On August 19th the Guardian published a letter criticising its own appointment of Joshua Trevino to its US politics team. The sight of a veritable ‘who’s who’ of anti-Israel campaigners chastising the Guardian (presumably with a straight face) for employing someone they term as holding “extremist views” and “one-sided political views” is really a sight to behold, so here is the entire missive, followed by its list of signatories.
“We are writing to express our shock and dismay at the addition to the Guardian’s US commentary team of a man who has openly called for the killing of people on humanitarian missions to Palestine, people who have included the Pulitzer-prize-winning author Alice Walker.
The extreme views of your new freelance contributor Joshua Treviño, whose columns will appear on your Guardian US website from tomorrow, are no secret. In 2011, he used Twitter to urge the Israeli army to murder unarmed US citizens who were preparing to sail from Greece on a flotilla to Gaza. Treviño tweeted: “Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.” He also backed a tweet which called for the sinking of the flotilla, which would have endangered the lives of all on board, and likened this peaceful mission to a “Nazi convoy”.
In what way does publishing a man who clearly has no regard for the rule of law, and who advocates the killing of his fellow citizens by a foreign army, enhance the Guardian‘s reputation as a serious newspaper? The extremist views of people like Treviño, who have no hesitation in wishing death upon those who disagree with them, can be found on countless sensationalist, racist and hate-speech websites. They have no place in a reputable publication.
Moreover, Treviño is hardly without vested interests. He served on the board of the pro-Israel group Act for Israel, and was listed on its website as being “a staunch digital advocate of Israel”. This former speechwriter for George W Bush will no doubt be bringing his one-sided political views to the Guardian and using it as a platform for his propaganda. It is a sad day for responsible and impartial journalism when the opinions of such a man are sought as an “important perspective” (the words of Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of the Guardian US) by a supposedly progressive publication.”
Sarah Colborne Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Roger Lloyd Pack Actor
Kika Markham Actor
Bruce Kent Vice-president, CND
Lindsey German Stop the War
Daud Abdullah Middle East Monitor
Zahir Birawi Palestinian Forum of Britain
Diana Neslen Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Chris Rose Amos Trust
Shenaz Bunglawala iEngage
Baroness Jenny Tonge
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Professor Nur Masalha Soas*
Professor Ilan Pappe Exeter University*
Dr Ghada Karmi Exeter University*
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead LSE*
Professor Kamel Hawwash University of Birmingham*
Professor Haim Bresheeth University of East London*
Professor Antoine Zahlan (retd) American University of Beirut*
Professor Steven Rose Open University*
Professor Hilary Rose LSE*
Dr Les Levidow Open University*
Canon Garth Hewitt St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem
Ahdaf Soueif Author and journalist
Victoria Brittain Author and journalist
Abe Hayeem Chair, Architects and Planners for Justice, Palestine
(*all writing in a personal capacity)
So, as we see, Sarah Colborne – who was aboard the Mavi Marmara when members of its “humanitarian mission” were shouting “Khaybar khaybar al Yahud” – and later attempting to disembowel Israeli soldiers – considers herself fit to criticize others for perceived ‘extremism’.
Zahir Birawi – (aka Zaher Birawi) of the PFB, ‘Viva Palestina’ and PRC, a known Hamas operative in the UK, trustee of a charity connected to the Union of Good which is headed by the homophobic and anti-Semitic Yusuf Qaradawi and recent spokesman for the ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ has things to say about “hate speech websites” even after having recently published this dangerous incitement:
“On 9th of August, we fear a possible showdown with disastrous consequences, where the fanatical Zionists will invade the Haram Sharif and even attempt to destroy the two Masjids. Thus acting now is really a matter of grave urgency for the world.”
Les Levidow puts his name to a letter criticizing someone for supposedly having no respect for the “rule of law” after having taken part in last year’s failed ‘flytilla’ and spoken at the 2008 IHRC-organised, Hizballah terrorism-glorifying, ‘Al Quds Day’ event where he said:
“When we say ‘end the occupation’ we should make clear the occupation IS the Israeli state itself, not simply its control of the West Bank and Gaza. Israel’s existence as a Zionist state poses a continuous threat to peace and democracy in the Middle East. Israeli colonisation has destroyed any basis for an independent Palestinian state. There are basically two possible futures – either Israel forces more and more Palestinians to leave or else Israel is de-zionised, de-colonised so that there are equal rights for all.”
Daud Abdullah, who in 2009 signed the Istanbul Declaration which effectively calls for terror attacks against his own country, has the gall to lecture others on what is or is not appropriate for a “reputable publication”.
One could, of course, go on and on exposing the hypocrisy of these letter-signing paragons of ‘morality’. There is no need to do so because, like the writers and bloggers who have already raised their shrill objections to Trevino’s Guardian gig, it is all too obvious that this is no more than yet another means to further their anti-Israel agenda.