Guardian

How could “liberal” Guardian give a platform to antisemitic fascists? (Essay by Lyn Julius)


The following was written by Lyn Julius, at Point of No Return. (A version of this also appeared at Times of Israel‘)

Hamas suicide bombers in training

From the 1930s – well before the creation of Israel – the Muslim Brotherhood was agitating against the Jews of Egypt, Palestine and Syria. By 1945 the Muslim Brotherhood had a million armed supporters in Egypt.

The Third Reich financed and trained the Muslim Brothers of Palestine and Egypt in terrorism. The Nazi concept of the Jews as the epitome of all-controlling evil was exported to the Arab world, where it is entrenched to this day. Hitler shared his plans to kill the Jews of Europe with the main ally of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, the Mufti of Jerusalem. The Mufti ‘s machinations led to a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq, and the murder of hundreds of Iraqi Jews in the Farhud pogrom in June 1941. Meeting in Berlin a few months later, Hitler and the Mufti agreed a plan to exterminate all the Jews of the Middle East.

From 1947 Arab governments set about making the Arab Middle EastJudenrein. They applied Nuremberg-style laws, criminalising Zionism, freezing Jewish bank accounts, instituting quotas, imposing restrictions on jobs and movement. The result was the mass exodus and spoliation of a million Jews.

Nazi-style bigotry, coupled with traditional Islamic antisemitism, remains the driving force behind the marginalisation and exclusion of minorities from the Arab world on the one hand, and the unremitting campaign to destroy Israel on the other.

The ghost of Nazi-inspired, anti-Jewish fundamentalism was never exorcised from the Arab world. The Mufti of Jerusalem should have been tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg. He was indicted, tried and convicted by Yugoslavia for crimes against humanity. But the Allies shrank from offending the Arabs. That is why today in the Arab and Muslim world, antisemitism is epidemic.

The reason why The Guardian gives a platform to genocidal fascists is less easy to fathom. The Left has always dabbled in antisemitism – the ‘socialism of fools’. Israel has been cast as the US’s little imperialist helper. No-one seems to remember that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Iraq, Bahrain and much of the rest of the Arab world are also well within the US sphere of influence.

The so-called red-green alliance, for which The Guardian is a cheerleader, has bought into the myth that Israel is a colonial project. This brazen lie both denies the Jews’ 3,000–year-old connection to their ancestral homeland, and ignores the fact that 50 percent of Israel’s Jewish population descend from refugees indigenous to the Arab and Muslim world, predating Arab Muslim colonialism by centuries.

Then there is the misplaced belief that an extremist party like Hamas will be tamed by the responsibilities of power and needs to be engaged with. No sign of such moderation yet.

Finally, The Guardian’s decision to feature Haniyeh could simply be a hard-nosed, commercial one: controversy sells. Losing principled readers such as Charlotte of Digital Politico is evidently a price it is prepared to pay.

32 replies »

  1. Finally, The Guardian’s decision to feature Haniyeh could simply be a hard-nosed, commercial one: controversy sells. Losing principled readers such as Charlotte of Digital Politico is evidently a price it is prepared to pay.

    It is hard to find other explanations besides blind hatred of Israel that derives from anti-Semitism or/and a demand to follow an anti-Israeli line in exchange for outside money.

    Given the well-publicized losses at the the Guardian and its declining readership, one has to wonder how it is being funded. Can advertising really be making up the difference (I understand that for some reason the UK government places any ads there for open positions in government, and in this time of austerity surely even that source is declining?).?

    If not, is some other source funding them? Their strident anti-Israeli line seems to indicate that if that is the case whoever it is is not exactly a friend of Israel and is demanding a quid pro quo in attacks on Israel’s legitimacy and support for Hamas.

    I certainly do not believe the cynical SOBs who run the paper care about the Palestinians.

  2. Horrendous, nauseating photo which sums up the perversion of decency and humanity that is militant, hateful Islam.

  3. I don’t think the Guardian is being directly funded by hardline Islamists, although some of their contributors are undoubtedly funded by Arab oil money. (e.g. academics like Bob Lambert & Githens Mazer of the European Muslim Research Centre, Essex, and writers like Abdul Bari Atwan)

    No, I think the Guardian sleepwalked into anti-semitism.

