Guardian whitewashes Nathan Filer’s support for pro-terror group, ISM

We haven’t read ‘The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer, and can’t comment on the artistic merits of the book which recently won the Costa Book of the Year award.  However, we can speak about the Guardian’s report on the award, and the author’s curious understanding of the words “peace” and “human rights”.

The Guardian’s story, Costa winner Nathan Filer: ‘This is huge, isn’t it?’, by Guardian features writer , begins thus:

This has been one of the most eventful weeks so far in an already eventful life for Nathan Filer. On Saturday, it was his wedding – the culmination of a journey that began in spring 2012, with an unexpected proposal to his partner Emily while they were being held in an Israeli detention centre. Then on Tuesday he won the Costa Book of the Year award for his first novel, The Shock of the Fall, a trip to the podium that began in 2002, when he was training to be a mental health nurse.

Why was Filer held in an Israeli detention center?  Cochrane gives us a bit of background:

In 2009, having worked on The Shock of the Fall for seven years, he decided to study for a creative writing MA, making the novel his priority. That same year he met his partner Emily, who also works in mental health, and her interest in human rights led to them volunteering in Palestine. In 2011, the pair travelled to Hebron, working with the International Solidarity Movement. They taught English at a university, and offered what support they could to people whose houses had been demolished: they filmed one man in this situation, and put his story online. “It’s about raising awareness,” says Filer. “We would go to protests, to be there and observe. If international people are there, it’s less likely the Israeli military will use heavy-handed tactics, so we were there to try to make things more peaceful, really.”

(Indeed, on his blog, Filer freely writes that “(ISM) does important work in Palestine. I’ve volunteered with them…”.)

Cochrane then directly touches on the detention:

He says he loved being in Palestine and, about six months later, he and Emily travelled there to volunteer again. This time though, as soon as they arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv, they were taken into a side room and questioned, before being driven to a holding facility, to await deportation on the next plane home – their passport details had been taken by the Israeli military during a peaceful protest on their previous visit. Filer didn’t feel he was in danger, but says he was furious, “because we knew that the work we were doing was perfectly legal. We didn’t break any Israeli laws, we’re pro-human rights, peaceful people.”

The casual Guardian reader would be forgiven – after reading the passage – for believing that ISM was a peaceful organization.  

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

ISM members pose with Palestinian terrorists (Photo courtesy of Lee Kaplan at StopTheISM)

Though ISM describes itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action” their activities have included “serving as human shields for terrorist operatives wanted by the Israeli security forces” and providing the Palestinian terrorist operatives and their families “with financial, logistic and moral support”.  They have even reportedly “embraced Palestinian suicide bombers as freedom fighters” 

Here’s more info on ISM from The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and NGO Monitor:

  • ISM rejects the existence of Israel as a national homeland for the Jews. 
  • ISM has been responsible for endangering the safety of many foreign nationals, including Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall. Both were killed while participating in ISM activities. In response to Corrie’s death, ISM co-founder Thom Saffold said, “we’re like a peace army. Generals send young men and women off to operations, and some die.”
  • In a 2002 article, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf wrote, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent…In actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured,” but these deaths are “no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah.”
  • In 2003 ISM activist Susan Barclay said in an interview that she “knowingly worked with representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad…” 
  • In 2003, ISM activist Ewa Jasiewicz wrote about a shooting attack against Israeli civilians: “Lawd – S-T-R-A-T-E-G-Y, I understand its about attacking civilian life the way civilian life has been crushed and continually denied under the occupation and showing Israelis that they are not safe… from the indefatigable Palestinian resistance etc…But that mesage (sic) has been got loud and clear. I don’t get why activists can’t go and do the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) or something, or do a sophisticated politician bump-off…”
  • In a 2003 interview on the ISM-London website, Saif Abu Keshek, ISM’s Nablus coordinator at the time, said: “we recognise the right of the Palestinians to choose their way of resistance. To join our way of resistance or to choose armed struggle.”
  • In March 2003, senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.
  • In 2003, terrorists originating from the UK attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people. An official Israeli report showed how the terrorists covered their tracks “by forging links with foreign left-wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).” According to this report, “ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against IDF soldiers. At times, their activity….is under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations.”
  • After the second intifada senior ISM activists moved their operations to Gaza where Hamas was gaining a foothold before its violent takeover in 2007. Four senior American ISM activists were key in founding an international pro-Hamas umbrella organization called the Free Gaza Movement, which strives to strengthen the Hamas administration in the Palestinian territory.
  • In 2008, ISM member Richard David Hupper was convicted by a U.S. federal jury for materially aiding Hamas, “giving about $20,000 to Hamas while working in Israel with the International Solidarity Movement.”

Yet, in an over 1700 word story, the Guardian journalist never once mentions ISM’s terror-supporting activities nor noted the seeming contradiction of Filer’s alleged support for “peace” and “human rights” with his active participation with a group which aids and abets antisemitic extremists who intentionally murder innocent Israelis. 

Indeed, one of the biggest scandals of the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and the Palestinians is the dishonest manner in which they frame the debate – the way they automatically impute good will and progressivism to nearly anyone claiming to advocate on behalf of Palestinians, even those compromised by their support for violence against innocent civilians.  Such moral blind spots regarding the human rights of Israelis continue to define the ideological territory occupied by the Guardian Left.

