In an article published in the books section of their website, the Guardian did what it always does – amplifying the efforts of marginal, extremist anti-Israel bigots who wish to completely boycott, isolate and ostracize the world’s only Jewish state. In this particular case, some writers associated with PEN American Center signed a letter objecting to Israeli sponsorship of an upcoming PEN literary festival (The World Voice Festival). Among the signatories is Ahmed Qatamesh, who was previously involved with the terror group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Alice Walker.
The effort to remove Israel’s sponsorship of the event was soundly rejected by the organization.
Moreover, if you doubt our characterization of Walker as an extremist, here a few quotes by the celebrated author.
“Jesus, a Palestinian – is still being crucified.” (Alice Walker’s blog, per CAMERA)
“[Israeli] settlers are the [Ku Klux] Klan” (Alice Walker, during interview with Jesse Rosenfeld.)
“I think Israel is the greatest terrorist in that part of the world. And I think in general, the United States and Israel are great terrorist organizations themselves.” (Alice Walker, Foreign Policy, in June, 2011.)
“I feel that the Israel that many Jews dreamed of having – that one is gone. That’s demolished. I think it’s time for people to accept that. Because what you have now is something that is so frightening. Israel is as frightening to many of us as Germany used to be.” (Alice Walker: Why I’m joining the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, Guardian, June 25, 2011).”
However, beyond the characteristic decision by the Guardian not to provide any information on the extremist background of the most prominent signatories, editors chose a headline which could lead readers to believe that PEN actually heeded the boycotters call.
Here’s a side by side comparison of two headlines on the same story, one by The Forward (on the left) and the other by the Guardian, to illustrate the poor headline writing.
As we’ve noted, Israeli backing for the festival was not “rejected”, as the Guardian headline would likely suggest to many readers.
Misleading headline + an egregious obfuscation regarding the extremism of the BDS activists at the center of the story = classic Guardianesque anti-Israel bias.