Guardian’s Middle East Editor, Ian Black, equates Gilad Shalit with Palestinian terrorists

I’ll never forget the heated debate on Facebook about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict I had with a left-wing Jewish acquaintance back in Philadelphia several years ago. Upon attempting to confirm that, regardless of how critical she may have been towards the Israeli government, she wasn’t suggesting anything resembling a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, she wrote:

“That question is a red herring.”  

What my friend was saying, in effect, was that the question I was posing wasn’t relevant and/or was merely meant to divert attention from the particular issue we were discussing.

Of course, what this really meant was that she wasn’t prepared to concede my argument that democratic Israel (whatever its imperfections) was inherently morally superior (by even the most rudimentary liberal standards) to the reactionary, Iranian backed Islamist terrorist group who rules Gaza. 

My friend’s post-modern rejection of the modest proposition that Western-style liberal democracy is inherently superior to Islamism – an idea which more than a few far left Jews have succumbed to – also represents, to be sure, an intellectual paradigm which characterizes the Guardian-style left.

The Guardian’s Middle East editor, Ian Black, wrote the following, upon news that a deal for Gilad Shalit’s release may be near, in “Gilad Shalit exchange deal could boost both Hamas and Israeli government, Oct. 11:

Shalit’s lonely, five-year plight has moved and angered Israelis who, by and large, still accept the burden and risks of compulsory national service.

Palestinians face the problem on a far larger scale: they count some 11,000 security prisoners in Israeli jails, the admiring Arabic label “factories for men” masking the toll this takes on families. [emphasis mine]

No, it’s not surprising that the Guardian’s Middle East editor equates Gilad Shalit with Palestinians who have either planned or carried out murderous terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli civilians.

But, the fact that such moral comparisons are routine at the Guardian doesn’t render them any less abhorrent. 

Palestinian terrorists being held in Israeli jails do, of course, vary considerably in their motivations.

Most are religious and inspired by Islamist theology, and others more secular and motivated by political ideology.   

But almost all of those who have wed themselves to a Palestinian terrorist movement share one common belief: that Israel has no right to exist and that it is therefore morally justifiable – indeed laudable – to murder Israeli Jews.

This is the moral thread which links Al-Aqsa Martyrs BrigadeDemocratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)HamasPalestine Islamic JihadThe Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), and other terrorist groups.

All you need to do is briefly survey Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI to understand how widespread and socially acceptable hatred towards Jews – and not merely Israelis – is within Palestinian society.

The fact that sixty-six years after the Holocaust there are individuals, groups, and nations who, as in every generation, seek to destroy Jews should come as no surprise to anyone with even the most cursory understanding of world history.

But, what is at most appalling – and what this blog continually strives to expose –  is the fact that it has become respectable within certain liberal circles to ignore, excuse, or rationalize such annihilationist antisemtism.

I live little more than 1 km away from the Gilad Shalit tent on Azza (Gaza) Street in Jerusalem, and routinely walk by Gilad’s father, Noam, on my way to work.  

As the tent is open and Noam is often there and open to visitors, I’ve often considered introducing myself and expressing my support.

However, there was something about it which didn’t quite seem right.  Who was I, I’ve thought, as a new Oleh (immigrant), to intrude?

How could I, as an American-Israeli, possibly understand his pain?  

As a new Israeli, I sincerely try to avoid the hubris of imagining that I could possibly understand the sacrifices of native-born Israelis – those without the privilege of escaping to another nation in times of trouble. 

For five years, Noam and his family have been robbed of the joy of celebrating Shabbat, Jewish holidays and festivals, and the ineffable beauty of everyday life, with their son, Gilad.

Noam Shalit with a photo of his son, Gilad, at the Shalit tent on Azza St.

Unlike the terrorists being held in Israeli jails, Gilad, at the time of his abduction by Hamas, had not committed, nor was contemplating, any actual crime.

Gilad’s five years of captivity in Gaza was, however, a consequence of the moral – and immutable – crime of being an Israeli Jew. 

40 replies »

  1. How about the many Arab teenagers arrested by the Israelis – and the treatment meted out to them? Do they imprison Jewish settler kids of the same age for similar offences? I think not. That is why apartheid references re. the West Bank are justified.

    • The ONLY apartheid references that are justified are those addressed to islamofascist theocracies, islamofascist dictatorships.

      • Word.

        And in addition, there’s no such thing as “Jewish settler kids.” The only settlers in Palestine are the Arabs, for they are the colonists here while the Jews are the indigenous Palestinians.

        Happy Nakba, Pretzels!

