The Guardian Parades Rachel Shabi’s Ignorance – Again

This is a guest post by AKUS

After a long hiatus on CiF – perhaps due to the revelations that Shabi’s knowledge of Mizrachi Jews and Israeli geography fall even below the Guardian’s low standards for contributors trying to blacken Israel’s name – Rachel Shabi is back, this time mourning the plight of ‘Israel’s ‘targeted citizens‘ – a deliberately inflammatory heading taken from a film prepared by Adalah referring to Israel’s Arab minority and a tribute to the Guardian’s campaign to create a completely mythical version of what Israel really is. We can now add ‘incitement’ as well as ‘ignorance’ to Shabi’s unimpressive resume, which includes, incredibly, 89 articles authored or co-authored for the Guardian since 2000, starting with ‘If you don’t eat your ice cream, you can’t have your broccoli’.

As usual with articles on CiF, it is always important to dig behind the spin and see what really underpins the prejudice that is being fed to the readers.

Adalah is an organization ostensibly dedicated to defending Arab minority rights in Israel, but, in reality, its primary purpose is to propose the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state and blacken Israel’s name internationally. For example, Adalah is firmly on the “apartheid” bandwagon:

Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the OPT under international law: “Professor Dugard posed the question: “Israel is clearly in military occupation of the OPT. At the same time, elements of the occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law.” Etc. etc.

Moreover, Adalah has developed its own version of a Democratic Constitution for Israel that in its Introduction immediately references apartheid-era South Africa as an example – or the example – of what Israel is like. Par. 4 of Chapter One essentially lays down the PLO’s approach to Israel. It proposes to use of the Right of Return to turn Israel into an Arab-majority state, links the “Nakba” to the “Occupation” since Adalah does not, in fact distinguish between Israel and the Occupied Territories despite defining Israel’s borders as the pre-1967 Green Line in opposition to UNSCR 242 and the various boundary adjustments that have been discussed between Israel and its neighbors including Syria:

“the State of Israel must recognize its responsibility for past injustices suffered by the Palestinian people, both before and after its establishment. The State of Israel must recognize, therefore, its responsibility for the injustices of the Nakba and the Occupation; recognize the right of return of the Palestinian refugees based on UN Resolution 194; recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; and withdraw from all of the territories occupied in 1967.”

(Note, by the way, the statement that Israel must recognize even injustices incurred by even BEFORE its founding – i.e., under Ottoman and British rule).

Par. 5 attempts to enshrine the idea that Arab citizens of Israel are not, in fact Israelis – they are Palestinian Arabs:

“The Palestinian Arab citizens of the State of Israel have lived in their homeland for innumerable generations”

This ignores Jewish life in Israel for thousands of years since biblical times and later in Jerusalem and various villages and is, of course, the ideological underpinning of a future “one state” – if Israeli Arabs are, in fact, Palestinian Arabs, then, obviously, they are one and the same as Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank. Once one reads past the political grandstanding this “Democratic Constitution” offers little that is not already enshrined in Israel’s Declaration of Independence and its existing legal and administrative organs and procedures. From the Declaration of Independence:

“WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.”

And, in fact, Arabs do have “full and equal citizenship” They may not be fully represented in all its institutions (the army is an obvious example), but they are well-represented in most civilian institutions despite the fact that Israel is still in the midst of on-going wars, especially against Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank with whom Adalah tries to identify its “base”, to borrow a political term from the United States. There are Arab political parties, have been and are ministers from all three main Arab groups (including Druze and Bedouin) (Nawaf Massalha, Salah Tarif, Raleb Majadele), an ambassador and consul general Reda Mansour, a deputy consul in San Francisco, Ishmael Khalidi, Supreme Court judges Abdel Rahman Zuabi and Salim Jubran.

