CiFWatch: imagined slights, smears and closing down debate

No, not that Cif!

I originally wrote this blog last August in the aftermath of the worst rioting this country has seen in a generation. I discovered CiF Watch while trawling the net for some information about a Guardian article that I’d read about the first night of rioting in Tottenham.

All, if not most, right-wing self-appointed moral guardians (excuse the pun) and  media ‘watchdogs’ imagine slights where there are none. A good case in point is a site that calls itself “CiF Watch”, which claims that it is,

dedicated to monitoring antisemitism and combating the assault on Israel’s legitimacy in the Guardian newspaper’s ‘Comment is Free’ blog.

I’ve seen plenty of anti-Semitic comments on the Telegraph blogs. I wonder if they’ve seen them too? Probably. But they’re not interested in the Torygraph because they’re on the same side… ostensibly. CiF Watch is a virtual [right wing] vigilante group that patrols the Internet looking for people to misrepresent or rough up… whichever takes their fancy.

In this particular blog, they single out an article by Paul Lewis, who described the scene in Tottenham and who debunked the myth that it was just black kids on the street. I’ve noticed that he’s amended the article (which does not appear in Comment is Free), perhaps under pressure from CiF Watch. It’s likely that they got upset by the suggestion that some Chasidim (as well as many blacks, Turks, Asians and so forth) were onlookers (they would do well to look that word up in the dictionary) and they think that by saying such a thing automatically makes Lewis ‘anti-Semitic’. We’re dealing with a school-kid analysis here, dear readers. I daresay the Chasidim who live in Tottenham and Stamford Hill know the local issues a damned sight better than the bourgeois smear artists of CiF Watch. It’s their “manor”, to use a common Londonism.

CiF Watch deny that they are trying to shut down debate but as this passage tells us, they’re not telling the truth,

By labelling something antisemitic are you not shutting down debate on what is perhaps a legitimate subject of debate?

Absolutely not. We support vigorous and open debate about Jewish related issues, including issues of controversy, as long as such debate does not violate the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism.

In particular, it bears emphasizing that we support open and honest debate about the Israel-Arab conflict including harsh criticism of Israel as long as the criticism of Israel is similar to that leveled against any other nation of the world.

The last paragraph is the kicker. In other words, there will be no discussion of Israel unless it is to give unequivocal praise.

CiF Watch has linked to my blog. This commenter called “yvetta bagel” says,

Some creep makes the most of this, repeating the Guardian crap to score cheap points against Melanie Phillips: https://buddyhell.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/the-tottenham-riots-the-racists-of-fleet-street-and-their-friends/

Such was her haste to rush and label me a “creep” that “yvetta bagel” failed to spot the update. No matter. At any rate, Morality Mel  makes some pretty nasty remarks that I often find to be  borderline racist.  Not just borderline racist but anti-gay too. But these people aren’t capable of reason or ,heaven forfend, understanding and tolerance. Nor do other ethnic groups matter much to them, such is their deeply ingrained sense of ethno-supremacy. They’d rather make an ideologically-weighted extrapolation from a decontextualized word or phrase.  Why? Because it’s easy. It’s the lazy way do do things. It makes you look morally superior to your enemies but, in the end it’s no better than self-congratulation.

These people aren’t too concerned with exposing anti-Semitism either, they’re more interested in closing down any discourse that runs counter to a pro-Zionist position. It’s a position that would make a Manichean green with envy: for in their minds, and in spite of what they say, anti-Zionism always equals anti-Semitism. It’s an easy a leap to make. You can read how they define anti-Semitism here but this passage is key.

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.

The rest is fair enough and I would suggest that it was done to render their mission appealing to outside eyes.   CiF Watch, being right wing (they would deny it), no doubt regards Palestinian people as dreck. They won’t say it in so many words, but they’ll no doubt claim that there is no such thing as a Palestinian. Nowhere Towers has heard this before. It’s a way to further dehumanize an already dehumanized people. What could be more dehumanizing than to declare that an entire people are quite literally no more? For CiF Watch, history is viewed rather selectively.

Funny how they failed to see this blog. Isn’t it?

The racist Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs applauds them,

Bless these folks for documenting the vile Jew hatred that The Guardian happily hosts. That “publication” is a sewer for the worst kind of incitement to violence.

Well, cyber warriors have documented it all. And will do it daily. Evil unmasked! We love that.

“Evil unmasked”, Geller shouts. Evil. It’s such a value-loaded word. It’s so easy to use. Handy stuff for those who aren’t great at making real arguments. It’s the speech of demagogues. Oh yeah and if you’re reading this, CiF Watch, I called Geller a “racist”.

Here’s a broken link to the site.

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/08/cif-watch-a-very-good-blog-indeed.html

You will understand that I don’t want this blog to be  infested with a  load of  racist knuckledraggers and swivel-eyed conspiraloons, the latter of which are often deeply anti-Semitic. Be careful of the company you keep, eh?

