Guardian buries and distorts story about US Ambassador’s excuse for Muslim antisemitism


I was wondering if the Guardian would even cover the row over US Ambassador Howard Gutman’s remarks in Brussels excusing antisemitism by European Muslims as an understandable reaction to, among other dynamics, the construction of Israeli homes across the Green Line.

As we noted yesterday, Gutman distinguished between “hatred and violence against Jews, from a small sector of the population” which is “pernicious and… must be combated” on one hand, and “the more complex phenomena of Jew hatred which reflected “tension…over the…Israeli-Palestinian problem” on the other.

This later I-P Conflict-inspired hatred against Jews, argued Gutman, was different than classic antisemitic bigotry.

The following, in Richard Adams’ Guardian live blog on US politics, represents the sole entry on Gutman’s remarks about antisemitism in the Guardian.

Missing from Adams’ blog entry was these passages from Gutman’s prepared speech:

“It is the area where every new settlement announced in Israel, every rocket shot over a border or suicide bomber on a bus, and every retaliatory military strike exacerbates the problem and provides a setback here in Europe for those fighting hatred and bigotry here in Europe.”

the largest part of the solution for this second type of problem – too often lumped under a general banner of anti-Semitism – is in the hands of Israel, the Palestinians and Arab neighbors in the Middle East”

Yes, Gutman blamed Israel for fomenting antisemitism in Europe, a narrative advanced by, among others, Ben White in his 2002 CounterPunch essay, “Is it possible to understand the rise in antisemitism?“.

And, yes, the Guardian not only barely noted this apologia for racism, but omitted the most relevant passages in Gutman’s overall argument.

But, beyond the Guardian’s characteristic white wash of such politically inconvenient facts, we’re still left with a U.S. Ambassador who suggested that “tensions” and “violence” between Muslims and Jews in Europe is equally distributed between the two groups;  hatred against Jews stemming from the I-P Conflict should not be simplistically placed in the same category as regular antisemitism; and Israeli behavior drives the rise of antisemitism in Europe.

Perhaps this is a simple and intuitive point to make, but if Jewish history has demonstrated anything it’s that antisemitism has never been a commentary on the behavior of Jews but, rather, on the hate in the hearts of antisemites.

Attributing Muslim antisemitism to Israeli behavior is akin to blaming Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Afghanistan for fomenting racism against Muslims in the U.S.

True anti-racists, it seems, would never provide a moral pass to proponents and perpetrators of such dangerous bigotry.

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38 comments on “Guardian buries and distorts story about US Ambassador’s excuse for Muslim antisemitism

  1. Gutman blamed Israel for fomenting antisemitism in Europe

    No he did not.

    And this from a website:
    a) where a poster received massive BTL support for their call to “nuke the Arabs”
    b) that today published an article that contained unashamed anti-Muslim hate speech.

    • Pretz, your points are often thoughtful but this comment is way off base.

      First, Gutman indeed blamed Israeli behavior (settlement construction) on the rise of Muslim antisemitism in Europe. Here, read the text of his prepared speech.

      http://belgium.usembassy.gov/ambassador/speeches/anti-semitism.html

      “It is the area where every new settlement announced in Israel, every rocket shot over a border or suicide bomber on a bus, and every retaliatory military strike exacerbates the problem and provides a setback here in Europe for those fighting hatred and bigotry here in Europe.”

      “It is at the same time somewhat unfortunate that most of the cause and thus most of the solution for tension and hatred in Europe, for growing problems at Belgian universities, for epithets in the streets, rest with governments and people a continent away.”

      What about this is unclear?

      As far as anti-Muslim hate speech, what are you even talking about? The fact about Muslim rapes in Norway is not in dispute. There was a report cited which nobody in Norway questioned. The only thing which wasn’t true was the allegation made by a blogger that Norwegian Ministers said that such news would benefit the Israeli occupation.

      Again, how is correctly reporting that the spike in rapes in Norway is overwhelmingly a Muslim phenomenon racist? I’d really like to know.

      • As far as anti-Muslim hate speech, what are you even talking about?

        From the Norway article (which you have since pulled – perhaps you’d care to state why?):
        the Muslims have so much contempt for these people. They can be bullied by “human rights” speech to tacitly grant Muslims the right to rape Norwegian infidels as an act of multi-cultural understanding.

        This is hate speech, pure and simple.

        Any further questions?

        • Pretz, if white neo-nazis were raping people of color in the UK, or anywhere else in Europe, there would be a justifiable and universal expression of outrage.

          I don’t think its even debatable that Europeans are wary of holding Muslim immigrants similarly responsible for anti-social behavior for fear of being labeled racist.

          In fact it is this very phenomenon (this liberal racism) which lay at the heart of Gutman’s speech. What else could explain the fact that he didn’t condemn the Muslims in Europe who are antisemitic but, rather, lashed out at Israel?

          Yes, all racism is equally as abhorrent. But the suggestion that Islamophobia is as big of a problem in the world today as antisemitism is not a serious proposition. There are 14 million Jews in the world. 1.5 billion Muslims. The Jews have one state, Muslims over 50.

