Guardian’s BDS promotion fails to tell readers what it really is

The Guardian’s coverage of Stephen Hawking’s decision to withdraw from a conference in Israel has so far included no fewer than eight items in three days.

The initial report by Harriet Sherwood and Matthew Kalman – published on May 8th – was followed by a sensationalist Guardian poll on the subject and another article by Sherwood on the same day. The next day – May 9th – Sherwood and Kalman were joined by Sam Jones to produce an additional report which includes quotes from Omar Barghouti and Samia al Botmeh, without making it clear that the latter is a member of PACBI – the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel – and a policy advisor for Al Shabaka

Also on May 9th, the Guardian published an article by Jennifer Lipman criticising Hawking’s decision and a piece by Ali Abunimah – also of Al Shabaka – in its support. On May 10th yet another article by Harriet Sherwood, together with Robert Booth, appeared on the Guardian’s pages and that was accompanied by the publication of four letters on the subject – three of which supported Hawking’s decision. 

Throughout all that plethora of coverage, the Guardian has made no effort whatsoever to explain to its readers the aims of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and the ideology which steers quotees such as Barghouti and al Botmeh or contributor Abunimah.

Ironically, the nearest thing to such an explanation comes in Abunimah’s article where he states: 

“The Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) aims to change this dynamic. It puts the initiative back in the hands of Palestinians. The goal is to build pressure on Israel to respect the rights of all Palestinians by ending its occupation and blockade of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; respecting the rights of Palestinian refugees who are currently excluded from returning to their homes just because they are not Jews; and abolishing all forms of discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.”

Couched in the fashionable, yet much abused, language of “universal human rights”, Abunimah’s flowery yet anodyne description will do little to help readers understand that the ultimate product of the BDS delegitimisation campaign – if allowed to succeed – will be the denial of the basic human right of self-determination to Jews.

“PACBI leads the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, but of course its real aim is not merely to persuade musicians to refuse to appear in Tel Aviv or to encourage people not to buy Israeli goods.  The bottom line of all the PACBI rhetoric is that with its uncompromising demand for the ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees to places west of the ‘green line’, it aspires to eliminate Israel as the Jewish state in precisely the same manner as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad do.  Members of PACBI, including the suited academics at Birzeit, may not be building bombs, firing rockets or strapping on suicide belts, but their ultimate aims are identical to those who do.”

The leaders of the BDS movement are ‘one-staters’: their ultimate hope is not to see the Israeli state and a Palestinian state existing peacefully side by side. Their aim – which is entirely transparent to those not dazzled by the faux human rights rhetoric – is one Palestinian state ‘from the river to the sea’, with – at best – a minority Jewish group making up part of its population. It is therefore not surprising that in 2010 an Al Shabaka policy brief opened with the following question:

“Many commentators expect the direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians to fail. But there is a much worse scenario: What if they “succeed?” “

It is, of course, the Guardian’s prerogative to promote the BDS campaign’s latest high-profile ‘poster boy’ as much as it likes, but in the name of common or garden honesty it should at least have the courage of its ‘feel good’ convictions to explain to its readers the precise nature of the discriminatory, antisemitic, anti-peace ideology (which stands in direct opposition to international efforts to bring the Arab-Israeli conflict to a peaceful conclusion) which the Guardian appears to have etched upon its banner. 

13 replies »

    • The photograph in the blog post was taken in Stuttgart, Germany. Words fail me with thought that a German location is chosen to plan the abolition of the State of Israel in 2010. Ali Abunimah must have felt right at home. Did he make a pilgrimage to Rommel’s old house ? Or maybe some satellite concentration camp near Stuttgart ? And later on a coffee with Ilan Pappe.

  1. The Guardian sees this as a wonderful scalp on their belt especially as the three prime movers in the intimidation of Professor Hawking are all renegade Jews, Chomsky, Rosenhead and Levitt. (“How can we be antisemites when there are Jews saying this?”). They’re pushing it for all it’s worth in their demonic obsession with exterminating Israel. As an antidote read this piece by the wonderful Douglas Murray in the Daily Mail.

  2. I don’t suppose there is a corresponding BDS campaign aimed at muslim countries? Specifically, any fruit and vegetables originating in muslim countries could be avoided.

  3. I think Nations should have the right to determine who in their midst should be entitled to Universal Human Rights Any fool understands why is everybody so thick at the Guardian.

  4. What do you expect from AL Guardian mouthpiece of Islamo Fascists & their radical leftist allies, who r not disturbed by discrimination of women, persecution of homosexuals in the Islamo Fascist counties and organizations but obsessed in calling for the destruction of Israel through nefarious means under the false cover & pretensions of “human rights”
    Of course, abuse in Iran & other Muslim countries is of no concern to them. Nor is the occupation of Cyprus by Turkey or Tibet by China their “concern” is unidirectional reflecting their myopic view..

  5. Just take a look at the photo background . It shows an image of a single Palestinian state from River to the Sea . This despite their laundering of their public image with a new politically correct neutral image logo on some of their social media sites . Looks like they forgot to tell the panel .
    It cannot be said often enough that BDS are not interested in a two state solution . They are not interested in a Palestinian state unless it involves the denial of Israel s very existence leading to its eventual dismantlement .
    These people are nihilists who see only the theory of their cause and not the practicalities of how it could be achieved except by bloodshed murder and mayhem on an epic scale . Unless of course they seriously think Israel will accede to be part of their single state nightmare .
    # BDS fail

  6. Publishing that pro-boycott article by Abunimah is another low point on the bottomless scale that is measuring the G’s moral decline as a newspaper.