Hamas official’s Guardian op-ed includes lie that the group is NOT antisemitic

No, an op-ed published in the Guardian on Nov. 14th (Judge Hamas by the measures it takes for its people) was not the first time a Hamas member was granted a forum by the media group.  

hamas

Guardian, Nov. 14th

 

Over the past couple of years the Guardian has published commentaries by the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, Musa Abumarzuq, Hamas’s ‘Prime Minister’ Ismail Haniyeh, their head of international relations Osama Hamdan, and advisor Azzam Tamimi.

However, what stands out in the piece by Ahmed Yousef (senior political adviser to Ismail Haniyeh), which attempts to rebrand the Islamist terror group as a benign democratic political movement, is a claim in the following passage, which follows a risible defense of their (evidently misunderstood) racist charter.

Were pundits to truly scrutinise Hamas’s actions since its inception, they would find not a single official statement or position that is based on denigrating another faith, certainly neither Judaism nor Christianity. Nor can anyone produce a shred of evidence that Hamas formally encourages prejudice against anyone’s ethnicity.

Though we know by reading public opinion polls that Palestinian society is nearly universally compromised by the acceptance of anti-Jewish bigotry, you don’t need to even burden yourself with fisking the methodologies of such empirical analyses, or to even read the group’s antisemitic founding charter, to familiarize yourself with Hamas’s ‘official’ embrace of the most racist narratives about the alleged danger posed by international Jewry.

Indeed, antisemitism can accurately be characterized as “a major pillar in the ideology of Hamas”, and Hamas’s state-run media consistently ‘explains’ to Palestinians the evil character of Jews – not merely Israelis or Zionists, but “Jews”.

Whilst there are countless examples of ‘official’ statements “denigrating” Jews (documented by sites such as Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI), here are just a few videos and quotes:

Videos:

Top Hamas Official Osama Hamdan: Jews use blood in their Passover Matzos

Hamas top leader Mahmoud Al Zahhar: Jews are “blood suckers” and “wild beasts” who deserve to be annihilated.

 Quotes:

Sermon delivered by ‘Atallah Abu Al-Subh, former Hamas minister of culture, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV, April 8, 2011, translation by MEMRI

The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth, because they have displayed hostility to Allah.

Dr. Yussuf Al-Sharafi, Hamas representative, April 12, 2007; as reported by Palestinian Media Watch, April 23, 2007

…the Jewish faith does not wish for peace nor stability, since it is a faith that is based on murder: ‘I kill, therefore I am’… Israel is based only on blood and murder in order to exist, and it will disappear, with Allah’s will, through blood and Shahids [martyrs].

Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Bahar, acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, April 20, 2007; as reported by Palestinian Media Watch, April 23, 2007

This is Islam, that was ahead of its time with regards to human rights in the treatment of prisoners, but our nation was tested by the cancerous lump, that is the Jews, in the heart of the Arab nation…

Official Hamas Media:

Children’s Program on Hamas TV (Al-Aqsa TV, April 6-13, 2007), featuring Farfur – a copy of Mickey Mouse - entertains children while advocating the murder of Jews.

Host Saraa, a young girl: “Sanabel, what will you do for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque? How will you sacrifice your soul for the sake of Al-Aqsa? What will you do?”

Sanabel (a young Palestinian girl on the phone): “I will shoot.”

Farfur, a Mickey Mouse character in a tuxedo: “Sanabel, what should we do if we want to liberate…”

Sanable: “We want to fight.”

Farfur: “We got that. What else?”

Saraa: “We want to…”

Sanabel: “We will annihilate the Jews.”

Saraa: “We are defending Al-Aqsa with our souls and our blood, aren’t we, Sanabel?”

Sanabel: “I will commit martyrdom.”…

Despite our frequent criticism of UK media outlets, this blog rarely accuses commentators and media outlets of engaging in outright ‘lies’.  

However, it speaks volumes that Guardian editors chose to publish the claim that Hamas is NOT antisemitic – an inversion of reality so complete that it could only be expressed (or accepted as reasonable) by those immune from the cognitive dissonance normally affecting those who possess any measure of honesty or integrity.

Toxic mix: The Guardian, British actress Miriam Margolyes and antisemitism

On Oct. 28th the Guardian published an article focusing on British actress Miriam Margolyes and her views on antisemitism and the recent war in Gaza. (Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes: Israel lets people vent antisemitism)

headlineThe Guardian quotes Margolyes from a recent interview on Radio Times thusly:

Actor Miriam Margolyes has criticised Israel for “allowing people” to vent prejudice against Jews, who she claimed: “I don’t think people like”.

The Harry Potter star, 73, who is Jewish, said there had been a “troubling backlash” against Jews following the recent, 50-day Gaza conflict.

She told the new issue of Radio Times: “I loathe Hamas, but they were democratically elected and Israel’s behaviour is not acceptable. There’s been a troubling backlash.”

The actress said: “I don’t think people like Jews. They never have. English literature, my great love, is full of greasy and treacherous Jews.

“I’m lucky they like me, and one always needs a Jewish accountant. Antisemitism is horrible and can’t be defended, but Israel is stupid for allowing people to vent it.”

While Margolyes predictably blames Israel for causing antisemitism, a brief look at the actress suggests a troubling blind spot about her own contribution to legitimizing such Jew hatred.

In addition to the fact that Margolyes supports the cultural boycott of Israel (and signed a letter, published in the Guardian in 2012, protesting the decision by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London to invite Israel’s National Theatre, Habima to perform The Merchant of Venice), she opposes the continued existence of a Jewish state and has participated in a reading of Seven Jewish Children, a play which vilifies Jews and Judaism.

As Anthony Julius observed:

In this play, Jews confess to lying to their own children and killing Palestinian children. They also confess to something close to a project of genocide. And they freely acknowledge the source of their misanthropy to be Judaism itself.

Additionally, Margolyes has suggested that Israeli treatment of Palestinians in Gaza was sub-human and morally comparable to the Nazi treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.

Margolyes also delivered a recorded speech to an extremist-affiliated anti-Israel rally in London in 2007, a gathering which included a speech by Ismail Haniyeh – political leader of Hamas, the antisemitic movement Margolyes claimed to “loathe”. 

In short, when you evoke Israel-Nazi analogies, participate in a play which vilifies Jews and Judaism and are willing to share a stage with the leader of an extremist movement that explicitly calls for the murder of Jews, you forfeit the assumption of good intentions when condemning the rise of antisemitism.

Why does the Guardian portray Hamas as a victim of Israeli aggression?

“Our narrative has gained the upper hand in the media” – Hamas deputy political leader Ismail Haniyeh

As Jews in the UK and across the world were welcoming in the new year on Wednesday evening, the Guardian Group published yet another official editorial reminding readers which party was to blame for the 50 day war between Israel and Hamas.

Whilst nobody familiar with the political leanings of the media group would be surprised that they judged the Jewish state guilty, their September 24th polemic (The Guardian view on the human, economic and political costs of the Gaza war) is noteworthy as a reminder that their top editors in London believe that even the most extreme elements within Palestinian society aren’t responsible for their actions.

