The Guardian’s Mya Guarnieri has reached a new low. In a recent piece for Al-Jazeera, titled, “The death of Israeli democracy“, Guarnieri outdid, by several degrees, her previous anti-Zionist opus in the Guardian in the levels of hyperbole and pure malice.
In her Dec. 8 piece in CiF, “Israel Rabbi’s racist decrees strikes at the soul of Judaism”, Guarnieri contextualized the bigoted remarks of a small number of rabbis as signifying Israel’s “rising tide of religious fascism,” by claiming that such views were state-sanctioned, which, as we noted in an official complaint to the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor, was categorically untrue.
But, undeterred, and clearly not one to let facts get in the way of preconceived prejudices about Israel, Guarnieri decides to double-down, and raises the moral stakes even higher by advancing an even more inflammatory narrative about Israel’s supposed descent into political darkness – in Al-Jazeera, a media organization, it should be noted, that’s not exactly known for sharing her secular liberal outlook.
Guarnieri’s case, in her Al Jazeera piece, against Israel – helpfully illustrated with a photo of a sinister looking Orthodox Jew – is, of course, paper-thin, and includes, as exhibit A, a bill passed by the Knesset which merely denies government funding to groups who view the state’s very creation as a horrible tragedy.
But her polemical invective against the Jewish state then picks up steam when she – mirroring a narrative recently advanced by the Guardian’s Simon Tisdall who claimed that Israel merely “poses” as a democracy – informs us that its arguable that, “Israel was never a democracy in the true sense of the word.”
Guarnieri then quotes Knesset member Dov Khenin, of the Jewish-Arab party Hadash, who had just given a talk under the banner of “The Danger of Fascism”, about which she adds, “There [were] about 20 people present – a sad number considering what is at stake.”
Khenin – who later showed himself a fan of the father of Marxist thought, Fredrich Engels – said:
“Arab Knesset members have always been regarded with suspicion – the vicious verbal assault Haneen Zoabi faced in the Knesset after she participated in the flotilla comes to my mind”
Of course, the fact that Zoabi (an Arab member of Knesset) participated in a flotilla sponsored by known terrorists (IHH) who seek Israel’s destruction, and whose members, while on board the vessel, brutally attacked the citizens serving in her own country’s military, and then merely suffered a verbal assault, may at least partially explain why only 20 Israelis saw fit to turn out at Khenin’s event.
But, Guarnieri, undeterred by the fact that the overwhelming majority of actual Israelis don’t take the hysterical warnings about their country’s supposed descent into fascism seriously, pivots into even more odious territory, by asking, “Will Israel become out-right fascist?”, before adding:
At an October protest against legislation commonly referred to as the loyalty oath – a bill that would require non-Jews seeking Israeli citizenship to pledge allegiance to a “Jewish and democratic” state – Gavriel Solomon, a prominent academic and peace activist, likened Israel to Nazi Germany, circa 1935...That was the year that the Nuremberg Laws – racist legislation that led to the systematic and deadly persecution of Jews – were created….There were no [concentration] camps yet but there were racist laws,” he said. “And we are heading towards these kinds of laws.” [emphasis mine]
Guarnieri follows this insidious analogy by concluding:
“While meaningful change is probably a long way off for Israel – it may take something huge, like fascism, to wake Jewish Israelis from their apathy and dreams of maintaining both a Zionist and democratic state – change is in the air.”
For Guarnieri, it seems, the imminent regression into Nazi-style fascism would of course be tragic and abhorrent for Israel, but (on a more positive note) could also serve a quite progressive cause – the end of the Jewish state.
You have to burn the village in order to save it.