Harriet Sherwood revisits 2006 Gaza Beach Incident

Harriet Sherwood’s May 23 story in the Guardian – inspired by coverage of a recent Israeli government report which concluded that the IDF did not kill Muhammad Al Durah in September 2000 – is entitled ‘Disputed deaths in Palestinian territories‘.  Sherwood’s report includes brief summaries of three additional controversial cases – Rachel Corrie death in 2003, the Gaza Beach Incident in 2006 and the 2011 death of Jawaher Abu Rahma in Bil’in.

Regarding the incident in Gaza on June 6, 2006 – in which, in the midst of ongoing rocket attacks against Israel and IDF military responses, eight Palestinian civilians were reported killed in highly disputed circumstances by an explosion on a Gaza beach – Sherwood writes the following:

In June 2006 seven members of the Ghaliya family, including five children, died in an explosion while picnicking on a Gaza beach. Footage of 10-year-old Huda Ghaliya sobbing hysterically beside the body of her father was broadcast repeatedly on Arab television networks. Witnesses said the family had been struck by an artillery shell fired from out at sea by the Israeli military. The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, initially apologised for the incident, but an investigation by the IDF exonerated its forces. It admitted it had fired six shells towards land that afternoon, but said a separate explosion – caused by a mine planted by Hamas or an old shell – had killed the Ghaliyas. An American pro-Israel group, Camera, suggested the footage of the aftermath had been faked.

We’re of course thankful for the shout-out – CiF Watch is a CAMERA affiliate – and were also interested to learn, after a quick glance at the Guardian’s site for additional CAMERA references, that their former Jerusalem correspondent, Chris McGreal, was much less restrained than Sherwood in his characterization of the media watchdog group.  

A June 17, 2006 report McGreal authored on the incident in Gaza, titled ‘The battle of Huda Ghalia: who really killed girl’s family on Gaza beach?‘, included the following.

The military declared its version of events definitive. Others went further and saw a Palestinian conspiracy. An American pro-Israel pressure group, Camera, which seeks to influence media coverage, went so far as to suggest that the film of Huda Ghalia’s trauma was faked: “Were the bodies moved, was the girl asked to re-enact her discovery for the camera, was the video staged?”

McGreal was certainly right about one thing. CAMERA and its affiliates certainly are extremely successful at influencing the media to correct false claims about Israel and to revise reports on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict that are misleading.

So, in this spirit, we strongly suggest that those interested in learning more about the 2006 incident read the following characteristically well-researched CAMERA reports which Sherwood alludes to in her story.

Additionally, the following 2006 video by Richard Landes effectively fisks media coverage of the event.

CiF Watch complaint to PCC prompts Guardian to begrudgingly revise Rachel Corrie op-ed

The Guardian’s coverage of the culmination of the civil law suit brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie – a verdict which was handed down in Haifa on August 28th, 2012 – was characteristically obsessive, tendentious and breezily unconcerned with the facts.

The Guardian’s coverage of the Israeli court ruling dismissing the Corrie’s suit – which included several reports by Harriet Sherwood, a deeply offensive cartoon, and an especially malign piece by Chris McGreal - culminated in an official Guardian editorial, titled ‘Rachel Corrie: A memory which refuses to die

The editorial, which was dripping with contempt, included this passage on the ruling:

“Perpetuating the myth that her death was a tragic accident, the judge did not deviate from the official line.”

The Guardian seemed to all but ignore the evidence – if indeed the author(s) of the editorial even bothered to read the English summary which was posted online the same day the ruling was issued – presented in the trial, and the judge’s statements, which led to the the newspaper stating unequivocally that:

“Rachel Corrie died trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition.” 

However, the Court of Law in Haifa, Israel, which heard the case presented by Rachel Corrie’s family, ruled otherwise. In his verdict, Judge Oded Gershon rejected the claim that Ms. Corrie had been protecting a house from demolition at the time of her death.

The judge ruled as follows: 

The mission of the IDF force on the day of the incident was solely to clear the ground. This clearing and leveling included leveling the ground and clearing it of brush in order to expose hiding places used by terrorists, who would sneak out from these areas and place explosive devices with the intent of harming IDF soldiers. There was an urgency to carrying out this mission so that IDF look-outs could observe the area and locate terrorists thereby preventing explosive devices from being buried. The mission did not include, in any way, the demolition of homes. The action conducted by the IDF forces was done at real risk to the lives of the soldiers. Less than one hour before the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit, a live hand-grenade was thrown at the IDF forces.

All the above information was provided to Chris Elliott, Readers’ Editor of the Guardian, by my colleague Hadar Sela, in a series of communications  beginning on August 30th 2012. Mr Elliott, however, chose not to make a correction, which prompted CiF Watch to bring the matter before the UK Press Complaints Commission. 

Sela argued that Guardian’s statement that “Rachel Corrie died trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition” had been proven to be untrue in a court of law prior to the editorial being published.

