Antisemitic comments beneath Jay Rayner article about Claudia Roden removed

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Antisemitic comments beneath Jay Rayner article about Claudia Roden removed

Review of Jewish cook's latest book by celebrity food critic in The Observer turns into 'cesspit' of hate, including Nazi comparisons and claims she 'stole food' from Palestinians

Some of the comments made on facebook about the Claudia Roden piece by Jay Rayner
Some of the comments made on facebook about the Claudia Roden piece by Jay Rayner

The Guardian has deleted a slew of antisemitic comments on an article about a Jewish cook’s book.

The piece, a review of Claudia Roden’s latest book, ‘Book of Jewish Food’, by food critic Jay Rayner, was published online yesterday.

Roden, who is best known as the author of Middle Eastern Cookbooks, is both a cookbook writer and a cultural anthropologist. Her latest work took 16 years to write and is more an ‘encyclopaedia of Jewish life’, according to Jewish historian Simon Schama.

But the celebrated chef – a British Jew whose family were refugees from Egypt – faced a torrent of abuse, much of it referring to Israel including: “No, ty I do not eat stolen food from the original owners, Palestinian”

Another said: “Would you have brought a German recipe book during WWII slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people?” …. Show us the Palestinian version. I guarantee it’ll be more authentic and FAR more popular.”

In response to the antisemitism, Rayner tweeted that he was “appalled.” He went on to ask the Guaridan why it “declines to moderate comments on its Facebook page even though it could (by hiding comments). I hope the cesspit of antisemitism on my Roden piece makes them think. I will make the case again.”

Following his, and others, tweets, the original piece was taken down from social media and has since been reposted.

A Guardian News & Media spokesperson said:  “We take online abuse and hate speech incidents very seriously and were horrified to see these disgusting and offensive remarks posted underneath a Guardian article on Facebook. Such comments are unacceptable in any circumstances. 

“We removed the Facebook post as soon as the antisemitic comments were brought to our attention overnight. We have since reposted the article and will act as necessary if further such comments occur.

“There is a clear need for social media platforms to enable functionality so that news publishers can post journalism, in the public interest, on the Facebook news feed and other platforms with user comments turned off.  This is an obligation on the platforms that was proposed in draft legislation in Australia, but was opposed by the biggest social media platforms on the basis that it would impose an “undue and onerous burden” on their business model.  News publishers have suggested that such functionality should be made available by the platforms as a result of the UK government’s upcoming online harms legislation.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: