Guardian contributor suggests Leon Klinghoffer’s murder wasn’t motivated by antisemitism

When it comes to the issue of antisemitism and Israel, ‘diversity’ at the Guardian generally signifies merely giving voice to contributors with differing reasons on why something or someone is not antisemitic, and the precise reason why Israel is of course in the wrong.   

An article published in their music section, titled ‘We took four New Yorkers to the Metropolitan Theater’s production of The Death of Klinghoffer: what was their verdict?‘, aired the views of four contributors, all of whom arrived at the inevitable conclusion: The Death of Klinghoffer is not antisemitic, and doesn’t justify terrorism or humanize terrorists.

Whilst we encourage you to read a review of the opera (based on the 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking and terrorist murder of a wheelchair bound Jewish passenger named Leon Klinghoffer), by CAMERA Senior Analyst Myron Kaplan, which provides one of the better arguments among those morally offended by the production, a passage in one of the Guardian reviews, by Brooklyn College professor Moustafa Bayoumi, is especially worth noting as it aptly represents the quintessentially Guardian tick of obfuscating antisemitism.  

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The Guardian falsely characterizes First Intifada as a “largely unarmed rebellion”

Yesterday we called out the Guardian for repeating the blatantly false claim that Ariel Sharon started the Second Intifada.  Today we came across another Intifada related falsehood advanced by the paper – the suggestion that the First Intifada was “largely an unarmed rebellion”.

The claim, which has been echoed by other Guardian contributors as well, was made in a story they published today from the Guardian Archives – a report about the original Oslo Agreement between Israel and the PLO (written by Ian Black) which originally appeared in the paper on Sept. 10, 1993.

archive

Black’s story included the following passage:

Progress towards this historic moment was driven by the intifada, the largely unarmed rebellion that erupted in Gaza in December 1987. 

Of course, as anyone familiar with the uprising (from 1987 to around 1991) would know, characterizing it as an “unarmed rebellion” is extraordinarily misleading, as the intifada was violent from the start.  Whilst most people remember images of rock throwing Palestinian youths, in fact more than 3,600 Molotov cocktail attacks, 100 hand grenade attacks and 600 assaults with firearms were carried out during that time – violence directed at soldiers and civilians alike.

During this period, over 200 Israelis were killed by such terror attacks, and more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and 1,700 Israeli soldiers were injured.

Memorial for the 16 Israelis killed in first attempted suicide attack of 1st Intifada, in 1989. The attack occurred when the 405 bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was forced off the road by a Palestinian terrorist

And, much like the Second Intifada, Palestinian leaders played a lead role in orchestrating the violent insurrection.

Finally, Jews were not the only victims of the violence, as the number of Arabs summarily executed by Palestinian death squads exceeded the number killed in clashes with Israeli troops – incidents which included attacks with clubs, knives, axes, guns, and even acid.

Twenty years ago, the Guardian grossly misled readers about the nature of the First Intifada – a significant obfuscation thoroughly consistent with their broader pattern of running interference for the illiberal and violent nature of the Palestinian national movement.

Racist double standards watch: Guardian ignores Palestinians’ extreme right drift

Reports and commentaries in the Guardian (as well as in the mainstream media) analyzing Israel’s upcoming election which warn of a far-right shift within the Israeli electorate have been ubiquitous.  Much of the reporting has focused on the possibility that Binyamin Netanyahu’s party may form a more right-wing coalition government following the election, one which will be injurious – if not fatal – to the “peace process”.

Here are excerpts from such prognostications on the Guardian’s Israel page since early January.  

The left in Israel is its own worst enemy, Rachel Shabi, ‘Comment is Free’, Jan. 21

“Israel is expected to elect the most right-wing government in its history on Tuesday…”

Binyamin Netanyahu rejects calls for Palestinian State within 1967 lines, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 20:

“…a strengthening of the hard right in the next parliament [is expected]”

Obama’s dysfunctional relationship with Netanyahu likely to trundle on, Chris McGreal, Guardian, Jan 20:

…disillusioned former peace negotiators and Middle East policy officials expect his “dysfunctional” and confrontational relationship with Binyamin Netanyahu to stagger along even if the Israeli prime minister returns to power after Tuesday’s election with a government even further to the right of the present one.”