    • Pretzelberg, I believe you are confusing discrimination, that will occur in every society and some discrimination that may sometimes cross legal boundaries often done in furtherance of legitimate Israeli security issues, with the kind of state sponsered discrimination that separated one ethnicity on the grounds of religious and racial superiority beliefs, which manifested itself in the forms of “White Only” zones accross the whole of a country. None of this has anything to do with Israel, however repugnant some racists in Israel may appear. The label “apartheid” is a smear that has no foundation in any law of the state. Think!

      Now , what has your point got to do with a kidnapped Israeli soldier denied the rights that normal POWs receive?

    • Do you even know what apartheid means?

      I am very disappointed in you, pretzelberg. Sometimes I think you post nonsense just to make a noise.

    • Pretzelberg, you unmitigated schmuck, blow it out your ear. No one wants to read your prissy, cold, mealy-mouthed crap, especially at a time like this.

      That you are too stupid to understand that Israeli children must defend themselves and their families from marauding Arabs is your problem.

      My only problem is that Israel jails the little Arab bastards. I would prefer a shot to the head.

    • ‘What my friend was saying, in effect, was that the question I was posing wasn’t relevant and/or was merely meant to divert attention from the particular issue we were discussing’

      Maybe she was implicitly acknowledging a fundamental equivalence between Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian nationalism with Jewish nationalism.

      Not something I have seen said too often on CIFWatch.

  2. Pretz, this is perhaps the best non sequitor you’ve ever contributed.

    Do you deny that Shalit’s captivity has been morally inexcusable?

    Do you deny that it’s tragic that Palestinian terrorists who have murdered Israelis will be released in the deal to release Shalit?

    What on G-d’s earth does the arrest of Arab teens who assault Israelis have to do with the imprisonment of Gilad Shalit?

    Finally, glad to know you’ve come out as a proponent of the malicious, and intellectually unserious, Apartheid libel.

    Is there anything else you’ve been bottling up inside about Israeli villainy you’d like to share?

    Please, don’t hold back. Let it rip.

    • Pretzl answers according to his mood and not according to facts. That is why I disregard his comments here and on comment is free. There’s no consistency there.

      • “Pretzl answers according to his mood”

        No, it’s just that, on occasion, he reveals the poison that lies within.

          • I can see you are in a mood pretzelberg and when that happens out you come with all this rubbish.

            Probably best to do the equivalent of what a good enough parent should and ignore you until you come to your senses.

          • pretzels, If opposing

            – hijacking passenger planes
            – flying hijacked passenger planes into buildings
            – bombing passenger planes
            – releasing convicted bombers in to advance Big Business
            – hijacking the 1972 Olympics
            – beheading prisoners
            – using poison gas on the Kurds of Halabja Iraq
            – bombing buses and subways in London
            – murdering rape victims to restore familly honor
            – heads of state issuing genocidal threats against other countries

            makes one a “bigot” in your eyes,

            That says more about your immoral values than you can imagine.

            P.S. Happy Nakba pretzels!

    • “But, the fact that such moral comparisons are routine at the Guardian doesn’t render them any less abhorrent.”

      Given that Black and Co. would only make that kind of comparison when discussing the Jewish state, it is also blatantly anti-Semitic. And it isn’t just Black. It is a widely held belief in Britain that terrorist attacks against Jewish Israelis are quite justified

      It would be a Jew of enormous compassion who would have any sympathy whatsoever for the British when they themselves suffer a terrorist attack. I would imagine that most Jews see it as a kind of poetic justice.

      Back in around 2003, Black wrote a piece defending Europe against the charge of anti-Semitism. It is a different place now, he argued. About that also he could not be more wrong.

    • Do you deny that Shalit’s captivity has been morally inexcusable?

      Cut the suggestive crap. It puts you in a very poor light.

      Finally, glad to know you’ve come out as a proponent of the malicious, and intellectually unserious, Apartheid libel.

      I have NEVER called Israel itself an apartheid state. I have many times attacked CiF posters for such claims.

      Is there anything else you’ve been bottling up inside about Israeli villainy you’d like to share?

      No. Sorry to disappoint.

      What on G-d’s earth does the arrest of Arab teens who assault Israelis have to do with the imprisonment of Gilad Shalit?

      Many of those teens have done nothing at all to warrant arrest – and you know it.

      • How, pray do we know it? More importantly how do YOU know it other than from distinctly stinky anti-Israel sites?

        And you are totally missing the point Hoi Polloi has made.

        You should go and lie down in a darkened room until you calm down and can think rather than emote.

      • only an idiot would say “… apartheid references re. the West Bank are justified” and then say ” I have NEVER called Israel an apartheid state”

      • Pretzel, maintaining a balance between CIF and CIFWatch is an unenviable task, which you do indefatigably.