The Guardian editorial parrots Hamas talking points in claiming that the movement was strengthened by the war; sows doubt over Hamas culpability for the murder of three Israeli teens, despite a claim of responsibility from one of their leaders as well as an admission by the cell’s ringleader that Hamasniks in Gaza funded the “operation”; falsely characterizes Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli cities as a “response” to Israeli aggression; and challenges “Israel’s reasons for going to war“, completely erasing the history of the conflict.

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Israel’s “beautiful resistance” to suicide bombers: A response to Lucy Winkett

A guest post by Richard Millett

St James’s Church’s Rector Lucy Winkett’s defence of her church’s installation of a replica of Israel’s security fence in a piece for ‘Comment is Free’ is a legal and moral failure (Bethlehem Unwrapped is about ‘beautiful resistance’, not taking sides’, Jan. 2).

First the legal side. She states that Israel’s security fence is “illegal under international law”. It is incredible that so many non-lawyers (and a few actual lawyers) state this with such ease when there is little proper evidence of such “illegality”.  Rector Winkett is relying on the 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. A frame repeatedly projected on to St James’s Church’s replica wall states “In 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague stated the security fence was illegal and it should be dismantled.”

But an advisory opinion is just that; advisory and an opinion. It sets no legal precedent.

Moreover, it is undeniable that Israel’s security fence has stopped Palestinian suicide bombers from attacking Israeli civilians, saving countless lives.

There are legal opinions for and against Israel’s security fence, but for Rector Winkett to declare the fence “illegal under international law” makes a mockery of her claim at ‘Comment is Free’ that “we are not ‘pro’ one side or another”.

On the moral side Rector Winkett derides as “irresponsible” those who claim “we are aligning ourselves with those who support the Holocaust, suicide bombings or that we are antisemitic”.

But Rector Winkett’s wish for Israel’s security fence to come down will encourage suicide bombers sent by the likes of Islamist terror group Hamas to resume their murder of Israeli civilians, including those living on the West Bank, which the fence has successfully disrupted.  (Indeed, the Hamas Charter specifically calls for the murder of Jews, and their leaders have explicitly called for the annihilation of the Jews.)

And then there are the organisations that St James’s Church has expressly aligned itself with for Bethlehem Unwrapped.

Rector Winkett writes that St James’s is supporting “a peaceful Palestinian principle known as ‘beautiful resistance’; expressed in theatres, music projects…”.

Sami Awad, director of the Holy Land Trust (a pro-Palestinian group with ties to Hamas and other terror groups), might believe in “beautiful resistance” but that doesn’t exclude a belief in violence. Awad is on record as saying that such non-violent resistance “is not a substitute for the armed struggle.

Incidentally, all net proceeds from Bethlehem Unwrapped go to the Holy Land Trust. (That is should there be any net proceeds, the cost of the 12 day replica security fence installation being an incredible £30,000.)

Meanwhile, recent news footage shows Interpal’s primary trustee Essam Mustafa with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

And War On Want and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions are part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a movement that campaigns for Israel’s destruction.

Rector Winkett writes in her ‘Comment is Free’ piece that all viewpoints are listened to without exception and that visitors have been allowed to write a prayer or message of peace on the wall and that anything offensive has been immediately removed. She also writes that most conversations have been respectful.

Sadly, many have not been. A woman going in to St James’s Church for Bethlehem Unwrapped’s comedy evening responded to a question about the Holocaust with “What Holocaust?” A supporter of Israel was called a “friggin Jew” and “quenelle4 ever” appeared on the replica security fence (see middle of replica fence below written in blue):

wallquenelle

Rector Winkett also writes that people have written “this wall saves lives”. However, this was subsequently changed to “this wall enslaves lives”.

Bethlehem Unwrapped is not a respectful project however much Rector Winkett is trying to convince us. It mocks Israel’s legitimate attempts to save precious lives.

And it fails to recognise even the possibility that the main problem for Bethlehem’s Christians is not the security fence at all but intimidation and violence by Hamas similar to that carried out by Islamists elsewhere.

Moreover, St James’s Church’s Bethlehem Unwrapped festival has attracted antisemites, Holocaust deniers, those campaigning for the destruction of Israel and those who condone violence to that end.

This may not have been St James’s Church’s intention but this is what has happened and for this Rector Winkett should apologise to Britain’s Jewish community which is bearing the main brunt of the backlash.

The biggest irony is that St James’s Church itself is protected by a security fence; a tall metal fence that contains a locked door. When the door is unlocked it is heavily guarded. Some may call this a checkpoint.

St James’s Church is, understandably, protecting itself from anyone harbouring ill feeling towards it and who may be inclined to carry out an atrocity similar to those carried out against Churches in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt by militant Islamists.

Israel is doing the same.

Related articles

‘Comment is Free’ publishes an essay by a Hamas leader…again.

IDF strikes on Nov. 18 knocked out the Hamas television stations Al Aqsa and Al Quds in Gaza, but Hamas leaders were likely not too concerned, and knew they could always count on Plan B: Propagandizing at the Guardian.

In fact, later that same day, Nov. 18, a ‘Comment is Free’ essay by the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, Musa Abumarzuq, was published – one out of several members of the Islamist terror group who has been published by the paper which aspires to be the ‘world’s leading liberal voice’.

Other than Abumarzuq, who published a previous essay at CiF in 2011, the list includes Hamas ‘Prime Minister’ Ismail Haniyeh, their head of international relations Osama Hamdan, and their advisor‘, Azzam Tamimi.

Abumarzuq’s piece, ‘We in the Gaza Strip will not die in silence‘, is full of unserious, vitriolic claims befitting a group whose founding charter cites the antisemitic forgery ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ as “proof” that Jews indeed are trying to take over the world.

However, Abumarzuq also advances a narrative of Israeli villainy which had already found fertile ground within the Guardian coven of “journalists” and commentators.  Echoing the “analysis” of  Harriet SherwoodSimon Tisdall, Ahdaf Soueif, and Jonathan Freedland, on the “real reasons” for Israeli operation ‘Pillar of Defense’, the Hamas apparatchik writes the following:

“With the approach of the Israeli elections, the Israeli prime minister,Binyamin Netanyahu, wanted to trade with the blood of the Palestinians, especially after his alliance with the ultra-extremist Avigdor Lieberman failed to boost his popularity in the polls as he’d expected. This is not the first time the Israelis have launched a war for electoral gain. Shimon Peres did it to Lebanon in 1996 and the Olmert-Livni-Barak alliance did it to Gaza in 2008.”

Interestingly,  Abumarzuq’s rhetoric is restrained compared to Ahdaf Soueif (a frequent CiF contributor) who, in her piece, literally accused Israeli leaders of murdering Palestinian children for political gain.

Turning to the issue of supreme concern to the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, “human rights”, Abumarzuq complains thus:

“The human rights that Europe claims to defend all over the world are denied to the Palestinian people.”

Which freedoms are cruelly denied to Palestinians, per Abumarzuq?

“The right of people to resist occupation and confront aggression is guaranteed to all peoples; but if Palestinians seek to exercise this right it immediately becomes terrorism and for this they must be persecuted.”

Yes, of course. The Palestinians’ ‘universal’ right of “resistance”, murdering civilians with impunity, is stymied by their cruel Jewish oppressors.

Abumarzuq then adds the following:

“The Israeli military attacks on Gaza did not stop after the last Gaza war. Since 2009, 271 Palestinians have been killed, compared to three Israeli deaths.”

