Tin-Pot Pravda: Guardian editorial scolds Israel for taking Iranian nuclear threat seriously


I’m not sure which is more interesting, the very notion of the Guardian giving national security advice to Israel “Israel is unwise to raise the nuclear stakes“, Nov. 6, or the following passage in the editorial which represents one of the most surreal understatements I’ve read in a long time.

The Guardian, after sternly lecturing Israel on the folly of even considering a preemptive attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, writes:

“It is true that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has voiced a profound antipathy for Israel, which has been interpreted in many quarters as threatening the existence of the Jewish state.”

So, Ahmadinejad has voiced an “antipathy” towards Israel “which has been interpreted…as threatening the existence” of Israel”?!

In fact, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly and quite explicitly called for its destruction, has engaged in crude antisemitism, and called the Holocaust “a myth”.

Here are just a few examples:

General hatred, antisemitism, and Holocaust Denial:

Aug. 2, 2006, as reported on Iranian state TV 

“Are they human beings?… They (Zionists) are a group of blood-thirsty savages putting all other criminals to shame.”

July 6, 2006, as quoted by Iranian News Agency

“The Zionists think that they are victims of Hitler, but they act like Hitler and behave worse than Genghis Khan.”

March 21, 2007, New Year’s message aired on Iranian TV

“It is quite clear that a bunch of Zionist racists are the problem the modern world is facing today. They have access to global power and media centers and seek to use this access to keep the world in a state of hardship, poverty and grudge and strengthen their rule.”

Feb. 28, 2007, to a meeting of Sudanese Islamic scholars in Khartoum

“The Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan…”

Sept. 23, 2008, address to the UN

“The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner.”

Sept. 18, 2009 Al Quds Day rally in Tehran

“They (the Western powers) launched the myth of the Holocaust. They lied, they put on a show and then they support the Jews…. If as you claim the Holocaust is true, why can a study not be allowed? … The pretext for establishing the Zionist regime is a lie… a lie which relies on an unreliable claim, a mythical claim…”

August 7, 2010, Televised conference in Tehran

No “Zionists” were killed in the World Trade Center, because “one day earlier they were told not to go to their workplace.”

Israel should be destroyed:

Oct. 25, 2006, in an address to 4,000 students at a program titled, ‘The World Without Zionism':

“Israel must be wiped off the map … The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world . . . The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny.  The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land.”

Dec. 12, 2006, comments to Iran’s Holocaust Conference

“Thanks to people’s wishes and God’s will the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is downwards and this is what God has promised and what all nations want…Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out.”

Nov. 13, 2006

“Israel is destined for destruction and will soon disappear.  Israel is “a contradiction to nature, we foresee its rapid disappearance and destruction.”

Feb. 5, 2010, at a news conference in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

“With Allah’s help the new Middle East will be a Middle East without Zionists and Imperialists.”

And, of course, the following image has been “interpreted” by some as calling for the end of Zionism:

In fairness, the Guardian does allow for the possibility that Israel may be justified in defending itself, and carefully tutors the state’s leaders on the ethical guidelines required to thwart a potential Iranian attack:

“To have any justification for its use, it requires an immediate and proximate threat, as existed when Israel was faced with Egyptian tank divisions manoeuvring on its borders to the loud drum beat of war, which persuaded Israel to attack first in the 1967 Six Day War…”

However, they subsequently argue that there may even be a bright side to the possibility that Iran will acquire nuclear arms:

“The reality is that Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is seen as a threat for reasons partly of Israel’s own making – foremost its absolute reliance on a policy of military supremacy and deterrence to underpin security. A nuclear-armed Iran would hole that policy below the waterline, making it far more difficult, for instance, to launch the kind of war it waged against Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006.”

Yes, the progressive end result:  A nuclear Iran will deter Israel from defending itself against the likes of Hezbollah and Hamas!

Finally, in disgust, the Guardian lashes out at the stubborn Zionists who will likely be unmoved by the advice provided by the sage commentators in London who clearly understand what’s best for Israel.

