Boring, Boring, Boring 127


Oh dear. it was bound to come sooner or later. As soon as anybody sticks their head above the parapet to criticise Israel, an attempt is made to slur them as an anti-semite. I now have the notorious Zionist propagandist Jonathan Hoffman on my case.

Hoffman is the Zionists’ equivalent of the Witchfinder-General. In July 2008 he produced a report on “Anti-Semitism on The Guardian Comment is Free”, in which his definition of anti-semites included “Those who question the Zionist aim of a Jewish Homeland”.

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

This blatant conflation of anti-Zionists with anti-Semites is typical of his methodology. It does not wash. There are a significant minority of anti-Zionist Jews, for one thing. My personal view is that all those now living in Israel and Palestine should be allowed to stay there, in a new secular and race-blind state. I do reject the state of Israel with its racially defined citizenship qualification. That is not an unusual position – Germany was only recently obliged by the EU to abandon citizenship laws based on race.

In 2004 Jonathan Hoffman made this laughable contribution as a submission in the consultation exercise on the BBC Charter:

I want to comment on the BBC’s persistent anti-Israel bias. They have

appointed Malcolm Balen as overall editor of programmes with a Mid-East

content but it has made no difference

.

www.bbccharterreview.org.uk/first_phase_responses/H/Hoffman_Jonathan.rtf

It is, incidentally, interesting that he appears to have the impression that the appointment of Malcolm Balen was supposed to help Israel. Anyone know anything about Mr Balen?

It is worth comparing Hoffman’s complaint about the BBC to the comment by OrwellianUK after the blog entry before this.

Anyway, Hoffman is now onto my case. I have just had the following email exchange with him:

Dear Mr Murray

Are you content that your site is being used to propagate anti-Semitism? :

I am a newcomer to your site. I found it because rense.com linked to your

recent colourfully titled piece on Gordon Brown (though they applied

asterisks where you did not).

I am delighted to find a former member of the British Establishment who holds

the views that you do and also that you clearly take an active interest in the comments left by your readers.

If you feel so inclined, I would be grateful if you might consider giving

your opinion on an issue regarding Israel that troubles me often: why is it that the European nations’ response to Israeli atrocities is so feeble and

half-hearted when, if it were a Muslim country doing the same thing, they would be down on it like a ton of bricks? Is it because, as respected Israeli historian and military adviser Martin van Creveld has revealed, a sizeable proportion of Israel’s nuclear weapons is trained on Europe? Is it because so much of the Western financial system and media is controlled by Zionists? Is it because the Mossad has penetrated the higher echelons of the European political Establishment?

Jonathan Hoffman

Jonathan,

There are many comments on my site that I do not agree with, not only the anti-Jewish ones. There are some very rude comments about me, for example, some completely untrue. There are currently people defending the use of the word “Paki”. I disagree with them too. There have been a number of offensively worded pro-Israel comments, and I have not deleted them. But I tend to the view that freedom of speech is most important, so I almost never delete anything from comments. My own views are the bits of the blog which I have written.

I have only ever deleted, I believe, 36 comments from my site in four years; 2 because they were about children of politicians, and 34 for being anti-semitic. This post from five days ago explained my position:

I have not deleted a single pro-Israeli comment from discussion on these pages, though I disagree profoundly with many. I have deleted three anti-Jewish comments. I should make it plain that I am in profound disagreement with those commenters who conflate Israel with Jews in general. We have had commenters excusing anti-Jewish comments on the grounds Jews are not a race, and positing claims of a world conspiracy of Jews and freemasons. I have only deleted three of these, because in general I believe the suppression of any opinion to be an evil which requires major justification. I find it hard to define the exact line which leads to deletion.

The great John Stuart Mill said it was legitimate to express the opinion that all corn merchants are thieves of the people’s bread; but it was not legitimate to shout the same thing to a howling mob at night carrying torches outside a corn merchant’s house. He was, as ever, right.

So almost any opinion can be expressed here. But I would be grateful if those people who have a serious grudge against Jews in general, would go and express their views on their own websites.

UPDATE

Michael has overstepped the mark by a posting about “Jews with their Satanic Smirks” and then introducing the Protocols of Zion. All of his 31 comments have therefore been deleted.”

