Guardian falsely claims Bassem Tamimi merely opposes Israeli settlements

The Guardian often misleads readers about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by mischaracterising pro-Palestinian activists opposed to Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state (within any borders) as merely ‘opponents of Jewish settlements’.  This style of Guardian obfuscation was on display in an article about Australia’s decision to cancel the visa of a Palestinian named Bassem Tamimi.  Tamimi is spokesman for the weekly confrontations with Israeli soldiers orchestrated in the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, and has often encouraged his own young children to confront soldiers in order to score media and NGO propaganda points.

The article (Palestinian activist’s Australian visa cancelled on eve of speaking tour, April 8th), by Christopher Knaus, begins thusly:

The federal government has cancelled the visa of an outspoken Palestinian activist on the eve of his Australian speaking tour because others are likely to “react adversely” to his presence. The activist, Bassem Tamimi, was due to board a plane this week to begin his Australian speaking tour, which was organised by the Palestine Action Group, Friends of Palestine, and The Social Research Institute. He was granted a visa on 4 April, but it was cancelled the next day.

The department said [Bassem] Tamimi’s presence would threaten the good order of the Australian community, and invoked section 128 of the Migration Act to cancel the visa.

Knaus then adds the following:

Tamimi, a vocal opponent of Israeli settlement in the West Bank, was due to speak in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne this month.

However, benignly characterising Tamimi as “a vocal opponent of Israeli settlement[s] in the West Bank” is highly misleading.  In addition to expressing support for violence and sharing antisemitic posts on his Facebook account, Tamimi has been very clear that he opposes the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state in any form.

Here’s what he told Mondowiess.

“If we really want a humanitarian solution, it must be the one state solution, same rights for everyone,” Tamimi proposed. He looked to “the South African model” as a resolution for the conflict in Israel-Palestine, stating “we need to live in a state with one person, one vote, with the same rights.”

And a one-state solution is not enough if it does not include the Right of Return, he insisted. “The right for refugees to return is the main issue in the Palestinian struggle.”

CAMERA’s Dexter Van Zile covered a talk given by Tamimi in Cambridge, MA, in 2015, and similarly reported that Tamimi made clear that, in his view, Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state is the core of the problem.

If the Guardian wants to encourage a fact-based, reasoned debate about the merits of Australia’s refusal to allow Tamimi into the country, the least they can do is avoid misleading readers by failing to reveal the Palestinian activist’s well-documented record of intolerance and anti-Zionist extremism.

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6 replies »

  1. His entire family’s history should be reported on for all the world to see. They are terrorists and the biggest producers of “Pallywood” around. They use their own children as bait which makes them guilty of child exploitation and abuse. In a word, they are despicable.

  2. “the Guardian wants to encourage a fact-based, reasoned debate about the merits of X” is an oxymoron, whatever X may be.