Global Voices Online's Antisemitic Middle East Editor

I just noticed that the Middle East editor of Harvard’s metablog Global Voices Online is Haitam Sabbah, a Jordanian blogger who, on his own site, publishes rants from neo-Nazi organizations about how the Jews run the American media, calls suicide bombers “martyrs”, justifies Hamas’ rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, defends the Iranian president’s remarks that Israel should be wiped off the face of the map, and who considers himself a staunch human rights activist. Which isn’t to say he isn’t progressive on a lot of other issues, but he clearly hates Israel and has delusional beliefs about Zionist power in America.
But well, g’mar chatima tov, you and I aren’t so different. Buh?!
Um, so I guess my question is, what the f*ck is up with that?
[Update] This post was not intended to attack nor negatively portray Lisa, who I think is a remarkable journalist and blogger. My question (now removed, along with all comments subsequently denigrating her and responding to those denigrations) was not aimed to criticize nor harm Lisa in any way. The question was posed to Sabbah. I failed to realize the extent to which asking this question opened Lisa up to attack. Any further remarks as such will lead to a revocation of posting privileges. As I’ve stated repeatedly, I refuse to provide a forum for people to attack one another. I own responsibility for creating that situation, and now I take responsibility for the creation of this “memory hole” to rectify it.

26 thoughts on “Global Voices Online's Antisemitic Middle East Editor

  1. Can one be a racist and a human rights advocate at the same time? I thought human rights refers to universal values of equality. I guess in the “human rights” world some pigs are more equal than others.

  2. As I understand it, Haitham’s job at Global Voices is to manage their coverage of the Middle East region — which means ensuring that Global Voices’ coverage of the Middle East blogosphere is wide-ranging and representative of what people are thinking and blogging about. What he writes on his own blog doesn’t have any bearing on his ability to do that work. Do I disagree with how he presents Israel and Zionism on his blog? Sure, and I say so sometimes, politely. But I think it’s a mistake to conflate his personal positions with the work he does at Global Voices.
    And I suspect that through his involvement with Global Voices, he may come to recognize that it’s neither fair nor reasonable to paint “Israel” or “Zionists” all with the same brush. Working with people like Lisa, and seeing some of the range of the Israeli blogosphere, might enable him to see some of the multifaceted richness of Israel and Israelis — and seeing that there’s more to the “enemy” than meets the eye is, to me, the first step toward genuine communication and reconciliation.

  3. Not only is Haitham an exceptionally generous, exceptionally kind person, and very talented in his creative activism, he is also morally limpid, and there is no racism in any of his communication. He, like most of the other Palestine Blogs handled on GVO, believe that the rights of Palestinians are sacrosanct, and that the way to achieve this is for mutual coexistence between “enemies”.
    The first step of this is to listen to the grievances, to give them an opportunity to express that which they want to say, no matter how “politically correct” or popular those ideas may be. If the Palestinian street respects the Hamas, you pro-israeli bloggers must take stock of it and try to comphrend why, and what they believe that the Hamas can bring them that any other political organisation has not yet been able to do. Lest you forget, the Palestinians are still largely living in a condition of refugee status, many of them lacking even the most basic of rights that we take for granted. They have little guarantee for their security, and they have absolutely nothing but the opinion of masses of people behind them. There is no “Palestinian” ADL out there financed to spread information, news, opinions and propaganda.
    You can state whatever you want about Israel, about Palestine, but when you go smearing those who support Palestine because they are not in your camp, it reflects worse upon yourself than on those you wish to ruin.

  4. Haitham is one of the most unbiased persons I’ve met. I’m not saying that because I’m the author of the weekly Palestine Blogsphere roundup, contrary to what one might think Haitham always takes the time to read my posts and make sure they are bias-free. I gave him some hard at the begging too. And Lisa, though we have exchanged a couple of emails only, I can say she’s one of the rare unbiased Israelis out there, even though we see things going in Palestine from two totally different perspectives. Just because you disagree or see things differently that doesn’t mean we are all wrong and you and everyone agrees with you are right.
    In the end, those who seek the truth shall find it 😉

  5. The two posts above tell us how wonderful this Sabbah guy is, but we get not one word of explanation or defense of his use of neo-Nazi propaganda or bogus quotes of Israeli leaders. (And the first guy has a problem with “smearing”!) Not that I expected more from these characters.

  6. Haitham states facts, you have a problem with what he posts? reply to each one of them, argue, discuss and defame using whatever way you like to backup any claim.
    but to merely call the guy anti-whatever without discussing his posts first is childish. everything you do other than addressing Haitham’s posts (rather than his person), and replying to each one of them is BSing in its purest forms.