In addition I have added numerous comments in dialogue with commenters to the effect that one should not confuse anger at the killings by Israel, with racism against Jews in general.

It is an extraordinary and terribly sad and bad thing that anti-semitism still exists. It is to me genuinely incomprehensible.

But sadly any discussion forum on Israel attracts two kinds of malevolent people.

The first kind are anti-semites.

The second are those who seek to portray as anti-semites anyone who opposes Israel’s appalling actions in Gaza. I rather fear you may be one of that kind of malevolent people, Jonathan.

I have given a fair and full answer to your question. Let me now ask you, are you content with the murder by Israel of so many women, children and old people in Gaza?

Craig Murray


127 thoughts on “Boring, Boring, Boring

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  • Jonathan

    "Sabretache" wrote "Frankly I regard the statement as largely self-evident with the media-control part of it factually accurate and easy to confirm with minimal research."

    Ok then "sabretache"- please substantiate it.

    To remind you: "much of the Western financial system and media is controlled by Zionists" and "the Mossad has penetrated the higher echelons of the European political Establishment".

  • Leo Davidson

    "If Craig Murray wants to keep antisemitic comments on his site there is nothing to stop that, but most people will take him far less seriously as a consequence."

    On the contrary, Jonathan. The fact that Craig allows the comments BUT THEN GOES ON TO CHALLENGE THEM makes me take him far more seriously than someone who simply deletes anything he disagrees with.

    If you challenge what someone says and point out they are wrong in public then that does a better job of stopping that idea from spreading than censoring the idea. People will come across the same idea in other places but if they only come across the idea on sites where everyone feels the same then they will not see the idea challenged by anyone.

    One hopes, however vainly, that when challenged the commenter may also think about the issue and improve their understanding of the world, too. Another potential benefit, however unlikely it is that people actually change their mind as a result of a discussion about such heated issues.

    I do not see the point of comment or discussion if only what people visiting the site already agree with is allowed. That is just public masturbation.

  • robins

    Firstly, regarding criteria for citizenship, there are very many countries who grant citizenship to individuals with ethnic ties to these countries (so-called leges sanguinis). see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_sanguinis

    Should countries such as Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria or Spain be disbanded or does Mr Murray maintain that view only regarding Israel?

    Secondly, is the following statement regarding Islamists (a political term) and the Arab League acceptable?

    "Is the response to worldwide Islamist terrorism so feeble because so much of the Western financial system and media is controlled by Islamists? Is it because the Arab League has penetrated the higher echelons of the European political Establishment?"

    If not, then why is the equivalent comment about Israel and Zionism OK?

  • ken

    Mr Hoffman, as far as I know, the word "everyone" expressed in these sorts of fora includes me. And just to let you know, I do not know that by "Zionists" the poster means "Jews." So your statement "…..and yes everyone knows that by 'Zionists' the poster means 'Jews'….." is complete bul******t, and an insult. Do not attempt to assume what I know and what I do not know.

    I have been a reader of this blog for a long long time (don't know how long), and I venture to suggest that you are the first, or maybe the second person in that time who has used the empty statement that always starts "…… yes, everyone knows that…….."

    Craig has headed this entry "Boring boring boring." Well, just to continue the boredom, maybe you can tell us just exactly how it is that you know that by 'Zionists', the poster, MJ, means 'Jews'.

    And to keep the boredom going, if you followed any financial news over the last couple of years during the "boom" in commerce you would know that even powerful shareholders like pension funds, insurance companies and others have had zero effect in their attempts to control the obscene payments made to the board members of those companies that these shareholders supposedly had "control" over. Shareholders have virtually no control over the companies in which they hold shares.

    Finally, take a look at the current UK Government, and count how many members of that government were elected by the people, and how many have been appointed by a Prime Minister-led cabal. And please tell me by what democratic process the European Commission exists?

  • lwtc247

    @ Ann Levin.

    Israel does not have the right to self defence.

    What you call "Israel" simply never had ve the right to self defence. Grand larceny delivers no legitimacy.

    The Palestinian resisters have the total right to fight the filthy murderous genocidal occupation. That isn't the right to kill innocents of course, not that apologists like you would understand such a concept.

  • lwtc247

    "everyone knows that by 'Zionists' the poster means 'Jews'" – Most don't share your obscure fantasy jonathen.

