Guardian again legitimizes voices openly justifying terrorism

In an earlier post, Tom Wilson asked if Guardian columnist Karma Nabulsi was implicitly calling for the Palestinians to reject negotiations and return to another violent intifada.

However, the commentary (by Ted Honderich, a professor of philosophy at University College London) published in today’s Guardian “Letters” section, represents something more than merely an implicit justification of killing Israeli civilians.

It should be noted that this is not a reader comment below the line, which could be characterized as merely a failure by CiF moderators.  The above letter represents a decision by Guardian editors to publish, and therefore give license to, an explicit justification of terrorism – a call to violence against Israeli men, women, and children.

As Israelinurse noted in her previous post, the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland dismissed concerns about the potential injurious effects of publishing the “Palestine Papers” by stating, “The consequences are for others to manage.”

However, those of us who actually live in the region and don’t have the luxury of seeing the Israeli-Palestinian (and Israeli-Islamist) conflict as a mere abstraction – those who must, and will, bear the burden of such toxic ideas – simply can not afford to be as flippant as Freedland.

The justification of terrorism found on the pages of the Guardian is quite simply incompatible with even the broadest definition of progressive thought – something editors may wish to consider as they continue to express their increasingly ludicrous aim to be the world’s leading liberal voice.

16 replies »

  1. May I suggest that Ted Honderich lead by example, strap a bomb to himself and go for it—–it seems many who support said position are willing to fight until the last Palestinian is dead from their comfortable chair at UC London

    On a brighter side, fatigue is setting in at CIF

    Several clever posts on recent articles:

    Leaked papers reveal some sort of Middle East conflict .
    Devasting documents show Israel and Palestine have not be been getting along for a while, claims first 97 pages of the Guardian

    I’m getting confused now. Is seems as though Israel is getting criticized for not accepting an offer the PA made even though the PA had no right to make it and Hamas and the Palestiniam people wouldn’t accept it even if they had. Is that about right?

  2. Isn’t dissemination of incitement of terrorism a crime in UK law? Could it possibly be that both Ted Honderich and the Guardian have laid themselves open to prosecution?

  3. Since the Guardian obviously can choose which letters it wishes to publish which it refuses to, the publication of the Hondrich letter can only be interpreted as approval of his position.

  4. I wonder how the Guardian would feel if CiF Watch published an article calling for the lynching by Israelis of Guardian journalists?

  5. Professor Norman Geras has an excellent post about this:

    Honderich @ the Guardian


    Since, as is not in dispute, terrorism in this context means the random blowing up of Israelis on buses, in bars and in other public places, what we have here is a well-known philosopher justifying the killing of, among other people, Israeli children. Of course, by publishing his letter the Guardian doesn’t endorse Honderich’s view. But it could also not have published it, perfectly legitimately, without this being an act of censorship. I’d wager that a letter justifying murder on the streets of Britain from a correspondent of the far right wouldn’t have found space on the Guardian letters page. But terrorism against Israeli civilians, that is something else – a now accepted current of left-liberal opinion. I mean ‘accepted’ in the sense that it is held even by many who don’t share it at least to deserve a hearing. Since the Guardian makes a habit of providing a platform for Hamas, its view on the killing of Israeli civilians not in serious doubt, I suppose there’s no cause for surprise that they should print Honderich’s letter. Cause merely for revulsion.

  6. I’m confused – who is the “our” in “our selected leaders of the Palestinians”?

    could it be that the dear prof is suffering from something?

  7. One thing that keeps getting missed in all the noise is that what the Palestinians supposedly offered actually falls quite far short of the obligations they agreed to under the Oslo Accords and the Road Map. They AGREED to negotiate realistic borders. They AGREED to halt terrorism. They also agreed to stop incitement, which they haven’t done. But now that it appears they actually thought about living up to some of their obligations, the world is praising them for their generosity, while their own people are horrified. So what were all those agreements about?

  8. Just saw a comment by a poster over at the Wall Street Journal calling the Guardian:
    “the British Funded Palestinian Negotiation Support Unit(NSU)”

    Maybe thats the “our” the Prof was referring to, Silke?

  9. I have noted that a lot of professors express rather foolish views, especially professors of phoolosophy. So Honderich’s blood thirst is not all that surprising.

    Now, Silke, when Honderich writes: “our selected leaders of the Palestinians” maybe he means that “we”, presumably the West, chose the leaders of the Fatah/PLO/Palestinian Authority to be the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs. But Abu Mazen & Abu `Ala`a et al. have been part of the Fatah/PLO/PA faction since its beginnings and that faction has been murdering Israeli civilians since the mid-1960s before the Six Day War. In that kind of mass murder they preceded Hamas. Now if Honderich is right then the West was aiding the mass murderers of Jewish civilians since the mid-1960s. Hence, if Honderich is right, then the West –or certain Western powers– has been supporting what he supports and advocates for about 45 years. But if the West is imperialist, as he would probably agree, then the Fatah/PLO/PA faction has been supported by imperialists. Now since Abu `Ala`a, Abu Mazen, arafat et Cie have been leaders of the faction from the beginnings, then they were selected then –according to Honderich. That is, according to Honderich, they would have to have been selected at least by the mid-1960s, since they have been leaders since then. Now is all that too hard for Honderich’s logical ability as a phoolosopher to comprehend? If all that is so, what objection can Honderich then have to the West?

  10. The Guardian brings you all your favourites from the people’s Observer every day of the week! Fearless in its defence of the exploited, never will the Socialist movement’s battling newssheet or its loyal readership countenance half measures! Terror is self defence! Martyrdom is victory! Freedom and bread!

  11. Eliyahu
    I’ll appropriate that gem and I can’t promise that I’ll always h/t you – wonderful


    and your explanation is so gorgeous it should make even the head of a “phoolosopher” swirl – it sure got mine swinging …

    on the other hand I have recently discovered John Gray which makes me a bit soft-hearted when it comes to them – as if one swallow would be good enough to prove that summer is for real. – ctrl-F for Palestine