Guardian

The Guardian’s secular prophets see total Arab victory and Zionism’s complete demise


The following was posted in the comments section of CiF, and is being published here with the permission of the writer (whose moniker is Sarka“).  It’s a reply to today’s essay by Guardian foreign leader, David Hearst, titled Could Arab staying power ultimately defeat Zionism?, which, in the second post in as many days at CiF, represents a call for the end of the Jewish state. 

Unlike some, I don’t get myself in a froth about the fact that the Guardian publishes pieces by commentators with views I consider ludicrous and self-deceiving.  That’s part of debate, and when the commentators concerned actually come from the country or group concerned, or even more are actually involved in important ways in the politics of it all, then even if depressing the views expressed are instructive as a form of relevant news. 

Unlike some, I also don’t expect the Guardian, or any other newspaper, to be completely “objective” editorially. There is no such thing on any issue. I accept that Guardian editorial attitude on the Israeli-Palestinian issue is more anti-Israeli than my attitude – and when it expresses itself in reasoned, fact-based, intelligent form, this is absolutely fine, and adds to my understanding.

But there is something very dismaying about the fact that here we have a British journalist whose job it is to write “foreign leaders”, who in a personal comment piece (obviously he would not be allowed to write this as a leader, even in the Guardian) comes out with quite such disingenuous, inflammatory stuff. 

Hm. disingenuous? Maybe that’s a nasty word…i.e. it suggests rather nastily that David Hearst and others know in their hearts that in practice – any “one-state” solution at any foreseeable point in the future, would be unworkable – as unworkable as e.g. re-establishing Yugoslavia in the name of humanity and brotherhood – and so in fact what they are willing is the complete destruction of Jewish national aspirations with extreme prejudice, and even the likely flight of most of the Jewish population from former Israel.

Yet maybe they do not know this in their hearts, or maybe they do not know their own hearts. Hard to say. But perhaps a more charitable view of some is that they are desperately trying to preserve an almost theological conviction of the innocence and goodness of mankind.

This explains the frequently rather allegorical, moralising themes…Here it is the “steadfastness” of the wronged Palestinians – iconically n this context always very humble simple people (not more affluent or intellectual types, despite the fact that such Palestinians exist) .

This “steadfastness” will (MUST), for Hearst, overcome and redeem the forces of evil (Zionism – wonderfully iconographically focusing all the elements of modern “evil”, viz. the four horsemen of “racism”, “colonialism”, “militarism” and “money/capitalist power”).

Notably almost no attention is paid to precisely how this is to be brought about. It simply MUST happen through the sheer force of its rightness and necessity. It simply CAN and WILL happen if the Palestinians, and all right-thinking people, steadfastly believe in it. This is what means that not just the “Zionists” but anyone who expresses scepticism., who is not willing to see the Palestinians and Israelis iconically, does not just have a differing view, but is a terrible part of the problem – a person who does not just take the wrong view on I/P, but wickedly fails to believe in the vision of human innocence and virtue triumphant.

It’s funny to me that leftist anti-Zionists like to make so much of the kind of US Christian Zionist types whose support for Israel is based on prophecy and revelation…for in fact their attitudes are very much informed by a secular form of the same sort of narrative…and they often (as here) sound more like rather loopy preachers than political analysts.

6 replies »

  1. Sarka is my favourite CiF commenter – and it’s good that she seems to have found her way onto Harry’s Place recently too – I don’t think she is someone (as far as I’ve noticed) who is unusually interested in I/P, or in any way partisan. Her points here are very telling.

  2. Subtle and well-informed, sarka is always the most interesting commentator on CIF no matter what the subject is. She is truly intellectual and casts her pearls before the swine of CIF with unfailing courtesy and good humour.

  3. Sarka

    “…..Notably almost no attention is paid to precisely how this is to be brought about. It simply MUST happen through the sheer force of its rightness and necessity. It simply CAN and WILL happen if the Palestinians, and all right-thinking people, steadfastly believe in it…..”

