Stoking the fire of antisemitism and anti-Israel hate
Many years ago in London, England, I worked for The Guardian. I have to admit I didn’t actually work in the editorial department, but I had day-to-day contact with many of the paper’s columnists and journalists. I even had to pay for the occasional round of drinks at the ‘local,’ around the corner from the office.
Unlike now, many of the editorial staff were media icons in their own right. Mark Arnold-Forster, Clare Hollingworth, Victor Zorza, John Cole, Mary Stott, Norman Shrapnel and of course Alistair Cooke in the USA, to name a few.
Editors of the past such as Alistair Hetherington, who continues to be regarded as one of the leading editors of the second half of the twentieth century, and Peter Preston both strove to present a balanced view. Since then the paper has strengthened its biased anti-Israel position. A former president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews once stated, the paper is “viciously and notoriously anti-Israel.”
It wasn’t always this way. C. P. Scott, one of the most famous editors of The Guardian had a strong friendship with Chaim Weizmann. It is believed their friendship played a role in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
In 1948 The Guardian was a supporter of the new State of Israel. With Alistair Hetherington at the helm, The Guardian‘s favourable view of Israel continued, as illustrated in their Leader of Monday, June 12, 1967:
“Future security is [Israel’s] first concern. They will not give up the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan, or the heights overlooking the upper Jordan valley until they know what the Arabs will accept. If there is no peace settlement, will they ever give them up?
“Israel wishes to live in peace. She does not want hostile neighbours on her borders, whoever they are, for another hundred or two hundred years. She wants normal trading relations with her neighbours. The offer of generous terms is therefore still worth trying – especially if, through the United Nations and all the Great Powers, Israel’s future frontiers are effectively guaranteed.”
In 2002 the paper ran a Leader which, in part said, “the Jewish community is right to fear that the repulsive antisemitism… in many Arab countries… can find an alarming echo within some British Muslim communities.” The Leader of 16 years ago could easily have been written yesterday. Mind you, I doubt if it would have been published in The Guardian!
“One of the main purveyors of anti-Israel bias in the UK and abroad.”
But, that was The Guardian of another period. For today in 2018, The Guardian continually breaks all the barriers in stoking the fire of antisemitism and anti-Israel hate that in 2002 it found quite alarming.
UK Media Watch is “dedicated to combating antisemitism and promoting accurate reporting about Israel in the UK media.” They believe “The Guardian has long been identified as one of the main purveyors of anti-Israel bias in the UK and abroad…”
Earlier this week, Adam Levick, Managing Editor of UK Media Watch, wrote a scathing article titled, “The Guardian View’ on the Gaza protests: one of their worst editorials on Israel ever.” His article concludes, “The Guardian once again has demonised Israel, smearing the state as one defined primarily by racism and violence – an ugly caricature which has little resemblance to reality. Moreover, the notion that Jerusalem should take security advice from the Corbyn-sympathising London intelligentsia is as risible as their suggestion that its citizens should take seriously the moralizing tales of Israeli darkness by the Hollywood left.”
I urge you to read Levick’s article in full to appreciate the depth and viciousness of this once respected British newspaper.
Which brings me to Seumas Milne. Milne, The Guardian’s former far-left of centre associate editor and columnist has for many years had his fingers in the pie denouncing Israel at every possible occasion.
Here is a 2014 video link to a speech given by Milne. Prior to working for The Guardian, Milne was the “business manager of Straight Left, a monthly publication of… the Communist Party of Great Britain.” I suppose it’s a no-brainer to figure out where he’s coming from. Milne, “in front of thousands of anti-Israel protesters at Hyde Park in London, explicitly justified Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis (a refrain from his Guardian column in mid-July), and accused ‘terrorist’ Israel of ‘industrial scale’ killing in Gaza.” (As reported by UK Media Watch formerly CiF Watch). All this while being employed by The Guardian.
“Two Peas in a Pod!”
Milne is no longer The Guardian’s associate editor. In January 2017 he was appointed the British Labour Party‘s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications under Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is also well-known for his anti-Israel stance and as someone who has not publicly denounced antisemitism.
It’s been said that the ethical challenges faced by journalists-turned-political advisers can be a challenging experience for the individual. But not for Milne. He must relish it! In Milne’s case, it would seem the utter contempt he has for Israel continues to remain an indelible mark of approval at The Guardian, as seen by the paper’s incessant thirst to publish anti-Israel content.
And now, Milne’s opinion of Israel has been opportunistically transferred to his latest employer Jeremy Corbyn, as well as to many of Corbyn’s followers, both from within the British Labour Party and from the Party’s far-left anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and antisemitic followers.
According to Peter Wilby, writing in the New Statesman in March 2018, Milne as Corbyn’s spin doctor “has proved rather good at it… Wilby writes Milne is the closest of the leader’s team to Corbyn, after John McDonnell, the UK shadow chancellor and confidant of Jeremy Corbyn.”
G. M. Trevelyan, the British historian and academic, once said, “A little man often casts a long shadow.” Could it be Wilby has it wrong? With shadowy motives and murky desires could it be that Milne is actually now the closest confidant to Corbyn? Heaven help British Jewry!
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