Is it possible to “understand” Ben White’s antisemitism? CiF again sanctions opposition to peace with Israel

Just today, the Guardian responded to questions by the Jerusalem Post about a Just Journalism Report demonstrating that the paper maintains an editorial line often critical of any recognition of Israel as a Jewish state – and which noted that three Palestinians who contributed op-eds during the first 6 months of 2011 were either members of Hamas or strongly affiliated with it – by stating:

“[The Guardian is] committed to publishing a wide range of viewpoints in a fair and consistent manner. “We were not approached by Just Journalism and remain unaware of their terms of reference and methodology. The Guardian is committed to publishing a wide range of voices, and covers any matter, including conflict, in a way which is fair and consistent.”

I’ll leave aside, for the moment, the comical suggestion that, perhaps, what only appears to be the Guardian’s sanctioning of voices opposed to Israel’s existence may be merely a “methodological” snafu, and focus on today’s CiF piece by Ben White

Indeed, in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, it’s difficult to find many, outside of Islamist terrorist circles, more hostile to Israel’s existence, and opposed to a peaceful two-state solution than White.

For those unaware, White is author of the book “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide”, an obsessive anti-Zionist and supporter of the one-state solution. He also routinely accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing and has used language suggesting parallels between Nazi Germany and Zionism.

White has even gone so far as to flirt with Holocaust revisionism.

Further, in an article entitled Is It ‘Possible’ to Understand the Rise in ‘Anti-Semitism’?, White stated that “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are”, after linking the rise of antisemitism with “the widespread bias and subservience to the Israeli cause in the Western media”.

So, consistent with the Guardian’s propensity to legitimize such antisemitic voices, White again has been given an opportunity to share his unique anti-Zionist insights with CiF readers, in “The problem with Palestinian Leadership“, Sept. 1.

The piece is classic White, who, clearly enamored by his own routine demonizing rhetoric about Jewish state, repeats, as if by rote, what he describes as “Israeli colonisation”, and again evokes South African Apartheid by describing Palestinian towns as “Bantustans”.

But the thrust of White’s piece, about what he maintains should be the correct course of action by Palestinian leadership, is that that negotiations with Israel are futile, describes as irrelevant the “debate” within the pro-Palestinian community regarding “violent” versus “nonviolent” resistance, and mocks PA security cooperation with the IDF meant to address violence and terrorism.

In short, White’s piece is yet another example of CiF legitimizing voices who frame negotiation or cooperation with Israel as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

In White’s final passage he approvingly links to a piece at Electronic Intifada by another one-state solution proponent, Ali Abunimah, who repeats the now familiar refrain warning of the dangers of a Palestinian Declaration of Independence (UDI) – namely, that any such act would deny an unlimited Palestinian right of return, and, worse, would legitimize the existence of Israel.

For Abunimah, White, and dozens of CiF contributors, a peaceful solution with the Jewish state is inconsistent with their political “values” and represents nothing short of a shameful moral betrayal.

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