Guardian readers respond to CiF essay by Israeli Ambassador: Defend Hamas, Demonize Israel

Ron Prosor’s essay in CiF“Before We Talk to Hamas: No missiles means no blockade. When Israelis feel secure, concessions will follow. It’s that simple” – proposed that for real peace to occur, Israel has to feel secure that any territorial withdrawal, and other such concessions, wont’ be met by more missiles, terrorism, and incitement.  He noted, what should be obvious:

“[Hamas] must renounce violence, recognise Israel and abide by previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Prosor (Israel’s Ambassador to the UK) then pointed out that:

“At no point has Hamas satisfied these conditions – or indicated any intention to do so.”

Prosor noted:

“The Hamas charter advocates the destruction of the state of Israel, the genocidal slaughter of Jews and the imposition of an Islamic state governed by sharia law. When an organisation’s constitution venerates your murder, it is difficult to know how negotiations should begin – perhaps with a discussion of the flowers for one’s funeral.”

He continued:

“This week marks the fifth anniversary of Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. We withdrew every Israeli soldier and citizen, gambling on the formula of land for peace. Instead of peace and progress we received missiles and misery.”

He then observed:

“Our experience following the Gaza pull-out has scarred the Israeli public. Hamas’s missiles wounded the concept of land for peace, increasing Israeli fears and skepticism.”

He concluded:

“When Israelis feel secure concessions follow. Last weekend Israel dismantled the security barrier in Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb that came under heavy Palestinian sniper fire during the second intifada. If in Gilo no sniper fire means no wall, so in Gaza no missiles would mean no blockade. It is that simple.”

Yes, it really is that simple – except, that is, for the Guardian’s fellow travelers.  The Guardian printed several letters in response to Prosor’s reasonable argument.  They are really a sight to be seen.

Richard Horton

First, was a letter by Dr. Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet – a highly politicized medical journal.  Lancet, it was noted, in a devastating expose by Honest Reporting,  reported on Lancet’s multi-article series on Palestinian health written by Israel boycotters that went way beyond accepted medical norms.

His letter contains passages, attempting to refute Prosor’s essay, that are simply breathtaking.  He says, apparently with a straight face (and I’m quoting him exactly and in context):

“Gaza is NOT a terrorist enclave”

Does it really need to be pointed out that Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Does he not know since 2001, more than 8,600 rockets have hit southern Israel, nearly 6,000 of them since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in August 2005;  Is he unaware that HAMAS receives funding, weapons and training from Iran, and has continued to stockpile more and more sophisticated weapons? Does it really need pointing out again that Hamas’ founding charter quotes the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Ziyon‘, as proof that the Jews are indeed trying to take over the world?  Is he really unaware of this?

He then states:

“In the classrooms I visited [in Gaza], there was no incitement against Israel. Instead, there was pride in being Palestinian.”

Hmm.  No indoctrinating children to hate Jews?  Really?

Yeah, I know they’re just expressing their pride.

Jenny Tonge

Then there’s a letter by Jenny Tonge, Lib Dem MP.  Tonge, in January 2004, said, of Palestinian suicide bombers:

“If I had to live in that situation – and I say that advisedly – I might just consider becoming one myself.”

She also has said:

“The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party.”

Tonge was also recently fired from her position as party health spokesperson for urging a probe into claims that IDF soldiers harvested organs in Haiti following the earthquake there.

So, as you can see, she’s clearly the perfect candidate, for the Guardian, to provide a thoughtful and sober reply to Prosor’s essay.

Her letter, in fact, delegitimizing the entire Zionist enterprise.

“What is worth commenting upon, however, is his assertion that “Gaza was a golden opportunity tragically missed”. A much greater missed opportunity was the creation of Israel itself. The gift of land, backed by support from the US in particular, was a chance for Israel’s new citizens to create a land of milk and honey for all the people of Palestine, living in peace and prosperity. With their policies of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, together with harassment and ethnic cleansing of the remaining Palestinians, the Zionists have squandered that chance.”

Dr. Robert Boyce

Boyce, a signatory to  the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) declaration to boycott Israel, goes beyond merely criticizing the settlements, but questions the legitimacy of even Israel’s 1949 borders:

“First, why should the 1967 green line be treated as a suitable frontier between the two communities when it means that Israel is left in possession of huge swaths of territory acquired illegally?”

