Guardian

Is there anybody listening?


This is a guest post by Pembury (our anonymous reader who penned this and this)

One of the reasons people get upset when confronted with the torrent of malevolent and one-sided ravings from the Guardian, is the fear that it somehow influences public opinion, and ultimately government action, given that Britain, and the EU, are made up of democracies that reflect public opinion. The Guardian’s circulation is only about 300,000 copies, but obviously it’s widely read and influential in places such as the BBC newsroom where it can influence the way in which other, perhaps less obviously biased and more reasonable, journalists get their information.

So the recent flotilla coverage, disproportionate in its volume, intensity, mendacity and spitefulness (see CIF Watch’s recent summary) would be a good test for whether it actually has the desired, or any, effect. My thesis is that people are not stupid, and that most of them can detect hysterical, one-sided, special pleading when they see it. There’s been a recent test of this.

Yesterday the European Foreign Affairs Council issued a statement on the Flotilla incident and the Middle East generally. This was surely a test for the Guardian and its campaign to delegitimize and isolate Israel. The Guardian itself seems to have thought so because these two paragraphs from its June 14 article were its preview of the expected statement:

“Since the flotilla assault, world attention has shifted to Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Pressure on Israel to ease it will intensify today when EU foreign ministers are expected to adopt a robust position. Spain, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, will press for a vigorous approach, with support from France, Italy and the UK. The Spanish prime minister, José Luis Zapatero, called at the weekend for a strong joint EU position on the siege.

Zapatero said his foreign minister, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, would argue at the meeting that the EU should stand up for the end of the blockade on Gaza and extend all its political and diplomatic capacity to reach that goal.”

But here’s the thing. The statement, when issued, was a model of good sense, balance and, yes, concern for Israel’s position. I challenge any reasonable reader to find a word in it to disagree with. It called for “credible international participation” in an investigation of the incident, thus indicating that the Israeli enquiry, conducted by a retired Supreme Court Justice, with two international observers met the EU’s requirement for a “full and impartial enquiry”. More significantly, it called for “an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza including goods from the West Bank” (my emphasis). There was no call for the shipping blockade to be lifted, nor any demand for free access via the crossings to anything that Hamas and its Guardian supporters, not to mention its Turkish sponsors, would like to import.

For good measure, the statement “deplored continuing acts of rocket fire [from Gaza]” and called on “all those responsible [to] take immediate and concrete steps to cease and prevent such violence.” It also called for the immediate release of Gilad Shalit, and demanded Red Cross access to him. It also called on Hamas to “end its interference with the operations of NGOs and UN agencies in Gaza”. Given the Guardian’s selective reporting, this part of the statement must have come to anyone dependent on it for news, as a complete mystery.

Finally, the Council also agreed at its meeting that European Union leaders will push ahead with plans for tighter sanctions against Iran on Thursday, including measures to stem investment in the oil and gas sector and Tehran’s refining capability.

Read the whole thing. What’s not to like?

Now, put yourself in the position of the Guardian, its hate-filled editors, and its assorted gang of contributors and correspondents suffering from acute IDS (Israel Derangement Syndrome). After all that effort, all that conscious suppression of the facts and misrepresentation of reality, wishful thinking and spite, what is there to show for their efforts? Absolutely nothing. If they can’t influence European Foreign Ministers, on an issue of little real importance to European interests, who can they influence? And they can’t even put this down to AIPAC or the Board of Deputies or the “Israel Lobby” or “Likudniks”. How must they be feeling this morning? No wonder they’re continually beside themselves.

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29 replies »

  1. Israel should respond to Zapatero (real name Zapato) by demanding Spain apologise for the Inquisition and Expulsion.

  2. TLK

    Of course you are absolutely correct

    Instead of trembling before those that would want to harm her Israel should get on the offensive.

    No more appeasing and apologising. Get aggressive and fight back.

