I have been called just about everything during my professional life (not to mention the private one). Yesterday, a new addition arrived: a German psychologist who chose to misunderstand a re-Tweet (or is that re-X these days?), Sebastian Bartoschek, implied I am an anti-Semite.

My re-Tweet quoted without any comment by me a Holocaust survivor stating “The Nazis made me afraid to be a Jew, and the Israelis made me ashamed to be a Jew”.

My re-Tweet was meant to make people reflect critical about the horrendous atrocities that is currently happening in Gaza. However, Bartoschek decided it was anti-semitism and demanded I explain myself. As I had previously had an unpleasantly unproductive encounter over an entirely different matter with him, I did not quite see why I should comply to the wishes of this guy. What followed was a rather ridiculous triade by Bartoschek. It included him alerting DIE WELT that someone who sometimes writes for the paper propagates anti-semitism.

A third party (I don’t know who) must have suggested that this amounts to denunciation. Bartoschek replied: “If asking someone why they share anti-Semitic content is denunciation for you, then so be it.” Eventually he sent me this Tweet:

To EdzardErnst – I’ll wait until 11 a.m. tomorrow, Sunday, for a statement. After that, I’ll write about it without it.

This is why I feel that I am blackmailed. Either I explain what I feel is too obvious to explain, or he will write about the matter in what can be expected to be a defaming way.

Well, I prefer to write about it myself by stating categorically that I am definitely not an anti-semite. What is more, I can prove it. I have since many years published numerous articles (around 30, I guess) that make my position entirely clear; to mention just three:

So, now it will be great fun to see whether Bartoschek has lost his marbles and what version of the truth he will tell in his own write-up of the story.



26 Responses to Oh, dear – I am being blackmailed by a German psychologist!

  • A psychologist? Shocking to imagine that anyone who thinks and behaves in such a manner, has any role at all in interacting with anyone’s psychological condition…..

  • This is ridiculous. You retweeted clearly antisemitic posts, including the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, which is calling for the eradication of Israel.
    So either explain that you made a mistake or own it, but in that case don’t whine about being called an antisemite.

    • I did not see that text; the graph was against weapons exports from the UK. That’s why I retweeted it.

    • in any case, the huhaa was not about this at all.
      I must have re-tweeted tens of thousands – hardly surprising that you can find a mistake

      • To my knowledge in Germany, courts have decided that Re-tweets can be judged as “zu eigen machen” of the content of the original Tweet, which includes liability in case of punishable offences. Quite a while ago, lawyer Chan-jo Jun made an interesting video about one such case.

        So if I understand the issue correctly (not a lawyer…), then re-tweeting should be done with similar care as creating an original Tweet, and not be taken lightly.

        Having said that, after reading quite a number of your books (including your memoirs) and many blog posts etc., the quite aggressive and hostile “interrogation” of you by Bartoschek on the issue of antisemitism seem strange and over the top to me.

    • just looked at the text and cannot see that it is ‘calling for the Iradication of Israel.
      I am not whining, I am laughing at SB and his willful ignorance.

  • As someone who is quite active on twitter (as a non-Jew) condemning various forms of antisemitism, I can’t see anything antisemitic in your retweet. Obviously too, criticising the Israeli govt or military is not antisemitic in itself, as explicitly stated inthe IHRA definition.

    However, as a long time reader, I will offer my opinion that quoting holocaust suriviors should be done with caution. How would the person feel about someone using their words in that manner? How would they feel about the Nazis being referred to in the same sentence as the current war — a war which is only happening because Hamas started it and has kept it going by continuing to break international law? Is there another way to make the same point without using such a rhetorical appeal to authority?

    But I absolutely agree that Herr Bartoshek is trivialising, in the most disgusting manner, the important discussion you were clearly trying to engage with.

  • Sebastina Bartoschek has published his article on the blog Ruhrbarone. With lots of screenshots from Twitter and this blog. And he specifically states in a disclaimer that it is NOT about the current dispute in the GWUP.