Arab gloom as Israel shifts rightward, Ian Black, Guardian, Jan. 19:

“To measure just how far Israeli politics have shifted to the right it is worth recalling that 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the Oslo accords in which Israel and the PLO recognized each other…

But with Netanyahu poised to return to power at the head of a more right-wing and uncompromising government than Israel has ever seen before…”

Binyamin Netanyahu on course to win Israeli elections, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 18:

Binyamin Netanyahu is on course to head a more hawkish and pro-settler government following Tuesday’s elections,

Support has drained to the ultra-nationalist, pro-settler Jewish Home, led by Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Naftali Bennett, in an indication of the hardening of opinion on the right of the Israeli political spectrum.”

Peace process dead if Netanyahu wins Israeli election, academics war, Paul Owen, Guardian, Jan. 15:

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is dead if Binyamin Netanyahu wins next week’s Israeli election, leading academics have warned.” [quote from strap line]

Jewish Americans may be increasingly disenchanted with Netanyahu. But their priorities lie elsewhere, Peter Beinart, Guardian, Jan. 12:

“In Israel, public discourse is moving right. You can see it in the rise ofIsrael Hayom, the free, pro-Likud newspaper that has eclipsed Israel’s more traditional, centrist press. You can see it in the rise of Naftali Bennett, the settler leader whose party could come in third in the elections due later this month. You can see it the election campaign as a whole, in which the two-state solution is a virtual afterthought.”

Israel election: country prepares for next act in the great moving right show, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 12:

“Secular liberalism once dominated politics in Israel, but polls next week are set to confirm a long-term shift to the right

Naftali Bennett interview: ‘There won’t be a Palestinian state within Israel, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 7:

“Jewish Home is all but certain to be part of the next coalition government, tilting it significantly further to the right.”

Binyamin Netanyahu: strong man with a fearful heart. Peter Beaumont, Observer, Jan. 5:

“The question of the nature of Netanyahu’s conservatism has been complicated by Israel’s right-shifting political scene.”

Israel’s shift to the right will alienate those it needs most, Jonathan Freedland, ‘Comment is Free’, Jan. 4:

“For now the focus is on the Israeli elections of 22 January. The polls suggest that a government ranked as one of the most right-wing in Israel’s history is set to be replaced by one even further to the right

Even if Bennett is kept out of coalition, Netanyahu will still head a more rightist government.

The centre of gravity is about to shift so far rightward that Netanyahu and even Lieberman will look moderate by comparison.”

Meanwhile, if you were curious about the political center of gravity in Palestinian society, you wouldn’t find much information on the Guardian’s ‘Palestinian territories’ page.

In fact, the ‘Israel’ page and the ‘Palestinian territories’ page look exactly the same:

Guardian Israel page, Jan. 21:

israel

Now, here’s the Guardian’s Palestinian territory page, Jan. 21:

pal

However, for those interested, news regarding a possible extreme right Palestinian political coalition – which was reported in the Algemeiner, as well as in the Arab media - may provide some vital insight into Palestinian political culture.

The Algemeiner reported the following on Jan. 20:

“A member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Dr. Ahmed Majdalani, told Al-Quds newspaper that he expects Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join with the PLO after National Council elections later this month, though the government will still headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.”

Hamas, in case it needs reminding, is an Islamist terrorist group which refuses to recognize a Jewish state within any borders, cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in their founding charter, and whose leaders calls for the mass murder of Jews. Hamas advocates the destruction of Israel through violent means, indoctrinates their children to become suicide bombers, and displays extreme intolerance towards women, gays, non-Muslims and their Palestinian political opponents.

Islamic Jihad (PIJ) , funded by Iran, is another radical Islamist terrorist group, which was formed in 1979 by fundamentalists in Egypt who split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood because they were deemed too moderate. PIJ advocates the destruction of Israel through violent means, indoctrinates their children to become suicide bombers, and displays extreme intolerance towards women, gays, non-Muslims and their Palestinian political opponents.

Even if PIJ doesn’t join with the PLO, Hamas and Fatah are currently working out plans to implement, by the end of this month, previous reconciliation agreements signed between the two parties.

So, any way you look at it, right-wing extremism within Palestinian politics is evidently so endemic that “terror groups who urge the ethnic cleansing of Jews” are considered mainstream – a dangerous phenomena which would certainly explain why, at least on national security issues, citizens of the Jewish state seem to have reached a more right leaning political consensus.

Of course, a truly “liberal” media institution would report on Palestine’s dangerous extreme right-wing drift, condemn a possible political coalition which includes groups espousing homicidal antisemitism – and which would necessarily end any hopes of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement – and contextualize Israeli political sentiments accordingly.  

