Chris McGreal: The worst Guardian journalist

This blog has consistently demonstrated the journalistic malice of Guardian reporter Chris McGreal – a reporter so hostile to Israel that he all but accused IDF soldiers of deliberately murdering innocent Palestinian children. He’s also achieved the rare distinction of being singled out by the CST (the British charity tasked with protecting British’s Jewish community) in their 2011 report on antisemitic discourse.

So, while the tone of the following Tweet (on July 22) by McGreal didn’t surprise us, the wild nature of his claim inspired us to take a brief look at the issue he addressed.

Interestingly, the claim in the tweet – that the Israeli Prime Minister once led a rally under the banner “death to Arabs”, and the broader argument that this wish to kill Arabs motivated his decision to attack Hamas in early July, was repeated in a July 31st Guardian op-ed by McGreal titled American media’s new pro-Israel bias: the same party line at the wrong time‘.

His op-ed begins thusly:

Here are a few questions you won’t hear asked of the parade of Israeli officials crossing US television screens during the current crisis in Gaza:

  • What would you do if a foreign country was occupying your land?
  • What does it mean that Israeli cabinet ministers deny Palestine’s right to exist?
  • What should we make of a prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who as opposition leader in the 1990s was found addressing rallies under a banner reading “Death to Arabs”?

McGreal’s proposed questions were meant to serve as a contrast to what he believed to be softball questions ask by US reporters of Israeli officials during the current war.

Leaving aside McGreal’s specious claim that the US media isn’t critical enough of Israel, the reason why reporters haven’t asked Israeli officials about the rally in July 1994 where Bibi allegedly spoke under a banner reading “Death to Arabs” is is because the banner in question didn’t actually say that.

First, while you can watch the full video (which McGreal embedded in this Tweet) here to see for yourself, here’s a snapshot of the frame which captures the banner under which Bibi (then the opposition leader) addressed the crowd.


The banner, at this anti-Yasser Arafat rally, reads, in Hebrew, “Death to the master murderer“, referring of course to Arafat, and the English to the right (though admittedly unclear) reads, based on multiple media reports at the time, “Death to Arafat“. It didn’t read, as McGreal claims, “Death to Arabs”, but “Death to Arafat” – the Palestinian leader dubbed the father of modern terror due to his role in scores of deadly Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians. (Indeed, Arafat’s war on Israeli mean, women and children continued in the 90s and early 2000s’, even after the Oslo Agreement) 

Here’s a passage from the Chicago Tribune on July 4, 1994:

The visit of the man of blood, Arafat, to the State of Israel, paraded and protected by hundreds of Israeli policemen and soldiers, is the height of the absurd and degrading show that we have witnessed in this past year,” said keynote speaker Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the opposition Likud Party. He spoke from a podium decked with a banner that read “Death to Arafat.”

Here’s a passage from the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 4, 1994.

Scores of police collected at the fringes of the Israel rally, while Orthodox Jewish men in black hats and knit yarmulkes and women in head coverings shouted anti-government slogans. They carried placards caricaturing Rabin – even setting at least one afire – and draped banners, like that screamingDeath to Arafat.

Here’s a passage from The Santa Cruz Sentinel on July 4th, 1994, referring to the Hebrew section of the banner:

He spoke from a second-floor balcony draped with a banner reading: “Death to the Master Murderer”.

Here’s a passage from the Seattle Times on July 4, 1994, again referring to the Hebrew section of the banner.

He spoke from a second-floor balcony draped with a banner reading,Death to the master murderer.” Usually leaders of the mainstream opposition party distance themselves from such belligerent slogans.

Finally, it’s of course true that the rally in question included some truly hateful chants and placards, and Netanyahu’s decision 20 years ago to speak at the rally should be criticized.  However, that’s not the point.  McGreal erroneously claimed in his Tweet (and Guardian op-ed) that Bibi spoke above a banner which read “Death to Arabs“, to which he added in his Tweet: “Now he’s making it come true“.  

McGreal was imputing homicidal racist motivations to Netanyahu’s decision to launch a war against Hamas – a smear of the Israeli Prime Minister which was based on a total lie.

