Guardian correspondent’s wish for the Jewish state? That it kindly cease to exist

This is cross posted at Anne’s Opinions

With respect to Israel, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency includes the following in their working definition of anti-Semitism:

“Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

Every time you think the Guardian has reached bottom, it digs and finds an even lower depth of hatred towards Israel. The glee with which their writers speculate about the possible demise of Israel, sorry, Zionism, is completely nauseating. It is a mystery to me that a newspaper which claims to be liberal and pro-democracy could so ardently wish for the destruction of a liberal democratic state and find a plethora of writers to promote their desire.

The article which has so shocked me today is by the execrable David Hearst: “Could Arab staying power ultimately defeat Zionism?”.

By his title alone Hearst displays his ignorance about the history and meaning of Zionism and simply conflates it with the existence of Israel.  Zionism is not the State of Israel.  Zionism is the political national movement of the Jewish people aspiring to have a homeland of their own, an aspiration that has thank G-d been fulfilled and exists as the State of Israel.

Hearst begins his article with words of praise for “sumud” – the word the Palestinians use for steadfastness, staying put. However he lets his imagination bias run away with him when he uses obfuscation and outright lies instead of just stating the facts.

Staying put against overwhelming odds is regarded as a victory. But it is more than just a word. It’s the look in Rifqua al-Kurd’s eyes as she fights eviction in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. She lives out of boxes, because when the police throw her out and the settlers move in she doesn’t want the clothes thrown into the street.

No mention of the fact that whenever Palestinians are evicted from Sheikh Jarrah, it is not done at the whim of those eeevil settlers, but only when and if Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that the houses in question legally belong to the Jews, and that the Palestinians have effectively been squatting illegally.

Sumud sums up the attitude of the Bedouin struggling to stay in 45 unrecognised villages in the Negev, without a supply of water, electricity or schools. Once the entire Negev was theirs, now only 6% is. Israel wants to put the Bedouin in townships while establishing 130 Jewish villages and agricultural settlements on the land. Talab al-Sana, their MP, says: “They want Jews to be Bedouin and Bedouin to be Ashkenaz [European Jews].”

Again, lies and obfuscation. The Negev was part of Israel since partition in 1947.  The Bedouin by definition are nomads and possess no land at all. Under Israeli rule the Bedouin have benefited hugely. To ignore the rights and benefits granted to the Bedouin is breathtaking in its dishonesty.

Sumud crops up in some unexpected places – not only East Jerusalem, the West Bank or Gaza, but in Jaffa, Lod, and in Arab communities all over Israel among people who have nominally the same rights as any other citizen.

So now we come to the real aim of Hearst and his Palestinian followers. By stating that they wish to remain “steadfast” in towns like Jaffa, Lod and other Israeli Arab towns, towns that by any definition and border-drawing are and will always be part of the State of Israel, they are in essence advocating the Palestinian takeover of these towns and the rejection of Israeli ownership of them.  This is another way of advocating the “one-state solution”, i.e. the destruction of Israel as the Jewish homeland.

If Israel ends its occupation of the West Bank, and allows it to join with Gaza, the result could be two states – a Palestinian one alongside an Israeli one. But if you accompany that with a civil rights movement inside Israel, the goal could be very different – a secular, democratic state “for all its citizens”, where Jew, Christian and Muslim are equal. A one-state solution in which Jewish citizens lose an inbuilt majority. The end of Zionism, no less.

Here Hearst specifically confirms my words above. But once again he conflates “Zionism” with the State of Israel. He refuses to see that the destruction (G-d forbid) of the State of Israel will not end Zionism. It never ended for the 2,000 years of our Exile and it will not end with the wishes of an antisemitic journalist and his Arab heroes.

Hearst goes on to quote from the discredited anti-Israel “historian” Ilan Pappé:

Trying to be “good Arabs” in Jewish eyes was tantamount to collaboration in Arab ones. But much has changed.