  3. Pretzel

    Do you honestly think that Arab teenagers arrested for minor offences are treated the way Shalit was?
    In isolation for 5 years + with access to anything from the outside.

    The problem is the equating of an even sometimes unjust (as what country is perfect) judiciary of a civilized nation to a hole dug by Hamas fanatics ?
    That is assuming that I accept your thesis that Arab kids are treated unfairly compared to settler kids.


    How many of these teenage petty criminals has Hamas asked to be released in exchange for Shalit?

    • A – 0.

      They even wondered if to ask about Bargouti since he might be the new Fatah leader if released and ultimately will weaken them.

  4. Ian Black got it very wrong (as usual) about not knowing where Gilad was held.

    It was known but it was also known that the surroundings were mined and that the house in which he was held was heavily mined. Any attempt at rescue would have caused the death of the target and the rescuers.

    • I have often thought that kidnapping the families of senior Hamas leaders would have been a good solution.

      But that would lower us to their level.

      • They would rejoice in us doing that.
        Some of the ones we captured say openly they are happier in Israeli jails as they get 3 square meals, the time to study for free and the fake honour which possibly give them brides through their warped society rules.

        Hardly worth mentioning payments to the famillies..

      • JerusalemMite, yes it would, but it’d nevertheless send a very powerful message. Having said that, I doubt that it’d make a difference. Sociopaths who can send or give up their own children to die and call it glorious and teach them to hate – ditto – are unlikely to be much moved by having their families kidnapped.

        There’s a debate to be had about the extent to which Israel has been too civilised, very much at a cost to itself, in its dealings with the fundamentally dishonest animals of Hamas. Having argued that, however, walk too long inside a Hamas sociopath’s skin and you run the risk of becoming a sociopath yourself.

    • Black piles scorn upon the hatred. These Israeli Jews are not just wicked, they are also utterly incompetent.

  5. We mustn’t forget Nachshon.

    And those who died in that cross border raid to capture Shalit.

    And for Pretzelberg, I’d like to remind you what Golda said:

    “When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.”

    Same goes as to capture their teens.
    Same as in the UK.
    When teens are allowed to run riot and damage whatever whenever they feel like it, they must be held acountable.
    When they wear explosive vests on them and are obviously depreseed beyond words you know the damage that was done to them was not done by the IDF but further back in their childhood by hate indoctrination by theor own famillies.

    You let the ones who teach their young hate and war glories off the hook too easily.

    And another Golda’s statements which I and my class been brought up on since we were in primery school:

    “We owe a responsibility not only to those who are in Israel but also to those generations that are no more, to those millions who have died within our lifetime, to Jews all over the world, and to generations of Jews to come. We hate war. We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown, and when strawberries bloom in Israel. ”

    And finally since I’ve been quoting Golda I’d like to add my favourate one even though it is off topic, but maybe just bring a smile:

    “Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil! ”

  6. BTW,7340,L-4134307,00.html

    It isn’t mentioned in the English version but Ahmed Jaabari was running the show from the Hamas side.

    Bargouti will not be released acording to Israeli sources.

    For Jaabari this is a recruiting ground…

    In case you don’t know who really runs Hamas, simply search for Ahmed Al-Ja’abari (or Jabari).

    He is linked to over ruling Hanyia and stealing Hamas money.
    He is also a big leader of the Hamas armed wing.

  7. It’s not just the Guardian, as we all know, who use weasly language to suggest moral equivalence or to downplay the inexcusable actions of Islamists. The BBC online story about the deal says that “Sgt Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid in 2006.”

    “Captured?” He is, by no definition, a prisoner of war. He was at best abducted, and more realistically kidnapped, as confirmed by dozens of independent Human Rights organisations that are usually anything but supportive of Israel and Israeli actions.

    “A cross-border raid?” Note this is the passive sense. There is no indication as to who carried out the raid and into whose territory the raid occured. As we know, Hamas-affiliated terrorists (or “militants” as the Beeb prefers to call them despite the UK government proscribing Hamas as a terrorist organisation) illegally raided a sovereign state, Israel, and snatched Gilad during a gun battle with soldiers.

    • It’s my impression that Israel doesn’t really exist for all the worthless people infesting modern society. It’s just a projection from the diseased Arab fantasia that infects them. Israel therefore has no rights and and Israelis have no similarity to themselves;

      Not so different from just all Jews in Hitler’s view.

      And not so far from the Shylock character of 500 years ago.

      I bet the culprits think they are wonderfully progressive.

  8. A huge raspberry to he person who gave Pretzelberg’s completely acceptable comment above a single star just because of his name.

    Shame on you!