After many months, and a series of correspondences between Sela, the PCC and Guardian editors stubbornly resistant to admitting error, the Guardian begrudgingly agreed to amend their editorial to acknowledge that the Israeli court ruling contradicted claims that Corrie was preventing a home demolition on that day.

pcc

Whilst the result is far from ideal, it’s important that the Guardian was forced to acknowledge that an Israeli judicial proceeding heard evidence, engaged in serious deliberations, and came to a conclusion at odds with the lethal narratives about the Jewish state routinely advanced by Palestinian activists that the paper unquestioningly accepted as fact in their editorial.  

Indeed, it’s worth noting anytime the Guardian is forced to deviate from their ‘official line’ on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

(Additionally, a CiF Watch complaint to the Telegraph – which repeated the same error about Corrie’s actions on the day she was killed, and used a photo which the caption falsely claimed was taken “moments before she died”, by Adrian Blomfield – was revised, and then, at some point, completely removed from their site.)

The Guardian’s lethal narrative about snipers who murder innocent children.

On Mar 26, 2001, an Israeli named Shalhevet Pass, age 10 months, was killed by Palestinian sniper fire at the entrance to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in Hebron. Shalhevet was shot in the brain, while in her stroller - with her parents by her side.  

images

Shalhevet Pass

Chillingly, an investigation ruled that the the infant was shot deliberately.

The Jewish baby was one of dozens of Israelis who have been murdered as the result of Palestinian sniper fire emanating from Gaza or the West Bank since the early 90s.

Pass’s murder came to mind when I first read a 2012 report by the Guardian’s Chris McGreal suggesting that IDF soldiers deliberately took aim at Palestinian kids – a narrative of Israeli cruelty which actually paled in comparison to a 2005 story he wrote which was even more explicit in evoking the image of such sadistic villainy.

In ‘Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset‘, Aug. 28, McGreal, in an effort to contextualize the death of Rachel Corrie, and dismissal of the Corrie family lawsuit, as symptomatic of something much darker, argued that “the state of the collective Israeli military mind…cast the definition of enemies so widely that children walking down the street were legitimate targets if they crossed a red line that was invisible to everyone but the soldiers looking at it.”

McGreal’s 2005 Guardian reportcross posted at one well-known conspiracy site – was titled in a manner leaving nothing to the imagination:

snipers

Here are some passages from McGreal’s tale.

“It was the shooting of Asma Mughayar that swept away any lingering doubts I had about how it is the Israeli army kills so many Palestinian children and civilians.

Asma, 16, and her younger brother, Ahmad, were collecting laundry from the roof of their home in the south of the Gaza Strip in May last year when they were felled by an Israeli army sniper. Neither child was armed or threatening the soldier, who fired unseen through a hole punched in the wall of a neighbouring block of flats.

the army changed its account and claimed the pair were killed by a Palestinian, though there was persuasive evidence pointing to the Israeli sniper’s nest.

In southern Gaza, the killings take place in a climate that amounts to a form of terror against the population. Random fire into Rafah and Khan Yunis has claimed hundreds of lives, including five children shot as they sat at their school desks.Many others have died when the snipers must have known who was in their sights – children playing football, sitting outside home, walking back from school.”

McGreal provided no source for the fantastical story – which was, perhaps, inspired by dispatches in 2001 from Gaza by the discredited American reporter Chris Hedges – and certainly nothing resembling actual evidence that Israeli snipers fired on Palestinian children.

Of course, the most iconic image, preceding the reports by McGreal and Hedges, purporting to characterize unimaginable Israeli malevolence – that Israelis deliberately kill innocent and defenseless children – was the reported death, in Sept of 2000, of Mohammed al-Durrah.

The incident – illustrated by a video purportedly showing a father standing by impotently as the Israelis shot down, in cold blood, his terrified son – was quickly framed in the West  as a justifiable source of outrage for “a beleaguered Palestinian people fighting for their independence“.

Despite the fact that the evidence of the case overwhelmingly demonstrates that al-Durrah was almost certainly not shot by Israelis, and, in fact, in all likelihood, was not shot at all, what Shelby Steele describes as poetic truths triumphed over the empirical evidence, and a lethal narrative about Zionist brutality, which continues to incite Jihadists to this day, emerged victorious.

This one incident became an icon of hatred towards Israel.  

Countries had postage stamps honoring al-Durrah. Daniel Pearl was killed to avenge his “death”. Osama Bin Laden used the incident to incite before 9/11, and town squares & academies have been named after him.  Al-Durrah was even referred to in the Arab media as “a tiny sleeping Jesus“.

In short, he became a poster child for the Intifada, and as proof of Zionist malice.

More recently, a French Jihadist named Muhammad Merah murdered Jewish school-girls in cold blood outside their school in Toulouse to avenge the murder of Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli soldiers. 

Yet, how many people in the West even know the name ‘Shalhevet Pass’?

Indeed, no matter how absurd the charges that the IDF targets innocent Palestinian kids, such morally reckless narratives evoking the specter of unimaginable Jewish malevolence has become so ingrained in the Islamist and extreme-left imagination that the facts regarding such libels have become largely irrelevant.

