Friday, 18 September 2009

Cif Watch

Over the past week I have had a lot of criticism from CiF Watch both having the honour of a poorly argued "riposte" to my latest Comment is Free piece

They have also hurled a load of abuse at me in the comments of various articles

I would have been delighted had they come onto the thread and even made any attempt to discuss these issues with me before starting their campaign of vilification

My crime evidently is having the temerity to write for Comment is Free which is now evidently not acceptable for a "good" Jew

Watch this space for some detailed responses to this farrago of nonsense once the New Year is out.

We are now entering the period called the Ten Days of Penitence - one can but hope they will take this to heart;-)

One quick point for them to ponder - their article in response to my piece spoke in favour of "authentic Judaism" (whatever they mean by that). They may be aware that Judaism has some laws relating to shemirat halashon (watching one's speech) and rekhilut (slander) - so no irony that they call for Jewish values on one hand and trample all over them on the other.

Happy New Year to all


  1. Shalom LWOJ

    You are one of the most respected and popular commentators on CIF.

    Keep going and smiling!

  2. LWOJ shalom,

    I agree with Anonymous above that you are one of the most respected commentators on Cif. Don't let these people from CifWatch get you down.

    Happy New Year to all,


  3. Shalom LWOJ

    Couldn't agree more with both the comments above and with your own short article.

    The gulf that exists between your words and sentiments and that of your detractors on CifWatch is ... enormous. Yours remains a voice of reason while theirs ... well, I'll leave others to describe them as they will.

    Happy New Year to all


  4. I refuse to be Anonymous, I should be Anonyma.

    Wishing you a happy new year: when is it exactly?

    Will you please continue to blog on CiF, I would hate to think that a bunch of paranoid, insecure folk could silence you. They should ask themselves what they are accomplishing by trashing writers, and especially Jewish writers who disagree with them.

  5. Hello All
    Trying to get in here.

  6. Shalom Dan

    You are the victim of some very conflicted and confused people. It is they who harm the Jewish people and Judaism through their distortions.

    it is interesting to see that a few Jewish posters to Cifwatch have questioned both the rationale and the methods the site owners and their followers are pursuing. i think there are legal issues here so we have to be careful how we express our disquiet - neither do we want to lay ourselves open to accusations of trying to stifle free speech. ( yes - I know, I know.)

    From the publication of your first article on CiF I started anticipating the next one. You raised issues which are pertinent to us all. You forced us all to think - apart, of course, from those who jumped in with their their ready made rejection.

    Shana Tova and love.


  7. Illegitimati carborundum nil lacessit

    You should of course be pleased that silly people like CifWatch don't like you and proudly reprint their nonsense. Their 'parody' of the CIF guidelines for example does rather demonstrate that they are not the sharpest tools in the set. I'd say they shouldn't give up their day jobs but that makes the dangerous assumption that they actually have jobs.

  8. You'd be disappointed if a teenager said something like the goons at CiFWatch "As no rational person could argue against the idea that it is bad to adhere strictly to principles which are inherently good".

    Keep up the good work please.

  9. hi have just emerged from 2 days offline thanks very much for the comments and good to hear from you all - don't worry I hope to carry on and I am encouraged by this not discouraged!

    WML -sorry about the expulsion from CiF great profile picture!

  10. Woolly,

    Sorry for your banning. Wasn't there a film called "the village of the damned". Perhaps we need to update it to the Community of the Banned.

  11. LWOJ,

    Just read your article on circumcision. I find it interesting that the "outer" Abrahamic religions share this custom and a taboo against pork, while Christianity, the filling in the sandwich, doesn't. I wonder if it has anything to do with differences in the way the three religions spread, and the role of the Roman empire in this.

  12. Teacup

    in haste this is possible as Romans were certainly concerned about circumcision - can try to expland post Yom Kippur and also try to finish the article above!

  13. Hi LWOJ and anyone else on this thread,

    Today much of India will be celebrating the victory of good over evil after a nine day battle. I hope that the Goddes Durga (or King Ram) will strengthen your arm against CiFWatch and Harry's bunch.

  14. Hmm - just saw this - Dan - you and I argued frequently before I was banned from CIF.

    You know that I object to many of your views, and feel that your articles simply open the door for anti-semitism - for example, comments bearing one or two unpleasant comments from the Talmud culled from ant-Semitic websites by people who could never have read the Talmud. "pirtza korah l'ganav" - you open a gap through which antiSemitsm pours.

    So when you write:

    "I would have been delighted had they come onto the thread"

    who would have come? Everyone supportive of Israel and Judaism the Guardian disagrees with has been banned, or, if not, had their comments systematically deleted. You are writing for something akin to a British version of Pravda, where only the "correct" comments and commentators are permitted, or, like the apartheid regime, where people with the "wrong" opinions are banned. I see from the above that even WML was banned.

    So who will you debate when they come for the last of those whose views differ from your, or do not faithfully toe the line of the GWV?

  15. Dan Rickman

    Why do you back Ken Livingstone?

    It says eveything

  16. >>Another Voice of Reason said...

    Hi - I have removed your original comment so I can edit out part of it for reasons which will be clear - responses below - btw you know who I am are you willing to say who you are?

    >>Dan, some questions:

    >>1. Isn't it a bit arrogant to characterise yourself as the "lone voice of reason"?

    it was intended as a joke ... perhaps too subtle

    >>2. A substantial majority of both the Israeli electrate and global Jewish opinion would deem your views odd, even traitorous, and the venues you choose (such as the Guardian) anti-Semitic. Are you so contemptuous of their opinion as to place yours above all your brothers'?

    I don't think this is true or even meaningful - I think there is a large group of people who would find my views perfectly reasonable but who don't speak out. I am not contemptuous of anyone's opinion however I am entitled to stick to my principles. I think racism is indivisible - if I hear someone making racist statements be they Jewish or non-Jewish then I will oppose them - that is not treason in any sense of the word.

    >>3. Haven't you noticed that there are few Jews posting here, and that your commments come from some of the Guardian's most noted anti-Semites (like xxx)?

    I don't welcome unjustified accusations against anyone, which is why I edited your question. I haven't done much to promote this blog and intend to do more soon belie neder - are you Jewish btw?

    >>4. You've lain down with dogs and hence got up with fleas. Haven't you even noticed it?

    well, you and I evidently have different views as to who is the dog and who is the flea, to pursue you charming metaphor ... perhaps the world is best not thought of in such crude terms

  17. AKUS

    thanks for your comment

    there are plenty of sites out there Jewish and non-Jewish which cite Talmudic and other rabbinic sources with negative statements about non-Jews

    Israel Shahak's Jewish History, Jewish Religion i very popular still as is Dawkins The God Delusion which suggest that Judaism sees non-Jews as not human beings.

    There are web sites from Israeli yeshivot which cite such sources as well as Chabad web sites and people such as Geoffrey Alderman who wrote that every Palestinian in Gaza is a rodef

    Go and talk to these people before you hassle me - and read what I wrote about Shahak I hardly supported him

    Your criticisms are as far as I am concerned entirely unjustified

    I don't know why you got banned and I am sorry that this happened - it is easy to blame everyone else but yourself for this!

    As for debate on CiF, I seem to have plenty of people there still who disagree with me for one reason or another, thanks for the concern

  18. Anonymous said...

    >>Why do you back Ken Livingstone?

    I agree with his policies for London, I admire his work in anti-racism, I agreed with him reaching out to the Muslim community as he explains in

    >>It says eveything

    if you say so... so not much left to say then I presume?

    thanks for the response