Ron Prosor, Israel’s Embassador to the UK, blasted the Guardian in a Huffington Post essay yesterday for its Palestine Papers series, adding to the chorus of fierce criticism leveled at the paper from across the political spectrum.
In the piece, entitled “The Guardian’s Assault on Peace in the Middle East”, Prosor went on the offensive from the opening passage:
Never has a British broadsheet so openly served the agenda of Middle Eastern extremism. The Guardian must be commended for its transparency — readers can no longer doubt its affinity for Hamas. Al-Jazeera, Qatar’s equivalent of the BBC World Service, appointed the newspaper as its western gatekeeper for a cache of leaked Palestinian Authority documents. The self-appointed guardian of Palestinian truth has maximized its opportunity to pledge allegiance to the hard-line, national fantasies which have crippled the Palestinian cause for decades.
Prosor, echoing criticism we’ve made about the intellectual bubble inhabited by editors at the Guardian which allows them to express views romanticizing extremism with the comfort of knowing that they’ll never have to deal with the consequences of such political incitement, also said:
From his London salon one senior columnist bemoaned the “decay of what in Yasser Arafat’s heyday was an authentic national liberation movement.” For him, it seems, Palestinian authenticity can only be achieved through the massacre of athletes at the Munich Olympics, the hijacking of planes or the suicide bombing of civilians in shopping malls and pizza parlors. In his eyes, negotiations are an affront to the romanticized fetishism of “resistance.”
Noting the Guardian editorial which referred to Palestinian moderation as “craven”, Prosor observed:
Readers might struggle to notice a substantive difference between the paper’s editorial line and the opinion piece by a Hamas spokesman splashed across its pages two days later. In fact, the newspaper’s criticism of the Palestinian negotiators was so severe it risked out-Hamasing Hamas.
Hamas and its Iranian backers hope the unrest will spread to the West Bank. A media axis between Doha and London seems determined to grant their wish. As David Landau, a commentator way on the left of the Israeli spectrum put it, the Guardian and Al-Jazeera “intended to poison the Palestinians against their leaders.
In his final passage, Prosor noted:
The Hamas Charter states that, “Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” The most destructive aspect of the Guardian‘s assault on the peace process is to concur [with that statement].”
That Prosor, a career Israeli Diplomat not known for unleashing such rhetorical assaults, felt the need to dress down the Guardian in such a blunt manner speaks volumes about the erosion of respect for the paper which (former editor and owner) C.P. Scott once had such high ideals for.
As Scott once observed:
“[A newspaper’s] primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted.”
And, he noted further:
Even editorial comment has its responsibilities: “It is well to be frank; it is even better to be fair”
Is there really any question at this point that the Guardian’s craven submission to some of the most dangerous ideologies has eroded even the veneer of remaining loyal to Scott’s high-minded journalistic ideals?