The Guardian ideology: Where reporting Iranian antisemitism is counter-revolutionary


What precisely would it take for the Guardian to report a story about antisemitism on the part of Iranian leaders?

While every Israeli policy conceivably affecting its Arab citizens, or the Palestinians, is scrutinized (by their ideological DNA experts) for trace amounts of racism, nowhere on the Guardian’s Iran page, for example, will you read that a website with close ties to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khomenei recently outlined why it would be religiously acceptable to kill all Jews in Israel.

This doctrine details why such genocide would be legally and morally justified and in accordance with Islamic law.

More recently, the Guardian failed to report a hideously antisemitic speech given by Iran’s vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, delivered on Tuesday, June 26th 2012, at an international anti-drug conference – a story which was reported widely in the mainstream media and by wire services.

Iran’s Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi holds hands with Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh during a welcome ceremony at Sa’abad complex in Tehran, Feb. 10

Rahimi charged that the Talmud was responsible for the spread of illegal drugs around the world in a speech which reportedly even shocked European diplomats in attendance.

Rahimi, second in line to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also charged that Jews “think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them” and that the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother.”  The New York Times also quoted Rahimi as saying Zionists ordered gynecologists to kill black babies and that the Russian Revolution of 1917 was started by Jews although none died in it.

The Guardian’s failure to report on such extreme antisemitism, delivered by an Iranian leader at an international forum, is not unrelated to the their consistent record defending the Islamic Republic against its critics, especially in the context of Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

Here is a sample of some of the polemical interference the Guardian has run for the mullahs in Tehran. 

  • A Guardian editorial warning Israel against saber-rattling against Iran and arguing that the Jewish state should just learn to live with a nuclear armed Iran (Iran, bolting the stable door, November 9th, 2011).
  • Saeed Kamali Dehghan’s warning against covert actions by the West and Israel to prevent Iran from acquiring nukes, which will “ruin any chance of dialogue with Tehran” (The covert war on Iran is illegal and dangerous, January 11th, 2012).

But the Pravda award for great achievements in passing off simply absurd political theories as serious thought goes to their veteran journalist Brian Whitaker, who actually served as the Guardian’s Middle East editor for seven years.

In a ‘Comment is Free’ piece on November 9th, 2011 titled Why do the US media believe the worse about Iran?”, Whitaker not only ignored the most recent IAEA report - available on the Guardian website - which stated that Iran has carried out “a structured program to develop an explosive nuclear device”, but suggested that the clandestine program may not be nuclear at all: merely a project to manufacture nanodiamonds.

As proof for this alternative and simply bizarre explanation – which has somehow eluded intelligence agencies, nuclear watchdog groups, and the international monitoring agency – Whitaker linked to a fringe site called Moon of Alabama“. 

But such comical obfuscations seem necessarily related to the Guardian’s failure to report about Iranian leaders who draw upon classic  antisemitic conspiracy theories to justify their desire to rid the world of the “cancerous tumor” known as the Jewish state.

Indeed, it seems that much of the Guardian’s editorial resources are devoted towards arguing that an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites would be madness because, at the end of the day, the Iranians are rational political actors who will behave rationally even if they become a nuclear power.  Such a theory is in itself a symptom of the paper’s broader belief that there are no moral differences between such Islamist states and the democratic West – a habit of mind characterized by Richard Landes as “Liberal Cognitive Egocentrism“.  

As such, evidence demonstrating that Iranian values are necessarily hostile towards not just Israel but Jews as such, represents supremely inconvenient truths and would run counter to the Guardian’s broader cause.  

If Israel is seen as correctly perceiving a nuclear armed Iran as a threat to the lives of millions of Jews – as well as the state’s very survival – then the Guardian’s long campaign against military intervention (as with their broader anti-Zionist narrative) is seriously undermined, and indeed would strain credulity.

The Guardian’s seemingly unlimited capacity to deny, or at least ignore, Islamist antisemitism is informed as much by an indifference to the political aspirations of Jews as it is by a broader refusal to allow for information which would contradict their most cherished beliefs.