The numbers he cites about Israeli deaths are incorrect.

There have been 3 Israeli deaths since Nov. 14, when operation ‘Pillar of Defense’ began, but the Israeli death toll from Gaza terror attacks since 2009 is 13, not 3.

While you can contact the Guardian’s readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, at readers@guardian.co.uk, to request that Abumarzuq’s lie be corrected, perhaps you should consider asking Mr. Elliott a more pertinent question:

How does he reconcile the ‘progressive’ politics he and the paper he works for evidently aspire to with their decision to continue providing a platform to violent religious extremists who represent ultra right-wing values on issues such as democracy, freedom of the press, the rights of women, gays, and religious minorities?

Though I don’t expect anything resembling an honest answer from Elliott, he and his colleagues need to be confronted with the mounting evidence of their supreme moral hypocrisy. 

Slouching towards irrelevance: Is ‘Comment is Free’ eating the Guardian?

Rob Marchant, a former British Labour Party manager, wrote a very important piece, at The Centre Left Blog, on Aug. 29, about racism at ‘Comment is Free’, and, more broadly, the institution’s regression and increasing rejection of the genuinely liberal ideals it once ardently defended. 

Writes Marchant (with emphases added): 

Once upon a time, there was a left-wing newspaper. Its founder, C.P. Scott, clearly saw it as less of a paper and more of a social mission. My grandfather, a true Socialist all his life, religiously took the Guardian every day, and I would leaf through it as a teenager, mulling over its worthy appraisals of Neil Kinnock’s latest speech or Billy Bragg’s new album. Compared with other papers, it always seemed a bit more in tune with “yoof”, which I then was, and the good guys, which were Labour.

Marchant then turned to the Josh Trevino row.

Last week a controversial new columnist, Josh Treviño, joined that newspaper. As a former advisor to the Bush administration, he was not necessarily a natural choice for the paper, but outside observers might have been pleasantly surprised to see, for once, a little compensating political balance at the newspaper.

Within days, he and the newspaper had agreed to part, officially on the pretext that he had slipped a reference into an article which had broken editorial guidelines – eighteen months previously.

While this sounds like it might be a fair explanation, it becomes a little odder when you put it in context. For the record, Treviño had also been involved in a controversy over his rather insensitive tweets regarding the Palestine flotilla; but that, too, had been over a year ago, he apologised and the Guardian had defended him.

Then, a few days ago, a group of what can only be described as far-left activists wrote to the Guardianto complain about Treviño’s hiring. Five days later, he was gone. The group included Baroness Jenny Tonge, who was earlier this year ejected by the Liberal Democrats for her unacceptable views, Stop The War Coalition’s Lindsey German, and various members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, iEngage and Middle East Monitor. Or rather, when the only MP you can get to defend your cause is Jeremy Corbyn, you know you’re operating at the margins.

The whole argument is given in detail here forand against the Guardian (in the interests of fairness I include both, but I have to say that I find that against a great deal more convincing). Whatever your view on the Treviño controversy, though, there is a rather more disturbing, and difficult-to-avoid, conclusion: that this oddball collection from the fringes of politics, who wrote the letter, clearly have some sway on the editorial and managerial decisions of a national newspaper.

Marchant then contextualized the decision to fire Trevino:

There is a great deal more: some points of interest may already be known to readers of my blog, such as the printing of a puff-piece by unpleasant Holocaust cartoonist Carlos Latuff, or CiF’s running, on Holocaust Memorial Day, of an op-ed by Sheik Raed Salah, hate-preacher and convicted fundraiser for terrorism; or finally, its later op-ed in June, by someone who does not even pretend not to be a terrorist: Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of suicide-bombers Hamas in Gaza. Nice.

Marchant adds:

Where the Guardian may think it is being edgy and controversial, it is often being, at the very least, offensive to the sensibilities of ordinary people not known for their over-sensitivity. At worst it is laid open to not unreasonable charges of racism.

Indeed. 

Read the rest of Marchant’s incisive essay, here.

Shabbat Diarist: The Guardian, Ismail Haniyeh and leftists beyond good and evil

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist” – a story by the French poet, Charles Baudelaire

“The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth, because they have displayed hostility to Allah.”   - Sermon delivered by ‘Atallah Abu Al-Subh, former Hamas minister of culture, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV, April 8, 2011, translation by MEMRI

“Allah will kill the Jews in the hell of the world to come, just like they killed the believers in the hell of this world.” - Sermon delivered by ‘Atallah Abu Al-Subh, former Hamas minister of culture, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV, April 8, 2011, translation by MEMRI

“The Jews: killed the prophets…slaughtered the innocent…imprisoned our pious… NO PEACE WITH THE MURDERERS.” - Hamas communiqué, March 9th, 1989.

“The Nazi Jews tried different methods…Let everyone know that Hamas… is only against Jews and those twisted in their manner…” - Hamas communiqué, October 5th, 1988.

We Palestinians are reclaiming our destiny” – ‘Comment is Free’ essay by Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh, June 8th, 2012.

My wife and I spent last Shabbat at the home of a friend – a half hour walk from our Jerusalem apartment. Among the nine other guests were several Israelis and a few visitors from abroad either studying in the country temporarily or considering Aliyah (immigrating to Israel).

Prior to the Shabbat meal (and the traditional pre meal-songs, prayers and customs), we all spent some time getting to know each other and the introduction of one young American woman (currently a writer in the U.S. who is evidently considering Aliyah) was particularly memorable.  

She explained to the group her short-term professional goal: to organize a groups of Israeli Jews to go to Afghanistan and offer local tribes and governments Israeli assistance in fostering their development.  There was a few seconds of silence in the room following the sincere expression of her cheerful ideal.

It’s been my experience that the custom on Shabbat is stay away from divisive political arguments and so the few queries which followed were asked respectfully and politely.  One guest queried her on whether her plan included protection for her group of erstwhile volunteers from U.S. and NATO forces. Another asked if she had thought through the immense security risks for Jews working in a state which is 99% Muslim – one still terrorized by sadistic Taliban terrorism. (There is reported to be literally one Jew left in the country).

Our Shabbat guest turned to us and said something to the effect of “Muslims aren’t especially antisemitic”.

Other than perhaps an eye roll, I maintained my composure and tried to change the subject, asking our friend about her academic background: what expertise did she possess which would prepare her for such an ambitious diplomatic undertaking?

It turns out she studied intercultural relations at a Harvard University.

I recount this story as it provides, it seems, a bit of insight into the Guardian world view and its intellectual and political salon: opinions and narratives about the regions they cover nurtured in a  hermetic bubble, informed a priori, free of investigation or critical thought and often impervious to contradicting facts or logic.

I am of course not discounting the benefits to advanced Western societies derived from the knowledge and (one would hope) critical thinking skills learned at universities.

However, it also seems that no other institution has done more to nurture the supremely dangerous notion that everyone in the world is “just like us”, and that it to prohibit people from imagining that there are those possessing malevolence which is impervious to our best intentions.

It seems far-fetched to even conjure a Harvard University professor imputing blind malevolence to Afghanistan’s Islamists, or sternly disabusing her students of the fantastical notion that intercultural dialogue could bridge the gap between Western and Taliban “cultures”.

