Guardian

The Guardian tries out a new narrative: Islamist “dove” vs the Zionist “hawk”.


Here’s the Guardian headline used in Joel Greenberg’s report on Sept. 29: bibi Whilst we addressed the fictitious narrative that Hassan Rouhani is a “moderate” in a previous post, note that this latest story not only imputes such liberal politics to the president of a country which leads the world in exporting terror abroad, while terrorizing women, gays and religious minorities at home, but contrasts the “dovish” Islamist with the “hawkish” Zionist. Of course there is one serious problem with the claim made in the headline: It isn’t at all supported in the subsequent text.  

Here’s the entire story:

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, vowed to “tell the truth” about Iran‘s nuclear programme as he flew to the US on Sunday to meet Barack Obama and address the United Nations.

diplomatic offensive at the UN last week by Iran’s new president,Hassan Rouhani, who had a historic 15-minute phone conversation with Obama on Friday, has raised concerns in Israel, which fears improving relations between the US, one of its closest allies, and Iran, one of its worst enemies.

There is concern that if the US eases economic sanctions and removes any military threat, Tehran would be freer to create a nuclear bomb.

Officials say Netanyahu will present evidence of continued Iranian efforts to attain a nuclear weapon, and will urge the US and others not to be taken in by Rouhani’s charm offensive.”I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet talk and offensive of smiles,” Netanyahu said on Saturday night before boarding his plane to New York. “One must talk facts and tell the truth. Telling the truth today is vital for the security and peace of the world and, of course, it is vital for the security of our country.”

As Netanyahu travelled to the US, Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency announced it had arrested an Iranian with Belgian nationality who was suspected of spying for Tehran. The agency said Ali Mansouri, 58, carried photos of the US embassy in Tel Aviv and had been promised $1m (£620,000) to set up companies in Israel on behalf of the Iranian intelligence services “to harm Israeli and western interests”.

Israeli commentators said Netanyahu would have to work hard to offset the impression left by Rouhani in his UN speech and media appearances, where he presented himself as a peace-seeking moderate. “The Iranian president was very successful in convincing many in the US who want to be convinced that there is a new spirit in Tehran and a great willingness now for compromise. It will be an enormous challenge for Netanyahu to reverse that trend,” said Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya.

In the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, prominent columnist Nahum Barnea wrote that, in his phone conversation with Rouhani, Obama had “folded the flag which Netanyahu had waved to Israelis and the world, the basis of his diplomatic existence”.

Barnea added: “The threat of a military attack by the US has been removed, at least in the coming months, and it is doubtful if there ever was an Israeli military threat.”

Netanyahu has argued for increased sanctions on Iran, backed by a “credible military threat” that he said proved itself in the case of Syria, which under threat of a US strike agreed to international control of its chemical weapons.

The Israeli leader has urged that Iran be pressed to halt all uranium enrichment, remove enriched uranium from the country, dismantle the Fordo nuclear plant and stop “the plutonium track” to a nuclear weapon.

Yossi Alpher, an Israeli strategic analyst, said that Netanyahu’s “strident tone”, which included ordering the Israeli UN delegation to walk out of Rouhani’s speech, meant that “he’s coming across as a kind of spoiler”.

“I don’t think he will be able to persuasively argue that Rouhani is not worth talking to,” Alpher said. “We lose a degree of credibility when we allow ourselves to be totally out of synch with our allies on this issue.”

As you can see, if there has been any strident “anti-Iran” rhetoric by the Israeli prime minister, such quotes certainly weren’t included in Greenberg’s report. 

Moreover, the Guardian continues to all but ignore reports which contradict their desired narrative of a new “peaceful” Iranian president.  These include vitriolic rhetoric by Rouhani claiming that Israel is “an occupier and usurper” that has brought instability to the region with its “warmongering policies” and “institutionalized aggression”, and even comments by the new president which seem to liken the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Such obfuscations are par for the course at the Guardian.  Indeed, as the paper’s associate editor, and chief “anti-imperialist”, Seamus Milne even expressed sympathy for the ‘tragically misunderstood’ former Holocaust denying president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, we shouldn’t be surprised by continued selective reporting – and what will almost certainly be a chorus of pro-Rouhani propaganda – in the weeks, months and years to come.

11 replies »

  1. This is disingenuous. You use quotation marks in the phrase the Zionist “hawk” but it is Netanyahu to whom the phrase refers…who is a confirmed hark …not just any ” Zionist”.

    So yes the Guardian uses the word “hawk ” ,but by cynical placement of punctuation
    you imply the Guardian brands Zionists in general as “hawks” , when they have not done this in this case.

  2. I’ve always found the dove vs hawk narrative re. internal Israeli politics (i.e. left vs. right) tiresome enough. And that’s coming from a lefty!