood.

  41. me — on 26th August, 2009 at 3:27 pm  

    OK Jai
    Im outta here
    Peace to you and all PPers
    I can only confess that the excellent addictive nature of the site made me come back
    Please accept my sincere apologies if I offended anyone

    PS bananabrain there are many Islamic schools, mosques and community centres with CCTV and bars over the windows to prevent attack

  42. bananabrain — on 26th August, 2009 at 3:45 pm  

    me: attack or theft? there is hardly an office building in the country without security measures. however, i doubt that many muslim schools have a six-figure annual security bill.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  43. falcao — on 26th August, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

    Oh right the guardian CIF must be anti-Semitic because they allow criticism of israel.

  44. bananabrain — on 26th August, 2009 at 5:18 pm  

    oh, good, another idiot here to replace munir.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  45. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2009 at 5:27 pm  

    “Considering that Munir has obsessively persisted in attempting to comment on this blog so many times despite being told directly by PP’s editors that he has been banned and despite the fact that nearly all of his subsequent comments have been deleted, it should tell you something about what kind of person he is (on top of everything else we already know about him) and whether such an individual deserves any kind of response by other participants on this website.”

    Jai – Perhaps he’s being paid by the ‘other side’ :)

  46. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2009 at 5:28 pm  

    “oh, good, another idiot here to replace munir.”

    Or yet another altar ego?

  47. Raymond Terrific — on 26th August, 2009 at 5:32 pm  

    I’m very pleased that CiFwatch has been set up.

    Way too many middle-class politicos either can’t see their own anti-semitism or seem to think it’s not a problem.

    Well, it is.

  48. KB Player — on 26th August, 2009 at 5:46 pm  

    And are you aware that the rights Muslims are asking for are the same ones that Jewish people in the UK have? And how did Jewish people get them other than by asking for them ?

    What rights are those exactly?

  49. Andy Gilmour — on 26th August, 2009 at 5:52 pm  

    What Dave said at #1.

    CiF is *not* a good advert for the Grauniad brand.

    And when you consider the losses they’re struggling to cope with…

    Maybe they’re so desperate they reckon that printing anything contentious (no matter how irrational, poorly-researched, or simply by Maddy Bunting – but I repeat myself), that gathers ‘comments’ is a bonus.

    Ho hum.

    And yeah, I’m sure there’s plenty of anti-semitism in there too, but it’s just following the general trend of highly vocal stupidity.

    Ho hum again.

    p.s. “PPwatch” sounds like a site that would attract a lot of disappointed fetishists…

  50. KB Player — on 26th August, 2009 at 5:59 pm  

    Sympathy with Islamism leads to anti-Semitism, and much of the left, including the Guardian, sympathises with Islamism.

    This article by Fred Halliday is good on the left and Islamism:-

    This melancholy history must be supplemented by attention to what is actually happening in countries, or parts of countries, where Islamists are influential and gaining ground. The reactionary (the word is used advisedly) nature of much of their programme on women, free speech, the rights of gays and other minorities is evident.

    There is also a mindset of anti-Jewish prejudice that is riven with racism and religious obscurantism. Only a few in the west noted what many in the Islamic world will have at once understood, that one of the most destructive missiles fired by Hizbollah into Israel bore the name “Khaibar” – not a benign reference to the pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the name of a victorious battle fought against the Jews by the Prophet Mohammad in the 7th century. Here it is worth recalling the saying of the German socialist leader Bebel, that anti-semitism is “the socialism of fools”. How many on the left are tolerant if not actively complicit in this foolery today is a painful question to ask.

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/globalization/left_jihad_3886.jsp

  51. anobody — on 26th August, 2009 at 6:00 pm  

    bananabrain,

    What’s wrong with criticising Israel?

  52. anobody — on 26th August, 2009 at 6:13 pm  

    TCH,

    I don’t disagree with the actual events – the Serbs attempted genocide but due to UN intervention (late but still) it was averted. Lets not argue about semantics though. A crime is a crime is a crime.

    The West acted late but act it did.

    Hello? Srebrenica?

  53. anobody — on 26th August, 2009 at 6:22 pm  

    KB Player,

    Jews have Beth Din Courts which have been operating for years. They are recognised under UK Law.

    Some Muslims want Shariah Courts, to settle disputes or arbitrate over issues like marriage, exactly like Beth Din Courts.

    This is what Archbishop Carey was referring to not so long ago.

  54. marvin — on 26th August, 2009 at 6:40 pm  

    Hilarious,one of the first comments on this post

    “Israel is paying them”

    They do have lot of money over there of course…

    I am familiar with the posters and I think they would find such a misguided comment amusing. Common, but familiar.

    Many commenters here still believe I am in the pay of mossad.

    Anonymous Coward, why not stick to The Register, eh?

  55. marvin — on 26th August, 2009 at 7:00 pm  

    Sunny is dumbfounded why anyone want want to tackled antisemitism on CiF. I’m sure he’s be dumbfounded why HP critics would want Islamophobic comments tackled too. Why not pick up other racisms, rather just Islamophobia, I’m sure he’d loudly lament…Why so selective, he’d say, I’m sure.

    CiF threads are often the epitomy of mainstream New antisemitism, as they are here when Israel launches military action. Is that so irksome to admit? Denial is not a river in Egypt. Though I’m sure it would be if the Israelis had anything to do with it.

    Now, Mossad, if you’re listening, where can I pick up my pay packet I keep hearing I should be getting?

  56. BenSix — on 26th August, 2009 at 7:28 pm  

    While baseless accusations are, of course, silly, Israel does seem to be paying citizens to post as anonymous sympathisers. From that arch anti-zionist bastion, er, Ynet…

    “The Foreign Ministry unveiled a new plan this week: Paying talkbackers to post pro-Israel responses on websites worldwide. A total of NIS 600,000 (roughly $150,000) will be earmarked to the establishment of an “Internet warfare” squad.