Pappé says: “The people in the West Bank understood what the minorities inside Israel felt like, after years of deriding them for being lesser Palestinians, and that when the main impulse of the power that controls everything in your daily life is expulsionist, staying put is quite an achievement.”

Just the fact that he quotes from Pappé reveals his well-known bias, but the quote itself exposes Pappé’s own prejudice.  Calling Israeli actions “expulsionist” is not only false, but quite hilarious when he himself brings the population figures of Israel’s Arab population:

More than 100,000 Arabs stayed on after 1948 and today number more than 1.5 million, roughly a fifth of the population of Israel.

Next in line for Hearst is another inciting “historian”

Sami Abu Shehadeh: …doing his doctoral thesis on Jaffa as the major Arab cultural and economic centre during the mandate period. It had its own Arabic press, eight cinemas, five hospitals and about 120,000 people. After the 1948 war, 3,900 were left.

It is standard practice for historians at Tel Aviv University to explain the time frame of their research and why it ends when it does. Shehadeh stopped his in 1948 because that was when Jaffa stopped existing as a city. “

I’m sure the present day residents of Jaffa, both Arabs and Jewish Israelis, will find that rather puzzling.

The discrimination suffered by his community is extensively documented. Half live below the poverty line, 48% can not build a house for the next 15 years because there no permits or plans. Only 19% of Arab women with Israeli citizenship are in a job, compared with 65% of Jewish women.

Shehadeh is being –  surprise – dishonest here. Who is it that is preventing Arab women from working? Is it Israeli discrimination or the backward Arab culture that wants its women to stay at home?

But the terrain of their changing identity and allegiance is not so well mapped. Israel demands expressions of loyalty from them.  Loyalty to what, they ask. A democracy or a supremacist state?

The antisemitism displayed in this one last sentence is the real kicker.  Israel, a homeland for the Jews, with a sizable non-Jewish minority, including Arab citizens who make up 20% of the total population – and whose leaders [in the Knesset] often declare the destruction of Zionism as their ultimate goal, and yet still possess full legal, political and property rights with full access to an (independent) judiciary. This is a supremacist state?

Methinks the dishonourable professors and their journalist advocate protest too much.

27 replies »

  1. Great post. It truly baffles me that people want to defeat Zionism – something that has not only contributed invaluably to the Jewish people, but has also contributed immensely to the world by way of technology, agriculture, medicine etc – these aren’t just small contributions either, you can find Israeli technology and innovations benefiting and changing the lives of millions across every stretch of the world.

    They want to defeat Zionism for what? Palestinian nationalism? Something which has literally contributing nothing for humanity other than terrorism and and a proxy cause to modernize antisemitic views.

    Arab staying power my arse. It has nothing on the staying power of Zionism.

    • Wonderful, isn’t it? Here’s the UK with its Foreign Secretary William Hague openly admitting that there’s nothing they can do about the horrendous massacres going on in Syria, because they can’t get the Arab League to agree to taking action. Yes, British foreign policy can do anything in the Middle East that the Arab League gives it permission to do. And here we have a senior editor of The Guardian expressing the hope not that the Syrian regime will disappear, but that zionism will disappear.

      I’m sure the Arab League will be delighted.

      As for David Hearst– he clearly knows nothing about Israelis. Except perhaps the opinions of whatever coterie of Guardian loving post zionist Israelis he counts as his preferred informants.

  2. Very nice post Anne. I must congratulate you on your staying power. This kind of piece, filled with deliberate & blatant inaccuries and misreadings of the situation is so repugnant that it’s quite an effort to read it to the end.

    • Thanks Margie. Believe me, I had great trouble reading the article. I’m not exaggerating when I say I really felt physically sick, as if I’d been punched in the stomach, even though I’ve come to know the Guardian’s modus operandi well. I think it’s the positive glee that comes across from the article at the writer’s thought that Zionism might well disappear.

      His ignorance of course is laughable.

  3. In Jewish law, you’re permitted to strike down in self-defense a pursuer or rodef in Hebrew.

    The Guardian has been on Israel’s case like no other newspaper in England or across the pond. They should put ‘a vicious pursuer of Israel’ above comment is free.

