An article in Al Jazeera?


Given that Arabic is only the fifth most widely used language in the world, and counted as the sixth most influential language, it’s curious that the Guardian has chosen to now offer selected commentary in that language.

Of course, in light of the Guardian’s collaboration with Al-Jazeera in their “Palestine Papers” series and, more importantly, possesses a political orientation which is often as overtly hostile to Israel as the Arab media, their decision shouldn’t come as a shock.

While we don’t know if the Guardian plans to increase their Arabic content, we’ll continue to monitor the new site and keep you posted.

(For those who may be unfamiliar with the virulent anti-Semitism routinely peddled in the Arabic media, we’d strongly recommend visiting the sites of Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI.)

Categories: Guardian

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45 replies »

  1. Why the suspicion and general wary tone? The Guardian now publishes in two of Israel’s official languages. Good news for balance across the ME surely?

  2. Thom – posts that included Hebrew (even transliterated into English) were routinely deleted by the Guardian for infringing on their community standards, which stated that posts had to be in English.

    And now, apparently, Arabic.

  3. Wow! I knew the Guardian was the most virulently anti-Israel newspaper in the western world, but this brings it to a whole new level. As far as I’m concerned, they could just as well publish the entire paper in Arabic and not bother with an English language version since they have been pandering to the Arab world with their hatred and distorted reporting about Israel for years. Considering the pro-democracy movement sweeping the Arab middle east in the past few weeks, however, I doubt that even the Arabs would stand for the kind of grossly distorted “journalism” typically seen in the Guardian any more.

  4. Why the wonder? Just recently we were told that the Guardian was in all kinds of financial trouble. We do not hear that now. Maybe like HRW they beat a path to the oil rich Gulf States or even that bastion of liberal democracy Saudia Arabia whose leaders were perhaps only too pleased to help out a pro-Arab anti-Israel newspaper which puppetted their own state run newspapers – might also explain the close ties with Al-Jazeera?

  5. Well seeing as the Guardian and Al-Jazzera have a common interest in destroying Israel and spreading dis-information Israel it only seems like a common goal of the Guardian board.

    They both leaked the Palestinian Papers in an attempt to damage Israel. I wonder is there a way if anyone wants to find out who is investing in the Guardian and if there aint someone Muslim? It seems to me that might be a good case. Maybe its time to start bombarding the scumbags and unleashing the dirt on the people on the board at the Guardian.

  6. @John Brooks can you prove that either AJ or the Guardian have a ‘common interest in destroying Israel’? Both media groups adopt an anti-occupation stance, however, I see no evidence that either attempts to de-legitimise the state of Israel. If you have some evidence of this, would love to see it?

  7. Thom,

    Congratulations on reading your first article on CiF Watch. And now…

    “If you have some evidence [that the Guardian attempts to delegitimize the state of Israel -Ed.], would love to see it?”

    …go read the rest of the site, for crying out loud!

  8. @ziontruth no, read most of them by now, and I genuinely can see no evidence of either of these organisations attempting to de-legitimise that state of Israel within 1967 borders. Again, rather than simply stating that this has happened, link to the offending article. Prove your position.

  9. Oh. My. Gosh.

    I could give a long list that would only be scratching the surface. I could name just the egregious example of the Guardian giving Honderich space to ponder the “virtues” of suicide-bombing operations. I could do a whole lot of other things. But what’s the use? Just what’s the use? Thom here says he’s read most articles on CiF Watch and still sees no evidence of delegitimization of the entire Jewish State. What further admission do we need that there is none so blind as those who won’t see?

    CiF Watchers, I’m leaving this hopeless case to you to contend with. As for me, I take it as further proof of my thesis that making Israel’s case to the world with reason, logic and evidence is an exercise in futility, and that the Jewish State’s way out of its bad image lies in forcing the hostile media outlets to trumpet our point of view, which it will hopefully do soon, when it becomes the Jewish Republic and acts in full capacity as the enforcer of the Jewish right of self-determination.

  10. @zionwatch It’s enjoyable to read you throwing your arms up in despair-claiming my position is so ineffably absurd that it doesn’t warrant an evidence based response.
    Again, I ask the question, where are the specific stories/editorial pieces, from either organisation which suggest that they institutionally support the removal of the Israeli state?
    I suppose what this will ultimately boil down to is whether the kind of people who comment here subscribe to the maximalist definitions of the ‘new’ antisemitism-I assume they do, although happy to be corrected on that one. This blog in general seems to act as a hysterical proponent of this agenda, which in my view only damages the necessary and already difficult fight against antisemitism and racism in general.

  11. @cornbeefpiledhigh in all honesty, I haven’t read much of the Guardian’s coverage of the Palestine papers as I’m trawling through them myself. To what point was your question leading?