    The Foreign Ministry intends to hire young people who speak at least one language and who study communication, political science, or law – or alternately, Israelis with military experience gained at units dealing with information analysis.”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3744516,00.html

  57. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 26th August, 2009 at 7:49 pm  

    Its unfortunate that very few people seem to understand what a Semite actually is.

  58. Don — on 26th August, 2009 at 7:57 pm  

    Disgusted,

    I think you will find that the regulars here understand very well indeed. Probably best not to go there.

  59. Sunny — on 26th August, 2009 at 8:14 pm  

    Oh I get it now!! Let me see if I have this straight.

    There are no orgs tackling anti-semitism in the UK. Especially in the guardian where it’s rife and they eat Jewish babies for breakfast.

    Meanwhile, there is hardly any anti-Muslim bigotry out there and even if there was, there are far too many pakis complaining about it already. Pickled politics obviously dominates the entire blogosphere.

    Any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic and if Jews do it then they should bloody well remember where they come from.

    Any demonisation of Muslims on the other hand, scaremongering about demographics, Muslim babies multiplying, scare-stories in the newspapers that turn out to be lies – these are just gentle criticisms of Islamists. And therefore more than ok.

    Have I got that about right?

  60. Sunny — on 26th August, 2009 at 8:16 pm  

    Oh I forgot. Everyone is FORCED to read the guardian website everyday and comment on it, so clearly they should have a full say on it’s editorial policy. Ignoring it isn’t an issue since it also dominates the Internet. Ppl have nowhere to go but CIF and PP.

  61. marvin — on 26th August, 2009 at 8:20 pm  

    I think it’s a brilliant approach BenSix, it gives the impression that the ENEMY IS EVERYWHERE!11!!

    I’m sure PR teams for all sorts of political groupings are paid to comment to sway opinion.

    But I’d amazed if any were at blogging at CiFwatch.

    Generally people perform much better when they have intrinsic motivation to do things, they are passionate about it. Thanks to the news release that you mentioned, people from Leon to munir have convinced themselves I am in the pay of the Israelis.

    p.s. Where’s my money biaatches, you know who you are!!

  62. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2009 at 8:56 pm  

    Sunny – If you don’t acknowledge that CiF is rife with overt anti Jewish comments then you are kidding yourself.

    This does not mean that there is a great deal of anti Muslim propaganda in the press, but CiF is not the guilty party.

    As to not having to read CiF daily what would you have people do, bury their heads in the sand?

    Point me to the website of a respected British daily newspaper that has the same amount of anti Muslim comments from its readers as CiF has of anti Jewish comments. And I don’t mean the Daily Mail or a red top.

    There is nothing to prevent people concerned about anti Muslim bigotry for setting up a similar blog.

  63. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2009 at 9:00 pm  

    When I altered my last comment, my text appeared in all the wrong places.

  64. Sunny — on 26th August, 2009 at 9:10 pm  

    Point me to the website of a respected British daily newspaper that has the same amount of anti Muslim comments from its readers as CiF has of anti Jewish comments. And I don’t mean the Daily Mail or a red top.

    All of them.

  65. Katy Newton — on 26th August, 2009 at 9:44 pm  

    but why not expose all kinds of racism? Why not also “expose” anti-Muslim bigotry and racism on CIF? A lot of people these days tackling racism seem to be quite selective these days in their outrage. Now why would that be?

    Perhaps they feel, as you did in January, that not all types of prejudice are newsworthy. When people on this very site asked you why PP appeared to be ignoring the huge rise in antisemitism despite the fact that the comments threads were overrun with it and Leon and Rumbold were basically spending every spare moment moderating and deleting, I seem to recall you saying that you no longer considered Jews to be a victimised minority and that you weren’t going to be told what to write about. I’m not sure why you think the rules should be different for anyone else?

  66. Sunny — on 26th August, 2009 at 10:13 pm  

    When people on this very site asked you why PP appeared to be ignoring the huge rise in antisemitism despite the fact that the comments threads were overrun with it and Leon and Rumbold were basically spending every spare moment moderating and deleting, I seem to recall you saying that you no longer considered Jews to be a victimised minority

    Think you’re making stuff up Katy. I’ve never said I don’t consider Jews to be a victimised minority. And this site has also always highlighted anti-semitism than just focus on one sort of bigotry. We constantly also highlight racism within the Asian community.

    I find it instructive however that a website that wants to find examples of anti-semitism just focuses on criticism of Israel and even then tells a Jewish writer he should fall in line with their opinion.

    That isn’t just selective outrage, that is also the sort of ‘Uncle Tom’ bullshit I’ve always hated. Oh, I also point out their selective outrage since the website itself wants to make comparisons on how many times Israel is mentioned compared to other countries.

  67. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 26th August, 2009 at 10:22 pm  

    @58

    You’re probably right, hence the usage of ‘seem’.

    Something people legitimately can’t really mention, don’t expect to see that branded as ‘pc gone mad’ any time soon.

  68. BenSix — on 26th August, 2009 at 10:59 pm  

    Ooh, I shouldn’t worry, Marvin. Your occasional apologetics are far too inept to be subsidised…

    ;o)

    x

  69. KB Player — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:05 pm  

    Comment 59 & 60

    Oh I forgot. Everyone is FORCED to read the guardian website everyday and comment on it, so clearly they should have a full say on it’s editorial policy. Ignoring it isn’t an issue since it also dominates the Internet. Ppl have nowhere to go but CIF and PP.