    We con the world video was an excellent start. We need more

    Israel and her supporters should insist on a full international investigation into the association of Ergodan and the terrorist IHH and whether Turkey should be disqualified from the OECD. Bring up the case for the Kurds and remind the world that Turkey still refuses to acknowledge or apologise for the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians

    Any false accusations and anti-Israel demands made by any country in the Euopean Union should be subject to an aggressive counterattack exposing and reminding the world how that country has treated their own Jewish population. Remind the world of the European pogroms, expulsions, forced conversions and assistance in the actual genocide of European Jewry. Then demand not just apologies but compensation and punitive damages.

    Jews will never forget the Holocaust. Ensure that the perpetrators do not either, and that includes the Palestinians who still follow the designs of their own onetime fuhrer, El Hussaini the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the current Hamas charter

  3. Millfield, I am inclined to agree with you if you are speaking figuratively.

    However it often seems to me that Israel’s government still has, at core, a ghetto mentality.

    For example, I heard this morning that there is talk within government of opening the crossings to Gaza more, and having “independent” observers there, from Europe and also to include Palestinians and Egyptians!

    This, for me, is evidence of some sort of collective psychosis on the government’s part. Has Israel learned nothing from the withdrawal from Gaza, not least that conceding anything at all to Hamas will gain it nothing – indeed it will make matter inestimably worse?

    This supine worrying about what the world will think is futile – whatever she does (and the Marmara incident alone should have taught her this) Israel will be deemed wrong merely because she exists.

    The only alternative, therefore, is for her government to stick up two fingers at “world opinion” which will not save Jewish lives from Islamist attacks in the long run.

  4. Pembury – good examples of the loaded language used at the Guardian. Their new face in Jerusalem, Harriet Sherwood, is quite an expert:

    “israel flouted international opinion”

    “Israel’s lethal assault

    Ian Traynor follows her lead

    “assault on the Gaza flotilla”

    Notice the use of lethal assault, rather than “interception”, which only turned “lethal” when the IDF SEALs were brutally attacked.

  5. Pembury – by the way – to follow through with your excellent point – have I missed the Guardian’s report on the actual statement put out at the end of that conference?

    I think not.

    This again is typical Guardian – a premature rush to judgment, or gleeful anticipation of the worst result for Israel, followed by stony, disappointed silence when things don’t turn out the way they expect.

    After a flood of articles about the mavi Marmara incident – sudden virtual silence or at best spin when it becomes clear that in fact Israel’s version of the events is the true and accurate one, and that the sensible media and readers will have none of the Guardian’s gleeful posturing.

    Same as with their infamous and never retracted reporting of the “Jenin massacre” that never happened.

  6. I must admit I have little respect for politicians. But occasionally they seem to show flickers of intelligence.

    Apparently they don’t listen to the Guardian in the US Congress.

    —-

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/06/14/2739603/congressman-seek-to-bar-flotilla-activists-from-us

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Several members of the U.S. Congress called on the State Department to investigate any passengers aboard the Gaza-bound aid flotilla trying to enter the United States.

    A group of people affiliated with the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, known as IHH, who were aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, which was part of the flotilla, is planning a U.S. speaking tour in the coming weeks.

    “The IHH, the flotilla’s sponsoring organization, has long been known for its affiliations with terrorist organizations, including Hamas and al-Qaida,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). “It is the responsibility of our government to ensure that terrorists, and those who support terrorist activities, not be allowed to enter the United States.”

    Nadler was joined by Reps. Eliot Engel, Carolyn Maloney, Anthony Weiner and Charles Rangel, all Democrats from New York, at a news conference in New York organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn also was present.

    More than 23,000 people have signed a JCRC of New York petition calling for an investigation of the flotilla passengers.

  7. AKUS

    Same as with their infamous and never retracted reporting of the “Jenin massacre” that never happened.

    Rusbridger apologized and acknowledged the Guardian’s mistake – taking full responsibility. The problem is that after his apology the Guardian continues to tolerate and to support the repetition of this blood-libel by its contributors and posters.
    showing the real character its editor in chief and his staff/family.

  8. While the statement in fact may be viewed as supportive, I question why EU is compelled to release a statement at all? Is this standard modus operandi after every international incident?

