Guardian

The anti-Zionist malice of ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Mya Guarnieri


At an October protest against legislation commonly referred to as the loyalty oath – a bill that would require non-Jews seeking Israeli citizenship to pledge allegiance to a “Jewish and democratic” state – Gavriel Solomon, a prominent academic and peace activist, likened Israel to Nazi Germany, circa 1935...That was the year that the Nuremberg Laws – racist legislation that led to the systematic and deadly persecution of Jews – were created….There were no [concentration] camps yet but there were racist laws,” he said. “And we are heading towards these kinds of laws.” [emphasis mine] – Mya Guarnieri, Al-Jazeera, Feb. 6, 2011

Mya Guarnieri is nothing if not ambitious.

In a 2010 ‘Comment is Free’ piece she characterized the bigoted comments of a few dozen Israelis as an event which portends the rise of a Jewish state lurching towards fascism. Her polemical crusade aspired to nothing less than saving the “very soul Judaism” – a quite messianic ambition for a secular Jew like Guarnieri, and even more impressive when you consider that our Hebrew-speaking activist’s goal of earthly salvation was executed in a quite thrifty 636 words!

It’s important to note that Guarnieri seems intent on saving “Judaism”, not Israel – the Jewish state whose stubborn wish to exist she fiercely opposes in the name of all that is sacred to her understanding of progressive values.

She supports, instead, a quite modest proposal: the radical reconstitution of the world’s only Jewish state into the 51st majority Muslim state, with Jews living as the minority.  

When Guarnieri isn’t calling for the demise of the 3rd Jewish Commonwealth, she can be seen, on the pages of Counterpunch all but calling for a new Intifada, warning that Israeli Jews are engaged in a ‘war of attrition against non-Jews‘, and suggesting that anti-BDS legislation passed by the Knesset was arguably “proto-fascist“. 

Guarnieri has even published an essay accusing Israel of institutionalized “destruction of Muslim religious properties” in the pro-Hezbollah propaganda site, Al-Akhbar.

So, it wasn’t at all surprising that ‘Comment is Free’ provided Ms. Guarnieri a platform to criticize Israel’s anti-terror operation against Zuhair al-Qaissi, in a manner thoroughly consistent with the Guardian’s recent egregiously biased coverage of both the IDF action, and subsequent Gaza rocket fire.

In “The killing of Zuhair al-Qaissi exposes Israel’s attitude to its supreme court” CiF, March 14, Guarnieri criticizes the killing of al-Qaissi – a senior Popular Resistance Committee operative responsible for planning a multi-pronged terror attack that was to take place via Sinai within a few days.

Guarnieri’s complaint centers around the fact that Israeli intelligence on the planned terrorist attack by al-Qaissi – who was among the leaders who planned, funded, and directed the combined terror attack that took place on Route 12 in August 2011, in which 8 Israelis were killed and 40  injured – was based on “secret evidence”.

Guarnieri’s piece deals with what she claims are Israeli violations of supreme court rulings more broadly. However, she argues, about the attack on the PRC leader, that though the court has indeed ruled in favor of such preemptive acts to prevent terror attacks, on a case-by-case basis, “depending on the evidence”, she counters that “…without seeing the security forces’ secret evidence, it’s impossible to know if al-Qaissi was indeed planning an attack.”

Of course, to treat Guarnieri as a serious interlocutor, and assume good faith in her query about Israeli intel on the PRC terrorist, would be an act of supreme foolishness – as most of what the “progressive” journalist writes represents merely anti-Zionist conclusions in search of supporting evidence. For Guarnieri, Israel’s sin is original and immutable – her polemical inquiries merely representing an edifice by which to impute guilt.

However, just as a point of comparison about a democracy’s right to protect its citizens from terror groups intent on murdering its citizens, the U.S. presents a good example.

The U.S. military, from 2004 till 2012, carried out 290 drone strikes in northwest Pakistan against al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders (attacks which have significantly increased in the Obama years), and killed between 1,778 and 2,764 people, of whom around 1,485 to 2,293 were terrorists. (So, roughly 17% of those killed are believed to have been civilians).

