There seems to be no limit to the lengths the Guardian will go to ignore, obfuscate or excuse Palestinian extremism, incitement or historical revisionism. Their former Middle East Editor, Ian Black, provided his take on Mahmoud Abbas’s recent speech in Ramallah and characteristically airbrushed the most indefensible parts in order to maintain the narrative of a ‘moderate’, even “principled” Palestinian President.
An op-ed in The Guardian by radical anti-Israel activist, and Code Pink co-founder, Medea Benjamin, included the outrageous claim that Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teen who was captured on video assaulting an Israeli soldier, was a “PEACEFUL human rights activist”.
Following communication with UK Media Watch, the Guardian agreed to amend the sentence and remove the word “peaceful”.
Following communication between UKMW and the Guardian, their editors also agreed to change their caption beneath the photo, used to illustrate a recent article (Israel imposes travel ban on 20 foreign NGOs over boycott movement, Jan. 7th), to reflect the more accurate translation of the Arabic sign.
Contrary to what Rehman and countless other Guardian contributors and journalist have alleged, BDS is not a ‘progressive’ civil rights movement, but represents quite the opposite: a regressive campaign by radical activists, all of whom share an unhealthy fixation on the ‘sins’ committed by a historically oppressed minority, and some of whom openly seek to turn back the clock on Jewish civil rights by denying Jews, and only Jews, the right to self-determination and freedom
Though we’re of course accustomed to errors, distortions and omissions in Guardian op-eds about Israel, this piece by the Orthodox Patriarch, suggesting some sort of sinister Jewish plot to ethnically cleans Christians from the holy land, rises to a whole other level of dishonesty.
Within the media echo chamber where Harriet Sherwood operates, the question of what Palestinians actually believe about peace and violence is far less important than the role assigned to them in a drama where the antagonists and protagonists have been pre-determined.
The Guardian report, through their egregious omission, as well as legitimising a risible comparison between Tamimi and the Pakistani heroine, obfuscated the Palestinian teen’s disturbing support for murdering Israeli civilians – representing yet another example of the media group’s ongoing efforts to whitewash widespread Palestinian support for violence.
Narrowing down an entire year of Guardian anti-Israel reporting on Israel to the seven most egregious examples is not an easy task, but, as a public service to our loyal readers, here are a few errors and lies by their contributors and reporters in 2017 which especially stand out:
Regardless of the Guardian writer’s intent, it’s extremely troubling that editors at a self-styled ‘anti-racist’ publication would sanction words which necessarily evoke such a historically toxic, antisemitic calumny while ruminating on the motives of Israeli Jews.
During his speech in Istanbul, Mahmoud Abbas not only claimed that Jews fabricate their history in the land – reinforcing the Palestinian lie that Jews have no connection to Jerusalem – but that Jews are liars by nature. Remarkably, even UK media outlets which covered Abbas’s Istanbul address and cited some of his remarks (such as the Guardian, Telegraph and Times of London) managed to ignore the antisemitic part.
As Karma Nabulsi’s polemical assault on Jewish national rights in their ancestral homeland again indicates, the Palestinian national movement is governed far more by antipathy towards Jews and propaganda, than by truth, justice or historical accuracy.
There is a clear picture being presented by the Guardian, whereby the Israeli government is becoming more and more extreme, making life for Israel Arabs a misery with no prospects for improvement. But is this really true? An examination of the record of this government reveals a very different picture – this much maligned government has actually done a very significant amount to improve the lives of Israeli Arabs.
It’s not just that the Guardian gives the erroneous impression that the movement is larger and more influential than it really is. Their contributors, journalists and editors also continually downplay the true goals of BDS, misleadingly casting their leaders as ‘progressives’ who merely seek to end the occupation.
Once again, the Guardian has erased a chapter within the well-documented ethnic cleansing of over 800,000 Jews from Arab countries in the mid 20th century. The latest example involves the history of Jews in Iraq, in the context of a short review by their film critic Peter Bradshaw of Fiona Murphy’s documentary ‘Remembering Baghdad’.
Israel, and only Israel, is judged exclusively by a list of its (perceived and real) flaws. With remarkable confidence, journalists throw together opinions, a few stories, select quotes, and feelings of impending doom – and hey presto, Israel is demonised. Israel is not a uniquely bad country. Journalism about Israel is often uniquely bad journalism
A Guardian editorial claimed that Israel has ‘banned’ Arab political parties. In fact, as we noted in a complaint to editors, though there was, in 2009, a decision by the Israel Central Elections Committee to bar two Israeli Arab parties due to allegations they supported terrorism, the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ‘ban’ only two weeks later, before it could go into effect. The Guardian upheld our complaint and issued a correction.
Beyond the specific lies and distortions in Abbas’s Guardian op-ed lay a broader one: that Palestinians are victims who possess no moral agency and that Palestinian leadership shares no responsibility for their people’s suffering. It’s not merely unfair to assigned exclusive blame to Israel for every conceivable Palestinian failure, but also suggests a fundamental flaw in the Palestinian national movement.
The Guardian’s suggestion that there are haredi-only hospitals is just absurd, as anyone familiar with Israeli hospitals would surely know. Whilst Bikur Cholim Hospital in Jerusalem likely treats a large number of Haredim (due to its close proximity to Haredi neighborhoods), like all Israeli hospitals, it treats all patients who come through its doors, regardless of religious background.
UKMW contacted Observer readers’ editor Stephen Pritchard (by email and twitter) to express our concerns over their contributor’s failure to acknowledge that he was the author of the book he was quoting, The text was changed, and additional information added at the end of the article to make this fact clear.
By Richard Millett, London. It seems the Guardian is resorting to favouriting its own journalism. Maybe there aren’t many objective commentators who will do it for them? First, it endorses its own […]