A reply to Linda Grant (What HaAretz would not publish)

Dear Linda,
I was deeply moved by your article so kindly printed in The Guardian’s sister newspaper, HaAretz in Israel. I subscribe to HaAretz with great reluctance because I feel that the newspaper has become more and more manipulative in the last few years perhaps taking its lead from its sister, The Guardian.
I no longer trust HaAretz’s news items. I no longer trust its polls. I suspect them all of being politically contrived to make me dissatisfied with the present Israeli government. This is a complete waste of time as it is preaching to the converted. What really annoys me is the unrepentant misrepresentation and omission that I find so common in your newspaper, The Guardian, being duplicated in HaAretz. I call The Guardian a newspaper out of habit but, in truth, it is no longer a newspaper. It is just the propaganda organ of a dedicated group of extreme “progressives” riding on the back of a once proud newspaper which proposed an alternative left agenda.
How they ever got control is beyond me.
Unfortunately, in Israel, the choice of newspapers is very limited Linda. If there were a good center left newspaper I would with great joy cancel my subscription to HaAretz.
As to your article:

‘Israel has failed to convince the public in Europe that those on board included terrorists smuggling arms to Hamas, and that they attacked the Israeli commandos first.’

This is plainly untrue Linda. Israel has never claimed that the flotilla was carrying arms for delivery to Hamas. It has said that if the flotilla succeeds in its stated aims of breaking the blockade, the ships that follow will have Iranian, Syrian and North Korean armaments which will be used to strike at Israel’s population.
Even more than that, Israel has convinced rational people all over the world that many on the Marmara were bloodthirsty Jihaddis intent of attaining their 72 virgins. (They were not made aware before the boat left Cyprus that Helen Thomas was a volunteer virgin). Also, the released footage available almost everywhere now shows the saintly ‘peace activists’ attacking the commandos with solid metal rods as they were sliding down ropes from the helicopter. Strangely, there are no signs that the ‘peace activists’ were deterred by live bullets that other ‘peace activists’ claim were being rained down on them by the Israeli commandos.
You might look at the following Linda: German news on the flotilla to Gaza
This is indicative of what will be happening in Europe and the Guardian will be running for cover soon from its own subscribers who may well be furious at their newspaper touting the narrative of Jihaddis.
In the above extract from your letter in HaAretz, you have attempted what The Guardian does in so many of its editorials. Tell a lie. Tell it many times, tell other lies based on the initial lie and hope it will stick. Editorials incidentally, that do not allow for any comment.
Another example.

They don’t buy the line that Israel stands on the front line of the war against terror.

Two years ago, I was purchasing fish and chips in the UK and the ‘fish and chip’ woman asked me where I was from. I replied, ‘Israel’ and she thought for a moment. Then she said to me that Israel should never compromise with terror.
Linda. I was shocked. The ‘fish and chip’ woman coming out with that.
When I was leaving the UK from Heathrow as the Cast Lead operation was just winding down, in the courtesy car to the airport, a bloke asked me where I was from. I said ‘Israel’. He thought and then said that Hamas deserved all it got. He had a dark skin Linda. Could have been a Muslim for all I know.

They may know of the impoverished city of Sderot and the rocket fire it faced over time, but in the balance sheet of life and death – when, in a densely packed strip of earth blockaded from all directions, children are made to go without food, toys and medicines – human sympathy has little difficulty attaching itself to the victims.

Perhaps you are referring to some Europeans who read little and think even less, a bit more than monkeys. I feel that the rest of the Europeans realize that the blockade is a consequence of the rocket fire and the victims are the victims of their own (Hamas) leadership’s decisions.

and settled down to read Anshel Pfeffer’s June 4 column on Haaretz.com, in which he made the case that the Diaspora had failed Israel by not being the friend it needed. The close, loyal, loving friend who can tell you bluntly when you are destroying yourself.

So you found it appropriate to ‘help’ Israelis by publishing your opinion in a British newspaper whose agenda among others, is the destruction of Israel and is not read by the 99% of Israelis but 100% of the English speaking Jew haters on the far-left.

After I finished reading the column, my e-mail pinged. It was the Guardian editor. My piece had been published in the newspaper’s print edition, but was being held from the online site until after 8 A.M., when a dedicated moderator to monitor readers’ comments would become available. Since the beginning of the week, she told me, the site’s supervisors had been dealing with “appalling levels of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and hatred.”

According to your norms, your ‘help’ had to be published on such a forum?! BTW. The Guardian moderation policy considers every factual criticism of Islam as Islamophobia but really appalling anti-Semitism is considered by the moderators as legitimate criticism of Israel. In order to see this you don’t have to be a writer, just simply browse through any post on the I/P conflict or even just Middle East related. There are dozens of such articles every week.

Since the Spanish Civil War, the left has allied itself to a succession of progressive causes. In my lifetime these have been Czechoslovakia, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, South Africa. They are the struggles according to which you define your politics. Today it is Palestine.

Not true. The real left’s fight is fought not only for Palestine but for Palestine and Israel and their existence alongside each other in peace and security. If you define your politics as a fight for only Palestine then you are not pro-Palestinian but pro Hamas and anti-Israel. And, by the way, if you use the word ‘progressive’, in what way is Hamas ‘progressive’? Is it the way they eradicate opposition by pushing them off multi story buildings or perhaps the banning of any female skin being seen on Gaza’s beaches.

To critically support Israel is to discredit your own progressive values – to be a pariah in the artistic and intellectual communities that are your natural home.

Well Linda. I don’t where your home is but I criticize Israel left right and center and do not feel out of place in my home in Israel. Of course, my criticisms are aimed at improving Israel for all Israelis, for a pluralistic society that does not exclude the different mindsets. And I have plenty of forums to do this in Israel. (HaAretz seems strangly reluctant to publish any of the comments that I have sent them. They put a different interpretation of ‘free speech’ when it is critical of their editorial policies, misrepresentations and omissions.)
Linda. You may not agree with all that Israel does. I don’t either. But the group that runs The Guardian is implacably hostile to the Jewish Israeli state. Not just to Netanyahu and Lieberman. They want Israel removed from the map. Just as Ahmadinejad and the Mad Mullahs do.
When was the last time that you ever saw in the Guardian an article about Israel’s contribution to medicine, to agriculture, to electronics including computing? A contribution that far exceeds the contribution of 8 million people anywhere else in the world.
Where else in the Middle East does a state exist where many of the 20% of its Arab population identify more with its sworn enemies than with the state itself but still have more personal freedoms, religious freedoms, political freedoms, great educational possibilities and free health of a very high standard than anywhere else in the Middle East.
Where else in the Middle East do Muslims from East Africa flee Linda?
Linda. You should reconsider your position.

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