The Guardian’s fixation on the suffering of Palestinians often manifests itself in the most unlikely places.
A case in point is a Guardian podcast, which I just came across, by Giles Fraser, titled “The church should abandon its opposition to gay marriage“, March 12.
Fraser opened his podcast with the following curious observation:
“Why do you have so many children?” I asked [a Palestinian in Gaza]. Perhaps it was a rude question. But I didn’t get how in so poor a place as Gaza it made sense to have a dozen kids. “It’s political,” the man said – going on to explain that Yasser Arafat had told to them that their victory was to be found in “the Palestinian womb“. I was shocked. But in a place whose very existence is threatened, having children is all about national survival. [emphasis added]
Boy, where to begin?
Weapon of the womb:
First, on Yasser Arafat’s prophetic wisdom: Can you imagine how Harriet Sherwood would frame a story about religious settlers in the territories who told her that having so many Jewish children was a Zionist weapon? Is there even a minuscule chance she would empathize with such Israelis, and conclude with the observation that such a tactic was understandable given that Israel’s “very survival” is constantly “threatened”?
When, precisely, was Gaza’s very existence threatened?
While Islamists, Palestinians (especially those in Gaza), the broader Arab world and more than a few ‘Comment is Free’ contributors argue that the Jewish state has no right to exist, the U.S., EU, and other nations have merely classified Hamas, the movement which governs Gaza, as a terrorist organization and their continued rule as inconsistent with efforts to bring about peace.
High birthrate as a means of national survival?
As Gaza is continually portrayed at the Guardian as one of the most densely populated places in the world, it’s curious how Fraser could be sympathetic to a populace which evidently (for religious and, evidently, political reasons) doesn’t engage in the kind of sensible family planning policies which such “liberals” typically advocate for poor countries. Does the Guardian’s advocacy, in the context of their “Global Development” mission, for small families, widely available contraception and abortions, not apply to Palestinians?
In so few words, Giles Fraser again demonstrates that the moral sympathy felt for Palestinians runs so deep at the Guardian that they’re often unable to engage in even the most intuitive critical scrutiny of Palestinian political culture and social mores.
- Islamophobia as the ‘new antisemitism’: Guardian’s secular (Replacement) Theology of Victimhood (cifwatch.com)
- David Frost’s interviews with Benny Morris & Suhu Arafat: A stark contrast in political sympathy (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian obit on Yitzhak Shamir reduces sum of former PM’s moral life to Palestinian litmus test (cifwatch.com)
- Palestinian woman on hunger strike for 3 weeks. She’s not in Israel, so the Guardian yawns (cifwatch.com)