“If that is Netanyahu’s aim – to use the threat of war to leverage diplomatic effect – it is the behaviour of a tinpot state, not the mature democracy Israel claims to be.”

While we’ll never know who wrote this particular editorial, there are tropes which evoke the following passage from a 2009 CiF essay

“[To] the western media…Ahmadinejad is nothing but a Holocaust-denying fanatic. The other Ahmadinejad, who is seen to stand up for the country’s independence, expose elite corruption on TV and use Iran’s oil wealth to boost the incomes of the poor majority, is largely invisible abroad.”

This was written by Guardian Associate Editor Seumas Milne in 2009.

Straight Left – the pro-Stalinist UK Communist Party paper where Milne served as “business manager” – may have perished with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but its spirit of stoic resistance in the face of imperialism lives on. 

The Guardian is not a newspaper in any real sense of the word, but a theoretical journal of far left thought intent on arranging the news in a pattern consistent with a rigid ideological agenda.

Whether the editorial is informed simply by the unimaginable naiveté of not understanding that the only thing standing in the way of Israel’s destruction is the credible threat of force against her enemies, or a visceral hostility to the “tin pot” Jewish state – or, more likely, a combination of the two – their chiding of what they see as a petulant Israel makes one thing crystal clear.

The fundamental moral imperative of Zionism – the historical understanding that never again will Jews allow their freedom, their fate, indeed their very existence, to be contingent upon the benevolence of others – continues to be vindicated both by the words and actions of Israel’s enemies, and by the pseudo-intellectual musings of their enablers in the West.

54 comments on “Tin-Pot Pravda: Guardian editorial scolds Israel for taking Iranian nuclear threat seriously

  1. “The Guardian is not a newspaper in any real sense of the word, but a theoretical journal of far left thought”

    Adam, if you want to be taken seriously, stop mischaracterizing people. The Guardian’s obsession with Israel and Milne’s love affair with the Islamic far right are serious enough to make your blog a sort of right wing mouthpiece and lose your credibility. I’m OK if you’re a conservative, but calling everyone who disagree with you “far left” is just daft.

    The Guardian is not far left in the least. It’s the most bourgeois, ridden-by-guilt middle class rag in Britain. They endorsed Tony Blair and Nick Clegg. They never endorsed a single far left party and in the last Tunisian elections they didn’t side with the left-wing Ettakatol, but with the rightist Ennahda.

    There’s nothing in the political agenda of the Guardian that looks far-left. They are for home schooling, posh consumerism and not-polluted-by-the proles tourism.

    Not all the far left is anti-Israel or anti-Zionist, and there’s a lot of right-wing anti-Semitism too. In fact, go to some far-right websites and you’ll think that the Guardian is the Jewish Chronicle in comparison.

    Here in Britain you have people like these, http://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/

    or these, http://www.workersliberty.org/

    Btw, yesterday you accused me of anti-Semitism, I’m still waiting for an apology.

    • Juan with respect for many years, certainly decades, The Guardian has rightly been described as “written by Trots. for the benefit of Liberals” by many who are active in politics in the UK.
      So Adam’s description of it as a ‘theoretical journal of far-left thought’ is accurate.

      • Gerald, I can’t see how this is a demonstration of anything.

        You’re saying, “the Guardian is far left, everybody says that, which shows that it’s far left.”

        Do you really know what “far left thought” is?

        Second, go and tell Milne that he’s a Trot… you’ll give him a heart attack. The man was an organic intellectual of the most unreconstructed Stalinist tendencies of the CPGB.

        • ‘Do you really know what “far left thought” is?’
          To answer your question Juan, yes I do.
          I’ve fought them since 1967 whatever guise they go under IS/SWP, IMG, WRP and all the 57 other varieties (Posadasites, followers of Mandel and the 4th International etc.) that have existed and in some cases still exist.

    • Juan, you can’t be serious.