    Well, the Guardian does dominate the left and liberal newspaper buying public. It is an institution. Some of us old Guardian readers have been aghast at anti-Semitism appearing in the Guardian because we thought it was dead and buried, along with the dead and buried of the Holocaust. It’s a huge shock to see it surfacing again, with the “Zionist” control of the media etc. To see it on the Left and in the Guardian is startling, at least I was startled until I read That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic, and found out that there has always been an undercurrent of anti-Semitism on the left. Old Guardian readers find it painful that their newspaper gives columns to supporters of theocracy and leaves extremely ugly anti-Semitic comments in threads. So we don’t want to ignore what has happened to a newspaper that we once thought took a liberal and decent line. Similarly, Daily Telegraph readers would get pissed off if the paper stopped supporting the Tories.

    I remember one thread on PP when it was explained to a very constant commenter that no, Rupert Murdoch is not Jewish so therefore this “Zionist” control of the media is not quite correct. There has been crappy anti-Semitism on PP.

    However, I agree that Muslims have a lot more to complain about when it comes to most of the other newspapers especially the Daily Telegraph and the tabloids, with silly scare stories about trivia or that are simply fabricated, and with far too much coverage given to loons like Choudary. And there is a ton of anti-Muslim (not just anti-Islamist) comment.

  70. Katy Newton — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:17 pm  

    Jesus Christ. I don’t “make stuff up”, Sunny, and I’m not your fucking enemy. I’m just reminding you of what you said in the comments thread here, when Rumbold wrote a compassionate post about the rise of antisemitism in the UK during the Gaza war and you said that he shouldn’t have done it because it went against your “editorial direction” and amounted to “appeasement” of pro-Israeli commenters. I could link to several other posts by you in the same period where you made similar comments. I just want to know why you think you’re entitled to criticise other people’s “editorial direction” when they decide to report on something you aren’t covering.

  71. Sunny — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:19 pm  

    Well, the Guardian does dominate the left and liberal newspaper buying public. It is an institution. Some of us old Guardian readers have been aghast at anti-Semitism appearing in the Guardian because we thought it was dead and buried, along with the dead and buried of the Holocaust.

    Oh I see. Even though the Guardian has always been on the left, you suddenly find its left-wing stance on Middle Eastern politics hard to swallow. Perhaps you could specify how it’s stance on international politics has changed?

    Secondly, when you’re talking about anti-semitism appearing, are you referring to comments or articles? If you’re going to smear the paper as running ‘zionist control of the media’ stuff then at least qualify it.

    Thirdly, I find it amusing that so many people who claim to be anti-racist completely ignore the vast amounts of open racism that is expressed on the right and even on “left-wing” blogs. These days it’s become normal for people to expound the ‘Muslim demographics going through the roof ZOMG’ bullshit. And yet there’s very little attention paid to that.

    their newspaper gives columns to supporters of theocracy

    There may be some people who directly support a theocracy, but as far as I can see the Guardian mostly gives space to people who want to defend those countries from accusations (for example, on the point that Iran is developing nukes) rather than defending that system of govt. After all, defending India’s democracy is useless if the country calls itself a democracy and yet flouts basic democractic principles. The US included.

    And lastly, it’s also painful for many of us on the left to see other lefties supporting illegal wars, use of white phosphorus etc etc… but then we could play this game of whataboutery whole day long.

  72. Sunny — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:29 pm  

    Also KB Player – We get far more anti-Muslim commenters and BNP supporters on here in the comments section, cussing Muslims and Asians in general. Generally we also let that stay as long as it’s fairly curteous, just so people can see how stupid they are.

    I’m sure this fact coudn’t have escaped your notice. So why are you picking only on the anti-semitic nuts we get? Are we back to the ‘lets pick on the comments’ game again?

    Katy – linking to that thread isn’t really presenting an argument to back up what you said. My comments are plain to see – I said this blogwas to represent marginalised voices, didn’t say Jews are not being victimised. Perhaps you could point to a specific point rather than making vague assertions?

  73. Katy Newton — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:36 pm  

    I said this blogwas to represent marginalised voices, didn’t say Jews are not being victimised

    *snork*

    Nice try. Unfortunately, Sunny, what you said is right there on the thread. And you said that you didn’t think Rumbold should have posted the article *because* PP was supposed to represent marginalised voices, which can *only* mean, in the context of that thread, that you didn’t consider Jews to be marginalised.

    I’m not going to take you through it. It’s clear what you meant. This post represents breathtaking hypocrisy on your part given the constant sniping about “appeasement” by you when your own writers tried to highlight antisemitism in the UK in January. Unfortunately when you act like an idiot, as you were back then, someone will remember and point it out. You go ahead and whinge about ‘vague assertions’, Sunny, what you said is right there on that thread for everyone to read and make up their own minds about.

    Incidentally, was I making it up when I said that you didn’t consider antisemitism to be within your “editorial direction”, or will you have the decency to apologise for calling me a liar now? And do you intend to explain why, if antisemitism isn’t in your editorial direction, other people should not also be able to pick and choose what prejudice they highlight?

  74. Katy Newton — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:38 pm  

    The real irony? I agree with you about the Uncle Tom line. I can’t see why living in Israel means you can’t criticise its actions. Once again your overweening arrogance and pointless rudeness has led me to argue with you even when we don’t actually disagree. How constructive.

  75. damon — on 26th August, 2009 at 11:59 pm  

    bananabrain @ 36

    how about my having to pay for a full-time security guard outside my child’s primary school because the police don’t have the resources to deal with the scale of the threat to the jewish community?

    Who might have bad intentions towards a Jewish primary school in England? It’s not about BNP tyoe racists is it?
    Is it a fear of attack by Islamists?

    I heard one mum of Jewish childern on the radio saying that parents had been advised by her kid’s school not to hang around and congregate outside the school gates when dropping off and picking up their children.
    Surely that has to be unnecessarily alarmist I thought when I heard that.

    Are synagogues employing security experts to assess the risks of the impact of potential truck bombs when there are Jewish services being held?

