The Guardian and Hamas: Willing Dupe and Immutable Victim

I came across a passage from a Shelby Steele essay in 2010 (excerpts of which I posted below) which may accurately explain the Guardians’ continuing sympathy for even the most violent, antisemitic Islamists: Hamas members who represent the antithesis of even the broadest understanding of liberal values.

Since 2011, the broadsheet which aspires to be the world’s leading liberal voice has published the Islamist terror groups’ head of international relations Osama Hamdan, Hamas advisorAzzam Tamimi, Musa Abumarzuq – deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, and today Hamas’ political leader and Gaza’s Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh.

 Steele wrote:

“[T]he merest echo of the shameful Western past is enough to chill support for Israel in the West.

The West …lacks the self-assurance to see the Palestinians accurately. Here again it is safer in the white West to see the Palestinians as they advertise themselves—as an “occupied” people denied sovereignty and simple human dignity by a white Western colonizer. The West is simply too vulnerable to the racist stigma to object to this “neo-colonial” characterization.

Our problem in the West is understandable. [We] don’t want to lose more moral authority than we already have. So…choose not to see certain things that are right in front of us. For example, we ignore that the Palestinians…are driven to militancy and war not by legitimate complaints against Israel or the West but by an internalized sense of inferiority. If the Palestinians got everything they want—a sovereign nation —they would wake the next morning still hounded by a sense of inferiority.

And the quickest cover for inferiority is hatred. The problem is not me; it is them. And in my victimization I enjoy a moral and human grandiosity—no matter how smart and modern my enemy is, I have the innocence that defines victims. I may be poor but my hands are clean. Even my backwardness and poverty only reflect a moral superiority.”

 The truth of Steele’s words is reflected by Ismail Haniyeh’s essay. The leader of a movement whose founding charter continually calls for the eradication of the Jewish state strikes the appropriate ‘liberal cords’ and plays the Guardian crowd like a fiddle.

Haniyeh begins his CiF essay We Palestinians are reclaiming our destiny, June 8th, thus:

“Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away.”

Haniyeh is being a bit coy here. Is the fakery he speaks of the Jews’ erroneous connection to Israel? Perhaps the rhetorical obfuscation and craftiness over the truth (in need of ‘revelation’) is owed to the need for tip-towing around elements in his movement’s less than enlightened founding platform; those elements which command allegiance to the Protocols of the Elder of Zion and insist that there is indeed a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.  

The Islamist leader now clearly aspires to more lofty and elevated prose (though, as you’ll see in this passage, falls for the garden-variety analogies).

“…our destiny dictated that we should become like a fruit overhanging a garden fence: each passer-by would try to pluck us, while we struggled to cling to the vine. But our right to our land…is an inalienable right guaranteed by all norms and laws. The “Palestinian problem” has many dimensions, but at its root is Israel’s occupation.” 

Hint for the truly perplexed and/or those merely taking the Guardian seriously: where the Hamas leader writes that the “Palestinian problem has many dimensions, but at its roots is Israel’s occupation.”, by “occupation” he meant of course to write “existence”.

Now the progressive Haniyeh pivots to the downright risible:

“We as a people want to live in our homeland, the land of our ancestors, in freedom, dignity and democracy, and with a just peace that restores our rights.”

A more exquisite example of what Richard Landes terms the Demopath vs. Dupe dynamic would be difficult to find. This dynamic indeed lies at the heart of the Guardian’s liberal cognitive egocentrism (the tendency to believe that almost everyone wants positive-sum solutions – and prohibits people from imagining malevolence). 

Demopaths, such as Hamas, are – per Landes – people who use democratic language and invoke human rights only when it serves their interests.  Thus, they are able to invoke the word “democracy” without a hint of cognitive dissonance even in the face of their bloody coup in 2007 which purged Gaza of any last trace of democratic opposition and the dearth of human rights in the territory for religious minorities, women or gays.

Dupes, per Landes, are people who take demopaths at face value, accept their position and accuse those who suspect demopathy of demonizing, essentializing, prejudice, or racism.

I’d add one more component to Landes’ definition of a “Dupe”, Guardian style. ‘Comment is Free’s decision to legitimize Hamas, per Shelby Steele, seems necessarily incumbent upon the terrorist organisation not only effectively employing the language of human rights, but using it in a broader narrative claiming victimhood. 