Richard Landes explained the significance of the media’s unfathomable credulity in the face of such crude propaganda, thus:

“One of the key functions of the mainstream news media is to serve as a dialysis machine, filtering out the poisons that can weaken the civil polities in which they operate. At least in the Arab-Israeli conflict, they have, alas, played the role of injecting the poisons of lethal narratives into the information stream of the West.” 

When Chris McGreal conjures the grotesque image of bloodthirsty IDF soldiers ruthlessly taking aim at innocent Palestinian children, the already powerful Judeophobic antipathy – nurtured continually in the Middle East – becomes that much more impenetrable, and violence directed at Israeli and non-Israeli Jews that much more probable.

Related articles

A Guardian journalist conjures Israeli “snipers with children in their sights”

Here’s a quote from a report by Guardian “journalist” Chris McGreal, ‘Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset‘, on Aug. 28.

“…the state of the collective Israeli military mind…cast the definition of enemies so widely that children walking down the street were legitimate targets if they crossed a red line that was invisible to everyone but the soldiers looking at it on their maps.”

mcgreal

To learn about McGreal’s mindset, see the links below, and read the section about the Guardian in CST’s 2011 Report on Antisemitic Rhetoric in the UK.

However, while McGreal’s views on Israel are well-known, I was curious to see if this particularly insidious accusation, that the IDF targets Palestinian kids, was a one-off, and after  brief search found a piece he wrote in 2005 which was even more explicit.

Here are some excerpts from a 2005 McGreal piece titled “Snipers with children in their sights“:

“It was the shooting of Asma Mughayar that swept away any lingering doubts I had about how it is the Israeli army kills so many Palestinian children and civilians.

Asma, 16, and her younger brother, Ahmad, were collecting laundry from the roof of their home in the south of the Gaza Strip in May last year when they were felled by an Israeli army sniper. Neither child was armed or threatening the soldier, who fired unseen through a hole punched in the wall of a neighbouring block of flats.

the army changed its account and claimed the pair were killed by a Palestinian, though there was persuasive evidence pointing to the Israeli sniper’s nest.

In southern Gaza, the killings take place in a climate that amounts to a form of terror against the population. Random fire into Rafah and Khan Yunis has claimed hundreds of lives, including five children shot as they sat at their school desks.Many others have died when the snipers must have known who was in their sights – children playing football, sitting outside home, walking back from school.”

The last passage (which quite predictably doesn’t even contain a link to a source) is astonishing, and begins to explain McGreal’s obsessive hatred for the Jewish state.

McGreal genuinely seems to believe that sadistic Israeli “snipers” intentionally fire at Palestinian children who are playing football or while they sit at their school desks.  

He doesn’t just dislike Israel, or disagree with Israeli government policy regarding the Palestinians.

The Guardian journalist seems to agree with the most unhinged extremists in the region – those who believe as an article of faith that Israelis are simply monsters.

CiF reader: On Jews’ crimes against humanity AND the generous protuberance housing their nostrils

Chris McGreal’s recent vile attack on Israel, Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset – which made a moral comparison between the IDF and Hamas, accused Israeli soldiers of targeting Palestinian children, and suggested that the Jewish state exploits the Holocaust to justify crimes against innocents – elicited a predictable degree of hatred by Guardian readers in the comment section. 

Among the vitriol which McGreal’s piece unleashed was the following: 

While this commenter’s litany of charges against the Jewish state aren’t especially unique for the Guardian faithful, I did find it interesting that among the Semitic sins – which included crimes, by “the chosen people”, against “human decency” itself – was the vintage, almost quaint, epithet about the large nosed Jew

Through the miracle of Google Images I was able, by typing in a few choice search terms, to get a general idea of what precisely was going through this Guardian reader’s mind when conjuring the hook nosed Israeli child murderer. 

Image algorithm courtesy of Google. 

Guardian reader’s polemical inspiration courtesy of Chris McGreal. 

‘Comment is Free’ contributor claims International Solidarity Movement is “non-violent”.

Radical Chic: ISM members pose with Palestinian terrorists

For much of the Guardian-style far-left media, commentaries – and indeed often straight news reports – serve largely to buttress preconceived ideologically determined conclusions, and often have only a tangential relationship with facts or journalistic context.  

In such a propagandistic paradigm, there is no objective truth as such, only a greater ‘narrative truth’. 

Ami Kaufman’s Aug. 29 ‘Comment is Free’ piece, “For many Israelis, Rachel Corrie was a nuisance“, represents an exquisite example of this phenomenon.

The polemical objective which the +972 founder wanted to achieve was quite predictable: contextualizing Corrie’s death, in 2003, as part of a larger pattern of Israeli intolerance towards political dissent.

Thus, the strap line:

“Since Rachel Corrie’s death, the Israeli establishment has been losing patience with activists of any kind”

In the essay, Kaufman writes:

“The Israeli establishment has less and less patience for activists of any kind of late. As part of the recent government offensive on human rights in Israel, freedom of expression has been hit hard.”

Kaufman, like Chris McGreal and the author(s) of the official Guardian editorial on Corrie’s death, doesn’t even attempt to rationally refute the Israeli court’s decision, question the judge’s reasoning or dispute the evidence or testimony presented at trial.