    It ran a vicious campaign against Israel for at least ten years, in which journalistic standards were progressively lowered. But having reached rock-bottom on the reporting front, Israel had still not been brought to its knees. So the only way to increase the intensity of the Guardian’s campaign of vilification was to descend even lower, which meant getting into bed with Israel’s enemies at home and abroad, anti-semitic or not.

    And inevitably, some of that filth rubbed off on the Guardian itself. If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. Many serious observers now accept that the Guardian has become institutionally antii-semitic.

    Direct action, such as publicly burning or defacing copies of the Guardian would help raise awareness of this issue.

  4. “the myth that Israel is a colonial project”

    Oxford Dictionary definition of colonialism: “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically”.

    This is precisely what Zionists (mostly citizens of European countries) did in Palestine. Moreover at the outset they didn’t seek to deny that their project was colonialist in nature. Herzl certainly saw it as such. He wrote to Cecil Rhodes, seeking the latter’s support, as follows: “How, then, do I happen to turn to you since this is an out-of-the-way matter for you? How indeed? Because it (establishing a Jewish state in Palestine) is something colonial….”.

  5. the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, ….

    Which country sencar? Turkey? Jordan? Egypt?

    …and exploiting it economically”.

    When the Zionists strted to settle in Israel it was an economically utterly non feasible wasteland without any natural assets (see Mark Twain and others).
    If the purpose of settling this virtually empty desert area was economic then the Jews were totally out of their economic mind. But don’t let the facts to influence your hate of the Jews.

    This is precisely what Zionists (mostly citizens of European countries) did in Palestine.

    This is obvious that apart from antisemite BS you know exactly nothing about the ethnic composition of Israel.

    • 1) A country doesn’t need to have a particular name or political status to be the object of colonialism. Just think of the complex situation in Africa or India when European states embarked on their colonial enterprise.

      2) Your notion that Palestine was an “utterly non feasible wasteland without any natural assets (see Mark Twain and others)” has been totally dismissed by modern historians. Mark Twain was a brilliant novelist but he leaves a lot to be desired as a geographer or economist.

      3) Actually I know quite a lot about the ethnic composition of Israel. There are many Israelis/Zionists of non-European origin today but this was not the case during the colonising phase prior to 1948.

      • A country doesn’t need to have a particular name or political status to be the object of colonialism.

        I see. Wer are colonialists even if we don’t. Typical.

        Just think of the complex situation in Africa or India when European states embarked on their colonial enterprise.

        Don’t be shy sencar, the leading light in this enterprise was your own country. BTW If Israel is a colony, the Jews took it away from an other colonial power – your country – who took it away an other colonialist – Turkey.
        Whining about colonialism by a Brit must be a bad joke anyway. Have you heard of your colonies Diego Garcia and the Malvinas lately?

        There are many Israelis/Zionists of non-European origin today but this was not the case during the colonising phase prior to 1948.

        Yes sencar first came the Jews from Europe to this mostly uninhabited desert. Do you have any idea why?

        Your notion that Palestine was an “utterly non feasible wasteland without any natural assets (see Mark Twain and others)” has been totally dismissed by modern historians

        Which one? Ilan Pappe? David Irving?

        • This assertion is really special:
          Oxford Dictionary definition of colonialism: “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically”.

          This is precisely what Zionists (mostly citizens of European countries) did in Palestine.

          So you think that the Jews came here to this godforsaken wasteland from Europe in order to exploit it economically… It had nothing to do with pogroms, opression, persecution by your kind, antisemitism, and the Holocaust, it was a purely financial adventure.
          Less than a hundred years ago your ancestors screamed: Jews go toto Palestine and now you have changed it to Jews get out of Israel…

        • “If Israel is a colony, the Jews took it away from an other colonial power – your country – who took it away an other colonialist – Turkey.”

          Of course they did. What makes you think I am justifying Britain or Turkey? Decolonisation freed Africa and India from the colonists. Bring on the same in Palestine,

          “Which (modern historian) ? Ilan Pappe? David Irving?”

