Guardian Mid-East editor legitimizes the political pornography of Ali Abunimah

The Guardian’s Middle East Editor, Ian Black, provided an analysis of President Obama’s March 21 speech in Jerusalem (titled ‘Obama shows emotional and political intelligence with Jerusalem speech‘) which represents a good example the Guardian Left tendency to impute ‘authenticity’ to the most radical and uncompromising activists.  

This journalistic tick can be seen, for instance, in Harriet Sherwood’s decision to award ‘progressive’ Hechsher labels to both Joseph Dana and slain terror-abetting anti-Israel campaigner, Vittorio Arrigoni

Such political posturing also colored their coverage of the so-called ‘Palestine Papers’ in 2011, where Mahmoud Abbas’s putative flexibility during negotiations with Israel over the refugee issue was characterized as “craven” – as “selling out” Palestinian rights – in a series of reports which seemed to reflect the media group’s attempt to ‘out-Palestinian’ the Palestinians themselves. 

Their institutional tendency to promote a radical chic (and even terrorist-chic) brand is also evident in their frequent decisions to publish Islamist extremists, and the dearth of space they provide to peaceful and truly moderate two-state proponents.

In his March 21 report Black praised Obama’s speech at the Jerusalem Convention Center as “appealing to ordinary Israelis over the heads of their political leaders”, and as representing “a smart combination of emotional and political intelligence in pressing the buttons that matter to mainstream Jewish opinion in Israel.”

Palestinians, however, observed Black, were not impressed.  He noted that some Palestinians complained that Obama’s speech lacked depth or substance, before citing a critique by Ali Abunimah, the American born, Ivy League educated son of a Jordanian diplomat who founded ‘Electronic Intifada’ (EI) – and who, from his home in Chicago, engages in hate-filled “commentary” about the Jewish state with abandon.


Indeed, the Tweets by Abunimah (a former ‘Comment is Free’ contributor) cited in the following passage by Black are a fair representation of the activist’s social media style.

Black writes the following: 

Ali Abunimah, an outspoken critic of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and a supporter of the one-state solution, tweeted in anger: “Palestinians yearning for peace live in a tough neighborhood, surrounded by racist settlers and a murderous US-backed sectarian ‘army.’ Obama’s ‘history’ of Israel is as delusional as his US history which still praises slave-owning, slave-raping founding fathers. This speech will drive liberal Zionists wild because it legitimizes their segregationist desires & dresses them up as ‘peace’ & ‘democracy.'”

The text cited, however, represents several separate Abunimah Tweets.  So, for clarity, here are the three (140 character or so) ‘meditations’ by Abunimah which the Guardian Middle East editor evidently found elucidating. 

Here are a few additional Tweets that day by Abunimah not cited by Black:

Zionist psychopaths: 

Israel slaughters children:

Israel is a “supremacist” state:

Though Abunimah blocks many pro-Israel activists from following him, it still isn’t difficult to locate his Twitter paper trail – which includes a tweet concerning the murder of Israelis by Hezbollah terrorists in Bulgaria in 2012, which clearly suggested a Mossad conspiracy,  and another one calling for Palestinians to start a 3rd Intifada.

However, Abunimah is no mere American pro-Palestinian activist.  He’s defended Hamas and has flirted with insidious Israel-Nazi analogies – once even Tweeting the following: 


The fact that the Guardian’s Middle East editor – who undoubtedly could have found a more moderate, lucid and truly peace-seeking pro-Palestinian critic to cite – decided to hitch his wagon to Abunimah’s hateful political brand is an apt commentary on the Guardian’s continuing  fealty to the most belligerent voices in the region.

60 replies »

  1. I think Abunimah is the statesman of our time rather than the lame duck President
    Are violins playing in the background while Obama speaks?” one Lebanese woman asked sarcastically. Others complained of eloquence without depth or substance. Ali Abunimah, an outspoken critic of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and a supporter of the one-state solution, tweeted in anger: “Palestinians yearning for peace live in a tough neighborhood, surrounded by racist settlers and a murderous US-backed sectarian ‘army.’ Obama’s ‘history’ of Israel is as delusional as his US history which still praises slave-owning, slave-raping founding fathers. This speech will drive liberal Zionists wild because it legitimizes their segregationist desires & dresses them up as ‘peace’ & ‘democracy.'”

