Guardian

Guardian columnist Giles Fraser smears Israel with the charge of ‘apartheid’ in Hebron


Guardian columnist Giles Fraser was born Jewish (the family name was originally Friedburg) but later converted to Christianity and became an Anglican priest.  Though he sometimes speaks of his fondness for the British Jewish community, his columns at the Guardian leave no doubt regarding his hostility to the Zionist passions of the overwhelming majority of actual Jews.  Similarly, though he claims to still believe in ‘the idea of Israel’, you’d be hard pressed to find more than a few actual citizens of the state who he regards as ‘righteous’.  In this last regard, Fraser actually praised Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy as a courageous voice, among the few genuinely moral Israeli Jews.

Additionally, Rev. Fraser (in analyzing Israel’s unique pathos) once compared the state to an autistic child, and has – on more than one occasion – appeared to express sympathy for Palestinian terrorism.

So, given such a record, it certainly wasn’t surprising to come across the following tweet by Fraser on May 25: 

Regarding the charge of “apartheid” in Hebron, a brief history is in order.

Hebron’s Jewish community, which currently includes some “90 families and 200-350 yeshiva students”, is perhaps the oldest Jewish community in the world (dating back to Biblical times) and is designated as the second holiest city in Judaism. It contains the Tomb of the Patriarchs – the second holiest site for the Jewish people after The Temple Mount

Jews have lived in Hebron almost continuously throughout the Byzantine, Arab, Mameluke, and Ottoman periods, and it was only in 1929 — as a result of an Arab pogrom in which 67 Jews were murdered — that the city became temporarily free of Jews.

Under Jordanian control from 1949 to 1967, Jews were not only forbidden from living in Hebron but were barred from entering the Tomb of the Patriarchs, while authorities undertook a systematic campaign to obliterate any evidence of Jewish history in the ancient city.  They reportedly “razed the Jewish Quarter, desecrated the Jewish cemetery and built an animal pen on the ruins of the Avraham Avinu synagogue”.

Shortly following Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, the Jewish community of Hebron was re-established. Whilst Hebron is of course positioned on the ‘other side’ of the 1949 armistice lines (the green line), characterizing Jews who currently live in Hebron as “settlers” falsely suggests that they are interlopers, colonizing land with which they have no connection.

In January 1997, the IDF withdrew from 80 percent of the city. Today – consistent with the terms of the Hebron Agreement signed by the Palestinian Authority – the city is composed of  two separate sections – H1 and H2.  H1 is Palestinian (population apx. 120,000), while the city’s entire Jewish population resides in H2 (a geographical unit which is also home to 30,000 Palestinians). H1 is similar in many respects with the Area A designation in the greater West Bank, with Palestinian security forces maintaining control of that section of the city. The IDF maintains a military presence in H2 (20 percent of the city’s territory).

h1h2map

Contrary to Fraser’s specific accusation, the separation between Jews (Israeli citizens) and Palestinians (not Israeli citizens) is dictated by the desire to protect both sides from violence.

The word “apartheid” in characterizing Israel (a smear originating in ‘anti-Zionist’ campaigns waged by the Soviets during the Cold War) is not an intellectually serious charge, but an emotive term meant to incite hatred against the state by comparing it morally to the odious system of racial exclusion and supremacy which reigned in South Africa from 1948 to the early 1990s.

The current security arrangement – again, agreed upon by the Palestinian Authority – is in place in lieu of a final status agreement. Though far from perfect, the current scheme is much better than the alternatives – either eliminating current security measures which keep Palestinian and Jewish extremists from engaging in deadly attacks, or ridding the city of Jews entirely.  Whilst Fraser would likely not be supportive of the former idea, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he fancied the latter.

After all, for those of the opinion that Jews living in Judea and Samaria (beyond 1949 armistice lines) are legally and ethically illegitimate, then the expulsion of every last remaining Jew from ancient Jewish cities (such as Hebron) becomes a moral imperative. 

18 replies »

    • Not so clear. While the writer does expose the word “apartheid” as a dubious semantic weapon, he also relies on assumptions of Judea and Samaria belonging to Palestinians when it never has.

    • His language, e.g. the use of the term ‘autism’, suggests to me that he may be more than just another superficial ignoramus. I see evidence that he may be a disturbed person.