Shabi’s sketchy view of the situation is eerily reminiscent of her attempts to describe the situation of Mizrachi Jews in Israel in the most negative light possible, despite their actual success in every walk of life in Israel. In that case, she attributes it to “Ashkenazi racism”. In this case, she assigns blame to the entire Israeli Jewish population. It is accepted widely in Israel that Arabs are not as fully represented in many areas, especially anything to do with security, as other citizens, but to claim they are ‘targeted citizens’ is merely an exaggerated and inflammatory message.

Moreover, there is a major item that Shabi did not see fit to include – in March, 2010 the cabinet authorized spending of NIS 800 million specifically “targeted”, if I may borrow the term, for development in the Arab and Druze sectors. While many would agree that Israel should be doing more, in its own interests, and should have been doing so for many years, this omission immediately biases her entire article which rests on accusations made in a promotional film prepared by Adalah.

Finally, I, and perhaps many others, learned from Shabi’s article that there is something called the “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination”. A reference to this event is buried in Shabi’s article as the proximate cause for the Adalah film. It sounds like a worthy cause, one might imagine, until a little digging reveals the organization that sponsors this annual event, now in its fourth year. Perhaps, having brought it to your attention you will not be surprised to learn that it is organized by a sub-committee of the same group of reprobates, dictators, theocrats and generally worst offenders against human rights known as the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) – the same group that coincidentally ran the infamous Durban Conferences and sponsored the Goldstone report.

I’ll round off with a few clips from the thread. First, two well-received comments that indicate that the days of a free pass for Shabi’s ignorance and bias may be passing:

Then, the ever popular claim about US payments to Israel, this time with a new twist. America “extracts” this money from unnamed regions of the Middle East and passes it to Israel which has the effect of raising Israel’s standard of living! The claim about Israeli dependency on US money demonstrates the ignorance about the size of Israel’s economy and the role that the US money plays despite the fact that American money represents perhaps 1% of Israel’s GDP, and of that, at least two-thirds of the money is essentially a subsidy to the US arms industry.

There was a “disappeared” comment from JRuskin who claims that Israel, which is a multi-cultural society to a degree that puts Britain to shame, is racist and discriminates against even “darker skinned” Jewish Israelis. Apparently claiming some experience at the Kalandia checkpoint, he ignores the numerous attacks that have occurred there – for example, see this video: Palestinian Woman Stabs Israeli Soldier:

Then there’s the new concern that seems to be becoming more common – Britain should be more involved because it “created” Israel. This commenter curiously considers the resultant flourishing Arab community in Israel to have been worse treated than the decimated original populations of North America and Australia:

I’ll end with a deleted comment that manages to paint Israel in the darkest colors, accusing Israelis of regarding anyone not Jewish as sub-human, despite the fact that in fact Israel provides humanitarian aid even to its enemies, the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank, Arabs from surrounding countries that don’t even recognize Israel’s existence, and countries around the world such as Haiti when disaster strikes:

And so Shabi has opened the floodgates of blind, ignorant hatred at Comment is Free once again. One day, the Guardian may have to answer for its role stoking this hatred – even when comments such as the one above are deleted.

Categories: Guardian

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26 replies »

  1. Akus the thoroughness of your preparation makes me glad I’m on your side. Shabi’s lack of the same, relying on Adalah’s propaganda in place of fact, is heightened by the contrast.

    I noticed that Moeran the banned moron is back under the guise of Jruskin still peddling lies about the Israelis. I must say that his remark implying that all Jerusalemites are ”Palestinian Arabs” failed to make me laugh.

  2. Here are some other highlights from the thread:


    9 Apr 2010, 12:23PM

    Israel is not only the Serbia of the Middle East, it’s also the South-Africa of the Middle East. It should be boycotted. That’s the only way to reach a solution. The peace process is a hypocrite farce. A means for israel to steal as much land as possible, while pretending to have the intention to give the palestines their own state.


    9 Apr 2010, 12:24PM

    A tiny democratic nation, threatened by surrounding nations!
    This idea is entrenched in the minds of ordinary citizens and politicians on a global scale.

    This idea is totally false.

