Obama condemns Arab antisemitism in UN speech. The Guardian’s first reaction? Outrage.

While we try to stay clear of U.S. politics, the Guardian’s initial reaction to the speech delivered by President Barack Obama today at the UN, in the context of Palestinian efforts to unilaterally declare a state, is definitely worth commenting on.

Here are some highlights from Obama’s speech:

we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were.

 These facts cannot be denied. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth…

First out of the gate at the Guardian to condemn Obama’s condemnation of Arab antisemitism, and empathy towards Jewish and Israeli suffering, was Julian Borger, the paper’s diplomatic editor:

Wrote Borger, in a post title, “Obama plays it (electorally) safe on Israel-Palestine“:

A good measure of the emotional slant of any speech on the Israel-Palestine question is the relative weight given to Jewish and Arab suffering. By that measure, the needle on Obama’s speech was far over to one side. The president went into detail on the impact of suicide bombs and rockets, anti-Semitism in Arab schoolbooks and centuries of persecution on Jews.

As the title of the post suggests, the only thing which could possibly explain the President’s condemnation of Arab antisemitism, and Palestinian terrorism, for Borger, is U.S. domestic political pressure. 

So convinced are Guardian editors, reporters, and commentators of Israeli villainy and Palestinian victimhood that anyone who contradicts this narrative must have ulterior motives, or be in the grip of powerful pro-Israel forces.

Whatever President Obama’s motivations for delivering a speech which demanded that Palestinians (and the Arab world) recognize Israel’s right to exist, and condemned the endemic Judeophobia in the Islamic world, the reaction to such a call serves as a telling political barometer.

As such, Julian Borger’s negative reaction to a U.S. President’s modest proposal that Palestinians have much to answer for in their quest for statehood should serve as a potent reminder of the visceral anti-Zionism of the Guardian left.

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