It’s important to note two things: First, such attacks (controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Activities Division) are largely based on the desire to prevent potential attacks, as opposed to actionable intelligence that an attack was to be imminently launched on U.S. soil; And, evidence regarding the terror affiliations of the roughly 2000 terrorists killed are not made public by the U.S. military, nor subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, beyond the specious legal arguments she puts forth, Guarnieri concludes that the IDF targeting of such PRC leaders represents “a war on Palestinians – and anyone that Israel deems an ‘other‘” [emphasis added] – that is, further evidence of Israeli racism.

About the Palestinian “other”:

The Popular Resistance Committees are trained, funded and provided weaponry by Hamas, refuses any form of reconciliation with Israel, and acts as a sub-contractor for Iranian and Hezbollah agents in Lebanon, carrying out terror attacks against Israelis in return for funding.

According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, PRC is split into three factions, two of which collaborate with Hamas and operate under its auspices. The third faction, called the Army of Islam, is affiliated with global jihad movements.

PRC has a radical Islamist ideology similar to Hamas, argues that Muslims are obligated to wage violent Jihad, and specifically believes that killing Israelis is the only way to “liberate” Palestine.

Finally, to further contextualize Guarnieri’s politics, she, in a piece for Mondoweiss in May of 2011, described Israel as “a place that is Jewish in numbers but utterly lacking a Jewish soul.” Zionism, she argues, “in [claiming] that the Jewish people cannot exist without [a Jewish] state, denies hundreds of years of Diaspora history, culture, and languages”, and is, therefore, itself, a form of antisemitism. 

The moral inversion is now complete. 

Guarnieri’s malign obsession with Israel is so intense that she views Zionists as the true antisemites – representing, by definition, a reactionary element which should inspire moral outrage – while terrorist groups who openly advocate the murder of Jews evoke progressive sympathy.

If you want to know how debased the anti-Zionist left has become, simply follow the supremely callous musings of Mya Guarnieri – whose lazy stereotypes (crude, ugly caricatures) about Israel, and Israelis, embody a movement’s hateful, and simply insatiable, fixation on the sins, real and imagined, of living Jews. 

42 replies »

  1. That is one sick chick!
    All you really needed to say about her is she writes for CounterPunch. That already makes her ipso facto a delusional sicko. If she had any understanding of anti-Semitism she’d know that she’s a symptom of it.

  2. Extrajudicial killings obviously aren’t an ideal solution – but Guarnieri seems bereft of alternative options.

    Imagine the G’s response if an Israeli soldier went from house to house in an Arab village, murdering 16 civilians?

    • She’s bereft of common sense. Name one country that has divulged intelligence information to any judicial body BEFORE carrying out a mission such as a targeted killing.

  3. Yeah, Maya is out there with Joseph Dana and Max Blumenthal et al. She is on the +972 roster and certainly belongs to the more emotional sort.
    May I suggest that you not waste too much print on her, since she is certainly fringe.
    We must also remember that most of these hacks live of their writing so any venue is much appreciated. They do not make much money.

  4. “She supports, instead, a quite modest proposal: the radical reconstitution of the world’s only Jewish state into the 51st majority Muslim state, with Jews living as the minority. ”

    Any different to Likud’s objective, as found in their constitution?

    “Zionism, she argues, “in [claiming] that the Jewish people cannot exist without [a Jewish] state, denies hundreds of years of Diaspora history, culture, and languages”, and is, therefore, itself, a form of antisemitism. ”

    Feel free to disagree, but she has a point.

    • “Zionism, she argues, “in [claiming] that the Jewish people cannot exist without [a Jewish] state, denies hundreds of years of Diaspora history, culture, and languages”, and is, therefore, itself, a form of antisemitism.

      You mean in the same way that demanding a Palestinian state is a form of Islamophobia?

      Mya Guarnieri is seriously unhinged.

