Daud Abdullah, Director of the openly pro-Hamas group, Middle East Monitor (MEMO), was provided a platform by the Guardian to take aim at Israel’s legitimacy in “Europe’s Israel romance is on the wane” (CiF, March 15).
While the story itself – a poll commissioned by MEMO purporting to show a decline in European support for Israel, aimed at further legitimizing hatred toward the Jewish state – is tired and predictable to anyone familiar with commentary about Israel at the Guardian, it is essential for those unfamiliar with MEMO to understand just how radical they are.
Daud Abdullah is a Hamas sympathizer who, in 2009, signed the so-called the Istanbul Declaration which stated that the “Islamic Nation” had a duty to attack all foreign warships – including British ones – that tried to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza, referred to Israel as the “Zionist entity”, and justified attacks on Jewish communities all around the world. Abdullah also gave a speech at Regent’s Park Mosque in 2002 which contained an anti-Semitic narrative that was characterized as “pure incitement to racial and religious hatred”.
MEMO also published Dr. Azzam Tamimi, a Hamas spokesperson in Britain and yet another advocate of suicide bombings, and has posted explicitly anti-Semitic commentary on their website, including this by Kathleen Christison, warning darkly of the threat of world Jewish domination:
“Zionist lobbyists continued to work as assiduously, with results as “miraculous,” throughout the twentieth century, gaining influence over civil society and ultimately over policymakers and, most importantly, shaping the public discourse that determines all thinking about Israel and its neighbors… Jewish dispersion across the Western world—and Jewish influence in the economies, the film industries, the media, and academia in key Western countries—are what enabled the Zionist movement to survive and thrive in the dark years of the early twentieth century; and Zionist lobbying and molding [sic] of public discourse are what has maintained Israel’s favored place in the hearts and minds of Americans and the policy councils of America’s politicians.”
Just last week, MEMO published a piece by Khalid Amayreh which referred to Zionism as a cancer:
“Zionism is much more than criminal and nefarious. It is also genocidal, racist, rapacious, covetous, and of course utterly mendacious. Zionism is expansionistic, very much like a malignant cancer. This is why, no people on earth can remain safe if living with or next to Zionism. In other words, if you don’t eradicate Zionism, Zionism will eradicate you.”
Given the Guardian’s previous decision to grant license to someone openly affiliated with Hamas, this particular post is not an exception but, rather, represents quite accurately the orientation of the Guardian Left, an ideology which – under the guise of anti-imperialism – normalizes and legitimizes the most radical, violent, anti-Semitic (and political reactionary) groups.
This romance with Islamic extremism – like the flirtations in a previous era with Soviet communism – represents the nadir of far left political pathology: “Progressives” who are somehow seduced by political movements which embody the very antithesis of the liberal values they claim to uphold: an intellectual malady on display daily at the Guardian.