This is a guest post by AKUS
If there is anyone out there who still cares about the way the Guardian has betrayed its origins, the last few weeks must have been similar to watching an old friend one once cared for take a bad acid trip and commit suicide, convinced that they can safely fly off the top of tall buildings.
The Guardian, in its early incarnation as “The Manchester Guardian”, was proud to present views that were considered “left wing”, supportive of Jews and of the idea of a Jewish Homeland, and, later, Israel. The new “Guardian News and Media Limited” has abandoned its roots, its sanity, and its decency as if to demonstrate to all the manner in which the so-called left has hooked up with the most regressive forces in its own country, and, in fact, around the world..
In The Nightmare Shidduch Jonathan Hoffman has dissected the Guardian’s seemingly inevitable move to the right as it backs the Liberal Democrats in the coming British election. Moreover, he demonstrates the clear link between its anti-Israeli stance, and that of the Liberal Democrats. For those who watch the endless Israel-bashing that takes on the Guardian’s website the linkage between the Guardian and the party of Baroness Tonge, she of the suggestion that Israel investigate whether its medics were actually in Haiti to harvest Haitian body parts (A Lib Dem and a blood libel – Uri Dromi) and patron of the Palestine Telegraph is clear. (Some may remember, by the way, that today’s “Jerusalem Post” was once the “Palestine Post” – how ironical).
The Manchester Guardian was the paper which, on January 3, 1936, published an article  debunking Nazi propaganda that ‘speaks of a Jewish monopoly and complains that non-Jewish Germans were unable to find a place in these professions” but that ‘a glance at official statistics proves the contrary.’ The new Guardian was pleased to publish a piece on CiF by Peter Oborne justifying his hatchet job on the influence of the non-existent Jewish lobby in the UK. It is difficult not to avoid seeing a resemblance between the statistics for Germany debunked in 1936 by the Manchester Guardian, and the surprisingly similar statistics for Britain today which formed the basis of the Oborne documentary, and compare the response of the Manchester Guardian of yesteryear with that of the Guardian News and Media Limited of today. How far the Guardian has come.
I have written of the The Upside Down World of the Guardian before, but that was in connection with the notoriously anti-Israeli position of a Guardian contributor, Antony Lerman. Regurgitating articles from his anti-Israel rag, JNews, Lerman claimed that there are illegitimate efforts to delegitimize those who would legitimately, in his opinion, delegitimize Israel (if you can follow all of that).
In a similar topsy-turvy fashion a Guardian editorial published on April 26, 2010 gave vent to an increasingly prevalent upside-down line of argument that has emerged in some circles regarding the possible resumption of negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinians (well, at least the representatives of those Arabs living on the West Bank). The Guardian’s editor would be pleased to see a peace plan imposed on Israel. The editor forgets that there are two sides to every border and what is imposed on Israel will equally be imposed on the Palestinians even though they have repeatedly rejected the very proposal the editorial professes to support. Having stated that:
“…[Mr. Obama’s peace plan] would be based on the guidelines for a permanent status agreement which were offered by Bill Clinton in 2000, known as the Clinton Parameters. It would then be endorsed by the EU, UN and Russia, who would then have to implement it”
and leaving aside the huge unknown of how all those outsiders would “implement it” the Guardian then goes on to make the statement, incredible if I did not know who was making it, that:
“… Mr. Netanyahu would kick and scream against an imposed plan, but that is the consequence of rejecting lesser demands now”.
As is quite clear, it is the Palestinians who have refused to negotiate by establishing unacceptable preconditions that must be met before negotiations start. Moreover, the Guardian, many CiFers, and others have expressed their opposition to any resolution of the conflict imposed on the Palestinians. Here is the upside down world of the Guardian on display straight from the donkey’s mouth. The Arabs, since the conquest of Palestine by the British in World War I have rejected every single “lesser demand”, while Israel has accepted every single one including “imposed solutions” and negotiated compromises:
The Peel Commission proposed to impose a “two state solution” in 1937.
The Arabs rejected the recommendations for an “imposed solution”.
At Camp David in July 2000, hosted by President Clinton, Barak offered Arafat exactly what the Guardian proposes – an agreement based on the Clinton parameters.
Arafat kicked and screamed (literally, from reports of the meetings) – and walked away.
At Taba, in January 2001, Barak offered Arafat even more, going beyond the Clinton parameters
Arafat walked away and launched the second intifada.
In 2008 just before resigning, Olmert offered Abbas a detailed proposal, complete with maps showing Israel’s proposal for a border with a future Palestinian state.
Abbas walked away, and never responded (Olmert: Abbas never responded to my peace offer).
Netanyahu has (very cleverly, I might add, since he knows the Palestinians only too well) offered to resume talks.
Abbas and Erekat refused (but see below what happened yesterday ).
Far from “Mr. Netanyahu [kicking and screaming] against an imposed plan, … the consequence of rejecting lesser demands now” it is obvious to any impartial observer that:
1. The kicking and screaming has, for close on 100 years, come from the Arabs
2. The consequence of rejecting greater offers in the past has always been to leave the Arabs (known as the Palestinians since 1967) with less than they had before.
But in the topsy-turvy world of the Guardian, facts and history matter for nothing against blinkered bias and an alternative universe with an alternative history that they have created.
Despite the cynical use of C.P. Scott’s famous statement, at the new Guardian “facts are not sacred”, and the Guardian acts like an official media outlet for an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth”. Having abandoned the Labour fold, the Guardian joins forces with the Liberal Democrats, and, like Orwell’s creatures, we are left looking at them in disbelief:
“No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
– George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 10
1. Martin Gilbert – “Churchill and the Jews”, paperback, 2007, pgs 144-145.
The 564,379 Jews of Germany at the most recent census — that of 1925 — made up 0.9 per cent of the total German population. The highest Jewish percentage before Hitler came to power had been among lawyers — both barristers and solicitors — where it amounted to 10.25 per cent of the German population. The percentage of Jewish doctors was 10.88. In German cultural life, 5.61 per cent of theatre producers were Jews, 5.05 per cent of editors and authors, 3 per cent of actors and dancers. 2.44 per cent of painters and sculptors and 2.04 per cent of musicians and singers. Among university teachers the percentage was 2.64 per cent. The percentage of Jews among teachers in the elementary and secondary schools was 0.53 per cent. These percentages, commented the Manchester Guardian, were neither a stranglehold nor a monopoly.’’
2. In fact, more recently – yesterday – the Arab League, which apparently still holds a veto over what the “Palestinian Authority” (i.e., the representatives of the West Bank Arabs) can or cannot do and is not familiar with the Guardian’s views on the subject, announced its support for resumption of peace talks, and apparently the Palestinians, who, it is clear still get their orders from the Arab League, agreed:
Arab League backs resumption of Mideast peace talks
CAIRO: The Arab League on Saturday said it backed indirect peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis, despite what it called a lack of Israeli conviction in the process.
(Of course, Erekat and Hanan Ashrawi (hello? Where has she been lately?) immediately set pre-conditions for restarting talks unacceptable to Israel, which may meant that they do not, in fact, agree to restart talks – no wonder the Guardian and Arabs get along so well in their upside-down universes)
Moreover, this does not meet with the support of the other Palestinian representatives – the representatives of the Arabs living in Gaza, who, true to form, will not agree to negotiations:
Hamas blasts Arab support for indirect peace talks
The Damascus-based leadership of the Palestinian movement Hamas on Sunday condemned the Arab League’s backing for the indirect peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.