      • It’s a historical view. Zionism was not a mass movement a hundred years ago. It found fierce opposition from European Jews who saw it as being aligned with anti-Semitism.

        This has, to a certain extent, been airbrushed from history, and it has been rewritten as a national “liberation” movement. But, as was written over a hundred years ago, the Zionists were “part-authors of the anti-Semitism which they profess to slay.”

        • ‘Zionism was not a mass movement a hundred years ago’

          Most modern nationalisms were only born in the last 200 years or so. Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian nationalism certainly only was.

        • ‘It found fierce opposition from European Jews who saw it as being aligned with anti-Semitism.’

          Some European Jews, not very many.

          ‘This has, to a certain extent, been airbrushed from history’

          Rubbish, you ignorant little bigot. It’s astonishing how antisemites so often proclaim themselves experts on Jewish history. It’s their sine qua non.

          You sad, sad little man. Have you even got a life partner, or unconditional love in your life?

            • ‘At the turn of the 20th century, less than 1% of European Jews supported Zionism.’

              a) define ‘supported’

              b) even if that were the case, ‘not supported’ is not the same as ‘fiercely opposed’.

              ‘Zionism was not a mass movement a hundred years ago’

              Most modern nationalisms were only born in the last 200 years or so. Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian nationalism certainly only was.

              ‘But, as was written over a hundred years ago, the Zionists were “part-authors of the anti-Semitism which they profess to slay.”

              That’s called blaming the victim: the victim isn’t responsible for the fact that both he and the vicitimiser would rather he (the victim) be somewhere else i.e. not in the power of the victimiser.

              In the 19th and 20th centuries, Old World Christendom and Islam effectively drove out most of their Jews, either from this world or, before 1914, mostly to America; after 1914, mostly to Palestine or what became Israel.

              Zionism did not create that situation, rather sort to address it.

              In the end, those who sort an alternative, the Bundists, the European territorial Jewish nationalists, the biggest rivals to the Zionists, those that survived, decided the Zionists had been right.

              Not that will persuade a nasty little obsessive like Dubitante, whose deconstructing Jewish nationalism, and the Jewish nation state of Israel, is the only thing keeping him warm in his sad, lonely little life.

            • ‘‘At the turn of the 20th century, less than 1% of European Jews supported Zionism.’

              Most nationalisms were top down affairs, and took time to take ‘lower down’, and gain mass appeal. Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian nationalism certainly did.

              But Zionism had widespread symathy among diaspora and Anglo-Jews from at least 1917, as any reader of the Jewish Chronicle archive would know. It was the ruling elite of Anglo-Jewry who disparaged it.

              You’re another antisemitic ‘expert’, Dubitante, who knows Anglo-Jewish history better than we do.

              The truly fascinating psychological question, however, is what drives a creature like you to ‘know’ better than we do. Where does this perverse need come from?

        • History records clearly that antisemitism preceded Zionism, not the other way round.

          Jews trickled back to the Holy Land for several centuries after the Exile and more so from the late nineteenth century when the emphasis was to get a better, freer life than was possible in much of Europe, where restriction and outright persecution were the norms. Zionism offered the (then) remote possibilty of reconstituting the Jewish nation-state after two millenia; no wonder supporters were thin on the ground at the beginning.

          Early Zionists might have hoped that removing Jews from antisemitic societies would reduce the problem of antisemitism. They were wrong. But then, how does one cope with an ingrained irrationality by using rational means? The Gomulka years in Poland showed that antisemitism could exist and flourish even where there were no Jews at all.

          • “History records clearly that antisemitism preceded Zionism, not the other way round.”

            Of course, Jews have been singled out for persecution throughout history. But the 19th century saw the rise of nationalism and the nation state, AND the rise and rise of anti-Semitism. Herzl sought to use anti-Semitism to achieve his political goals.

            Zionism itself failed as a national ideology. Only the horror of the Final Solution, coupled with the systematic refusals of larger countries to absorb refugees allowed Zionism to gain critical mass.