      The Guardian describes their mission explicitly: to be “the world’s leading liberal voice”. Their website gets 30 million unique viewers a month. Who do you think these 30 million are? BNP folks?

      The liberal intelligensia in the Uk looks at the Guardian as the US intelligensia looks at the New York Times.

      Yes, our argument has always been that there’s nothing actually progressive about their agenda, but that’s how they market themselves, as liberals. And, that’s who reads them – liberals.

      Is this even debatable?

      • Adam,

        liberal is not far left. My point is that you’re implying that anti-Semitism is part of a left-wing agenda, when it’s not. Anti-Semitism is a very specific phenomenon and when you equate it with being left-wing, you lose credibility.

        There’re many anti-Semites on the left (I can think of Ken Loach, for example), but the left is not intrinsically anti-Semitic, and the fight against anti-Semitism was led by the left, not by the right. Not to forget the key role Jewish thinkers and politicians played both on the European, American and Latin American left and on the creation of the state of Israel.

        If I have to go by the comments on Cif, a lot of Tories and BNP people read the Guardian too.

      • Adam, Juan L (= Juan Lewis?) was specifically challenging the notion that the Guardian is “far left”. And I agree with him that there are simply no grounds for that claim.

        • Pretz, please tell me how you’d characterize the Guardian if not far left. Are they right wing? Come on, your semantic argument is not in the least interesting. The Guardian describes their mission as to become the world’s leading liberal voice. As such, they should be judged accordingly.

    • Juan,
      You say “Not all the far left is anti-Israel or anti-Zionist” and then you go on to attack the right. Go ahead with your defence of the far left. Show its appreciation for Israel’s human rights stances and where it supports Israel in the UN, in defending it against the Amnesty & other NGO slurs.

    • Btw, yesterday you accused me of anti-Semitism, I’m still waiting for an apology.

      What was all this about, then?

  2. “…Not all the far left is anti-Israel or anti-Zionist, and there’s a lot of right-wing anti-Semitism too. In fact, go to some far-right websites and you’ll think that the Guardian is the Jewish Chronicle in comparison. ..”

    What precisely is your point? Even if the far right are antisemites, the far left still are.

    • My point is that anti-Semitism is not far left-wing per se (sorry for the jargon) and that the Guardian can’t be defined as a far left outlet either. That there’re anti-Semites on the far left doesn’t mean that the Guardian’s obsession with Israel is part of a far left-wing agenda.

      Anti-Semitism is fucking dead serious to trivialize it trying to gain points for the conservative right.

      The most reactionary elements of the Northern Irish protestant camp have decided to hoist the Israeli flag in response to Republican sympathies for the Palestinian cause. Would you say that Zionism is a right-wing movement, then? Of course you wouldn’t, because the most prominent heroes of the Zionist movement were mostly Marxists and socialists… ehem ehem…

      • Juan – I don’t think anyone is ‘trying to gain points’ here. Certainly from my point of view criticism of the Guardian’s anti-Israel bias and lax attitude towards antisemitism stems from the deep disappointment of someone who grew up with the Left in her blood due to the necessity to confront the very uncomfortable fact that such attitudes have become prevalent on the Left – and not just the far Left.
        Sure, there are Right wing antisemites too and it’s not that they don’t bother me, but the Right is not my home. The Left is and I care about what happens to it.

        • Fair enough. I was a member of the United Left when I lived in Spain, where anti-Semitism runs deep right and left. It boiled my blood when I heard some comrades parrot the worst right wing phantasies when it came to Israel and the Jews. Not all were like that, and many were strong two-state solutioners.

          My point is that the Guardian is not far left and that Adam keeps conflating being a left-winger with being anti-Semitic. He should know better.

  3. That article ended with…….

    “A country increasingly bereft of any notion of how to manage relations with it’s neighbors except through the threat of aggression”

    They never disappoint…..

