The Guardian: Delegitimizing Israel, one image at a time

This hideous essay by Lalia El-Haddad – and the accompanying photo – appeared in CiF yesterday.  El-Haddad wrote:

Using the phrase “prison camp” to describe Gaza…is an understatement and even a misnomer. Prisoners are guilty of a crime, yet they are guaranteed access to certain things – electricity and water, even education – where Gazans are not. What crime did Gazans commit, except, to quote my late grandmother, “being born Palestinian”?

Of course, El-Haddad doesn’t mention that Hamas, the government that a plurality of her citizens voted for in 2006, openly calls for the annihilation of Jews, quotes (in its very founding charter) verbatim from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, has launched thousands of missiles into Israeli towns, and continues to use scant resources to import more and more sophisticated weaponry in order to eliminate the “Zionist enemy”.

No, for writers like El-Haddad, Israel’s guilt and cruelty is simply immutable – a hateful narrative that the editors at the Guardian are all too happy to allow.

There was, however, one small problem.  The photo – clearly meant to reinforce the characterization of Gaza as a prison camp – was taken in Gaza back in 2005, BEFORE Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the territory.

CiF eventually removed the image (without explanation), but their editors’ initial willingness to use imagery meant to evoke such  an ugly calumny says quite a bit about their seemingly visceral hostility towards Israel. A picture, indeed, says a thousand words.

Categories: Guardian

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20 replies »

  1. Even before “disengagement” in 2005, most of Gaza was in the hands of the palestinian authority. Arafat and his goons took over the Gaza Strip in the summer of 1994.

  2. Good article.

    Here’s what I put up – wonder of wonders, it’s still there!


    5 Aug 2010, 5:17PM

    “Gaza was never a place with a quantitative food shortage; it is a place where many people lack the means to buy food and other goods because of a closure policy whose tenets are “no development, no prosperity, and no humanitarian crisis””

    Ms El Hadad you fail to make your argument. Why be disingenuous? Tell your readers why the people lack the means to buy food – tell them how much of a mark up of the goods coming through to supply the luxurious malls and recreational facilities in Gaza, Hamas takes for itself? Tell them the truth, that Hamas cynically uses these poor people as propaganda. Tell them how the “democratic” Hamas treats anybody who does not toe the line.

    Hamas makes no secret of the fact that its aim of Jihad is to destroy Israel, which, whether you like it or not is a sovereign nation. If you were a country whose population was at risk of terrorism and intended violent murder from its neighbour, any way it could perpetrate it, even using women and children, would you allow free movement of the neighbour’s citizens into your country? Would you compromise with a country that has sent 10,000 rockets into its neighbour’s territory? Does it not make sense and is it not logical for this violence to end, so that once more there will be free movement in and out of Gaza? The West Bank does not have the same problems. It has a now burgeoning economy for its inhabitants – why do you think this is?

    The Palestinian people have done nothing to deserve such treatment by the people who elected it – and that is the fact here, not whether it is Israel’s fault that Gaza is a “prison camp”.

  3. Eliyahu, I’ve read about that. Rather a lament that, while Gaza was never a great place, it used to have a lot of life and bustle about it.

    Adam, I read that awful article this morning and was pleased to see how many commenters were putting that woman straight. I haven’t looked back yet.

  4. Judging from her output, Laila El-Haddad is of course herself a Hamas supporter, and probably she voted for them — unless she was staying in the US already when the election was held.
    But it’s almost funny that they used this old picture — maybe they miss the Gaza settlements? Imagine how many articles could be churned out about how the settlements make it harder for some Gazans to reach the shopping mall, or the water park, or some other recreational facilities!

  5. That would have to be one of the dumbest articles that the Guardian commissioned,by a provocative author that fit the Guardian’s lowering standards.Thanks to a poster called “saywhatusee” who pointed it out that it was photo shopped it was taken off.

    In fact even blind Freddie and his blind guide dog could see that it was photo shopped.The CiF editor wrote We are not aware that the photo has been altered but we will take it up with the EPA.

    In future the “CiF editor should consult with blind Freddie and his blind guide dog before he puts up photo shopped photos.

    See how we sink lower and lower,than a snakes ass.

  6. BTW they replaced Laila Al-Haddad’s photo too where she looks like she managed to put on weight when staying in starving Gaza.

