Josh Trevino Guardian gig outs Ali Abunimah’s double standards.

Ali Abunimah’s sanctimonious hissy fit regarding the Guardian’s hiring of Joshua Trevino continues. He is now on his fourth article on the subject – one at Al Jazeera and three on his own electronic Intifada site. 

Abunimah opened his Al Jazeera article of August 18th with these words:

“Something has gone badly wrong at The Guardian. In the name of “robust debate”, the venerable left-leaning liberal newspaper has effectively given its stamp of approval to speech that goes beyond mere hate, speech that clearly crosses the line into incitement to murder unarmed civilians and journalists. What lies behind this worrying development, and what does it tell us about the state of media in general?”

Do Abunimah’s words indeed reveal a specific moral stance from which is derived genuine concern for the health of the media? In order to make a judgment on that, one must also ask what Abunimah would have to say about someone who wrote the following words:

“Isn’t it the time for a popular Palestinian revolution in the form of a third intifada?”

As is well known, over 1,000 Israeli civilians (Jews and Arabs alike) were murdered during the second Intifada – with thousands more injured and often disabled for life. The person who wrote those words is therefore calling for the renewal of attacks upon unarmed civilians of all ages and creeds – in other words; incitement to indiscriminate maiming and murder. 

Surely Ali Abunimah would condemn such a call. According to his words above, he definitely would not approve of that person writing for a “venerable left-leaning liberal newspaper”. 

Or would he

The truth is that – like the signatories of the indignant letter to the Guardian published on August 19th – Ali Abunimah is not really worried by the content (as he chooses to interpret it) of Josh Trevino’s Tweet. What actually concerns Abunimah and his fellow travelers is who is doing the Tweeting. As long as the writer is in their camp, Abunimah et al can blithely contextualise all manner of indiscretions. 

Neither he, nor any others among the now selectively outraged, was anywhere on the horizon when, in January 2011, the Guardian published a letter from UCL professor Ted Honderich which specifically promoted moral justification for Palestinian terrorism against Israelis. 

The absence of any anguished articles on ‘electronic Intifada’ regarding that letter indicates that Abunimah did not consider it enough of a “worrying development” to merit condemnation of either the writer or the newspaper which published it. “The state of the media in general” was apparently not compromised in Abunimah’s view by the justification of indiscriminate murder of civilians in Israel. 

 Ali Abunimah and a whole host of opportunistically outraged objectors to Josh Trevino’s position at the Guardian have demonstrated their double standards with remarkable clarity during the past few days. Their objections are rooted solely in the fact that they perceive Trevino as being in the ‘wrong’ camp – and that remains blatantly obvious no matter how many ‘moral’ decorations they use to try to camouflage their hypocrisy. 

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