Indeed, the cognitive barrier which prevents much of the Western left (including more than a few Jews) from understanding Islamist intolerance seems predicated upon several factors:

  • Western guilt: the post-colonial a priori (often arbitrary) determination of guilt and innocence, based on the West’s past (imperial) sins. Previously subjugated peoples seem never to lose their status as the “oppressed”.
  • Moral vanity: the desire of enlightened Westerners (often burdened with guilt derived from the dynamic above) to be seen as enlightened champions of those assigned as the the oppressed and downtrodden in the world.
And, finally, the focus of our discourse:
  • Moral equivalence and the rejection of “good and evil”: the faith that most, if not all, conflicts in the world are based on misunderstandings and that all cultures, nations, traditions, religions, are equal. One is no better than any other.

What my friend was saying, in effect, was not that there are no antisemitic Muslims, but rather that the argument that Muslims could be disproportionately antisemitic (based on any number of cultural, religious, and historical factors) flies in the face of everything she was taught about the world and all that she holds dear.

The Guardian’s near complete failure to inform their readers about the endemic antisemitism in the Middle East (and in the Palestinian territories in particular), as with their moral sympathy for even the most reactionary Islamist movements (per their decision to grant Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh a ‘Comment is Free’ commentary), is similarly predicated upon the dynamics explained above.

The institution’s ideological orientation seems to be continually in search of moral redemption for centuries of European colonialism and racism, together with the related desire to finally be seen to be on the correct (progressive) side of history, along with incredulity in the face of even the most convincing evidence human malevolence.

The Guardian likely views Ismail Haniyeh primarily as a “Palestinian”. That is they seem him, and judge him, not as they would you or I, but as an abstraction. They project upon him the inherited mantle of colonialism’s victims (a status perpetuated by an ideological orientation which views the Israel-Palestinian Conflict similarly through this colonial paradigm).  

To the degree that they are forced to confront the extreme, homicidal antisemitism of Haniyeh’s Islamist movement, it can be rationalized away as an understandable (if, perhaps, unfortunate) response to the indignity of oppression and occupation.

Address Hamas’ concerns, liberate them from the shackles of Israeli tyranny and, according to the theory my friend and so many in the Western left would subscribe to, they will transcend their animosity.  There will be peace in our time.

This is the failure of the leftist intellectual establishment which my Shabbat interlocutor seems to share: the habit of mind which, a mere 66 years after the grotesque consequences of moral abdication in the face of an indescribable evil,  rejects the very notion of immutable (indeed insatiable) Islamist Jew hatred.

One need not devolve into essentialist arguments about Islam to believe those of the radical persuasion when they explain continually, clearly and without qualification their extreme malice towards not merely Israelis, but Jews as such – a racism not contingent on any specific set of political circumstances but, rather, one which forms the very foundation of their ideology.

Finally, there is a debate among those who battle Islamism over the question of why more genuinely moderate Muslims don’t speak out against this hideous perversion and proclaim loudly, boldly, courageously: ‘not in their name’. (See this Daniel Pipes essay for a brief answer to this question.)

The same query could be posed to the large numbers who identify with the genuinely progressive, anti-totalitarian and undeniably decent left. Why don’t more speak out against the grotesque distortion of this proud and moral tradition which appears daily on the pages of the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’?

This is the vexing and supremely taxing question which haunts my thoughts as I engage daily in a cognitive battle against the cowardly, dishonorable and (often) malign activists at this “respectable’ journal.  

However, it is a debate in which the left, and only the left, needs desperately to engage.   

How could “liberal” Guardian give a platform to antisemitic fascists? (Essay by Lyn Julius)

The following was written by Lyn Julius, at Point of No Return. (A version of this also appeared at Times of Israel‘)

Hamas suicide bombers in training

From the 1930s – well before the creation of Israel – the Muslim Brotherhood was agitating against the Jews of Egypt, Palestine and Syria. By 1945 the Muslim Brotherhood had a million armed supporters in Egypt.

The Third Reich financed and trained the Muslim Brothers of Palestine and Egypt in terrorism. The Nazi concept of the Jews as the epitome of all-controlling evil was exported to the Arab world, where it is entrenched to this day. Hitler shared his plans to kill the Jews of Europe with the main ally of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, the Mufti of Jerusalem. The Mufti ‘s machinations led to a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq, and the murder of hundreds of Iraqi Jews in the Farhud pogrom in June 1941. Meeting in Berlin a few months later, Hitler and the Mufti agreed a plan to exterminate all the Jews of the Middle East.

From 1947 Arab governments set about making the Arab Middle EastJudenrein. They applied Nuremberg-style laws, criminalising Zionism, freezing Jewish bank accounts, instituting quotas, imposing restrictions on jobs and movement. The result was the mass exodus and spoliation of a million Jews.

Nazi-style bigotry, coupled with traditional Islamic antisemitism, remains the driving force behind the marginalisation and exclusion of minorities from the Arab world on the one hand, and the unremitting campaign to destroy Israel on the other.

The ghost of Nazi-inspired, anti-Jewish fundamentalism was never exorcised from the Arab world. The Mufti of Jerusalem should have been tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg. He was indicted, tried and convicted by Yugoslavia for crimes against humanity. But the Allies shrank from offending the Arabs. That is why today in the Arab and Muslim world, antisemitism is epidemic.

The reason why The Guardian gives a platform to genocidal fascists is less easy to fathom. The Left has always dabbled in antisemitism – the ‘socialism of fools’. Israel has been cast as the US’s little imperialist helper. No-one seems to remember that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Iraq, Bahrain and much of the rest of the Arab world are also well within the US sphere of influence.

The so-called red-green alliance, for which The Guardian is a cheerleader, has bought into the myth that Israel is a colonial project. This brazen lie both denies the Jews’ 3,000–year-old connection to their ancestral homeland, and ignores the fact that 50 percent of Israel’s Jewish population descend from refugees indigenous to the Arab and Muslim world, predating Arab Muslim colonialism by centuries.

Then there is the misplaced belief that an extremist party like Hamas will be tamed by the responsibilities of power and needs to be engaged with. No sign of such moderation yet.

Finally, The Guardian’s decision to feature Haniyeh could simply be a hard-nosed, commercial one: controversy sells. Losing principled readers such as Charlotte of Digital Politico is evidently a price it is prepared to pay.

Has the Guardian reached the tipping point in its crusade against Israel?

A guest post by AKUS

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

But tides go out, as well as come in. Is it possible that the Guardian leadership, desperately trying to save its livelihood at a once proud paper, is hoping that the tide of rising anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli activity in Europe will be the incoming tide that it can surf to the safe shore of large salaries, pensions, and early retirement?

Until recently, until, in fact, June 8th, 2012, it might have seemed that their ploy was working. Article after article has appeared obsessively attacking Israel over matters that are at worst no different than can be found in all Western countries – the struggle to deal with the refugee influx, the rise of the right wing in response to terrorism, the clash between ultra-religious and secular, just to name three recent examples whose analogues can be found in the USA or Europe. Even as the Middle East goes up in the flames of the “Arab Spring”, with deaths now clearly closing in on 100,000, thanks in large part to NATO’s intervention in Libya and the mass-murder continuing in Syria, the Guardian focuses on Gaza and blames Israel for what Hamas is doing there.

