The Guardian is well-known for providing space for proponents of radical Islam who advance politics which are decidedly racist and politically reactionary.
However, Simon Tisdall’s defense last year of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir – charged with genocide for launching attacks on the black non-Arab population of Darfur which resulted in up to 400,000 dead (much like Noam Chomsky’s defense Mao and Pol Pot) – is an exquisite example of where the extreme left becomes indistinguishable from the extreme right.
The money quote from Tisdall (in his Dec. 27, 2010 essay) pertained to his complaint that al-Bashar has been “ostracised by western governments, [and] makes an easy target. America always needs bogeymen and Bashir fits the bill: big, bothersome, bad-tempered, black, Arab and Muslim.”
That final sentence should be placed in a museum of intellectual thought as a representation of the far left’s capacity to synthesize anti-Americanism, post-colonialism and a perverse understanding of anti-racism in order to defend the morally indefensible.
Tisdall’s appalling defense of al-Bashar provides the moral context by which to judge his recent “analysis” of Israeli politics, in “Gilad Shalit swap has split opinion on Benjamin Netanyahu“, Oct. 18.
Of course, bashing the Israeli right is something of a sport at the Guardian, and Tisdall’s piece certainly doesn’t break any new ground.
Tisdall criticizes Bibi’s lack of strategic vision which, he observes, manifests itself in the Israeli Prime Minister’s failure to “use resulting momentum [of the Shalit deal] to bridge the impasse over the blockade of Gaza or kickstart stalled peace negotiations.”
I read over that passage a few times and still don’t quite understand what it means, or, specifically, how precisely Israel’s decision to set free 1027 terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit relates to a blockade of Gaza necessitated by Hamas’s little habit of importing deadly weapons from Iran to use against Israeli civilians.
Even more unclear is how Tisdall’s squares his complaint that Bibi has failed to use the Shalit swap to “kickstart stalled peace negotiations” with his subsequent complaint, in the following passage, that “the deal has further weakened the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in relation to his more militant rivals.”
So, which one is it?
Is Bibi’s sin his failure to use the momentum of the Shalit deal to “kickstart the stalled peace negotiations” or, rather, his decision to sign off on the Shalit deal in the first place, which, Tisdall simultaneously argues, “further weakened the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in relation to his more militant rivals.”
Either Bibi’s decision on the Shalit deal weakened Abbas and the peace process or his decision created new opportunities to “kickstart stalled peace negotiations” which he failed to capitalize on. Logically, the two suppositions are inherently contradictory.
As further proof of Bibi’s villainy, he quotes a former U.S. Defense Secretary complaining that “Netanyahu is not only [an] ungrateful [ally], but [is] also endangering his country by refusing to grapple with Israel’s growing isolation and with the demographic challenges it faces if it keeps control of the West Bank.”
Tisdall, like so many other experts in the West obsessively critical of Israel, frames his hyper-criticism as a form of paternalistic tough love – saving Israelis from their own worse destructive impulses. Jews, crippled as they are by irrational fears and a lack of strategic thinking, are unable to see clearly what is painfully obvious in the salons of New York and London.
The failure of Israel to overcome the animosity of Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran is merely owed to an appalling lack of Jewish sechel.
If only Israeli Jews will relent in their stubborn refusal to accept the collective wisdom of the intellectuals, poets, artists and journalist sages of our day, peace would be just around the corner.
Tisdall opened his surreal defense of Sudan’s genocidal madman, in 2010, by complaining:
“Bashing Omar al-Bashir is a popular pastime in progressive circles”
And, bashing and demonizing Israeli leaders has become something approaching a secular religion among Guardian left circles.
- Guardian publishes letters arguing Shalit’s release (in exchange for 1027 terrorists) is unfair to Hamas (cifwatch.com)
- Gilad Shalit swap has split opinion on Binyamin Netanyahu | Simon Tisdall (guardian.co.uk)
- Lost in anti-Zionist translation? Guardian’s McGreal repeats mistranslated answers of Shalit in Arab interview (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian’s Middle East Editor, Ian Black, equates Gilad Shalit with Palestinian terrorists (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian readers view release of Shalit for 1027 terrorists as evidence of Israeli racism! (cifwatch.com)