    Sorry, well, no, I'm not sorry really, I'm pretty glad really that you've primitive tactics won't wash. You see, were all conscious of it. For many, it broke ground long ago.

    And this latest murderthon (a sponsored murder fest) is galvanising opinion against the butchers racists and manipulators, who panic that their illegitimate child Israyhell is teetering on the being of vanquish.

    Ha ha! The souls of those killed by your beloved areligious faux state will have the last laugh, don't you worry.

  • Ron

    Mr Hoffman asks sabretache to substantiate his arguments, but doesn't substantiate his own. "Antisemitism is the world's oldest hatred", maybe, but how can this be proved? Please substantiate. More importantly, please refrain from suggesting that people who say zionists mean Jews. Most people here do not use the terms interchangeably. Allow us to be persuaded by the power of your argument rather than your snide imputations.

  • Sally

    Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Suspend logic and humanity when it comes to discussing Israel, together with hijacking the term Semite and Semitic.

    I don't understand how so many people, including those of the Jewish faith, living as they do outside Israel, owe their primary allegiance to Israel, and not to the countries that shelter them, of which they are citizens and residents? I don't mean in the nostalgic sense a Brit of Italian parentage might feel towards Italy, for example.

    However, I do understand that Israel's "right to exist" came about via a European-supported theft of Palestine, populated as it was by Muslims, Christians and Jews, that was sanctioned by Balfour and UN declarations, Zionist ideology, biblical promise, and was some sort of European penance for the atrocities perpetrated by Nazis, living not in Palestine, but in Germany.

    Could the chutzpah associated with the above mentioned "right to exist", and all the other blind-spots and apologies wrt Israel, have anything to do with the billions in 'forgiven' loans that Israel has received as military and economic "aid" from the hapless taxpayers of USA, Canada, UK and the EU?

  • Craig

    robins

    Yes, I do deplore the jus sanguinis concept everywhere – not just in Israel. It is undeniably a racist concept. Germany was obliged by the EU Commission to change it – I have not researched the situation in Spain and Hungary, but yes if they have it they should change it too.

    I am well aware that not all Israeli citizens are Jews, But the fact that Palestinians have been displaced from their lands over sixty years while, on a purely racial basis, settlers from the United States, Russia, Africa, Bokhara and numerous other places have been given those lands – even though their ancestors had not had connection with those lands somethimes for hundreds or thousands of years – is a crime of ethnic cleansing.

    It is pure racialism, and should be called so.

  • Spot

    I used to agree with a two atate solution.

    Now, I agree that a single non-apartheid secular state would be optimal.

    When my family were pogrommed out of Russia they didn't envisage that the solution would be for them to, in turn, ethnically cleanse another people.

    Of course, these GIYUS types call me a self-hating Jew but, no matter, my back is broad.

  • Ruth

    I have a feeling that this issue has deliberately been brought up to divert attention away from those raised in Craig Murray's new book, which are particularly sensitive to the government

  • Sabretache

    Johnathan

    You will be fully cognisant of the extent of Israeli ownership and influence in the Western media, but for the benefit of others, here are a few links.
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/d1x0
    http://tinyurl.com/2g4vcw
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/2zzxd

    For the most part they just list the dominant trans-national media-owning companies (and their dominance is absolutely overwhelming). To get a real flavour of the extent of Israeli influence that they represent you will need to research their majority shareholders and the extent of their investment in Israel itself. In both cases Israeli interests are grossly out of proportion to the size of the country.

    That's one leg of the the case. The other is the modus operandi of Western media organisations – including the BBC – necessary for their continued existence. One of the very best resumes of the extent to which they are of necessity subservient to the official narrative of current world affairs can be found at 'Media Lens' here: http://tinyurl.com/8plta, the latest entitled 'An Eye for an Eyelash' – and I particularly recommend The book 'Guardians of Power' by David Edwards and David Cromwell. For any ambitious reporter, dissent from the official 'Washington Consensus view of the world may be allowed; but within strict unspoken bounds – and it is very risky to prospects for career advancement too. And of course Israel is absolutely central to the 'Washington Consensus' as it applies to shaping, moulding and controlling the Middle East in the interests of the West. The result is that criticism of Israel is permissible but only within very very strict limits which must never be allowed to question its real intent vis-a-vis its Arab population, lands and neighbours or its fundamentally apartheid structure. It is assumed to be 'one of us'.

