When white faces at the Guardian refuse to treat non-white faces as moral equals

Lara Pawson’s CiF essay on Oct. 20, When a white face becomes the face of the Congo, is a perfect illustration of the egregious double standards, operating under a veneer of anti-racism, which continues to deny moral agency to those categorized (often arbitrarily) as “people of color”.

Indeed, such reasoning, where victim and perpetrator in the Middle East is pre-assigned, continues to skew the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and the Middle East. 

Pawson opens her essay as follows:

“We have learned a lot about the 25-year-old Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit since his arrival in Egypt on Tuesday. We know the name of his father, Noam Shalit, his mother, Aviva Shalit, and that of his hometown, Mitzpe Hila. We know he was wearing a black baseball cap and a grey shirt when he was handed over to the Egyptian authorities. We know that despite looking gaunt, medical experts have judged him in good health. We also know the sound of this young man’s voice and what he said to journalists before finally returning home.”

Pawson then complains:

“What do we know about the 1,027 Palestinians for whom Shalit was exchanged? Can you name a single one? Beyond a summary of the crimes for which they were convicted in Israel, we know little else.”

Does Pawson really want to find out more about the terrorist history of such released prisoners?  Not likely. 

But, if she truly wants to know more about such faceless Palestinians, here’s a summary of the five top released terrorists, along with the Israeli victims of their ruthless acts.


The 49-year-old Gaza native, who is generally considered the most senior prisoner released, helped establish Hamas’s military wing in Gaza — including an internal security network that killed Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel — and was serving four life sentences for his involvement in the 1994 kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldier Nachshon Wachsman. According to Al Jazeera, Sinwar’s brother, Mohammed, may have helped engineer Hamas’s abduction of Gilad Shalit. Upon returning home to Gaza, Yehya Sinwar stated that capturing Israeli soldiers was the best way to free Palestinian prisoners. “For the prisoner, capturing an Israeli soldier is the best news in the universe, because he knows that a glimmer of hope has been opened for him,” he declared, per the New York Times.


The 31-year-old Hamas operative was serving 36 life sentences for his role in suicide bombings at Jerusalem’s Café Moment (11 killed) and the Rishon LeZion pool hall (16 killed) in 2002 during the Second Intifada. 

Here are the Israeli victims of Anajas’s actions:


The Hamas military leader helped plan many of the deadliest suicide bombings of the Second Intifada, including 2001 attacks on a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem (15 killed) and a disco near the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv (21 killed), and 2002 attacks on a Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya (30 killed) and the Matza restaurant in Haifa (15 killed). Israel has decided to relocate Badran, who was serving over 17 years in prison, abroad rather than return him to the West Bank.

On June 1, 2001, a Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up outside a discotheque on a beachfront in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 21 teenagers and injuring 132.

Here are the Israeli victims of Badran’s acts:

Israeli victims of suicide attack in 2001 at discoteque

More Israeli victims of discotheque bombing

Passover massacre

Here are the Israeli victims of the Passover massacre:

Israeli victims of Passover massacre

Suicide bombing in Matza Restaurant in Haifa (Mar 31, 2002)

Here are the Israeli victims.

Ron Aviel

Orly Ofir

Ofer Ron,

Anat Ron

Shimon Koren

Ran Koren

Gal Koren

Adi Shiran

Shimon Shiran

Suheil Adawi

Moshe Levin

Danielle Menchel

Ya'akov Shani

Daniel Carlos Wegman

Carlos Yerushalmi


The 30-year-old former television reporter helped plan and carry out the Sbarro pizzeria bombing, driving the suicide bomber, and the bomb, to the restaurant. Frimet Roth, the mother of a 15-year-old victim, wrote an editorial in Haaretz over the weekend criticizing the Israeli government for releasing Tamimi, who expressed no remorse for participating in the bombing in 2006 and has since vowed to carry out a similar attack if she has the chance.

Israeli victims of Tamimi’s act:


In 2000, a 20-year-old Salha arrived at a Ramallah police station where two Israeli reservists had been taken and beaten by a mob after they mistakenly drove their car into the West Bank city. As Haaretz tells it, Salha removed a knife from the back of one of the soldiers and stabbed him three more times. He then proudly waved his bloodied hands outside the window in what was one of the most horrifying images of the Second Intifada. He was sentenced to life in prison and will be relocated to Gaza

ABED EL-AZIZ SALHA holds his bloodstained hands aloft for the baying mob below

IDF Reservists Vadim Nurzhitz and Yossef Avrahami: Israeli victims of the Ramallah lynching

Pawson’s perverse logic concludes:

[The way the stories are told by the MSM] tell us who holds power and how it is reproduced, and how closely today’s hierarchies are connected to centuries of history. They remind us that we have created a world in which a thousand Palestinians are equal to one Israeli. 

No, actually, something closer to the opposite is true. The reason why the media has provided a few sympathetic portrayals of Gilad Shalit is because, unlike the Palestinian terrorists noted above, he was being held captive for five years yet hadn’t committed a crime of any sort. 

The insistence of Pawson and her political fellow travelers to deny moral agency to the Palestinian terrorists who murdered so many Israeli civilians – and, upon their release, have vowed to commit more acts of violence – suggests a two-tier system of ethics and justice: one for Israelis (for whom they assign maximum moral responsibility), and another for Palestinians (whose crimes they minimize, rationalize, or simply ignore).

It is this profound moral pathos (which informs such blatant liberal racism) that, more than anything else, continues to define the rigid ideology known as the Guardian left.  

21 replies »

  1. And let’s not forget, she wrote her CIF piece for the Guardian. A paper that is equally guilty of focusing attention on the “white man” Gilad. It too fails to cover the wonderful lives of the 1023 even though it has plenty of staff and stringers in the region.

    I wonder if she wonders why?

