The Guardian, Raed Salah and Yom HaShoah.

A whole nation is at this moment remembering the slaughter of two-thirds of its members’ population in Europe.

That genocide was fuelled and enabled by the spreading of a racist supremacist ideology which sought to rid its subscribers’ country from ‘contamination’ by Jews.

That ideology was propagated in the minds of another nation by the spreading of false tales about Jewish evil-doing and coordinated scheming and by the dehumanisation of Jews to such a degree that even if they did not directly take part, millions stood by and watched as one of the most shocking events in human history took place.

Barely had the strains of the memorial siren which was sounded this morning all over Israel as a mark of respect for the six million victims of racist hatred faded away, when the Guardian chose to publish an article on its ‘Comment is Free’ website penned by Raed Salah – a man who holds beliefs and ideologies virtually indistinguishable from those which caused the events that siren commemorates.

The editors of the Guardian have fought in Raed Salah’s corner ever since the affair began. 

Now, once again, their immature “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” stance has caused them to tarnish the battered reputation of a once respected newspaper (and prove themselves to be eminently lacking in taste) by publishing Salah’s bizarre claims of being the victim of a “smear campaign” by “Israel’s cheerleaders in Britain” and that his anti-Semitic ‘poem’ “had been doctored” in order to frame him.

Those editors also permit Salah to launch a tirade of lies and distortions on everything from marriage laws, municipal and government budgets and equal pay laws to the well-worn subject on Guardian pages of Al Arakib and deliberate misrepresentation of the Balfour Declaration.

More gravely still, they allow Salah an unfettered platform from which to make the ridiculous – and dangerous – claims that official Israeli policy includes transfer and ethnic cleansing and that Israel is destroying the al Aqsa mosque.

There can be little doubt that some at the Guardian actually subscribe to at least parts of the genre of lies propagated by Raed Salah. There can be even less doubt that those who do not must be so intimidated by the prevailing organisational culture that they cannot curb the publication of such a blatantly outrageous article by a religious supremacist and separatist who subscribes to Hamas ideologies and aspirations alarmingly similar to the one the victims of which are being commemorated today.

Raed Salah has made a career out of extremism and incitement. That is who he is and what he does. However uncomfortable it may be, it is necessary to admit that – as his planned speaking tour proves – there is an audience for that kind of extremism in the United Kingdom as well as the Middle East.

But extremists do not get very far without the middle-men who re-package and re-brand their ideas and move them into the mainstream.

There are too many of these middle-men in Britain today.

Some of them sit in the House of Lords and in Parliament whilst others hold office in churches or so-called human rights organisations and charities.

Still more are members of Trade Unions, the academia or the media.

These people take the lies and dehumanisation of extremists such as Raed Salah and wrap them in a veneer made possible by their own standing which allows pernicious ideas to be spread to a general public which would otherwise not come into contact with them.

This is not to suggest that the editors of the Guardian and others are plotting a new genocide against the Jews. Indeed they would doubtless be horrified by the very suggestion. But what they are doing by uncritically publishing and promoting the lies and libels of extremists such as Salah and various Hamas functionaries and supporters is shifting hate-speech against Jews and Israelis alike into the realm of mainstream opinion.

As we should all (Guardian editors included) know by now and as we are reminded today, Yom HaShoah, such hate-speech does not exist in a vacuum.  

“The power of the media to create and destroy fundamental human values comes with great responsibility. Those who control the media are accountable for its consequences.”

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