    First of all, let me compliment you for never mentioning the word “anti-Semite” in the comments section even though the Guardian writer crossed the line into anti-Semitism. Possibly, it was because you feared getting deleted (and it’s a sure way to get deleted), but the overall tone of your comment suggest that you believe that extreme leftist like Mr. Hearst of the Guardian is not driven by hatred of Jews (“…..shear force of rightness and necessity….”). Personally, I don’t believe that he is, or that most on the extreme left are driven by hatred of Jews. The extreme right is far more dangerous to Jews in my opinion. Breivik directed his hate toward Muslims (killing those he believed responsible for the Islamification of Europe), but certainly, if not Islam, he was a prime candidate to hate anyone who he considered a threat. That could have been Jews as easily as Muslims. Sometime in the past, he might have been the perfect SS officer.

    On the other hand, while the extreme left may not – in general – be driven by hatred of Jews (in my opinion), they clearly have little interest in human rights, “rightness” and fairness either. That’s because the far left is obsessed with Israel – and the US. This is their raison d’être. Conflicts that don’t involve Israel or the US are ignored (Sri Lanka, for example). Typically, they support authoritarian regimes like Iran and China as counters to the US and Israel despite their very poor human rights records. Given two wishes, they would root for the demise of Israel (Hearst) and the collapse of the US. Indeed, the far left’s hatred for Israel and the US motivates their cause.

    The article by David Hearst is a perfect example of exactly how much the fringe left hates (us). According to Hearst, it is far better for the Palestinians to hold out for the demise of Zionism i.e., continue resisting with rockets, mortar and terrorist attacks, and live in squalor than build a Palestinian state. Better to motivate the Palestinians to continue to suffer 100:1 Palestinian to Israel death ratios than settle for the two state solution. Better for the Palestinians to teach their children anti-Jewish hatred than to become productive citizens of a Palestinian state. Better to try to deny Jewish self-determination than to aspire for Palestinian self-determination. In general, it is better to encourage the Palestinians to continue to suffer for the extreme left’s obsession (the demise of Israel) which is exactly what Hearst appears to be promoting. While the cowards on the fringe left rest comfortably in Europe (primarily), the Palestinians suffer. This has nothing to do with “fair”, or “right thinking” at all. In fact, it’s nothing but a disgusting use of the Palestinians to satisfy their own anti-Israel political agenda.

    The far left hates what the US and Israel represent. You captured the spirit of the extreme left with your statement:

    “…..wonderfully iconographically focusing all the elements of modern “evil”, viz. the four horsemen of “racism”, “colonialism”, “militarism” and “money/capitalist power”…”

    Beautifully put, Sarka, and a well thought out response to Mr. Hearst.

    • Tom,

      “The extreme right is far more dangerous to Jews in my opinion.”

      I disagree on that. Not because I think the extreme (neo-Nazi) Right is cute and cuddly—of course not. I disagree because of that lesson I get from history, that Jew-hatred poses a true and potent threat to the Jews once it comes in a form acceptable to large society.

      The extreme Right talks about “killing those hook-nosed parasitic Jewish vermin.” The hard Left, which may be called extreme but one must keep in mind that that doesn’t mean “marginalized” in their case (the hard Left has been steadily moving to the center since the 1960s), talks about “the need to understand suicide bombings and Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric in the context of Zionist colonial hegemonism” (or something like that). Which of those is universally condemned, and which wins accolades at the university symposium, at the suit-and-tie dinner, at the meetings of political big names and so on? This new form of Jew-hatred, in which the vicious traditional Jew-hatred of Islam is given justification by Marxist post-colonial rhetoric, is far more dangerous than the rants of any Stormfronter, because it can be made in polite society and garner applause there.

      • Thanks Zion for you interesting reply.

        There is a lot of truth to what you say, certainly. The extreme left does justify terror against Israel. That does make them indirectly dangerous to the collective punishment of European Jews as well as to Jews in Israel (also around the world like in Venezuela, for example). Extreme right wing (Nazi) ideology has been pointedly monitored in Europe, and does not represent a major threat to Jews at this time. As I suggested in my previous post, the extreme left is also dangerous to the health of the Palestinians – encouraging resistance (as Mr. Hearst advocates). Yet, the one state solution is not even a remote possibility.

        None the less, it is right wing extremist Muslims (in the mold of Nazi Germany) that physically threaten Jews in Europe as well as Israel. That’s where the primary physical danger lies to Jews – not the extreme left. Israel still enjoys a good deal of support in Europe, and the far left is still too small of a political movement to threaten Jews directly (although they wield a lot of power for their numbers).

