A guest post by AKUS
I recently wrote here about the article the Guardian published last week in which as-a-Jew Anthony Loewenstein decried the fact that Israel had given an Eritrean a gift of $3,500 and a free plane ride to Rwanda in order to deport him as humanely as possible. This was at least the third article in the Guardian dealing with this issue in the last three months. The article appears on the “Africa” section of the web site (now – it may have moved from the Israel section, where I believe I found it originally), but the mere mention of Israel is enough to bring out the mob of Israel-haters who infest the website.
That article, headed by a Fauxtographic image of migrants not connected to Israel fleeing Africa by boat (not entering it by plane) and waiting to disembark at Salerno, garnered 280 comments. Many were deleted, at least some in response to some of the worst attacks on Israel and Israelis. Many were virulently anti-Israel, accusing Israel of racism, others merely snide cheap shots. As those who have tried it know, replacing the words “Israel”, Israelis”, “Jewish” with “Palestine” or Palestinians”, “Arabs” or “Muslim” would lead to instant deletions, and possibly banning of the person posting:
Yesterday we had a new article about migrants in the Guardian – Malaysia says it will turn away migrants stranded at sea unless boats are sinking. One might imagine that those so horrified by Israel actually flying a migrant back to Africa, and providing him with the not insubstantial sum of $3,500 to make a start there would be at least equally as horrified by the new article.
The Guardian this time did not plaster an image from another set of migrants heading to Europe at the head of the article. Instead we see a hall full of weary, hopeless people crowded into a hall on a small island off the coast of Malaysia. According to the article:
The waters around Malaysia’s Langkawi Island – where several crowded, wooden vessels have landed in recent days carrying more than 1,000 men, women and children – would be patrolled 24 hours a day by eight ships, said Tan Kok Kwee, first admiral of Malaysia’s maritime enforcement agency.
Others have not been so fortunate. The article continues:
South-east Asia is in the grips of a spiralling humanitarian crisis as boats packed with Rohingya and Bangladeshis are being washed ashore, some after being stranded at sea for more than two months.
As many as 6,000 asylum seekers are feared to be trapped at sea in crowded, wooden boats, and activists warn of potentially dangerous conditions as food and clean water runs low.
As I write this after the article has been open there is a grand total of 8 comments. Three are by MiniApolis (one of which has been deleted).
Where are the dozens of CiFalists who troll the murky waters of the Israel-bashing articles that the Guardian continues posting, leaving them open for comments as if trailing red meat in front of vultures and hyenas? If the fate of Eritreans is so dear to those who find the idea that Israel cannot and will not accept 60,000 unwanted and mainly Muslim migrants so appalling, can they not spare a comment or two for this remarkable story of Muslim Malaysia, population 30 million, refusing to accept a relative handful of Muslim migrants from other countries?
If the Guardian and its Israel-hating readers think Israel, population 8 million, should welcome 60,000 Africans, surely they should apply the same proportionate yardstick to Malaysia, and decry their refusal to accept 250,000 Asians? Where are the frankly racist, snide, and hate filled comments about Malaysia that populate the Israel threads dealing with migrants?
The truth is that those condemning Israel, like Loewenstein and his readers, do not really care at all about the migrants and any suffering they endure. They refuse to recognize that compared to the treatment of unwanted migrants by other countries, Israel leads in its attempt to handle the problem humanely. They simply sense another opportunity to distort, lie and condemn anything about Israel.
The story from Malaysia also reveals the racism of low expectations we see so often at the Guardian. Since the Malaysians are not “Westerners”, they cannot be accused of racism in refusing to accept other non-Westerners, whereas, of course, Europe and Israel can. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.