No, for Kaufman, Israel’s guilt was a foregone conclusion – and the judge’s decision thus represented a “slippery slope” towards the abrogation of civil rights in Israel.

But, Kaufman’s polemic becomes especially risible in his assertion about International Solidarity Movement.

“Corrie, bulldozed to death by a massive D9 Caterpillar on 16 March 2003, was part of an activist group called ISM – International Solidarity Movement. This is a group of international activists who advocate nonviolent demonstrations in the West Bank (and Gaza back then, before the disengagement in 2005) in solidarity with Palestinians opposing the occupation.

A nonviolent movement, you say?

Well, isn’t that what Israelis were always looking for? For their enemies to abandon terror, suicide bombings and rockets and to go down the route of Gandhi?” [Emphasis added]

Of course, the suggestion that ISM is non-violent is beyond parody.

The ISM’s website states that it recognizes “the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle.” [emphasis added]

As I wrote previously, ISM’s activities have included “serving as human shields for terrorist operatives wanted by the Israeli security forces”, and “provid[ing] Palestinian terrorist operatives…with financial, logistic and moral support”.

Paul Larudee, the Northern California head of the ISM, has said that his group “…recognize[s] that violence is necessary and it is permissible for oppressed and occupied people to use armed resistance and we recognize their right to do so.”

Similarly, in a 2002 article, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf wrote, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent,” adding that “[i]n actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured.”

ISM activist Susan Barclay admitted that she worked with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists originating from UK who had attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, in 2003, murdering three people.  The Mike’s Place bombers had, according to an Israeli report, ”forg[ed] links with…members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)”.  

Also, senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.

Just because individual ISM members may not personally fire the weapons which kill and maim Israelis, an organization which aids and abets the Islamist terror groups, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that intentionally murder innocent Jews is – by definition – a reactionary, anti-peace, pro-violence movement.

No amount of sophistry or doublespeak can obfuscate this painfully obvious fact.

On the inspiration behind a ‘Comment is Free’ contributor’s Tweet alleging Israeli savagery

John Carlin is a journalist and author, whose book ‘Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation’, about the 1995 Rugby World Cup, was the basis for the film Invictus.

He also helped write the script for the film, “Die Hard 4‘.

He has written for many publications, and is a senior international writer for El País, the world’s leading newspaper in the Spanish language.  

He’s also been publishing at the Guardian’s blog, ‘Comment is Free’, since 2000.

Fortunately, a fluent Spanish speaker was able to translate one of his recent Tweets:

In English, it reads: 

Irrefutable article demonstrating that Holocaust memory is, for the Israeli army, a license to kill Palestinian children”

Which article does Carlin link to, ‘proving’ that Israelis cynically exploit their past suffering to murder kids?

Here it is:

So, what specifically in McGreal’s essay would lead Mr. Carlin to Tweet such a thing?

Likely, these passages helped:

[Corrie’s] death was not arbitrary but one of a pattern of killings as the Israeli army pursued a daily routine of attacks intended to terrorise the Palestinian population of southern Gaza into submission.”

“The case laid bare the state of the collective Israeli military mind, which cast the definition of enemies so widely that children walking down the street were legitimate targets.”

And, finally, where does the Holocaust come in?  

It enters the picture in the following passage from McGreal’s piece, citing instances of Palestinian children killed during the 2nd Intifada, which McGreal employs to argue that Rachel Corrie’s killing was consistent with a pattern of IDF behavior. 

The Israeli military commander in southern Gaza at the time was Colonel Pinhas “Pinky” Zuaretz. A few weeks after Corrie’s death, I (as the Guardian’s correspondent in Israel) spoke to him about how it was that so many children were shot by Israeli soldiers at times when there was no combat [during the Second Intifada] . His explanation was chilling.

“Every name of a child here, it makes me feel bad because it’s the fault of my soldiers. I need to learn and see the mistakes of my troops,” he said. But Zuaretz was not going to do anything about it; and by the end of the interview, he was casting the killings as an unfortunate part of the struggle for Israel’s very survival.

I remember the Holocaust. We have a choice, to fight the terrorists or to face being consumed by the flames again,” he said.

So, there you have it: Everything John Carlin needed to know about Israel but, until McGreal’s ‘revelations’, was afraid to ask.  

And, of course, we have what we need to know about Chris McGreal’s latest anti-Zionist formula: The exploitation of Rachel Corrie’s death, a choice quote, and examples of Palestinian casualties during the Second Intifada to prove his conclusion that the Jewish state hides behind the Holocaust to intentionally kill Palestinian children with impunity.

John Carlin didn’t need a dog whistle to hear McGreal’s hideous defamation of the Jewish state. 

Corrie family lawyer suggests Nazis were more morally legitimate than the Israeli “monster”

Harriet Sherwood, on Aug. 28, filed three stories on the Rachel Corrie verdict, and quoted the Corrie family lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, in each one. (Emphases in all quotes have been added.)

Here’s a passage from one, titled Rachel Corrie lawsuit result ‘dangerous precedent’ say human rights groups:

Hussein Abu Hussein, the Corrie family’s lawyer, said the ruling sent “a very dangerous message and precedent that there are no restrictions on Israeli military behaviour in Gaza and the West Bank”. The ruling would “close the doors of justice to civilian victims”, including foreigners, and “expand a legal black hole” in which Israel seeks to evade responsibility for its actions.

