Guardian

Hip and trendy anti-Israel hatred


I not only remember the compilation songs to raise money for starving Africans, “We Are The World and  “Do They Know It’s Christmas?“, from the mid-80s, but even attended one of the Live Aid concerts in support of the campaign, in Philadelphia.  

Though the cause (helping to feed starving children) would fail to move only those with the hardest of hearts, what was notable in retrospect is how the songs, concerts and accompanying publicity focused solely on helping the African victims of hunger in Ethiopia (around one million people died during the country’s 1984–1985 famine) and didn’t delve into the politics – despite the fact that the Marxist Ethiopian government’s policy of  enforced ‘resettlement’ programs, utilized as part of its counter-insurgency campaign, was one of the major causes of the starvation.  

My guess is that there was a conscious decision not to wade into politics in order to protect the purely humanitarian intent of the endeavor.

Today’s efforts to aid Palestinians, whether by NGOs, professional activists, or journalist activists at the Guardian, are not only unconstrained by such considerations, but something approaching the opposite is true: The pro-Palestinian cause is almost entirely monopolized by those possessing an unmistakable desire to demonize the Jewish state.

Harriet Sherwood’s latest blog post, Palestine campaign song generates controversy ahead of release,  notes the latest row over a new compilation song and video, called “Freedom for Palestine”, and focuses on the rock band Coldplay’s participation in the project, as well as the subsequent removal of the song from the band’s Facebook page following complaints that the video violated Facebook’s’ user terms of service.

While the post is classic Guardian, and classic Sherwood (conjuring a conservative villain for the story by highlighting Glenn Beck’s criticism of the video) what’s much more instructive about the song and video itself is that it serves as a perfect example of how Palestinians become an abstraction totally divorced from any moral agency which would complicate the simple story of their immutable victimhood and Israeli villainy.

The intent of the song and video isn’t to “aid” Palestinians – as the song says nothing about how a fan could assist Palestinians in need of aid – but to demonize and delegitimize Israel.  It conjures a caricature of a malevolent Goliath oppressing innocent Palestinians – reinforcing the steady drip of such delegitimization efforts that has become one of the defining ideological passions of the Guardian left.

The song doesn’t burden itself with such inconvenient realities as the oppressive treatment of Palestinian refugees in neighboring Arab countries, Hamas’ despotic rule of their Palestinian population, nor the culture of violence and terrorism which has long characterized the Palestinian cause. (Also, the song refers to 6 million Palestinian refugees – a very suggestive number, and one, it should be noted, which is contradicted by the accepted number of 4.8 million)

The song speaks of Israeli “crimes against humanity”, “prison camps”, and even levels the ugly charge of “racial segregation” – all in service of imputing Israeli malice in the context of a feel-good charity endeavor.  Hatred with a hip, progressive veneer.

The video flashes between scenes of the studio recording of the song, video of Israel’s security fence, the Palestinian territories, along with animation meant to illustrate Israeli villainy.

Here are a few screen shots:

Here, the IDF is shown presumably targeting Palestinian civilians with tank fire. (An  interesting moral inversion in the context of Hamas’s use of an anti-tank missile at an Israeli school bus in April.) 

Here we’re treated to the sight of inhumane Israelis who appear to be denying entry to a Palestinian mother and her sick child:

Not only is the Israeli soldier unmoved by the mother’s pleas regarding her sick child, but the soldier is then seen striking the woman. (Notice both the expression on the face of the soldier striking the innocent woman, as well as the additional faceless Israelis behind him):

Sherwood may breezily mock Beck’s characterization of the song as evil propaganda, but – whatever one’s thoughts about the hyperbolic American pundit – the video’s crude portrayal of cruel, sadistic Israelis inflicting harm on helpless Palestinians serves as nothing more than malicious agitprop against Israel.

And, there’s nothing even remotely cool, fashionable, or hip about the vicious hate which is continually directed towards the Jewish state.

29 replies »

  1. What a crappy song!

    I’m sure Latma could do much better with a Don’t cry for me, Palistina” song.
    Now, let’s see what rhymes with Palestine —- concubine, eglantine …

  2. I remember “We Are The World,” “Feed The World,” “Tears Are Not Enough.” No politics involved. It’s really a shame that so many “artists” are motivated to want to appear “progressive” and ignore facts.

    • I see in the line up just after this scene with the soldiers, Michael Rosen, Mark Thomas and a guy in a wheelchair I assume is Jody Macintyre. Can anyone namecheck the other right -on celebs in the parade?

      • Am I the only one seeing all the page on CifWatch cut after a few comments?

        A broken html problem?

  3. OK, the Reply textbox should be aligned to the last comment, not way down at the end of the page.

  4. Your illustrations are singularly ill-chosen. There are numerous, well-attested cases of sick people being turned away from Israeli checkpoints and of Palestinian civilians being physically abused by IDF soldiers. Are you seriously denying this?
    I only listened to the song once. It seems an entirely innocuous plea for Palestinian freedom and for the wall to be knocked down. If you are looking for ‘hate’ messages read this site anytime.

    • sencrap, There are necessarily checkpoints at every airport in the world, thanks to your death cult islamofascist friends.

      I wonder whether there are checkpoints at the entry to Der Guardian, BBC buildings in the UK?

      Happy Nakba sencrap!

      • As ever, Thank God I’m An Infidel, you can’t deal with rational argument, so resort to incoherent abuse.

        • sencrap, When was the last time you took a commercial flight from an airport?

          You know the routine, empty your pockets, take off your shoes, place your luggage on the belt for X-Ray screening, walk through a metal detector portal, have a machine puff on you and sample the gases coming off your body (scanning for gases associated with explosives), have your body patted down.

