The Guardian’s “democratic” Islamist leader: Kill every last Jew on earth

H/T Just Journalism

We have posted previously about the Sunni cleric, Sheik Yousuf al-Qaradawi – a radical religious extremist, and Holocaust supporter, who’s also considered to be the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader. 

However, al-Qaradawi’s extremism was characteristically white washed by the Guardian in their Middle East Live Blog back in February.

“Al-Qaradawi might be familiar to many in Britain. The government was criticised back in 2008 by moderate Muslim groups after it banned him from entering Britain and branded him an extremist.

Qaradawi, who was banned from entering the United States, had previously visited the UK in 2004 at the invitation of the London mayor, Ken Livingstone, sparking protests from Jewish groups and gay people, who regard him as anti-Semitic and homophobic.

However, he is also arguably the most influential Sunni Muslim cleric in the world and has regularly spoken in the past in support of democracy.

A  March 18, 2011 post by the Guardian’s Middle East Editor, Ian Black, included this benign description:

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the popular preacher who appears regularly on al-Jazeera,

Back in 2005, a Guardian column by   characterized al-Qaradawi, thusly:

“[al-Qaradawi is] a widely regarded as a moderate and one of the most respected scholars in the Muslim world.”

She further noted that describing him as an extremist – merely because he supports Palestinian suicide attacks against Israelis -is “absurd.”

Now, per a recently released WikiLeaks cable:

‘In a Friday, January 9, sermon broadcast on Al Jazeera Arabic, Imam Yousef Al-Qaradawi condemned Jews for spreading “corruption in the land,” and for victimizing the Muslim people. He cited the Babylonian Captivity and the Roman conquest as historical examples of God’s punishment of Israel. 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]

No doubt, al-Qaradawi’s CiF column, contextualizing his explicit call for genocide against Jews, will likely appear soon. 

Report documents Guardian’s consistent promotion of commentators who reject Israel’s right to exist

Hamas member, and CiF Contributor, Osama Hamdan

A large H/T goes out to our friends at Just Journalism for publishing a well-documented report which empirically demonstrates what this blog is continually exposing: the Guardian’s continuing assault, through editorials and commentary, on Israel’s very legitimacy.  

Just Journalism’s six-month study of the comment pieces by Israelis and Palestinians that appeared in the Guardian is a qualitative and quantitative analysis that documents how “The Guardian instinctively promotes the views of those who oppose the very concept of two states for two peoples.”

Regarding their report, Just Journalism’s Media Analyst, Chris Dyszyński, says:

‘The Guardian has long been associated with its endorsement of the Palestinian cause, and its criticism of the occupation. However, this new report suggests that the real sticking point for the paper is not the number of settlements in the West Bank, but Israel’s very nature as a national home for the Jewish people. While you would expect ‘the world’s leading liberal voice’ to endorse Israeli concessions in the name of the two state solution – and to promote the views of liberal Israelis who don’t believe their government is doing enough for that solution – it seems perverse to overwhelmingly plump for Palestinians who don’t share that view. The decision to repeatedly offer a platform to signed-up Hamas members is the logical, if distasteful, outcome of its preference for those who fundamentally disagree with Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.’ [emphasis mine]

Here’s the executive summary:

  • The Guardian published more op-eds by Palestinians than by Israelis during the first half of 2011, with eleven comment pieces by nine Palestinian contributors in comparison with six by four Israelis
  • Three of the Palestinians who contributed op-eds during this period were either members of Hamas or strongly affiliated with it, and have endorsed  terrorist attacks
  • Four further Palestinians were secular nationalists who also reject Israel’s legitimacy and endorse policies that would turn it into an Arab majority state
  • All of the Israelis given op-eds are associated with the left-wing of Israeli politics that supports the concessions needed to create a Palestinian state in order to facilitate two states for two peoples
  • The majority of comment pieces by Israeli contributors dealt with the repercussions of the Arab Spring, rather than directly with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict itself.

The Guardian’s Ian Black and the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands

H/T Lyn and Just Journalism

I recently had the pleasure of meeting one of Israel’s leading wine makers, Eli Ben-Zaken.  

Ben-Zaken’s family lived in Cairo for generations but was forced to flee in the 1950s after their citizenship was stripped (and additional anti-Jewish measures were implemented) following Israel’s creation, making life there – which was never easy for Egyptian Jewry – almost impossible.

