Guardian omits key context in quote by Israel spokesman about Mads Gilbert

Mads Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor, commentator and “radical Maoist politician” who openly supported the “moral right” of Al Qaeda to murder thousands of Americans on 9/11.

Mads Gilbert

Gilbert was also one of the authors of a letter published in the medical journal Lancet during the Gaza war which accused Israel of intentionally “massacring” Palestinian women and children. The journal’s editor later apologized for the letter, explaining that it “did not convey the level of complexity that is the reality in Israel.”

More recently, Gilbert was in the news after he was banned ‘for life’ from entering Israel.

Though the Guardian and Independent both covered Gilbert’s banning, a look at the way in which they cited a quote from the Israel Foreign Ministry about Gilbert is quite revealing.

Here are the key passages in The Independent’s report on Nov. 14th by Ben Lynfield:

Dr Gilbert is on the left-wing fringe in Norway. In 2001, he told Dagbladet that the 9/11 attacks in the US were a result of decades of Western foreign policy and that he supported terrorist attacks against the US in that “context”.

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Paul Hirschon, recalled those remarks yesterday, adding: “He’s not on the side of decency and peace and he’s got a horrible track record. I wouldn’t be surprised if his acquaintances are among the worst people in the world.”

Now, here are the key passages in a report in The Observer (sister site of the Guardian) on Nov. 15th by Kate Shuttleworth, which uses the same quote by Hirschon:

During the war, Gilbert charged that Israel was committing “state terrorism at the highest levels”.

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Paul Hirschon, replied Dr Gilbert was “not on the side of decency and peace and he’s got a horrible track record. I wouldn’t be surprised if his acquaintances are among the worst people in the world.”

Did you notice the differing accounts of Hirschon’s comments?

The Indy made it clear that Hirschon was responding to Gilbert’s support for al-Qaeda’s attacks on 9/11 when suggesting that he “was not on the side of decency”, while the Guardian omitted this context, making it appear as if Hirschon was merely responding to the Norwegian doctor’s criticism of Israel.

Further, CiF Watch contacted Paul Hirschon who noted to us that he didn’t speak to Shuttleworth or anyone from the Guardian about their story, and that it was during his conversation with The Independent about Gilbert’s support for the al-Qaeda attacks that he opined that the Norwegian activist was “not on the side of decency and peace”.

Whatever the reason for Shuttleworth’s omission, the bottom line is that Guardian readers were denied key information which would make Hirschon’s criticism of Gilbert possible to understand.

21 replies »

  1. Activists posing as medics and journalists is becoming a bit of a trend in Israel. I realize that a democracy can not curtail the press or health care, but as we are at war, maybe keeping people like Gilbert and Blumenthal out should be considered ?
    Information is a weapon in war. Israel should not give access to people who are in effect enemy combatants. I think they banned PRESS TV, and curtail Al Jazeera.
    Banning faux humanists should not be a problem.
    The crush of foreign activists in Judea and Samaria taking part in demonstrations seems to be over. These people were slowly sieved out at the border over a number of years.
    A “journalist” called Fabian Koehler who writes for the German communist daily Neues Deutschland and who was the papers man in Israel was denied entry upon a recent return. He was kept in an airport cell for four days before being deported.
    Koehler has repeatedly written pro Hamas pieces and is a fan of Syria.
    If Koehler gets deported why can’t others be deported as well ?
    I am not saying deport them all. But certainly thin the herd.

  2. Just wondering. If the Guardian lost all of their anti-Semite readership, would it still remain a profitable newspaper. Not “anti-Zionist.” Not “anti-Israel”. Though those are anti-Semites as well. But hardcore Nazi-like Jew-haters. What do you all think?

    • Just wondering. If the Guardian lost all of their anti-Semite readership, would it still remain a profitable newspaper.

      The Guardian is haemorrhaging money at the rate of 35 – 40 million ponds per year. Scott left a large fund which is now covering it’s losses. However, the ‘kitty’ is finite and persuading advertisers not to advertise there can shorten the period of its survival and bring about its final elimination.

      An elimination which I will celebrate with sadness remembering what it used to be before being taken over by the extreme radical loonies

          • “Could it be the world is against ‘the Jew!!?’”

            No ‘Tamara’ not the World, at least not the civilised World.
            Just the usual collection of anti-Semitic scum.
            If you need a definition of anti-Semitic scum, ‘Tamara’ look in a mirror and you will see a classic example of anti-Semitic scum looking back at you.
            As you are a self confessed retard ‘Tamara’ I’ll let you into a little secret, that horrible anti-Semitic face staring and drooling back at you, is you.

  3. I remember the aptly-named Mads ranting on during Cast Lead, to an eager audience of western reporters that the Israelis had killed the child he had recently operated on.

    What later transpired, and what he omitted to mention, was that the child was playing on the roof of its building during a firefight between the IDF and Hamas.

    That being the case, (a) it’s impossible to say where the bullets had come from and (b) what sort of parents allow their child out of their sight, let alone onto a roof, during a firefight?

  4. The AFP article on this story was even worse. It portrayed this guy as a hero who is simply critical of Israel based on his observations in Gaza. But then the AFP is an often overlooked anti-Israel outlet, at least as bad as any other news organization (yes including BBC, NY Times, Reuters, etc).

  5. I live in the same city as Gilbert here in Norway, and it is disgusting how many supporters he has even among Norwegians. It’s not just recent arrivals from abroad with Hamas scarves around their necks who join in on his hate-filled demagoguery lessons in even public places like the local library. The rooms are filled with 68-ers, as ugly on the outside as they are inside.

    They wail about children, but they don’t really care one jot about them. Only the ones they can claim were “killed by the Jews”. If you try to have a dialogue with any of these people, they defend the worst murders by Hamas, and say they have a “legitimate right” to slaughter not just Israeli children, but also their own.

    It’s like a Breivik-psychosis, but whereas he was a loner and a lone wolf, there are hundreds of these terrorist supporters cheering each other on in their hate-filled sessions.

    • It’s very sad to see Norway descending into overt and public antisemitism. Sweden, yes, we know all about Sweden. But Norway had a proud and honourable history in the last century.