Confronting The Guardian ideology

“It’s the economy, stupid” is a phrase in American politics made famous during the 1992 U.S. Presidential Election campaign.  Bill Clinton’s campaign manager had a sign with this phrase at their headquarters to stress to the candidate that, regardless of the issue being discussed, success in the election depended on making the conversation about the economy – which was in bad shape at the time, and represented former President Bush’s greatest political liability.

I sometimes wonder if Guardian editorial offices has something akin to Clinton’s campaign mantra – a note, not based on political calculations but, rather, maintaining an ideological edifice, reminding them where any conversation about the Middle East must preferably lead: “It’s about Israel, stupid.”

While such a scenario is, of course, meant in jest, I am at a loss to account for how, in the course of a new Guardian editorial (“The Middle East: People, Power, Politics“) on Muammar Gaddafi’s brutal and deadly crackdown against Libyan protesters, and the broader political upheavals in the region, they somehow managed to throw in this line:

“the Libyan leader may still be considered too valuable to lose, as US influence in the region decreases. Nowhere is that truer than in the cockpit of the crisis, Palestine.

“Israel Derangement Syndrome” may adequately, albeit cheekily, describe the dynamic whereby otherwise reasonable people can attribute the cause of nearly any political crisis in the world to the behavior of the Jewish state, but doesn’t seem nearly strong enough of a term to characterize the Guardian’s obsession with Israel.

Arab citizens throughout the Middle East are rebelling and (for various reasons, some noble, and others, it should be noted, decidedly illiberal) attempting to throw off the yoke of despotism that has ruled the region, and the Guardian is convinced that the one state in the region which has, since its birth, proven itself impervious to this totalitarian impulse, is indeed the prime mover of the political malady.

Our previous post, cross posted by Divest This!, described anti-Semitism as more than a “simple” hatred of Jews as such but, more accurately, as a broader ideology – one which continually sees the nefarious effects of world Jewry in seemingly unrelated political phenomena.

Similarly, it seems, the Guardian’s continuous framing of events in the Middle East – which attributes most political maladies to Israel’s injurious effects on the region – is more than “mere” political hostility to Israel.  It needs to also be seen as part of a  broader ideological framework, one which continuously shows itself impervious to facts, logic, and new information – the self-correcting empirical mechanisms found in those not held hostage to such a rigid political orientation.

While engaging the Guardian in a battle over facts and logic certainly has its time and place, the Jewish community’s fight with the Guardian must proceed without illusions – free of the assumption of reasonableness which typically informs civil debate between two rational political actors.

The Guardian’s myopic and increasingly extreme political orientation can not be coaxed or persuaded but, rather, must be aggressively confronted and fought – free of puerile optimism in what will assuredly be a long and grueling battle.

7 replies »

  1. “Our previous post, cross posted by Divest This!, described anti-Semitism as more than a “simple” hatred of Jews as such but, more accurately, as a broader ideology – one which continually sees the nefarious effects of world Jewry in seemingly unrelated political phenomena.”

    It is “classic anti-Jewish hatred” says Melanie Phillips in her latest post:

    “What is truly extraordinary, as Davidson suggests, is the obsessional nature of this bigotry. It is not just the eye-popping double standard in singling out Israel for attack while ignoring the fact that it is the only democracy in the region. It is not just the egregious lies and smears and the comprehensive rewriting of history that has taken place that not only reverses victim and aggressor but blames the victim for being victimised and inspires hatred of Israel and Jews.

    It is rather that, for the British media and intelligentsia, for the BBC and Channel Four executives and the serried ranks of lazy and malicious journalists in both print and broadcasting, for the supercilious academics and preening political progressives and precious know-nothing luvvies of stage and screen, Israel simply fills their vision. It eclipses in its enormity all other issues and causes; in their clouded eyes, it has become an evil of truly cosmic dimensions.

    Of course, these are all the unique characteristics of classic anti-Jewish hatred throughout the ages. That is why it is grotesque and immoral to dismiss this phenomenon as merely ‘criticism of Israel’ and those who protest at it as ‘waving the shroud of the Holocaust’ to ‘sanitise Israel’s crimes’. This is indeed a contemporary mutation of ‘the oldest hatred’. The real crime is being committed by all those who are promulgating this, the true evil of our times. But just as with every other closed thought system, those in its grip are totally incapable of insight even into the most obvious signs that they have lost sight of reality.

    They devote infinitely more attention to Israel than to any other country on earth – even now, when we can all see from the tumult in the Arab world that Israel is utterly irrelevant to the concerns of the Arab masses. The British educated classes are obsessed by Israel, can’t leave it alone, pick at it without remission. It defines and distorts their whole outlook on the world. They think of it when they are talking about something totally unrelated to the Middle East, such as children’s rights. It has truly become a disease of the British mind, a kind of geopolitical Tourette Syndrome, a pathologically uncontrollable spasm of hatred and lies.

    Terrifying — and tragic, for both British Jews and for the western civilisation of whose death-throes this sickness is such a potent and historically resonant symptom.”

  2. I put a tweet out a few days ago to the effect the The Guardian would find a way to lay the blame for the turmoil in Libya at Israels door. Here we have it.
    The Guardian = a rag for deranged and blatant anti-semitism.

  3. Confronting Guardian ideology – treat with contempt and ridicule anyone writing for it or appearing in its pages – even being interviewed by it (or its sister paper the Observer).

    For example, wtf is Niall Ferguson doing in last Sunday’s Observer being interviewed by William Skidelsky (who he? ed.) – it is ironic that an historian who points out the vulnerability of Western freedoms should appear in a newspaper closely associated with one of the most vicious combatants, namely the Guardian, in the fight against those freedoms.

    In Ferguson’s defence, perhaps he was just being naive.

  4. Citizen Wald,

    Me too. The Arab settlements on Jewish land (Palestine, the indigenous territory of the Jewish nation) are an obstacle to peace.

  5. Oh, Ferguson is just remarkably ignorant. His ‘thesis’, in reality nothing more than the ramblings of a fifth-former, that every single conflict in the 20th century was based on race, is utter drivel.

    Jon: you may remember that I said exactly the same thing on the JC blogs as soon as Gaddafi started murdering his people a few days ago.