With the publication of a column which has rapidly become notorious, in which the head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyah, laid out his thoughts on how the Palestinians are reclaiming their destiny, the Guardian planted its masthead firmly in the camp of terrorism, misogyny, religious intolerance, jihad, Jew-slaughter, and all the other elements of the Hamas creed with which every person in the West has become familiar.

There is much to criticize and even mock in Haniyah’s puff piece, obviously ghost-written since his English is known to be deplorable, but without a doubt the portion that will be remembered, to the everlasting shame of the Guardian, is the paragraph so especially full of lies and evasions that reads:

“We as a people want to live in our homeland, the land of our ancestors, in freedom, dignity and democracy, and with a just peace that restores our rights. We do not want to attack anyone and do not accept anyone attacking us. As we have said on more than one occasion, the key to security is the end of occupation. As a people we have been historically wronged and subjected to dozens of massacres; tens of thousands of us have lost our children for no other reason than that we demand our rights as clearly stipulated under international laws.”

“Our homeland” and “our destiny” clearly mean the whole of Mandatory Palestine, except for Trans-Jordan, which the British gave up in 1923 to the Hashemites from Saudi Arabia. 

In other words, Israel must cease to exist. As rockets continue to be fired into Israel by Hamas’ proxies, if not its own identifiable members, the claim that “We do not want to attack anyone” cannot be read with a straight face. The desire to see “the end of occupation” when, in Gaza, there is no occupation is so transparent that it is incredible that someone can even write rubbish like this – unless one accepts Haniyah’s thesis, as the Guardian obviously does, that the very existence of Israel is “occupation” and saying it makes it so.

Finally, the exaggerated claim that tens of thousands have lost their children is not only verifiably absurd, flying in the face of recorded facts, but rings particularly cynical and hollow as we read about the current massacres in Syria where, indeed, tens of thousands have been killed by the two Assads making war on their own citizens, actually killing tens of thousands of citizens and children.

The article and the Gaza-live blog that accompanied it (“A day in the life of Gaza”) replete with ‘touching human interest’ stories, brought to the web by two of the Guardian’s weakest straws, Harriet Sherwood and Phoebe Greenwood, ignored the evil that is Hamas and provided a bizarre example of cognitive dissonance that must have jarred any reader capable of rational and critical thinking.

Clearly, this piece by Haniyah, so replete with falsehoods, misrepresentations and exaggerations, can only be considered an example of  a “Big Lie” so beloved by the Nazis – tell a lie big enough, and often enough, and eventually people will believe it.  But it is not enough to point out the resemblance to something Goebbels could have written – one must also consider where it is published, and who published it, and why they did so.

The response on the Web has been immediate and harsh. The finger is pointed directly at the Guardian, for no-one expects more of Haniyah or Hamas. The Times of Israel published a direct attack comparing the Guardian to “Der Sturmer” – Der Sturmer in the UK?  Pulling no punches, Simon Plosker wrote:

“What would Israel do if a journalist from Der Sturmer was filing reports from inside the country? Despite the fact that there is remarkable press freedom in Israel, extending to and including Arab media such as Al-Jazeera, it’s a safe bet that Israel would find it extremely hard to swallow.

Yet there is such a foreign media outlet represented in Israel, publishing propaganda and openly supporting Israel’s worst enemies. It’s called The Guardian. .. When it comes to The Guardian, however, the paper deserves to be treated as a modern-day Der Sturmer.”

Over on Harry’s Place, Joseph W.  came out with Hamas leader writes for the Guardian leaving no doubt about how he sees  Hamas -  “Hamas is an organisation dedicated to killing Jews” – and the Guardian’s role in publishing Haniyah’s article as part of the same anti-Semitic ethos.

Robin Shepherd’s blog, “The Commentator”, published Is the Guardian the most bigoted newspaper in Britain? and opened with:

“Which of these propositions do you think is correct; and can you identify a moral distinction between them?

The Guardian newspaper has just run an article by someone advocating that black people be returned to the status of slaves.

The Guardian newspaper has just run an article suggesting that landlords be allowed to put up notices saying that Irish people and dogs need not apply for housing.

The Guardian newspaper has just run an article by a political leader whose foundational charter advocates the murder of Jews and promotes conspiracy theories that would not have looked out-of-place in Nazi Germany.

No prizes for guessing that the third of those propositions is correct on a factual basis. The morality? It’s a race to the bottom.”

Here on CiFWatch we reposted Charlotte’s  Giving up the Guardian  from her blog “Digital Politco”. Her reason for giving up the Guardian?

“I might even have been able to stomach a proper interview with Haniyah published in the Guardian. He has been elected Prime Minister, despite his organisations vile beliefs.

Essentially though this is the equivalent of the paper giving a column to the leader of the KKK, and giving someone like Ismail Haniyah an unanswered column should be as totally unthinkable to the Guardian.

As it wasn’t, I cannot support or read this product.”

Clearly aware that they were publishing something that was so false, so rotten, so biased, and so supportive of a terrorist and anti-Semitic organization in their Live Blog, the Guardian took unusual action by prefacing the blog with an editor’s note – Gaza Live: editor’s note. The need for a note of explanation is an uneasy admission that something smells fishy about the live blog, and it is not only the odor of rotting fish in the Gaza fish market. The note itself contains a series of whoppers stating the Guardian’s position:

“The Guardian’s leader line is that the Gaza blockade is illegal in international law, that it constitutes collective punishment, and that it has not had its intended political outcome, which was to kill support for Hamas, drive a permanent wedge between it and Fatah and divide the Palestinians.”

How can any informed person read this farrago of lies and misrepresentations without concluding that the Guardian serves as apologists for Islamists like Hamas?

The Palmer Report to the UN made it clear that the Gaza blockade is NOT illegal (it has never, ever, been challenged in an international court of law because no lawyer believes he or she can make the case). 

Considering the luxurious lifestyle of so many in Gaza it is not surprising that visitors from Egypt have been amazed by the prosperity there, against which Egypt compares unfavorably.

The dearth of support for Hamas is due to Hamas’ actions, not Israel’s, as can be read in one of the blogs the Guardian provides in direct contradiction to its own line,

Iyad al-Tom says he blames the Gaza government for the continuing blockade, and the militants who fire rockets from nearby fields into Gaza for the Israeli military incursions. “Of course I’m angry. We never see the militants, but if we did we would throw stones at them.”

Finally, Israel had nothing to do with driving a wedge between Hamas and Fatah – they have managed to do that themselves.

All this aside, the readers of the Live Blog also had their say, and were overwhelmingly critical of the Guardian. Scan the comments below the line on Haniyah’s article and the Live Blog to read comments like the following from among just the first comments to appear:

Click image to read full comment at CiF

Click image to go to read complete comment at CiF

Click image to go to read complete comment at CiF

Click image to read complete comment at CiF

Comment is free; facts are sacred. Not in this paper they’re not.

Reading the ferocious responses in the blogosphere and the angry and pointed comments below the line on the Guardian website accusing it of anti-Semitism and Israel-hatred, it is clear that for many people the Guardian crossed a line with its support for Hamas and its one-sided Gaza blog.

The Guardian’s  actions even raise a question for those of us who strongly support freedom of expression – when does freedom of expression, as demonstrated by  an article published by the leader of a proscribed terrorist organization who calls for the death of Jews wherever they can be found, go beyond what is acceptable and become treason and a call to genocide? If the Guardian is recognized as the 21st century’s “Der Sturmer”, as Simon Plosker avers, at what point does the British government need to intervene?

