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The Guardian’s dreadful case of Israel Derangement Syndrome

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THE leading article is the place where a newspaper will wear its heart on its sleeve. Well, most newspapers. In the case of the Guardian, it is where the gnomes of Farringdon wear hate on their sleeve. A prime example of this hate was an editorial which described David Cameron’s sense of loss at the death of his eldest child as ‘privileged pain’ due to Mr Cameron’s wealth and his alleged access to superior health care. 

It is an indictment of the kind of people who run this publication that the text went through all of the layers of the editorial process – presumably including ideological box-ticking – and was posted online. It was only the strongly negative public reaction that stopped the article from also getting into print.

While Guardian writers are, like the Left in general, quite over-loud in proclaiming their anti-racism whilst denouncing those who are simply not as noisy, this anti-racism is not unlimited. Anti-Semitism is endemic in Left-wing politics. It was described by 19th century German social democrats as ‘the socialism of fools’. It is not. Anti-Semitism is actually the socialism of socialism.

However, unlike in the Cameron episode above, the Guardian has to be more circumspect. The newspaper cannot attack British Jews directly, but it can play down such attacks by those who do, and never more so than during the exposure of Labour’s structural anti-Semitism over the last half-decade. Suddenly strong and disgraceful opinions disappear and are replaced by a bland summary of convenient facts. The obstacles of hypocrisy and respectability prevents the gnomes from advancing what they must be aching to say.

Three weeks before the 2019 General Election, the Guardian published a response to the unprecedented intervention of the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, who wrote in the Times  that the ‘overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety’ ahead of the December 12 poll and warned ‘the very soul of our nation is at stake’. The editorial on the words of the Chief Rabbi (a term that was not capitalised in the Guardian’s article) indulged in whataboutery over Boris Johnson’s ‘letterbox’ comment taken out of context before merely repeating known facts and reporting ‘Mr Corbyn has gone some way to make up for his mistakes. He stated that “antisemitism in any form is vile and wrong”,’ as if that somehow made things all right. 

Corbyn’s interpretation of anti-Semitism is not the same as most people’s. This was demonstrated when it was shown that Corbyn did not regard a clearly anti-Semitic mural in East London as being racially offensive. After the Guardian’s vanilla polemic on Corbyn, the article, which was entitled ‘The Guardian view on antisemitism and Labour: a shadow over the body politic’ just went back to attacking the Conservatives.

The Guardian compounded this wilful blindness on the eve of the General Election, when it dismissed Labour’s anti-Semitism as a barrier to voting and said: ‘The pain and hurt within the Jewish community, and the damage to Labour, are undeniable and shaming. Yet Labour remains indispensable to progressive politics . . . Despite our misgivings, we believe that a vote for the Labour Party offers the best hope for the country.’ Labour members had been exposed as being aggressively hostile to an ethnic minority in Britain, and this only caused ‘misgivings’ amongst the Farringdon gnomes, if that.

The bland reportage over inconvenient truths in the place of an opinion persisted last year when the EHRC report into Labour’s racism was published. The document exposed the fact that, while there were robust procedures for the party to manage sexual harassment by party members, no such provisions existed for anti-Semitism, and there were numerous cases of political interference. The Guardian’s response to Labour’s failure was a muted commentary of the facts from a publication normally associated with full-throated anti-racism when ethnic minorities other than Jews are concerned.

But the Farringdon gnomes certainly don’t hold back when it comes to attacking the Jewish state. Soft on Labour’s anti-Semitism, they are loudly vocal when an organisation hostile to Israel writes a report. Any insipid attempts to protest against the former are undone by their vehement and biased critiques of the only democratic state in the Middle East. True to form they have yet again this weekcrossed a line by more or less endorsing the description of Israel as either already an ‘apartheid state’ or on the way to becoming one, in a leader article publicising a report produced by a Left-wing organisation based in Israel. 

The apartheid slur against Israel was created in 2001, at the Durban UN Conference against Racism. Built on the lie spearheaded by the Jimmy Carter administration and the UN that Israel ‘occupies’ the West Bank and Gaza, the Guardian has run with this particular toxic form of anti-Semitism ever since. 

Karen, one of the joint authors of this essay, grew up in apartheid South Africa, where racism was enshrined in law and enforced by a brutal police and army. Israel doesn’t resemble the racist society she experienced in South Africa. As she wrote five years ago, equality for all races, genders and religions is enshrined in Israeli law. To accuse Israel of apartheid trivialises the concept and dishonours the memory of those who suffered under this abhorrent system of racism.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS)was instigated at the 2001 Durban conference too, where delegates spent their time spreading blood libels and buying copies of the Tsarist forgery, ‘The Protocols of The Elders of Zion’. The Guardian has repeatedly accused Israel of ‘occupation’ yet in its latest attack it bemoans the fact that that Palestinians don’t have Israeli citizenship, epitomising its woeful grasp of the geo-political facts.