    • With the long and sordid history of the Arab/Muslims world’s engagement in the slave trade which began long before and lasted quite a bit later than America’s, and where society’s are still hellhole’s of oppression of minorities and bastions of passive as well as active racism, with lack of freedom and transparency, I can certainly understand why Abunimah would point fingers. That’s what unrepentant, hypocritical propagandists do. Ditto for the “Palestinians…surrounded by racist settlers” act. It’s Israel, clearly, that’s surrounded by racists. But hey, that’s the “pro-Palestinian” game – just turn things around.
      Without the advent of the internet Abuminah’s foaming at the mouth fulminations would probably be limited to a soap box near the local bus stop.

      • Yes, guess what, Israel doesn’t have the monopoly with eye-watering racism. Fancy that.

        “hellhole’s of oppression of minorities and bastions of passive as well as active racism”

        Could just as easily been written about Israel.

        “with lack of freedom and transparency”

        Could just as easily have been written about the US, the UK, Israel, heck pretty much anywhere.

        • “Could just as easily been written about Israel.”

          As we’ve seen, it has been written about Israel.

          “Could just as easily have been written about the US, the UK, Israel, heck pretty much anywhere.”

          Has been. What’s your point?

          • Flirting with racism, you posted a series of depictions of “that Arab world”, whatever that is, depictions which could have been applied to most countries, and offered it to explain Ali’s “behaviour”. One might ask…what was *your* point?

            • “Flirting with racism, you posted a series of depictions of “that Arab world”, whatever that is, depictions which could have been applied to most countries”

              Oh. If that’s what I was doing, then what was it that your friend Ali was doing? Isn’t different countries for different peoples something one could find all over the world?
              Why does he focus in on the “Slave owning, slave-raping Founding Fathers?” Couldn’t find any slave-owning slave rapers anywhere else? Flirting with racism?

              • As far as the “Arab World” thing goes, it’s a common term used all over the media, but I usually do enclose it in quotes. That I didn’t this time was an oversight on my part.

        • Oh wonderful. Another one who thinks (contrary to all evidence to the contrary) that Israel is a “hellhole of oppression of minorities and bastion of passive as well as active racism.”

          Care to tell that to the Arabs and other non-Jews who participate fully in Israeli society? The Arab MKs and cabinet members? The Arab Supreme Court judges? The bedhouin soldiers in the IDF? The Bahai who are protected and flourish in Haifa while they are persecuted in Islamic countries, most especially Iran and Egypt? The gays who are hung and shot etc in Islamic countries, but who can live completely open and free lives in Israel? etc etc etc.

          • Guess what? Israel isn’t the worst place on Earth.

            But are you seriously, and I do mean seriously, are you seriously going to make the argument that racism and oppression of minorities are not a problem in Israel? Do you really want to pull at that thread?

            Guess what? It’s easier to be an Arab in Israel than a Jew in an Arab country. Wow! You’re right. Israel gets a free pass because it sucks less than its neighbours? Sheesh, do you not have any higher aspirations for Israel?

            • For an Anti-Semite like you there is nothing positive in a Jewish state, quite understandable for such a negative being.

            • That’s not the point I’m making. I am not trying to whitewash (or even pinkwash) any social or other problems Israel faces. Of course there is racism in Israel, as there is in every country in the world.

              The point is that this article criticizes Ali Abumineh’s characterisation of the Palestinians as an innocent people “yearning for peace live in a tough neighborhood, surrounded by racist settlers and a murderous US-backed sectarian ‘army.’ ” and suggesting that this is an iversion of the truth.

              I agree that this is an inversion of the truth, which is why the relative “badness” of Israel and her neighbours is absolutely relevant. I’m glad that you acknowledge the relativity of the situation. So what’s YOUR problem? Do you not have any higher aspirations for the Palestinian people?

            • “Guess what? Israel isn’t the worst place on Earth.”
              Glad you feel that way. Start spreading the news.

              “Israel gets a free pass because it sucks less than its neighbours? ”
              Oops! Just can’t help yourself, or what?

            • It’s better to be an Arab in Israel than one in any Arab country. They’ve got freedom of speech, freedom of worship. They can vote for the candidate of their choosing, own property and follow the career of their choice. I don’t think anyone wants a free pass for Israel, but how about treating them like any other nation?