In other words, you won’t read much about Israel’s legitimate fears regarding the ominous strengthening of the Palestinian extremist right on the pages of the Guardian. 

“Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal”: Guardian Mid-East editor misleads on roots of ’82 Lebanon War

A February, 2012 piece by the Guardian’s Middle East editor, Ian Black, which attempted to draw an analogy between Israel’s 1982 war against the PLO in Lebanon and current tensions with Iran, suggested that both scenarios demonstrate the Israeli propensity to cynically use a phony “pretext” to start a dangerous war.

Black wrote the following in the final paragraphs of his story:

“…In June 1982 an assassination attempt on the Israeli ambassador to London by the renegade Palestinian faction led by the Iraqi-backed Abu Nidal provided the pretext for war against Yasser Arafat’s PLO in Lebanon, despite a ceasefire that had held for nearly a year. Ariel Sharon, then defence minister, was pressing to attack and persuaded the prime minister, Menachem Begin, to go ahead

“Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal,” Begin reportedly replied as his security chiefs explained the crucial detail and significance of the London attack. Full scale invasion, thousands of dead and years of war and occupation were the result.” [emphasis added]

Black, evidently delighted by the chance to cite the alleged use, by an Israeli leader, of the Yiddish-inspired verbal tradition (using “sh” or “shm” to dismiss something with mockery) in order to, himself, dismiss Israel’s motivation for entering the war, evoked the the same alleged quote – which, interestingly, has alternately been attributed to Israel’s then army chief, Rafael Eitan – in his piece on Friday, ‘January 4, ‘Arabs are losing faith in America: Lessons from Lebanon 1982‘.

Black, in an effort to buttress his narrative that the ’82 war was the beginning of the Arabs’ disenchantment with an America unwilling, evidently, to check Israel’s reckless aggression with a stern and mighty hand, writes the following:

“The war began in a sense in London, where, on June 3, a Palestinian gunman shot the Israeli ambassador, Shlomo Argov. It was clear from the start that the hit team was not from the PLO but from the dissident Iraqi-backed outfit run by Abu Nidal, Yasser Arafat‘s sworn enemy. Israel‘s prime minister, Menachem Begin, egged on by his defence minister, Ariel Sharon, went to war against the PLO in Lebanon anyway. “Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal,” another Israeli minister said.” [emphasis added]

Black’s breezy dismissal of Israel’s decision to enter the Lebanon Civil War (which, by 1982, had already been raging for seven years) is historically unserious.

No, the war didn’t, “in a sense”, start in London.

The roots of the Lebanon war lay in the bloody expulsion of the PLO from Jordan, their relocation to Lebanon in 1971 and subsequent attacks against the Jewish state by the Palestinian terrorist group.

In March 1978, PLO terrorists infiltrated Israel, hijacked a bus and ended up murdering 34 Israeli civilians on board.  In response, Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon and overran terrorist bases, pushing the PLO away from the southern border.  The IDF shortly withdrew and allowed UN forces to enter, but UN troops were unable to prevent PLO terrorists from re-infiltrating the region and acquiring new, and more dangerous arms. 

A series of PLO attacks and Israeli reprisals ended briefly due to a U.S. brokered ceasefire agreement in July 1981, but the PLO repeatedly violated the cease-fire over the ensuing 11 months(Between July 1981 and June 1982 26 Israelis were killed and 264 injured.)

Meanwhile, over 15,000 PLO fighters were encamped in locations throughout Lebanon, armed with an extensive cache of weaponry – which included mortars, Katyusha rockets, an antiaircraft network and even surface-to-air missiles.

Israel was unable to stem the growth of the PLO militia, and the frequency of the attacks had forced thousands of Israeli residents in the Galilee to flee their homes and take refuge in shelters.

So, while the final provocation occurred in June 1982 when a Palestinian terrorist group led by Abu Nidal attempted to assassinate Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Black’s suggestion that Israel may have cynically exploited the assassination as a pretext break a peaceful “truce”, in order to launch an unnecessary war, is patently untrue.

The casus belli for Operation Peace for the Galilee was self-evident, building for years, and needed no “pretext”.

What country on earth would permit a terrorist group (with an increasingly deadly arsenal of weaponry) on its border to launch frequent terror attacks against its citizens without a robust military response?

Today, as in 1982, the Jewish state can not afford to shy away from confronting clear and present dangers it faces, and, more importantly, need not morally justify – to Ian Black and others who evidently fancy themselves sophisticated political sages – a robust defense of its national interests and its citizens’ lives.