21 comments on “The Guardian ideology: Where reporting Iranian antisemitism is counter-revolutionary

  1. The conspiracy of silence is very telling. Or else they accuse Jews of crying wolf, or, like ‘Berchmans’ and ‘pretzelberg’, they claim it’s exaggerated or if it really exists, it doesn’t matter a great deal.

    Keep up the good work you do on CiFWatch. The world was silent 75 years ago and then it was too late to save millions of Jews in central Europe.
    Those who don’t learn from history are condemned to seeing it repeated again and again.

    If Israel and the Jewish people are to be the victims once again, there is still time to do something and stop the fanatics of Iran. Never again !

    • ‘pretzelberg’, they claim it’s exaggerated or if it really exists, it doesn’t matter a great deal.

      That’s complete and utter bullshit – and you are welcome to retract it.

      of course all the usual blockheads gave it the thumbs up. I’d say “shame on them” – except we’re talking about people seemingly devoid of normal morals.

    • Pretzelberg does make some idiotic comments, but to be fair to him, I don’t recall him ever being an apologist for Iranian anti-semitism.

  2. Excellent article.

    The Guardian’s anti-racist credentials are looking rather threadbare. The reporting of Islamic racism is quite clearly being censored by senior journalists at Guardian Towers.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Rusbridger himself was behind it. Perhaps he should be asked.

    • Read the comments below the story. The Guardian sure seems to attract a lot of anti-Semites. Why do you think that is?

      • The Guardian sure seems to attract a lot of anti-Semites.

        So do all newspapers with an online forum.
        They also attract a lot of economic conservatives, hardcore environmentalists and paedophiles. Yes – even Israeli newspapers!

        The vast majority of people posting BTL on CiF are not Guardian readers.

        • pretz,
          “So do all newspapers with an online forum.”

          You’ve got a point there.

          “They also attract a lot of economic conservatives, hardcore environmentalists and paedophiles.”

          Oh, please!

          • “The Guardian sure seems to attract a lot of anti-Semites.”

            Pretzelberg says:
            “So do all newspapers with an online forum.
            They also attract a lot of economic conservatives, hardcore environmentalists and paedophiles. Yes – even Israeli newspapers!

            The vast majority of people posting BTL on CiF are not Guardian readers.”

            Try reading: http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2012/06/about-those-jews.php

    • “More recently, the Guardian failed to report a hideously antisemitic speech given by Iran’s vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi”

      That’s not true, is it?

      Actually it is true, if you bothered to read the Guardian piece.

      Rahimi said that Jews “think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them”

      This was not in the Guardian piece

      Rahimi said that the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother.”

      This was not in the Guardian piece

      Rahimi said that Zionists ordered gynecologists to kill black babies

      This was not in the Guardian piece

      Rahimi said that the Russian Revolution of 1917 was started by Jews although none died in it.

      This was not in the Guardian piece

      Did the Guardian mention the speech? Yes

      Did they report it?

      NO

  3. It is true, since the article at The Guardian appeared only at Thursday 28 June 2012 15.13 BST , maybe in reaction to the official condemnation which they could no longer ignore.
    Don´t play the clown.

  4. Of course, if the Guardian *had* reported this speech, you would have accused it of giving a platform to racism! Catch 22 of this religious fundamentalist website!

    • “Of course, if the Guardian *had* reported this speech, you would have accused it of giving a platform to racism! Catch 22 of this religious fundamentalist website!”
      Sanity,
      Do you really think that’s a fair comment? Of course you do, but it isn’t.

        • If Sanity were interested in the truth, he would not have called this site “religious fundamentalist.” There is not one iota of religious fundamentalist content here. Sanity thereby reveals his confounding of Zionism with religious fundamentalism, and thus his ignorance of history.

          If Sanity were worried about truth, he would have acknowledged the vast difference between reporting on an antisemitic speech, and giving a platform for racism. An example of the latter is when the Guardian invited an avowed racist (Ismail Haniyeh, a leader of Hamas) to write an opinion pieces for the newspaper.
          http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/08/palestinians-reclaiming-our-destiny

          Not fully reporting on the racist, antisemitic content of the Iranian speech is an example of the Guardian once agains sweeping Iranian hate speech under the rug.

        • “what has ‘fairness’ to do with it? i’m more worried about truth.”

          You should be worried about both, but you’re a practitioner of neither.

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