As we’ve noted in a series of Tweets, the Guardian has been obsessed with comments made by Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison expressing a willingness to consider moving Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem. The remarks, made days before a by-election in the community of Wentworth, were interpreted by many as an appeal to the Jewish residents (who make of 13% of the district) to vote for the Liberal Party candidate David Sharma, Australia’s former ambassador to Israel.
Over the course of three days, the Guardian went into full pro-Palestinian advocacy mode, publishing 15 articles and op-eds on Morrison’s comments, some of which were borderline hysterical, focusing not only on predictable Palestinian criticism and the possible diplomatic fallout with Indonesia, but also on what editors seemed to believe would be the inevitable political upheaval and violence if the policy was enacted. The Guardian’s predictions of calamity if Australia moved their embassy mirrored their alarmist predictions ahead of the US decision to move their embassy, prophecies of regional doom which, of course, didn’t come true.
However, at the end of the day, Sharma lost the election, which resulted in the prime minister’s party losing its razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives, presumably rendering the prime minister’s Jerusalem comments moot.
But, Guardian contributors still weren’t finished with vilifying the proposal. Their cartoonist ‘First Dog on the Moon’ published a graphic take on the fallout of the election titled ‘Wentworth and the charred remains of the Morrison government’s hopes and dreams’. Whilst most of the cartoon deals with Australian political issues unrelated to Morrison’s embassy comments, it devoted a frame to the row, here:
As you can see, the Guardian cartoonist wasn’t content with merely going after the prime minister. Rather, he deemed it necessary to demonise Australian Jews who Morrison was presumably appealing to in suggesting the embassy be moved, labeling them ‘apartheid enthusiasts’ putatively indifferent to ‘Palestinian children who die after falling on IDF bullets’, a smear – suggesting the Israeli army targets kids – the cartoonist employed previously in a Guardian cartoon.
As we’ve argued in the context of the Labour antisemitism row, the ideological impulse which inspires and animates extreme hostility towards Israel, and gives rise to lies such as the ‘apartheid’ charge, invariably leads to the vilification of Jews qua Jews, since, for the overwhelming majority of diaspora Jews, Zionism represents a significant component of their Jewish identity. If Israel is, as anti-Zionists charge, a ‘racist endeavor‘, then Jews around the world are implicated as accomplices to that malevolence, or, as Howard Jacobson aptly phrased it, “the very source and fount of racism themselves”.