Guardian quietly removes inappopriate photo of President Bush with a menorah

On Dec. 14th, we commented on an extremely inappropriate photo accompanying an official editorial at the The Observer (sister site of the Guardian) in response to the US Senate’s recent report on the CIA’s interrogation of terror suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks. (The Observer view on torture, Dec. 14)

Despite the fact that the editorial had absolutely nothing to do with Jews or Israel, editors nonetheless chose the following photo, from a 2008 White House Hanukkah ceremony, of former President Bush in front of a menorah.


A few days after our post – which was viewed by thousands, and shared widely on Facebook and Twitter – the Guardian quietly changed the photo.

Here’s the page now:


We commend the CiF Watch followers who circulated our post, as well those who may have contacted the Guardian to object to the original photo choice. 

28 replies »

  1. I spend a lot of time working with graphic design and photo-retouching programs. So I was looking at how easy it is to re-touch the photograph and remove the menorah. In doing so, I gained the impression (I am not an expert) that the menorah has in fact been added to the original photograph. Repeat, a suspicion.- but just look very closely at the left shoulder of Bush and you will see a lighter coloured band near his suit.

  2. Commendable one might say except the damage is already done which is the point of subliminal. Nothing can undo what people have already looked at and taken in. This is the insidious nature of this kind of bias. Far better a blatant bias one can confront head on.

    • Applied science of structural antisemitism. Studies of British news polity. Life university Great Britain.

  3. I am very glad they have removed the image. I believe that your (Adam) initial feeling that it was poor editorial judgement rather than anti-Semitism is right.

    I think that suggestions that a pressured deadline driven news organisation would invest time in photo shopping the image are plain unrealistic. Even searching through the database for a suitable picture is usually done by some very junior intern/employee who is given a very short time to search.

    However that is not to excuse it and a more senior editor should have spotted it before it went out.

    • According to the new antisemites like Dinkle there are no antisemitic incidents, only human failure and structural needs.
      Explaining away the evident needs a very convinced antisemit of the newer breed.

      • Does Dinkle have a previous record of anti-Semitism here? Or why are you jumping to that conclusion?
        Just curious.

        • Somebody who characterises the bias of Al Guardian as fair and objective reporting and does the same like this notorious news outlet, deflecting from the evident, ommitting facts contradictng the Palestine and Al Guardian`s narrative, calling us who endure this bias since years conspiray nerds, is just that

        • I have a different take to Fritz on many (not all) of the press’ reporting and so he calls me ‘anti-Semitic’.

    • Dinkle “Suggestions that a pressured deadline driven news organisation would invest time in photo shopping the image are plain unrealistic”.

      Maybe, but the Guardian’s go plenty of form. As for a junior employee choosing the image, well nothing in a newspaper gets printed without the relevant editorial desk’s say so. And that’s one reason why the Guardian is institutionally racist / anti-Semitic. At best, this wilful blindness to anti-Semitic tropes – and at worst, the deliberate dissemination of anti-Semitic libels and images is built into the Guardian’s decision making structure. It’s a totally normalised system immune and hostile to the sensitivities of Europe’s longest suffering racial / religious minority. If it wasn’t the case, these ‘mistakes’ would not be made.

  4. I don’t know what was worse – the offence, so reminiscent of the Jew-hating filth of Der Sturmer and its subliminal hate-filled propaganda – or the Guardian’s lack of realisation that it COULD be offensive. What a God-awful world we live in when the media degenerates into Jew-bashing without realisation that that is what it is doing!

    • This is exactly the point I made in a piece I did objecting to anti-semitism in a literary essay one was meant to think wasn’t intended: ditto how many readers failed themselves to notice it until it was pointed out. Intentional bias is bad enough but if it has permeated society to the degree that nobody even notices it this is even more of a worry.

  5. With literally thousands of archive photos of Bush available to the public (never mind the media), it would certainly be interesting to hear some kind of explanation from the G. on why that particular pic was selected.

    • Why should they explain? Do they ever? What are photo editors paid for? So there are various editors seeing this all along the way and not ONE spotted this unnecessarily complicating symbol? Nah, don’t buy it.

  6. Here is someone claiming that turning a Synagogue into a museum is having nothing to do with that Jewish community.
    Chilling read about the shrinking Jewish community in Turkey. Joseph Dana lives in Turkey, claiming in a great Tweet that there is no animosity towards Jews in Turkey. His moving there from Ramallah being the proof.

    In the EU talks with Turkey its anti-semitism is most likely never mentioned. It could be the EU’s first judenreiner nation. Finally !

    • a) There is little chance of Turkey currently joining the EU.
      b) Any anti-Semitic overtures by the Erdogan govt. would certainly be addressed in talks.
      c) Re. Hungary you certainly have a point.

      • Hungary is terrible for the Jews, only slightly better than the UK, France, and Sweden not speaking about Spain and Ireland.

      • ” Any anti-Semitic overtures by the Erdogan govt. would certainly be addressed in talks.”
        Well right now they are addressing the arrest of many journalists, again.
        Erdo and his Islamist mustachioed butchers say antiSemitic shit all the time. And most people don’t give a hoot. He and his party are openly antiSemitic, and antiKurdish, and antiAlevi and antiArmenian and antiGreekorthodox.
        They are in bed with Hamas and IHH.

  7. Guardian quiety removes inappopriate photo of President Bush with a menorah
    Quietly, I presume, even as notorious germanism producer.

  8. The photo was to accompany an editorial. That is, it was to accompany one of the most important articles in the entire weekly newspaper. It is not remotely credible to believe, for instance, that at the last minute they were looking for a photo to go with their editorial, and this just slipped through. Plnety of people must have seen this, and they all approved it – it was what the paper went with. At the very least, the Observer’s Editor, comment editor and photo editor have no excuse. This is just more rank antisemitism from the Guardianista left.