Financial Times correspondent John Reed declares Hamas a ‘winner’

“Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which do not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie”

This is a quote by George Orwell about news reports during the Spanish Civil War, but, as former AP correspondent Matt Friedman explained in his masterful Tablet essay (An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth), Orwell’s words are just as apt in characterizing the media’s egregiously misleading coverage of Israel and the war in Gaza. 

The Orwell quote (cited by Friedman in his article) came to mind when we read the following passages in a report in the London-based Financial Times by John Reed titled ‘War in Gaza: Winners and Losers‘, which happened to overlap with Hamas’s own surreal assessment of the war.

Here’s the relevant passage in Reed’s report:


Let’s take it apart:


Before Protective Edge, Gaza’s ruling Islamist movement was in a corner. It was politically isolated, bankrupt, unable to pay its civil servants and forced by circumstances to reconcile with arch-rival Fatah.

And, after the war, Hamas is politically isolated, bankrupt, and still unable to pay its civil servants. Further, the current ceasefire deal which Hamas agreed to is almost exactly like the one Egypt proposed (which Israel accepted) but Hamas rejected on July 15, one week into the conflict, before the IDF destroyed their terror tunnels, and killed some of their top leaders.  

Hamas’s decision to reject the July 15th proposal represented a colossal miscalculation, and resulted in more Hamas fighters killed, a much greater depletion of their rocket capacity, and no perceivable military, strategic or political benefit.

Other Hamas ‘demands’ which haven’t been agreed to by Israel in the current ceasefire include opening a sea port and an airport in Gaza, and releasing additional Palestinian prisoners.


In this context, the war was a welcome development. Hamas, for the third time in five years, confronted one of the world’s best armies and managed to hold on to power, calculating correctly that Israel would never embark on a longer and bloodier ground war in order to topple it.

How low can you set the bar? The mere fact that they ‘held on to power’ is a victory? Again, he doesn’t explain what concrete achievements they can reasonably boast. Also, it’s interesting that Reed fails to explain how the war was a “welcome development” for Palestinian civilians.


Hamas rockets, built painstakingly over years by blockade-busting tactics, sent people across Israel running into shelters, killing six civilians and bringing most flights at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport to a halt for two days in July.

It’s almost as if Reed admires Hamas’s ‘grit’ in diverting humanitarian aid (which could have helped Gaza’s economy) for terror purposes. Plus, it’s interesting how such Jerusalem based correspondents covering the war, such as Reed, who almost universally downplayed the threat posed to Israeli civilians by the thousands of Hamas rockets, can now suggest that these same rockets ‘successfully’ terrorized Israel by killing six civilians, and sending them fleeing for bomb shelters. 


Although much of Hamas’s arsenal is now depleted and many of its tunnels destroyed, fighting Israel to another ceasefire plays as a victory for many of its supporters.

Talk about burying the lead!  So, despite the fact that “Hamas’s [rocket] arsenal is now depleted and many [sic] of its tunnels destroyed”, Reed still maintains that a victory was achieved. 


As after Operation Pillar of Defence in 2012, Hamas can begin firing again if it chooses. Granted, when the dust settles from this conflict and its spoils and destruction become clearer to Gazans, they could potentially turn on Hamas. There is no sign of this happening yet, however.

Of course, one of the biggest obstacles preventing Gazans from “turning on Hamas” is not any objective assessment of the war’s “achievements’ per se, but, rather, scenes such as these:

One of 22 Palestinians summarily executed by Hamas on Aug. 22

One of 22 Palestinians summarily executed by Hamas on Aug. 22

Finally, here are some facts ignored by Reed in his assessment:

  • IDF attacked 5,263 targets across Gaza during the war, hitting rocket launching sites, arms and munitions factories and warehouses, as well as the offices of Hamas commanders. Several top Hamas commanders and hundreds of Hamas fighters were killed. Over 34 known tunnels were destroyed.
  • Out of the 4,564 rockets and mortars fired at Israel from Gaza, over 475 landed in Gaza, killing an unknown number of Palestinians. 3,641 exploded in Israeli territory, but only 224 actually hit residential areas, while the remaining rockets fell in open areas; The Iron Dome intercepted at least 735. Six Israeli civilians were killed.

To simply state that Reeds’s assessment of Hamas’s achievements ‘does not bear any relation to the facts’ is an understatement of enormous proportions. 