            • ‘Zionism itself failed as a national ideology.’

              No. Non-Zionist Jewish nationalism i.e. Bundism failed.

              ‘Only’

              You might as well say that Irish nationalism failed, and ‘only’ the botched British suppression of the Easter Uprising managed to kindle enough nationalist support where even denial of Home Rule had ‘failed’.

              Nationalisms, including that of Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians, are as much about responses to external factors as internal dynamics.

              This is child’s stuff, Dubitante. Your arguments are, as ever, infantile.

              ‘the horror of the Final Solution, coupled with the systematic refusals of larger countries to absorb refugees allowed Zionism to gain critical mass.’

              And the alienation and expulsion of Jews from the Arab, Islamic world, post-war Europe and the FSU i.e. where most remaining Jews lived, even as had the persecution and expulsion that had preceded the Nazis.

              i.e. proved the Zionist thesis correct, that antisemitism and Jew hatred was too great for Socialism and Bundist Jewish nationalist to overcome.

            • ‘Herzl sought to use anti-Semitism to achieve his political goals.’

              Only in the sense it would propel Jews out of even greater danger than if they remained for it to worsen.

            • Not true. The ideological zionists drawn from all political groups, from left to right, encouraged immigration to Ottoman Palestine and afterwards, to the Mandate. These Jews and their offspring born in the Holy Land, formed the backbone of the yet to be state and its yet to be army. Refugees escaping from Nazi-occupied Europe and post -war displaced persons and survivors were not prime movers in the process.

              The hard years of the 50’s with the largely successful absorption of further waves of refugees from Arab lands and the citizen army concept reinforced national solidarity. If this be failure, what do you define as success?

        • Zionism was always part national liberation movement, read Autoemancipation. You have no idea what you are on about. Zionism ‘aligned with anti-semitism’? WHAT? stop what you are smoking.

    • Zionism hardly “denies hundreds of years of Diaspora history”.

      And concluding “if that’s not anti-Semitism, I don’t know what is” is just barmy.

  5. Dubitante thinks that if all Jews aren’t lined up in a row like mechanical toys obeying every command to the minute then there’s an indication that the movement or idea is somehow not legitimate.

    Democracies are the product of the majority that bothered to vote and so is every movement in history. Are the dissidents airbrushed? no, it is assumed and understood that there are always dissidents . It is only Jews & Zionism that need to be one hundred percent in agreement before its critics will admit to its legitimacy.

  6. Strange how the Mya’s of this world manage to find “a prominent academic and peace activist” to support their views.

    I regard myself as moderately well informed about the ME – I’ve never heard of this prominent person.

  7. (quote)”Gavriel Solomon, a prominent academic and peace activist, likened Israel to Nazi Germany, circa 1935…That was the year that the Nuremberg Laws – racist legislation that led to the systematic and deadly persecution of Jews – were created….There were no [concentration] camps yet but there were racist laws,” he said. “And we are heading towards these kinds of laws.” – Mya Guarnieri, Al-Jazeera, Feb. 6, 2011

    Gavriel Solomon can’t be a very prominent academic as I’ve never heard of him and in any case his historical knowledge of the Third Reich is rather defective: the first concentration camps were opened within weeks of Hitler coming to power in early 1933. The idea that the Nuremberg Laws were responsible for concentration camps is ludicrous as there were a network of camps already functioning over two years before the enactment of the Nuremberg Laws and purely on racial grounds large numbers of German Gypsies and some Jews were already in them.

  8. What annoys me about people like her is only Jewish actions have consequences to her so that no matter how many invasions, attacks, missiles the maximist aims of the Arabs are legit with her and she does not blame arabs for creating arab refugees (and jewish refugees) yet Israel is the only side expected to compromise and give up land. The Arabs can cause refugees, murder Jews freely and cause the socalled occupation by invading Israel but Israel, the defensive winning party, is meant to compromise while the Arabs lose nothing. What incentive do the Arabs have to make peace if Jews like he will support their maximist positions no matter what? Why are Arabs never responsible for their actions to her?

