General Antisemitism

Obama condemns Arab antisemitism in UN speech. The Guardian’s first reaction? Outrage.


While we try to stay clear of U.S. politics, the Guardian’s initial reaction to the speech delivered by President Barack Obama today at the UN, in the context of Palestinian efforts to unilaterally declare a state, is definitely worth commenting on.

Here are some highlights from Obama’s speech:

we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were.

 These facts cannot be denied. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth…

First out of the gate at the Guardian to condemn Obama’s condemnation of Arab antisemitism, and empathy towards Jewish and Israeli suffering, was Julian Borger, the paper’s diplomatic editor:

Wrote Borger, in a post title, “Obama plays it (electorally) safe on Israel-Palestine“:

A good measure of the emotional slant of any speech on the Israel-Palestine question is the relative weight given to Jewish and Arab suffering. By that measure, the needle on Obama’s speech was far over to one side. The president went into detail on the impact of suicide bombs and rockets, anti-Semitism in Arab schoolbooks and centuries of persecution on Jews.

As the title of the post suggests, the only thing which could possibly explain the President’s condemnation of Arab antisemitism, and Palestinian terrorism, for Borger, is U.S. domestic political pressure. 

So convinced are Guardian editors, reporters, and commentators of Israeli villainy and Palestinian victimhood that anyone who contradicts this narrative must have ulterior motives, or be in the grip of powerful pro-Israel forces.

Whatever President Obama’s motivations for delivering a speech which demanded that Palestinians (and the Arab world) recognize Israel’s right to exist, and condemned the endemic Judeophobia in the Islamic world, the reaction to such a call serves as a telling political barometer.

As such, Julian Borger’s negative reaction to a U.S. President’s modest proposal that Palestinians have much to answer for in their quest for statehood should serve as a potent reminder of the visceral anti-Zionism of the Guardian left.

37 replies »

  1. Very much agree that the reaction to Obama’s speech is very telling indeed. As I write this, Peter Snow, on ITV news is talking of the “connivance” of the US and the UK to pressure Abbas into not declaring statehood.

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines “connivance” as

    “to disregard or tacitly consent to (wrongdoing)”

    It’s plain to see where ITV’s bias lies.

    All political leaders play it electorally safe. The UK’s governments are very good at appeasing Muslims to play it electorally safe too, so why should not Barak Obama?

  2. That’s a disingenuous headline. Borger did not express “outrage” at Obama’s reference to Arab anti-Semitism.

    It was what he ommitted that Borger took issue with.

    • Yes, and we don’t hear a peep out of Borger or virtually anyone else for that matter in the British media on the innumerable occasions when Israel’s case is not put. In fact, it is an extremely rare Guardian article which contains anything that could be considered favourable to Israel. But this is not surprising. The media merely reflects the bigotry that has been an integral part of British society for many centuries. It is this same bigotry that caused Britain to lead the campaign which successfully prevented millions of Jews escaping the Holocaust. It is the same bigotry that caused Britain to act in a manner in post-war Palestine that would have done credit to the SS. It is the same bigotry that has created the tsunami of “anti-Zionism” in Britain.

      • In fact, it is an extremely rare Guardian article which contains anything that could be considered favourable to Israel.

        Well cover me in eggs and flour and bake me for 30 minutes. We agree!

        But your SS reference is hateful nonsense, of course.
        And do get up to date. Anti-Semitism is not an “integral part” of British society. This isn’t the 13th century, FFS.

        Who are the mental midgets that agree with this crap?

        • “Who are the mental midgets that agree with this crap?”

          The many good people here who have absolutely no problem in recognising a moral imbecile.

          “But your SS reference is hateful nonsense, of course.”

          And I can just imagine how you would have behaved in post-war Palestine.

          ———————–

          “The interception of the Exodus in Haifa and British brutality created a sensation. Abba Eban, who was then the Jewish liaison the UN Special Committee On Palestine (UNSCOP) — persuaded four UN representatives to go to Haifa to witness the brutality of the British against the Jews. Eban later related what occurred (Gilbert, Martin, Israel: A History p. 145):

          The Jewish refugees had decided ‘not to accept banishment with docility. If anyone had wanted to know what Churchill meant by a “squalid war,” he would have found out by watching British soldier using rifle butts, hose pipes and tear gas against the survivors of the death camps. Men, women and children were forcibly taken off to prison ships, locked in cages below decks and set out of Palestine waters.’

          “When the four members of UNSCOP came back to Jerusalem, Eban recalled, ‘they were pale with shock. I could see that they were pre-occupied with one point alone: if this was the only way that the British Mandate could continue, it would be better not to continue it at all.'”

          http://www.zionism-israel.com/dic/Exodus.htm

    • Pretzelberg,
      “That’s a disingenuous headline.”
      Hmmm, when was the last time you used that word (“disingenuous”)?
      Oh, yeah, two days ago, when you demonstrated your utter lack of knowledge about ME history…
      http://cifwatch.com/2011/09/20/debunking-the-the-palestinianguardian-narrative-of-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict-video/
      No wonder you defend that rag so fervently, it suits your worldview just fine…
      “Borger did not express “outrage” at Obama’s reference to Arab anti-Semitism.
      It was what he ommitted that Borger took issue with.”
      It is only natural of the rag’s writers to ignore the truth, when Obama says it, for a change – it doesn’t suit their one-sided (understatement!!) worldview.