  • Mr Bartoschek version was published yesterday (Prof. Edzard Ernst teilt antisemitische Inhalte – Nachfrage dazu empfindet er als Erpressung! | Ruhrbarone []). My translation of his title: “Prof. Edzard Ernst shares antisemitic content – and views an inquiry about it as blackmail”. His article does not disappoint in his clumsy but hilarious attempt to justify both blackmail and denunciation.
    To cut the long and amusing story short: It turns out that my re-tweet was not that antisemitic after all (I suppose few quotes from Holocaust survivors have that quality). Therefore a third person (who I don’t know) found another one. I only vaguely remember it and might not have seen the text added to the picture, which was against Britain supplying arms to war zones and the reason for me re-posting it. Perhaps I hardly remember it because this part never did appear on my screen? I can’t be sure. In any case, I had already called it a ‘mistake’ on my blog. It then turns out that the third person did not even find it on Twitter but on Facebook. Someone alleged that I later deleted it which I certainly did not.
    To further escalate the storm in the tea cup, Bartoschek assures his readers that his defamation attempt has nothing to do with the WOKE discussions that currently destroy the GWUP. This almost certainly means that it has everything to do with this sorry affair. He also categorises me as an anti-woke person (despite the fact that I have repeatedly stated that I am as much anti-woke as anti-antiwoke and simply find woke to be an excuse for simpletons to engage in thinking).
    So, I herewith thank Bartoschek for his amusing take on this farce. As a comic writer, he clearly has potential! Perhaps he could next investigate whether there are any misplaced commas in one of my ~3000 blog posts, or a split infinitive in one of my >1000 peer-reviewed articles? I just hope he does not find out that I sang out of tune during a drunken Singapore Karaoke night in 2003 – that would be the end of me!
    Oh, and in case anyone assumes that I am poking fun at antisemitism, you are mistaken: it is Bartoschek who created hilarity when trying to find antisemitism where there is none.

    • Oh, my! What a kindergarten. What a nonsense. And THEY want to be taken serious? The GWUP is falling apart. Not just now, but for years already.

      The “pieces of proof”, by Bartoschek and the others (say, on Twitter), from where are they? No exact source is given, no urls. That is crap, nothing but crap. And the more of that they pile up, the more crap it is, and the more we only can frown. They are worlds apart from us.

      I think I mentioned this already:

      “An die Mitleser aus und anderswo”

      We are confronted with such incidents again and again, and it is always the same.

      Now, if they still WERE in the kindergarten age, we would not mind. But they are adults, working somewhere in businesses or in universities. And they behave like that.

      There are many Putin trolls and their helpers on Twitter. This account again and again tweets that picture with Israel Shahak:

      Again and again – under whatever circumstances – those tweets by Walter Henrich are passed on. There must be thousands of occurrences already.

      Is Bartoschek not able to give the source? Or even try to locate the source?

      Really, we are worlds apart from the GWUP.

  • Bartoschek wrote for the German BILD-Zeitung (and is proud of it). Also, he thinks (and says of himself) that he is a “journalist”.
    Just a silly inconsequential trash person…

  • Mr. Bartoschek’s new book “How to turn a single mosquito into an entire herd of elephants” will be published shortly 😉

  • Edzard clearly isnt an anti semite and I expect that anyone who has read his communications in any reasonable way knows that. No matter what opinions they may have.
    However, as CAM increases in popularity there may be more who scrutinise in pedantic detail everything he writes, likes and passes on.
    This level of scrutiny, outside the justifiable scrutiny of research has in the past been applied in a similar way to many working in CAM on a personal level.
    Some sceptics may in some ways be quite similar to some in CAM.

  • I disagree with you on the Gaza issue but I would never ever think for a second that you are an antisemite. I have so had it with these people who go to social media and try to find something, anything to defame someone they dislike no matter how absurd. It is shameful.

    • I disagree with myself an the ‘Gaza Issue’.
      I have called the re-tweet a mistake and don’t even remember it or know where it comes from. I certainly did not see the text, just the graph below.

      • I am so sorry ghey frustrated a fighter against all things woowoo enough to leave. But I thing the GWUP will die itself in the short run. And hopefully there will be a new organisation which reall does what it is supposed to do – stand up for science and against the bs.

        • standing up for science is what I will continue to do; I never needed an organisation for that.
          Amardeo persuaded me to join the GWUP – to be honest, I did join mainly because of him.

      • Disagreeing with oneself does seem to be an inevitable part of wading into the Israel – Palestine conflict !

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