      • @Leah27z –

        “[Giles Fraser’s] language, e.g. the use of the term ‘autism’, suggests to me that he may be more than just another superficial ignoramus. I see evidence that he may be a disturbed person.”

        Your ludicrous “analysis” is entirely based on an assumption that Adam Levick has reported Fraser accurately. If you’d taken the (elementary) trouble to check out the relevant article, you would have found it was a review of someone ELSE’S metaphorical description – and that it was a description Fraser roundly REJECTED.

        Adam doesn’t provide a link, so here it is: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2013/nov/01/israel-suffers-collective-autism-hope-change

        • As a matter of fact, you ridiculous person and serial apologist for bigots, I have read Fraser’s bilious rants before now, and taken together with his personal history I see no reason to prefer your version over mine. Your assumption that my analysis is ‘entirely’ based on Adam’s report is illiterate, which is typical of you. Perhaps you need to look up the abbreviation ‘e.g.’ in your Dictionary for Tiny Tots.

        • Interesting….. You know, the term Apartheid is the expression of other people about the government that used overt government sanctioned racism to keep the black people of South Africa separated from white communities, and that this description in terms of using it to blanket Israel has been roundly rejected……

          But I digress! You’re so important, Miranda! Your perspective is so valued!!

  1. Giles is a artist looking frantically for attention. Superficial ignoramus doesn’t even begin to describe him

  2. Born Jewish and later converting to Christianity he retains a fondness for the Jewish community. How quaint, so much like the fondness Lord Haw Haw retained for the British.

  3. Friedburg didn’t just convert to Anglicanism, he became a priest and went to the trouble of changing his name to “Fraser,” which is to say, his identity. What’s going on there?

    Ex-Jew berates Jews. You can read it in the Guardian.

    Gideon Levy is as courageous as any unhinged sadomasochist who is in absolutely no danger of anything bad ever happening to him/her under any foreseeable circumstance.
    De-humanizers and demonizers of Israelis and Jews may be many things, but courageous is not one of them. I can think of some choice adjectives that would describe them much, much better.

    • “What’s going on there?” – just another piece of evidence that he is disturbed.

    • @jeff21st –

      “Friedburg didn’t just convert to Anglicanism, he became a priest and went to the trouble of changing his name to “Fraser,” which is to say, his identity. What’s going on there?”

      The only thing “going on there” is that you – like Leah – have been well and truly suckered by Adam’s smeary, manipulative propagandising.

      Had you bothered to check out Giles Fraser’s background for yourself, you would have found that he was as much “born a Christian” as he was “born Jewish” and that it was not he, but his parents, who changed the family name to Fraser – some twenty years before he was born.

      See http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2013/04/the-jewish-ethnic-roots-of-anglican-canon-and-progressive-media-star-giles-fraser/

      What that article doesn’t include, but you will find in Wiki (at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giles_Fraser ) that he was educated at a fee-paying Christian school, which might go a long way to explaining why his mother’s religious roots (Christian) ultimately carried sway rather than his father’s Jewish ones.

      • You are correct. He is not a Jewish Israel-hater but a Christian Israel hater who with the eagerness of the neophytes must redress the sins of his grandparents. Big difference Miranda…

      • Miranda, the fool cites Wiki, a source known as extremely “reliable”.
        And reading that stuff over there you can find this:
        Fraser’s father was Jewish and his mother from a Christian background, and Fraser himself was circumcised according to Jewish tradition.[5] He was educated at a fee-paying Christian school (Uppingham) and became a Christian.[6] He has been involved in social and political advocacy and according to the Daily Telegraph “would be the first to admit that he is fond of the sound of his own voice”.[7]
        A new Christian rite – circumcising according to the Jewish tradition?
        Well, he had to convert, if this insert in Wiki is correct.
        Miranda is a silly person. And silly persons are envious of intelligent ones which explains her hatred, and on the other hand her bloated righteousness compensating her inferiority complex and lack of intelligence.

      • “it was not he, but his parents, who changed the family name to Fraser – some twenty years before he was born.”

        O.K., so what was going on there? Whatever it was, there’s a good chance they passed it on to their son in spades.

        • P.S. Miranda, I’m not interested enough in Giles Fraser to check out his family’s history. He is simply an uninteresting person. The only thing interesting here is that he is the ecumenical tool in the Guardian tool shed of anti-Israel propagandists.