The Guardian, Khaled Diab and the Gilad Atzmon antisemitism test

Khaled Diab’s essay at CiF, “Hacking away at Arab and Israeli stereotypes“, is quite misleading. His objective isn’t to tear down stereotypes about Israelis, but to highlight and promote them. 

Diab, commenting on recent reports of Saudi hackers who “scaled up their cyber offensive against Israel by paralysing the websites of El Al airline and the Tel Aviv stock exchange”, quoted an Israeli journalist observing that such Arab tech prowess shattered the “feeling that Israel is a technological ‘superpower’ and a hi-tech nation”.  And, later, Diab saw Israeli surprise at the adeptness of the hackers as evidence that Israelis “apparently do regard their nearest [Arab] neighbours as being backward.”

While Diab, later in the essay, acknowledges (albeit in a perfunctory manner) Arab stereotypes of Israelis (which he suggests have nothing whatsoever to do with antisemitism), it’s in the following passage where his polemical veneer of  ‘peace and reconciliation’ vanishes.

Commenting further on the Israeli reaction to the apparent Saudi hacking, Diab writes.

Some commentators went even further. “The Jewish state is pretty devastated by the idea that a bunch of ‘indigenous Arabs’ are far more technologically advanced than its own chosen cyber pirates,” Israeli jazz musician Gilad Atzmon observed wryly on his blog.

The “Israeli jazz musician”, Gilad Atzmon, whose blog Diab evidently reads, is the author of a book, The Wandering Who?, which the Community Security Trust characterized as “probably the most antisemitic book published in this country in recent years.”

But, as I noted in a previous post, merely characterizing Atzmon as antisemitic doesn’t do him justice.  Atzmon advances crude, hateful, and demonizing rhetoric about Jews which is on par with the most vile Judeophobic charges ever leveled.

In that one video I linked to earlier, Atzmon leveled charges against Jews which are identical to the charges he routinely advances on his blog – the site which Diab refers to.

They include:

  • The explicit charge that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world, and an endorsement of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Gilad Atzmon’s antisemitism, quite simply, is as odious as anything you can find on a white supremacist or neo-Nazi website.

So, here’s a friendly suggestion to Guardian Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott, on how (per his mea culpa in Nov.) he can “avert accusations of antisemitism“, at his paper:

Don’t publish essays which approvingly cite the wisdom of one of the most notorious antisemites of our day!

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