    • It seems that there are a lot of cowards visiting this website. I spoke the truth – nothing outrageous at all! What’s the matter with you people?

      Nobody has actually responded in writing to my comment.

      (except the pathetically predictable Nazi slurs from HP, which hardly count)

  3. Adam

    “……Obama plays it (electorally) safe on Israel-Palestine…..”

    Is Obama playing it safe, or carrying out the will of the American people? Isn’t that what elections determine? Isn’t that why we vote? We have no way to hold our leaders accountable other than elections (or impeachment). Does the Guardian oppose the election process??

    If Obama chooses winning his re-election bid over principal (his own), then we need to elect more principled leaders, or be thankful that he is attentive to what Americans want (in this case). Obama gave no hint during the 2008 election campaign that he was going to throw Israel under the bus.based on some principal that he supports Palestinian statehood at all costs.. So democracy works. Americans strongly support Israel, and Obama carry out out the will of the majority of Americans – on this issue.

    In fact, your quoted section of Obama’s speech seems to bring much needed frankness to the discussion of the Middle East and anti Jewish bigotry. Too often (like always), reporters like Harriet Sherwood sweep this hatred under the rug. By doing so, they rationalize the hatred – and violence. The Guardian appears interested in ramping up hatred and violence against Jews as a way to pressure Israel. Too many articles in the Guardian lately threaten (justify, in my opinion) violence against Israel if they don’t bend to the demands of the Palestinians. Egypt is the most glaring example.

      • Thanks for that Pretzelberg (fucking sellout Americans).

        The question used in the poll is shown below:

        “……As you may know, the Palestinian Authority is planning to request that the UN General Assembly recognize the Palestinian Territories as a state and as a member of the UN. Do you think [RESPONDENT’S COUNTRY] should vote for or against this request?…..”

        Its not surprising that most people including Americans support the creation of a Palestinian state (myself included). However, its unlikely (to me at least), that a majority of Americans would have voted yes if the question posed had included that Israel would have to withdraw all claims to East Jerusalem, and dismantle all settlements to meet the criteria of the statehood bid which is the 67 borders. But I might be wrong.

        • You might well be correct re. the more detailed theoretical survey question you mention.

          But why are ordinary Americans “sellouts” for being in favour of the UN in principle recognising a Palestinian state?

          • If you honestly are in favour of that at this juncture and under those conditions then you have even less concern for the welfare and future of the Jewish people than I originally imagined.

            • you have even less concern for the welfare and future of the Jewish people than I originally imagined.

              I have made it clear enough that I want Israel in its current form to prosper!

              But what’s this talk of me being against the “future of the Jewish people”?

              That is simply ludicrous! But again you’ve got your mindless morons agreeing with that pretty outrageous slur.

              Shame on you all.

              Besides:
              70% of Israelis say Israel should accept UN decision
              http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=238855

              • pretzelberg,

                Interesting study, wasn’t it. did you happen to catch who authored the survey:
                “The poll, which was conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, ”

                Hmmm, no reason to doubt the veracity or non-partisanship of their their survey techniques or results, is there???

            • Actually I did suspect that. Sometimes it’s so hard to tell with this purely text-based means of communication. Sorry.
              😉

      • bs survey

        polls show that american support israel over the arabs

        other polls show that majority of readers of this blog think you a moron

        • That latter hypothetical poll obviously being of complete idiots.

          A majority of Americans a) yes, “prefer Israel over the Arabs” but b) support a two-state solution.

          • pretzelberg,

            Yes and the polls also would seem to indicate (on the surface) that the majority of Palestinians want a two-state solution. But then recent polls also indicate that most palestinians also want Israel as a state eliminated. So any outward show of a desire for “two-states” is purely on a temporary basis only.

            I wonder if the pollsters are prepared to put the language “permanet two state vs. temporary two state” into their polling models.Hmmm……

    • Tom, re the much-needed frankness you refer to above – I clang on ad nauseam and without apology about the western establishment’s almost phobic avoidance of mentioning that the difficulties between Israel and her neighbours are mainly ones of Arab ignorance and anti-Jewish bigotry and that this Jew-hatred is exported from Muslim countries to the west using the existence of Israel to justify it.

      Naming these lies and manipulations for what they are, with well-sourced and verified proofs, and as often as is necessary for the penny to drop, is vital if we are to undermine them.

      Therefore I was surprised and glad that Obama himself named the pernicious Jew-hatred of Arab countries for what it is (and explicit in his speech was that the Palestinians are blameworthy for teaching hatred to their children) whether the ignoramuses of the Guardian, the loony Left or their fellow travellers take notice of him or not.

      • Hi Mitnaged

        As usual, I couldn’t agree with you more.

        “…..Jew-hatred is exported from Muslim countries to the west [via the “looney” left] using the existence of Israel to justify it……” my brackets

        Indeed, I am a little shocked by Obama’s veracity on this particular subject. He is not the strongest of leaders. However, I believe that Obama’s reach out to the Muslim world early in his Presidency was sincere, just naive.