Official Guardian editorial legitimizes a ‘one-state solution’.

So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot - George Orwell

We’ve long believed that chances were strong that the historic editorial preference at ‘Comment is Free‘ towards commentators (and even Islamist extremists) who seek a ‘one state solution’ to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict would eventually translate into an official editorial position in favor of such a final solution.  Whilst that position may not yet have been explicitly expressed, today’s official Guardian editorial, on Jerusalem’s municipal elections, seems to have at least taken a step in that direction.


Ignoring polls indicating that Palestinian residents of Jerusalem would prefer – in the event a Palestinian state were created resulting in a divided Jerusalem – to remain citizens or residents of Israel, their Oct. 21 editorial (Jerusalem elections: the ballot and the boycott) starts off by legitimizing the most radical and unrepresentative Palestinian voices:

To cast a vote [in the Jerusalem municipal elections] is to acknowledge the legitimacy of the occupation, or so it is argued. “Participating in the process merely gives [the Israelis] political cover,” insists Hanan Ashrawi, from the PLO’s executive committee. “They want to create a reality where the Palestinians participate in the occupation of their own country.

The Guardian editorial continues:

But this year, for the first time ever, there is a Palestinian candidate [Arab Israeli] Fuad Saliman…[who] is running as a part of an Israeli coalition of left-wing parties. Given that Palestinians make up well over a third of the city’s population, their participation in the political process could transform a political landscape…

So, what is the Guardian’s interest in increasing Palestinian voter strength? It becomes apparent in the following paragraphs:

As a thought experiment, however, it is fascinating. Extrapolating from the local situation in Jerusalem, what if all Palestinians made a strategic decision to seek full voting rights within the reality that is Israel, rather than demanding a separate Palestinian state? In other words, what if they transformed their struggle from a nationalist one into a civil rights one?

Of course, Palestinians don’t all have the same access to the ballot box. But far from looking to exert their electoral presence on the national stage, those who do have the right to vote have been exercising it less and less. Seventy-five per cent voted in the 1999 elections. Ten years later, it was 54%. The fact that it didn’t dip below half earlier this year was put down to a last-minute intervention by the Arab League urging the million or so Palestinians living in Israel to get out and vote. Amid deepening despair as to the viability of a two-state solution, this [one-state] option…is only going to attract more attention.

While it is curious that their latest expression of “despair” over the two-state solution was published at a time when serious peace negotiations between the two parties are currently taking place, it’s more important to understand what exactly their little one-state “thought experiment” actually means: the legitimization of a radical reconstitution of Israel from the world’s only Jewish state into a binational state in which Jews would likely again be at the mercy of the ‘benevolence’ of a hostile Arab majority.  

The overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis, possessing a sobriety informed by an understanding of the catastrophic history of such political powerlessness, would of course violently resist such a scenario, rendering any attempt to impose such a solution a recipe for endless war.

Finally, in 2011, following the Guardian’s release of its highly skewed “expose” of the ‘Palestine Papers’ (which among other stances, characterized Palestinian compromise on the refugee issue as a “craven”) Ron Prosor, who was then Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, blasted the paper in a Huffington Post essay titled “The Guardian’s Assault on Peace in the Middle East”.  Prosor decried the “self-appointed ‘guardian’ of Palestinian truth” who “maximized its opportunity to pledge allegiance to the hard-line, national fantasies which have crippled the Palestinian cause for decades.”

The one-state scenario, however it is couched, is not a “solution” but, rather, the racist anti-Zionist end game of Palestinian extremists (and their far-left supporters) who seek to deny Jews, and only Jews, their inalienable right to self-determination.  

The paper which hates Britain? Guardian leaks ‘worst blow to British intel ever’

The title doesn’t represent the hyperbole of a partisan commentator, but the sober warnings of Sir David Omand, the former head of GCHQ (the UK’s counterpart to the NSA) and homeland security adviser to 10 Downing St. 

The theft and leak of tens of thousands of top-secret NSA files by Edward Snowden, procured by Glenn Greenwald and published by the Guardian, Oman said, “eclipses the Cambridge spy ring as the most catastrophic loss suffered by British intelligence” in history. He added that ‘The Guardian and others in possession of Mr Snowden’s leaked files had gone on to publish information that was invaluable to foreign spies, terrorists and criminal networks’.