    The odds though are better than even that the pursuer will soon wither away. The Guardian is nearly bankrupt.

    Hopefully we all be here when this nasty antisemitic broadsheet is no more.

    When that day comes, I will raise a glass of wine and say bottoms up.


    • David Hearst is listed as “a foreign leader” for the Guardian.

      If this means that he is part of the Guardian, how then can the Guardian distance itself from his article published on their website?

      I would also hope that Israel would refuse the Guardian the right to report from Israel. If they are against a Jewish State then they are not neutral and can’t cover the conflict between Arabs and Jews fairly.

      • That would have to be THE worst article that I have come across on the Guardian,and heaven knows there were many many really bad articles about Israel in the Guardian………..

        There were quite a few good pro Israeli posts,the anti Israeli post were down right moronic rehashed dredged up droppings……

        How does the Guardian that thinks of itself as a serious paper justify such crap…….

        Some of the anti-Israeli posters must have got a day off from the loony Bin to post on that thread…….

        • A great article, Anne, and an incisive dissection of Hearst’s crafty poison.

          I would, however, like to criticise Benorr’s description of psychiatric hospitals as ‘the looney Bin’. Many of the anti-semitic posters on Cif may well have mental health problems but that doesn’t make it alright in my opinion to use this ignorant expression.

  4. Hearst’s article betrays a malign hatred of Israel, and an utter contempt for Jews.

    If he actually knew anything about the bond between the Jews and their homeland, he would realize that hell would freeze over before Israel voluntarily ceded its sovereignty to an Arab majority. He would also realize that any attempt to force a one-state solution on the Jews would be met with ferocious and disproportionate resistance of biblical scope.

    Israel has taken root in the Jewish DNA, and will never be surrendered.

  5. His narrative sounds like a tale from the 1001 Arabian nights… 90% fiction and 10% something else.

    He points out that the Arab population in Israel grew from 100,000 in ’48 to more than a million now.

    By the same token, the Ishuv had about 600,000 Jews in back ’48. There are today more than 6,000,000 Jews in Israel.

    It comes out statistically… even Steven… overall. Also, Israeli Arabs’ birthrate is projected to decline drastically in the future.

    Those Guardian Jew-haters must have run out of anti-Israel material by now if they allowed this piece of fiction in.

    No journalistic integrity whatsoever… none…at all.

  6. His narrative sounds more like a tale from the 1001 Arabian nights… 90% fiction and 10% something else.

    For example, he points out that the Arab population in Israel grew from 100,000 in ’48 to more than a million now.

    By the same token, the Ishuv had about 600,000 Jews back in ’48. There are today more than 6,000,000 Jews in Israel.

    It comes out statistically… even Steven… overall. Also, Israeli Arabs’ birthrate is projected to decline drastically in the future.

    …’em Guardian bigots must have run out of anti-Israel material by now if they allowed this piece of fiction in. No journalistic integrity whatsoever… none…at all.

  7. Behold the logical conclusion of the faux-Palestinian narrative: The total denial of the Jews any political rights in the Land of Israel.

    That is the very purpose for which this false narrative of a “non-Jewish Palestinian nation from time immemorial” was conceived, and now, beyond all the masks of “peaceful coexistence” and “equal rights,” the unvarnished reality of the ambition to render the Jewish nation once again stateless is clearly seen.

    Who is in a war must do as in a war, whether in the physical battleground or in the fields of ideology. That is why I attempt to fight in this war by positing an equal and opposite reaction to the offensive made by the enemy: By denying the nationhood of the Arab settler-colonists in the Land of Israel, thus ideologically hacking at the very foundations of this evil edifice of anti-Zionism whose pinnacle we can see, both in the Hamas Charter and here.