        Most of “….the ignoramuses of the Guardian, the loony Left or their fellow travellers….” will chalk up Obama’s support for Israel as election driven, or driven by the “powerful” Jewish lobby. Thus, most of the anti Israel crowd will not take notice – except to criticize Obama.

  4. Pretzelberg…..The survey you refer to was undertaken by the BBC. Slowly, slowly, the British public – and American, come to that – are waking up to the sad realisation that the once-trusted BBC is biased.

    I’m not sure which part of the world you’re in so you may not know this, but last year a British newspaper carried the stories of two very well-known ex-BBC newscasters who blew this whistle.

    • The headline that story carries is potentially dodgy, because it’s not clear whether the total poll results were weighted according to the various countries’ populations.

      But what about specifically the feedback from the US? You’re saying the BBC made up or manipulated the survey?

      • Pretzelburg

        Neither you nor I can know the sample, methodology or statistical test used by the BBC in this survey. For me the sad fact is that I cannot trust them anymore. When you see them twisting stories, manipulating facts both online and in some of their programs, and when you have sufficient knowledge of the issues to know that they are doing this, then how can you trust them as you once did?

        You can forgive one or two mistakes but when trust takes a hammering on a near-daily basis, I’m afraid cynicism is bound to creep in. My trust has been shot to pieces to the extent that I now no longer know what other issues they may be manipulating. I am not alone. The voices of concern are growing with many calling for British citizens to withold the fee we are forced to pay the BBC.

  5. “These facts cannot be denied.” Ha, if Obama read the Guardian, he would know that yes, they can be denied!

  6. “The president went into detail on the impact of suicide bombs and rockets, anti-Semitism in Arab schoolbooks and centuries of persecution on Jews.”

    Yeah, heaven forfend the image of the faux-Palestinians (Arab settler-colonist land-thieves really) as cute, cuddly, innocent angels who wouldn’t hurt a fly should ever be brought into doubt. /sarc

  7. The Guardian will contextualize and probably even defend the next series of Arab violence against Israelis and Jews (Oh and Americans) as a result of the US veto.

    The stage is set. If there s a veto, there will be violence.
    If there were no veto, there would be violence but then, that would be between two nation states in which we can easily predict how the UN would referee.

    The French, who are to provide one of the theatres to this new round of violence, suggested according observer status to the Pals so that there’s no need for a security counsel vote.
    Probably thereby inviting violence to France … but cynically predictably less than under scenario “veto”.

  8. I had the distinctly un-pleasurable opportunity to hear the vile Hanan Ashrawi venting on CNN in an interview with Candi Crowley about the poor Palestinians, how no one understands their suffering, etc. etc., and how Obama has to play it safe with the pressure groups he faces in his reelection bid (the Jews, you know – that 1% of the US population that single-handedly decides the fates of President and Congressmen).

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/09/21/jk-ashrawi-palestinian-statehood.cnn

    I had thought we were rid of her – we haven’t seen her for years – but they trot her out on occasions like this to go through the whole litany – stealing land, apartheid wall, road blocks, the racist regime in Jerusalem, the Arab Spring, etc, – all perfectly tuned to the ignorant American ear.

    One can only wonder if this is what she thinks, what will have to change in their minds til they are ready to discuss matters with Israel?

    Here is Mark Regev once again trying to point out that it is the Palestinains who refuse to talk to Israel:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/09/21/jk-israel-palestine-regev.cnn

    Last night we saw Piers Morgan overlooking the fact that Israel has repeatedly agreed to negotiate while the Palestinians walk away, in an interview with Ehud Barak. There’s a little bit here where he tries to get Barak to say that Israel and America are forcing Obama to support Israel:

    http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/20/ehud-barak-obama-is-friendly-to-israel-especially-in-security-related-issues

  9. Pretz – “Anti-Semitism is not an “integral part” of British society. This isn’t the 13th century, FFS.” -= i’m afraid you are very wrong on this Pretz….having gone to Harrow school….and then Oxford ….and then a job in the City…. i can tell you with sad confidence antisemitism is ingrained into the ruling class of England in a way that hasn’t changed for decades, if not centuries. and you are right ,,,,, this isnt the 13th century – http://www.libdemvoice.org/clegg-sacks-jenny-tonge-17932.html – someone tell that to house of lords representative Jenny Tonge

  10. Well, so much for the “Obama is throwing Israel under the bus” meme that’s been repeated on this blog as of late…

    …until somebody ignores this and many other such positions he and his administration have taken and repeats the meme again.

    • i know right! The other day another said Obama was a secret muslim in cahoots with Abass.
      What a difference skin color makes.

  11. Ben

    .having gone to Harrow school….and then Oxford ….and then a job in the City…. i can tell you with sad confidence antisemitism is ingrained into the ruling class of England in a way that hasn’t changed for decades, if not centuries.

    No wonder the Guardian has an inbuilt antipathy to the Jews and Israel. The vast majority of Guardian writers are public-school educated Oxbridge graduates.