  12. Thom
    you may have a point or you may have not.

    But why does your argument remind me so much of those who will claim endlessly that Ahmadinejad is mistranslated, that hanging a woman instead of stoning her should be regarded as progress and all the other stuff in that corner?

    If you have a more effective way of getting at the Guardian for its habit of heinous slandering, why not propose it around here instead of bashing people who translate the stuff into their own words with a lot more justification and good reasons than you can come up with for your own “argument”?

  13. Thom,
    Perhaps you have missed the articles in CiF about the two-state solution being dead because of Israel’s fault. Or the articles that highlight every possible infringement of human rights by Israel without ever referring to the reasons for a particular Israeli policy. Or maybe the lack of criticism of Hamas, or the cheerleading for Hezbollah has not caught your eye. Or the “community standards” policy that deletes pro Israel posts for no apparent reason. Or the remarks of BellaM. Perhaps you have not seen the cartoons of Stephen Bell. If Mr. Bell can equate Israel with Nazis by showing Gaza as a concentration camp ringed with barbed wire partially in the shape of a star of David, but delete any comments about the rulers of Gaza being like Nazis, then there is reason to believe the Guardian sees events in Israel with a view that Israel is a uniquely evil state. Their solution for Israel to be a decent state requires Israel to not defend itself from the people who wish to destroy it. Hence, Israel would not exist.

  14. @silke I have no idea what you’re talking about, if you could re-frame what follows below, I’d be grateful, and I’ll happily respond.

    “If you have a more effective way of getting at the Guardian for its habit of heinous slandering, why not propose it around here instead of bashing people who translate the stuff into their own words with a lot more justification and good reasons than you can come up with for your own “argument”

    The one thing in here I do understand is that I am not proposing ‘getting’ at the Guardian any more than I propose ‘getting’ at the Daily Mail or indeed the Jerusalem Post, two newspapers that both give voice to some of the most hateful characters from the right, (think Melanie Philips and Charles Krauthammer-syndicated from Washington Post in fairness). My original question was;

    “where are the specific stories/editorial pieces, from either organisation which suggest that they institutionally support the removal of the Israeli state?”

    @wearenotblind really enjoyed your inductive reasoning. To clarify, I do not agree with everything the Guardian says, I do not agree with everything Al Jazeera fact, I don’t agree with everything anybody says-I do however, see no evidence that Guardian supports the destruction of the Israeli state- to claim that because it disagrees with certain Israeli policies which you claim are entirely necessary for the maintainence of the state of Israel ipso facto, the Guardian is supporting the destruction of Israel is utter nonsense.

  15. thanks Thom for the LOL

    you are who I thought you were, i.e. “catch me if you can” or “ambiguousity and disingenuity is what I am good at”.

    For your own sake and sanity I hope you at least agree with everything you say.

    and thanks for answering the part of my previous even you managed to understand …

    and I had such hopes that you might have one, at least one, original thought

  16. @silke no, clearly no original thinking here-I’m not sure if you think that attacking my originality of thought is somehow offensive to me?

    Still have no idea what you’re talking about. In amongst the spelling mistakes and generally awful syntax, your argument flipped between you assuming I was a cultural relativist, something do with Iran, to thinking I should “have a more effective way of getting at the Guardian for its habit of heinous slandering.” Ignored the first point as I’ve made no comments regarding this, and addressed the second. What more would you like?

  17. Thom – if Al Jazeera and the Guardian both run on an ‘anti-occupation’ platform as you claim, why don’t they have anything to say about the take-over of Lebanon by a foreign backed theocratic dictatorship?

  18. Thom, all you have to do is type in “One-State Solution”, “Delegitimization”, “anti-Zionism”, “Nazi Analogies”, “Terrorism”, or “Apartheid” into our search engine (or search those tags), and you can read hundreds of posts on the myriad of ways the Guardian gives license to (or outright endorses) narratives which undermine the right of Israel to exist. Or, you can read a piece I recently wrote for The Jewish News about the specific topic of delegitimization.

  19. @Israelinurse really, is that a genuine question?

    Are you arguing that neither broadcaster ever reports on Lebanon, or doesn’t report it in the way you just outlined?

  20. Thom: In amongst the spelling mistakes and generally awful syntax, How many languages do you speak read and write perfectly? Would you dare debate in public in a foreign language as Silke does? I would count your comment as an ad hominem remark, always the mark of a loser.

    “where are the specific stories/editorial pieces, from either organisation which suggest that they institutionally support the removal of the Israeli state? True. Ah how true. Nobody who has not specifically stated a position in so many words holds that position. That the Guardian supports Hamas very openly and that Hamas’s charter calls for the annihilation of Israel must be overlooked because the Guardian itself didn’t use those words.