Ben-Zaken told us about the tax Egyptian Authorities required his father to pay merely for the privilege of leaving the country, and the stamp on their travel documents which explicitly noted that they were not permitted to return.

Such a story is not uncommon for Jews from Arab lands, but it came to mind upon reading a Guardian online discussion about the Arab Spring with the paper’s Middle East editor, Ian Black.

When asked about  the issue of minorities in the region – including Copts and Jews – Black said the following:

“It’s hard to imagine a Jewish renaissance in the Arab world without a settlement of the Palestinian question. Christians in Egypt are certainly worried about the rise of Islamists, but the Muslim Brotherhood has been going out of its way to be reassuring on this point. Salafi groups are a source of greater concern and have featured in several bad cases of sectarian violence – notably in the Cairo neighbourhood of Imbaba in May. Many have warned of the risks of manipulation by shadowy pro-Mubarak forces.” [emphasis mine]

While the Guardian’s Middle East editor’s naivete about the vulnerability of Copts and the intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood is itself worth discussing – a topic explored in great detail by Middle East scholarBarry Rubin – Black’s inability to acknowledge the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Arab lands is appalling, and his suggestion about the future of Jewry in the region is itself based on the logic of the very Arab leaders who saw fit to expel their Jews in the first place.

As the only crime of the roughly 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands was that they shared the same religion of citizens of the nation which Arab leaders so despised – and subsequently attempted to annihilate – what possibly would allow Black to conclude that a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict would suddenly convince Arab leaders to allow back their expelled Jews (and their descendants) or compensate these families for their stolen property and forfeited assets?

Further, as Just Journalism noted:

“The suggestion that this situation won’t be resolved without a ‘settlement of the Palestinian question’ underplays the sheer level of hostility towards Jews in these countries, which goes far beyond political sympathy for the Palestinians. For example, throughout the Arab Spring both regimes and protesters in several countries denounced their opponents by smearing them as ‘Zionists’The Times recently highlighted how even in Egypt, which has been at peace with Israel for several decades, postcards of Hitler are popular ‘because he killed Jews’.

As Eli Ben-Zaken, or any of the hundreds of thousands of refugees from Arab lands, and their millions of descendants, could surely tell Black, Jewish life in Arab lands – which in some cases went back thousands of years – is all but certainly extinguished forever.

A “settlement to the Palestinian question” will not address nor ameliorate this profound and under reported injustice. 

The Guardian’s obsession with Israel and the conflicts not covered

H/T Margie

A recent report by Just Journalism on the UK media’s coverage of the Middle East demonstrated that, at the Guardian, coverage of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined doubled in 2010 (due to the upheavals inspired by the “Arab Spring”) but still fell far short of the total coverage of Israel;  News reporting about Israel was nearly six times the volume of the next most reported Arab country, Egypt; Comment pieces on Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined to less than half those published about Israel; Sixteen editorials were published on Israel, whereas none were published on Egypt, Libya or Tunisia.

Of course, it’s possible that the Guardian’s disproportionate coverage of Israel merely reflects the broader obsession in the world with anything Jewish or Israeli, in which case the Guardian may be cynically exploiting this sentiment to drive up web traffic. 

Indeed, if you visit CiF ‘s Middle East section today, you’ll find three pieces highlighted (under “Editor’s Picks”): One about the war in Libya, one about Syria’s continuing bloody crackdown against civilians protesting the regime, and one about Israel’s recent anti-BDS legislation.

As you can see in the snapshot of the page below, the commentary on Israel has generated over three times the number of reader comments than the two other pieces (about Libya and Syria, two nations currently at war) combined, despite the fact that British troops (under NATO) are directly involved in the Libyan conflict. 

More broadly, I recently corresponded with the Guardian readers’ editor, Chris Elliot, to inquire about the Guardian’s disproportionate coverage of Israel, in the context of the Just Journalism report, and his answer was, I think, quite revealing.  He said:

“Israel/Palestine is one of the most intractable conflicts in the world, the effects or which are felt throughout a very large part of the world. It is entirely reasonable that the Guardian, an internationalist newspaper, should devote a great deal of coverage to the issue.”

As I responded to Mr. Elliot, however, no matter how “intractable” the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, it actually pales in comparison to other “intractable” conflicts throughout the world in terms of number of people killed.  