  9. Also, the aims of Judaism are to rebuild the temple and bring about the messiah, she’s no rabbinic scholar. She’s just a deluded naive self hater.

  10. The Arabs currently occupy 2 countries; Western Sahara and Kurdistan. They suppress Berber rights including their culture, language. They suppress minorities in every Arab country so much so that the Lebanese, Iraqi and Palestinian Christians have all fled en masse since independent Arab (Muslim) rule. They are involved in civil ways and sectarian violence in every single Arab country; Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, Syria and the Gulf States. They have a proven track record of violence and discrimination against minorities and democrats. Turkey currently occupies North Cyprus and Kurdistan. In the last century they have been responsible 3 genocides; Assyrian Christian (Murdering about 750,000, Greek genocide Murdering about 500,000-1,000,000 and the Armenian genocide murdering up to 1.5 million. This is not to mention Muslim genocides in Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia (against the Timorese, Iryan Jayans etc).

    The Arabs kicked out 1 million Jews stealing their property. The Arabs now occupy land formally owned by Jews estimated at about twice the land mass of Israel. Jews hold property deeds to much of Tunis and Baghdad for instance. Why do Jews like this one never ever mention this?

    In the whole Arab Israel conflict about 14,000 people have died on both sides. Syria has murdered more than half that number in the last few months but again this stupid woman is ignoring this. 40% of Israel casualties have been women while only 5% of Palestinian casualties are women. The Palestinians are deliberately murdering women.

    Israel is truly a light unto the nations of the Middle East. When the Palestinians sought independence they didn’t copy the Westminster System for democracy but the Israeli system. Bahia’s (founded in Iran) have found a spiritual homeland in Israel not Iran. Israel has the only growing Christian community in the middle-east. Tel Aviv was just ranked the no.1 “gay” city in the world. Israel has a thriving union movement. According to surveys over 70% of Jerusalem Arabs wish to remain Israeli citizens rather than become Palestinians. All this when the Palestinian ambassador to the US recently declared no Jew may be a citizen of Palestine in an interview with Tablet magazine. During Jordanian rule of Jerusalem 40,000 Jewish graves were destroyed and many synagogues destroyed and Jews were not allowed access to holy places. Under Israeli rule the Temple Mount is ruled by Muslims even though they have illegally excavated under the mount creating the largest Mosque in Israel and destroyed thousands of Jewish artefacts.

    This is a battle between modern civilised tolerant Israel and barbarians who murder and maim on purpose and take delight in it. They spew hatred to their children in their popular culture with kids shows, by naming sports arenas after suicide bombers and by quoting the worst, most violent anti-Jewish passages in the Koran from their mosques. They openly call for murder of Jews, not just Israelis, in their charters (Hamas) and say Jews caused all wars and revolutions (Fatah) and spread every vile anti-Jewish conspiracy theory in official institutions. The track record speaks for itself. This woman is denying reality in her naive cultural relativist worldview.

    • some good points, but many more Pals have died since 1948. I think around 20.000 Muslim’s fell during the war of Independence.

    • “The Arabs currently occupy 2 countries”

      The Arabs? All Arabs? The Arab hive consciousness?

      “They suppress Berber rights including their culture, language. They suppress minorities in every Arab country so much so that the Lebanese, Iraqi and Palestinian Christians have all fled en masse since independent Arab (Muslim) rule.”

      They? The Arabs? Holding Jews responsible for the actions of the state of Israel is racist, according to the definition used on this site. But holding Arabs responsible for the actions of various regimes is OK…?

      “They have a proven track record of violence and discrimination”

      They? The Arabs again? If we said Jews had a track record of X or Y, we would be *rightly* accused of anti-Semitism. Generalisations are the central pillar of racism.

      “The Arabs kicked out 1 million Jews stealing their property”

      Collective responsibility again? I know Adam is taking steps to clean up some of the racism on here, but I didn’t realise he’s operating a one-in-one-out policy.