21 replies »

    • OK, so he made an error with the translation of the banner, but for my money his analysis is spot on. What is it about his analysis do you object to?

      • “What is it about his analysis do you object to?”

        1. He didn’t check his facts, because it fits with his bias.
        2. It’s a lie.
        3. It’s a lie that you believe, because it fits your prejudice.

        How much of your money have you invested in the lie?

        • Seriously, I’m asking about his analysis of media coverage in the guardian article, not the error he made. WHAT part do you object to? (I’m not talking about the tweet).

  1. we living in a srange world.the arabs want to desroy Israel-historical place of jewish native homeland-and jews are the equpators.antisemitism in fool glory!!!

    • David writes:

      “All he did was a copy paste a Gideon Levy slogan of a few days ago in Haaretz, of course.”

      One can only hope that if, as the Christians believe, there is indeed a hell that Chris McGreal and Gideon Levy get adjacent berths.

  2. The truth of the matter is that it is the journalists at the Guardian who are working for the genocide of the Jewish people in Israel. They pursue that goal relentlessly and with enormous malice. They are indeed the
    Streichers and the Goebbelses of our age.

  3. Time and again, Adam, many of us are humiliated by seeing our past mistakes paraded before others’ eyes as a stick with which to beat us. For the most this is confined to a circle of acquaintances and friends. But when people take high office they must expect the degradation to be in public. I’m not the only one who remembers how Rabin’s threat to quell our neighbours with ‘force, beatings and might’ during the first intifada turned into honeyed words of peace in his later career. And I’m sure there are many who recall how Gen Yigal Alon, who once desired to excise the Arab presence from the Galilee also became a peace maker as he matured. We all change as we get older. In the normal run of things I very often oppose Bibi and his policies but I think he’s presently making a first-rate job of being a war-time leader.Perhaps this time it would be better to allow Gideon Levy and Chris McGreal to rant on without a response. Why give them the oxygen of publicity? Shabbat Shalom.

    • Natalie, because criticism is OK. But lies, especially in journalism, isn’t. The accusation against Netanyahoo is false and should be removed. they are constantly fueling hatred and malice against Israel, because it gives them “ratings”.

    • Natalie,
      There’s a big difference between Journalists and politicians.
      When Politicians lie and are exposed they are expected to resign or be removed.
      Journalists like McGreal stay on.
      Strange, isn’t it?

    • “peace in his later career”

      Israeli politicians do this, even Begin sat whilst being insulted by an Arab MK. Palestinians seldom do for they have nothing decent to fall back on. No religion of charity and forgiveness, no cultural toleration of the other, and no ability to acquire wisdom. Finally of course such a change may well mean death.

  4. As a former journalist and current blogger, I’m only too well-aware of the importance of truth. But I’m sure everyone on this thread is also conscious of the old cliche about truth being the first casualty of war. Meanwhile, I’ve been long convinced that Guardian and Independent hacks – and increasingly people from other news outlets – are either being intimidated or actually paid by Hamas and fellow terror organisations to work from a template. This would explain, for e.g., the stream of manufactured, package-perfect hostile questioning that streams from almost every broadcast interviewer when facing an individual supporting Israel’s case.

    • “But I’m sure everyone on this thread is also conscious of the old cliche about truth being the first casualty of war.”
      “[Journalists] are either being intimidated or actually paid by Hamas and fellow terror organizations to work from a template. ”

      Chris McGreal needs no such inducements. He’s a professional Israel hater.

      • Jeff, I think Chris clearly does have a negative opinion about Israel, but that has been shaped by his experiences reporting there and what he has seen with his own eyes. It’s an opinion that differs from yours, but it’s an honestly held one.

  5. I’m sure ‘The Guardian’ coffee room resounds to, “I hate Jews more than you do!” “Ya think so? Well I hate them from the pit of my stomach!” “Well, I hate them even more than Harriet and Fibby combined.” Etc …..
    Coffee mugs and rolled up Pravdas at ten paces!

  6. Perhaps we should congratulate McGreal on emerging as the ‘worst Guardian journalist’ as the competition is intense.