    So, we get a reporter like Jeremy Bowen, clearly very uncomfortable with his 'balance' brief and biting his lip to refrain from saying what he really thinks whilst watching the Gaza bombardment. Concious that, if he does not give massively disproportionate time to Israeli official spokesmen in his reports, he won't be reporting events for much longer – and probably risking his position with the BBC to boot.

    Come to think of it I haven't seen Jeremy Bowen on the airwaves for the past few days. Anyone know why?

  • john

    I think all this can be cleared up quite simply.

    What is a Zionist ?

    What is a Jew ?

    If we can have two clear definitions from the experts we can all avoid misunderstandings in the future and move on to a rational debate

    Personally I think defining oneself and others primarily in terms of race and religion displays shows a limited experience of life.

  • resistor

    Someone here asked 'who is Amir Taheri?'

    Amir Taheri is a neo-con Iranian who is exile because he was a supporter of the Shah.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amir_Taheri

    Amongst other fabrications, it was Taheri who came up with the bogus story that Iran was going to make its Jewish citizens wear yellow badges.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Iranian_sumptua

    Taheri has a track record which makes him a poor source.
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Amir_T

    Taheri's 1989 book, Nest of Spies, was debunked for citing "nonexistent sources," fabricating "nonexistent substance in cases where the sources existed," and distorting the facts "beyond recognition," wrote Larry Cohler-Esses in The Nation. The book described the rule and fall of the Shah in Iran.

  • Ron

    john

    Why do you need an expert to define this. Zionism is a well known political phenomenon the roots of which are very easy to discover. Try here:
    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/Modern%20Histor… for a piece on Theodore Herzl, often referred to as the father of Zionism. Please note I choose an Israeli source.

    I trust you do not need me to point you to a definition of Jew?

    The point is one can be a Zionist wothout being Jewish and Jewish without being Zionist. The great recent achievement of the Zionists, certainly in the US and most of western Europe is to deliberately and falsely conflate Zionism and Jewishness.

  • resistor

    Taheri has tried to smear Obama recently too.
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/amir_ta

    'Noted Bamboozler Behind Latest Obama Smear

    By Zachary Roth – September 16, 2008, 12:14PM

    Since yesterday, the right-wing blogosphere has been all aflutter over a report in the New York Post, written by the Iranian-born journalist Amir Taheri, that Barack Obama has privately tried to delay an agreement between the Iraqi government and the Bush administration on a draw-down of American forces from Iraq.'

    and more on the badges – and how The Times and Hitchens Snr. were suckered by this charlatan.
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2006/06

    'The "Yellow Badge" Bamboozler's History of Bamboozlement

    By Justin Rood – June 1, 2006, 2:10PM

    Turns out that the "yellow badge" fiasco isn't the first time Amir Taheri has landed himself in a controversy over charges of sloppy reportage. (Put on your oven mitts, this stuff comes pre-heated.)

    In the pages of the New Republic noted Iranian scholar Shaul Bakhash reviewed Taheri's 1989 book, "Nest of Spies: America's Journey to Disaster in Iran." He appears to not only have pored over Taheri's text, but also checked his sourcing. Guess what? He found problems. Oh, did he ever.
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/taheri-tnr/

    Taheri "Repeatedly refers us to books where the information cited does not exist," Bakhash wrote. He found Taheri "capable of generalizations of breathtaking sweep and inaccuracy." "His interpretations of the documents are often egregiously inaccurate." Taheri "has trouble transcribing even the simplest information."

    Now, this wasn't everyone's opinion. Christopher Hitchens called the book "finely written and highly intelligent." The Times of London said it was "well documented and well written." The Washington Post determined it was a "well-researched book. . . highly readable" and "indispensable."

  • luckluke

    Good points Ron.

    Hasn't Denis McShane been trying to get a specific offence of 'AntiSemitism' introduced in law and applying to any criticism of the Israeli Government?

  • Ron

    Allan Solomon

    So that's it then. We should just accept the working definition of a bunch of EU bureaucrats then. I don't think so. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence will realise that the definition was moulded by all sorts of outside influences, including the Zionists I referred to in my previous comment who want us to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. We should resist!