      “The Arabs now occupy land formally owned by Jews”

      The Arabs again?

      “In the whole Arab Israel conflict about 14,000 people have died on both sides.”

      What? Are you insane?

      “Israel is truly a light unto the nations of the Middle East.”

      Oh here we go.

      “This is a battle between modern civilised tolerant Israel and barbarians”

      You’re a more articulate racist than the likes of TGIAI or SerJew, but a racist nonetheless.

      • ‘You’re a more articulate racist than the likes of TGIAI or SerJew, but a racist nonetheless.’

        The authority with which you pronounce forth on the subject is inversely proportional to your knowledge of it.

        And your insistence on doing so, persistently, despite any evidence to the contrary, bespeaks an a priori prejudice that is hard to perceive as anything other than a form of a racism against one particular group and one only.

  11. Not this Mya again,I thought that after her last article for the Guardian that was severely trashed and Mya and the Guardian both made complete fools of……

    The Guardian is so desperate that they even use this fool to write for them…..

    She wrote about a subject that she had no knowledge of,and got a trashing from the posters.

    She is an abject fool and does not deserve all this attention.

    Is there anyone at all that writes for the Guardian that has any sense of decency.
    Any sense of proportion.That can actually write a decent article.

    I guess not………………….

  12. The Guardian sux.

    Jordan and Saudi Arabia ban Jews from owning land or becoming citizens. The Arabs are the real Aparteid states!

  13. Also, what a Stupid comment about Zionism not being popular among Jews 100 years ago. German unification wasn’t popular until 1871 does that mean Germany is not legitimate?

    That was before the Yiddish speaking Jews were expelled and murdered by Europeans. A lots changed since then.

    • The Jewish opposition to Herzlian Zionism was largely based on the fact that it was perceived as anti-Semitic. More interestingly, it was viewed as a surrender to the classical 19th century anti-Semites.

      Also interestingly, a section was added to the Balfour declaration to try to allay these concerns.

      • ‘The [very small] Jewish opposition to Herzlian Zionism was largely based on the fact that it was perceived as anti-Semitic.’

        ‘More interestingly, it was viewed as a surrender to the classical 19th century anti-Semites.’

        Is truer than the first sentence. But, in the end, most of the Bundists, the chief ones to hold that view, those who survived, concluded the Zionists had been right. Hence most of them or their descendants became Israeli, in due course.

        • Actually,

          ‘The [very small] Jewish opposition to Herzlian Zionism was largely based on the fact that it was perceived as anti-Semitic’

          in the main BECAUSE

          ‘it was viewed as a surrender to the classical 19th century anti-Semites.’

          Very few thought that Herzl was himself an antisemite, who thought the Jew an inveterately evil entity, to whom the only solution was expulsion from this world.

          But, in the end, the Bundists who survived thought that it +would+ have been better for European Jews, had they gotten out of the shadow of Nazi Germany.

          In any case, the idiocy of your argument is shown by the fact that, by your criteria, any and every Jew who chose to flee discrimination or persecution, instead of ‘fighting’ it, was either a collaborator with or exponent of antisemitism, which would probably indict most Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries.

          You really should stop this obsession, as it is rotting your intellect.

  14. Only one slight factual error in the piece. A majority-Muslim “Israel” in fact would be the 58th Islamic country, in fact. So much more problematic if possible. Otherwise perfect dissection of another enemy-agent in my words inside Israel.

  15. Its me again. I wanted to comment firstly on the “Global march” to Syria video- there are no Jews in it, nor Israelis. what a surprise.I missed it anyway.

    However, I agree with a comment above. This woman is not worth the word press. I suggest she wishes to make a name for herself

    In my mind, just outing these vile “anti-Semitic” (which they are), is enough for me Any more publicity, they would not benefit from.
    .

    So ignore her, even though i tweeted the idiot, and she will fall on the wayside.

    Just another quick post, I found some great screen shots of Ben White harassing me. Seems that when these BDS are exposed as liars, they tend to try and bite back.

    Keep up the good work.