We’ve been monitoring The Guardian and commenting on the media group’s institutional hostility to Israel for nearly 10 years, and nothing much shocks us at this point.
Yet, an official editorial published on Tuesday reaches a new low in malice and plain out dishonesty. The headline alone, using language you’d normally use when describing totalitarian regimes, is repulsive—representative of the kind of ugly, baseless anti-Zionist smear you’d expect to see at Electronic Intifada and other extremist outlets.
The op-ed begins:
In the last nine months of 2018, according to the United Nations, Palestinians—many of them children—were killed at the rate of around one a day while taking part in protests along Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza about their right to return to ancestral homes. They included medics and journalists. Most of the dead were unarmed and posed no danger to anyone, with little more than rocks in their hands and slogans on their lips. Yet Israel continued with an immoral and unlawful policy that sees soldiers of its military, which is under democratic civilian control, shoot, gas, shell and kill protesters, including those who pose no credible threat.
What The Guardian suggests are peaceful “protests” by “slogan” shouting marchers are actually organised violent riots which include the use of Molotov cocktails, the planting of IEDs and countless attempts to cut through the security fence and infiltrate the border.
To claim that thousands of rioters attempting to breach the border and attack civilians pose “no danger” turns reality on its head, especially given the fact that most of the rioters killed have been identified as operatives of terror groups.
Further, by what legal authority do Guardian editors conclude that the IDF’s rules of engagement against violent rioters threatening their civilians is “unlawful”? Is there any country in the world that would allow an infiltration of its border launched by an internationally proscribed terror group without the use of force?
The Guardian’s lies continue:
Hospitals in Gaza, which already struggle under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade, have been stretched to breaking point in dealing with the flood of patients ferried in from the protests. In its defence, Israel’s diplomats cast Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza, as terrorists who are organising demonstrations in “a war zone.” It would appear, sadly, that Israel wishes to conduct a war over the airwaves, as well as one on the ground, against the Palestinians. This blatant disregard for Gazan lives and the lack of accountability is underpinned by a politics of resentment and dissembling that has profound repercussions for Israel. If one can kill with impunity, then can one lie without consequence?
First, the import of medicines, as with almost all other medical equipment used in Gaza’s hospitals, are not impacted by Israel’s blockade. Moreover, to the extent they are “stretched to the breaking point,” it is in large measure due to Palestinian Authority’s sanctions imposed on Hamas in 2017 related to their ongoing political dispute—sanctions that included a cut to Gaza’s overall health-care budget.
More importantly, note how Guardian editors bizarrely suggest it’s merely a claim by “Israeli diplomats” that Hamas is a terrorist group and are the chief organisers of the protest. In fact, Hamas leaders have continually acknowledged they organize and direct the “March of Return” protests, that the goal was to avert an intra-Palestinian crisis and divert pressure onto Israel, and have boasted that they were deceiving the world—including, clearly, The Guardian—by casting marches as “peaceful” protests.
If there’s any party that can be accused of displaying a “blatant disregard for human lives,” it’s, of course, the jihadists of Hamas, who cynically orchestrated a violent confrontation with Israel – which includes the illegal use of child combatants as human shields—for the goal of scoring propaganda points in the international media, and who uses precious resources (including millions in international aid) for rockets, attack tunnels and other military projects, instead of on homes, hospitals, infrastructure and other domestic needs.
Finally, after a paragraph on the electoral challenges of Israel’s prime minister, The Guardian’s two-minutes of hate reaches its crescendo:
The novelist Amos Oz’s words that “even unavoidable occupation is a corrupting occupation” have been ignored for too long. Mr Netanyahu’s nearest rival brags that he sent parts of Gaza “back to the stone age” when in the military. Mr Netanyahu would dismiss Oz’s warnings; but perhaps he ought to take heed of the recent spat between the historian Benny Morris and the writer Gideon Levy. The former, who made his name by lifting the veil on the ethnic cleansings on which Israel was founded, but drifted rightwards to say that these heinous crimes did not go far enough, and the latter, a leftwing columnist, agree that the two-state solution is a fading prospect. Mr Netanyahu lulls the public with the notion that a two-state solution will wait until Israel deems the conditions to be ripe. He hints that new friends in Washington, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will come up with a proposal the Palestinians will swallow. This is pure cynicism. There is no new plan—just a rebranding of the status quo, maintained by force by Israel, and with Palestinians within and without Israel’s borders subjugated and dependent. Israelis must turn away from the occupation, which is debasing their society and suffocating the Palestinians.
First, Israel is not occupying Gaza. And, Benny Morris didn’t “move rightward.” Rather, new facts (access to archival records previously unavailable) led him to reassess his original conclusion.
Finally, it was Amos Oz who also said “I have been a man of compromise all my life, but even a man of compromise cannot approach Hamas and say: ‘Maybe we meet halfway and Israel only exists on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.’” Oz was a man of peace who knew that peace couldn’t be reached with a nihilistic movement which seeks to “end Jewish history,” a sober reality that Jews understand instinctively.
The Guardian’s insistence on denying, downplaying and otherwise obfuscating this extremist group’s malevolent intent, whilst simultaneously demonising the Jewish state they seek to destroy, is more than merely a commentary on the media group’s fanatical hostility towards Israel. It is, to be sure, a reflection of their institutional failure to understand and take seriously modern anti-Semitism—a Corbyn-style atavistic reflex which, while condemning racism in every form, when confronted with ‘the Jewish problem’ sees Jews as the problem.
Adam Levick has served as managing editor of UK Media Watch, a CAMERA affiliate, since 2010.