Finally, one has to wonder why this incessant, obsessive, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attack goes on and on.  It  is hard to believe that it is truly out of concern for the UNRWA supported, EU supported, Palestinians when far worse situations are notably under-reported by the Guardian.  Ever since Deep Throat said it to Woodward and Bernstein, either in life or in the movie about Watergate, I have been a believer in “Follow the Money”.

What is in it for the Guardian? Is someone funding this unending effort so reminiscent of Nixon’s paranoid attacks against those he believed to be his opponents? Is there a belief at the leadership level that the only way to retain their dwindling paying readership is to use the oldest distraction in the book – attacking the Jews?  Is the Guardian simply following the line of the assassin Brutus:

And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

There is a tipping point in the affairs of men, when that tide does go out, dragging the would-be “venturers” so far out to sea that they disappear never to be seen again, like Nixon after Watergate. With its support for Hamas, the article by Haniyah, and the Gaza Live blog, the Guardian may finally be facing the tipping point that takes down the abominable attack dogs it has been cursed with as leaders for a decade or two.

Islamism, and the Guardian left’s moral complicity with antisemitism

“In the Middle East, [antisemitism] has taken on a particularly dangerous, toxic and potentially genocidal aura of hatred…

Islamist anti-Semitism is thoroughly soaked in many of the most inflammatory themes that initially made possible the atrocities of…the Holocaust.

For example, the pervasive use of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion with its perennial theme of the “Jewish conspiracy for world domination;” or the medieval blood-libel imported to the Muslim world from Christian Europe; or the vile stereotypical image of the Jews as a treacherous, rapacious, and bloodthirsty people engaged in a ceaseless plotting to undermine the world of Islam”.Professor Robert Wistrich

It is time to take seriously the question asked by the prolific Robin Shepherd  in the June 8th edition of The Commentator – following the publication at ‘Comment is Free’ of an essay by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh - Is the Guardian the most bigoted newspaper in Britain?

Shepherd writes:

“Which of these propositions do you think is correct; and can you identify a moral distinction between them?

The Guardian newspaper has just run an article by someone advocating that black people be returned to the status of slaves.

The Guardian newspaper has just run an article suggesting that landlords be allowed to put up notices saying that Irish people and dogs need not apply for housing.

The Guardian newspaper has just run an article by a political leader whose foundational charter advocates the murder of Jews and promotes conspiracy theories that would not have looked out-of-place in Nazi Germany.

No prizes for guessing that the third of those propositions is correct on a factual basis. The morality? It’s a race to the bottom.

But given that anti-Semitism gave rise to the greatest single crime in human history, and that the Holocaust was the culmination of a series of horrific crimes that shame every civilisation that has been a party to it… well, you make up your own mind.

On Friday, the Guardian ran a piece in its opinion section by none other than Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas in Gaza and now, it appears, a perfectly acceptable room-mate for the leading voice in Britain’s Liberal-Left.

Let’s not even get into the question of Hamas‘s attitude to gays and women – they support hanging the former and suppressing the latter. (By the way, it’s the gay pride festival today in Tel Aviv, and of course Gaza – no, sorry that last bit was a joke, a sick one, but not as sick as the Guardian editors who commissioned Hamas to write a piece for them.)” 

Shepherd’s question is an urgent one and it demands seriousness of mind.

Here is our case, based on evidence accumulated over the last several months (but certainly consistent with similar coverage of the Guardian, and its blog, Comment is Free, since the launch of CiF Watch in 2009).

The Guardian has published multiple essays by leaders of Hamas: a group which advocates genocidal antisemitism. 

As I noted in my post in reply to Haniyeh’s CiF essay (The Guardian and Hamas: Willing dupe and immutable victim), June 8th, this is not a Guardian one-off. In fact, since 2011 the broadsheet which aspires to be the “world’s leading liberal voice” has published essays by the Islamist terror group’s head of international relations (Osama Hamdan), its advisor (Azzam Tamimi), and the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau (Musa Abumarzuq).

As Shepherd noted, the Guardian – by publishing articles by Hamas members – is in essence endorsing, as consistent with liberal thought (insofar as they oppose Zionism), a highly reactionary, religious extremist and violent political movement which advocates the murder of Jews and promotes conspiracy theories about the dangers of world Jewry in a manner indistinguishable from history’s most lethal antisemitic movements.

The Guardian ‘Live Blog from Gaza’ included a Palestinian blogger who advocates violence against Israelis and writes for an extreme right antisemitic Palestinian publication.

Their recent Live Blog from Gaza included a piece by Nader Elkhuzundar (whom the Guardian describes as a ‘Young Gaza blogger’) on Jun 8th.  

As Harry’s Place noted, Elkhuzundar maintains a blog called Sleepless in Gazawhich (in one entry) suggests Palestinians should “kill a Zionist“. 

Elkhuzundar is also a writer for the Palestine Telegraph; a racist paper known for praising Gilad Atzmon’s “courageous” new book, publishing an antisemitic video by former KKK grand wizard David Duke, as well as running an article claiming that World Wars 1 and 2 were both Jewish plots.

The Guardian’s advocacy for antisemitic Islamists: charge of ‘supremacy’ against the UK Jewish community at ‘Comment is Free’.

The Guardian produced a plethora of articles - all eerily similar in their support for an antisemitic Islamist extremist named Raed Salah (the various articles  uniformly described  him as a ‘Palestinian activist’) – despite undeniable evidence of Salah’s support for Hamas, reciting a poem advancing the antisemitic medieval  blood libel and propagating the antisemitic conspiracy that  the attacks on 9/11 were an Israeli plot (i.e., Jews were warned not to go to work at the World Trade Center on that day).

Further, after his hearing in the UK, Salah took a moral victory lap on the pages of ‘Comment is Free’ where he accused Zionists and their Jewish supporters in the UK of subscribing to the doctrine of ‘supremacy’: Britain’s duty to the Palestinian people, April 19th 2012.

Despite the hideous antisemitic pedigree of the charge that Jews are supremacists (which, as we noted in several emails to Guardian readers editor Chris Elliott, represents the ideas of David Duke and Gilad Atzmon), the passage remains on the pages of CiF to this day.

The Guardian refused to acknowledge the antisemitic motives of Islamist murderer of Jews in France.

In an official Guardian editorial - published after the Islamist background and antisemitic motivation of the Toulouse murderer Mohammed Merah (a self-styled al Qaeda jihadist) became known – the word “antisemitism” was not used, nor was the Jewish identity of four victims mentioned. It should be noted that it was widely reported in the press that Merah admitted antisemitic motivations, and said he attacked the Jewish school to avenge Palestinian children, stating “The Jews kill our brothers and sisters in Palestine.”

A pattern of the Guardian burying evidence of Palestinian/Islamist antisemitism. 

All of the recent stories represent a clear pattern. There exists a ubiquity of Islamist antisemitism in the Middle East which scholar Robert Wistrich has compared to Nazi Germany at its worst:

Wrote Wistrich:

“The scale and extremism of the literature and commentary available in Arab or Muslim newspapers, journals, magazines, caricatures, on Islamist websites, on the Middle Eastern radio and TV news, in documentaries, films, and educational materials, is comparable only to that of Nazi Germany at its worst.”