While I don’t realistically expect the Guardian to cover the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (over 5 million killed since 1991) with the same level of intensity they devote to the I-P Conflict (far less than 10,000 casualties), it’s quite curious that, within their main CiF page, there isn’t even a link to Africa related commentaries. 

There’s a very interesting site, called Stealth Conflicts, for those interested in holding the Guardian, and the rest of the mainstream media, accountable to standards of coverage based on evidence, and not merely the arbitrary (or ideologically and/or financially driven) desires of the sites’ editors, and becoming familiar with the information contained in the table below (on conflict death tolls throughout the world since the end of The Cold War) from the site, is a great place to start. 


Death Toll

Democratic Republic of Congo


Southern Sudan




























Sierra Leone






Sri Lanka










Gulf War






Cote d’Ivoire


Congo, Republic of














Kurdish Iraq


Southern Iraq



< 10,000


< 10,000


< 10,000


< 10,000


< 10,000

Central African Republic

< 10,000


< 10,000


< 10,000


< 10,000


< 10,000


< 10,000

Andrha Pradesh

< 10,000


< 10,000

Northeast India

< 10,000

East Timor

< 10,000

Irian Jaya

< 10,000


< 10,000

Molucca Islands

< 10,000


< 10,000


< 10,000


< 10,000

Northern Ireland

< 10,000


< 10,000

Guardian and Independent coverage of second flotilla omits key facts

This was published by Just Journalism

Israel accused of trying to intimidate Gaza flotilla journalists’, by Conal Urquhart, published in yesterday’s Guardian, framed the convoy’s primary motivation as humanitarian, endorsing the contention of protesters that breaking Israel’s naval blockade is the sole way of delivering aid to the territory. The article asserted:

‘The ships are sailing to protest against Israeli restrictions on Gaza and to commemorate last year’s flotilla, which was intercepted by the Israeli navy, who killed nine of the Turkish participants.

‘Israel has restricted the supply of goods and the movement of individuals in Gaza since Hamas took control in 2007.’

However, no mention was made of the fact that Israel has repeatedly offered to transport the aid to Gaza as long as flotilla ships do not attempt to directly reach the coastal territory themselves, as reported by Just Journalism at the start of the month. Yesterday, The Jerusalem Post reported the latest development, whereby Israel and Egypt have agreed to coordinate any such effort:

‘Israel and Egypt have come to an understanding by which ships taking part in an upcoming flotilla to the Gaza Strip will be allowed to unload their cargo of humanitarian goods at the Egyptian port of El-Arish, from where it will be transferred on land to Gaza after being checked, Israel Radio reported on Monday.’

Even the left-leaning Israeli outlet Haaretz, in an editorial published yesterday arguing that the ships should be allowed to reach Gaza, acknowledged that it was hard to argue that there was any ‘practical reason’ for the flotilla:

‘At first glance, there does not appear to be a practical reason to send the aid, since in the wake of the 2010 flotilla, Israel was compelled to lift many restrictions it had put in place as part of its brutal blockade, and Egypt has decided to open the Rafah crossing to civilians. Moreover, Israel has even offered to transfer the aid shipment to Gaza, as long as the ships don’t dock there.’

Read the rest of the essay, here.

Double standards in reporting of destruction of religious sites in Middle East by Guardian and other UK Media

This was published by Just Journalism

This is all that remains of a 400 year old Shiite Mosque in Bahrain, destroyed in Feb. by Saudi-backed Bahraini forces

The destruction of property of religious or cultural significance is an emotive issue wherever it takes place. Yet, in the Middle East, some cases receive more media attention than others. Recent destruction of Muslim places of worship by Arab regimes in Syria and Bahrain has attracted no media condemnation, in stark contrast with any hint of disrespect shown by Israel to buildings of significance to Muslims or Christians.

Today, The GuardianThe Independent, the BBC and The Daily Telegraph all carried articles reporting that yesterday, suspected settlers attempted to set fire to a mosque in the West Bank village of Al-Mughayyir.

Destruction and desecration of mosques during Arab Spring

Shia Mosques bulldozed in Bahrain

Since the start of the Arab Spring demonstrations in Bahrain in March, it is thought that 27 Shia mosques have been razed by the Sunni authorities. These demolitions have generated no headlines in the British broadsheets or on the BBC News website, and only received minimal reference in news and comment on events in Bahrain.