But, that’s not all.

Andrew Parker, the head of MI5 argued in a speech on Tuesday that Snowden’s leaks caused huge ‘harm’ to the capability of Britain’s intelligence services, and became a ‘guide books’ for terrorists who could use the information to evade law enforcement and serves as “the gift they need to evade us and strike at will”.  Parker further said that the publication of the leaks by the Guardian had done ‘enormous damage to Britain’s ability to thwart al-Qaeda’.

Oliver Robbins, Britain’s deputy national security advisor said Snowden’s revelations, published by the Guardian, could lead “directly to widespread loss of life” and “threaten the internal stability of the UK”.

Even (Liberal Democrat) Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said yesterday that The Guardian has published “technical information”, from Edward Snowden which is likely of “immensely interest” to “people who want to do us harm“. 

Additionally, as anyone following Louise Mensch’s Twitter feed today would know, the Guardian’s hubris was to such a degree that they’ve even “fearlessly report[ed] on the personal sports teams, lives, sexuality and private conversations of British agents working at GCHQ.”  Further, Mensch hasn’t yet gotten a reply to the question she asked the Guardian in an email yesterday responding their request for an interview. Mensch asked if she’d be allowed to ask whether “files identifying our intelligence agents at GCHQ to the New York Times and trafficked them around the world?”

Meanwhile British police are still investigating an attempt by Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, to take encrypted files containing an additional 58,000 classified documents out of Britain in August on a flight paid for by the Guardian. Indeed, Greenwald’s response to Miranda’s detention speaks volumes about his motivation for facilitating the intelligence leaks and his lack of concern about the consequences for US and British national security.

“I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now…I have many documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.”

It’s remarkable that any true journalist who respected his profession, and possessed even an ounce of loyalty to the democracies which afford him such historically exceptional political freedoms, would ever utter such an ugly, vindictive threat.

Of course, anyone who follows our blog would understand that such behavior is part of a larger pattern for Greenwald, a commentator who is evidently so hostile to his own country that he passionately defended the al-Qaeda operative (Anwar al-Awlaki) who incited Islamist sympathizers in the US to murder their fellow Americans.

The focus of this blog is of course to monitor the Guardian for antisemitism and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, but it’s vital to understand the broader ideology which inspires the anti-Zionism we are constantly documenting.  Glenn Greenwald, as with his fellow political travelers at the Guardian, is not a mere “progressive” commentator (yet alone a “journalist) but, rather, a radical activist inspired by an “anti-imperialist” ideology which holds his own country and its democratic allies in contempt, and advances propaganda which amplifies the message of our enemies.

The Guardian’s editor Alan Rusbridger, typifying the vitriol directed against the West by many within the leftist intelligentsia, in defending his paper’s right to publish classified documents, referred to George Orwell’s book ‘1984’ and argued that US and British intelligence gathering went “beyond Orwell’s imagination”. However, Orwell understood the advantages of even flawed democracies over totalitarian regimes and realized the danger of an intellectual elite which doesn’t understand such stark moral differences.

In 1945, Orwell published “Notes on Nationalism” which argued that within the leftist intelligentsia there is “a derisive and mildly hostile attitude towards Britain [that] is more or less compulsory”, and that that, to such intellectuals, political outrage is inevitably directed not towards truly totalitarian regimes, but “almost entirely against Britain and the United States.” 

The Guardian’s role in nurturing indifference towards its own country’s national security – a political orientation John Stuart Mill characterized as a “decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling” – should rightly be seen as a genuine threat to the Western political values to which true liberals remain loyal.

Guardian editors and contributors may not hate Britain, but their activism certainly serves to aid and abet those who do. 

CiF Watch reader emails the Guardian asking why white supremacist isn’t banned

On Jan. 16 we posted about a Guardian reader whose commenting privileges were not suspended by the editors, despite the fact that he promoted Holocaust denial in the comment section under a Guardian story (on Jan. 14) about Holocaust education in the UK, and the fact that his user profile contained a link to a white supremacist site called British Resistance.


As we revealed, not only was the commenter, who uses the moniker ‘CorshmCrusader‘, a fan of ‘British Resistance’, but actually serves as the site’s deputy editor – a Nazi sympathizer named Mark Kennedy.

