The Guardian has come a long way from leaving Manchester. Back in pre-World War One days, it’s editor, CP Scott, was close friends with Chaim Weizmann. Daphna Baram has retold the story, recently, in her book “Disenchantment: The Guardian and Israel”, a book described as portraying:
The paper’s revered former editor Charles Prestwich Scott [using] his considerable influence to push the Zionist cause in Whitehall. Scott opened the doors of cabinet ministers’ offices for Chaim Weizmann…helping to secure the Balfour Declaration of November 1917…His editorials dismissed the indigenous Arab population as “small and at a low stage of civilisation”. During the Arab revolt of 1936-39, the Manchester Guardian demanded that firm action be taken by British troops, stating: “The terrorist campaign must be ended.”
But now, an editorial decision of that paper has led to Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein instructing the Government Press Office to summon theGuardian’s correspondent in Israel and protest a letter to the editor. That letter was written by Ted Honderich.
“The Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism within historic Palestine against neo-Zionism…Terrorism, as in this case, can as exactly be self-defence, a freedom struggle, martyrdom, the conclusion of an argument based on true humanity.”
Honderich copuld be accused by his fellow academic and radical leftwingers as supporting the resistance campaign waged by the Irgun and Lechi against the British oppressive regime which followed the immoral dictates of the 1939 White Paper. But that is another argument.
Ted is a philosopher. He holds opinions. He seeks to create ideas. He has described the UK Daily Telegraph as a neo-Zionist newspaper.
We need to understand that “Neo-Zionism” is a key term in his philosophy. As here:
…neo-Zionism. You should take every rational step against it. You should not be quiet about the violation of the Palestinians because you are Jewish…All of us should take part in all forms of boycott against retail stores and other businesses dealing with neo-Zionist Israel, civil disobedience, non-cooperation, not voting, picketing, ostracism, naming, symbolic public acts, strikes and whatever else is rational against neo-Zionism. We should see the need for a new disrespect, especially disrespect for a compliant political class…
And he ties it in to a general conceptualization:
…there is a big difference between Zionism and neo-Zionism…Taken as the project of the founding and security of Israel in its original borders, 80% of Palestine, Zionism is a fact…a nation guaranteed by the world’s only superpower, is not about to be driven into the sea, whatever ritualistic threats may be heard from a speechifying head of another state. Any other idea, founded on whatever ritual speech or document, is absurd illusion or culpable abuse of truth. It follows, if any argument is needed, that an indubitable element in the explanation of the war against Iraq, neo-conservative support of Israel, was precisely neo-Zionism. It seems there is a general truth here…
And then, Honderich goes off the deep end of radical progressivism:
No decent morality, no morality above contempt, could justify our leaders and political parties who embarked on war [in Iraq]…They have been deficient in moral intelligence. The morality of humanity condemns them absolutely. It places them on a level with bin Laden. It brings them together with Sharon. It joins them to Saddam Hussein…They are there for their earlier contributions in the history that led to the war. They are there, in particular, for the fact of neo-Zionism, without which the war on Iraq would not have happened. Neo-Zionism stands in connection with it…
Now do you grasp his “Neo-Zionism”? It’s a slur. It pejorative. And it is anti-Zionism. It is irrational and immoral. It is factually wrong. He has been accused by Anthony Alcok of antisemitism, pure Jew-hate.
This isn’t the first time he has sought to justify Arab terror. In 2006, he published this:
…So we need a fundamental principle to tell us when democracy is right and which human rights to defend. For me that is the Principle of Humanity. Take rational steps to get and keep people out of bad lives. It gives you a conclusion about neo-Zionism, Israel’s expanding since 1967 into the last fifth of the Palestinian homeland. The Palestinians have a moral right in historic Palestine, including Israel, to their terrorism against that ethnic cleansing…Is there some better way than terrorism? I don’t think so. Terrorism is necessary. They have no alternative. The idea that neo-Zionism would have given in without the threat of violence is nonsense.
That is philosophy? Morality? No, it is a cesspool of anti-humanity, a corrupt measure of justice.