Oh, I see, so even the borders established at the 1949 armistice, after Israel defended its very existence from 6 Arab armies bent on destroying the Jewish state at the moment of its birth, are, for Boyce, not legitimate.  He finishes by expressing sympathy for Palestinian  refugees by “Israel’s ethnic cleansing in 1948 and 1967”.  Of course, it needs to be noted, that, in both conflicts (’48 and ’67), Israel was literally fighting for its very survival after coming under attack by Arab forces who openly stated their goals as nothing less than the annihilation of the Jewish state.

On the day that Israel declared its independence (May 15, 1948), Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, at Cairo press conference, declared “jihad”, a holy war. He said that the Arab states rejected partition and intended to set up a “United State of Palestine.”

He then stated:

“This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”.

In the weeks leading up to the Six Day War, Arab leaders repeatedly threatened Israel with annihilation.

“Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight . . . The mining of Sharm el Sheikh is a confrontation with Israel. Adopting this measure obligates us to be ready to embark on a general war with Israel.” – Nasser, May 27, 1967

The gross distortion of Israeli history, and obscene moral inversion – which suggests that Israel is guilty of some sort of original sin for the mere act of defending its very existence – continues unabated at the Guardian.  Such narratives, advanced in news stories, op-eds, reader comments, and ‘letters to the editor’, are, of course, typically devoid of even the most rudimentary historical context or even the pretense of even-handedness.

Yup, just another day at the world’s leading liberal voice, where facts continue to be tricky things, but the routine demonization of the democratic Jewish state is so simple.

7 replies »

  1. @Richard Tebboth – how quaint in response to the vitriolic anti-Israel outpourings from the disingenuous British Intelligensia linking to an article by the similarly truth and fact challenged Gideon Levy who outdoes even the outlandish Jenny Tonge in his hatred for the Jewish State. If Mr Levy had had his way we would now have all been shipped off to Poland etc although what he would like to happen to those of us unfortunate enough to have hailed from Arab lands he has not yet opined.

  2. Even by Tonge’s standards, that bit about “A much greater missed opportunity was the creation of Israel itself” is barmy.

    Her potted history of the conflict only makes sense if you’re extremely selective with events. Oh, hang on …

  3. I think what Horton means is that the Jewish collective embodied in the state of Israel is a legitimate target for destruction. An ideology fuelled by eliminationist anti-Semitism is obviously completely normal – and indeed progressive, in his world view and therefore the actions and intentions of Hamas cannot be defined as murder or terror.

    To draw a historical analogy based on his banal defence of Hamas’ indoctrination of the young, are we to assume that Dr Goebbels was a benign and well-intentioned disseminator of the truth because of the good manners and angelic features of his children?

    Horton, together with the repugnant Jenny Tongue personify the new anti-Semitism; sanctimonious bigots, oblivious to their own visceral prejudices and convinced of their own humanitarian righteousness.

  4. You were asking on the Happy Birthday thread what this site does well and should continue doing – this iarticle/blog is a perfect example.

    I read those letters and felt the hate and single-mindedness of the letter writers and of the Guardian. How to respond? Send the Guardian a letter? This, here, is the response.

  5. More on Baroness Jenny Tonge. Most of this information can be found on Wikipedia:


    • In January 2004, while still a Member of Parliament, Tonge was asked to step down as children’s spokeswoman by Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy after saying of Palestinian suicide bombers: “If I had to live in that situation – and I say that advisedly – I might just consider becoming one myself.” Tonge refused to apologize.
    • Tonge said in 2006: “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party.” In response, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell chastised Tonge, saying her remarks were “unacceptable” and had “clear anti-Semitic connotations.”
    • On 12 February 2010, she was sacked by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg after lending credence to allegations of organ harvesting by Israeli Defense Force medical teams after the 2010 Haiti earthquake by suggesting an independent inquiry should be established. Nick Clegg said the comments were “wrong, distasteful and provocative” and dismissed her from her post. He said she had apologized “unreservedly” for any offence she had caused. The allegations were originally printed by the news website The Palestine Telegraph, of which Tonge is a patron.
    (n.b.: Baroness Jenny Tonge has since withdrawn her patronage of The Palestine Telegraph after the paper posted a video of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke claiming that Israel is a terrorist threat to America. See –


    • She trained to be a doctor at University College Hospital, gaining an MB and BS in 1964. She met her future husband, Dr Keith Tonge, while dissecting a corpse in 1959 and married him on 23 May 1964 in Wednesbury.

    Really. I’m not making this last point up.

  6. “She met her future husband, Dr Keith Tonge, while dissecting a corpse in 1959 and married him on 23 May 1964 in Wednesbury.” Presumably in the chapel crypt.