  7. When jew-hating, uh I mean, zionist hating folks say this about Dan/Mobius:
    “A zionist asshole. That’s what you are.”
    “If you have a brain, and if it is working correctly (which I doubt)”
    “you are a sick person and should see a doctor.”
    You know the world f’ed up. Hell, not unlike the Misnagdim and Chassidim, perhaps Jewlicious and Jewschool actually have far more in common that we once imagined (oh, say two weeks ago or so).
    And then, to top if off…DAN GETS BANNED?????
    “Since you are impolite and you insist in using vulgar talk, I do not hesitate to ban you”
    Damn, at least Mobius gives people a warning before they’re ISP is sent to WWW hell.

  8. Hey Shaden…
    Some zio-nazi advice for you. Most folks on this site know I’m a fan of J’s. So here’s a clue…he’s a shrewd Jew. If you debate him, you may end up running home to your mommy in tears.

  9. Haitham proudly lists all the Jews he hates:
    And then whips out an old anti-Semitic canard like this:
    “can I suggest that you hate all Palestinians, Muslims and Christians, and you want then all to be killed?”
    You’re truly an unlikeable character dude. And your site’s overly complex and hard to navigate. And you kinda got a big Jewish shnoz. And yes, yo mama wears army boots.

  10. No need to explain Dan, we know what you do. And while I don’t always agree with your politics, I respect/admire your ability to be open to many sides of the ME debate as well as produce a fine/good looking blog (tho your masthead for your personal site is one of the nicest I’ve seen).
    Almost went to the Mat show in TO (my musical partner was there). I would’ve approached you and said hi. Alas, I remain an expensive right-of-center (at least on this blog) beaver (or is it fox?) hat.

  11. To J,
    “Well, Shaden, before I spend the next ten years dissecting each of the anti-Semite’s posts, why don’t you back up this statement of yours:
    And Lisa, though we have exchanged a couple of emails only, I can say she’s one of the rare unbiased Israelis out there, …”
    And why do I need to defend myself in the first place? lol
    “Kindly identify those Israelis you claim are biased (apparently a great majority) and tell us why you believe they are biased.”
    every zionist is biased, and if their hands, legs and eyes can talk, they will say the same.
    “Still waiting for a defense of Sabbah’s posts. Enough of the third-grade debating tactics, Shaden (“whatever you say goes back to you”). Straight answer time: what’s YOUR opinion of, say, the “Jews control the media” piece (linked in Mobius’ post)?”
    Sabbah does not need to defend himself, see thats one tactic all zionists follow, but hello we’re in year 2005, calling those who disagree with you nazis will not work 😉
    you don’t like something YOU tell us why you don’t like it, you think something is wrong with what the man says YOU tell us why you think its wrong.
    and my opinion will be given on any issue when I feel like it, not when you demand it as if I’m accused of something and have to defend myself. but just so that you will sleep at night, my opinion is that everything is possible, do YOU know if its true or not? did you do your homework before you play the rule of the judge?

  12. Just read the thread on the anti-Semite’s blog.
    Congratulations are in order to Mobius. Ziomaggot! Aren’t they creative?
    Funny line: “Since you are impolite and you insist in using vulgar talk, I do not hesitate to ban you from commenting here.”
    Yeah, Sabbah really hates rudeness and vulgarity on his blog.
    Looks like calling for divestment and all the rest doesn’t earn any Brownie points with these people. But I’m sure only Sabbah and his posters are like that. The rest of the Muslim world is filled with reasonable folks just waiting to be shown that Jews are not so bad…
    And thanks, shtreimel. But I won’t be dealing with the likes of Shaden that much. I’d rather debate liberal and leftist Jews and Americans, in other words, people there might still be some hope for.

  13. Shaden says:
    “every zionist is biased, and if their hands, legs and eyes can talk, they will say the same. ”
    Do you know how silly you sound?
    Shaden: Some wise words for you:
    “You’re gonna walk in my goddamn house, my house! Gonna come in here and tell me! Talkin’ smack, in my house, in front of my employees. Shit! Your ass must be crazy.”
    – DREXYL, True Romance
    Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino

  14. OHHHHH somebody hated me because I’m anti-zionism…he thinks I’m a hopeless case and he no longer wants to debate (what debate?) me *sobbing*
    whatever J, I think its better if you go debate liberals and leftists as I don’t think the opinion of someone who accused the whole world of being anti-semitic before he even knows what we’re talking about should be of any value to us.