A six month study of the Guardian’s ‘Palestinian territories’ page, published here, for example, demonstrated that there was not one article published on the subject of Palestinian antisemitism. (Though this blog has limits in terms of our capacity for research, my working assumption is that a much longer survey would produce similar findings on the paucity of reports by Guardian reporters on rampant Jew hatred in the region.)

In addition, nowhere on the Guardian’s Iran page, for instance, will you find mention of the fact that a website with close ties to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khomenei, had outlined why it would be religiously acceptable to kill all Jews in Israel – a doctrine, as reported by the Mail Online, which details why the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of all its people would be legally and morally justified and in accordance to Islamic doctrine.

Also not reported by the Guardian: per a recently released WikiLeaks cable:

‘[In] January [2009], during a sermon broadcast on Al Jazeera Arabic, [Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual Leader] Imam Yousef Al-Qaradawi condemned Jews for spreading “corruption in the land,” and for victimizing the Muslim people. He said “We wait for the revenge of Allah to descend upon them, and, Allah willing, it will be by our own hands…Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one.” [emphasis mine]

In conclusion, the Guardian’s faults of commission and omission, include: 

  • Licensing Islamist terror movements which openly seek the murder of Jews and advance antisemitic conspiracy theories.
  • Framing as ‘progressive”, and often as victims, Islamists who support the anti-Zionist cause while ignoring their clear record of Judeophobic rhetoric.
  • Burying even the most undeniable evidence of antisemitic Islamist motivation for violence in Europe.
  • Failing to report on antisemitism in the Middle East, hatred which would could serve to better contextualize, for the Guardian’s readers, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

So why does the Guardian choose not to see Islamist antisemitism and how can it continue to frame adherents to this dangerous movement as victims (and often protagonists) even when engaging in the most cruel, racist and reactionary political behavior against Jews?

Is it due to a political orthodoxy, informed by Western guilt, which sees Israel and the Middle East through a facile post-colonial (and morally pre-assigned) victim-perpetrator paradigm?

To some degree such questions of ideological ‘first causes’ are moot.
 
For whatever reasons, by failing to report (to their enormous liberal readership) the political pathologies of the Middle East – those whose malign obsession with Jews represent the central address of antisemtism in the modern era – the Guardian, and all who legitimize this media institution, are morally complicit with anti-Jewish racism.
 
One simply cannot claim the mantle of passionate opposition to racism whilst turning a blind eye to its Islamist variety.
 

The bottom line is that the Guardian consistently enables, covers for, excuses, and (mostly) ignores, Islamist Judeophobia.  By framing Ismail Haniyeh, Raed Salah and Shiekh Yousef Qaradawi - the intellectual heirs to Streicher and Goebbels - not as would-be  homicidal Jew haters but as the oppressed and downtrodden, the wretched of the earth – “activists”, liberals and reformers – the Guardian is engaged in a dangerous cognitive assault on the Jewish people.

Islamism is the most dangerous antisemitic movement in the world today, and it pains me that it pains so many to read those words. The Third Reich was defeated sixty-seven years ago and it is time for true liberals to fight the good fight and not cower in the face of a supremely politically inconvenient – yet enormously dangerous – enemy.  

In the classic ‘fight or flight’ instinct which history records with merciless accuracy often years too late, the Guardian represents the instinct to succumb to intellectual fads and enforced political orthodoxies over serious moral thought and urgent action. Cowardliness in the face of danger: life’s ultimate moral and intellectual abdication.

Those who understand the stakes, fancy themselves liberals, and consider themselves unabashed friends of the Jews, should not have to think hard when pondering the danger Islamism represents in the context of the age old battle against antisemitism (from antiquity to the modern day).

And, finally:

It should not be mentally taxing to understand intuitively that it is never Islamophobic to be unapologetically philo-Semitic.

The Guardian has failed miserably to comprehend these vital truths – are indeed hostile, and stand athwart, from the actions they demand – and so the institution should rightfully be seen as representing, to the Jewish people and their allies, an enemy in our midst. 

 

Fallout from the Hamas essay at ‘Comment is Free’: ‘Giving up the Guardian’

H/T Gerald

Cross posted by Charlotte at Digital Politico

It may or may not surprise you to know that I am a Guardian reader.

Or at least was.

Today though they decided to run a piece by the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh.

The leader of a terrorist organisation that has a stated aim of removing Israel from the map.

That’s before we mention it’s totally despicable and illiberal approach to women and homosexuals.

People will try and make this into a free speech issue. When they do I hope they realise that I have always been against no platforming in a political context – I was happy for Nick Griffin to appear and be debated on Question Time. I thought that the BNP candidate should have been allowed into the Mayoral debate when all candidates were invited.

I might even have been able to stomach a proper interview with Haniyeh published in the Guardian. He has been elected Prime Minister, despite his organisations vile beliefs.

Essentially though this is the equivalent of the paper giving a column to the the leader of the KKK, and giving someone like Ismail Haniyeh an unanswered column should be as totally unthinkable to the Guardian.

As it wasn’t, I cannot support or read this product

The issue is about terrorism and murder, not free speech. I have zero issue with people wanting to advocate the Palestinian cause being given a platform, even though I may come from a slightly different perspective. I also hope having such a debate can contribute towards peace. This article is not that though.

You will note that in his piece Haniyeh mentions the word Israel once, followed by the word occupation. It’s a bit odd that in a piece about change in the Middle East, mentions of the region’s only democracy are almost indiscernible. The thing is, if he had mentioned Israel, Haniyeh would have to discuss that he actually advocates the destruction of that state, and even Guardian readers might have found that a bit too difficult to take with their muesli.

But there is no point just winging.

The Guardian has long been a beloved media outlet of liberals, but today myself and my friend Matthew Harris are urging liberals to Give up the Guardian. Stop reading it, stop linking to it, stop buying it.

Join our Facebook page (or buy a subscription to our newsletter) too, to help you get through going cold turkey.

Go on….you’ll feel so much better when you give it up.

The Guardian and Hamas: Willing Dupe and Immutable Victim

I came across a passage from a Shelby Steele essay in 2010 (excerpts of which I posted below) which may accurately explain the Guardians’ continuing sympathy for even the most violent, antisemitic Islamists: Hamas members who represent the antithesis of even the broadest understanding of liberal values.

Since 2011, the broadsheet which aspires to be the world’s leading liberal voice has published the Islamist terror groups’ head of international relations Osama Hamdan, Hamas advisorAzzam Tamimi, Musa Abumarzuq - deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, and today Hamas’ political leader and Gaza’s Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh.

 Steele wrote:

“[T]he merest echo of the shameful Western past is enough to chill support for Israel in the West.

The West …lacks the self-assurance to see the Palestinians accurately. Here again it is safer in the white West to see the Palestinians as they advertise themselves—as an “occupied” people denied sovereignty and simple human dignity by a white Western colonizer. The West is simply too vulnerable to the racist stigma to object to this “neo-colonial” characterization.

Our problem in the West is understandable. [We] don’t want to lose more moral authority than we already have. So…choose not to see certain things that are right in front of us. For example, we ignore that the Palestinians…are driven to militancy and war not by legitimate complaints against Israel or the West but by an internalized sense of inferiority. If the Palestinians got everything they want—a sovereign nation —they would wake the next morning still hounded by a sense of inferiority.