  21. Israelinurse

    if Al Jazeera and the Guardian both run on an ‘anti-occupation’ platform as you claim, why don’t they have anything to say about the take-over of Lebanon by a foreign backed theocratic dictatorship?

    Or the slaughter in Darfur. The BBC estimated 350,000 dead in 7 years of conflict. Women and children amongst the casualties. Huge numbers when compared to the IP conflict.

    Why isn’t Syria given the same treatment as Mubarak in Egypt?

    Why does the Guardian emphasize casualties inflicted accidentally by coalition forces in Iraq and de-emphasize the huge number of casualties caused by inter-ethnic /Muslim fighting in Iraq.

    Why is the Guardian so interested in transparency from Governments in their foreign dealings yet does not publish the minutes of managerial meetings at the Guardian itself? Are we not entitled to know?

  22. @Adam Levick thanks for the post, appreciate it. Having read your article, I am still not convinced that any of the evidence you give suggest that the Guardian has ever suggested that Israel has no right to exist. All of the evidence you point to in that piece regards comments of Israeli occupation of lands captured in 67. Is it possible therefore for you and this blog in general to distinguish between reporting or comment critical of Israeli actions towards it’s lands occupied since 1967 (which much, nearly all of the world) considers occupied and the land which (much, nearly all of the world) considers to be the sovereign state of Israel?

  23. @Margie in Tel Aviv. The answer to your first question is two (nearly perfectly, although it depends on the day). Secondly, my apologies, it was an abrupt and rude remark made in spite in response @silke’s deeply condescending tone in the previous posts (do read them and make your own judgement on that). I shouldn’t have risen to this and retract that comment.

    Again, I seek proof that the Guardian ‘supports’ Hamas. If supporting it is referring to it as a democratically elected government, then clearly statements of fact are now considered tacit support. Do please show me evidence of how the Guardian ‘supports’ Hamas (and please here, do differentiate between how it might ‘support’ residents of Gaza and how it explicitly supports Hamas).

  24. thanks Margie

    no daring on my part is necessary – I have spent most of my life in multi-lingual company and thus take Thom’s attempt at ridiculing my language skills as a huge compliment i.e. he doesn’t know enough about conversations among multi-linguals to detect my native language (don’t tell him, let’s see whether he’ll take the bait)

    which exposes his wannabe-sophistication around here as what it is: presumption. By experience I know that his kind will always dodge the debate when they become cornered. When I’m in the mood I take them on, when I’m not, I don’t and today I am not in the mood and therefore won’t elaborate on my to others possibly somewhat enigmatic first.

    If that is so, then the connection maybe a bit too complicated to explain in short, but I’ll give it a try anyhow: I was thinking of all those apologists for the obvious which I “like” best when they come from the “it is their culture and must be respected” corner. IMHO Thom is trying to apply that same kind of rhetorical gimmick to “argue” that the Guardian never says this, that or the other.

  25. @Silke I’ll redirect the apology I made via my previous post directly to you. I apologise and no, I hadn’t given any thought to whether or not you were approaching this debate as a non-native English speaker. As I said, it was a comment made in spite in response to what I perceived to be your deeply condescending tone.

    I must however take issue with you on your last point, as I have addressed this before today and you don’t appear to be listening. Where, and I ask this very genuinely, did I approach this debate with the cultural relativist argument you are ascribing me?

  26. Thom, how it might ‘support’ residents of Gaza and how it explicitly supports Hamas No problems there for you at all. All you have to do is to show me where the leaders of Hamas are specifically blamed for the dire financial situation of the people. Perhaps you could point out articles in the Guardian criticising Hamasleadership for taking the food aid from the UN (as the UN claims) and selling it back to them. Perhaps articles criticising Hamas for using UN ambulances for military purposes would do it.

    There are many many possibilities.

  27. Thom

    You clearly don’t read the paper. Anyhows, a selection of articles critical of Hamas relating to some, but not all of the allegations you outline

    Only three. People are being murdered left right and center in Gaza. Criticism is being shut down and no sign of any new election. Yet.

    Now look at all the articles discussing ‘dog fouls pavement’ in Tel Aviv.

  28. @JerusalemMite I’m clearly not going to trawl back through the Guardian’s archive and pull everything out-not why I entered this debate. I simply picked three to answer the previous point. I am not arguing that there is enough reporting on this issue from the Guardian, or what, or how they do report what they do is appropriate, fair, balanced etc. Simply responding to the previous poster asking whether or not this existed at all. It does.

  29. Thom

    I am not arguing that there is enough reporting on this issue from the Guardian, or what, or how they do report what they do is appropriate, fair, balanced etc.