          Actually my first source was James Gelvin in a lecture course he did for the well-respected The Teachers Company. You can read about his book on the same topic here:
          http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Israel_Palestine_Conflict.html?id=wfIFVze1MqQC

          • Decolonisation freed Africa and India from the colonists. Bring on the same in Palestine,

            Impossible. You can’t kick out the Arab colonists from Judea and Samaria, they don’t have anywhere to go their Arab compatriots never would accept them.

            my first source was James Gelvin

            So one historian. You said before “historians” sencar. Difficulties with grammar? Maybe you didn’t realize but Gelvin is a historian and Mark Twain was an eyewitness.

            What makes you think I am justifying Britain or Turkey?

            Then go and free the colonies of your own country. When they became independent you can come back to preach about colonialism, till then you are simply a laughable hypocrite whose motivation is very clear.

            • “So one historian.”

              I could quote others if you really want them. Gelvin was simply the first I came across, long before I had heard of CifWatch. He has a strong reputation and is certainly not biased towards the Palestinian cause.

              • Sencar – You use the word colonialism to tarnish the creation of the modern State of Israel with the same brush as the slavers and asset strippers that were common in past centuries.

                British, Turkish, French colonialism etc, was clearly about the acquisition of control BY ONE COUNTRY of another for economic puroposes. This is what a Western reader thinks of when they think of colonialism, and although the OED definition omits the “by one country” formulation, I believe it is implicitly understood.

                You and I know that, while the Zionist immigrations to Palestine in the late 19th Century and the first half of the 20th was undoubtedly colonization, and definitely an attempt by one PEOPLE to gain control of the country (with a small “c” as, it is clearly a historical truth that there had been no self-governing entity in that location for centuries), it was NOT colonial in the sense I describe above.

                The Jews moving to the area were not representatives of a foreign power, they were not attempting to abuse the resources (either physical or human) of the land so as to enrich themselves or their homeland, in the way the British and others did so widely in their colonial enterprises.

                They were a people, disparate in ethnicity, nationality and culture who were returning to their spiritual and historical homeland in an attempt to BUILD (not destroy) a nation and to find a haven from the depraved and vicious anti-semitism they had experienced in almost every country in the world. Their aim was to finally be free of the whim of the majority of others who, for thousands of years had occasionally sheltered them, occasionally merely tolerated them but far too often oppressed and murdered them.

                This is NOT colonialism in any way parallel to the evil, supremacist acts of the imperial powers of the past, and that is why CifWatch and other supporters of Israel object to its use in relation to that Country (with a big C).

      • It wasn’t just Mark Twain, and Twain wasn’t just a brilliant novelist. He was a brilliant man with eyes that could see.
        The ethnic composition of Israel is basically a Jewish majority with an Arab minority. The Jews are jewish. period.
        Portugese colonies belonged to Portugal. British colonies belonged to Britain. Israel is the independent state of the Jews in Israel.

        • By the way, sencar, the Guardian gave a platform to anti-Semitic fascists. What do you think of that? For? or Against?

          • Jeff, sencar can’t even bear to apprehend your question, much less be forced to give an opinion on it. He’s probably in some sort of fugue state and in his panic, your comment probably IS unintelligible to him.

          • That’s because it took you by surprise and sent you into a sort of fugue state.

            Take some deep breaths, read Jeff’s question again, and answer it.

      • There are many Israelis/Zionists of non-European origin today but this was not the case during the colonising phase prior to 1948.

        What point are you trying to make there?

        (I also question your use of the term “colonising”, but that’s another issue)

        • “What point are you trying to make there?”

          I was responding to the accusation that I knew nothing about the ethnic composition of Israel.

          To take things a little further, I see the early Zionist thinking about a homeland in Palestine as an aspect of the European 19th century colonisation movement. It came at the end of that period, was primarily European in makeup and shared some of its ideas with other colonisers. Obviously there were specifically Jewish characteristics to the movement as well.

          If you look back to my dictionary definition of colonialism I’d be interested to hear how you see Zionism as different, preferably avoiding the ‘land promised by God’ theory.

            • Sorry, GoonerEll, I was responding to pretzelberg and had missed your comment.

              Your model of colonialism seems to be one nation state conquering and economically exploiting another nation state, but most colonialism wasn’t like that. Think:
              1) The Pilgrim Fathers establishing a foothold in an America controlled by local tribes. Large numbers of smalll colonial settlements followed before Britain took overall control. Colonizing continued after independence as the western territories were captured.
              2) Early colonists, from several different European countries, building settlements and forts on the coasts of India and Africa, where there were no national governments as we know them. Only much later did the strongest European power in each case sieze whole territories and rule them from the home country.