    Does every Jewish wedding become a potential target in some people’s minds?

    It’s really sad if that’s the case.
    But on holiday in Bangkok, in the western backpacker district of Khao San Road, I couldn’t help but think that the places that catered to the Israeli tourists were ”just asking” to be blown up and attacked.
    They were so open to the street, and full of young Israelis taking time off from the IDF.

    I understand how one could get paranoid.

  76. Leon — on 27th August, 2009 at 12:42 am  

    And there was me thinking ‘oh I’ve been away for a few days, haven’t checked PP, wonder if anything new is happening’ just before seeing this thread……….

    ………

    sigh…..

  77. Sunny — on 27th August, 2009 at 1:18 am  

    Katy – you are of course welcome to have your own interpretation of what I said. I get that kind of stuff all the time so it’s like water off a duck’s back. But for the record I’ll make my position clear.

    That post was specifically to point out that I’m not going to write posts about issues that some determined readers wanted me to write about. I don’t offer a public service. In the past I’ve rejected accusations by Muslim readers (incl Refresh) who said I don’t write enough about the demonisation of Muslims, but bizarrely that never gets picked up in comparison.

    On the current point – I’m not interested in playing the game of victim hierarchy. Every time I point out that people are selective in their hysteria of racism, I get a barrage of people playing whataboutery. Above, there are a whole range of assertions including that Muslims get it easy, that they have enough whiners on their side anyway, that anti-semitism is endemic while anti-Msulim bigotry isn’t… etc etc.

    Now, I choose to concentrate on issues I feel like writing about. Of course there is a bias to that. But I’ve not declared that I’m only interested in watching out for anti-Muslim bigotry. Feel free to point out if I have. And I certainly don’t bash people and declare them ‘Uncle Toms’ if they criticise Muslim/Asian orgs or countries. I still spend enough time bashing Asians and their bigotry.

    So when a website turns up, to explicitly bash a publication I write for, merely because they want to smear them as anti-semitic, I think I’m justified in raising what their agenda is.

    Of course I expected some people to defend CIF Watch, but I didn’t expect people to play such naked whataboutery and victim hierarchy. (not saying you’re doing this)

  78. bananabrain — on 27th August, 2009 at 9:55 am  

    anti-semitism is “the socialism of fools”.

    this, for me, says it all. it is a shame that for some, they cannot see that their desire to excuse anything as long as it is “of the left” parallels the desire of some (which i think i’ve made it pretty clear i do not share) to excuse anything as long as it’s to do with israel.

    What’s wrong with criticising Israel?

    nothing. what’s wrong with criticising the left, or islamism? but when something becomes obsessive and idealism becomes is used as a figleaf for bigotry, then it’s just as unpleasant coming from the left as it is when HuT do it within a student islamic society, or extreme settlers do it within zionism. at such points, a line must be drawn. sunny and i just differ over where the line is within the left – he drew it a couple of days ago when discussing the tendency of SWP sympathisers to excuse the obscurantist bigotry and violence of the taleban. in this case, as in that of the guardian and israel, the underlying antipathy provides a sympathetic environment for the real bigotry to nurture itself. in the same way, during the cold war, the hardline marxist-leninists of the soviet union used the relatively moderate trade unions and the labour movement to infiltrate and influence mainstream discourse. it is just sad that some people can’t see this happening in the case we’re discussing.

    anobody:

    Jews have Beth Din Courts which have been operating for years. They are recognised under UK Law.

    but not as law courts. they are recognised as arbitration forums, the same way as ACAS and relate. anyone is entitled, under UK law, as far as i know, to resolve a dispute through “alternative methods” and a beth din is simply one of these. therefore, muslims already have this right, because everyone has it. the only difference i am aware of is that in the case of a contested divorce, a judge has the option to refuse decree nisi until the relevant documentation from a beth din has been completed, because otherwise the wife can sometimes be subject to extortion from her husband. that is the only “recognition” i am aware of. nobody is forced by UK law to go to a beth din.

    A total of NIS 600,000 (roughly $150,000) will be earmarked to the establishment of an “Internet warfare” squad.

    oh, my mistake – they’re allocating a minuscule amount of money. that’ll make a big difference. it wouldn’t even cover the time of the people that would be needed to keep an eye just on CiF!

    sunny:

    Oh I get it now!! Let me see if I have this straight.

    you don’t. now you’re an intelligent bloke, sunny, it is hard to see how this is beyond you.

    There are no orgs tackling anti-semitism in the UK.

    who said that?

    Especially in the guardian where it’s rife

    so it’s *not* rife in CiF? if you would like, i can get jonathan hoffman to send you a copy of his 57-page report.

    Meanwhile, there is hardly any anti-Muslim bigotry out there

    who said that? certainly not me.

    Any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic and if Jews do it then they should bloody well remember where they come from.

    as you well know, sunny, that is only a point of view held by a minority, such as avigdor lieberman. i hardly think anyone here is maintaining such a PoV.

    Any demonisation of Muslims on the other hand, scaremongering about demographics, Muslim babies multiplying, scare-stories in the newspapers that turn out to be lies – these are just gentle criticisms of Islamists.

    again, nobody has said that, either.

    Everyone is FORCED to read the guardian website everyday and comment on it, so clearly they should have a full say on it’s editorial policy.

    even CiF watch are not saying that they should have a “full say”. you seem to think they’re not entitled even to blog about their opinion.

    what is the point of misrepresenting what has been said here?

    Think you’re making stuff up Katy.

    katy doesn’t make stuff up, sunny, you know better than that.

    I’ve never said I don’t consider Jews to be a victimised minority. And this site has also always highlighted anti-semitism than just focus on one sort of bigotry. We constantly also highlight racism within the Asian community.

    we know all that, you don’t have to justify yourself in such terms.