  • Sabretache

    I posted this a couple of hours ago and – no-show. Many posts since so here it is again

    Johnathan

    You will be fully cognisant of the extent of Israeli ownership and influence in the Western media, but for the benefit of others, here are a few links.
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/d1x0
    http://tinyurl.com/2g4vcw
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/2zzxd

    For the most part they just list the dominant trans-national media-owning companies (and their dominance is absolutely overwhelming). To get a real flavour of the extent of Israeli influence that they represent you will need to research their majority shareholders and the extent of their investment in Israel itself. In both cases Israeli interests are grossly out of proportion to the size of the country.

    That's one leg of the the case. The other is the modus operandi of Western media organisations – including the BBC – necessary for their continued existence. One of the very best resume's of the extent to which they are of necessity subservient to the official narrative of current world affairs can be found at 'Media Lens' here: http://tinyurl.com/8plta, the latest entitled 'An Eye for an Eyelash' – and I particularly recommend The book 'Guardians of Power' by David Edwards and David Cromwell. For any ambitious reporter, dissent from the offical 'Washington Concensus view of the world may be allowed; but within strict unspoken bounds – and it is very risky to prospects for carrer advancement too. And of course Israel is absolutely central to the 'Washington Concensus' as it applies to shaping, moulding and controlling the Middle East in the interests of the West. The result is that criticism of Israel is permissable but within very very strict limits which must never be allowed to question its real intent vis-a-vis its Arab population, lands and neighbours or its fundamentally apartheid structure. It is assumed to be 'one of us'.

    The result is a reporter like Jeremy Bowen, clearly very uncomfortable with his 'balance' brief and biting his lip to refrain from saying what he really thinks whilst watching the Gaza bombardment. Concious that, if he does not give massively disproportionate time to Israeli official spokesmen in his reports, he won't be reporting events for much longer – and probably risks his position with the BBC to boot.

    Come to think of it I haven't seen Jeremy Bowen on the airwaves for the past few days. Anyone know why?

  • lwtc247

    Allan Solomon

    How utterly idiotic. I wrote "Israel does not have the right to self defence." Yet I would never advocate genocide of the Jews. That's obnoxious.

    The theft of lands from the Palestinians should not be defended. The Shoah against the Palestinians cannot be defended. The collective punishment of the Palestinians cannot be defended.

    But of course, you knew that was the meaning of my statement. But like all apologists for godless Yisrael, you don't care what false aspersions are gleefully churned out. Hasbara does it for you yes?

  • MITNAGED

    The heat rather than light generated by the Israel Palestinian conflict is exemplified by some of the replies here.

    Murray certainly sheds no light on anything much.

    And he seems so exercised by Israel's "wrongs" that one can be forgiven for wondering whether his animus is merely political or against its Jewish population too and its Jewish supporters around the world.

  • Ron

    Well, well, well. MITNAGED is probably not the first, but probably the most artless in calling Craig Murray anti-Jewish. No references, no argument, nothing. Probably because he cannot find any references, so he simply asserts it. How sad.

    Still, not as sad as Mr Hoffman's absurd analysis (?) of the Guardian's CIF website. Pathetic.

  • amk

    Jonathan,

    "Some of you need to read the EUMC Definition of antisemitism which is the most widely accepted definition."

    To use different criteria for judging bigotry against different groups is itself bigotry. If someone accuses (with no evidence) the Jews of striving towards World Domination, this is anti-semitism. If someone accuses (with no evidence) the Muslims of striving towards World Domination, this is… what?

    "The accusation that Jews (and yes everyone knows that by 'Zionists' the poster means 'Jews') control the media and the financial system is a core trope of antisemitism."

    a) Appeal to bandwagon fallacy ("everyone knows"), a common propaganda technique.
    http://www.propagandacritic.com/articles/ct.sa.ba

    b) The attempt to associate Zionism with the Jews is fallacious – not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews. Accusations of anti-semitism based on this fallacy are naked attempts to shut down debate with an ad hominem attack on the debater.
    http://www.propagandacritic.com/articles/ct.wg.na

  • anthony

    I wondered where the antisemites had gone after they cleared the worst of the infestation from Guardian CIF. Now I know. Here.

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