    So. Can I assume that you do not see the Guardian as ‘fair and balanced’? Georgina Henry and Matt Seaton, on Guardian stationary, wrote a letter to the JP claiming that The Guardian was ‘fair and balanced’.

  30. @jerusalemMite I don’t consider any news outlet to be completely ‘fair and balanced’, I would argue there are degrees of ‘fairness’ and ‘balance’ though.

  31. Thom

    when I accuse somebody of using the rhetorical tricks of Marcus Antonius, can I do that only in the context of political murder?

    Your apologies are not accepted, I feel way too flattered by your not detecting my non-nativeness i.e. my English must be pretty darn good. Thank you for that one.

    Also as of now I can see as the only enjoyment to be had from your stuff is by condescending. Amazing, isn’t it, that you could make no sense of what I wrote but detected condescension – as I keep saying: whine – sigh – whine – sigh – boring!!!!!!!!

  32. @silke revel in the flattery by all means. Whatever keeps you going.

    Sorry to bore you, guess that if you have nothing useful to contribute, why contribute at all?

  33. The Guardian is making obvious its conflict of interest: If it is receiving or even relying upon substantial Arab monies (whether individual or state), then it is quite clearly no longer neutral, and in fact in violation of journalistc ethics by accepties monies from one side in a dispute yet continuing to report.

    May the Guardian rot in hell next to its ideological twin, the Stürmer.

  34. One should not the Guardian has long been the ideological stooge of the Arab world, and no doubt it will become the financial stooge as well.

    The Guardian knows which side its bread’s buttered on; there’s far more money to be made from 300m Mideast Arabs than from 6m Mideast Jews — minority rights be damned. And if what the Arabs want is elimination of the Jews from the Mideast, al-Guardian will be delighted to give it to them.

    Thom all-Thums

    “You clearly don’t read the paper.”

    You clearly don’t read CiFWatch carefully; it has published numbers showing the grotesque disproportionality in the Guardian’s level of criticism of Israel and Jews relative to Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims. The only difference between the Guardian and the Stürmer is that the former is only slightly more subtle.

  35. Thom all-Thums

    “democratically elected government”

    Thom gives away his propagandist’s position by implying Hamas democratic, when we all know full well that Hamas violates almost every norm of democracy.

    In many areas, from Iran to Venezuela to Gaza, the test of democracy is not the holding of a first fair election but of a second fair election. That Thom all-Thums thus refers to a false criterion for democracy (a first election) as “fact” tells us he has no concern for facts.

  36. @Philo-Semite did I say anything other than ‘democratically elected government’? No. Also, completely agree, democracy is a practice carried out across all functions of government at all times, not, as you rightly point out the practice of a democratic election per se. That’s why I said ‘democratically elected’ and nothing more.

    I do read CiF watch…regularly…look at my previous response to Adam Levick on this matter.

  37. honour to whom honour belongs …

    Thom is quite good with his qualifiers – they are chosen in a way that will always allow him to duck and evade. Here is one: note the use of “institutionally”

    that they institutionally support the removal of the Israeli state?

    BTW as best I remember I read Thom around here the first time which of course doesn’t prove that he has been religiously reading this blog for ages …

  38. Thom – that was a perfectly serious question. Don’t YOU find it curious that the Guardian should be so rapturous about demonstrations in favour of democracy in Tahrir square, yet so silent on the hijacking of another democracy only a couple of weeks before?
    I know why Al Jazeera has selective reporting policies. The question is, why does a British media organisation behave in the same manner as one run and financed by an autocratic dictator?

  39. Thom,

    “It’s enjoyable to read you throwing your arms up in despair…”

    It’s not despair. It would be despair only if I didn’t know what should be done about this situation. It’s not despair but a remark as to how the Left’s intransigence still doesn’t stop surprising me, even after years of having witnessed it. This entire website is about how the Guardian steps outside the boundaries of mere criticism of Israel’s policies and into flat-out vilification and demonization of Israel as a whole, and its founding ideology (Zionism), yet you ask for evidence of that. As I said: None so blind as those who won’t see.

    Speaking for myself only, and possibly at odds with the spirit of CiF Watch, I think it is not for the pro-Israel side to prove how this or that media source offers legitimate views of Israel and Zionism, but the other way round: The burden of proof is on the media outlets to show that they are worthy of Israel’s suffrance. I’m not desperate, but in fact quite hopeful, that the day is soon coming that the Jewish State will make, and check up on, and enforce, the demand that all media outlets comply with that standard.

  40. Back to articles in Arabic appearing on CIF, when they are in arabic and then translated, how can we be sure that they have not been mistranslated? Maybe we are missing the subtleness that only an arabic speaker understands, we may have it all wrong? It’s not what’s really meant…now tell me, where have I heard that before?