  9. Pembury
    re: “disproportionate in its volume”

    I found the volume of the reporting on the flotilla event way way too little
    as I feel still woefully under-informed as to the goings on in Turkey that led to its exporting Jihad to the cost of the Mediterranean (muslim and non-muslim alike) – that to the best of my knowledge was a first for a NATO-member.

    THAT is the story I still haven’t figured out and THAT is the story that in the long run is the important one
    – the flotilla event for me is important for what it did to the IDF soldiers and of course for the amount of lies it spawned

  10. Pembury (our anonymous reader )

    ” the torrent of malevolent and one-sided ravings from the Guardian.. its hate-filled editors ”

    Yes anonymity is a very good idea…only kidding …the article actually wasnt too bad…. but was let down by these two lunches into hyperbole. It is a shame that people on CIFwatch do not use understatement ..it makes articles less frenetic.

  11. Davy
    you objecting to frenetic

    – that is really something it is you who feeds his lonely lusts on for example me practicing my frenetics skills at you

    (as a victim you are not much fun, but practice helps and I thank you for providing a much needed punching ball for me – it needs somebody like you to make my inner images flow freely – afterwards I apply them where I trust they really do some damage)

  12. I feel still woefully under-informed as to the goings on in Turkey that led to its exporting Jihad to the cost of the Mediterranean (muslim and non-muslim alike) – that to the best of my knowledge was a first for a NATO-member.

    Very well-put. Silke, you’re a gem.

  13. @Millfield

    “Israel and her supporters should insist on a full international investigation into the association of Ergodan and the terrorist IHH and whether Turkey should be disqualified from the OECD.”

    … and from NATO!

    “Bring up the case for the Kurds and remind the world that Turkey still refuses to acknowledge or apologise for the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians”

    … and also genocide of Pontic Greeks, of Kurds, and of Assyrians.

  14. Toko
    thanks and spread the message ;-))) – same to you and lots of others around here – you certainly know how to make a gal feel less alone

    but one question
    – this Heres to Davy which I use for practising purposes has he ever confessed which of the names you call him by he is and/or what the difference in personalities is he expresses via his different names? I don’t think he is very astute at imagining anything – he is more a loving imitator of other people’s idiocies so why not do with just one persona?

    to me he seems singularly childish but if it’s true that while he was in Germany in the 60s he was already grown-up enough to find out we are a “good” people he could already be in the midst of advanced senility.

  15. Christian Zionist
    I wish there were even a slight chance that Turkey could be expelled from NATO as they rightfully should be, but nobody will dare even to bring the subject up and maybe in the realm of big power games they are even right

    – the Turks sit on top of the Dardanelles and nobody wants Russian submarines in the Mediterranean i.e. nobody wants to give Russia more wiggling space for its navy in warm water – now the Black Sea is the only area they have which is open all year around.

    that said maybe the only way to go is that “we the public” start clamouring wherever we can that we want Turkey’s IHH-involvement exposed, examined, investigated, even “goldstoned” in detail

  16. The following may be a glimmer of hope. Although unfortunately he is the EX-PM, hopefully his sane voice will have more influence than the Guardian’s barking.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3906657,00.html

    Ex-Spain PM: If Israel goes down, we all go down

    In Times op-ed, José Maria Aznar asks West to remember Israel its only ally in ‘turbulent’ region

    Ynet Published: 06.17.10, 13:06 / Israel News

    José Maria Aznar, former prime minister of Spain, published an opinion article with the London Times Thursday saying the world must support Israel because “if it goes down, we all go down”.

    Aznar, who has joined the ‘Friends of Israel’ campaign to which David Trimble, a foreign observer taking part in Israel’s flotilla raid probe, also belongs, calls on Europe to refuse to put up with cries to eliminate Israel as part of global Christian-Jewish cooperation.

    “Anger over Gaza is a distraction. We cannot forget that Israel is the West’s best ally in a turbulent region,” Aznar writes of the IDF’s calamitous raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza on May 31.

    “In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the ‘Mavi Marmara’ would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship.”

