The Guardian needs to print an urgent retraction and apology

Readers will surely remember Neve Gordon’s libellous article of July 29th in which he claimed that Israel had carried out ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Bedouins in the Negev region.  Last weekend (August 13th 2010) an interesting article by Kalman Livskind appeared in the supplement of the Ma’ariv newspaper which I think is worth translating in full.

“I find myself once more having to address the subject of the destruction of the illegal Bedouin gathering at Arakib and I will continue to do so for as long as the lying propaganda of the Left wing organizations and the ‘Ha’aretz’ newspaper on the subject continues.

‘Around 300 residents and among them many children were left not only homeless for the most part, but also degraded, frustrated and shocked’ was written this week in an editorial in the newspaper. ‘The State did not offer any alternative, compensation or aid, material or psychological, to residents whose village was destroyed and their world fell in upon them’. And now to the facts. Firstly, in Arakib there were never 300 people or even 100. Secondly, no worlds fell in. A few tens of residents of (the town of) Rahat took over that land only eight years ago and constructed several buildings without asking for permits from anyone, and now the State has come and enforced the law. Compensation? Aid? For what?

In addition the time has come to dismantle the fabrication invented by ‘Ha’aretz’ about Bedouins ‘remaining homeless’ once and for all. Write this down: 12 heads of households received eviction papers. All of them own villas of at least 200 square meters on a dunam of land in Neighbourhood 25 in Rahat. The villa of Abdallah Abu Madiram is house number 108 in the neighbourhood. One of his sons, Nidal, is at house number 27 and the other, Eyad, at house number 102. Siyah Abu Madiram lives at house number 25 with his children Aziz and Ali. Mohamed Said Abu Madiram lives at house number 26, like his brother Suliman. Salim Abu Madiram lives at house number 112, Ismail Abu Madiram at house number 8, Mohamed Salame Abu Madiram at house number 23 and Suliman Abu Jabar at house number 139. They are not unfortunate, not miserable and not homeless. Enough of this bluff.”

Of course I do not expect the Guardian to take the word of an Israeli journalist on this, or any other subject, so what I suggest is that the editor of CiF should contact Kalman Livskind and hear what he has to say. To make it easy for the Guardian, I will even supply Mr. Livskind’s e-mail: kalman@maariv.co.il. In addition, Harriet Sherwood could drive down from Jerusalem to Rahat in less than a couple of hours and check it out for herself.

However, if Kalman Livskind’s information is correct, the Guardian should not only publish a prominent and swift retraction of the disgusting libel propagated by Neve Gordon, it should also publicly announce that it is terminating all connections with him and explain in detail to its readers the reason for that decision.

Any other course of action on the part of the Guardian would be clear and indisputable evidence that it is a willing and active partner in Neve Gordon’s campaign to demonise Israel and that no libel of that country is too repugnant for it to print.

All that should take about 48 hours in my estimation. I’m counting.

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