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I did not realise I was Anti Semitic

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Author 1681
Message Paul Titterton
I have stopped writing to the Guardian. I love the paper ..have read it for 30 years. It has been a giant voice in the world and has answered the questions I have wrestled with. "It says so in the Guardian" is a conversation stopper. Even folk that hate it, give it a kind of grudging respect.

Readers are "So-called lefty liberal pinko etc etc . Guardinistas". It is now a form of odd flattery. The strange thing is that a huge number of people write merely to complain. Which is odder. Writing to a world famous left wing paper to complain that it is left wing seems a futile gesture. Yet it has driven me away from its warm embrace.

When I first started posting comments I was struck by the similarity of the posts which were clearly pro Israeli. This was in July 06 during a time of horrific war. For a fundamentally pacifist paper it was unsettling that 5 posts in a row would all say the same thing to within a couple of words.

a) Why is the Guardian so Anti Semitic?
b) Why do its readers never mention Darfur?
c) Israel has been an island in a sea of hostility.
d) The action is totally justified.

I did some research. I found some articles

Which alarmed me... about the manipulation of news by giyus : but I thought all I would have to do is mention it and this would stop.

I also campaigned for the rules of post to be changed to those of Ha'aretz, the Israeli paper which banned insults and likening the situation to WW2 as some found " Islamofascist" and " Judeo Nazi" so offensive. This worked but I was called a fascist for stopping free speech.

I started picking off the posts one at a time. I am actually quite famous here as an anti racist and have been for decades. Yet I was transformed into a Jew-Hating Jew-Hater who hates Jews. Complaining made it worse.. "so now he is denying it?"

I think it was LBJ who said "it doesn't matter if the guy never slept with a camel...let him deny it.".." I am not anti Semitic" actually does sound like "I am anti Semitic."

I plowed on. I found a way of only condemning only Palestinian terror which was unswervingly pro Israel. I was accused of being smarmy. I appealed. I was scorned. I am a Social Worker and know a hundred ways to lower tension. I raised it.

I defended Chomsky. One poster " Canadian Jew" called him "Herr" Chomsky ,friend of fascists and holocaust denier. He was supported by a host of posts. I appealed that this giant was a man of peace. I was ridiculed by a dozen posts.

What finally drove me out was an article about Gilad Atzmon, a left wing anti Zionist who had been a paratrooper in the IDF. He likened the Zionist expansion in Israel with Nazism. Now I disagree with this, but because it raises tension ,not because it was per se anti Jewish. I read Atzmon and could find no AntiSemitism at all.

Bang. You would have thought I had organised Kristallnacht. I got a wall of complaints some in Islamophobic ranting.I carefully appealed for proof in case I had missed something. None came.Just more insults. In the finest paper in the world. I know my parents were legally married.

The tactic worked and I was sickened by it. By the way I asked for the word " Islamofascist " to be removed on 20 occasions.. maybe more. I never once had to ask for" Judeo Nazi " to go.


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'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.
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