    I find it instructive however that a website that wants to find examples of anti-semitism just focuses on criticism of Israel

    er, shouldn’t it focus on where the problem is strongest? criticism of israel, however justified, is like a magnet for jew-hatred, as we saw here on PP not so long ago. similarly, criticism of islamists, however justified, can also be a magnet for anti-muslim prejudice. nobody here is unaware of this.

    even then tells a Jewish writer he should fall in line with their opinion.

    that’s not what they said, though, they haven’t told him to “fall in line” with their opinion. it’s not even especially clear that they have one. this is one of three bloggers, i believe, who doesn’t like seth freedman. personally, i don’t think that’s such a big deal.

    Thirdly, I find it amusing that so many people who claim to be anti-racist completely ignore the vast amounts of open racism that is expressed on the right

    i don’t think that’s something you can say of people here.

    On the current point – I’m not interested in playing the game of victim hierarchy.

    i don’t think any of us are, either.

    The real irony? I agree with you about the Uncle Tom line. I can’t see why living in Israel means you can’t criticise its actions. Once again your overweening arrogance and pointless rudeness has led me to argue with you even when we don’t actually disagree. How constructive.

    again, sunny, i agree with every word that katy says here. nobody expects you to be perfect, but frankly you are just doing with the guardian exactly what many members of the jewish people do with israel, do anything to find an excuse not to criticise.

    So when a website turns up, to explicitly bash a publication I write for, merely because they want to smear them as anti-semitic, I think I’m justified in raising what their agenda is.

    i accept that they pay you (just as mossad pays me to defend israel in comments ahahahaha and it’s so worth it at $0.50c a post, albeit i ran through my budget about two weeks after i started, shame about that) and your loyalty is commendable, but i think this attack on CiFwatch frankly fails to acknowledge what is a pretty glaringly obvious problem to someone without your ideological pink glasses. they are not trying to “smear them as anti-semitic”, but they are trying to highlight a very unpleasant apparent safe haven for anti-semitism which is going on on their turf. i don’t think that’s at all unreasonable and, were you to spend substantial amounts of time having a go at islamophobia being expressed in the comments section of the times, with examples, which wasn’t being addressed, i would be right behind you as a reader of it, because i don’t want the times providing a safe haven for islamophobes.

    damon:

    Who might have bad intentions towards a Jewish primary school in England? It’s not about BNP tyoe racists is it? Is it a fear of attack by Islamists?

    it is both. typically, it is not islamists who break into synagogues, spray swastikas, desecrate prayer books and scrolls and defecate on the floor. islamists are more likely to think in terms of the “grander” gesture. either way, i don’t want my children in harm’s way.

    I heard one mum of Jewish childern on the radio saying that parents had been advised by her kid’s school not to hang around and congregate outside the school gates when dropping off and picking up their children.

    that is also what we are told in no uncertain terms to do.

    Are synagogues employing security experts to assess the risks of the impact of potential truck bombs when there are Jewish services being held?

    bags are routinely searched nowadays when you enter a synagogue on a saturday morning and there is often a visible CST presence. it doesn’t stop people driving slowly past the synagogue and taking photos of the precautions and the people going in and out, as has happened in the last year at finchley united.

    Does every Jewish wedding become a potential target in some people’s minds?

    well, they tend to happen on sunday afternoons and be private, rather than public events, so i haven’t heard of it. however, if it was for someone really high profile, like the chief rabbi’s daughter, it would definitely have extra security.

    It’s really sad if that’s the case.

    sad, expensive and most of all scary.

    I understand how one could get paranoid.

    the fact is that there’s only so much you can do before diminishing returns and expense do the rest.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  79. chairwoman — on 27th August, 2009 at 9:56 am  

    “Are synagogues employing security experts to assess the risks of the impact of potential truck bombs when there are Jewish services being held?

    Does every Jewish wedding become a potential target in some people’s minds?”

    Damon, Unfortunately yes and yes.

    As for the school thing, unfortunately bigger children, both white and Muslim come and hurl racist abuse at little ones coming out of school if there aren’t a few ‘grown ups’ hanging around, and sometimes even where there are.

    In my borough the school bus bringing teenage children home from JFS has been attacked by other teenagers, and a Jewish schoolgirl, travelling with 2 non-Jewish friends on an LT bus, was picked on for her race by four other girls from another school, and was beaten up while a bus load of adults hid their heads in the Evening Standard.

  80. chairwoman — on 27th August, 2009 at 10:03 am  

    Sunny – you seem to have a mental block when it comes to distinguishing between criticising the actions of the Israeli Government, which is fair comment, and antisemitism, which isn’t.

    Luckily I don’t.

    I don’t think that the editors of CiF are actually antisemitic, but I think that they, like your good self, have discovered that articles ostensibly about Israel, bring in the antisemites in droves, which then encourages the seven and a half Jews who still read CiF (and aren’t Michael Rosen et al) to dispute with them. This means loads of comments and looks like they’re doing a great job.

    Journalists have always been cynics but not quite in this way.

  81. chairwoman — on 27th August, 2009 at 10:16 am  

    “Thirdly, I find it amusing that so many people who claim to be anti-racist completely ignore the vast amounts of open racism that is expressed on the right”

    They’re the right, Sunny, it’s what we expect them to do.

  82. Boyo — on 27th August, 2009 at 10:20 am  

    “A lot of people these days tackling racism seem to be quite selective these days in their outrage. Now why would that be?”

    What about you and Israel Sunny?!

    Maybe I’ve missed your shock at the televised executions of Tamils…?

  83. Boyo — on 27th August, 2009 at 10:33 am  

    “Even though the Guardian has always been on the left, you suddenly find its left-wing stance on Middle Eastern politics hard to swallow. Perhaps you could specify how it’s stance on international politics has changed?”