We asked our readers to consider emailing the Guardian’s ‘Comment Editor’ asking for an explanation regarding why someone who clearly violates ‘Comment is Free’ “community standards” has not been banned.

Today we were contacted by a fan of our blog, a Holocaust educator and author named Dan Hennessy, copying us on the email he sent to the Guardian.

Here it is, with Mr. Hennessy’s permission:

To the editors:

As a Holocaust educator, it is disturbing that you treat the individual using the moniker “CorshmCrusader,” who is known to be a white supremacist, as you would any other “contributor” to your periodical; and yet, you [ban others] who obviously disagree with you. Who is allowed freedom of speech in your domain? Everyone? Or just those who toe the line with regard to your ideological bias?

I just taught 1984 by George Orwell in an upper division secondary English class. Your decisions in this regard seem quite in line with Ministry of Truth standards.

~ Daniel Hennessy

Again, here’s the email for the Guardian editor if you also want to inquire about the status of CorshmCrusader.

Guardian Newspeak: Intentionally vague headline of the day

“The B vocabulary consisted of words which had been deliberately constructed for political purposes: words, that is to say, which not only had in every case a political implication, but were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them.” – from the definition of “Newspeak” in George Orwell’s dystopia, 1984.

Here’s a quintessentially Guardian headline, via a Reuters story, on the Palestinian policemen who opened fire without cause on Jewish civilians who had worshiped at Joseph’s Tomb:

For those unschooled in the Guardian Left strategy when events force them to report on innocent Jews murdered by Palestinians, see our previous post which listed and expanded upon the four main rules using, as a helpful illustration, Conal Urquhart’s report on the terrorist attack in Jerusalem. 

Here are the rules:

1: Never use the word “terrorist” or “terrorism” as such language is inherently loaded, and influenced by one’s subjective opinion on how to define the word.

2. Use passive language which may obscure the fact that an intentional act of violence was perpetrated by Palestinians against innocent Israeli civilians:

3: Use vague language meant to avoid, whenever possible, reaching even the most obvious (politically inconvenient) conclusions regarding such attacks:

4. Deflect responsibility from the terrorists who everyone knows committed the act by changing the subject or blaming Israel and blurring the causality:

In looking at the headline the first thing which jumps out is rule #1, as you’d have no idea from reading the headline that the “Policemen” who murdered an innocent Israeli civilian was a Palestinian Authority Policeman.

Moving along, we see #3 employed in reference to the “West Bank Holy Site”. Unless there’s a hitherto unknown distinct West Bank religion, with its own sacred sites, it would seem that the “Holy Site” referred to is a site holy to Jews, Joseph’s Tomb.

Also, in the sub-heading, rule #4 applies, as we are told that Israeli victims who had gone to Joseph’s Tomb were there “without permission”, thus blurring causality and deflecting responsibility for the attack – the mere presence of Jews, of course, acting as sufficient provocation for Palestinian gunfire. 

Finally, here’s what a headline (and accompanying text) about the incident would possibly look like if written by an editor free of such anti-Zionist ideological conditioning. 

On “Jewish Privilege”, and the unlikely midwife to such a hideous idea

“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” – George Orwell

Before I  moved to Israel and began working for CiF Watch, I worked for the Anti-Defamation League – an organziation which fights anti-Semitism, but also promotes diversity education and multiculturalism – largely through a program called A World of Difference Institute (AWOD). Though I have a lot of respect for my former colleagues and naturally support AWODs stated goal of “recognizing bias and the harm it inflicts on individuals and society,” some of the rhetorical discourse, and ideological currents, which lay at the foundation of AWOD often caused me concern.  An especially egregious example was one of ADL’s recommended readings for AWOD educators: Peggy McIntosh’s “White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack.” (The recommended reading list isn’t available on their website, but this ADL sponsored conference demonstrates the group’s endorsement of McIntosh’s views). McIntosh, associate director of the Wellesley Center for Women, in the essay, says:

In my [white] class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth.

Disapproving of the systems won’t be enough to change them. I was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals changed their attitudes. [But] a “white” skin in the United States opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us. Individual acts can palliate, but cannot end, these problems.

To redesign social systems we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions. The silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance by making these taboo subjects. Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal opportunity to try and get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of dominance exist.

It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male advantage, is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping most people unaware that freedom of confident action is there for just a small number of people props up those in power, and serves to keep power in the hands of the same groups that have most of it already.

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