How to become an anti-Zionist martyr on the pages of the Guardian: Jenny Tonge edition

The way to become an anti-Zionist martyr is simple.

First, lend support for the end of the “Zionist project”, support terror against Israel or engage in implicit or explicit antisemitism.

Then, you suffer a mild rebuke, face social opprobrium, are asked to apologize, or pay some professional cost for expressing, legitimizing or condoning Judeophobia.

You then flagrantly misrepresent your views, and claim you were merely being critical of Israel.

The final step is easy, and requires no effort on your part: Just wait for the Guardian to publish reports, commentaries, or letters characterizing you as a victim of Israeli or Zionist power/control/villainy.

Baroness Jenny Tonge attended an event at Middlesex University in February where she expressed her belief that the end of the Jewish state would come and be a just outcome (as the Jewish state would merely be reaping what they have sown).  She also sat there in silence as an antisemitic extremist, Ken O’Keefe, compared Jews to Nazis and opined that 9/11 was an Israeli/Mossad conspiracy.   

She then resigned from her role within the Liberal Democrats after refusing to apologize.

First, it was longtime Guardian journalist Michael White who offered an apologia for Tonge

More recently, the Baroness was even more passionately defended on the Guardian’s Letters page, “LettersIsrael, Clegg and Tonge’s loss of Lib Dem Whip“, March 6.

Among the letters was one by former CiF commentator Tony Greenstein – an anti-Zionist who has legitimized comparisons between Nazism and Zionism – and one by former Liberal Democratic parliamentary candidate Edward Hooper, both of which complained that Tonge was forced to resign merely for stating the obvious about Israel’s future.

There was also a letter by Ghada Karmi, CiF contributor, endorser of the Global March to Jerusalem, and Palestine Solidarity Campaign patron who has called for “the end of a Jewish state in our region”. 

Here’s a passage from her Guardian letter:

No one could have objected [to Tonge’s remarks], except the hysterical supporters of Israel who came to attack her, and the Lib Dem leaders too craven to stand up to them. [emphasis added]

There was also a letter by Tim Llewellyn, the former BBC Middle East correspondent who has advanced the idea, not least in the Guardian, that the BBC is tainted by pro-Israel bias. He is also an advocate for Hamas and Hizbollah, believes that Zionism is a “calamity”, and has occasionally written obituaries for terrorists in the Guardian.

Here’s the winning passage from his Guardian letter:

What is more sinister than the reactions of Israel’s representatives and placemen to Jenny Tonge is that, in this third intervention against her over her candid remarks in recent years, the leaders of the Lib Dems, encouraged by senior figures in the two other main political parties, have disempowered a British parliamentarian under pressure from the backers of a foreign state – Israel

The candid remarks of Tonge which Llewellyn is referring to include her comments sympathetic to Palestinian suicide bombing, her call for Israel to “investigate” the IDF in light of charges they were stealing organs in Haiti, and this especially odious comment:

The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party

Read Llewellyn’s language again – arguing that the Liberal Democratic party was coerced to intervene and “disempower” Tonge due to “pressure from the backers of a foreign state” – which closely mirror Tonge’s very own sentiments on the dangerous power the pro-Israel lobby wields.

As I noted in my recent piece about Chris McGreal, narratives regarding the injurious influence of the Israel/Zionist lobby on US foreign policy is something approaching conventional wisdom at the Guardian, so it’s not surprising that they would publish letters in support of Tonge which parrot such a classic antisemitic canard. 

It’s a troubling commentary that someone like Tonge, who has advanced tropes which are indistinguishable from the poisonous Judeophobic narratives on the far-right, inspires sympathy from those purportedly on the left side of the political spectrum. 

Mavi Marmara’s Ken O’Keefe compares Jews to Nazis at Middlesex Univ. Event: The Footage.

Cross posted by our friend Richard Millett

Tonge stays silent at Middlesex University after O'Keefe's horrendous attack on Jews.

Here is the footage from last Thursday’s anti-Israel event at Middlesex University in Hendon, which I blogged about here, when Ken O’Keefe compared Jews to Nazis. Proof, if it was ever needed, that these events are held more out of spite against Jews than out of any concern for the Palestinians.

The event was sponsored by Interpal whose website asks you to “donate” or “sponsor” in order to “join in our efforts to help Palestinians in need”. If only.

Equally disturbing is that Jenny Tonge, a British Parliamentarian, sat on the panel next to O’Keefe all night and stayed silent after O’Keefe’s attack on Jews and his accusation later on when he blamed Israel for 9/11.

There has also been a deafening silence from Middlesex University. No doubt they will explain it all away as “freedom of speech”.

(thanks to Harry’s Place for the edit)

Gaza flotilla “Peace Activist” Ken O’Keefe speculates on whether Jews as a group are a threat to human decency

Our good friend Chas Newkey-Burden at OyVaGoy has posted a video that is simply chilling.

The clip is taken from a PressTV interview with Ken O’Keefe – one of the “activists” on board the MV Mavi Marmara in late May.

