Round-up of the Guardian’s Israel coverage – September 2012


It is time for our monthly round-up of the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and, as usual, quite a few of the sixty articles appearing on the Guardian’s ‘World News – Israel‘ page during September have precious little to do with the subject. 

Obituaries for Eva Figes and Said Aburish – neither of them Israelis – somehow found their way there, as did an article on the fighting in Haleb (Aleppo) in Syria, a piece concerning a man who set himself alight in Gaza and another on vintage Arab banknotes. An article relating to Palestinian protests against the PA’s economic policies also appeared on the ‘Israel’ page. 

No fewer than five articles covered the subject of the riots across the Middle East and North Africa supposedly related to the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ video.  A further ten articles were actually about the US presidential race and nine others were connected to some aspect of the Iranian nuclear bid. 

Among the topics of local news covered by the Guardian’s in situ Jerusalem correspondent were the proposed exhumation of Yasser Arafat, Eritrean economic migrants in Sinai, Spiderman’ kippas, and Ariel University. In an article on the bankrupt Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv, Sherwood apparently thought it necessary to emphasise the fact that its proposed buyer is a ‘settler’. An article by Roy Greenslade related to the Uri Blau court case. 

Sherwood also wrote about the ‘pillaging’ of Dead Sea resources according to a report by Al Haq and the BDS case was presented in an additional article by Ben White, replying to a piece of the opposite sentiment. 

Articles by Ghada Karmi and Antony Loewenstein promoted the ‘one-state solution’, whilst another related to “fading prospects” for the two state solution according to David Miliband. 

The Guardian’s coverage of the UN opening, as featured upon the Israel page, ran to twelve articles – six of those concerning PM Netanyahu’s speech and the others relating to the speeches by Obama, Morsi, Abbas and Ahmadinejad. 

On the security front, the Guardian published a video of an “Israeli air strike on Gaza” and an article about a “border skirmish” in which three Egyptian ‘militants’ (in quotation marks) were killed. No mention was made in that article of the fact that an Israeli soldier was killed by the terrorists and no follow-up article including that information was published. 

At the ‘Israel’ page of Comment is Free, where the July 2011 Sam Bahour article still holds pride of place, a total of five articles were published in September, including the above mentioned Karmi and Loewenstein ‘one state’ articles and two by Chris McGreal. Refreshingly, an article by Jackie Kemp also appeared, describing the abysmal behaviour of anti-Israel protesters at the Batsheva performances in Scotland. 

Among the news from Israel which the Guardian failed to report at all during September was:

A Grad rocket which fell near Netivot on September 2nd.

The arrest of a Palestinian from Beit Furik and two others for the poisoning of a family in Ra’anana.

The Hamas reshuffle and Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad participation in the Conference of Islamic Resistance held in Iran. 

The firing of two rockets at Netivot on September 7th.

The firing of Grad rockets at Netivot and Be’er Sheva on September 9th

The killing of security officer Lior Farhi by the driver of a car transporting illegal Palestinian workers into Israel.

The firing of three rockets from Gaza at southern Israeli communities during the week September 12th to 19th.

The seizure of a large stockpile of weapons belonging to a terrorist squad near Mount Hebron. 

The killing of Corporal Netanel Yahalomi and the injury of another soldier during the terrorist attack on the Egyptian border on September 21st

Dozens of attacks with rocks and Molotov cocktails on Israeli vehicles. 

Yes – that is the strange world of the Guardian, in which a Spiderman kippa row deserves column space, but the destruction of a house in a Grad missile attack or the killing of an Israeli soldier by terrorists does not. 

4 comments on “Round-up of the Guardian’s Israel coverage – September 2012

  1. It would be so nice if The Guardian and attendant CiFfalists reported about the new Palestinian organisations springing up like mushrooms after a hot summers rain, to encourage other rational Palestinians to demand that the Palestinian authority and other Arab/Muslim states clearly recognise a Jewish Zionist democratic state in Israel within secure borders.

    But there aren’t any.

    • Apparently at least 400 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the Syrian civil war, an unspecified number being in the shelling of refugee camps by Assad’s security forces.

      Why is no one marching? Why isn’t the Graun interested?

  2. Thank you Hadar. This referenced monthly round-up is a must-read for those wishing to follow events in Israel and not suffer the contamination of The Guardian’s agit-prop of omission and distortion.

  3. Hadar – what are you suggesting is the real problem with articles appearing in the ‘Israel’ page that are not directly, but instead tangentially related to Israel? Is that supposed to be evidence of some kind of Guardian obsession with Israel? Have you considered that news websites – like any websites – tag and label their content in various complex ways so that a range of content can be brought together for readers, so that they can read around their subject of interest, rather than just narrowly focusing on its core aspects?

    In the same respect, you will find articles only-partially-related to food in the ‘Food’ section, articles only-partially-related to Turkey in the ‘Turkey’ section, articles only-partially-related-to-sport in the ‘Sport’ section – I’m sorry, but that’s just how news sites work, and no amount of oh-so-wry commentary will convince any sane reader that it’s evidence of some grand Guardian anti-Israel conspiracy…

    And as for why the Guardian gives so much coverage to Israel, you should really have figured that out by now: global stories receive global attention. Israel/Palestine has a massive destabilising effect on international politics, and with the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories being the last remaining example of Western colonialism in the world today, it demands significant attention. If Israel hadn’t routinely violated international law for the past four decades, I’m sure the Guardian wouldn’t feel the need to report on it quite so much.

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