Guardian editorial condemning CIA torture curiously includes image of a Jewish menorah

The Observer (sister site of the Guardian) published an official editorial today (The Observer view on torture, Dec. 14) in response to a report issued by the US Senate Intelligence Committee into the CIA’s interrogation of terror suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks.

Whilst there’s nothing especially noteworthy in the editorial itself, which condemned “America’s most senior leaders, from former president George W Bush down”, for directing and condoning “the use of abhorrent illegal techniques against terrorism suspects that plainly amounted to torture”, the photo editors chose to accompany the piece is quite curious.


Guardian editors chose the photo of Bush in front of a menorah (from a 2008 White House Hanukkah ceremony) despite the absence of any references to Jews in the text, and the fact that the media group no doubt has countless other photos of the former president – which don’t include eye-catching symbols evoking one particular religion which isn’t the focus of the editorial – that they could have used instead.

No, we’re not accusing the Guardian of antisemitism, just extremely poor editorial judgment.

30 replies »

  1. Of all the photos of GWB, from all the photo agencies of the world, Al Grauniad just had to choose that one…

  2. What I see is: Bush is the Israeli lobby’s puppet. Israel is in the background controlling the strings. 9/11 is a Mossad plot. etc, etc. Good times.

  3. Why not name it for what it is? This is implying that da Jooz control the US! It is pictorial propaganda which works subliminally in much the same way as Nazi propaganda did. How much clearer does it have to be?

  4. exactly who is behind the publishing of the guardian?? I get their articles on the web and it is plain to see the anti-israel, slant does anyone know who are the publishers?

  5. This is almost unbelievable, but unfortunately not now I’ve seen the grotesque Observer choice of photo.

    The Observer used to be one of the very best British newspapers, but a few years ago it was taken over by the Guardian. Even then it maintained a slightly separate identity, which sadly has now been almost completelysmothered and subsumed by the Guardian.

    Does anyone really think that when Rusbridger (the Guardian Editor) leaves the Editorship of the Guardian early next year to go upstairs to Chair the Scott Trust that someone unbiased towards Israel and Jews will somehow get the job?

    My hunch is that if Labour win the next UK election this coming May, Rusbridger will probably go on to get the top job at the BBC and be made a Labour peer so he can sit in the House of Lords.

    I hope I am wrong.

    • I suspect you are right, Moshe. The only big obstacle to that is IF Labour win the election. I don’t see an outright winner (Ed M is just too unpopular). I think it will be another coalition, but whether it’s Tory-led or Labour-led is anyone’s guess.

      • And as far as I’m concerned, Rusbridger still has an awful lot to answer for re: the Snowden affair. As I said at the time, he was under a duty on receipt of documents that were clearly potentially harmful to national security, to check BEFORE publishing whether such damage was real or not. To simply publish everything, regardless of its usefulness to enemies of the State was, at best foolish; at worst traitorous.

        But Moshe, you are right, that will all be forgotten. He won’t be alone in the Lords as someone who either has been or ought to have been behind bars.

  6. Rusbridger would prefer ROH – he plays the piano so he is perfect, no?

    Kath Viner is a contender and co-wrote an agit prop play about Rachel Corrie. The other one in the frame is Janine Gibson and the odds are that she also sticks to the party line on Israel. After all, as my daughter remarked, nowadays you have to be brave to say good word about Israel.

  7. This is Al Guardian editorial policy at work. Quite disgusting, and oh yes, antisemitic, in my view. This is insidious, but these adolescent delinquents have been caught and need to be shamed.

  8. Picking this picture from the probably thousands of photos about Bush shows that the difference between the Aryan Nation and the Guardian is only their postal address.

  9. I think this is actually very serious. The implications of influence, control, conspiracy, ‘dark powers’ behind the evil actions of a figure who is a byword for ‘evil’ in the mythology of the Left, all this is there in the juxtaposition of the imagery – Bush a puppet of ‘the Jews’, etc. Even the nature of the image, a large menorah in shadow… This is a picture I am sure has been used before by the Guardian or elsewhere in a negative ‘Bush’ context having no connection whatsoever with Judaism.. And a couple of days before Hanukkah? I think this is insidious, opening up a real attempt to identify Jewish imagery with a far deeper sense of conspiratorial ‘Jewish power-broking’ of the ‘evil’ in the world than we are used to even at the Guardian. I don’t know if it is ‘Die Stuermer Lite’, but is surely ‘Die Stuermer Subtle’. It is nasty. Surely not happenstance, but a worrying new low…

  10. I was startled to notice the photo choice before I read this post. It’s *conceivable* it was some kind of coincidence, but very clearly is easily open to a charge of antisemitism. I think the Observer should change the picture.

    • I doubt coincidence. The menorah is near 30% of the picture, 2 days before Hanukkah. Sailing close to the wind, again, deliberately.

      • It’s not coincidence, it’s deliberate and institutionalised. Wait for it…. I can hear one of those sanctimonious Guardianistas dismissing the furore over such a ‘harmless’ picture as the paranoid delusions of those incorrigible nationalist yids.

        Y’know, like Jim Davidson used to reassure us that their was no racist or malicious intent in his ‘chalky’ jokes. Those that complain are hysterically over-sensitive.

        But the Guardian now sits in the shadow of history’s judgement, and its ‘funny and / or ‘harmless’ antics will be consigned to the dustbin. It’s institutionalised, post-modern anti-Semitism will be something for future generations to pull out of the trash to learn from. Rusbridger’s legacy can be summed up in that photo.

  11. The odds of it being a “coincidence” are incalculably remote — the standard journalistic attention to imagery alone renders that notion laughable.
    No, this is raw hatred and conspiracy mongering, and completely despicable, especially from a set of people allegedly concerned with justice, equal rights, and human progress,

  12. Well, I looked yesterday and saw the menorah photo. Just now (showing this to my husband) there’s a new photo on the article, of Bush with Tony Blair. Glad they got the message, but the original choice is clear and obvious and while you may not be willing to call the Guardian anti-Semitic, I surely am.
    The Guardian is clearly anti-Semitic. And the original photo choice was clearly intentional on somebody’s part, and the fact that the editor either didn’t catch it or didn’t kvetch about it makes the anti-Semitism plain.

  13. I wonder what do people who defend the Guardian so much have to say about this?
    Dinkle, Pretz?
    In my view the person choosing this photo has obviously an agenda to push and his belief in Jewish power, influence and control over the US is beyond doubtful.

    One cannot deny that any editor viewing this poor choice of a picture will fail to see this.

  14. Imagine the outrage if a right wing paper published something of this quality within the context of a person of colour or maybe a Muslim } !OMG! The Left would go apeshit, rightly so.
    It is also worth noting how everything Nigel Farage say’s is analyzed to death and Al Guardians daily dose of antisemitism trickles its sticky path unhindered.
    Like a wound full of pus that slowly begins to smell……

  15. The Guardian complains of Jews and their “influence” while moslems flood Britain, enslave and rape their children, establish “shari’a compliant” zones in all their cities, ban the Brits from eating pork, prohibit alcohol, terrorize them regularly, and assault the elderly on the Tube and in the streets. Their only reaction is to post large advertisements warning women not to ride in taxis alone. The Brits have quite literally gone insane. It isn’t just “Stockholm Syndrome,” it’s “London Syndrome.”