    Zionism is by nature just! And anti-Zionism, by nature unjust! For in Zionism a nation takes back its one and only rightful plot of land in the world, while in anti-Zionism a nation possessing huge tracts of land well beyond its rightful plot of land (the Arabian Peninsula) aims to steal what is rightfully ours. As Ahab was punished for stealing a single vineyard that was not his, so too will the land-rich Arab nation, and all who support them in their thievery.

  8. I have never thought to look for this information, so I don’t know the answer: Are there people who say that China should cease to exist because of its treatment of Tibet? People who say that Pakistan should cease to exist because of Kashmir? Maybe that Spain should cease to exist because of the Basque? I would like to ask these questions of anti-Israel agitators, of course…

  9. David Hearst is right to highlight the less than perfect record of Israel on the treatment of its Arab minority. Israel should have done more, and this fact has been recognised in public pronouncements by the current Israeli government.
    Yet Hearst’s lack of perspective is breathtaking. If Hearst had stopped to compare Israel’s record with its Arab minority to the UK’s record with black people of afro-caribbean descent, he might have painted a more accurate picture. As other commenters have pointed out, minority rights in Israel, although far from desirable, compare well with most western democracies, and are on a completely different plane from its middle eastern neighbours.

    It’s in this last comparison that the frightening ahistoricity or Hearst’s article can located. Jewish self determination, modern Zionism, is predicated on the experience of generations of Christian and Arab persecution. The dhimmi status of the Jew in the Arab crescent points the way for how things would really be for the Jews in a one state solution. Families like those of my wife,
    who came to Israel and the west as refugees from persecution in Iraq, know that promises of Arab secular democracy are not to be relied on. The experience of Jordanian occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem fom 48
    to 67 – with its Judenrein policy and destruction of holy Jewish places; the
    increased persecution of Christians in the wake of the Arab Spring; and most
    tellingly the persecution of minorities in the PA and the Gaza strip illuminate the
    risks that Jews would be taking by acceding to a one state solution.

    It’s the comparison between Arab treatment of Jews and Jewish treatment of Arabs that Hearst should have had in mind when he wrote about Israeli Arabs – who are of course the most privileged and protected Arab population across the middle east (how many Israeli Arabs
    exactly have run to escape their “persecuted state” over the border to Jordan?). Nevertheless, Israel should do more to integrated its minorities and champion their rights – Hearst is right on this – but he’s wrong on everything else, especially when it comes to his thinly veiled ahistorical attack on Jewish self determination.

    • “Nevertheless, Israel should do more to integrated its minorities and champion their rights”

      wrong. israel, unlike britain and racist europe where minorities are protested against, arabs and muslims have full rights than any muslims or arab nation.

      the fact is israel tolerates the backward policies of muslims. the polygamy, the lack of national service, etc.

      any attempts at “integration” – like driving to force arabs in the negav to join the 21st century, is met with cries of racism and fascism from the left. but you leave them alone, and their disenfranchised.

      whatever israel does it is wrong. funny thing is, when comparing the inequalities of arabs and minorities to inequalities of minorityes in Britain and the US, israel wins hands down.


      so western critics of israel – focus on yourselves and stop lecturing israel. israel should be lecturing you.

      • Abban –

        I’m not criticising Israeli minority treatment per se – the Israeli government itself recognises the need to do more – I’m pointing out how Hearst takes a legitimate point and deliberately twists it out of recognition to make an absurd argument for the deligitimisation of Israel. The thrust of my post was that if he applied the same logic to the UK he’d have to call for its demise too, which illuminates the fundamental bias and astounding lack of insight in his writing.

  10. Of course the article was ridiculously biased – but the author’s own talk of “backward Arab culture” reeks of bigotry.

  11. Hawkeye and other admins,

    May we have the ‘edit’ button please. I write fast and furious and I make booboos. But it’s a one-shot deal here. I feel embarrassed sometimes.

  12. From a not so even-handed observer of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the past, the Guardian has openly become the epicenter of anti-Israel agitprop in England. Rusbridger and his staff are practically waging war on the Jewish state.

    It is totally unacceptable and something must be done.