Who are the Palestinians in the eyes of the Guardian, after all, other than a group (via a strictly enforced political orthodoxy) juxtaposed with the Jewish other: a political abstraction void of complexity or human color?

Without this perception of victimhood, the Palestinians would be forced to be held accountable for their cultures’ political and moral faults and egregious social and economic underdevelopment – difficult truths in an honor-shame culture

The silence of the Guardian (and the West more broadly) in face of decades of the Palestinians’ (post Holocaust) endemic antisemitism is shameful, for sure, but seems in many ways to be informed by their own contempt towards those whose sympathy they claim to possess.

When you deny adults moral agency, you are in effect infantilizing them.  You are implicitly acknowledging that they cannot compete morally with other adults; that their culture can not be held to the same ethical standards as others.

Is there a more clear definition of racism? 

38 replies »

  1. This latest moral degradation by the Guardian doesn’t surprise me; what does however, is that a newspaper, supposedly catering to a liberal mindset, that which is purportedly held by thinking, cogitating, sensible people, allows itself to publish rants by an organization(“Hamas”) dedicated to the destruction of every Western, Liberal, progressive ideal it allegedly espouses.
    Fine, don’t discount any of Israel’s “shortcomings”. It’s only fair. But if you’re truly intelligent, sagacious, and furthermore righteous, don’t side with the genocidal, virulently anti-West “Hamas”, either.

    • Mind you, I think it also shows the Guardian’s desire to inflict punishment on itself. The vast majority of the comments BTL seem to be very critical of both the Guardian and Hamas. Still, it never seems to stop them, like Berchmans, trying to put lipstick on the pig.

      • Berchmans, you see, is at the crux of the problem. I was frankly appalled(though I got used to it pretty quickly, I am no longer THAT naive), that such people, holding such absurd notions about the world/Jews/Israel at large, are allowed not MERELY to post on an “august” and “distinguished” site such as the Guardian, but get preferential treatment, in the form of removing truthful-but to Berchmans ilk, pesky- rebuttals.

      • As I said before the moderators were on high alert, clearly ready for this opposition.

        This was the first post

        8 June 2012 8:36AM

        As a people we have been historically wronged and subjected to dozens of massacres; tens of thousands of us have lost our children for no other reason than that we demand our rights as clearly stipulated under international laws.

        Lost your children like this?

        Gone in ninety seconds and Comment privilges disabled.

    • Everyone in diplomatic circles know that Western governements will engage Hamas in the coming years, because there is no other choice. Israeli officials know is too. Hamas is not going to vanish into thin air, and it is a much lesser evil as compared to the Al Qaeda-affiliated groups who stand ready to take charge, should Hamas fail. The Israeli blockade has been a total failure when it comes to bringing Hamas down, and everyone in Israeli intelligence circles know that Israel will have to talk to Hamas sooner or later.

      Adam Levick seems to have forgotten that Israeli officials once swore they would never talk to the PLO.

  2. Was Haniyah’s article ghost-written by Seth Freedman? The following has the stamp of his “style”:

    “each passer-by would try to pluck us, while we struggled to cling to the vine. ”


    • Oh yes, I was surprised by the sudden “poesy” unleashed by Haniya. I guess his Jew-hatred(stoked by the Guardian) reawakened the dormant muse, within? 😀

      • Haniya’s Jew-hatred is “stoked by the Guardian”??

        I feel sorry for you. I really do.


    UN Watch Briefing.
    Latest from the United Nations
    Jan. 17, 2012

    Gaza Activist Stabbed After Exposing Hamas Use of Human Shields
    U.N. Must Condemn Latest Hamas Brutality

    GENEVA, Jan. 17 – The stabbing in Gaza of a Palestinian rights activist after he exposed Hamas’ contempt for its own people by using them as human shields, and after he criticized the radical Islamic group for torture, abuse and trampling free speech, should be strongly condemned by the United Nations—both as an attack on the victim’s human rights, and on the idea of freedom of expression.

    Masked attackers on Friday stabbed Mahmud Abu Rahma multiple times in the back, leg and shoulders, it was revealed today.