  2. Cross posted from the article by the egregious Deborah Orr because I think that it is as relevant here as it was there. Pawson’s inelegant segue between imagined racism by Israel against people of colour and the release of Gilad Shalit in exchange for over 1,000 prisoners is a last-ditch stand on the part of the intellectually-challenged, but nonetheless deserves to be attacked.

    The subtext of this is the pernicious and rage-driven envy on the part of the challenged and mindless supporters of Palestinians (and particularly of their fellow travllers like Deborah Orr), who realise only too well and have had it proven to them beyond doubt that Gilad Shalit is prized by his family and his nation, whereas the second-rate bullies and psychopaths who were returned to their Palestinian masters will easily be forgotten about because their “heroism” rested only in the fact that they were. quite rightly. confined within Israeli prisons. That Israel thought them so worthless as to dispose of more than one thousand of them back to where they came from in exchange for just one of its own, rubs salt in that much deserved wound.

    Regardless of what these ex-prisoners may boast in TV interviews, their capability to do much harm has been neutered. Returned to their families and the ignominious ideologies which spawned them, they will merely be ordinary once more. Gilad Shalit, on the other hand will be the hero of his nation for what I hope will be the rest of a long and contented life.

    That Israel’s careful negotiations said the equivalent of, “Sure, take them, they’re as worthless as old shoes to us” has registered in some deeply disturbed, atavistic corner of what passes for the souls of people like Orr means that they, too, believe that the released prisoners are worthless. Orr’s reactions, like those of so many others are the product of cognitive dissonance that has caused for them.

    They were hoping that the exchange would go wrong but it didn’t. Israel made no fuss about letting the Palestinian prisoners go once they had decided that this would happen. Orr and others wanted there to be delays, second and third thoughts on Israel’s part and for Israel to play false. They were disappointed. Instead the Hamas and the Egyptian TV crew who tortured Gilad Shalit that one more time and so publicly, showed themselves to be the animals they are and Israel and Shalit behaved with dignity throughout.

    The intelligent world has seen the contempt in which Hamas held the life and welfare of one young Israeli Jew and now has a chilling perception of how worthless Jewish lives are to it and its West Bank coreligionists. They have compared the hollow-eyed, sallow countenance of this young man, who had been kept like an animal for over five years, with the round, suntanned, healthy well-fed Palestinians who were proof positive of Israel’s humanity even to her sworn enemies, and the scales are beginning to fall from their eyes.

    And Orr and her ilk are fighting against that knowledge and the cognitive dissonance it creates in the only way they know – with insults and hatred.

  3. “..[The way the stories are told by the MSM] tell us who holds power and how it is reproduced, and how closely today’s hierarchies are connected to centuries of history. They remind us that we have created a world in which a thousand Palestinians are equal to one Israeli…”

    This immensely stupid woman seems not to be capable of realising that she herself is writing for the bottom-feeding rag which is part of the MSM which tells such stories and adds to the lies they tell!

    Insight she hasn’t and Einstein she most definitely ain’t!

  4. From the Graun CiF article:

    “…we have created a world in which a thousand Palestinians are equal to one Israeli.”

    Substitute “Hamas has” for that “we have” and that’d be right.

    No. Wait. Wait a minute. This is the Graun—consistent supplier of a megaphone for Hamas representatives. No substitution needed.

    Also of note, of course, is the implication that the Jewish State—whose Jewish population is now majority non-white, but don’t let facts get in the way of a narrative—is a White Colonial Outpost oppressing the brown “Palestinians”—many of whom, especially in the Galilee, could be mistaken for Polish peasants with their bright skin, hair and eyes, but, again, don’t let facts get in the way of a narrative.

    The usual Graun standard fare, in summary.

  5. It was good to see that Lara Pawson’s outrageous article was thoroughly trashed by the below the line commenters.

    She is a stupid woman who seems to have no sympathy at all for innocent victims of terror – if they happen to be Jewish. I predict a great future for her at the Guardian.

    • If the Guardian continues to haemorrhage money as it has in the past, then it won’t be a long future.

      (From my mouth to God’s ear)

  6. Like most French Jews, Shalit is almost certainly of North African Jewish extraction, not that the racist Pawson would know or care.

    Someone should take her to task or law for her racism.

  7. True to type, der Guardian stands morality on its head to argue that it is a far better friend to the Jews than to Palestinians because it willfully ignores the perpetrators who committed murderous and indiscriminate crimes against Israelis. Deboroah Orr comes from from the same stable as those other liberal wankers over at UCL, who only a few months ago insisted on addressing Gaddafi as ‘brother leader’ to show how open-minded and respectful they are of ‘other’ cultures built on murder and corruption. The Guardian does the same to Hamas, and just like those self-serving sycophants at UCL, has no shame in kissing the ass of the devil.

  8. Gilad Shalit is worth more than all of the Arabs of Gaza and Judea and Samaria put together. The mess I wiped off my shoe before I came into my home is worth more than all of the terrorists put together.

    I look at all of those innocent faces; ordinary, decent people living ordinary, decent lives, slaughtered for the crime of being Jewish, and this bitch of a reporter cares about what the terrorists feel? Fuck her, and fuck them.

  9. Well put – she can indeed fuck off – Pawson is another shittly little person to equal the beshat Orr.

  10. You should also read her comments below the line in asnwer to readers’ posts. There she states e.g.:
    ‘Being an Israeli – and Israel’s closeness to what is still a global power, the US – confers benefits and privileges on Shalit.’
    Not only does she stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the complete lack of logic in her earlier assessment of the Gilad Shalit story, she also goes on spouting fictitious nonsense about some alleged ‘privileges’ (What the f… is she on about?!)
    Neither are facts scared for this woman, nor are logic or reason anywhere to be seen.