CiF Watch Exclusive: Guardian Forced to Premoderate Antisemitic Thread

If any further proof was need that “Comment is Free” has become an incubator for antisemitism, one need look no further than the Good Deeds for Mitzvah Day CiF Belief thread, an open thread that carried the byline “[t]oday is Mitzvah Day, a day for Jewish people to offer their time to a cause close to their hearts. Who would you help?”
Instead of engendering discussion about good deeds, the thread devolved into Jew-hatred under the thin guise of Israel-bashing. In response, the Guardian moderator first responded with this:


15 Nov 2009, 12:28PM
Staff Staff

Please note, off-topic posts will be removed. This thread is about good deeds and charities people support. This is not a thread about the Israeli?Palestinian conflict. Please stick to the topic so others who want to discuss their charitable work can do so.

And then finally in a practically unprecedented act, instituted pre-moderation.


15 Nov 2009, 3:11PM
Staff Staff
Posts on this thread are now being premoderated. Thanks for your contributions.

Of the 63 comments prior to the premoderation notice, a whopping 23 comments were deleted excluding quite a number of  comments which were deleted without trace.
Here are a couple of observations of the thread:


15 Nov 2009, 11:55AM
THe comments here are disgraceful, I thought i’d posted a light hearted comment but looking at the other I realise this wasn’t the place for it. The guardian must know that anything they put up that mentions jews with a comments section will end up like this page, it must be what they want. A nice bit of jew bashing on a sunday. Imagine if you were jewish & had never had anything to do with israel but met one of these people posting these comments. They’d be demanding you solve the problems of the middle east like even though you had nothing to do with the place. Theres no arguing with these racists, I suspect the BNP are delighted with the response. Sad, very sad.


15 Nov 2009, 11:42AM

Cif is definately not the place to be drumming up support for mitzva day! The amount of anti-Jewsh (sorry anti-Zionist) venom that this simple act of charity generates is beyond belief.
I suggest to my fellow Jews that we continue practicing our daily obligation to perform mitvas as we have been doing for genetations, but let’s keep the Cif crowd out of it.

Now unfortunately, we were only alerted to the thread when most of the most egregious comments were already deleted but here are some examples of the type of comments that appeared on the thread (some of which are still up) and when you are reading through this bear in mind that according to the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism “[h]olding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” is antisemitic.


15 Nov 2009, 11:03AM

Since the diaspora has influence—————-
The quest for fair treatment and a fair settlement in Palestine and Gaza.


15 Nov 2009, 11:05AM

Help the palestinians
My good deed will come later in the year when I go to Jordan to make a film and employ many Palestinians who are living there having been deprived of their land by the country next door
[recreated from Monnie’s 11.11am comment]


15 Nov 2009, 11:21AM

Predictable – but appropriate: send donations to Medical Aid for Palestinians.


15 Nov 2009, 11:42AM

One very good deed Jewish people in the UK and around the world could do today, and for the rest of the year, is to publicly question the veracity of the Israeli government.


15 Nov 2009, 11:53AM
I’d help the men, women and children in Israel’s labour camps –


15 Nov 2009, 1:47PM

My good deed will come later in the year when I go to Jordan to make a film and employ many Palestinians who are living there having been deprived of their land by the country next door

How nasty to take such a swipe at British Jews.
Can’t Jews in this country do anything without this sort of retort?

No. That’s the problem with Israel being a Jewish state that attacks it’s neighbours who live in a refugee camp, repeatedly, and the then the chief Rabbi urging all British Jews to support the aggression.You can’t just pretend it’s never happened and then demand respect for your kindness in shovelling some shit out of the local pond one day a year

Given all this outpouring of hatred, Daveireland amusingly queries where a certain Cif Watch favorite of ours is:


15 Nov 2009, 1:53PM

Will the lovely Bella be joining this thread?

And WatchYourSteps has the following advice for the Guardian.


15 Nov 2009, 1:59PM

I would prevent hate-filled comments directed at one particular country by not asking this sort of open-ended question in a forum where hatred generally runs rife.

Quite so. And of course knowing the kind of pond life that is attracted to this kind of thread, it really does beg the question as to what are the underlying motivations of the Guardian editors that exercise the decision-making. And if it was David Shariatmadari, assistant editor of CiF Belief, that had anything to do with this, it would make perfect sense as it seems from this tweet that he and Seth Freedman are buddy buddies.

Anyway, if CiF is able to pre-moderate now, why can it not as a general rule in order to screen out offensive antisemitism under the cloak of Israel-hatred?  CiFWatch is well aware that there is an inbuilt bias at CiF against pro-Israel posters and anyone who tries to call out the inevitable antisemitism which follows anti-Israel posts.
Does this historic action amount to an admission by CiF that it cannot deal with this groundswell of offensiveness towards an essentially Jewish topic, much less contain the monster which it has created?

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