US President Barack Obama referenced the demolitions in his 19 May Middle East policy speech; however, this did not raise the profile of the phenomenon in the British media. The BBC News website, which produced a transcript of the Obama speech, with analysis, did not devote any further comment to Obama’s assertion that, ‘Shia must never have their mosques destroyed in Bahrain.’

The mosque demolitions were cited in passing in lists of violations taking place in Bahrain in one article in The Independent, and one in The Guardian

On 11 May, Christian Science Monitor published ‘Bahrain’s Sunni rulers target Shiite mosques’, charting the policy of destruction carried out and includes details of how in the village of Aali ‘only bulldozer tracks remain’ where the Amir Mohammed Braighi mosque had stood ‘for more than 400 years’.

A resident of another village, Nwaidrat, where a mosque was allegedly razed by the regime, is quoted expressing his sorrow and distress:

‘”Why did they destroy this mosque?” Abu Hadi wailed. “Muslims have prayed there for decades.”’

Journalist Roy Gutman, of McClatchy Newspapers writes:

‘Members of the Shiite opposition assembled a list of 27 mosques and other religious structures demolished or damaged in the crackdown. A tour by McClatchy of several townships suggests the number of buildings destroyed is far greater.’

He also cites the Bahraini justice minister claiming, ‘These are not mosques. These are illegal buildings’.

Read rest of essay, here.

Guardian posts “Global Peace Index 2011″, ranks Israel below majority of Arab Spring countries; gives Israel worst possible human rights ranking

This was published by  The Wire, the blog of Just Journalism

Yesterday The Guardian’s Datablog published the results of the Global Peace Index, which ranks the ‘calm’ and ‘peacefulness’ of 153 countries across the world. The index takes into account a broad array of factors, including crime rates, internal and external relations and conflicts, arms sales, military size, democratic indices and social indicators. In the overall ranking of countries Israel – not including the Palestinian territories – ranks 145 out of 153, its lowest ever rating.

The methodology of the index, devised by the Economist Intelligence Unit, was questioned by the unit’s sister company, The Economist, at its inception in 2007. ‘Give peace a rating’ suggested that ‘the index will run into some flak’, as it was weighted against more militarised countries:

‘By unconditionally endorsing low military budgets and marking down high ones, the index may seem to give heart to freeloaders: countries that enjoy peace precisely because others (often America) care for their defence.’

The Guardian makes it clear that the 2011 Global Peace Index takes into account events during the Arab Spring, as it ‘sees dramatic falls in middle east countries after the Arab spring’. However, several key Arab states that have typified the last several months of regional unrest, seeing mass demonstrations and thousands of deaths, continue to rank far above Israel on the peace scale.

Read the rest of the post, here.

Devastating report issued which clearly demonstrates the Guardian’s obsession with Israel

The following quantitative analysis, of Middle East reporting by the UK media in 2010, by Just Journalism demonstrates, among other findings, the egregiously disproportionate coverage devoted to Israel, in comparison with other nations in the region, by the Guardian.

Key findings

  • Israel was by far the most reported of the four countries in The Guardian in 2010. In fact, coverage of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined and doubled still fell far short of the total coverage of Israel.
  • News reporting about Israel was nearly six times the volume of the next most reported Arab country, Egypt.
  • Comment pieces on Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined to less than half those published about Israel.
  • Sixteen editorials were published on Israel, whereas none were published on Egypt, Libya or Tunisia.

Just Journalism noted that:

“what distinguishes The Guardian’s journalism on Israel from that on the Arab countries is the presence of a permanent reporter in Jerusalem, who produces highly regular content for the print and online editions.”

In the first five months of 2010, then-Jerusalem correspondent Rory McCarthy filed 70 news reports on Israel, equivalent to almost one report every other day. When Harriet Sherwood replaced him, she filed 139 reports in the remaining seven months of the year, an increase of more than 40 per cent.

No comparable set up was in place in Egypt, Libya or Tunisia, as only Israel has a devoted correspondent to filestories on a near-daily basis.

Two hundred and fourteen Content pieces were published on Egypt, ten of which were triggered by December’s shark attacks in the Red Sea resort, Sharm el Sheikh. Only four more pieces addressed the rigged Egyptian presidential elections, also in December, which extended the reign of the recently ousted Hosni Mubarak.

Coverage of Libya, about which 110 Content pieces appeared in 2010, was dominated by the release from UK prison in 2009 of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al Megrahi, with 48 articles on this story.