  4. The Guardian in general, and CIF specifically, allowed liberal thought to be subsumed by Far Leftist doctrine as surely as they have allowed criticism of Israel to be subsumed by anti-Semitism. I have no idea why they thought this was the right way to go and don’t care, but I also have no interest in cutting them any breaks simply because the Right contains bigots. On balance, CIF has betrayed its former ideas to curry favor with anti-Semites. That’s their reality, their embarrassment, and their problem. And there’s no need to apologize to anyone who is unable to come to grips with this.

  5. “..I also have no interest in cutting them [ie the Guardian/CiF] any breaks simply because the Right contains bigots…”

    Ben, thanks for spelling out that point. The Guardian is one thing when it pretends to be another – no surprises there and so far as I can see, and it makes common cause with far left Jew-hatred when it lets its hair down.

    But I am not sure I can agree that CiF has betrayed its left, socialist credentials It seems to me that what you call its “former ideas” were very much linked to the far left from the outset and it has become significantly worse.

    And Juan Lewis, I still can’t make out what your problem is with that.

    • “And Juan Lewis, I still can’t make out what your problem is with that”

      It’s not my problem. It’s this blog’s problem. If you want to be taken seriously, try not to sound like a Tea Partier. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a far leftist, OK?

      By the way, could you spell out how you think the Guardian is far left.

      • Juan Lewis,

        No one invited you here, and no one will cry if you leave. We are right, and you are wrong. We don’t have a problem, the Guardian has a problem. That problem is that they are anti-Semites and racist bigots. Our pointing out these obvious beliefs and behaviors makes you uncomfortable. Fine, then go away.

        • Irit,

          “Our pointing out these obvious beliefs and behaviors makes you uncomfortable”

          uncomfortable in the least. I don’t care if the Guardian disappears. But if you’re going to combat anti-Semitism, you shouldn’t give hostages to your enemy showing that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

          “Fine, then go away”

          So what you want is just to listen to yourselves. And that’s good because?

          • I am disconcerted by your inability, Juan Lewis, to apprehend how you come across here.

            Regardless of how you might construe it, you have not been given the imperative to educate everyone else here, but your mode of expression assumes that you have arrogated that right to yourself.

            Speaking for myself (and I suspect for rather more followers of CiF Watch) you are not the Gold Standard who should be allowed to express disagreement simply to prevent CiF Watch from becoming an echo chamber. You are far too self-righteous, one-track-minded and rigid and grandiose.

            And you have not learned, it seems, that in such cases less is often quite, quite enough

            • Regardless of how you might construe it, you have not been given the imperative to educate everyone else here, but your mode of expression assumes that you have arrogated that right to yourself.

              Any idea how transparently pompous you sound?

              You are far too self-righteous, one-track-minded and rigid and grandiose.

              … and grandiose … Hilarious!

              Mitnaged might fancy himself as vaguely intelligent – but the sad truth is that he’s the one-eyed king in the domain of the blind here.

              And to think I used to take Mitnaged’s posts seriously.

              • (I think that Mitnaged is imitating you, pretzelberg. For some reason it seems that he has decided that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Wait… in a minute he’ll start whingeing about the number of stars he hasn’t got…. I gather that it’s a new form of mirroring in psychotherapy, whereby imitating the patient lets him see exactly how he comes across to others. He has you down to a fine art, doesn’t he?)

                Mitnaged, you will promise you won’t cry yourself to sleep because you lost pretzelberg’s respect won’t you?

        • No one invited you here

          And who the hell invited you then, sunshine?

          We are right, and you are wrong.

          Sort of sums up the intellectual capacity for debate of all too many posters on this site.

      • OMG a finger wagger!

        I guess that’s always risk with an open access blog.

        Who are you to tell us what to and what not to do? Who put you in charge, Juan?

        “If you want to be taken seriously….”

        Whaaat??

        (Psst. I got news for you…. CiF Watch IS taken seriously and was before you deigned to give it your advice. It was and is doing fine without you. Disagree by all means but don’t dress up what you say in terms a child in the playground would use, such as “No-one will like you if….” They make you look silly.

