The pseudo-intellectualism of the Guardian which robs Israeli terror victims of their humanity

As usual, we have no idea who wrote the Guardian editorial of August 19th on the subject of the Sinai Peninsula and the still ongoing regional violence, but judging from the editorial’s content, it seems that not only is it doubtful that the writer would be capable of finding Dahab or Nuweiba on a map, but that he or she is intent upon tailoring situations and events in order to make them conform to the Guardian World View.

Consider the would-be axioms set out in the following paragraph:

“There were under-the-table arrangements between Israel and states with which it had correct but cool relations, like Egypt and Jordan, and even with those with which it had extremely bad relations, like Syria. But this system, always prone to breakdown, was obviously threatened by the events of the Arab spring. In particular, a distracted interim government in Egypt was not going to keep the lid on the Sinai and Gaza in the old way, while a government fighting for its life in Syria might conceivably lurch into actions it would have avoided in more stable times.”

The writer avoids mentioning numerous important facts, one being that the peace treaties signed between Israel and Egypt, and later Israel and Jordan, make very clear stipulations regarding border controls and internationally enforced security protocols: hardly “under-the-table arrangements”.

Secondly, “extremely bad relations” is a rather euphemistic description for two countries such as Israel and Syria still in a state of war, their mutual border being subject to the conditions of a UN monitored cease-fire. In other words, the writer has already attempted to take all the signed and binding agreements out of the equation, presumably in order to prepare the reader for his or her next step: the assertion that something is new about the situation in Sinai and that it can be explained away as a mere unfortunate glitch on the part of a “distracted interim government in Egypt”.

That, of course, is far from being the case. Even Mubarak’s Egypt had little control over Sinai, except for the relatively small area of the coastal tourist resorts.  For many years now the Egyptian authorities have confronted growing Islamist radicalisation among Bedouin and Palestinian residents of Sinai and have experienced numerous terror attacks – often targeting the vital tourism industry – on their own soil.

Whilst the situation may well have become even more volatile since Mubarak’s exit from the stage in January of this year, the explanation for that cannot be attributed to mere ‘distraction’ (particularly in light of the fact that less than a month ago the interim Egyptian government had no problem organising itself to deal with an attack on the police station in El Arish) and this editorial’s attempt to downplay the less attractive side effects of the ‘Arab Spring’ it has spent the last eight months lauding shows a disturbing unwillingness to face up to the ever more obvious facts.

The rising influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist factions in Egyptian society, the public calls for annulment of the peace treaty with Israel and even for war, the anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic motifs seen on the streets of Egyptian cities and towns as part and parcel of the ‘Arab Spring’ demonstrations and the disturbing fact that the current Cairo regime is often untowardly influenced in its actions by the calls coming from the street have all been studiously ignored by Guardian columnists trapped in their own stereotypical concepts. 

In this editorial we therefore see an effort to explain away events and downplay the ever-growing Islamist influence, which was no doubt exacerbated by the escape or release of Salafists and other Hamas, Hizbollah and Al Qaida associated extremists from Egyptian prisons during the upheaval of the revolution.  

That the writer of the editorial is able to state that “[s]uggestions have been made that Iranian intelligence and Islamist groups like al-Qaida are probing the area” would be amusing if it did not reveal such a deplorable ignorance of the situation which has existed for some already considerable time. Equally ridiculous are the attempts to analyze the Sinai Bedouin in blatantly Western terms. Smuggling is but one Bedouin occupation – entirely respectable in that society – which will continue as it has done for centuries, regardless of whether or not there happens to be an embargo on Gaza or discontent with Egyptian law.

However, this editorial also has other aims besides defending the reputation of the ‘Arab Spring’ in which the Guardian is so heavily invested. The sterile description of last Thursday’s attacks in almost flippant terms indicates an effort to downplay both the scale and the gravity of the attacks. The terrorists (or in Guardian parlance, “gunmen”) did not merely “shoot up Israeli vehicles” as the writer claims: they used anti-tank weaponry, among other things, to indiscriminately murder Israeli civilians including two small children and two sisters – both kindergarten teachers – on their way to a holiday with their husbands.  The Guardian’s refusal to acknowledge the human aspect of this multiple terror attack; its careful avoidance of any phrase, sentence or information which might make those Israelis  murdered in cold blood come across as ordinary human beings deserving of the reader’s sympathy, is of course hardly novel, but it does serve a wider political purpose.

That dehumanization of Israelis, by which the victims of the attack become “vehicles” rather than real flesh and blood human beings, assists the writer when he or she goes on to opine that “the immediate problem is to prevent tit-for-tat exchanges between the Israelis and Gaza militants escalating into something worse”.  The use of the phrase “tit-for-tat exchanges” is interesting. Not only does it imply triviality, but also equivalence. In other words, the Guardian sees a moral parallel between the unprovoked and pre-planned attacks upon Israeli civilians either travelling on major transport routes or sitting in their own houses in Ofakim or Be’er Sheva and  the right (and indeed obligation) of a sovereign nation to defend its citizens as best it can. It equates the elimination of the Al Qaida influenced ‘Popular Resistance Committee’ terrorist militia leaders and operatives with random attacks upon non-military targets: attacks which are deliberately designed to murder as many innocent men, women and children as possible in acts of pure indiscriminate terror.

Yet again, one million Israelis (the equivalent of ten million Britons) in the south of the country will spend tonight sleeping – or trying to – in air raid shelters and safe rooms as rockets, missiles and mortars continue to be fired by a plethora of terrorist groups from Gaza. The fact that the Guardian’s editors continue to downplay terror attacks on Israelis, refusing to call the governing body in Gaza to account and whitewashing the Islamist elephant in Gaza, Sinai and the rest of Egypt with ridiculous fictional versions of facts and events in the process, indicates one very simple thing.

 The famous Guardian World View deprives its holders of the ability to recognize the humanity of an entire nation whilst at the same time making them blind as a lovesick youth when it comes to so-called analysis of their radical chic terror heroes and ‘Arab Spring’ demonstrators.  

Such attitudes may be tediously predictable in a students’ union rag written by immature youth, but they are far from appropriate for a news organization which purports to provide its readers with serious, informed, factual and objective analysis. 

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