Tunisia was barely covered by The Guardian in 2010, with only 22 Content pieces about the country.

These trends were reflected in coverage by Middle East editor Ian Black, who covered Israel in 87 Content pieces, compared with only 12 on Libya, nine on Egypt and three on Tunisia.

The number of Comment pieces published on The Guardian’s ‘Comment is free’ website follows the pattern of concentration on Israel, with articles on Israel far outstripping the number published about Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.”

Figure 5 illustrates the gulf between volume of Comment pieces on Israel and that on the three Arab countries

Read the entire report, here.

Ghajar Revisited (Sherwood’s anti-Israel narrative again appears impervious to new information)

Back in November 2010 we noted Harriet Sherwood’s misleading report from the northern Israeli village of Ghajar in which she insinuated that Israel was to build a wall or barrier through the village.

“Harriet Sherwood’s recent report from Ghajar is another example of what can result from the adherence to inapplicable preconceptions, particularly when mixed with deeply entrenched prejudices.  As we are only too aware walls and fences (though exclusively when constructed by Israelis) are quite a popular theme at the Guardian. In this article too, Sherwood takes the ‘Berlin Wall’ theme and develops it way beyond any logical proportion and without context.”

“It is true that the villagers of Ghajar are themselves promoting the ‘Berlin Wall’ theme in connection to their current plight – I heard them use the concept myself when I visited Ghajar last week –  but they are doing so as a metaphor for their discontent about the proposed division of their village and possible resulting enforced separation of families. Sherwood, however, takes this particular phrase and uses it to turn what is a very complex situation into a dumbed-down version of events laden with her own preconceptions. The primary message she communicates to her readers is that Israel is building yet another big bad wall and that Arabs will suffer as a result.”

As we mentioned in that article, ‘Just Journalism’ also challenged Sherwood’s report at the time, pointing out the differences between her version and that of a reporter from the Independent who was present at the same time. ‘Just Journalism’ attempted to contact both Sherwood and the Guardian in relation to the report but was eventually left with no option but to approach the Press Complaints Commission.

“We submitted our first query, primarily requesting an explanation for the difference in quotation, to Harriet Sherwood herself on the day of publication. We received no response. Subsequently, Just Journalism also contacted Middle East editor Ian Black, who referred us to foreign editor Charlie English, who referred us to readers’ editor Chris Elliott.”

“None of these email correspondences produced any answers to our questions regarding the Ghajar article. Therefore, after twelve days, Just Journalism elected to submit a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.”

In this new report from ‘Just Journalism’ readers can see the details of the complaint submitted and the results of that action.  Interestingly, the Guardian had published differing versions of the standfirst sub-headline in its print and online versions, the former being a more accurate version of events. However, the Guardian refused to change the standfirst in the online version.

“We asked that the online standfirst be replaced with the one which appeared in the print edition, which was touted by The Guardian in correspondence to the PCC as evidence of its fair portrayal over events. We made the point that has a global audience and reaches over 2 million people every day. The print version reaches far fewer readers.”

“On the question of amending the standfirst, The Guardian refused to amend the online version to match that which appeared in the print edition. No explanation was given as to why they were unwilling to do this.”

‘Just Journalism’ has been very diplomatic and indeed some might say extremely generous in its report of the Guardian’s reply to its PCC complaint.

For my part, I would not consider it unrealistic to conclude that the Guardian’s refusal to change the standfirst in its online version of Sherwood’s report from Ghajar is precisely because of the fact that this is the version which reaches a far greater number of readers.  After all, a reputable publication dedicated to accurate reporting of the news would be more than happy to correct a mistake pointed out to it by concerned readers, wouldn’t it?

Guardian Notoriety Update

In our latest Guardian Notoriety Update we note the following commentary:

Elder of Ziyon brilliantly deconstructs the Guardian’s whitewashing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and their characterization of the group as pragmatic and moderate.

The Wire (the blog of Just Journalism) highlights Guardian Associate Editor Seumas Milne’s upcoming appearance at a panel discussion on the “Palestine Papers” by the pro-Hamas UK group, MEMO.  (Note our November post by Akus on Milne’s last tete-a-tete with the pro-Islamist group)

And, finally, Yisrael Medad notes Harriet Sherwood’s casual indifference to Israeli security concerns in her blog post about Israel’s recent removal of the Hawara checkpoint.

