In an article titled “New York law aims to stop funding of illegal Israeli settlements in West Bank”, May 17, by Chris McGreal, the Guardian did what it does so often: promoting the views of anti-Israel public figures without revealing their extreme or racist views.
In the piece, Guardian readers are told the following:
New York’s state assembly is to consider legislation to stop registered charities from sending tens of millions of dollars a year to fund illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
State assembly member, Zohran Mamdani, has introduced the “Not on our dime!: Ending New York funding of Israeli settler violence” act to prohibit tax-deductible donations from being used to expel Palestinians from their land and other activities widely regarded as war crimes under the Geneva conventions.
“This legislation makes it clear that New York will no longer effectively subsidise war crimes and the flouting of international law,” Mamdani told the Guardian.
“What we have is a number of New York state-registered charities that are sending at least $60m a year to Israeli settlement organisations which then use that funding to continue the history of expulsion and dispossession of Palestinians in the occupied territories that has been going on for decades.”
The bill in question, it should be noted, has a total of four co-sponsors, and will certainly not become law. It’s an exercise in anti-Israel virtue signaling and little else.
Moreover, there isn’t a critical word about Mamdani in the entire Guardian piece. Why? Because McGreal, like so many of his Guardian colleagues, likely believes that being pro-Palestinian puts you on ‘the right side of history‘, grants you admission into the community of the good – on the side of the angels.
Yet, our research, including a scroll through his Twitter feed, shows that Mamdani is not merely opposed to settlements, and that he has views that are quite extreme.
He’s whitewashed and even seemed to justify Palestinian terror, cynically attempted to tie racist police violence in the US to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and boasted of having founded a chapter of the antisemitic and terror-supporting organisation Students for Justice in Palestine. Even more disturbing is that his hatred of Israel has led him to grotesquely suggest that Israel practices a form of “white supremacy”:
White supremacy has many faces, from the police & prison systems in America to occupation & apartheid in Palestine.
For years the powerful tried to keep our resistance divided. Thanks to comrades like Samelys, those days are over.
Our solidarity is stronger than their cynicism. https://t.co/ZIgHjTZAMq
— Zohran Kwame Mamdani (@ZohranKMamdani) August 7, 2020
The accusation by Mamdani that Israel embodies white supremacy, an ideological movement which is both racist and intrinsically antisemitic, is morally abhorrent and intellectually unserious. Even leaving aside the fact that nearly half of all Israelis aren’t white, it’s hard to comprehend how anyone can argue that, three years after the white supremacist Nazis murdered six million Jews because they were deemed racially inferior, a small remnant of those Jews who survived founded a state based on the that same ‘white’ racist ideology.
The inane charge also, by implication, demonises, as supporters of white supremacy, millions of Jews in the US (including, of course, in his own district) who support the Jewish state.
Moreover, as Yossi Klein-Halevi has argued, efforts by social justice warriors to cast Israel as a racist white nation itself draws upon antisemitic history.
Anti-Semites, he explained, have typically “turned Jews into the symbol of whatever it is a given civilization finds as its most loathsome quality”. Under early Christianity, Klein-Halevi note, the Jew was the Christ killer. Under communism, the Jew was the capitalist. Under Nazism, the Jew was the ultimate race polluter. Now, he continued, we live in a civilization where “the most loathsome qualities are racism, colonialism and apartheid”. And, lo and behold, he concluded, “the greatest offender in the world today” of these sins, Palestinians and their advocates argue, just so happens to be the Jewish state.
Framing Israelis as racist “white people” oppressing “dark” Palestinians represents, in Halevi’s view, a “classical continuity of thousands of years of symbolising the Jew”.
Guardian op-ed laments the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s existence