    That’s an interesting point. TBH I can’t remember what the Guardian said about the ME when I started reading it in the early Eighties, but I think the argument is as ever more about what the left is – during the Cold War and when the NF were a force to be reckoned with, it was perhaps a broader church.

    Now there are those on the left like me, who have continued to see it through a class and equality lens, whereby the left stands for a certain set of non-negotiable. post-Enlightenment values, and there are those who went in the other direction, throwing up their hands in despair, so to speak, and clinging to what had been symptomatic as core: relativism, mutli-culturalism, anti-americanism etc. Sadly however their centre is a vacuum.

    It is the latter that the Guardian now embodies, and why so much of the left appears morally and ideologically bankrupt.

  84. Sunny — on 27th August, 2009 at 12:58 pm  

    but they are trying to highlight a very unpleasant apparent safe haven for anti-semitism which is going on on their turf.

    Really? Because that’s bollocks isn’t it? There is no safe haven. There are some anti-semitic comments that get deleted and then there’s people like Seth Freedman who the website is trying to harass. Oh and there’s that tired old trick of searching for Israel vs searching for Tibet. Ooooh conspiracy! Gimme a break bb.

  85. Katy Newton — on 27th August, 2009 at 1:12 pm  

    there’s people like Seth Freedman who the website is trying to harass.

    Using your blog to post your opinion on an article posted in public by its author for comment is “harassment”, is it?

  86. sonia — on 27th August, 2009 at 1:12 pm  

    Well quite.

    Why would one focus on anti-semitism within all the racism that can exist?
    because that is what affects one mostly.

    why would one focus on racism within all the forms of social discrimination that exists?
    because that is what affects one mostly.

    Everyone is self-absorbed and self-interested!

  87. sonia — on 27th August, 2009 at 1:14 pm  

    Heh heh Pickled Politics Watch..oh wait, isn’t that Harry’s Place :-)

    And Harry’s Place watch..oh wait..isn’t that PP

    :-)

  88. Leon — on 27th August, 2009 at 1:33 pm  

    Haha very good point Sonia #87!

  89. bananabrain — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:04 pm  

    Really? Because that’s bollocks isn’t it? There is no safe haven. There are some anti-semitic comments that get deleted and then there’s people like Seth Freedman who the website is trying to harass.

    so, basically, you think the CST are hysterics? and you’re assuming that the 57-page report mentioned above was written because of deleted comments? i think that’s a little bit glib. and i think that this is a very instructive example of precisely why CiFwatch seems to feel itself necessary – because the apparatchiks at the guardian seem to be in denial.

    and lol @ sonia #87.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  90. Sunny — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:15 pm  

    so, basically, you think the CST are hysterics? and you’re assuming that the 57-page report

    Lemme get this straight. the CST wrote a 57 page report on anti-semitism on CIF? Is that correct?

    And could you please point me to some anti-semitic articles?

  91. bananabrain — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:21 pm  

    no. i’ll repeat the quotes from CiFWatch which i posted above @#8:

    The Community Security Trust, a British charity established to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community in the UK, in both its 2007 and 2008 reports on Antisemitic Discourse in Britain, singled out ‘Comment is Free’ as one of the main purveyors of antisemitic hate in the mainstream media.

    and, also quoted above:

    Jonathan Hoffman authored a 57-page report dedicated to exposing examples of antisemitism on ‘Comment is Free’ which was submitted to the UK Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism.

    jonathan is the co-vice-chair of the zionist federation, not a CST functionary. i’ve taken the liberty of emailing him to ask if he wouldn’t mind sorting you out with a copy of the report in question, which is where all the examples will be.

    i don’t read CiF very often and i have no particular brief one way or t’other, but it strikes me that it is in the interest of good journalism to be aware of extremists misusing the good name of an institution of the british press.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  92. douglas clark — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:23 pm  

    Sonia @ 87, LOL.

  93. Sunny — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:30 pm  

    i don’t read CiF very often and i have no particular brief one way or t’other, but it strikes me that it is in the interest of good journalism to be aware of extremists misusing the good name of an institution of the british press.

    Ok, well I do, a lot. So before people start making accusations that the Guardian is the home of anti-semitism on the web I’d like to see some proper accusations than empty smears and the kind of rubbish CIF Watch is running/.

  94. bananabrain — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:35 pm  

    i think you’ll find that the proper accusations are in the documents i mentioned. the launch of CiFWatch is merely a consequence – if the documents have substance, then CiFWatch has reason to exist, i’d have thought. without the reports in question, you would be justified in calling it a “smear”, or at any rate it would be more arguable. but from a look at the actual CiFWatch site, i don’t see how it can be anything but fair comment – however much that grieves you.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  95. Rumbold — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:41 pm  

    CiF watch should be okay as long as it focuses solely on the writers, and not anyone who leaves comments. That is not to say that I will agree with everything, just that there is nothing wrong in principle with the idea (just as there is nothing wrong with sites that keep an eye of the tabloids).

  96. Katy Newton — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:50 pm  

    I think it’s valid to look at the comments too, but only because they have a moderation policy. If they had no moderation policy then I’d say the comments were irrelevant.

  97. Rumbold — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:53 pm  

    Katy:

    I am always wary of that (given some of the comments on places like HP and PP). Both sites have moderation policies, but with a lot of leeway.

    By the way, I e-mailed you on your address that you use for PP. If you have stopped using it, please could you e-mail me your new one to rumbold [at] pickledpolitics.com. Thank you.

