Jew hatred? What Jew hatred? A tale of two Guardian editorials on the Toulouse murders

The Guardian’s two editorials on the Islamist inspired murders of four innocent Jews in the French city of Toulouse really should win an award in great accomplishments in rhetorical propaganda.

Here are the official editorials:

France: republican ideals: On Saturday, thousands will march together through Paris in the face of an assault on its minorities by the Toulouse gunman  – published the day after the murders.

Toulouse shootings: in the line of fireNicolas Sarkozy reacted properly to a week of terrible events in France which ended in a hail of bullets in Toulouse –  published after the Islamist motivation of the perpetrator was known.

In over 900 words of text in two editorials a few tendencies are difficult to miss.

Use of the word “antisemitism”: 0

Number of times the names of the Jewish victims were used: 0

Number of times the Jewish identity of the victims was mentioned: 0

Number of times “right wing” was used in the pejorative:

Number of ties “Islamism” or “radical Islam” was used in a negative or pejorative context:

Number of times anti-immigrant rhetoric was blamed for the shootings: 3

  • “Mr Sarkozy and his ministers had wandered cynically into the terrain of the far right, with their nods and winks about immigrants, the ubiquity of halal meat, and France’s superior civilisation” (written after Jihadist motivation of killer was known)
  • “Nicolas Sarkozy’s lurch to the right has included such claims as there being too many immigrants in France, and that the French were secretly ingesting halal meat.”
  • “France’s main concern, like Britain’s, is jobs. Its problem, like ours, is curbing the super-rich not immigrants. Mr Sarkozy may now try to move to the centre ground. But let us hope he does not fool too many voters.”

Two Guardian editorials: Neither even attempted to address the disturbing dynamics of a malign Islamist ideology which would prompt a 23-year-old man, raised in France, to chase a small, terrified innocent Jewish girl into a corner, look her in the eye and shoot her three times in the brain.  

But the more urgent question, wrote Frida Ghitis in commentary, “is what we can do to stop it from happening again. And the answer is that the first requirement is telling the truth about anti-Jewish ideologies.”

As such, the failure of the Guardian to engage in the urgent task of confronting  the threat posed by Islamist antisemitism represents, perhaps, their most appalling moral abdication.

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