    • Hair,
      I will say at the outset that I am not a scholar of all things CiF. If I’m wrong and they always supported loss of civil rights in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia because it would have meant being honest about the things Israel does right, or have never had any problem with gays being tortured and killed in Middle East countries because that would undercut their larger “anti-Zionist” platforms, or have gone on the record for decades that civilians being murdered was “understandable” as long as they were Israeli Jews…then I’ll be thrilled to find out I was wrong. I don’t expect to be thrilled any time soon.

  6. “…The fundamental moral imperative of Zionism – the historical understanding that never again will Jews allow their freedom, their fate, indeed their very existence, to be contingent upon the benevolence of others – continues to be vindicated both by the words and actions of Israel’s enemies, and by the pseudo-intellectual musings of their enablers in the West.”

    Thanks for posting this. There are a lot of individuals who do not understand this including, sadly, many Jews. Worth repeating over and over, especially the part that reads “their freedom, their fate, indeed their very existence.”

  7. Something must have got through that thick skull of The Guardian,they have an article……….

    “The readers’ editor on……averting accusations of antisemitism”

    Log on and…………..STICK IT TO THEM………….

  8. BTW,could you spell out how you think the Guardian is far left…….

    Anyone who could ask such a dumb question on CiFWATCH,is either thick,provocative,or trolling…….Or all three………….

    • OK Benorr, thanks for your insight. Now you’ve convinced me that the Guardian is the organ of the Fourth International. The power of your logic and rhetoric is boundless.

    • A “far left” publication would hardly (as the Guardian does) have “Life & Style” and “Travel” sections – not to mention a “Lost in Showbiz” column.

      And benorr suggests anyone who draws attention to this is “thick,provocative,or trolling”.

      Hilarious!

      • pretzelberg before you shoot yourself in the foot again.
        I suggest you look at the “Morning Star” and “Socialist Worker”, and some of their back issues, for coverage of some of the topics you mention in defence of “The Guardian”.
        Or don’t you consider those two publications as being ‘far left’ ?

        • The “Morning Star” and “Socialist Worker” have the equivalent of a Lost in Showbiz column?? Or articles about buying property in Tuscany?

          And you say I “shoot myself in the foot again”? Hilarious!!!

          • pretzelberg yes you shoot yourself in the foot again.
            Clearly you haven’t read either and by the look of your reply you didn’t bother to read my post either.
            Never mind clearly you are a balanced individual with a chip on both shoulders.
            Hilarious!!!!

  9. Now, I would remind you that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but I don’t believe that “wit” applies here.

    I think you’d have an argument with your shadow, Juan Lewis,

    And you’d lose.

  10. Blind, personal attacks and vicious antagonism against anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with their own prejudiced, set-in-stone world view.

    Is that a description of CiF BTL commentators? Absolutely.

    Is that also a description of Snigger, benorr and others who have decided that, because Juan Lewis has a slightly different perspective than theirs, he must be “thick” or a “troll”. This is sadly not a one-off, either. The abuse Pretzelberg gets every time he comments on CW is abominable.

    Now I don’t know who Juan is – never heard of him before today – but it seems to me cleaer that he abhors anti-semitism as much as anyone on this blog, so his views ought to be treated as genuine. Disagree with him if you like, but please don’t stoop to personal abuse.

    Thanks

      • Just gets to me. People who will treat friends that way will very quickly have no friends.

        The people who regularly comment on this site are vocal supporters of Israel and would like to think they are enemies of anti-semitism in the wider internet. It is therefore vital that we (yes, I include myself in the above) think very carefully about who our enemies are, and how our words can alienate those we are trying to convince, especially if viewed outside the relatively narrow confines of a CW blog.

    • Nice to see someone here challenging the mentally challenged who infest this website.

      Of course that means those intellectual midgets have immediately voted down your post.

      Note how they never engage in reasonable debate. Clearly the likes of Irit, benorr and gerald are incapable of the latter – not to mention the cowardly idiots who automatically give the thumbs down.