    We are dealing with an entity, based on deceit and aggression, unjustly holding everyone to ransom, both within and outside its perimeters.


    9 Apr 2010, 2:15PM


    despite the astonishing generosity of the Jews towards the Arab minority

    If we’re talking about 1948, let’s be clear – there was no Arab minority. There was, of course, after the Nakba, but I don’t think you could call the actions of the new Israeli state – ehtnic cleansing, death marches and massacres – generosity. Well, unless you’re Israeli. After all, you did leave a few – very few – alive and in their homes.

    Ah, lamenting the limits of dispossession in 1948, truly a hobby only for a discerning few.


    9 Apr 2010, 2:52PM

    @HebrewHammer……….we all know Israel is in denial about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. It’s probably fair to say that Jews were better terrorists than the Palestinians.

    9 Apr 2010, 3:06PM

    @DrJohnZoidberg and Jubilation………well, those nice Zionist terrorists managed to see off the British and about 85% of the native population. From what I can see, the Palestinians have a managed a few pizza restaurants.


    9 Apr 2010, 4:10PM

    So much talk, talk, talk……….. EVERYONE KNOWS that Israel NOW as a government, and as a society, functions in law and de facto relative to non-Jews as did the State of South Carolina, and its white society, function in relation to non-whites in the 1870’s and later. Clever racists make clever racist laws (wearing masks of neutrality) and instutionalize clever racial barriers and cruelties. Without a word about skin-color, the clever white racists in the American South enacted a ton of laws, regulations and court rulings [the infamous “Black Codes”] that kept non-whites distant from the natural benefits of genuine equality while allowing (or the most part) the appearance of race-neutral laws. Of all the accusations flying around, I have yet to see anyone accuse Israeli Jews of being stupid racists. Their “Arab Codes” are the same as our long-outlawed “Black Codes”.

  3. The Guardian’s “standards” of journalism:

    Shabi is untruthful, unprepared, and lacks knowledge. The Guardian hires her.

    Akus is truthful, well-prepared, and knowledgeable. The Guardian bans him.

  4. So Moeran has been reincarnated into JRuskin the Methodist.

    Silly old farts like Moeran don’t go away they just reincarnate,The Guardian isn’t going to let go of a brilliant poster like Moeran.

    Moeran might not have a darker skin,only a very sick and darker mind.

  5. Shabby Shabi,I just happen to be of Iraqi stock,in one of her rants she complained on how badly Mizrahi Jews were being treated in Israel.

    My extended (mixed East and West by now) family is doing extremely well in Israel,and around the globe,thank you.

    A lot of business men in the extended family,quite a few very high achievers,one of us invented and markets a very popular product that is used world wide.

    Nope I don’t feel persecuted,but then I’m not Rachel Shabi.

  6. I think that our friend Seth Freedman too belongs to Adalah,East meets West in Adalah………..How sweet.

  7. In Hawkeye’s post there is a quote of a comment by Sorcey:
    “-ethnic cleansing, death marches and massacres-”

    Very interesting to see if this comment will be deleted. Surely the commenter warrants a ban as well? I mean, what do these people have to do to get banned for crying out loud? Will sorcey NEVER be banned!?

  8. apropos massacres

    kind of off topic on the other hand probably not

    Jean Ziegler works for a UN-food-program and seems to be a celebrity in certain circles. Recently he had an hour long talk on German radio. Somewhere in the midst of it he said “Israel committing massacres in Gaza daily”

    either massacre doesn’t mean any longer what I have hitherto believed it means or UN-officials feel entitled to mouth off in German to their hearts’ delight relying on the relative obscurity of the language.

  9. I read a hard copy guardian yesterday,(only paper in the cafe I was in.)
    Article on Israel,long list of demands on Israel,none on other entities except the usual promise of recognition.Sly dig at Net boycotting nuke summit,and,no explanation of his reasons for doing so.(I gather Israeli scientists were excluded?)
    Second article ostensibly on international arrest law,concerning the Pope.Alarm bells rang,and sure enough,article turns into anti-Israel screed,saying that the “case” against Livni is proven and that the Goldstone report is universally accepted.
    Lovely article on really expensive shoes though,which I am certain was accurate.