          • You must be joking. He knows that full well. He is a racist propagandist, no different from Göbbels except that he doesn’t yet have the backing of a state to commit mass slaughter. It is my opinion that someone that immoral, unjust, racist, bigoted and sociopathic would commit racist, anti-Semitic murders if he had the chance. He knows perfectly well that the “one-state solution,” is predicated on the genocide of every Jew living there. He lies and says otherwise only to gull the naive.

            The only thing he knows about the Holocaust is that the wrong side won.

        • “hellhole’s of oppression of minorities and bastions of passive as well as active racism”

          Could just as easily been written about Israel.

          Could be written about Donald DucK and the Little Green People to. Doesn’t mean anything if it is false.

    • James G. :

      “I think Abunimah is the statesman of our time…”

      Yup, some one is in line to replace Assad, like for like…

    • Hi! Ali Abomination is as much a statesman of our time as Andrew Breitbart was! Both were/are complete sociopaths who make money off of bashing other people, and encouraging the dipstick masses of the world to hop along their Hate Trains!


    • Extraordinary is the word, and I don’t mean it kindly.
      And I wouldn’t trust Mehdi (“kufaar are cattle”) Hassan as far as I could throw him unless he reacted identically to every Islam-inspired antisemitic incident in the UK.

      But I strongly suspect he will not and that he is following the Islamic doctine of sitr (the literal meaning of which is “drawing a veil” over a Muslim’s egregious conduct so as to protect his dubious honour). Sitr can include lying or pretending and has all the usual ingredients of taqiyya.

      • Come on, give the guy a break. That article seemed genuine, sincere – and hardly grudging.

  2. If Abunimah’s Tweets had more “dear boys” in them they would be hard tell apart from Michael White’s Tweets.

    • He is afraid to say “dear boys” because that would be giving the game away. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  3. I read the article and I applaud Mehdi for facing the issue head on.
    He deserve a medal. he makes no excuses as there are none. Any form of racism is abhorrent including anti-Antisemitism. Thanks for pointing it out Fritz.

    • Any form of racism is abhorrent including anti-Antisemitism

      Please tell me I’m reading this wrong. It sounds like Jonny Briggs is claiming that being against anti-Jewish bigotry is somehow racist.

      Although if he does believe that, that would explain some of his more bizarre “you’re being racist” comments…

    • Would that I had your faith in Mehdi’s motives. Thankfully I don’t and shan’t unless he continues to decry Muslim antisemitism publicly whenever it appears . I doubt that he will.The man is a card-holding hypocrite who relies on the naivete of people such as yourself.

      See my post above about how Islam sees the necessity for sitr as defined by the sharia.

  4. Medhi Hassan is to be applauded for openly admitting to the anti-Semitism in the Muslim community. Scum like Ali Abuminah feed off it.

    I imagine the anti-Semites on the British left are gnashing their teeth. Medhi has told an inconvenient truth.

    • But, in view of past remarks that he has been recording as saying, I would have to see so much more from Medhi Hassan to convince me that he actually identifies with what he is writing and not building himself ‘liberal’ credentials to be conveniently discarded at some secretive moment.

    • Indeed he has, but I doubt he means a word of it.
      I’d have to see more such honesty and consistent criticism of Islam’s inexcusable attitude and behaviour to Jews before I could believe he really means what he says.

  5. cba trust you to read it wrong.

    As is clear I am opposed to all forms of racism including antisemitism – Is that clear for you.

    • It’s clear that you are an obsessed anti-Semite and a coward that hides behind this anti-racism façade. Just like your twin “nat”, snottyville, karim algebra and boy-george. Piss off, nazi troll.

  6. Erdogan Turkish Premier accepts netanyahu’s apology for causing the deaths on Mavi Marmara according to the BBC

    Israel’s prime minister has apologised to Turkey for “any errors that could have led to loss of life” during the 2010 commando raid on an aid flotilla that tried to breach the Gaza blockade.

    Benjamin Netanyahu also agreed with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to compensate the families of the nine activists who were killed.

    Mr Netanyahu had previously only expressed regret for the deaths.

    The deal was brokered by US President Barack Obama during a visit to Israel.

    Mr Erdogan’s office said he had accepted the apology, “in the name of the Turkish people”.

