This was going to be a post about yet another unserious charge by a Guardian columnist of ethnic cleansing against Israel.
What caught my eye initially in today’s Guardian report, “Letter from the West Bank: sweet tea and coffee soothe a bitter landscape“, by Gail Simmons, about a Bedouin Sheikh named Ishmael Ali al-Rashayda, was this passage:
“[al-Rashayda's] tribal lands, which once stretched as far as the Dead Sea, have shrunk during the occupation to a few scattered outposts. The Bedouin, who have lived here for centuries, have been largely expelled.”
My intent was to focus this post on the fact that, contrary to the implicit charge leveled by Simmons, even the most conservative estimates of the Bedouin population in Israel show that their numbers have increased by 16 fold (10,000 to roughly 160,000) since the state of Israel was established in 1948.
However, a brief search into the background of the author of this latest Guardian piece turned up evidence which puts the report in better perspective.
Gail Simmons is a travel writer who often provides commentary on her sojourns to a country called Palestine.
On her website, she observes:
“I enjoy writing about independent and ethical travel, and in recent years have specialised in the Middle East region where I’ve travelled widely. I’ve been described as “that rare beast – a travel writer with a conscience who sees beyond the 5-star to the country behind.” I certainly hope to be so.”
Just how ethical a traveler is Simmons?
Well, a recent Twitter post provides a clue.
Of course, if we lived in a just world – a place where such ferocious and cruel characterizations of the modest proposition that Jews are entitled to dictate their own destiny through self-determination were met with widespread opprobrium – the suggestion that Zionism is morally aligned with Nazism would render the author of such a hateful polemic toxic to the progressive community.
But, we don’t live in such a place.
Rather, the political realm we inhabit – a mere 66 years since the end of the Holocaust - allows for such odious moral invectives in the name of liberal thought.
Leon Wieseltier, commenting recently for The New Republic about those who oppose the mere notion of a Jewish state, wrote:
“A whole country and a whole people have been expelled from the realm of imaginative sympathy…there is a poison in the air.”
The ideological toxins which inform the views of Gail Simmons represent the norm, and not the exception, at a place known as the Guardian Left.
- Poisoning the wells: David Hearst’s Jewish problem (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian’s latest assault on Israel’s legitimacy includes more absurd charges of “ethnic cleansing” (cifwatch.com)
- Fool’s Prophecy: Harriet Sherwood’s latest compelling tale of Israeli oppression…that hasn’t yet happened (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian correspondent’s wish for the Jewish state? That it kindly cease to exist (cifwatch.com)
- The Guardian’s abusive Deborah Orr (cifwatch.com)
- The pseudo-intellectualism of the Guardian which robs Israeli terror victims of their humanity (cifwatch.com)
- The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins is tired of our “obsession” with Nazism and the Holocaust (cifwatch.com)