  10. Since Shabby’s back, Duvidl has provided a welcome song, thus:

    Shabby Talk
    (to the tune of “Happy Talk” from the movie “South Pacific.”)
    (Hat tip: R. Rodgers and O. Hammerstein.)

    Shabby, shabby, shabby, shabby talk;
    Talk about libelling every Jew;
    Her scribbling makes Jews scream;
    Brian his pants will cream;
    Can Shabi claim to be a Jew too?

    Shabby, shabby, shabby, shabby talk;
    She don’t let facts get in the way;
    Pissing on home terrain,
    Helps house-Jews to explain
    How Shabi’s in the Guardian’s pay.

    Shabby, shabby, shabby, shabby talk;
    Talks about how Israel she’ll screw.
    Scrawling what’s right off-beam;
    Too poor to print, others deem;
    At least Daniel Machover won’t sue.

    DS Al Coda

  11. Akus, an excellent article which not least highlights the bone-headedness of CiF. It really is like the Big Lie isn’t it. CiF believes that the more it publishes the same sort of guff the more likely people are to believe it. (Of course some will, but mainly because it chimes with their distortions rather than because it is factually based).

    I am still having difficulty getting my head round Shabby’s motivation for writing this rubbish (I know full well CiF’s motivation for publishing it) and how she can sink so low, but then there are precedents in Lerman, Silverstain and Freedman.

  12. A very thorough job, AKUS

    I must agree with the thoughts of Zamalek who rightly challenges human rights organizations to focus on the despotic governments and inherently discriminatory Islamic cultures not only in the greater Middle east, but throughout the world.

    In addition, Adalah and Rachel Shabi are clearly politically motivated, and mixing politics and human rights just leaves them wide open to challenge (as AKUS has successfully done).

    Finally, the Nakba is an event that should be remembered by Palestinians living inside or outside of Israel, but its become an all consuming part of the Palestinian narrative encouraged by so-called human rights organizations as well as western supporters of the Palestinian cause. When the Palestinians are able to put the Nakba in the rear view mirror and focus on building a Palestinian society, then peace will become a much better possibility.

  13. The link doesn’t work. The title is inflammatory, referring to the practice of assassination of certain of Israel’s existential enemies. It implies or carries the image of killing i.e. murder of Israeli Arabs en masse.

    Duggard is a South African professor of law who wrote the preface to Ben White’s book. White also subscribes to the Adalah, whose constitution now implies the end of Israel within a short time, given Israeli Jews would be outnumbered by Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians shortly after its implementation.

    It also betrays that Adalah’s and White’s accepting of a two state solution is mealy mouthed and merely an expediency: a temporary compromise in expectation of no more Jewish state or Israel to follow.

    Nice one Shabi: you’re an English-Mizrachit who shortly after arriving in Israel works assiduously to end it.

  14. Perhaps the Palestinians could draw a line under the Nakba since it interferes with their adaptation to the fact that there is an Israel and that this country will continue to exist.

  15. Adalah is a Palestinian Muslim and Christian nationalist organization that attempts to appropriate all pertinent justice it to itself and deny it to Israeli or Palestinian Jewish nationalism or Zionism.

    Insisting the latter take all or the essential blame for the misfortune of Palestinian Muslims and Christians is intended to put Israeli, Palestinian Jews, and the nationalist movement that bore them, permanently in the wrong.

    Seeking justice for Israeli or Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians can hardly be faulted. But to do so on the basis of injustice against Israeli or Palestinian Jews seems hardly just or fair, either.

    I think it is the fundamental flaw in Ben White’s approach.

  16. Somewhat off-topic, but check out Seth Freedman’s latest peice of stupidity-

    AND check out his reponse to a very valid piece of criticism. Will seth be deleted for an aggresive comment which would be gone in two seconds had it been posted by someone say… without a big C icon near his name?