  98. bananabrain — on 27th August, 2009 at 2:58 pm  

    i’ve just gone and taken a look at the CST reports, which can be found here:

    http://www.thecst.org.uk/docs/Antisemitic%20Discourse%20Report%202007_web.pdf

    http://www.thecst.org.uk/docs/Antisemitic%20Discourse%20Report%202008.pdf

    now, interestingly enough, the CST does do its best in the 2008 to show that CiF has taken steps to reduce anti-semitism:

    Globally, this is one of the leading websites of its type, and the sheer quantity of comments involved, and the complexity of gauging
    when reasonable comment breaches standards of decency, results in some objectionable material not being removed. Nevertheless, CiF’s moderation policies
    and efforts27 have consistently improved in recent years, as it adapts to meet the considerable challenge.

    it also points out that CiF de-invited a commentator invited to contribute a column when they were found to be posting anti-semitic comments.

    personally, i would say if CiFWatch focused too much on the actual columnists, that would be more problematic.

    anyway, i thought it would be helpful.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  99. Sunny — on 27th August, 2009 at 3:36 pm  

    I think it’s valid to look at the comments too, but only because they have a moderation policy. If they had no moderation policy then I’d say the comments were irrelevant.

    So I guess if I spent half my time pointing out racist comments posted on Harry’s Place (before they were deleted, though usually they’re not) then you’d think that was valid too?

    Given the number of comments posted there, and the fact they try and delete anything vile once people point it our or they see it – why would anyone spend their time pointng out the stupidity of online commenters?

    Unless you have an axe to grind?

  100. Katy Newton — on 27th August, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

    I’m talking about comments that aren’t deleted, not comments that are. Do you not think it’s legitimate to look at how a website enforces its moderation policy?

  101. Katy Newton — on 27th August, 2009 at 3:48 pm  

    (Love the way you’ve decided to take a pop at me because you can’t be bothered to read the document that BB keeps referring you to.)

  102. bananabrain — on 27th August, 2009 at 3:52 pm  

    So I guess if I spent half my time pointing out racist comments posted on Harry’s Place (before they were deleted, though usually they’re not) then you’d think that was valid too?

    if that was the purpose of your blog, why not? particularly if they had a more conservative moderation policy like CiF. besides, don’t you already spend enough time bitching about HP as it is? hehe.

    Given the number of comments posted there, and the fact they try and delete anything vile once people point it our or they see it – why would anyone spend their time pointng out the stupidity of online commenters? Unless you have an axe to grind?

    presumably, if they wanted to show that the moderation policy was selectively enforced and therefore show that there was bias or whatever. which is, it seems, the whole point of the blog in the first place. and surely they’re entitled to their opinion, at least until the hypothesis is disproven, just as you’re entitled to yours?

    on balance, i think my feeling on CiFWatch is that they have the beginnings of a case, but whether it amounts to anything very much depends on what CiF does, as well as whether CiFWatch actually does their homework or not. personally, i don’t think a blog “exposing” jewish “uncle toms” will be of much interest, but then that’s me.

    anyway, i think i’ve said my piece now..

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  103. Katy Newton — on 27th August, 2009 at 3:56 pm  

    Tell you what, Sunny, for someone who hates “smears” and “vague allegations” you direct a lot of them my way. What sort of “axe” do you think I have to grind, beyond the fact that I am passionately against prejudice and racism in any form (as I believe is clear from my comments here)? What do you think, that I’m involved in or in favour of some nefarious plot to bring down the Guardian which requires me to “make stuff up” for your benefit? I buy the bloody thing every day.

  104. Katy Newton — on 27th August, 2009 at 4:02 pm  

    Oh wait, was that last sentence not directed at me? In which case you can ignore 103 :-)

  105. Sunny — on 27th August, 2009 at 4:40 pm  

    wasn’t aimed at you Katy…

  106. Shatterface — on 27th August, 2009 at 10:24 pm  

    ‘So I guess if I spent half my time pointing out racist comments posted on Harry’s Place (before they were deleted, though usually they’re not) then you’d think that was valid too?’

    No, you’d have no time to monitor Ian Dale or Nadine Dorries if you did that.

    Sunny, the majority of your posts are responses to what you’ve read on other blogs.

    I agree with Rumbold that it’s important to distinguish between main articles and those who post replies. I don’t hold you responsible for those who post here (and I think it was a mistake to ban nutcases like Munir and Lee Barnes, who did far more to undermine their causes than to promote them) but I think it’s fair to hold CiF responsible for the articles they pay for.

    The Guardian has become a knee-jerk response to the Daily Mail rather than a champion of liberal causes, if it was ever truly that.

  107. Alex — on 28th August, 2009 at 12:33 am  

    http://www.zionismontheweb.org/CommentIsFree_ParliamentASCttee_July08.pdf

    Here is the Report by Jonathan Hoffman that bananabrain mentioned.

  108. req1 — on 28th August, 2009 at 3:31 am  

    In response to an earlier anonymous poster…

    I tell you what: if the vast zionist conspiracy is paying people to run Cifwatch, they’ve shot themselves in the foot. It’s a fine example of the stupid thinking that makes pointing out genuine antisemitism that much harder.

    It’s about as useful in the fight against antisemitism as Bob Pitt’s ludicrous IslamophobiaWatch website is against Islamo/Muslimophobia.

  109. damon — on 28th August, 2009 at 7:02 am  

    That CiF watch says this is anti-semitism seems to me the problem:
    ”Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

    They also bring up the ”Macpherson definition of racism, which defines a racist incident as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”, includes antisemitism.”

    Which means this will just go round and round and get nowhere.

  110. chairwoman — on 28th August, 2009 at 11:35 am  

    ”Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

    As far as I am concerned that will be one way of defining antisemitism until the same standards are applied to other nations.

    When the Church of England ceases to be the established bona fide religion of this country, when various countries stop calling themselves The Islamic Republic of ….. (fill in Islamic Republic of your choice), when Shinto is no longer the official religion of Japan, then it will no longer be antisemitic to claim that the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

    As for the McPherson rule, I’m not quite so sure about that. What I perceive as an antisemitic remark may be made in all innocence by one politically unsophisticated. I doubt, however, that I would apply that description to the writers and commenters on CiF.

