Guardian journalists were busy all last week writing about Israel, and then abruptly stopped on Friday.
Tom Faber wrote a piece about a Palestinian hip hop duo. His piece was called ‘If Israeli soldiers start shooting, we won’t stop the interview’: Palestinian hip-hop crew BLTNM. Faber must have feared for his life at the prospect of Israeli soldiers walking in during his interview in Ramallah with BLTNM and randomly start shooting.
This reminds me of Matti Friedman‘s observation that Israel is actually one of the most comfortable “war zones” to report from because a journalist can be sitting in a bar in Tel Aviv in the evening, having been at the Gaza border in the morning, being served a cold beer by a beautiful Israeli girl whose brother the journalist had just accused of being a war criminal.
Amanda Forslund and Charlotta Lindblom wrote a piece, based on a six year old study into PTSD in soldiers, accusing the Israeli government of abandoning its soldiers suffering from PTSD.
And Emma Goldberg spoke truth to power when she accused Trump and Netanyahu of being “afraid of letting them (Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar) travel through the country and ground their critiques in first-hand witness accounts of life in the occupied territories…”
Goldberg then wrote another piece attacking Trump for using the antisemitic accusation of Jews being “disloyal” when he said “In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people, and you’re being very disloyal to Israel.”
Goldberg’s main parallel was the Dreyfuss case of 1894 in France. But while Dreyfuss was accused of disloyalty to France, Trump was accusing American Jews who vote Democrat of disloyalty to Israel and other Jews and not to America. But many, if not most, British Jews harbour similar sentiment towards Jews who vote for our allegedly institutionally antisemitic Labour Party.
The tragic irony is that when last Friday, a few days after her 17th birthday, beautiful Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb was murdered by a terrorist while she was out trekking with her family, and some Palestinians celebrated her murder, this truth-to-power-speaking Guardian journalism suddenly stopped. I could not find any news report about Rina in The Guardian and no scathing analysis of her murder by Goldberg, Faber, Forslund, Lindblom et al.
Many newspapers didn’t report Rina’s murder. However, journalists like Goldberg had spent last week making spurious allegations against Trump and Netanyahu but when the most of all antisemitic thing happens, someone murdered specifically for being Jewish, there is complete silence. Such silence speaks volumes.
May Rina’s memory be a blessing and may her father and brother recover from their horrific injuries.