        “…….This new form of Jew-hatred, in which the vicious traditional Jew-hatred of Islam is given justification by Marxist post-colonial rhetoric, is far more dangerous than the rants of any Stormfronter, because it can be made in polite society and garner applause there……”

        The delegitimizers of Israel (extreme leftism) have made inroads into the mainstream in Europe and even into the political left in the US (the Democratic Party, for example). This has become a major problem for Israel on the international stage. Abbas enjoys tremendous support internationally. The Palestinians enjoy unprecedented support from the international community. Even Hamas has been moderated. Provacative rocket and mortar attacks are not reported widely in the west. Despite the prospect for failure being high, Abbas will take the Palestinian case to the UN for statehood. Remember that the Palestinians are dysfunctional politically, and non-democratic. A terrorist organization governs Gaza – yet they still have widespread support. Why?

        In a propaganda war fought in the international arena, Israeli settlement policies have done immense damage to Israel – internationally. In affect, Israel has given the moral high ground to the delegitimizers of israel. These are the very same extremist that would delegitimize israel if there were no settlements.

        In no way am I suggesting that settlements are the biggest obstacle to peace (although they represent an obstacle). Certainly, the failure of the Arabs (not just the Palestinians) to accept a Jewish state in Palestine has prevented peace since 1947. Indeed, if Israel had never crossed the 67 border, terrorist attacks against Israel would likely have continued unabated – just as before the 67 war. Its unlikely that Palestinian society would have been any less dysfunctional. Hamas (like Hezbollah) would have still emerged with the same charter of hate.

        Yet, the settlements are “percieved” internationally as an attempt to steal Palestinian land – despite the offers of peace by Israel in 2000 and 2007. This is the primary issue where the extreme left has made inroads into the mainstream of Europe and the US. This is by no means the only issue that has been used by the extreme left to undercut the state of israel. It just seems (to me) the one that gains the most traction, giving legitimacy to the anti Israel movement.

        • “…right wing extremist Muslims…”

          The left/right dichotomous view of politics, while often helpful, can at times be inapplicable, because certain ideologies partake of the characteristics of both Right and Left. For example, Nazism is usually considered to have been part of the Right, but it was in reality a hybrid ideology with some right-wing and some left-wing traits in fusion.

          For a similar reason, I don’t think the left/right dichotomy can be applied to jihadist Islam. It is socially conservative like the Right, but anti-nationalist like the Marxist Left (which is one of the reasons why they manage to be in alliance despite their differences).

          “In a propaganda war fought in the international arena, Israeli settlement policies have done immense damage to Israel – internationally.”

          I disagree. The greatest damage Israel has done to itself in the propaganda war was when the ideological ground still held in Golda Meir’s day was ceded to the faux-Palestinian narrative. Golda wisely denied that the Arab settler-colonist land-thieves in Palestine constituted a nation in their own right, and had Israel kept to that line and trumpeted it all over the world, there’d have been no problem with Israel building in its post-1967 territories. When, however, the steadfast position was relinquished in favor of that “pragmatic” move of recognizing the “national rights” and “legitimate grievances” of this so-called “Palestinian nation”—a nation that no essay, book or historical atlas in the West mentions before the 1960s—then all of Zionism came up for grabs; beginning with the post-1967 territories, and now more and more commonly the pre-1967 territories as well.

          “These are the very same extremist that would delegitimize israel if there were no settlements.”

          If so then there’s no point in doing anything to please them, least of all concessions of land. If we’re going to do the time as far as the anti-Zionists are concerned, then we might as well commit the “crime.” (In quotes because Jews inhabiting the Land of Israel is certainly no crime.)

          “In no way am I suggesting that settlements are the biggest obstacle to peace (although they represent an obstacle).”

          The Arab settlements in Palestine are an obstacle to peace.

          “Yet, the settlements are ‘percieved’ internationally as an attempt to steal Palestinian land.”

          This perception must be rectified, then—but not by ethnically cleansing Judea and Samaria of all Jews. It must be rectified by going back to Zionist basics, back to the sane and self-defending position that there is no true Palestinian nation except the Jewish nation, and that the ones falsely calling themselves “Palestinians” are really Arab settlers, part of a nation that already has so much in excess of what it deserves (the Arabian Peninsula) and is guilty of stealing the true Palestinian nation’s one and only piece of land in the world.

          To return to that position; to make it official on all of Israel’s sources of information; and finally, to have the Jewish State force the hostile media outlets to air this true point of view. Thus can Israel’s PR position be made right again.

          Thank you too for your comment.