  15. Look who’s back, Shaden’s back, Shaden’s back… (sorry, couldn’t help it).
    Where to begin? How about this very telling line:
    “And why do I need to defend myself in the first place? lol ”
    I’d like all left-of-center Jews to take a good look at that. (OK, all Jews period.) THIS is what we’re up against. While we endlessly examine every last thought and action, the above statement, in various forms, is what we get in return from our enemies. (I’m not against our self-examination, of course; I’m against the overly critical way some Jews do it.) Shaden defends a blogger who posts anti-Semitic propaganda, but feels no reason to defend this position.
    Now this gem:
    “Sabbah does not need to defend himself, see thats one tactic all zionists follow, but hello we’re in year 2005, calling those who disagree with you nazis will not work 😉 ”
    And when did I call anyone a Nazi?
    “and my opinion will be given on any issue when I feel like it, not when you demand it as if I’m accused of something and have to defend myself. ”
    Back to third grade. I asked a simple question. Of course you don’t want to answer. You can defend the media canard and show yourself to be an anti-Semite like Sabbah, or you can reject it and then explain to your friends and family why you defended the “Ziomaggots”.
    “but just so that you will sleep at night, my opinion is that everything is possible, do YOU know if its true or not? ”
    Good point. It’s also possible that you habitually molest small children. Now prove that you don’t.
    Now, Shaden, if you’ve looked at this site, you know that Jewish views can be very diverse. Mobius is one flavor; I’m very much another. In my view, your lack of good faith in argument and your opinions and sadly typical. Be aware that many Jews know this, and we therefore care little about trying to convince you and yours about the rightness of our positions. Our differences will be settled, as always, in less peaceful venues than weblogs.

  16. Bohoo, tough deal!
    You know, I’ve always thought two entities in the world today compete for the trophy of the “world’s biggest whining group”: muslims who cry over every little word said about their religion, and the zionists who cry “racism, anti-semitism” whenever the goals of their ideology are criticized.
    In terms of volume, the first group wins. The numbers favour the first group simple as that; there are billions of muslims and only millions of zionists.
    In terms of sensitivity to issues raised against them, I think the second group wins it by a small margin. If only not everything one says against the state of Israel or the goals of zionism or even the religion of judaism itself is somehow magically tied to anti-semitism (a form of racism) today. Like it or not, neither zionists nor jews are a race, anti-zionism and even anti-judaism will never be forms of racism.

  17. um, a) there’s no such thing as race, b) jews do, in fact, constitute an ethnicity, c) anti-semitism is a form of prejudice/discriminatio n/racism, d) denying the peoplehood of jews and their right to self-determination is anti-semitic, e) saying that “jews control the media, and in turn, use it to advance a conspiratorial agenda,” that palestinians are justified in killing jews, and that israel has no right to exist is also anti-semitic, let alone stupid.

  18. “Is that it? Is the hate-athon over now? Has everyone finished insulting, denigrating and blaming everyone else?”
    I’m sure your above all this hate and stuff, but there are times when some folks deserve a tongue, and even a fist, lashing. Not always, but sometimes.

  19. Mobius, I believe you were replying to my words in your last comment, please let me explain.
    You said there is no such thing as “race”, and in exactly the next sentence you affirmed the existance of a thing called “ethnicity”. I would like to point out that race is a more well defined term than ethnicity my friend, and that it [race] is the key point in discussing racism.
    Semites are a race, not an ethnicity; their origins trace back so long that they are now scattered all over the world, so scattered that many of them belong to different ethnicities than each other. I believe you know that both Arabs and people of Israel are semites for instance, right?
    Are Jews an ethnic group? Yes they are according to the definition of the term. Are they a race? No they are not testimony of most jewish scholars themselves.
    Where does zionism fit in? Are zionists a race? No they are not, many of them belong to different races, some of them are semites and some are not. Are they an ethnicity, no they are not because many of them come from different cultural and sometimes religious backgrounds (not every zionist is jewish).
    Is anti zionism racism? No it’s not. Is anti-semitism racism? Yes it is. Is anti zionism anti semitism? It can’t be.
    I admit these differences are very subtle, but they are very crucial too if you really want to base opinions on them.

  20. Umkahlil did no such thing as “denegrate” Lisa. Umkahlil duly and correctly noted taht while Lisa can go on about enjoying the pleasures of a Tel Aviv morning, Lisa being a Canadian, but of the “right” religion”, Um can’t go anywhere near where her father was born, and where they had always lived for generation upon generation, to make room for Canadians to enjoy life. Um can’t go there because this Jewish State for the Jews does not respect the lives and rights of the natives, and feels righteous and justified in the expulsion of these people. These people were expendible, and Um pointed that out. That you should delete such material in a post about the right of return demonstrates you intolerance not only of Palestinians and their rights, but also of decent tolerance of the opinions of other people.
    I see you had no problem with the person who denegrated Palestinian Shaden’s English. This is hatred and denegration. But you are blind, you only see pain that goes towards Jews. Pain going to others leaves you indifferent.

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