The Guardian’s New Israel Line-Up

A guest post by AKUS

For better or for worse, CiFWatch is achieving its mission in forcing change at the Guardian through informed criticism and satirical commentary over the last year or so.  There is a new line-up of writers and the viciously anti-Israeli amateur “as-a-Jews” seem to have been given their marching orders. Very few of the columns written by the new set of authors appear on CiF. Perhaps the message finally got through, with the disappearance of Georgina Henry and Matt Seaton, that the endless denial of Israel’s legitimacy accompanied with anti-Semitic commentary and nauseating attacks on Israel has added little value and caused a great deal of damage to the Guardian’s reputation no matter how many mouse clicks the faithful generated for them

As a kind of score-keeping device, and using some recent columns as my source, it appears that the editorial staff has divided the workload as follows:

Political matters:

Ana Carbajosa in Jerusalem – generally writes in Spanish for  El País (Spain). Articles:

Israel’s cabinet split over fresh building freeze despite US offer of military aid

Chilean miners accept Israeli invitation – if their relatives can go too

Flotilla matters:

Owen Bowcott – Owen Bowcott is a senior reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly the Guardian’s Ireland correspondent and also worked on the foreign news desk. Articles:

Gaza aid team trapped on Greek boat

Gaza aid convoy Britons held on Greek captain’s ship

Religious matters:

Jill Hamilton – The Duchess of Hamilton has an MA in Near and Middle East Studies from SOAS at the University of London. For the past five years – while completing her PhD on Patriarchy, the Dark Side of Legal Pluralism – she lived partly in the Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. She writes for the Catholic Herald and has written numerous books including God, Guns and Israel (History Press) now in its third edition. Articles:

Pilgrims fill Jerusalem’s streets

An end to Bethlehem’s unholy row

Crazy Stalinist Opinions:

Seumas Milne – Seumas Milne is a Guardian columnist and associate editor. He was the Guardian’s comment editor from 2001-7 after working for the paper as a general reporter and labour editor. He has reported for the Guardian from the Middle East, eastern Europe, Russia, south Asia and Latin America. Articles:

The Palestinians of Israel are poised to take centre stage

West Bank and Gaza:

Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem: Largely banished from reporting inside Israel. Articles:

Israeli plan to build hundreds of homes in West Bank settlement risks US anger

UN in Gaza orders weapons to protect its head

Israeli army chief’s letter on military conduct to be read to every soldier

Battery hens’ reality on Israeli farm exposed by hidden webcam

Putting a negative spin on Israel using Israeli literature

Jonathan Freedland – Jonathan Freedland writes a weekly column for The Guardian. He is also a regular contributor to The New York Times and The New York Review of Books, and presents BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series, The Long View. Articles:

My family, the enemy

David Grossman: ‘Israel is a lofty idea, and it’s worth fighting for’

Pure hatred section:

The “Letters” page has been handed over to the anti-Israeli brigade – frequent “contributors” such as Tony Greenstein, Ken Loach, and the rest of the IJV, PSC XYZ we-hate-Israel alphabet soup brigade getting letters published there when they cannot get columns of CiF, or even, in Greenstein’s case, are banned from commenting there.

Of course, this still means that Israel gets more coverage than any other country in the world except the USA and Europe at the Guardian.

For the time being, largely gone are Seth Freedman, Rachel Shabi, Ben White, Tony Lerman – the motley crew that, day in and day out, used CiF as their platform to attack Israel’s legitimacy and Israel’s very right to exist in the language of 1930’s Nazi columnists (and allegations that Israel exhibits Nazi-like behavior and practices apartheid) with creatively made-up “facts” and historical distortions. We’ll have to wait if the new approach really is fairer to Israel or if the loss of mouse clicks will encourage a return to the bad old ways. In the meantime, we still need to get them to clean up the “Letters” page.

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