    Dont worry the Guardian will never say a word how Hamas use civilians as human shields for Pallywood propaganda against Israel.
    Watch these 2 videos which shows this.

  4. Just when you think the Guardian has hit rock bottom, it finds a lower level to sink to.

    The Guardian is digging itself into a deeper and deeper pit. Judging by the comments on Hamas’s article, many of which were highly critical of the decision to host this man, even some of the Graun’s supporters are beginning to turn against it.

    The perception of the Guardian as an implacable enemy of Israel is now firmly established. No-one will believe a word it says about the Middle East any more, because they know it has ceased to be a decent newspaper or trustworthy source of information. It has surrendered any moral authority it might have had and now publishes naked Islamofascist propaganda.

  5. The very same “demopath” vs. “dupe” relationship has been part and parcel of the far left bag of tricks forever. The very idea of a newspaper claiming to be liberal and supporting a movement of the most extreme right-wing religious fanatic supremacists obsessed with a strict and strangling religious purity and calls to murder should be enough to reveal that liberalism this is not, but rather a nasty infection seeking to use liberalism as a host. For me, anyone of a liberal orientation who falls for this ruse shows a complete lack of good sense.

  6. As usual there was a wholesale deletion of posts that were in favor of Israel.
    The Guardian is a Toxic and Racist website,and the toxicity seems to be rising.They have shown what a nasty and poisonous group of people they are.

    In desperation they have now become the spokespeople for some of the nastiest Extreme and Radical Muslims of this world.

    • benorr, not quite all were deleted. Some really good posts were allowed to remain, and I have my own hypothesis as to why: If, as I believe given the lunatic attempts to engineer the course of the “debates”, many of the moderators are Islamist sympathisers, they are possessed of the same lack of understanding of nuance in our immensely rich English language. That being the case, the posts I write of are skated over, although they hammer the writer.

      Either that, or they remained because the Islamist-sympathising mods went off duty….

      • the Islamist-sympathising mods

        Good God. You really do believe this crap, don’t you?


    • The Guardian is a Toxic and Racist website

      Hilarious! With 10 thumbs up!

      I always wonder with post like the above: do you people actually believe this deluded nonsense, or is it just a case of childish pointscoring?

  7. Berchmans is either naturally dumb,or he inhales substances that mangle his few brain cells.

    • Berchmans has said many times that he is a crusader, fighting the evil racists wherever he finds them. The fact that he has become a virulent racist has escaped him.

      He has also referred to CIF as “my paper,” and takes offense at contrary views being expressed.

  8. “We palestinians are reclaiming our destiny”

    Really………Not while Hamas is in control of your destiny…..

  9. How can this Toxic Guardian champion a terror organization that mistreats it’s very own people so badly.Perhaps the Guardian just enjoys seeing the palestinian people suffer.

  10. The Britts have never forgiven the Jews for blowing up the King David Hotel even though unlike the Islamist barbarians the Jews did give the Britts prior warning they were going to blow up their Army Head Quarters.
    That is why we have the Arabist BBC and Arabist Guardian the most anti- Semitic media duo in the West .
    Unfortunately the Guardian has its Australian Franchise the Fairfax media to distribute its anti- Zionist anti- Jewish garbage.
    The Britts are just lucky it is not the Jews they have to worry about blowing up their Buses , Trains and subways .

    • The Britts have never forgiven the Jews for blowing up the King David Hotel

      a) Most “Britts” will never have heard of said hotel.
      b) Those that have (well, most of them) would not blame “the Jews” for the incident.

      The Britts are just lucky it is not the Jews they have to worry about blowing up their Buses , Trains and subways .

      What a bizarre statement! What are you saying there about “the Jews”?

      • Perhaps I phrased what It incorrectly
        what I meant was although the Guardian acts as a
        The Muslim & Palestian cheer leaders in Uk and vilifies Israel and the Jews on an almost daily basis it is not the Jews that threaten the lives of britts i

  11. Perhaps I phrased what It incorrectly
    what I meant was although the Guardian acts as a
    The Muslim & Palestian cheer leaders in Uk and vilifies Israel and the Jews on an almost daily basis it is not the Jews that threaten the lives of britts .