What the Guardian won’t report: Palestine will be Jew-free

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Palestinian ambassador to the US said that the Palestinian Liberation Organization opposes the immediate presence of Jews and gays in an independent Palestinian state.

But if you’re a Guardian reader you’d never know this. Instead you’re treated to more stories beating the drums of war in support of Palestinian statehood. Here’s a snapshot of the Israel hate page on the Guardian at the time of writing:

 

Now try a little thought experiment and imagine what the Israel hate page would look like on the Guardian if an Israeli official were to say that Israel should be free of Arabs or Muslims.

Meanwhile over at the Guardian’s sister publication in Israel, Ha’aretz, Elder of Ziyon reports that Ha’aretz amended its headline on this story to make the PLO sound less antisemitic.

The initial headline was “PLO Official: Palestinian state to be free of Jews” which was later changed to “PLO official: Palestinians, Israelis must be totally separated”.

As Elder noted:

Ha’aretz is so heavily invested in the false meme that the Palestinian Arab leadership wants to have peace with Israel that they couldn’t stomach that original, accurate headline that showed that their idea of “peace” is the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from “Palestine.”

A Ha’aretz editor decided to tone it down, so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of Ha’aretz readers who have come to expect a certain kind of news that conforms to a pre-existing viewpoint.

So what’s worse – not reporting the story at all a la Guardian or misreporting the story a la Ha’aretz? 
 

What the Guardian won’t report: Palestinians overwhelmingly reject two state solution, lionize terrorists

A recently released Israel Project poll, gauging Palestinian public opinion, is yet another indication that the Palestinians haven’t reconciled themselves with the idea of living in peace with a Jewish state, regardless of the borders.

H/T Elder of Ziyon

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Gretta Duisenberg’s Unambiguous Antisemitism

H/T Yochanan Visser, of the organization, Missing Peace, for the Dutch translation.

Phyllis Chesler tells us of the typically outrageous lies and doublespeak of the antisemitic Israel-hater, Gretta Duisenberg.  Duisenberg is the widow of Wim Duisenberg, the former President of the European Bank, the darling of Yasser Arafat and of the Free Gaza Movement, and chairwoman of a pro-Palestine committee “Stop the Occupation”.   Prof Chesler tells us that Duisenberg, in an act which almost beggars belief, has proceeded to sue the Iranian-Dutch professor of philosophy and jurisprudence, Afshin Ellian, for calling her an “anti-Semite.” Duisenberg seems to have forgotten that she proudly defines herself as an “anti-Semite.”

In response to an article by Leon de Winter writing in Dutch in Elsevier, Abigail Esman writes:

“I invite all readers to support journalistic freedom and freedom of expression by writing ‘I, too, think Gretta Duisenberg is an anti-Semite.’”

I would not expect any reader to accept that statement purely on my say so.  I propose, therefore, to define Duisenberg’s behaviour in terms of the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism formulated by EUMC, [although the EUMC has since been succeeded by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)].   I believe that it is fair to say that Duisenberg’s behaviour falls into almost every category of antisemitism in the working definition, but to list all the evidence here would be time and space-consuming.  I shall concentrate therefore on the more florid and blatant examples, and an internet search about Duisenberg will almost certainly provide the reader with even more information.   Among the Working Definition’s specific examples of antisemitism are:

Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

Duisenberg is a supporter of extremist Islam, and formerly of the PLO and Hamas whose nihilistic antisemitism is evident in its Charter and has been proven by its murderous behaviour again and again.  In 2003 Duisenberg organised and spoke at pro Palestinian rally at which donations were collected for the Al Aqsa funds which supports the families of suicide bombers.  She also did not protest against the chanting of Hamas supporters around her of “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!”

Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

After the 2003 rally, Duisenberg draped a PLO flag from the balcony of her home in Amsterdam.  When requested by her Jewish neighbours to take it down, they were told; “It’s the rich American Jews who make it possible for Israel to do what they are doing to the Palestinians”. More recently, in January 2010, Duisenberg added to this calumny by engaging in the too-ready conflation of Zionism with Judaism, invariably the hallmark of the antisemite who is trying to pass.   See also Duisenberg’s answer in an interview in the Dutch magazine Keuzevrijheid :

“… These are the tactics of the Jewish lobby. By calling me an antisemite I will not be able to criticise the Zionist regime…”

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