By Richard Millett, London. In June 2016 Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen, was brutally murdered by a far-right extremist. In 2015 Jo made her maiden speech to the House of […]
On some issues, there aren’t two sides. You don’t have to be ‘pro-Israel’ to acknowledge that antisemitism – whether in Charlottesville or ‘Palestine’ – is never morally defensible, and – most of all – is always a path to ruin.
In fact, the suggestion that the country is moving to the far right couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite a few bills of questionable merit which many on the left here disagree with, and which have little actual impact, fundamentally Israel remains – as the respected human rights group Freedom House reports each year – a bastion of liberal, democratic values.
Here are recent corrections prompted by UKMW to articles at the Guardian, Daily Mail and Independent.
Whatever one’s views on Israeli construction across the green line, the narrative often advanced in the UK media – of new settlements expanding at ‘a record pace’, eating away at ‘huge swaths’ of Palestinian territory and rendering a future Palestinian state nearly impossible – is, at best, extraordinarily misleading.
Beyond the bias within this specific Guardian analysis, the truth is that UK media coverage of negotiations similarly suffers from the failure to take Israeli concerns seriously – rational fears born of the failure of past territorial withdrawals to bring peace, and a refusal to ignore the reactionary Palestinian political culture which – most Israeli believe – lays at the root of the conflict.
Earlier today, we heard back from Sky producers, informing us that they upheld our complaint and thanked us for bringing the information to their attention – particularly the AP correction.
However you want to characterise demographic changes in the holy city since 1967, the implicit suggestion that Palestinians have been or are currently being ethnically cleansed in Jerusalem (or anywhere else in Israel for that matter) is the opposite of the truth.
If the Guardian journalist had done some fact checking, he would have easily found such evidence clearly contradicting the WCC spokesperson’s claims that they have “no connection to BDS”.
As readers of The London Magazine will learn in the latest issue of the publication, the American writer Ben Ehrenreich thinks “that the word ‘terrorism’ forms this very powerful narrative function in silencing Palestinian voices and giving the sole authority to Israelis.”
Arab leaders have always treated Palestinian refugees as a political, rather than a humanitarian issue, and have placed political attacks against Israel above the welfare of the Palestinian people.
By uncritically repeating such toxic canards, and fail to make a serious effort to separate facts from anti-Zionist fiction, the Indy may increasingly be viewed by many within the British Jewish community as something akin to a purveyor of fake news about the Jewish state.
British magazine collaborates with Palestine Solidarity Campaign to produce ‘news’ about Israel (Update)
Though the PSC (whose Patrons include Jenny Tonge and Caryl Churchill) has every right to spread this kind of propaganda, the New Statesman – which, despite it’s hostility to Israel, fancies itself a serious news magazine guided by “scepticism” and “free thinking” – owes its readers more than to amplify, license and legitimise such one-sided, intellectually unserious hyperbole.
At times we take our collective memory of Guardian coverage of Israel for granted, so we’ve decided to provide a list of some egregious examples of bias and over the years – information helpful in contextualizing our ongoing analysis of the ‘liberal’ British newspaper.
What the Indy sold to readers as the wanton destruction by Israeli officials, who “stormed” a historic cemetery to destroy Muslim “graves”, can more accurately be characterized as a cynical public relations stunt within a long pattern of Palestinian efforts to destroy Temple Mount antiquities and erase Jewish history.
There are many reasonable criticisms of British and French involvement in the war, but to characterize the military action to end an illegal blockade of Israeli ships as an “unprovoked” attack is just absurd.
Beyond a few outspoken voices within the artistic community (and the editors at Haaretz), it’s difficult to find evidence of “a growing chorus of criticism” within the country over the national theatre company’s decision to perform in a community across the green line.
The Indy failed to note that the “news organizations” in question (Quds News Network and Shehab News Agency) are both reportedly affiliated with terror groups, and neglected to tell readers that the “journalists” had their Facebook accounts reinstated within a day of the suspension. A Facebook spokesperson apologized, saying the suspensions had been “accidental”.
In a new essay at Tablet, Shany Mor argues that though UNESCO was rightly criticized for passing a resolution omitting Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, what their resolution affirmed about the ‘connection’ between al-Aqsa Mosque and violence is much more troubling.
Anti-Israel propagandists, no matter how ludicrous their accusation, can always expect a fair hearing and ample publicity from the Guardian – especially as it involves BDS.