Guardian admits use of misleading quotes in Palestine Papers report

H/T Just Journalism

Buried in their “Corrections and Clarifications” section, the Guardian has acknowledged the following about a January 24th “Palestine Papers” report about former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in a box titled “What they said…”

A quote by Tzipi Livni, Israel’s former foreign minister, within a panel that formed part of the Palestine papers, was cut in a way that may have given a misleading impression. The quote appeared as: “The Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that it is impossible, we already have the land and cannot create the state.” [emphasis mine]

The Guardian continues:

To clarify, the full quote is: “I understand the sentiments of the Palestinians when they see the settlements being built. The meaning from the Palestinian perspective is that Israel takes more land, that the Palestinian state will be impossible, the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that it is impossible, we already have the land and cannot create the state.” (What they said … 24 January, page 4.)

The wording “MAY” have been misleading?!

Falsely characterizing the words of an Israeli leader, who was merely musing on how the Palestinians themselves may view Israeli settlements, in a way that not only makes it seem as if such views are her own, but, indeed, represent official Israeli policy, is much more than misleading. Its journalistic malpractice, and represents more evidence confirming our view that the story of the “Palestine Papers” was not about the notes themselves but, rather, about a newspaper whose rigid ideology informs almost every aspect of their journalism – where facts and quotes are always subservient to an overtly anti-Israel political agenda.

(See previous CW post on another highly misleading characterization of Livni’s words in a separate “Palestine Papers” story in the Guardian, here)

The Guardian’s notoriety (Part 1.)

One of the good things to come out of the Guardian’s “Palestine Papers” series was a noticeable increase in the number of bloggers, writers, and journalists (from across the political spectrum) who became aware of the egregious ideological bias at the Guardian.

This is the first installment of a new focus on other stellar bloggers and websites who expose the Guardian’s (anti-Israel) activist-journalism.

We have many allies in our fight against anti-Semitism (and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy) at the Guardian, and have always felt that – when it comes to this vital mission – egos must be checked at the door, and credit must be given where it is deserved.

So, in today’s edition we note stellar posts by the blog of Just Journalism, The Wire, and Elder of Ziyon.

The Wire noted a story by the Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood which vividly described a hero’s welcome for a Hamas terrorist who recently escaped from an Egyptian prison.

Read their post, here.

Elder’s piece isn’t so much about the Guardian as it is an attack on a story in the Telegraph which contains a gross distortion about the significance of a WikiLeaks document.  However, we’re including it due to the way Elder chose to frame the Telegraph’s journalistic bias – as “taking a page from the Guardian.”

We’re always pleased when the Guardian is rightly recognized as the nadir of journalistic bias.

Read Elder’s post, here.

(We also invite you to contact us if you find a story in another publication – one that we may have missed – which rightly names and shames the Guardian.)

Despite the catastrophic fire in Israel, the Guardian’s demonization of the Jewish state proceeds as usual

A Guest Post by AKUS and Israelinurse

The fire raging on the Carmel has caught the world’s attention, and has made headlines in print and on TV.

The Guardian’s vicious anti-Israeli bias has rarely been better demonstrated than in the report by Haroon Siddique, filing from London (Forest fire kills 40 in Israel).

As Backseatblogger pointed out:

The Guardian has only published one story written by Haroon Siddique. That story appeared on December 2nd.  There has been nothing since. The fires are still spreading and are now approaching the University of Haifa.

Originally his story stated that 40 prison guards were killed fleeing the fire. (i.e. insinuating that the guards had left their prisoners to die).

Now that story has been ‘corrected’ to read as follows:

A forest fire in northern Israel killed about 40 people today. Authorities cleared the Carmel Forest area of hundreds of people, including some 500 Palestinian inmates from the Damon prison, after the fire broke out early today. The bus was carrying some 50 prison guards when it flipped over and got caught in the flames.

But this is still not the whole story, despite a rare admission of a correction from the Guardian, which, however, managed to omit the reason the correction was required:

This article was amended on 3 December 2010. The original, reflecting information then available, referred to the bus evacuating prison guards from blaze in Carmel mountains (sic). This has been corrected

(Note to the Guardian – the world, generally speaking, refers to the area as Mount Carmel, as it has been known for approximately 2,500 years, despite anything the Palestinian Authority might have to say on the matter).