    In the past, he has always given two conditions for restoring bilateral relations with Israel – an apology and compensation for victims’ families.

    • Actaully Israel offerd that months ago. Israel apologised for errors not for the act itself. One of Erdogan’s condition was the end of the blockad of Gaza he did’t get it.

    • Yeah, like most of the anti-Israel folks who have commented on this issue, you didn’t see fit to mention that Erdogan also demanded that Israel end the legal blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. That was the condition that prevented any reconciliation until (I’m assuming) the U.S. let Turkey know they weren’t going to dictate policy on a matter involving a terrorist group that didn’t have the same relations with Jerusalem as it does with Ankara (no shit). The apology was fine, and the compensation matter seems to have been resolved on the basis of Israel not directly giving money to the Hamas terrorist protégés through the IHH. So again, great work not pointing out the actual reason it took this long to fix this problem, which I have to guess is because you have no problem with either Hamas or Turkey’s client relationship with them.

  7. Ok let us admit Israel won if it helps – I for one accept the apology for the killings and the compensation for the families of the victims –

    • One has to wonder here how many times the word ‘peace’ was used in conversations between the Obama and Palestinians. If it did crop up I would suggest that the Obama used the word.

      Not The Palestinians.

    • Do you also accept that the Turkish authorities share responsibility for allowing the ship to sail packed with armed ‘peace’ activists ready to attack soldiers doing their duty to enforce a legal blockade? Or the activists themselves for their part in it?

      In apologising for operational mistakes that allowed the confrontation to get out of hand, and agreeing to demands for compensation, Israel has once again shown that it is ready to do what is necessary for peaceful co-operation with its neighbours.

      Wouldn’t it be great if the Turks could show this kind of maturity?

  8. Ali Abomination celebrates the slaughter of Jews simply by naming his petulant blog Electronic Intifada. History notes that the Intifada were massive explosions at pizzerias, dance halls, school cafeterias, on bus lines, and at Seders for senior citizens. Nowhere in either Intifada had the Palestinians actually made any peace offers.

    Intifadas eventually end, Ali. They get blocked away from the rest of society with 40 foot walls that Banksy will want to paint on.

    That’s as cool to chic as Ali will ever get. I predict suicide for that scumbag.

  9. This will be the content of the third, fourth and fifth intifadas – no need to commit suicide – but a great step forward for humanity

    • Here’s part of your problem, Johnboy. Your credibility is already shot and now you’re changing the topic. Point of the conversation is Ali Abomination, the whining little turd of Electronic Intifada, and not the breaking news you’re providing. If you think anyone is going to read the startling news that you found on the interwebs which will pry open our eyes and view the world through your bloodred tinted glasses, then you are much dumber than I originally thought you were.

    • As a condemnation of Israel this video doesn’t amount to much, does it Jonathan?

      You’ve got a puff-piece for a book by an ex-soldier who is trading on the notion that a two state solution can be equated with forced ‘separation’. He advances the idea that conducting house searches or arresting people cannot be achieved ‘morally’ and is therefore unjustifiable; he cites humiliation and torture using a picture of a woman being moved by soldiers but without context; he cites war crimes carried out by individuals without mentioning that if these individuals are Israelis they will be held to account; he speaks of targeted killings as though there could be no justification in assassinating someone who has declared himself to be at war with you – is planning to murder civilians and you are unable to apprehend him in any other way.

      By all means let us hear what it feels like on both sides of this conflict – but let’s remember this conflict is not one that Israel wants and she should be applauded for the restraint she has shown.

  10. Truly vicious tweets from Ali Abunimah. And why is Black citing that armchair propagandist anyway?

    btw I just scrolled down the comments under Black’s article and by chance stopped at this preposterous post:
    It refers to Israel’s “so called citizens”, “the mass murder committed by the majority of Europeans that invaded Palestine after world war2 and caused this unrest in this region” and “Because THEY make a lot of money from it.”

    All in response to a reasonable enough comment from hawkwoman.

    Oh – and then there’s hornetto’s truly enlightened comment shortly afterwards about “90% of the immgrants are descended from Khazars”.

    Scary to wonder what these people do otherwise in their everyday lives …

  11. Scary to wonder what these people do otherwise in their everyday lives …

    Indeed. One can imagine them sitting ‘on the throne’ and ‘venting’ about Israel.

