General Antisemitism

On anti-Semites and their enablers: Guardian editorial defends radical anti-Semitic preacher, Raed Salah

It should be noted that this blog tries arduously to avoid the hyperbole and rhetorical excesses which defines so much of the political blogosphere. While we are unapologetic in our support of Zionism and opposition to anti-Semitism, we back up every claim we make.

While we’re not shy in calling out those CiF and Guardian contributors who advance arguments which fall squarely into the accepted definition of anti-Semitism, we have also soberly noted the distinction that, while the institution has allowed ‘Comment is Free’ to become a platform where antisemitism and the delegitimization of Israel thrives, management and editors likely do not themselves hold anti-Semitic views.

However, their obsessive coverage of the Sheikh Raed Salah row over the last few days have – consistent with the editorial line of the paper we have monitored and attempted to contextualize since our founding in August of 2009 – has led me to reconsider our characterization of the institution as one which merely passively accepts anti-Semitism to one whose ideological impulses may indeed represent something much darker. 

Today’s official Guardian editorial in defense of Raed Salah (Palestinian activists: unwelcome guests?) is the sixth apologia of the radical Islamist preacher they’ve published in three days.

To sum up the cut and dry case against Salah:

He has endorsed classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about 9/11, reportedly advanced the Medieval blood libel in a sermon, spent time in Israeli jails after acknowledging providing funds to Hamas, has often used his authority as leader of the Islamic Movment’s Northern division to incite thousands of his followers to riot under the absurd pretense that the Al-Aksa is in Danger of being destroyed and that Israeli authorities were planning to build a new Temple on the Temple Mount, and has called for a Third violent Intifada in response.  

And, as an interview in 2003 made clear, Salah’s views on the rights of women and gays (and the virtues of Jihad) represent the nadir of religiously inspired extremism. 

More broadly, The Islamic Movement, which he leads, have clear goals of indoctrinating Israeli Arabs with his Islamist ideology (an effort the Movement calls da’wa).

In short, Raed Salah is a Islamic extremist, and an unrepentant anti-Semite, misogynist and homophobe who associates with terrorist movements and encourages his followers to engage in violence.

Yet, for some reason, none this easily obtainable information about Salah’s record of extremism, hate, and incitement found its way in the Guardian editorial, a polemic which, however, did find a way to weave into the story the alleged stray racist remarks by a few Israelis during  the last Jerusalem Day march in the Old City – in an editorial which also characterized as an example of Israeli “far right-wing” intolerance  a proposed a Knesset bill that would merely prohibit Israelis convicted of aiding terrorist organisations from entering government-funded educational institutions.

The decision by the UK Home Office to deport Salah was based on a quite sober and rational decision that his presence could “threaten community harmony and therefore public safety”.  Salah is not a citizen of the UK and the government is under no obligation to allow him admission into their country.

Moreover, the Guardian’s reaction stands in stark contrast to their coverage, in 2009, of Geert Wilder being denied entry into the UK for much the same fear of incitement and the possible disruption of public order – a story which was covered quite matter-of-factly, and non-controversially. 

Upon reading the Guardian’s latest defense of Raed Salah, and their attack on Israel and the UK’s decision to detain him, it’s becoming harder and harder to avoid reaching the conclusion that Guardian management, at the very least, is unable to make moral distinctions between democracies and those who manipulate the language of democracy and human rights to undermine those very democratic institutions; evidently deems as perfectly acceptable the view that the Jewish state should cease to exist;  and is complicit in excusing and ignoring anti-Semitism;

Far from the the “liberal voice” they claim to represent, the Guardian (under the ideological cover of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism!) glorifies violence, has become apologists for reactionary radical Islam and – more relevant to the mission of this blog – a driver, legitimizer, and, yes, enabler of anti-Semitism.

18 replies »

  1. Excellent comment.

    I would go one step further and point out that like Haneen Zoabi, who wrote a similar article to the editorial defending Salah on CiF, the editorial position taken includes a belief that israel manipulates British policy.

    If this were not so clearly derived from the ideas of a global Jewish conspiracy etc. etc., it would be laughable.

    Yet it is clearly now part of the set of of Jew-hating, Israel-hating beliefs that permeate the thinking of the Guardian’s management:

    If the home secretary is unwise enough to start applying her “prevent” policy to all Palestinian activists Israel has a problem with, Britain will face a backlash in the Arab world.

    In other words, Britain takes its lead in dealing with Arabs from Israel, and, as usual with the Islamists, which the Guardian now clearly is, the veiled threat immediately follows – – “we have the oil – watch out”!!

    Compare with Zoabi’s tirade:

    But it seems that the British government has bowed to pro-Israel pressure even when it comes to its home affairs….The British authorities have fallen into an Israeli trap. Instead of supporting our leaders and their campaign for freedom and democracy, ….The pro-Israeli lobby must not be allowed to determine politics in Britain.

    (But of course, the Palestinian lobby must be allowed to do so!!!)

    The editorial brought down furious condemnation, and dozens of the negative comments have been removed by the moderators – the Guardian will only reluctantly accept criticism of its stance in support of terrorism, even though, in fact, it should be studying and learning from the comments if it is ever to regain any credibility rather than being seen as Stormfront for useful idiots.

  2. This is clearly a site for those with closed minds. The Guardian is the only UK daily that does not exist to make a profit for its owners. CiFbFaS!

    A few words of advice to anyone reading this blog. Thinking you know everything is a sure way to remain ignorant all your life.

  3. Stockwell personifies the arrogance of imperialism, stumbling onto a site that gives a viewpoint contrary to his own, he responds that those who consistently hold views not to his liking are ignorant for thinking they ‘know everything’.
    Obviously only Stockwell, with his superior knowledge of the world – probably a quality inherited simply through the good fortune of being born British – is qualified to judge that the Guardian’s anti-Israeli narrative – which willfully ignores the forces of anti-Semitsm playing an active role in this conflict, and itself employs anti-Semitic libels in explaining its justification for attacking the Jewish state – is the only viewpoint worth considering. Now there’s ignorance enslaved to slavish obedience of the Guardian worldview. Nice one Stockwell, an excellent example in the application of double-think.

    • They didn’t do themselves any favors with those numerous articles about this radical cleric,they shot themselves in the foot.The just dug themselves in deeper .The articles and the posts in the main were downright dumb…….

      Haneen Zoabi Read Salah and the Guardian deserve each other.

      The Guardian is attracting posters of the lowest common denominator.

      Their standards if there were any are very low…..most of the good posters have left their website,the Berchans,and the Morans are still there though…….

      • There is a huge difference between not wanting to make a profit,and not being able to make a profit…..

        • Pete Stockwell……Thinking you know everything is a sure way to remain ignorant all your life…..

          This sounds like something that Berchmans would say……