The verdict, he said, was “yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairness. We knew from the beginning that we had an uphill battle to get truthful answers and justice, but we are convinced that this verdict distorts the strong evidence presented in court, and contradicts fundamental principles of international law with regard to protection of human rights defenders. In denying justice in Rachel Corrie’s killing, this verdict speaks to the systemic failure to hold the Israeli military accountable for continuing violations of basic human rights.”

Another story, Rachel Corrie ruling ‘deeply troubling’, says her family, included this:

Hussein Abu Hussein, the family’s lawyer, said: “This verdict is yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairnessRachel Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting home demolitions and injustice in Gaza, and today, this court has given its stamp of approval to flawed and illegal practices that failed to protect civilian life.

“We knew from the beginning that we had an uphill battle to get truthful answers and justice, but we are convinced that this verdict distorts the strong evidence presented in court, and contradicts fundamental principles of international law with regard to protection of human rights defenders. In denying justice in Rachel Corrie’s killing, this verdict speaks to the systemic failure to hold the Israeli military accountable for continuing violations of basic human rights.

And, another post by Sherwood, Rachel Corrie’s death was an accident, Israeli judge rules, included this:

After the ruling was read out by the judge, the family’s lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, said: “We knew from the beginning that we had an uphill battle to get truthful answers and justice. But we are concerned that this verdict denies the strong evidence and contradicts the principles of international law.

Further, in a New York Times story on Aug. 28, Abu Hussein was quoted, thus:

It’s a black day for activists of human rights and people who believe in values of dignity. We believe this decision is a bad decision for all of us – civilians first of all, and peace activists.”

So, based on the quotes in Sherwood’s stories, it would seem that Mr. Abu Hussein is a man of peace, with a passion for fairness, justice, moral accountability, human dignity and just plain decency.  

Well, Palestinian Media Watch released a statement made by Abu Hussein last month that reveals another side of him.

Let’s go to the video:

So, just to clarify, Abu Hussein is a liberal activist, and defender of human dignity…who simultaneously believes that Nazi Germany was arguably more morally legitimate than Israel – a wretched monster of a state which needs to be crushed.

They sure don’t make “peace activists” like they used to.

The Guardian’s Rachel Corrie obsession.

The Guardian’s coverage of the culmination of the civil law suit brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie, the verdict for which was handed down in Haifa on Tuesday August 28th, has become obsessive. 

On Sunday August 26th Harriet Sherwood wrote a long pre-emptive puff piece based on an interview with the Corrie family. Notably – despite the recent “bruising” Guardian scandal on the subject of conflicts of interest – Sherwood saw fit to promote the play ‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’ in her article, but failed to mention that it was co-written by her Guardian colleague Katherine Viner.

 “The family released Rachel’s emails to the media. “It was the Guardian that picked them up very quickly, and it was huge, very significant. All kinds of things came from that.” Rachel’s powerful writing was adapted into an acclaimed stage play, My Name is Rachel Corrie, performed in at least 10 countries, including Israel.”

On Monday August 27th Sherwood was back with another one-sided article, opening with the following odd – and completely evidence-free – “etched in stone” declaration: 

“Her blonde hair, megaphone and orange fluorescent jacket with reflective stripes made 23-year-old Rachel Corrie easily identifiable as an international activist on the overcast spring afternoon in 2003 when she tried to stop an advancing Israeli military bulldozer.”

Tuesday August 28th found Sherwood in Haifa, reporting from the court, with one article published at 08:05 BST (less than an hour after the verdict was given) containing a mere six sentences on the verdict itself, and with the rest of the article devoted to the Corries’ point of view. 

At 11:31 BST, Sherwood published another article on the same subject which included videos of the Corrie family. 

At 12:43 BST the Guardian published a particularly malign piece by Chris McGreal  which included – among many others – the following bizarre claims. (Emphasis added)

“An Israeli judge on Tuesday perpetuated the fiction that Corrie’s death was a terrible accident..”

“…her death was not arbitrary but one of a pattern of killings as the Israeli army pursued a daily routine of attacks intended to terrorise the Palestinian population of southern Gaza into submission.”

“The case laid bare the state of the collective Israeli military mind, which cast the definition of enemies so widely that children walking down the street were legitimate targets..”

“With that went virtual impunity for Israeli troops no matter who they killed or in what circumstances – an impunity reinforced by Tuesday’s verdict in Haifa.”

[For more on the subject of the choice of term ‘impunity’, see here. ]

At 15:49 BST the Guardian had Glen Greenwald jump in with an article on “How the US and Israeli justice systems whitewash state crimes”. 

Harriet Sherwood was back at 20:49 BST with dark prophecies concerning a “dangerous precedent” and a “legal black hole” which she tried to shore up by means of quotes from the much discredited NGO Human Rights Watch and Shawan Jabarin of Al Haq – a man with alleged ties to the PFLP.  