And the quickest cover for inferiority is hatred. The problem is not me; it is them. And in my victimization I enjoy a moral and human grandiosity—no matter how smart and modern my enemy is, I have the innocence that defines victims. I may be poor but my hands are clean. Even my backwardness and poverty only reflect a moral superiority.”

 The truth of Steele’s words is reflected by Ismail Haniyeh’s essay. The leader of a movement whose founding charter continually calls for the eradication of the Jewish state strikes the appropriate ‘liberal cords’ and plays the Guardian crowd like a fiddle.

Haniyeh begins his CiF essay We Palestinians are reclaiming our destiny, June 8th, thus:

“Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away.”

Haniyeh is being a bit coy here. Is the fakery he speaks of the Jews’ erroneous connection to Israel? Perhaps the rhetorical obfuscation and craftiness over the truth (in need of ‘revelation’) is owed to the need for tip-towing around elements in his movement’s less than enlightened founding platform; those elements which command allegiance to the Protocols of the Elder of Zion and insist that there is indeed a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.  

The Islamist leader now clearly aspires to more lofty and elevated prose (though, as you’ll see in this passage, falls for the garden-variety analogies).

“…our destiny dictated that we should become like a fruit overhanging a garden fence: each passer-by would try to pluck us, while we struggled to cling to the vine. But our right to our land…is an inalienable right guaranteed by all norms and laws. The “Palestinian problem” has many dimensions, but at its root is Israel’s occupation.” 

Hint for the truly perplexed and/or those merely taking the Guardian seriously: where the Hamas leader writes that the “Palestinian problem has many dimensions, but at its roots is Israel’s occupation.”, by “occupation” he meant of course to write “existence”.

Now the progressive Haniyeh pivots to the downright risible:

“We as a people want to live in our homeland, the land of our ancestors, in freedom, dignity and democracy, and with a just peace that restores our rights.”

A more exquisite example of what Richard Landes terms the Demopath vs. Dupe dynamic would be difficult to find. This dynamic indeed lies at the heart of the Guardian’s liberal cognitive egocentrism (the tendency to believe that almost everyone wants positive-sum solutions – and prohibits people from imagining malevolence). 

Demopaths, such as Hamas, are – per Landes – people who use democratic language and invoke human rights only when it serves their interests.  Thus, they are able to invoke the word “democracy” without a hint of cognitive dissonance even in the face of their bloody coup in 2007 which purged Gaza of any last trace of democratic opposition and the dearth of human rights in the territory for religious minorities, women or gays.

Dupes, per Landes, are people who take demopaths at face value, accept their position and accuse those who suspect demopathy of demonizing, essentializing, prejudice, or racism.

I’d add one more component to Landes’ definition of a “Dupe”, Guardian style. ‘Comment is Free’s decision to legitimize Hamas, per Shelby Steele, seems necessarily incumbent upon the terrorist organisation not only effectively employing the language of human rights, but using it in a broader narrative claiming victimhood. 

Who are the Palestinians in the eyes of the Guardian, after all, other than a group (via a strictly enforced political orthodoxy) juxtaposed with the Jewish other: a political abstraction void of complexity or human color?

Without this perception of victimhood, the Palestinians would be forced to be held accountable for their cultures’ political and moral faults and egregious social and economic underdevelopment – difficult truths in an honor-shame culture

The silence of the Guardian (and the West more broadly) in face of decades of the Palestinians’ (post Holocaust) endemic antisemitism is shameful, for sure, but seems in many ways to be informed by their own contempt towards those whose sympathy they claim to possess.

When you deny adults moral agency, you are in effect infantilizing them.  You are implicitly acknowledging that they cannot compete morally with other adults; that their culture can not be held to the same ethical standards as others.

Is there a more clear definition of racism? 

A Baaaad Man! The Guardian’s scary Bibi

Harriet Sherwood’s latest report, Israeli PM: illegal African immigrants threaten identity of state, May 20, is notable not for the story, concerning Israel’s efforts to stem illegal immigration, nor for the narrative, which suggests racist motives, but due to the photo of PM Netanyahu.

In fact, the photo (of an angry “right wing” Bibi) was used in a July, 2011, Guardian story.

A November 2011 Sherwood report used another angry photo of Bibi…

…which was recycled from a  report in August, 2011.

As a point of comparison, here’s a photo of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in a ‘Comment is Free’ commentary from March, 2012.

Finally, here is a photo from a Guardian report, of a gentle, kindly and loving soul (aka, Raed Salah) who, in his spare time, recites poems advancing the ancient antisemitic blood libel.

‘Comment is Free’ writer praises Hamas for limiting its acts of terror to ‘only’ Israeli Jews

H/T Mark

The first indication that the essay by , Hamas is making a tactical appeal to the grassroots“, CiF, March 8, was going to represent yet another example of a Guardian whitewash of a terrorist group committed to the Jewish state’s destruction was the accompanying photo.

The beloved Ismail Haniyeh, a true man of the people.

But, it gets much worse.

Baconi writes:

Hamas officials have said that in the event of a war between Iran and Israel, they will not become involved on Tehran’s side.

Historically, Hamas has always gone to great lengths to assert its independence from any foreign influence. It is widely recognised that it receives support from powers such as Syria (until recently) and Iran. Yet this has never been worn as a badge of honour by the movement.

Rather, its leadership has consistently asserted that the movement cannot be influenced or directed by any external power. It has insisted that it charts its course based on the will of the people – in stark contrast to Fatah and its leadership, who have frequently been portrayed as the pawns of western powers and Israel.

Hamas: Authentic, boldly asserting its independence from imperial powers while engaging in terrorism.

Fatah: A pawn of the U.S. and Israel.

Baconi continues:

Hamas, which governs Gaza, is also territorialised, limiting its resistance to historic Palestine.… Unlike the Palestine Liberation Organisation…Hamas has rarely if ever meddled in regional or global affairs, either rhetorically or through acts of resistance.

[and has] limited its war to a well-defined battle: that of liberating Palestine from “Zionist occupation”. 

At a time when people at the grassroots are calling the shots across the region, Hamas is prudently differentiating itself from other regimes and parties by visibly siding with the people.

This is not a new concept for Hamas, since it has always derived its legitimacy and popularity from Palestinians [emphasis added]

Please read the above passages over.  

The euphemisms are meant to communicate the following:

  • Hamas, unlike the more moderate Fatah, is not guilty of cravenly being influence by Western powers, charts its own path, determined by the will of the Palestinian people.
  • As such, Hamas limits its terrorist attacks by targeting merely Israeli civilians (those living anywhere in pre or post 1967 borders): The murder of innocent Jewish men, women and children in Israel as an act of restraint.

Yes, “resistance” means murderous terror attacks.

Yes, “historic Palestine” means the entire nation of Israel.

And, yes, ‘Comment is Free’ published a commentary suggesting that brutal terrorist attacks against Israelis are consistent with the responsible and admirable behavior of a legitimate “resistance” movement. 

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh announcing Global March to Jerusalem

See Hadar Sela’s reports (here, here and here) for more background on the other extremists and terror supporters organizing the upcoming (March 30th) Global March to Jerusalem.