Fallout from the Hamas essay at ‘Comment is Free’: ‘Giving up the Guardian’

H/T Gerald

Cross posted by Charlotte at Digital Politico

It may or may not surprise you to know that I am a Guardian reader.

Or at least was.

Today though they decided to run a piece by the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh.

The leader of a terrorist organisation that has a stated aim of removing Israel from the map.

That’s before we mention it’s totally despicable and illiberal approach to women and homosexuals.

People will try and make this into a free speech issue. When they do I hope they realise that I have always been against no platforming in a political context – I was happy for Nick Griffin to appear and be debated on Question Time. I thought that the BNP candidate should have been allowed into the Mayoral debate when all candidates were invited.

I might even have been able to stomach a proper interview with Haniyeh published in the Guardian. He has been elected Prime Minister, despite his organisations vile beliefs.

Essentially though this is the equivalent of the paper giving a column to the the leader of the KKK, and giving someone like Ismail Haniyeh an unanswered column should be as totally unthinkable to the Guardian.

As it wasn’t, I cannot support or read this product

The issue is about terrorism and murder, not free speech. I have zero issue with people wanting to advocate the Palestinian cause being given a platform, even though I may come from a slightly different perspective. I also hope having such a debate can contribute towards peace. This article is not that though.

You will note that in his piece Haniyeh mentions the word Israel once, followed by the word occupation. It’s a bit odd that in a piece about change in the Middle East, mentions of the region’s only democracy are almost indiscernible. The thing is, if he had mentioned Israel, Haniyeh would have to discuss that he actually advocates the destruction of that state, and even Guardian readers might have found that a bit too difficult to take with their muesli.

But there is no point just winging.

The Guardian has long been a beloved media outlet of liberals, but today myself and my friend Matthew Harris are urging liberals to Give up the Guardian. Stop reading it, stop linking to it, stop buying it.

Join our Facebook page (or buy a subscription to our newsletter) too, to help you get through going cold turkey.

Go on….you’ll feel so much better when you give it up.

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