  111. chairwoman — on 28th August, 2009 at 11:37 am  

    Sunny – Why has ‘preview’ vanished?

  112. Rumbold — on 28th August, 2009 at 11:39 am  

    Not sure. But we still have the edit function, which is the main thing.

  113. Raja Sahib — on 28th August, 2009 at 8:21 pm  

    sunny puttar,

    thoonh hoonh chup kar ke apne khaar challa ja. chairwoman, bananabrain tey katy nay thairee bund paatee hai. chal puttar shabash. mummy kol jaa key duddu pee bachay.

    if ya can’t beat ‘em, why not join ‘em eh? as rumbold, jai etc appear to have done ;-)

  114. Katy Newton — on 30th August, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

    thoonh hoonh chup kar ke apne khaar challa ja. chairwoman, bananabrain tey katy nay thairee bund paatee hai. chal puttar shabash. mummy kol jaa key duddu pee bachay.

    Interesting. Could someone translate this for me?

  115. chairwoman — on 30th August, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

    “Interesting. Could someone translate this for me?”

    I’m guessing there might be a reluctance to do that.

  116. chairwoman — on 2nd September, 2009 at 12:00 pm  

    Told you so!

  117. Jai — on 2nd September, 2009 at 12:25 pm  

    Katy, Chairwoman,

    It’s basically an attempt to needle Sunny rather than saying anything negative about either of you (on the contrary, in fact).

    But it’s still probably best if I don’t translate that comment.

  118. damon — on 4th September, 2009 at 10:13 am  

    This is going back a bit I know, but they are talking about this on the radio right now. About the children from the posh Highgate school in north London being told not to wear their uniforms outside of school because they are being singled out and targeted when on the way home.

    I was reminded of Chairwoman’s comments @ 79 about similar things happening to Jewish children, which was thought to be prompted bt anti-semitism.

    In my borough the school bus bringing teenage children home from JFS has been attacked by other teenagers, and a Jewish schoolgirl, travelling with 2 non-Jewish friends on an LT bus, was picked on for her race by four other girls from another school, and was beaten up while a bus load of adults hid their heads in the Evening Standard.

    Maybe it isn’t anti-semitism, but more like what has been happening to the children from this Church of England private school (with anti-semitic overtones).
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1039241/School-children-told-change-uniform-avoid-attacked-way-home.html

  119. CIF-Watch-WATCHER.com — on 7th September, 2009 at 7:54 am  

    These people at so called “CIF watch” ( amazing what you can do with a cheap blog page these days…) are hilarious: from what I know of them — and I do know who some of them are, though they hide behind silly names — they are 30 something college types and right wing conservative wannabe think tank types, albeit with only about five member, trying to pose as something far more significant.

    The joke is, if they don’t like the arguments on the CIF columns,well that’s fine — but then why don’t they actually do battle with these so called ‘anti Semites’ like Berchmans on line, and then CIF watch could show us all ‘what’s really what’ re the IP conflict, rather than engaging in these snidey studenty type “watch groups”

    Here’s a tip to what the CIF Watch crowd are really about — apparently they take their cues from that right wing group “Red Watch”. And like those right wing so called ‘cells’, that masquerade as a meaningful ‘movement’ , they only number a mere handful of collegey types with basic blog skills.

    Well, there are those who watch the watchers, ( even though CIF Watch is made up of a paltry little ‘cell’ of about five ex college kids/wannabe think tank-ers ) , and there is already in the making a “CIFwatch-watch” web page, in which all their posts will be scrupulously deconstructed for the scare mongering they are.

    Sad — very very sad.

    The CIF WATCH lot must really have a lot of time on their hands — I mean, it isn’t as if the original CIF Guardian pages are even that interesting — it’s mostly just boring ,repetitive rubbish anyway, from other people with too much time on their hands who get hot under the collar,and then respectively ( and bloody repetitively) show off which pro/anti Israel screeds they have been poring over late at night.

    Now if The CIF WATCH lot really wanted to make themselves useful, they could always do a ‘Storm Front watch’ page, or a Johnathan Bowden watch page — then they’d actually be tackling real hardline nasty and hateful vitriol– and not the Guardian hand wringer liberal weedy ‘boo to a goose’ variety.

    But I guess tackling real hard and genuinely dangerous nut cases and real , genuinely unpleasant and dangerous anti Semites is too much for CIF watch — they’d rather tackle the ‘easily scared’ liberal sandal wearing veggies at the Guardian.

    Absurd.

    I for one, am looking forward to the CIF WATCH WATCH website.

  120. CIF-Watch-WATCHER.com — on 7th September, 2009 at 8:07 am  

    PS Here’s an interesting debate about so called CIF WATCH, which actually shows how utterly spineless and directionless they are.

    http://blog.z-word.com/2009/08/watching-cif/

    As I say — if they have such a problem with those who speak their mind on Israel, well fine — challenge them online at CIF.

    But — Maybe they simply intellectually/pragmatically/ideologically/morally /historically actually can’t challenge the comments though, so they set up their jeering little website instead. The establishment of CIF WATCH actually shows the WEAKNESS of their stance and their arguments, rather than the rightness and strength of their arguments.

    Now, as I said, if they REALLY want to challenge the REAL nasty characters who lurk under rocks out there, you have to wonder why they haven’t set up a ‘STORMFRONT WATCH’ website….

    Nah, clearly no real courage….

  121. Youth — on 10th September, 2009 at 1:41 pm  
  122. Martyn Jones — on 5th May, 2010 at 12:59 pm  

    Good one Sunny. Although, to be fair, I far prefer to have the chronically paranoid of CiFWatch post somewhere other than CiF.

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