Tin-Pot Pravda: Guardian editorial scolds Israel for taking Iranian nuclear threat seriously

I’m not sure which is more interesting, the very notion of the Guardian giving national security advice to Israel “Israel is unwise to raise the nuclear stakes“, Nov. 6, or the following passage in the editorial which represents one of the most surreal understatements I’ve read in a long time.

The Guardian, after sternly lecturing Israel on the folly of even considering a preemptive attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, writes:

“It is true that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has voiced a profound antipathy for Israel, which has been interpreted in many quarters as threatening the existence of the Jewish state.”

So, Ahmadinejad has voiced an “antipathy” towards Israel “which has been interpreted…as threatening the existence” of Israel”?!

In fact, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly and quite explicitly called for its destruction, has engaged in crude antisemitism, and called the Holocaust “a myth”.

Here are just a few examples:

General hatred, antisemitism, and Holocaust Denial:

Aug. 2, 2006, as reported on Iranian state TV 

“Are they human beings?… They (Zionists) are a group of blood-thirsty savages putting all other criminals to shame.”

July 6, 2006, as quoted by Iranian News Agency

“The Zionists think that they are victims of Hitler, but they act like Hitler and behave worse than Genghis Khan.”

March 21, 2007, New Year’s message aired on Iranian TV

“It is quite clear that a bunch of Zionist racists are the problem the modern world is facing today. They have access to global power and media centers and seek to use this access to keep the world in a state of hardship, poverty and grudge and strengthen their rule.”

Feb. 28, 2007, to a meeting of Sudanese Islamic scholars in Khartoum

“The Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan…”

Sept. 23, 2008, address to the UN

“The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner.”

Sept. 18, 2009 Al Quds Day rally in Tehran

“They (the Western powers) launched the myth of the Holocaust. They lied, they put on a show and then they support the Jews…. If as you claim the Holocaust is true, why can a study not be allowed? … The pretext for establishing the Zionist regime is a lie… a lie which relies on an unreliable claim, a mythical claim…”

August 7, 2010, Televised conference in Tehran

No “Zionists” were killed in the World Trade Center, because “one day earlier they were told not to go to their workplace.”

Israel should be destroyed:

Oct. 25, 2006, in an address to 4,000 students at a program titled, ‘The World Without Zionism’:

“Israel must be wiped off the map … The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world . . . The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny.  The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land.”

Dec. 12, 2006, comments to Iran’s Holocaust Conference

“Thanks to people’s wishes and God’s will the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is downwards and this is what God has promised and what all nations want…Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out.”

Nov. 13, 2006

“Israel is destined for destruction and will soon disappear.  Israel is “a contradiction to nature, we foresee its rapid disappearance and destruction.”

Feb. 5, 2010, at a news conference in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

“With Allah’s help the new Middle East will be a Middle East without Zionists and Imperialists.”

And, of course, the following image has been “interpreted” by some as calling for the end of Zionism:

In fairness, the Guardian does allow for the possibility that Israel may be justified in defending itself, and carefully tutors the state’s leaders on the ethical guidelines required to thwart a potential Iranian attack:

“To have any justification for its use, it requires an immediate and proximate threat, as existed when Israel was faced with Egyptian tank divisions manoeuvring on its borders to the loud drum beat of war, which persuaded Israel to attack first in the 1967 Six Day War…”

However, they subsequently argue that there may even be a bright side to the possibility that Iran will acquire nuclear arms:

“The reality is that Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is seen as a threat for reasons partly of Israel’s own making – foremost its absolute reliance on a policy of military supremacy and deterrence to underpin security. A nuclear-armed Iran would hole that policy below the waterline, making it far more difficult, for instance, to launch the kind of war it waged against Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006.”

Yes, the progressive end result:  A nuclear Iran will deter Israel from defending itself against the likes of Hezbollah and Hamas!

Finally, in disgust, the Guardian lashes out at the stubborn Zionists who will likely be unmoved by the advice provided by the sage commentators in London who clearly understand what’s best for Israel.

“If that is Netanyahu’s aim – to use the threat of war to leverage diplomatic effect – it is the behaviour of a tinpot state, not the mature democracy Israel claims to be.”

While we’ll never know who wrote this particular editorial, there are tropes which evoke the following passage from a 2009 CiF essay

“[To] the western media…Ahmadinejad is nothing but a Holocaust-denying fanatic. The other Ahmadinejad, who is seen to stand up for the country’s independence, expose elite corruption on TV and use Iran’s oil wealth to boost the incomes of the poor majority, is largely invisible abroad.”

This was written by Guardian Associate Editor Seumas Milne in 2009.

Straight Left – the pro-Stalinist UK Communist Party paper where Milne served as “business manager” – may have perished with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but its spirit of stoic resistance in the face of imperialism lives on. 

The Guardian is not a newspaper in any real sense of the word, but a theoretical journal of far left thought intent on arranging the news in a pattern consistent with a rigid ideological agenda.

Whether the editorial is informed simply by the unimaginable naiveté of not understanding that the only thing standing in the way of Israel’s destruction is the credible threat of force against her enemies, or a visceral hostility to the “tin pot” Jewish state – or, more likely, a combination of the two – their chiding of what they see as a petulant Israel makes one thing crystal clear.

The fundamental moral imperative of Zionism – the historical understanding that never again will Jews allow their freedom, their fate, indeed their very existence, to be contingent upon the benevolence of others – continues to be vindicated both by the words and actions of Israel’s enemies, and by the pseudo-intellectual musings of their enablers in the West.

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