    Aznar also criticizes Turkey, to which the Marmara belonged, for placing Israel “in an impossible situation” in which it would have to either give up its security or face world condemnation.

    The former prime minister calls on the world to “blow away the red mists of anger” and take a “reasonable and balanced approach” based on the fact that Israel was created by a decision of the UN and therefore unquestionably a legitimate state.

    “Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technology,” he adds.

    However, he says, “62 years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival. Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a moment’s peace.”

    Aznar says the real threat to the region is extreme Islamism, “which sees Israel’s destruction as the fulfillment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony”.

    “Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at large,” he adds.

    Aznar concludes by saying that Israel is the West’s first line of defense against the chaos set to erupt in the Middle East, and therefore must be protected.

    “It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle East,” he writes. Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.”

  17. Am I naive to think that the sane of the world are waking up?

    It was absurd that waves of aggression reached us about our soldiers being brutally beaten within an inch of their lives by hired jihadi mercenaries. It was inconceivable to me that news media all over the world fell for the story that ”peace activists” would behave with such beast savagery and that the people who subscribed to them actually agreed with them. It is still beyond reason that Hamas can be seen positively when we know them for cynical liars and manipulators.

    Perhaps the wheel is turning.

  18. Arabella

    my latests seem to indicate that the wheel is indeed turning

    at least the fact that Turkey/Erdogan praised the hiring and sending off of the jihadi mercenaries from his soil seems to be unable to gain traction.

    Reassuring Turkey that she is still wanted in the “west” seems to become the mantra of the mercenary punditry.

  19. Arabella Meller

    ” It was inconceivable to me that news media all over the world fell for the story that ”peace activists” would behave with such beast savagery ”

    You have missed the point entirely.

    These were not “peace activists” and to suggest they were is an insult to people who advocate non violence. Israel has gained a palpable victory over this ..despite them parachuting their toughest fighters onto a boat in international waters whose crew were armed with sticks catapults and iron bars , killing 9 people…Israel can claim a moral victory…these same fighters who helped kill hundreds of civilians last year are somehow the victims.

    Funny old world.

  20. Berchmans

    …these same fighters who helped kill hundreds of civilians last year are somehow the victims…

    Were the victims your friends – the “fighters” of Hamas who are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians last year?!

    You must be confused maybe drunk or tired.

  21. Davy to Arabella

    Mr. Heres to Davy Berchmans would you mind explaining?
    you read to me as if are you practicing for a stand-up modern poetry competition?

  22. peterthehungarian

    ” You must be confused maybe drunk or tired. ”

    Im a talented boy…I can post when I am both drunk and tired and still make your posts look stodgy and hackneyed…. it is a shame there are no slow moving pro Palestinians here that you could have a go at without getting yer beam end booted every time.

  23. Davy
    how about taking some bragging lessons?

    I know a good teacher or two
    only they know they are good and so I am afraid they charge like mad

  24. Berchmans

    I can post when I am both drunk and tired and still make your posts look stodgy and hackneyed

    Like your post about Anne Frank? BTW you couldn’t defeat a mentally challenged amoeba in a debate.

    it is a shame there are no slow moving pro Palestinians here

    You really consider yourself a pro-Palestinian?!

    Luckily this is only an illusion, it would mean the end of the Palestinian people… You are pro-Palestinian exectly as the Pope is a porn-star…
    I’m pro-Palestinian helping the poor guys to get rid of their islamofascist rulers, you are just a garden variety antisemite.

  25. did it again Peter – only I’m not so sure about the pope and porn

    there is something about this being hung up on alleinseligmachend (alone blessed making) and denigrating of life’s physical pleasures which makes me wonder

  26. Barkman,

    ” it is a shame there are no slow moving pro Palestinians here that you could have a go at without getting yer beam end booted every time.”

    So where did you disappear from the “Competing with the Saudis” thread? Or all the other threads in which you turned yourself into a joke? Maybe you should give us a break and focus on poetry in the IDF’s praise or go and check out where Nessie is hiding.