Under international law the West Bank is disputed, not ‘occupied’ territory, with most Palestinians there under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Fewer than half a million Jews live in just 1.7 per cent of the West Bank, governed by Israeli law.  Wrongful claims that the West Bank and Gaza are occupied strengthens the lie that Israel is an apartheid country.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Since then it’s become a brutal Islamist enclave controlled by Hamas who use Palestinians as human shields in their continuous terror war against Israel. The Guardian is disingenuous as always, neglecting to mention the reasons why Israel and Egypt seal their borders with Gaza, a place where Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Isis jostle for power and compete with each other in their holy war against the Jewish state. It neglects to mention too thattheir favoured methods of terror are launching barrages of Iranian rockets into southern Israel and, until the security wall was built, suicide attacks in crowded Israeli cities. 

The Two State Solution, which the editorial alludes to, was dead in the water the moment it was created by the Oslo Accords. Yet it’s imbued with mythical status by clueless politicians and activists despite Yasser Arafat having no intention of making peace with Israel.

The only peace plan with any sustainable results is the Donald Trump led Abraham Accords, the historic normalisation of relations between Israel and Arab states like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

 But this is ignored given The Guardian’s disdainful view of Trump. 

Instead, the editorial relies on the findings of the virulently anti-Zionist B’Tselem, an Israeli-based NGO. Funded by the EU and the UN, B’Tselem specialises in employing Holocaust deniers and spreading malicious, anti-Semitic lies such as ‘Israelis are Nazis’. Quoted is another anti-Israel organisation, Yesh Din. The EU, Oxfam and Britain fund this NGO, who have a nasty habit of manipulating statistics to support their unfounded claims of apartheid in Israel. Their primary legal counsel and reports editor, Michael Sfard, testified for the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) as in expert witness in a court case, where family members of terror victims murdered by the PLO sought damages. Sfard also took part in the anti-Semitic Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a kangaroo court where Israel was deemed guilty of various ‘crimes’ by Hamas sympathies and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists. 

Thanks to Israel’s democratic values, both B’Tselem and Yesh Din are given the benefit of free speech and prosper in the country they seek to destroy. 

Not to be outdone by previous blood libels published, this editorial claims that Palestinian citizens in Israel are ‘under pressure not to antagonise the Jewish majority’ and accuses Israel of ‘Jewish supremacy’, a dire attempt to link Jews to white supremacy. Both accusations would not look out of place in Der Stürmer, showing how easily the Guardian bridges the divide between far Right and Left-wing anti-Semitism.  

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism includes the example of ‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination’, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour. By suggesting that Israel can only be, or is on the way to becoming, a racist endeavour through titling the article ‘The Guardian view on Israel and apartheid: prophecy or description?’ the Guardian openly places itself on the side of the anti-Semites.

Quoting Peter Beinart in an attempt to give legitimacy to the BDS movement highlights the Guardian’s dreadful case of Israel Derangement Syndrome.  Beinart is an anti-Israel activist who uses his Jewish identity to delegitimise Israel. He certainly does not speak for the majority of Jews despite the Guardian’s endeavour to portray otherwise.

All of these polemics are published on a web page that states: ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’. Well, that is only up to a point in the Guardian. When internecine conflict between the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza resulted in the PA mounting a partial economic blockade of Gaza by refusing to advance salaries to PA employees working in Gaza, there were street demonstrations. Hamas instituted a violent crackdown against the people that its policy of racist violence had impoverished. However the Guardian decided to report this in a way that sought partial exoneration for the terrorist government: ‘Hamas appears to have forcibly suppressed a rare uptick in public dissent in Gaza, beating and arresting scores of people over the past week who have been demonstrating against price rises and dire living conditions across the strip [authors’ emphasis added]. The gnomes could not bring themselves to report the ‘sacred’ facts. These so-called ‘victim states’ are actually rampant victimisers. It is not Israel that makes life bad for Palestinians, it is other Palestinians. However, the Guardian’s criticism of this despotism is as muted as it had been over Labour’s anti-Semitism.

It is only on occasion that the Guardian’s mask will slip, as it did over David Cameron’s bereavement. However there should be no doubt that the mask, and the hate it conceals and the object of that hate, is always there.

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