          Maybe you sencrap think airport checkpoints are an Infidel plot to make islamofascists look bad.

          Checkpoints are a rational and necessary response to world-wide islamofascism.

          • If you had read my post you would have noticed that I wasn’t complaining about the checkpoints as such but supporting the view expressed in the illustrations that Palestinians are often ill-treated when attempting to negotiate them.

            • sencar, People are turned away at checkpoints if security deems the person or their luggage a threat.

              Anyone trying to pass thru a checkpoint with a weapon will not pass – even if that person is in need of medical attention.

              Or if the person behaves in a belligerent manner. Passage thru a checkpoint is dependent on behaviour, among other criteria.

              I suggest you try passing thru an airport checkpoint screaming at the top of your lungs. Let us know how that goes.

        • sencar

          Perhaps you don’t know that “innocuous” means ‘not harmful’ and “entirely innocuous” therefore means ‘completely harmless’. But if you do, then please tell us why you think it is not hurtful or harmful to be depicted in the way this song depicts israel?

          Only someone with a total failure of empathy for the israelis and a wilful blindness to palestinian responsibility for their situation could possibly describe this song as “entirely innocuous”. No one takes offence at a plea for freedom. This publicity stunt paints the israelis as monsters. And the fact that you can’t see it says a lot about you – as does demanding a rational response to the jew-baiting rubbish you post.

    • Sencar
      How convenient it must be for you and your fellow activists to simply airbrush the cause and effect of the endless litany of Palestinian atrocities committed against Israelis which gives rise to the minor abuses which occassionly occur at check points
      Perhaps it never occurred to you that many of these soldiers would have been touched directly or indirectly by the murder and mayhem conducted by the Palestinian terrorist entity during the intifada
      Just imagine the effect of the equivalent of 12,000 murdered civilians in London and how security forces and the general population would react to the perpetrators
      The problem with you and all apologists for Palestinian tyranny is your craven refusal to acknowledge that the Palestinian people are in thrall to and manipulated by terrorist entities who place the destruction of israel before the well being of their own people .

    • @sencar,

      Despite the fact that the Hamas regime is openly committed to Israel’s destruction, and has a founding charter which cites, as “proof” that Jews are trying to take over the world, the Elders of the Protocols of Zion, Israel still lets in thousands of Gazans to receive free medical aid each year. (In 2009 alone, 10,544 patients and their companions left the Gaza Strip for medical treatment in Israel). The depictions of cruel, sadistic Israelis denying poor Palestinians medical treatment is an inversion of reality and, like I said, represents nothing more than crude anti-Zionist propaganda. While I’m never surprised when such propaganda is advanced by Islamists like Hamas, I still am shocked when educated, “sensitive souls” in the West continue to advance such vicious canards.

      • Adam, this is nothing less than a failure of Israel’s PR efforts. They should do all they can to make facts like these known.

      • As the occuping power Israel (and yes, it is still is legally the occupying power for Gaza as well as the West Bank) is obliged to make medical provision for Palestinian citizens, specifically:it must “Provide for the basic needs of the civilian population, including food and medical supplies when the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate (Article 55(1) Fourth Geneva Convention) and the proper functioning of medical, public health and hygiene services (Article 56(1) Fourth Geneva Convention).” There is therefore no virtue in Israel treating the patients you mention.
        You refer to the illustrations above as”crude anti-Zionist propaganda”. In fact the truth is far worse than the pictures portray. B’Tselem collects data on Palestinians who died following an infringement of their right to medical treatment in the occupied territories:
        http://old.btselem.org/english/statistics/Casualties_data.asp?Category=21&region=TER.
        You will see that a number of the deaths followed long delays or refusal of entry at checkpoints and border crossings.

        • sencar,
          Any claimed deaths at checkpoints, necessary to filter out terrorists, you know, like the islamofascist terrorists who hijacked 4 planes on 9/11, who bombed London on 7/7/05, who bombed trains in Madrid, who placed a bomb on Pan Am 103…

          any death is directly due to islamofascism and the resistance of islamofascism.

          BTW, This past June 5th was the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of US Senator Robert F. Kennedy by a “palestinian” – an Arab fascist.

  5. Another point sencar . You are quite happy to vent your spleen at the perceived injustice of the security fence .
    Again you conveniently airbrush the cause and effect of Palestinian terror which witnessed brain washed individuals crossing an open border in order to immolate themselves together with innocent Israeli men women and children in shopping malls, restaurants , buses etc.
    You cry foul play when israel has the temerity to implement the means to protect its citizens from the heinous acts of psychopaths .I often wonder whether activist hand wringing over the fence is less to do with Palestinian hardship and more to do with frustration that the Palestinian intifada has been checked.
    Maybe you can provide a link to a Palestinian NGO which condemned and distanced itself from the homicide bombings during the intifada
    If as I suspect you cannot , then your tears for perceived Palestinian hardship is placed in context of your overriding priority which is to demonise and delegitimise Israel.
    Your hypocrisy is beneath contempt

    • In response to your points about the relationship between politics and charity, can I put in a good word for Children of Peace? (I should say I have links to this charity myself). Here’s a link – we’re just about to update the news section with more interviews etc.

      http://www.childrenofpeace.org.uk/

      CoP aims to be non-partisan and non-political and help build friendship between different communities in the region. We are about to launch a blog for older children/teens.

  6. Israel hatred is hip and trendy. I was gutted to ear the King Blues, who are quite left wing admittedly, include the lyric: “I want you like Palestine wants to be free.” in the otherwise non-political song, “I want you”.

  7. Nice of them to add a Neturei Karta feller in one of their montages – “see, we’re not antisemitic! We have meat-puppets from a disgraced and discredited Hasidic sect supporting us!”