At 22:10 BST the Guardian published an editorial on the subject and at 22:25 BST it published the cartoon below, which has since been discussed at The Commentator

Nick Hayes 29.08.2012

On Wednesday August 29th at 10:29 BST, a further article on the subject was published – written by Ami Kaufman of the far Left 972 magazine

In other words: eight articles, one editorial and a cartoon; all on the same subject, all in the space of less than 72 hours. And still counting. 

Particularly interesting is the editorial, because it represents not just the random views of a specific writer, but the Guardian’s editorial stance on the subject. From it, we learn much about the Guardian’s blind and unquestioned faith in the automatic guilt of Israel.

The editorial states: (Emphasis added)

“Perpetuating the myth that her death was a tragic accident, the judge did not deviate from the official line.”

A myth is “a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone”. By its very nature as a belief, it is not based on facts. So for the anonymous writer of this editorial, and by extension the Guardian editorial team as a whole, no matter what facts and evidence are presented, they are to be rejected because the possibility that Rachel Corrie’s death could be a tragic accident is something which in their view will never be proved or even accommodated. It is also, by insinuation, a possibility which should be scorned by the ‘enlightened’ – as myths usually are. 

The editorial goes on to point out disparagingly that “the investigators initially assigned were 19 years old”. Whether or not that is in fact the case I cannot say, but as anyone who knows anything about Israel is aware, yes – young people here take on extraordinary responsibilities at an early age during their army service (the investigators would have been part of the Military Police’s investigation unit). In a country in which 19 and 20 year-olds also pilot F16s, the suggestion that age is a reflection of ability or responsibility is both a ridiculous and tacky tactic. 

Had whoever wrote this editorial even bothered to read either the court’s decision (over 60 pages) or at least the English language summary before putting finger to keyboard?  Apparently not, because if they had, they could not – in honesty – have written the following:

“Rachel Corrie died trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition.”

In fact, the court established otherwise. 

“The mission of the IDF force on the day of the incident was solely to clear the ground.  This clearing and leveling included leveling the ground and clearing it of brush in order to expose hiding places used by terrorists, who would sneak out from these areas and place explosive devices with the intent of harming IDF soldiers.  There was an urgency to carrying out this mission so that IDF look-outs could observe the area and locate terrorists thereby preventing explosive devices from being buried.  The mission did not include, in any way, the demolition of homes.  The action conducted by the IDF forces was done at real risk to the lives of the soldiers.  Less than one hour before the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit, a live hand-grenade was thrown at the IDF forces.”

A D9 bulldozer of the type Rachel Corrie chose to approach.

All the same, the employment of the ‘home demolition’ meme allows the writer to launch into a tirade of misinformed conjecture on the subjects of “collective punishment” and military law. From there, he or she moves on to the emotive subject of the deaths of Palestinian children during the second Intifada. 

Of course no mention is made whatsoever of the hundreds of Israeli children who died in that same terror war as a result of deliberate murder. Cynically, the editorial then goes on to state:

“In the last nine years, Cindy and Craig Corrie have been fighting for something that any parent who has lost their child has a right to – the truth.”

There is something deeply warped about the championing of “truth” by a newspaper which stubbornly refuses to accept the truth – even as proven in a court of law – about the accidental death of Rachel Corrie. Even more disturbing is the fact that the same newspaper is an active and willing partner in the habitual concealment of the truth about terrorist organisations responsible for the deaths of thousands of other children – both Israeli and Palestinian

The distorted Guardian view of the Rachel Corrie case – as officially set out in this editorial – is indicative of the Guardian’s entire approach to Israel. Its whitewashing of terrorism and its supporters and its selective championing of ‘human rights’ (with no concern whatsoever expressed for those – Muslim, Christian or Jew – whose rights are compromised by its favourite pet terrorist organization) is not ‘Left’, ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’, but discriminatory, reactionary and sinister. 

This latest bout of binge publishing is all too reminiscent of the Guardian’s behavior during the Mavi Marmara incident when anyone and everyone was wheeled out to write speculative, uninformed – but uniformly condemnatory – comment in ridiculously large amounts before the facts of the case were anywhere near clear. 

In that case too, the Guardian was subsequently unable to admit its mistakes because it had so heavily invested itself in one narrow preconceived version of “the truth”, with almost religious zeal. Then too, the Guardian went into obsessive-compulsive mode, focusing on the production of repetitive articles all bearing the shared hallmark of ritual condemnation of Israel. Then too, its blinding contempt for – and illogical animosity towards – the Jewish State was laid out for all to see. 

And yet again, in that case as in this, the Guardian’s uncontrollable obsession once more exposed it as a voluntary arm of anti-Israel activism rather than a credible, sober reporter of news and events. 

Guardian’s beacon of Islamist justice – the crescent moon shines bright on ‘Comment is Free’

Cross posted by The Commentator

The Guardian’s cartoon, 29 August 2012, Nick Hayes

You’d be forgiven for glossing over The Guardian’s daily cartoon. We usually do.

Today however, something caught our eye.

In the cartoon by Nick Hayes, The Guardian illustrates its interpretation of yesterday’s Israeli court verdict that ruled that Rachel Corrie’s death in 2003 was accidental.

The image, as you can see below, shows a bulldozer with the Israeli flag across its blade, pushing up the earth and in its wake, scooping up and supposedly uprooting or destroying Lady Justice’.

