The Guardian, and the company they keep

Ghada Karmi’s CiF op-ed on the peace talks in Washington (Sept. 1), “A Middle East peace that wreaks havoc”, was a polemic against peace negotiations on the grounds that, in her view, Israel would never concede enough to bring real justice for the Palestinians.

Of course, her idea of justice includes the “right of return” and a “one state solution“, meaning that nothing other than Israel’s complete and non-negotiable surrender would satisfy her.  Her visceral hostility towards Israel wasn’t even thinly veiled, and at times made simply bizarre statements, such as: ” Time and again, when Israel was thrown a lifeline by Arab neighbours that could have insured its legitimacy and security, its folly and greed lost it those opportunities” – a quite chilling historical and moral inversion, one which neatly ignores those pesky little Arab wars in 1948, 1967, (before the occupation), whose open intention was to destroy the Jewish state, Arab state-sponsored terrorism, and economic boycotts.

Karmi is not new to CiF, having published pieces there from 2002 through 2010.  In one piece in 2007, entitled “Intellectual Terrorism”, on the pernicious influence of the organized Jewish community, she said:

“People [in the U.S.] are hardened or resigned to having their freedom of expression limited by the pro-Israel lobby.”

In an interview with al-Jazeera on August 28, 2008 – on the eve of the U.S. Presidential elections – Karmi claimed that there really was no difference between the Democrats and Republicans on the question of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and even forgot to use the code word Israel, instead of Jewish in front of the word “Lobby”:

[Due to pressure from the Jewish lobby] Presidents…will…do anything to support Israel.

In this YouTube clip, she address a crowd on the question of why the U.S. supports Israel, and says:

“The U.S. is not free.  It is constrained by the power of the [Jewish] lobby.”

Joining Karmi at the lectern, in that video, is Rabbi Aharon Cohen.  Cohen is an Orthodox Jew from Greater Manchester and a leading member of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta movement who attended Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust Denial Conference in Teheran in 2006.  His remarks pertaining to the conference was to “acknowledge” that millions did, indeed, die in gas chambers but that they may have deserved it.

Karmi with Rabbi Cohen of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta movement

She also wrote a piece giving credence to conspiracy theories about Yasser Arafat’s death, suggesting that Ariel Sharon may have had him poisoned, and has openly expressed her wish that Israel become a “Pariah state“.

The Reut Institute has included her – along with George Galloway – as a major player in London in what’s known as the Red-Green alliance (the alliance between the far-left and radical Islamic groups).

Just to be clear about Karmi’s antipathy towards Jews (and not just Israelis), she published a piece in the radical anti-Zionist magazine, Counterpunch, in Feb. 2004,where she describes Zionism as some sort of cancer which has to be eradicated, stating:

“Zionism is a dangerous idea: at its root is a conviction of moral righteousness that justifies almost any act deemed necessary to preserve the Jewish state. If that means nuclear weapons, massive military force, alliances with unsavoury regimes, theft and manipulation of other people’s resources, aggression and occupation, the crushing of Palestinian and all other forms of resistance to its survival, however inhuman – then so be it….[This Zionist ideology] is deeply implanted in the hearts of most Jews, whether Israelis or not.”

So, according to Karmi, deep in the hearts of Jews all over the world (and not just Israelis), is support for the “dangerous idea” of Zionism, and the “conviction of moral righteousness” that justifies, in their minds, any “inhuman” act, no matter how morally hideous.

Interestingly, Karmi published the same, slightly revised piece, in the Guardian, in March 2004, where the word “inhuman” to describe Zionism was omitted, as well as the reference to Jews’ supposedly deep-seeded lust for such a malevolent state actor.

Of course we’ll never know if Karmi submitted two separate pieces – one more sanitized for a larger audience, and one for the openly anti-Semitic Counterpunch.  Alternatively, however, I can’t stop from wondering if the CiF Editors deleted those racist passages – and published the revised piece knowing full well that they were giving a platform to a woman with a clear antipathy towards Jews.

One question continues to haunt me regarding CiF Watch’s continuous exposes on Guardian contributors (such as Karmi) who are clearly compromised by a history of expressing unbridled hatred towards not just Israel, but often Jews, as such:

I can’t help but wonder: Is the Guardian simply willfully blind to such bigotry?   Or, even worse, is it possible that their eyes are fully open to their contributors’ often odious ideologies but, at the end of the day, they simply just don’t care?

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