It’s impossible to properly understand events in Jerusalem over the past week without acknowledging the continuing pattern of Palestinian incitement, antisemitism and violence over Al-Aqsa Mosque.
With antisemitic incidents in the UK at an all time high, news outlets with even the most strident pro-Palestinian editorial lines – such as the Guardian and Independent – should avoid amplifying toxic anti-Zionist agitprop that doesn’t edify or inform, but only inflames those most likely take their anger over Israel out on Jews
Complaints about the resolution (introduced by Lebanon, Kuwait, and Tunisia) focused in part on the claim that Tomb of the Patriarchs is “in danger”, but mostly on characterisations of the site (the burial place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah) as “Palestinian”, thus denying the Jewish (and Christian) heritage of the Biblical city.
These errors and omissions represent a pattern by Beaumont, in which he fails to distinguish between homes built within existing Jerusalem neighborhoods and West Bank settlements (which would almost certainly become part of Israel in a peace deal) and those built on land Palestinians claim as part of their future state.
Guardian columnist Zoe Williams actually compares Israel’s defenders – whom she characterises as defenders of “killing children” – and climate change deniers. This bizarre analogy is indicative of a view of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, held by many in the media, which sees it as a binary tale of ignorance vs truth, good vs evil.
BDS is not, as Ben Jamal suggests in his Guardian op-ed, a progressive movement that champions free speech. It’s a regressive political campaign which silences Jews and consigns millions to pariah status, promoting their social exclusion from the international community.
The Guardian’s failure to challenge Ismail Patel’s claim that the government was “acting on hearsay from a pro-Israeli lobby group” is classic Guardian: failing to reveal the well-documented evidence demonstrating that individuals and groups they cover – who claim to be merely ‘pro-Palestinian’ – are compromised by extremism, support for terror and antisemitism.
A Jerusalem court recently ruled in favor of a female passenger who sued El Al when she was asked by a flight attendant to move seats at the behest of an ultra-Orthodox man. She was not forced to move seats, but was merely asked – a request the court still found to be illegal. Nonetheless, reports by Times of London and the Guardian botched this crucial detail.
The Guardian’s claim regarding the putative position of “Israeli” thinktanks on the Saudi-UAE isolation of Qatar not only comes completely out of nowhere, and is seemingly irrelevant, but is also erroneous. The link embedded in the claim takes you to an article in Middle East Eye, which clearly identifies the think tank as Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a thinktank based in Washington, D.C., not Israel. We contacted Guardian editors, who upheld our complaint and revised the passage accordingly.
I do understand Sarah Helm’s desire to paint Hamas in a positive light in her May 19 article at the Guardian. I too wish that their intentions were as positive as she seems determined to present them as being; peace between Israel and the Palestinians – the magical goal that every politician yearns for – would be so much more easily attainable.
For some time I have sensed a gradual shift from articles that were in large part composed of or promoted outright lies on the former “Comment is Free” (CiF) pages to a somewhat more muted but nevertheless constantly critical view of Israel.
In Beaumont’s universe, sympathy is evoked for Palestinian terrorists and their families; Israelis who express outrage about such crimes are dismissed as hyperbolic “right-wingers”; Israeli terror victims themselves are invisible, whilst the ongoing suffering of bereaved family members is ignored.
We finally received a response from the Guardian Readers’ Editor, informing us that the correction was made. Editors removed the sentence suggesting the existence of a wall surrounding the Israeli city of Haifa, and added an addendum noting the change.
This morning we noticed that the article was restored by editors. And, whilst the highly inflated PA unemployment stats were removed entirely and “summary killings” were changed to “killings”, they failed to correct the most bizarre claim, that a 8 metre high concrete wall surrounds Haifa!
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 could do is avoid misleading readers by obfuscating the Palestinian activist’s well-documented record of intolerance and anti-Zionist extremism.
Israelis are free go to bookshops anywhere in the country and purchase the book, Borderlife, by Dorit Rabinyan. The book made it to the Israeli best seller’s list. Israeli students can borrow the book from libraries. Israeli teachers in advanced literature classes across the country are free to assign the book to their students if they choose. Yet, the Guardian somehow claimed that the book was “censored” by Israel.
Those familiar with the Guardian’s decades-long history of institutional anti-Israel bias – which sometimes crosses the line into outright antisemitism – are understandably wary of suggestions that otherwise ideologically rigid far-left editors have changed course on matters of concern to British Jewry. But, it is our view that a modest editorial pivot concerning antisemitism is evident. Though it’s difficult to explain with any degree of certainty the reason for the slight shift, noting the radically different tones of two official Guardian editorials on the issue of antisemitism within five years of each other is instructive.
Whilst we disagree with those who suggest that hyper criticism of Israel at the Guardian reflects institutional antisemitism, these cartoons by Bell certainly indicate his own lack of seriousness about anti-Jewish racism by employing graphic depictions of Jews and Israel associated with antisemitism. It also raises serious questions about Guardian editors’ judgment in publishing cartoons clearly at odds with their anti-racist mission.
Whilst it won’t become clear for quite a while if the new guidelines will result in a continuation of this construction slow-down, it’s quite a commentary when far-left Haaretz frames the settlement policy of a ‘right wing’ Israeli government far more sympathetically than the Guardian.
o we have hardliners on both sides – on the side of Hamas, a convicted murderer, on the US State Department list as a Designated Terrorist, who has the blood of both Israelis and Palestinians on his hands. And within the Trump administration, a man who holds right wing positions and has used highly insulting and inflammatory language to describe his protagonists.