Nobody even vaguely familiar with the Guardian Group’s animosity towards Israel’s prime minister would be surprised that they’ve taken editorial stances in favor of Binyamin Netanyahu’s major opponent, Isaac (Boujie) Herzog. The only recent surprise is that the Guardian Group’s so-called more moderate brand (The Observer) published an official editorial on March 15th even more one-sided, hyperbolic and misleading than one which appeared in The Guardian a few days earlier.
The Observer editorial begins by casting Netanyahu as “Mr. No”.
On a nuclear deal with Iran, Netanyahu’s response is a very Gaullist “Non”. On the question of a wider western rapprochement with Tehran, he grimly says no, too. On resumed peace talks with the Palestinians, or a freeze on Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories, his answers, once again, are bluntly negative.
So much disinformation.
First, if Observer editors had decided to read the transcript of Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, they would have seen that – consistent with his statements over many years – he is not rejecting a nuclear deal with Iran, only a bad deal, one which could allow the Islamist regime to be merely weeks away from a bomb. Further, Netanyahu isn’t against “rapprochement”. Rather, he believes that, before lifting restrictions, the world should demand that Iran stop exporting terror around the globe, and cease threatening to annihilate the Jewish state. The Observer’s final claim, that Netanyahu has said ‘no’ to peace talks, is categorically untrue. Since taking office, he has agreed to talk to Mahmoud Abbas without pre-conditions. Indeed, it was Abbas who consistently said no to the resumption of negotiations and continually issued new demands, such as a moratorium on settlement construction and the release of hundreds of convicted Palestinian terrorists, to even talk about peace.
Further in the editorial, The Observer writes:
In defiance of his own intelligence chiefs, he appears to believe he alone appreciates the true extent of the dangers Israel faces.
In fact, Netanyahu is not standing alone at all. As even The Observer alludes to further in the editorial, there is an Israeli consensus on the Iranian nuclear issue, with polls showing that an overwhelming majority of Israelis believe that a nuclear armed Iran represents an existential threat to the country. These same polls also indicate that most Israelis are skeptical that US negotiations will prevent Iran from getting the bomb.
In a subsequent passage, The Observer again shows that their prejudice is subservient to any pretense of providing a fair and honest assessment of the recent history of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
The collapse last year of painstaking US efforts to revive the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was blamed on Netanyahu’s intransigence.
However, their own Jerusalem correspondent, Peter Beaumont, implicitly admitted that this isn’t true and that, at the very least, both sides were to blame. In an April 29th article published in the Guardian, Beaumont acknowledged that talks broke down in part because Abbas refused to agree to continue talks past the April 29th deadline; he reneged on his pledge not to engage in “unilateral moves to join international bodies and treaties”; and due to Fatah’s reconciliation with the terror group Hamas.
Turning to Netanyahu’s reaction to the Arab Spring, The Observer writes:
Netanyahu, seeing enemies everywhere, viewed the Arab spring revolts as an Islamist conspiracy, rather than an exceptional opportunity to spread democracy across the Arab world.
Of course, even the most rudimentary analysis of the aftermath of the political upheavals in the Arab world since 2011 would demonstrate that Netanyahu’s skepticism was justified. Contrary to The Observer’s claim, Netanyahu didn’t see a “conspiracy”. Rather, according to the very Guardian article linked to by The Observer, he saw the emergence of an “Islamic, anti-western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli, undemocratic wave”. Sure enough, four years later, the monarchies of Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and U.A.E still stand. Egypt, since the ouster of Mubarak, merely transitioned between Islamist and secular authoritarian rule. Syria imploded into civil war, mass murder and ethnic cleansing. Both Yemen and Libya are, at this stage, effectively failed states. And, Mahmoud Abbas is approaching the eleventh year of a four-year term as head of the Palestinian Authority. (Only Tunisia can claim anything resembling democratic rule.)
The Observer editorial ends with a ‘flourish’, in accusing Netanyahu of “look[ing] increasingly out of touch.”
Beyond appeasing their usual radical left consistency, it’s far from clear who editors at the Guardian and Observer seek to influence in taking such bellicose stances against the Israeli leader. To even Israelis on the left end of the political spectrum, save the marginal few who are loyal to Haaretz, the Guardian’s outsized role in delegitimizing the Jewish state is well-known, and their editorial leanings completely irrelevant to their political considerations.
Further, polls demonstrating that British Jews overwhelmingly believe UK media coverage of Israel fuels antisemitism, in conjunction with other polls indicating that Bibi remains quite popular amongst British Jews, would suggest that, to most within this small and increasingly beleaguered Jewish community, the Guardian is outright hostile to their interests.
On Israel and other issues of grave concern to Jews, it is the Guardian Group which is dangerously “out of touch”.
- Bibi Was Ready for Peace, Abbas Wasn’t (commentarymagazine.com)