Most of those who attacked IDF forces that day belong to Islamist terrorist organizations, and the American born O’Keefe is no exception – having been identified by the IDF as a Hamas Operative.

With all we know about the flotilla participants’ known terrorist affiliations, those who persist in referring to them as “peace activists” (or “progressives”) are engaged in the kind of Orwellian double-think that Natan Sharansky referred to in his memoirs when characterizing his fellow countrymen who actually believed the Soviet propaganda being fed to them.

Such people, noted Sharansky, excelled at being able to hold, and reconcile, two diametrically opposed ideas in their head at the same time without the slightest cognitive dissonance.

Note the nod of agreement from the PressTV interviewer as O’Keefe “speculates” on whether Jews are indeed a threat to everything that’s good and decent in the world.

Guardian contributor Rachel Shabi HEARTS Israel Shamir

H/T Harry’s Place

Guardian contributor Rachel Shabi, frequent and vociferous critic of the Jewish state (See CW posts here, here and here) also just happens to be Facebook friends with notorious anti-Semite, Israel Shamir. (Shamir, its worth noting, is also FB friends with Norman Finkelstein, Lauren Booth, Philip Weiss, and Ken O’Keefe.)

Just to be clear about what a prolific anti-Semite Shamir is, here are a few highlights.

  • He’s said: “It’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.”
  • He’s described Jews as “virus in human form.”
  • He’s endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  • He’s Stated: Palestine is not the ultimate goal of the Jews; The world is. Palestine is just the place for the world state headquarters.”

It kind of puts everything she’s written about Israel in perspective doesn’t it?

How do you treat a lying, biased reporter? (No, this time we’re not referring to Mya Guarnieri)

This is cross posted from our good friend, Elder of Ziyon.

How do you treat a reporter who reports on things he couldn’t possibly have seen, ignores video evidence that disproves what he is reporting even though it is available before his article is published, writes a laughably biased article that is easily proven wrong, lies about easily verifiable facts and then brags about how he is, in fact, biased and writes with an agenda?

When his lies and bias are against Israel, you give him an award, of course!

JOURNALISTS from the Herald won six categories at this year’s Walkley Awards, which recognise Australia’s best journalism.

In the event’s 55th year the chief correspondent, Paul McGeough, won the award for the best print news report for his story ”Prayers, tear gas and terror”, which covered an attack by Israeli commandos on a flotilla of aid ships heading for Gaza. The judges praised McGeough for his courageous journalism and writing excellence and commended the story for its newsworthiness and degree of difficulty.

McKeough wrote in his prize-winning piece of fiction -oh, sorry, “journalism” – the IDF “hunted like hyenas” and that the attack was “timed for dawn prayers” and that “a lot of people moved in to shelter” the first Israeli commando on deck “with their bodies.” McKeough, who was not on the Mavi Marmara, must have interviewed Ken O’Keefe for his “facts.”

UPDATE: The Cook’s Cogitations blog illustrated this story:

Fauxtographic Farces at the Guardian

A Guest Post by AKUS

In the space of a couple of days the Guardian has managed to tag articles with archival photographs that seem to prove that the editorial crew there has completely lost its bearings when it comes to Israel.

The first was the use of a picture of chicken coops in Beijing to illustrate an absurd article on November 9th by Harriet “ChickenLady” Sherwood about the misery inflicted on chickens in Israel. Never mind that the entire population of Israel, as a well-worn joke goes, would barely fill a hotel in China, and the number of persecuted chickens in China, or, for that matter far closer to the Guardian’s headquarters in London would vastly outnumber those in Israel. This farcical article was front and center on “World News/Israel” for the Guardian. As has been well reported here the fauxtograph, purportedly showing a vicious Israeli persecuting chickens was actually of a Chinese worker, with the caption:

A worker feeds chickens at a poultry farm in Beijing. Activists in Israel have set up a hidden webcam televising the plight of caged chickens at one Israeli farm Photograph: China Photos/Getty Images

Note the typically shaded language: In China, a worker “feeds chickens”. How humanitarian! But in Israel, caged chickens face a “plight”. No food for you, Israeli chickens!! (h/t – Seinfeld – “the Soup Nazi”).

November 11th brings a new example of the Guardian’s fauxtography – the use of a picture of the Mavi Marmara interception to illustrate an unrelated article in “World News/Gaza”. The caption reads:

Israeli commandos intercept the Mavi Marmara in May. Two of those on board are also on the boat surrounded by Libyan warships. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/Getty Images

It’s a complicated story which you can read in full here. But the Guardian’s header, which reads like a synopsis of the plot of a Marx Brothers movie – perhaps a version of “A Night in Casablanca” – reveals that this has nothing to do with the Mavi Marmara except that “survivors” from the Mavi Marmara are on board:

Gaza aid team trapped on Greek boat

Six British volunteers and Mavi Marmara survivors among those on Strofades IV shadowed by Libyan warships after captain ‘fled port’

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