  7. This could be a good business proposition for Laila Al-Hadad,if you want to lose weight come to starving Gaza,you might lose a few more other things as well,in the process,but what the hell.

  8. Its strange how she wrote about this “prison camp” which she seems to be able to enter and leave at will. She tried her best to show how awful things are there, but little glimpses of the reality kept creeping in.

    For example, it might be that that is the only place she has been able to get access to the Internet:

    “During the eight hours of electricity we get each day, I logged on to the internet and browsed the English-language papers.”

    (And a few more rockets on Ashkelon and they might not get 8 hours either, if Israel has any sense at all).

    “Naysayers and their ilk have been providing us with the same “evidence” that Gaza is burgeoning: the markets are full of produce, fancy restaurants abound, there are pools and parks and malls … all is well in the most isolated place on earth – Gaza, the “prison camp” that is not.”

    Exactly – “Gaza, the “prison camp” that is not” and there really are well-fed, wealthy people there driving imported cars and shopping and spending their days in parks and pools, and people not so wealthy being fed by UNRWA while millions starve elsewhere in the world.

  9. This author and her article are so full of blatant lies exaggerations,and is just plain nasty,which fits in well the Guardian’s outlook on Israel.

    A good job was done on demolishing her article,the Guardian had to take off that photo shopped picture,And the usual Anti-Israel crowd were floundering and were on the left foot most of the time.

    A concerted effort is needed to demolish these anti-Israeli articles and posts,it’s very easy to do.Don’t apologize,attack instead.

  10. This is what the CiF Editor had to say:


    5 Aug 2010, 2:36PM
    Staff Staff

    The phot used in the caption looks as if it has been photoshopped.

    saywhatusee: We are not aware that the photo has been altered but we will take that up with the epa (European Pressphoto Agency) and you are welcome to contact them yourself if you wish.

    On checking the date of the photograph, we have found that it was taken in 2005 and we are removing it for that reason.

  11. “On checking the date of the photograph, we have found that it was taken in 2005 and we are removing it for that reason.”

    In other words, Guardian group-think brought about a situation in which nobody on the editorial team was capable of saying “Hey guys, that can’t be right; there haven’t been any Israelis in Gaza for 5 years now”. And obviously the resident ‘Middle East Expert’ must have been in the loo at the time….

  12. But I am sure no one in the gaurdian will have the basic integrity to hold Fatah or Hamas to any blame as even their own websites has.

  13. Good piece on the nefarious and disgusting guardian.
    “…, but their editors’ initial willingness to use imagery meant to evoke such an ugly calumny says quite a bit about their seemingly visceral hostility towards Israel.” …

    … I happen to think, and hate being repetitive or sounding hysteric, but still, actually I think that this analysed phenomenon says quite a lot far from “only” their visceral hostility towards Israel, but basically their ingrained (innate?) antisemitism as well, as far as I’m concerned.

  14. AKUS, “naysayers” to what? The lies told by the likes of al Hadad and passed of as truth by the Groan? It seems that Viner is part of the group delusion at the Guardian which thinks it can tell its readership any old guff and expect to be believed.

    And of course it is. They must be sitting on their brains.

    Why is this Hamas-nik writing for CiF anyway?

  15. benorr, suspend your judgement – now that Viner is in charge, and given the readers’ editor’s tenuous grasp of what a fact actually is, things stand to get very much dumber.

    We should be glad of it, actually. The dumber they become the easier they will be to undermine.

  16. CiF eventually removed the image (without explanation)

    By the time I read the article the photo had already been removed. By chance while scrolling down I saw a post from the editors.

    5 Aug 2010, 2:36PM

    On checking the date of the photograph, we have found that it was taken in 2005 and we are removing it for that reason.

    So technically they did provide an explanation – although it’s hardly a satisfactory one.
    What they don’t refer to, however, is why they ploughed through the archives looking specifically for an image that would lend the article some credibility.

    It’s a great photo in itself – but it shouldn’t be abused for political purposes.

  17. There was, however, one small problem. The photo – clearly meant to reinforce the characterization of Gaza as a prison camp – was taken in Gaza back in 2005, BEFORE Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the territory.

    Great expose.

    It must really annoy the Editorial Management Coven, (EMC), to see their atrocities displayed so publicly. Subscribers and advertisers should be informed about this and other Guardian sloppiness all directed at trying to de-legitimatize the one Western Liberal Democracy in the Middle East.