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Monday, August 18, 2014

Scared by BDS'ers, al-Guardian rejects Dershowitz ad on Hamas tactics

Al-Guardian has rejected an ad on Hamas tactics by Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz because, among other things, it called into question the status of Gaza as 'the most densely populated area on earth' (Hat Tip: Haaretz).
“The British media is divided,” Dershowitz said in an interview. “But The Guardian, which holds itself out to be a purveyor of diverse truth, clearly reflects a bias against Israel on its editorial pages, as well as in its presentation of the news. Now that bias has spread to the advertising pages.”
The advertisement was based on an older editorial written by Dershowitz for the Gatestone Institute and was sponsored by the Wechsler Family Foundation, which had offered The Guardian approximately $21,000 to run the piece, a New York City-based agency specializing in overseas advertisement placements confirmed.
Dershowitz told JNS.org that newspapers “have a right to decide which ads to accept and reject,” but questioned The Guardian’s decision not to run his advertorial.
“My column was factually sound and not a personal attack on anybody. It simply laid out the geographic facts of the Gaza Strip and its implications,” he said.
“Dershowitz was presenting a new point of view in this article,” Harry Wechsler of the Wechsler Family Foundation told JNS.org in an email.
“Hamas was not forced into shooting their rockets from pads located in urban areas, thereby leading to unavoidable civilian deaths,” wrote Wechsler. “They were not shooting from some of the densest population centers anywhere because they had no other choice. No—the choice was there. Though not large, Gaza had ample space that was not densely populated—farm land, empty spaces where rockets could have been stored and shot from. Furthermore, the U.N. could easily have developed temporary quarters in these same spaces for the sheltering of civilian refugees, far away from the sites of battle.”
The editorial board of The Guardian, which screens political or issues-based advertisements before they are published in the newspaper, “turned us down and refused to take our ad, even after working with their people for several days,” according to Wechsler.
In response to a comment request by JNS.org regarding The Guardian’s decision not to publish the Dershowitz advertisement, a spokesperson for the newspaper said, “The Guardian reserves the right to reject any advertisement.”
You might recall that last week, al-Guardian ran an ad by Eli Wiesel which had been rejected by the Times of London.  What you may not know is that as a result of running that ad, al-Guardian received 140 complaints and felt obligated to issue a clarification related to that ad.
A spokesperson for Guardian News & Media, which owns the Guardian, said: "The decision to run any display advertisement in the Guardian is made on a case-by-case basis and there was a full discussion about accepting the advert in question.
"However, the acceptance of advertising from any organisation does not equate to support or endorsement for the views expressed in that advert. The Guardian is fully committed to reporting from the Middle East and our coverage will continue to be independent and robust."
Who says writing letters to the editor doesn't make a difference? It scared the Guardian out of making the same 'mistake' with Dershowitz that it made with Wiesel.

Read the whole thing

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