      This website attracts a high proportion of racist scumbags. Perhaps those in charge should ask themselves the same questions they put to the Guardian.

      • I’ve posted similar to you elsewhere pretzelberg:

        Why do you choose to frequent a website which is, according to you and quite wrongly,, replete with “mental midgets” and “mentally challenged” ?

        Could it be that this makes you feel less mentally challenged and a taller mental midget yourself? Please tell!

        You can criticise the rest of the contributors here, you idiot, when you resort to reasonable debate instead of lunging off the deep end if people disagree with you, or nitpicking, and whingeing about how few stars your posts attract. That sort of childishness belongs in the nursery.

        • You can criticise the rest of the contributors here, you idiot, when you resort to reasonable debate instead of lunging off the deep end if people disagree with you

          I will post here what I like and certainly don’t need your permission.

          And you’re another one who singles me out re. “reasonable debate” while never ever criticising the mental midgets – which they are – who a) throw all sorts of racist epithets around and b) laughably call me a Nazi.

          Could it be because you’re bigoted?

          Could it be that this makes you feel less mentally challenged and a taller mental midget yourself?

          Hilarious! I’ve just added you to the MM crew!

          There are most certainly intelligent posters here – sadly you are not one of them.

    • Can you spell out exactly how Juan Lewis abhorrs antisemitism. “Abhorrs” is a strong word with loaded connotative meanings. Where is the evidence of it in his posts, rather than the fact that he has been busily engaged in pointing out that the far right is as antisemitic as the far left?

      Seems to me that he’s trying to excuse far left antisemitism.

      • Seems to me that he’s trying to excuse far left antisemitism.

        Good God this website really does attract some very stupid people.

      • Snigger – I have no idea what loaded connotative meanings you wish to ascribe to the word “abhor”. To me it simply means “strongly against, despise”. The point I am making (and which I think afancdogge makes far more lucidly than I could) is that as far as I can see, at no stage has Juan “excused” antisemitism from any angle. He has merely criticized the characterisation of the Guardian as “far left” and the insistence by some on this site to stereotype the “left” as irredeemably antisemitic.

        Now, as I say, you are of course entirely free to disagree with him, but it is just foolish to assume that, because he has a different perception of the political agenda at the Guardian to you that he is somehow an apologist for antisemitism!

        That’s just absurd.

  11. Quite a lot of articles over on the Torygraph about the nuclear aspirations of this nutjob, and on the comments, a lot of people are advancing the claim that he didn’t really say ‘Israel’, but ‘this Zionist regime’. Of course, it’s all a ‘deliberate mistranslation by the Zionazis’. *sigh*

    Anyway, does someone speak Farsi, and can confirm what he in fact said?

  12. Hello Everybody

    Very heated discussion here.

    The Guardian has never been Left wing in socialist terms. Liberals here in UK are not socialists but sort of left leaning Conservatives. they believe in private ownership of property for example. As a Brit I find it confusing to read that some think the G is Left-wing. Socialists would be amazed to read this claim.

    Anti-semitism is abhorrent wherever it is found and should be opposed – this goes without saying but to equate it only with the far left is quite wrong. It is not the sole preserve of any one particular political faction – it can be found in all parties – here in UK more among rightists/nationalists than anywhere. It is not institutionalised and is less common than Islamaphobia.

    There is a growing factionalism in UK, with the Nationalists and Little Englanders gaining some ground. This is reflected in social policies and changing attitudes to immigrants.

    If you want to counter AS in UK you need to keep support of the broad left movement here. You have to remember that we have not had a Lefty gvt. here for 30 years.

    We are often told that the Left supports Human Rights groups, that the Left are universalists – this is broadly true but it is unfair to suggest , as some do, that nobody on the Right supports Human Rights.

    We all know that both Left and Right can produce dictatorships, be repressive and violent. Certainly both can be racist and discriminatory against both their own citizens and other countries.

    Juan (Yanpol) is certainly not AS – I have read many of his posts on Cif.

    Leni

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