          As a member of a people representing 2/10 of 1% of the world’s population, I think I can be forgiven for prioritizing the defense of my peoples’ tiny sliver of land over others.

          • if white neo-nazis were raping people of color in the UK

            a) We are all “of color”
            b) Why the neo-Nazi reference? All Muslims can be compared to neo-Nazis??

            As a member of a people representing 2/10 of 1% of the world’s population, I think I can be forgiven for prioritizing the defense of my peoples’ tiny sliver of land over others.

            Completely understandable. Except your figures relate to worldwide Jewry, not the population of Israel (which is what you’re actually referring to).

    • “that today published an article that contained unashamed anti-Muslim hate speech.”
      Go ahead Pretzelberg, don’t be shy, give us chapter and verse, word for word. Enough of your cowardly implications.

  2. “On a pretzel loop, riders are upside down at the beginning, and on their backs and going backwards at the bottom.” (Wikipedia)
    Hmm, who does that call to mind?

    • Answer: Most of the posters on this website?
      Actually that’s not true. Most posters here are on a rather boring straight-ahead Muslim-hating non-loop.

      How about addressing the issues I addressed?

      • You must be more comfortable at your usual haunts, the Jew hating jihadi rallys where Western journalists like Lara Logan (not a Jew BTW) are raped by mobs of Arabs in Egypts Tahrir square.

        Lara Logan Attacked, Assaulted by Mob of 200 2/16/2011

        • My “usual haunts” are “Jew hating jihadi rallys”?

          God that’s pathetic. Nobody else here think so? Nobody willing to condemn this poster?

              • I suggest you troll through Der Guardian or bnp blogs, jihadi blogs.

                This website is far closer to the BNP than the Guardian.

                • pretzels, I am proudly pro-Israel,

                  and proudly anti-hamass, anti-hezbullah, anti-muslim brotherhood, anti-islamofascist, anti-al qada, anti-[national] socialist, anti-FAKE “ant-war” that never denounced OBL, anti-abu abbastard.

                  And I celebrate “The Nakba”, the failure of islamofascists to murder every Jew they could get their hands on, just 3 years after the end of Holocaust.

            • Now, that´s really special. Our church-lady-in-chief talking about balls!?!
              BTW, this is a very sexist language and you are violating your own PC language-purity guideline, gender section.

              SHAME ON YOU!

        • Some months back, I read a statement from Ms. Logan where she described the attack. She claims that while she was assaulted and there was an attempt to rape her, she was not actually raped due to the intervention of women in the crowd.

          Attempted rape is horrific enough; we need not say something happened that did not.

          While the fact that Ms. Logan was a foreigner and perhaps suspected of being Jewish may have been a motive for her attackers, In Cairo sexual harassment and assault of women in public places had reached such proportions that women were using smart phone apps to keep up to date on which neighborhoods are especially dangerous long before the Arab Spring

      • So, why the heck you keep posting here? Are you going to save us all to your Church of Self-Righteouss Babblings?

  3. Why did Gutman omitted the Persians as a big piece of solving this “I/P problem” which shapes attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in Europe? Was it intentional?

  4. Actually, this is the first time I’ve read the controversial passage rather than had it described to me:

    “It is the area where every new settlement announced in Israel, every rocket shot over a border or suicide bomber on a bus, and every retaliatory military strike exacerbates the problem and provides a setback here in Europe for those fighting hatred and bigotry here in Europe.”

    Note that he’s also saying that Palestinian terrorism (“every rocket shot over a border or suicide bomber on a bus”) is also being used as an excuse for anti-Semitic acts in Europe.

    Gutman’s suggestion that there’s a variety of antisemitism that is “understandable” is certainly indefensible. But he’s also saying that any news regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is being used as an excuse for morally indefensible actions elsewhere.

  5. And hatred of whites?

    See Telegraph story:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8939276/Mercy-for-the-drunk-Muslim-girl-gang-who-attacked-woman.html

    Quote:”The four defendants shouted “kill the white slag” as they attacked Rhea Page after dragging her to the ground.

    Ambaro Maxamed, 24, her sisters Ayan, 28, and Hibo, 24, and their cousin Ifrah Nur, 28, faced up to five years in jail after admitting causing actual bodily harm.

    But Judge Robert Brown gave them six-month suspended sentences after deciding that the attack in Leicester city centre was not racially motivated.” endquote

    Perhaps Judge Brown belongs to the Pretzel school of interpretation – Muslims can do no wrong it seems.

    • A Telegraph reader. Why aren’t I surprised?

      Perhaps Judge Brown belongs to the Pretzel school of interpretation – Muslims can do no wrong it seems.

      Hilarious! What complete and utter bullshit.

      • “Hilarious! What complete and utter bullshit.” Pretzele

        Comic! What a complete and utter hypocritical crap. Not news from the church-lady-in-chief.

        Oh, and SHAME ON YOU!

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