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Thursday, October 22, 2009

The dirt known as 'Comment is Free'

On Tuesday, Harold Evans, a former editor-in-chief of the Sunday Times of London, wrote an article in the Guardian's Comment is Free section in which he accused Richard Goldstone of allowing terror groups to use him to pillory Israel in the report that bears his name and took his own government to task for its cowardly non-vote at the United Nations 'Human Rights Council' last Friday.
Only six refused to join the farce – Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Ukraine and the US. Britain didn't just abstain. It shirked voting at all (along with those beacons of civilisation Angola, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, and surprisingly, France).

Of course, here the fig leaf for being scared of dictators, especially oil-rich abusers, is the report by the South African judge Richard Goldstone. Poor Judge Goldstone now regrets how his good name has been used to single out Israel. The Swiss paper Le Temps reports him complaining that "This draft [UN human rights council] resolution saddens me … there is not a single phrase condemning Hamas as we have done in the report. I hope the council can modify the text." Fat hope.

The truth is he was suckered into lending his good name to a half-baked report – read its 575 pages and see. He said that, as a Jew himself, he was surprised to be invited. He shouldn't have been, and should never have accepted leadership of a commission whose terms of reference were designed to excuse the aggressor, Hamas, and punish the defender, Israel. The council's decision was to "dispatch an urgent, independent, international fact-finding mission … to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression, and [it] calls upon Israel not to obstruct the process of investigation and to fully co-operate with the mission".
Evans' article was well-written and I actually thought about doing a post on it, but there has been no shortage of topics on which to write this week, and so I let it pass (yes, I read even more articles in a day than what I post here).

But what was most unusual about Evans' article was where it appeared: The Guardian, arguably London's most anti-Semitic newspaper (the Independent is also a competitor for that title). It's rare that a pro-Israel voice is heard in the Guardian. And apparently, even when it happens it's severely limited.

If you want to know how the Guardian got its reputation, go over to Comment is Free Watch (at least some of whose contributors are regular readers of mine) and have a look at what happened in the comment thread for Evans' article (including many posts that were deleted. Warning: You will feel like you have to shower after reading this thread so be prepared. The bottom line, according to Hawkeye, is that the Guardian deletes nearly all pro-Israel comments in the comment thread.
And what would a CiF thread be without enforcement of the GWV? Here are a selection of pro-Israel comments on the thread that were deleted (all of anotherdayanother’s comments were deleted without trace) leaving only a few solitary pro-Israel comments standing among a sea of anti-Israel comments.
And you thought that on more public sites than mine, the only reason a comment would be deleted is that it uses what George Carlin once called the 'seven dirty words.' Not in 2009 and not in the Guardian.

The Guardian is determined to maintain its anti-Israel worldview. So long as it is one of London's leading newspapers, a large segment of British intellectuals will never know that there is an Israeli side to any story.

Read the whole thing.


At 9:05 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

There is an antipathy to Israel in the UK and Europe that exists independent of the facts. Such people do not want to be shown they're wrong. Moreover, they want to keep other people from learning they are wrong. As a result of their aggressive censorship, its rare for people in Europe to know Israel even has a case at all. That's why Israeli hasbara is not going to be of much help.


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