Many of the other blogs on CiF Watch are completely unrelated to their stated mission. Take this blog, for example. It seems to me that this blog alone indicates support for this Tory-led government’s policies. Are they on close terms with the Conservative Friends of Israel? More than likely.

Powerbase has a stub on CiF Watch. I reckon further investigation is likely to reveal that CiF Watch is closely connected to a host of other right-wing groups – many of which are on the other side of the Atlantic. Groups like blacklisters Campus Watch, for example, and other self-styled ‘grassroots’ movements.

You can imagine how our chums feel about  Neturei Karta.  Uh huh.

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9 Comments

Filed under Ideologies, Internet, Media

9 responses to “CiFWatch: imagined slights, smears and closing down debate

  1. 4-4-2

    what absolute bobbins! cifwatch makes it clear that criticism of israel will be accepted, but as long as it is on a footing similar to criticism of other nations.

    that’s not demanding special treatment or fawning praise, just equality of treatment in the guardian’s reportage, but you manage to portray that as an unreasonable request.

    lots of innuendo, insult, speculation and seeing shadows on your part, but no real proof. if there’s a ‘conspiraloon’ on this site mate, i’d suggest that you just need to look in that mirror and check the jaunty angle of your tinfoil titfer.

    so…how do i figure in your ‘ethno-supremacy’ model, what with me not being jewish and all that?

    and is ‘ethno-supremacy’ anything like any of them ‘zionist conspiracies’…or are you just going for the cheap ‘they think they’re the chosen people’ sneer?

    • “what absolute bobbins! cifwatch makes it clear that criticism of israel will be accepted, but as long as it is on a footing similar to criticism of other nations”.

      “Bobbins”, eh? What you’ve written here is a load of codswallop but also rather revealing of the mindset that claims to accept criticism of Israel but works tirelessly to stifle it. Any criticism of the Israeli state and its policies in the occupied territories is not up for discussion and is regarded by your friends as “anti-Semitic”. And Pamela Geller’s approval of CiF Watch? I see you have no reply for that. Now, why is that?

      “that’s not demanding special treatment or fawning praise, just equality of treatment in the guardian’s reportage, but you manage to portray that as an unreasonable request”.

      Au contraire. I am doing nothing of the sort.

      “lots of innuendo, insult, speculation and seeing shadows on your part, but no real proof. if there’s a ‘conspiraloon’ on this site mate, i’d suggest that you just need to look in that mirror and check the jaunty angle of your tinfoil titfer”.

      Yeah? Where are the “insults” and the “innuendo”? I do my research. You’re the one chucking around the insults and ad hominems. “Tinfoil titfer”? Yep. if you can’t present a coherent counter-argument, accuse your interlocutor of being a “conspiracy theorist”. How very adult of you.

      “so…how do i figure in your ‘ethno-supremacy’ model, what with me not being jewish and all that”?

      I only have your word for that but you don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist or a supporter of the Israeli state… or did that, sort of, escape your attention? There are many Jews who are anti-Zionist. Perhaps you and CiF Watch would describe them as “self-hating”?

      “and is ‘ethno-supremacy’ anything like any of them ‘zionist conspiracies’…or are you just going for the cheap ‘they think they’re the chosen people’ sneer”?

      Next thing you know, you’ll accuse me of believing wholeheartedly in the Protocols. I’m only surprised that you haven’t accused me of being “anti-Semitic” too. Come back when you’ve grown up and maybe we can have an adult conversation but until then…

  2. I just discovered CIFwatch. Hilarious. Imagine actually watching Comment is Free? What next Toilet Graffiti Watch? They dont seem to get the joke of Cif either. Comment is free BUT facts are sacred.

    • They’re Orwellian in their use of language and shills for Revisionist Zionism. They accused me of being a “conspiracy theorist”, which is par for the hasbara course.

      • Revisionist Zionism…. Wow. Make up your own fucking words and then call yourself a scholar.

        Hysterical. There’s a reason why you don’t get us. You don’t want to understand us. Let alone, be privy to what we have to offer in terms of peace in the Middle East which, I gather, you define as Jew Free Palestine.

        There’s already one of those, Buddy. If you were a real scholar, you would know that.

      • I’ll allow this one comment so that others can see what a fool you’re making of yourself. If you knew anything about Zionism, you’d know that Revisionist Zionism is the variant of Zionism that was associated with Ze’ev Jabotinsky. He used the term. Revisionist Zionism is also the position of Likud.

        You should do some reading before you leave half-witted comments on people’s blogs. Just a thought.

  3. The Watcher®

    “I’ll allow this one comment…”

    Wow! No wonder you don’t like CifWatch, where comment is really free. Just like your precious Guardian comments who accuse Jews of “shutting down discourse” here you are blocking comments you don’t like.

    • Diddums. It’s my blog and I do what I want. If I find your comment abusive, racist, sexist or advocating violence, it will be removed. By the way, the Guardian moderates comments. You comment is treading a fine line.

      You’re also sockpuppeting and even admitted as much when you said “why did you erase my comment”? Not very clever.

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