Earlier in the month, we posted about an article in the Independent which contextualized an article on Donald Trump’s White House invitation to Mahmoud Abbas by highlighting the “analysis” of someone named Ralph Schoenman.
The article, by their Middle East correspondent Bethan McKernan, was based on comments by Schoenman, who she surreally characterised as a “leading academic” and author of a “highly influential” book about Zionism.
As we revealed in our post, however, Schoenman is a fringe extremist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist and fraudulent scholar who has erroneously claimed that Jews dominated the slave trade. In his “influential” book (Hidden History of Zionism), he alleges that pre-state Zionists collaborated with the Nazis to murder millions of Jews and then, when the state was born, “emulated the Nazis” in planning and carrying out their own genocide against Palestinians.
As we argued at the time, of all the political analysts to seek comment, it’s remarkable that McKernan chose an extremist who’s engaged in smears about Zionism’s putative relationship with Nazism so vile and ahistorical that they’d likely make Ken Livingstone blush.
We contacted Indy editors to complain, asking how they could justify legitimising such an extremist. In their reply, they acknowledged the validity of our concerns and agreed to completely remove the article from their site. (Now, when you click on the original link, it redirects to the home page.)
Whilst we commend Indy editors for removing the article, the fact that one of their Middle East correspondents respects and was willing to amplify the views of such an anti-Zionist extremist serves as a troubling reminder of institutional anti-Israel bias which informs so much of their coverage of the region.