In fact, it appears that the article was “corrected” once again, with the addition of a link to Ha’aretz and a change of subheader:

Authorities cleared the Carmel Forest area of hundreds of people, including some 500 Palestinian inmates from the Damon prison, after the fire broke out early today. The bus was carrying some 50 prison guards when it flipped over and got caught in the flames, according to Haaretz.

According to JustJournalism, the  original subheader (“standfirst” in journalese) of Siddique’s article  read:

the bus was ‘evacuating prison guards from blaze’

And that was corrected too, to read:

Many of the dead were killed when bus taking prison guards to rescue Palestinian inmates from blaze in Carmel mountains went up in flames, say rescuers

Continue reading

London Review of Books: Ten Years of anti-Israel prejudice (The Just Journalism Report)

“What the Israeli army (like the Israeli state) needs to reproduce in its soldiers is either sheer racism – that is, faith in ‘the murderous nature of the Arabs’ – or a brand of religious messianism, neo-Nazi ideology wrapped in Judaism” – Yitzhak Laor (writing in London Review of Books, July 2004)

When I explain what I do to folks unfamiliar with the Guardian I sometimes – in an attempt to explain just how egregious the anti-Israel bias is at the “world’s leading liberal voice” cheekily say: “The Guardian makes the New York Times look like Arutz Sheva.”  Well, after reading this comprehensive new report by Just Journalism,  I think I’ll have to come up with a similar quip about London Review of Books (LRB).  LRB (funded by the British government), often by utilizing the service of Theobald Jews, has, per the report, consistently demonized Israel and engaged in apologetics towards Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian terrorism, more broadly.

The anti-Israel editorial stance of LRB can be best understood by the following quote from the publication’s long time editor, Mary Kay Wilmers:

“I’m unambiguously hostile to Israel because it’s a mendacious state. They do things that are just so immoral and counterproductive and, as a Jew, especially as a Jew, you can’t justify that.”

Per the executive summary of JJ’s report:

  • A Freedom of Information request revealed that since its inception the LRB has received over £767,000 from Arts Council England, funded by the public purse.
  • Between 2000 and 2010, over £188,000 was received by the LRB specifically for the purpose of paying contributing writers.  In this period 92 articles on Israel-Palestine were produced by contributors.
  • More than one-third (36%) of articles were written by Jewish Israelis and more than half (53%) of all articles were written by people known to be Jewish. On only one occasion was a mainstream Jewish and Israeli perspective on the conflict showcased by this (or any) contingent.
  • The LRB consistently portrayed Israel as a bloodthirsty and genocidal regime out of all proportion to reality, while sympathetic portraits abounded of groups designated as terrorist organisations by the British government such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
  • While the Palestinian narrative was fully represented, Israel’s narrative on its legitimate security concerns, Arab rejectionism and terrorism was near absent.

Read the whole report, here.

Comment is Free errs on pro peace textbook

This was published at The Wire, the blog of Just Journalism,

(Comment is Free’s latest Middle East instalment incorrectly claims that Palestinian Authority schools use a pluralistic text book banned in Israeli schools.)

Learning the Historical Narrative of the Other’ offers both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives on the foundation of the State of Israel.

Daphna Baram says:

‘The current administration in the Israeli ministry of education, headed by the Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar, was less than sympathetic to this liberal endeavour. The book was not authorised for use in schools and the staff of schools that decided to use it were admonished.’

She later links to a Haaretz report, published on 11 October which reported that the Palestinian Authority was allowing the book to be used in its schools:

‘In this sense, Sa’ar is struggling to shut the barns doors after the horses are already out and roaming all over the field. One cannot indoctrinate a generation using North Korean methods when the world is wide open to them. In Palestinian Authority schools, by the way, the book is being used.’

However, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education publicly denied allowing use of the book on the same day, as reported by the Ma’an News Agency.


The Ma’an News Agency article has been brought to Daphna Baram’s attention. On the Cif comment thread she says:

I’m looking into the Maan report and will update hwen I have a conclusive answer. However, the question whether the PA is using it or not is marginal to the story. Knowing the Palestinian narrative is in the interest of Israelis. The Israelis are the ones with their hand on the palestinian lifelines, and the Palestinians are the ones fighting a war of liberation. Comparing between Israel and the PA as if their were equal sides in a war is ludicrous. That said, if indeed the PA banned the book – I will let you know shortly.

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