  12. Obama told the Ramallah audience that Israel is going nowhere, Israel is the Jewish state and it is time the Arabs dealt with reality [ie grow up – politics is the art of the practical here and now -though he did tell them talks were for bargaining not sewing up an already agreed bargain]. For this the Arab hosts and media well sulked him including The Guardian stuffing him onto an inside page. As already noted Arab politics as one state and ethnically cleansed goes back to the 1964 PLO Charter and their rejection of Peel in 1937 and UN181 in 1947.

    However hope springs eternal: See and publicise page 42 -43 in Alan Dershowitz “The Case for Peace” where he has extracted from think tanks the idea of a spinal railway from Jenin to Hebron then to Gaza-Rafah and airport. Western powers should now stop aid to PA and UNWRA and spend the money on the railway, roads and above all sewage plants for all the West Bank and Gaza towns to retrieve irrigation water for market gardening and cash crops.

    Actually the rail link is easier than it looks because there should be no problem rebuilding the British railbed and line Rafah -Gaza -Ashkelon spur of Israel Rail then over IR to Kiryat Gat and a new branch to Taqumieh NW of Hebron. There are enough unemployed young Arabs in the area to build it even with spades and other hand tools this summer!

    Stop the silly embassies in Tel Aviv sulk which only tells Arab governments and street that the West will not be bothered if Israel sinks. This conflict is viscerally in the street on both sides and not just blocking politicos as Obama blatantly conducted himself. Telling the constituency to chivvy its representatives will backfire because the Arab electorate is convinced it will return to pre -1947 lodgings and half acres and suddenly become immensly rich thereby.

    Incidentally the US reverts to energy independence this year on fracked gas and the Arab petro -era winds down in the 2030’s-40’s at which so does their ability to make the World worry about its economy. There is also a lot of fracked gas in china and Northern Europe but let us hope we double glaze andinsulate before then.

  13. no one wins an argument on racism, the Obama Presidency is almost proof such arguments are a form of racism in a new form. what are we talking about? skin color?, Language? Religious intolerance? Given the numbers of Christians fleeing the Islamic Revolutions and sharia states to find freedom and an ease from tyranny elsewhere, to include the West Bank exodus, maybe someone who is so invested like Abunimah should hang it up. so we can make real progress, the adovation of pluralism and diversity that does not demand taxes and loot from people of other faiths, like the Clerics of Egypt recently demanding “tribute” from America. 1,000 plus years of Islamic stagnation and the most “advanced” Islamic nations are still dependent on looting non-Muslims. Can such an observation be made out to be racist?

    • Politcs is the practical – otherwise go write escapist novels or at least puncture the stupid pomposities of vested interests like Charles Dickens and Voltaire.
      If the Abunimahs of this World are bothered about violent neighbours and contempt they should look in their mirrors… “most handsome of them all,” to borrow a phrase for who has been insulting, boycotting and border reiving these sixty years and longer if not Cousin Ishmael?
      I am 71 and remember as a witness the 50’s news of Arab raiding Israeli villages. My late Aunts and Uncles could remember the shock of the totally unjustified 1929 “riot” and the Arab rebellion of the 36 – 39 campaign of attacks on buses, railways and forest and orchard burning. Ever since I was student in the early 60’s – before the 67 war – I remember Arab speakers on campus unable to open their mouths without stuffing insults into every sentence – made for brilliant clarity of the NON argument – we hate you! Hate does not broker compromise and peace and prosperity.
      Meanwhile ask – insist – the partisans of Palestine indicate which members of the Arab League are not ethnic cleansed of Christians and Jews, or Shi’ites and Bahais; which members of the Arab League and OIC are in the top half of the league in vital statistics (infant mortality, life expectancy, GDP per capita, girls in education).
      The best thing Obama did was to take the shine off the PA audience by insisting Israel is, and has the right to be Jewsh [self-determined majority] and it is time to build the peace and prosperity.
      If the G and Obama etc really believe in Wilson 14 points principles in the present then we can harry them to transfer their embassies to West Jerusalem. Harry them to spend their aid, NOT on UNWRA and subs to the PA police and clerks, but on real infrastructure: sewerage, water, transport links, vocational courses, forestry….