Jewish Chronicle’s new hate blog shame: mocking a former kidnap victim

UK newspaper The Jewish Chronicle (The JC), a publication well known for its attacks on pro-Palestinian solidarity activists, has published a blog mocking a former hostage.

Under the title ‘John McCarthy: Now where’s that radiator?’ a blogger called Melchett Mike expressed his unhappiness with the British journalist’s new book, concluding: “we can only be sorry that he is not still there [chained to a radiator]” - a reference to McCarthy’s five years in captivity after being kidnapped in Lebanon in the 1980s.

It turns out that this particular blogger, Melchett Mike, has also previously expressed support for Islamophobic hate group the English Defence League (EDL). Commenting on another blog run by pro-Israel activist Richard Millett in 2010, he said:

I’d have no problem standing with the EDL… In fact, I’m surprised there aren’t more Brits demonstrating against Islamofascists

It was only recently that The JC was embarrassed by revelations that the far-right British National Party (BNP)’s candidate for London mayor had been posting blogs on their website. In a fumbled damage limitation exercise, Editor Stephen Pollard claimed he had blocked the BNP activist’s access in September – yet refused to explain how a further post was published in November.

Pollard was right to point out that the BNP politician was taking advantage of an open access blog hosting policy, where anyone could register and post. However, since that no longer exists, Melchett “I’d have no problem staning with the EDL” Mike is presumably an approved, invited blogger.

That Pollard is happy to oversee a publication hosting such posts is sadly not so surprising. Last year, The JC Editor stood by a columnist who expressed “pleasure” at the killing in Gaza of Italian human rights activist Vittorio Arrigoni.


Ben White

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Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. His articles have been widely published in the likes of The Guardian‘s Comment is free, Al Jazeera, Electronic Intifada, New Statesman, and many others. He is the author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ (2009, Pluto Press) and ‘Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination & Democracy’ (2012, Pluto Press). Ben is a researcher/writer for the Journal of Palestine Studies.