Thursday, March 12, 2009

The new antisemites & the CBC

I've received a reply from the Manager of Moderation at the CBC (posted below), and I think his reply shows they're taking the issue of antisemitism seriously.

In an earlier email to the moderator, I suggested the CBC follow the Globe and Mail's example and entirely close down comments on stories concerning the Middle East, and the CBC moderator now says they will revisit this option.

Good. Even apart from the open antisemitism (which the CBC is now seriously trying to block), the majority of people posting at the CBC demonize Israel as an evil, racist, terrorist, apartheid entity that has no right to exist.

These Israel-haters will argue that they aren't old-fashioned antisemites. Yes, they have an irrational loathing of Israel. Yes, half the Jews in the world happen to live in Israel. Yes, the Israel-haters often extend their loathing to Israel's supporters, thus including the other half of the world's Jews. But, they will argue, they're not racists. They've nothing against Jews who convert to their religion.

I think that's true enough; the Israel-haters aren't old-fashioned racist antisemites; they're post-Holocaust anti-racist antisemites.

But for Jews, this is a distinction without a difference.

Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran don't bother to disguise their Jew-hatred or their desire to wipe Israel off the map. And even when they’re not directly propagandizing on behalf of these terrorists (which they do often enough), our contemporary antisemites are busily inventing a rationale for the genocidal intentions of Iran and company.

For its part - courtesy of Canadian taxpayers - the CBC provides Canada's most important forum for Israel-haters to promote their views, in effect for promoting genocide. That's why I say, close it down.


  1. Brian, I'm indeed gratified that others such as yourself are taking the CBC to task for their very public anti-Semitism. I read the reply from the CBC moderator and almost gagged. He (or she - perhaps Heather Mallick) makes no apology for providing a tax-supported platform for these rants saying only that it is a difficult task. I don't believe that line for a moment; the CBC loves to play host to this horde of haters.

    Gerry Porter, Ottawa

  2. Gerry,
    I think you're too hard on CBC's Moderation Manager, though I can see where you're coming from, saying an apology is in order.

    Personally, I don't put much store in apologies. I prefer action, and the CBC has taken some steps to clean up its act.

    So kudos to them for that.

    I think the comments on Middle East stories should be closed down altogether. But that's a much bigger step.

    We shall have to see...

  3. Hi Brian -
    I am always amazed at the nutters who send in comments to just about any news story, or Youtube video, or pretty well anything. The internet, with its anonymity, allows these folks to air their strange perversions with the feeling that they are reaching an audience. They make me quite ill. Even
    the Globe and Mail commentators are wild, wild. It must be a nightmare for moderators to keep on top of these things, and I think at least the CBC is trying. But maybe having the ability to randomly comment on issues of the day isn't a good thing. People used to just rant to their friends or bartenders about their unacceptable racist feelings - now it seems they feel they can rant to the world. I don't think it is suppressing free speech to deny people this wide a forum for their thoughts of a moment. It's like permitting drive by shooting. Mind you, the fault is general, and not confined to any one group. Unfortunately.

  4. Dabble,
    I think on-line forums have a special attraction for nutters. They dont' see their weird and noxious view of the world reflected in the mainstream media, so they broadcast their own version of reality where they can.

    I think that's why we see so many postings from antisemites, Israel-haters, 9/11 Truthers and other practitioners of paranoid politics.