On Friday, whilst all eyes were on events taking place at the UN building in front of that horrible green marble wall (talk about crimes against interior decorating), the Guardian published an article at ‘Comment is Free’ by one of its favourite anti-Zionists (and peace process rejectionists) – Ghada Karmi.
Veteran CiF readers will, by now, be familiar with her uncompromising stance.
Indeed, this is far from the first time that Karmi – the Palestine Solidarity Campaign patron, CAABU board member, signatory of the Stuttgart Declaration (which calls for an end to the Jewish state) and Exeter University lecturer – has pushed for ‘Greater Palestine’ on the Guardian’s pages.
And, she will apparently be encouraged to continue to do so no matter how much suffering and bloodshed her historical revisionism is likely to bring about.
Karmi’s article berates Mahmoud Abbas for going ahead with his statehood bid at the UN on the grounds that it represents an unacceptable compromise. Her position is, in fact, no different to that of Hamas and the other Palestinian factions which reject a negotiated two-state solution.
“But the UN drama now unfolding is no more than a dangerous sideshow detracting from the real issue. The statehood debate has hijacked the historical facts and created a new reality: that the Israeli-Palestinian problem is about the 1967 Israeli occupation, and dividing historic Palestine into two states is the solution. This is the reality the international community has been encouraged to accept. In fact the conflict dates from the 1948 expulsion of the majority of Palestine’s inhabitants to accommodate Israel’s creation, as today’s 6.5 million Palestinian refugees can attest. Redressing that terrible injustice is the only durable solution. While Palestinian statehood in a fifth of the original homeland might seem attractive given the power imbalance between both sides and Israel’s obduracy in peace negotiations, this was the worst historical moment to push for such a paltry aim which Palestinians may live to regret.”
This article does not represent a mere expression of an outlandish opinion in an op-ed: the frequency with which the Guardian publishes the opinions of Karmi and others with the same agenda implies that these are opinions which find sympathy among its higher echelons.
Of course the comparable ideology on the other side is not – even in the name of ‘balance’ – granted exposure on ‘Comment is Free’. In fact one only has to read the Guardian editorial which was published a couple of hours later to see what the Guardian considers ‘rejectionist’.
“If Mr Netanyahu or any future leader were ever to cross a line, it would not be by repeating that everything is on the table when plainly it is not. It would be by turning to Israel and saying that peace would involve giving up what he still refers to as Judea and Samaria, words which in a two-state context are rejectionist.”
So, even referring to a geographical area by its original name is, according to Guardianspeak, ‘rejectionist’, (users of terms such as Cymru and Nah-Eileanan Siar may care to take note of that) but apparently demanding the dissolution of an entire country is not.
The concept of ‘Greater Israel’ (as promoted by a handful of Israeli extremists who will never find their way onto the pages of ‘Comment is Free’) and the concept of ‘Greater Palestine’ (as promoted by Ghada Karmi, Sam Bahour and assorted Hamas op-ed writers who do appear there quite regularly) are both archaic, irrelevant and extremely unhelpful ideologies which do nothing to advance a much-needed solution to the current conflict. Both are uncompromising in their essence and neither should have a place among liberal voices truly seeking the wellbeing of all the peoples involved.
By publishing polemics such as this, by Ghada Karmi, the Guardian shows itself to be way outside mainstream liberal opinion and firmly in the camp of the extremists and the real rejectionists of a negotiated peace process.
- Obama condemns Arab antisemitism in UN speech. The Guardian’s first reaction? Outrage. (cifwatch.com)
- The tortured logic which informs yet another anti-Israel Guardian editorial (cifwatch.com)
- What the Guardian won’t report: Palestine will be Jew-free (cifwatch.com)
- Israel Needs a More Realpolitik, Machiavellian Palestinian Strategy (cifwatch.com)