The Guardian, of course, is entitled to its view that Rachel Corrie, defender of terrorists, was Lady Justice in disguise. We would expect no less of their crass and nuance-deficient analysis on the matter.

But what stands out to us is the beacon of light shining through the stormy clouds behind the scene.

The star and crescent is the internationally recognised symbol of Islam, seen in the flags of nations such as Pakistan and Azerbaijan. You know, those guiding lights of human rights, transparency and democracy.

The Islamist party in Gaza, which, to use Guardianista’s language, ‘rejects Israeli occupation and fights for a free Palestine’, is none other than the internationally recognised terrorist organisation, Hamas.

The crescent therefore, taken in context, is an effective endorsement of a terrorist entity; of Hamas.

Nick Hayes and The Guardian may well believe that the Islamist outfit guilty of endless terrorist atrocities, endangering the lives of Palestinians, the relentless murder of Israeli citizens, the subjugation of the Gazan population under an effective dictatorship (when were the next elections due, again?) is a shining beacon of hope casting a light on Lady Justice and the Israeli oppressors – but we implore the common reader to see past this subliminal and disgraceful narrative.

Whatever readers think of Rachel Corrie’s death and of the ongoing Middle East conflict, it is certainly another step to legitimise a terrorist outfit like Hamas. It is a discredit, even to the likes of The Guardian, that this cartoon ever made it past the editors at Comment is Free.

Let’s see what some Guardian commenters said:

“Not too sure about the crescent shining rays of light at this moment in time.” – showmaster

“The reasoning behind the presence of the crescent moon is fairly obvious” –cmnimo

“Though Palestine is benighted and Justice is toppled, the crescent moon of Islam shines like a beacon through the Israeli smokescreen. Not exactly subtle.” –peterNW1

It’s also interesting and distressing to note that when Anders Behring Breivik was sentenced, The Guardian did not run any form of cartoon on the much commented upon injustice (short length) of his sentence.

It’s safe to assume they also did no such thing for the Itamar massacres and never have we seen them do anything of the sort illustrating rocket fire from Gaza landing in Israeli towns. You get the picture.

Guardian’s Chris McGreal suggests IDF ‘killing’ of Corrie no different than Hamas suicide bombing

While Chris McGreal may be the Guardian’s Washington correspondent, he is certainly not a “reporter”.

His shrill, tendentious activist journalism – which arguably makes Harriet Sherwood seem sober, fair and professional in contrast – rarely tries too hard to disguise the desired polemical target.  McGreal is more similar in style to Richard Silverstein than a journalist for a ‘serious’ broadsheet.

His past efforts at objective reporting on Israel have included a retweet from an anti-Zionist blogger accusing Israel of being in the grips of “psychosis”, a Tweet (and accompanying article) clearly suggesting that the Israel lobby exerts a dangerous degree of control over the U.S. Congress and a Guardian report characterizing President George W. Bush’s presumed deference to the Jewish state as slave-like.

McGreal also accused South African Jews of being complicit with the Apartheid regime in Pretoria.

The first two paragraphs of McGreal’s latest anti-Zionist screed (Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset“, August 28th) lays bare the extremist ideological tick consistently on display at the Guardian: imputing a moral equivalence between Islamist terrorists who intentionally murder innocent civilians and the Jewish object of their malign obsession.

In the context of the Israeli court’s rejection of a lawsuit filed by the family of Rachel Corrie, McGreal writes:

“Reporters covering Israel are routinely confronted with the question: why not call Hamas a terrorist organisation? It’s a fair point. How else to describe blowing up families on buses but terrorism?

But the difficulty lies in what then to call the Israeli army when it, too, at particular times and places, has used indiscriminate killing and terror as a means of breaking Palestinian civilians. One of those places was Rafah, in the southern tip of the Gaza strip, where Rachel Corrie was crushed by a military bulldozer nine years ago as she tried to stop the Israeli army going about its routine destruction of Palestinian homes.”

Even if you were to ignore the details of the judge’s decision – as McGreal likely did – which concluded that Corrie’s death was accidental, and rely instead on the most unhinged anti-Zionist accounts, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone other than the McGreal characterize the 2003 incident as an “indiscriminate killing and terror” in a broader IDF strategy meant to break “Palestinian civilians”.

Indeed, such supreme moral inversions – which advance the caricature of a hideously malevolent Jewish state intentionally murdering young innocents – can typically only be found, albeit often in much cruder form, in the  Arabic media, and on the fringes of extreme left commentary; such as in the grotesque depictions of Israel found in the cartoons of Carlos Latuff.

In suggesting a moral equivalence between an IDF anti-terror operation aimed at clearing ground to expose hiding places used by terrorists (along the border where, between 2000 and 2003, thousands of terrorist grenade attacks and hundreds of anti-tank missile attacks had already occurred) and Hamas suicide bombings in crowded public places with the sole intention of murdering Jews, McGreal is parroting the most obscene and intellectually unserious leftist anti-Zionist agitprop.

Of course, “intellectually unserious leftist anti-Zionist agitprop” – once exclusively within the domain of unapologetic antisemites – has become a banality, and something more akin to a political brand identity, at the Guardian.