    14 Apr 2010, 12:21PM
    Contributor Contributor

    taxesandcuts – “I can’t get Paul Newmans Ceasar salad dressing in Lidl. They refuse to stock it. I have to go to Tesco. Does this infringe my democratic rights?

    Plus I support the Palestinians but the article was so stupid I had to say so”

    that you genuinely can’t see the difference between your inane salad dressing example and the issue at hand is disturbing. but well done anyway for supporting the palestinians – i’m sure they’re eternally grateful for counting such an esteemed philosopher amongst their ranks

  17. I think Freedman is right: the decision to not stock the book is deplorable, and taxesandcuts trivial aside is irrelevant or dissembling.

  18. Toko LeMoko

    “Akus is truthful, well-prepared, and knowledgeable. The Guardian bans him.”

    This was a stupid loss for CIF as he was normally fair and non threatening. However we still dont know why he was banned. AKUS has always skirted round the reason. I think he kept trying to post the same post ..for which banning is obvious …but we are left to think that it was the Israel hating moderators blindly banning pro Israelis.

  19. FoolMeOnce.

    It’s a bit late for Freedman to wake up to the kind of people ‘entertained’ on CiF.

    Porgina is gonned.

    I can only hope that Freedman will be gonned too. He has written so much for CiF which has been used to demonise and pillory Israel that he is past redemption.

    And let’s face it. He is unstable. Like so many on the loony lefties who comment there.

  20. As I said on the original thread, I fail to see where her article was saying anything new, i.e. what was the point of it? Plus she made no mention of the background to the discrimination that no doubt does exist.

    But that opening comment by Gangastaista beggars belief. They’re either a lunatic or simply have a castiron anti-Israel mindset.
    (not that those are mutually exclusive possibilities, of course)

  21. Abandon hope

    You are being quite ingenous.

    I have explained several time that I was suddenly banned awhile commenting on the Rivka Carmi article that she wrote in opposition to Neve Gordon, where she was cyber-mobbed by the usual crowd on CiF in a horrific manner, unlike anything I have seen before or since.

    As you know, the Guardian provides no explanation for banning people. So I can only assume it was because they objected to me defending her, and comparing the mob attacking her to the crowds in Paris baying for blood around the guillotine, which, to the best o my recollection, was what I commented.

    You know this perfectly well, or are suffering from very selective memory loss or impending dementia. Best go see a neurologist.

  22. AKUS,you are better off not commenting on CiF it’s a stinking sewer where you will need to be steam cleaned to get rid of the stench that hangs around that site.

    Your problem was that you were too good for that site, your presence is sorely missed.

  23. Ben White’s attitudes toward the Jewish state go way beyond mere politics. His pathological hatred of anything Jewish oozes out every time he opens his mouth. It isn’t that hard to spot.

  24. IvyLeaguer

    “Ben White’s attitudes toward the Jewish state . His pathological hatred of anything Jewish oozes out every time he opens his mouth.”

    Such verbiage makes is harder for CIFWatch to attack the Guardian. They can scoff at such cartoon-like criticism as the words of an extremist.

  25. The Guardian is in no position to scoff at anything,not when it’s down in the sewer,mixing it in with some of the dumbest,nastiest,lunatics,that the devil has created.

    And that AH is putting it mildly.

  26. AKUS
    V nice piece. I particularly like your highlighting of some excellent counter-responses to Shabi’s awful comment, by HebrewHammer and Zamalek.

    Ever the eternal optimist, I think that there are some nice angles being taken by some posters in recent articles – some good counterattacks against the likes of Krutsytheclown, Gazagirl wtbtpq etc. The particular posters who are doing a sterling job are Jubilation1, the hebrewhammer, properbostonian, ONeill70. The tack they take is to persistently (and I mean persistently) press home the point that every argument used by pro-palestinians has its root in rejectionism. Sure there is a smattering of bigotry but rejectionism underpins all their arguments.