This is cross posted at the blog, Anne’s Opinions.
Not for the first time, the Guardian’s letters editor has allowed the publication of letters which, if they were written as a news item or editorial, would never have passed even the Groan’s rock-bottom standards.
As if to lull us into a false sense of security the first letter is a solid defense of Israel and highly condemnatory of the UN Human Rights Council.
The next letter writer, Abraham Hewitt of the virulently anti-Israel [and pro-Hamas] Middle East Monitor, makes the astonishing claim that the biased emphasis of the UN HRC on Israel is… wait for it… you know it’s coming… Israel’s fault! I have to admit I burst out laughing when I read that. I thought he was being ironic. But no, Hewitt is being utterly serious when he writes:
Jonathan Freedland is right to highlight the disparity in the treatment of Israel and other states in the Middle East, not to say the rest of the world. What his article lacks, however, is an acknowledgment that this emphasis on Israel is due in no small part to western foreign policy which has kept the despots and dictators in place in “Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain”, while giving Israel free rein to oppress the Palestinians and colonise their land.
I am still scratching my head at the thought that the constant spotlight on Israel’s alleged human rights abuses somehow gives Israel free rein to oppress the Palestinians. The derangement of the Israel-haters, to the extent that even anti-Israel sentiment can be blamed on Israel, fascinates me on an anthropological level.
The third letter is written by one Mark Elf, who modestly gives only his address as Dagenham. This person is an indefatigable anti-Zionist activist who is part of Jews sans Frontieres (I will not provide a link to those antisemites). By not disclosing his organization he hides his true intentions and can present himself as an ordinary man-in-the-street.
His whole letter is one antisemitic screed – not merely anti-Zionist, which could be admitted as a legitimate political stance – but classically Jew-hating. Some of the phrases he uses:
- Israel’s oppression goes to the heart of its existence as a state
- the ethnic cleansing of the native Arab population in order to secure and maintain a Jewish majority.
- Israel owes its ethno-religious majority to a recent, current and ongoing campaign of displacement of the indigenous population
- But Israel’s crimes are more recent and, therefore, its continued existence is predicated on its human rights.
The final letter on the page gave a first impression of being pro-Israel:
Western hypocrisy is the reason that so many people focus on the particular conduct of Israel.
But then it too took an anti-Israel turn:
When a single Chinese dissident disappears the US, Britain and others instantly respond … When the Israeli government was killing 700 civilians in Gaza, the US, British and other western governments said nothing.
If one complains to the Guardian about their anti-Israel stance, they will hide behind a claim of balance because, after all, they did deign to publish one letter supportive of Israel. And if one complains about antisemitism they will hide, as before, behind claims of “free speech”.
There is a saying in Hebrew: השנאה מקלקלת את השורה (ha’sina mekalkelet et hashura) which translates roughly as “Hatred bends seeing reality”.
Or “Hatred blinds”. That ought to be the Guardian’s motto