              Economic exploitation partly motivated the colonists but they also sought escape from persecution, new discoveries, the spread of Christianity etc. It’s only really the late 19th cebtury ‘scramble for Africa’ that comes close to your model and even there it was not nation states that were being taken over for the most part.

              “there had been no self-governing entity in that location for centuries”

              Palestine, as you know, was a part of the Ottoman Empire. It had a system of government more advanced than any of the instances above at the time Zionist colonization started. The Zionist colonialists may have developed the land but they did so purely in the interests of Jews. The Second Aliyah saw a deliberate policy of not employing Arabs while taking over an ever-increasing proportion of their land and creating a landless peasant class. No surprise that they were not welcomed.

              • “2) Early colonists, from several different European countries, building settlements and forts on the coasts of India and Africa, where there were no national governments as we know them”

                Really sencar.
                So you have not heard of the Mughal Empire which was ruling India before the British East India Company was formed. You have not heard of the Taj Mahal built before colonisation by the Europeans.

                I don’t know what is worse your ignorance of and patronising attitude towards Indian history, or your turning a ‘blind eye’ towards the Mughal Empire.
                Those who are cynical might believe that your deliberate air-brushing from history of the Mughal Empire is caused by the fact that the Mughal Empire was Islamic Imperialism and therefore doesn’t fit in with the biased World view of a Guardian Groupie like yourself.

                • The Mughal Empire had largely disintegrated by the time significant numbers of European colonists arrived . It certainly presented no concerted opposition to them or to the founders of The East India Company. By 1857 the last emperor controlled just the city of Delhi. He was deposed during the mutiny and The East India Company was nationalised the following year.

                  • sencar oh dear!
                    I don’t know whether to be mildly amused by your ignorance or annoyed at the education system that obviously failed you.

                    The British East India Company was formed by Royal Charter in 1600, are you suggesting that the Mughal Empire had disintegrated by then?

                    From an article by Professor Peter Marshall;
                    “The East India Company’s trade was built on a sophisticated Indian economy. India offered foreign traders the skills of its artisans in weaving cloth and winding raw silk, agricultural products for export, such as sugar, the indigo dye or opium, and the services of substantial merchants and rich bankers. During the 17th century at least, the effective rule maintained by the Mughal emperors throughout much of the subcontinent provided a secure framework for trade.”

                    So your claim in your post of June 14, 2012 at 2.48 pm that India had not had a ‘national government as we know them’ is historically wrong, patronising and racist. Does the fact of Islamic Imperialism make you uncomfortable because it doesn’t fit in with your warped views of the World and its history?

          • What do you really think sencar? Try to bring yourself here as a human being rather than a parrot for the anti-Israel lot in your university, or Greg Philo, or whosoever? Do you have any original thoughts rather than those you have swallowed whole? If so, they might be interesting.

            At present your posts are like those of a 3rd class undergraduate – derivative and uninspired/uninspiring.

  6. Sencar Israel is not colonizing but liberating it’s country from Roman and Arab imperialism. You have it all wrong. Jews are the indigenous inhabitants of Judea. Arabs are from Arabia. The palestinians are made up of a ruling class of Arab clans who rule over formally Aramaic speakers of largely jewish and samaritan origin (it’s easy to tell clans origins as well as DNA testing).

    • Many Palestians actually are Jews converted to Islam by force by the Turks. The next stage of Zionism will bring them back to the Jewish fold.

  7. “Actually I know quite a lot about the ethnic composition of Israel. There are many Israelis/Zionists of non-European origin today but this was not the case during the colonising phase prior to 1948.”

    So only Europeans can bs colonialists. This is exactly your problem. The region only speaks Arabic because of Arab Imperialism. You’re rewarding Arab imperialism by supporting their claim. Why are Arabs entitled to 23 countries captured by imperialism but European Imperialism is wrong? Why don’t you argue Against Turkish occupation of Cyprus or kurdistan? By your logic Turks should return to central Asia, oh I forgot only Europeans can be guilty of colonialism to you. I’d say that double standard means you’re racist.