Even by the standards of the Guardian Left, George Monbiot represents an extreme example of those commentators who go beyond mere hostility to Israel and the United States, but, more broadly, seem to wake up in the morning convinced that reactionary jihadists are actually victims of the democratic (“imperialist”) West.
Though his Oct. 21st op-ed in the Guardian is about the ‘duhumanising rhetoric’ used by political leaders to demonize and exploit vulnerable minority groups, he naturally avoids citing the most egregiously racist and violent Islamist extremist movements, instead citing – as examples of those who use dehumanising rhetoric to render people expendable – Israel, the UK and the United States.
Here’s the photo Guardian sub-editor’s chose to illustrate his op-ed (Cleansing the stock’ and other ways governments talk about human beings).
The decision by Guardian editors to use this photo – one over five years old which shows the IDF, during the 2008-09 Gaza war, using a smoke screen to protect against Hamas anti-tank units operating nearby – is especially telling when you consider that only 24 words in Monbiot’s 1,000 word essay actually pertain to Israel. In contrast, 246 words are used in the column to describe the violence meted out by US forces in Iraq and Pakistan, yet editors decided not to use any of the myriad of photos from those long-running conflicts.
While the fact that Monbiot’s outrage over man’s inhumanity to man does not evoke for him disturbing images of brutality by movements such as ISIS, Boko Haram or al-Qaeda speaks volumes about the immense moral blind spot of such faux progressive commentators, the Guardian’s decision to illustrate his column with an old photo from Gaza reinforces the media group’s well-earned reputation as the leading anti-Israel voice in the mainstream English language media.