This headline in the Guardian commentary section may have caused some to do a double-take this morning: “Our absurd obsession with Israel is laid bare.” Sadly, it wasn’t the title of a long-overdue introspective editorial by the Guardian staff. But it was something almost as good — an excellent column by Nick Cohen about how the Israel-centric view of the Middle East has been discredited by recent events. And there was really no better place for it to be published than in the Guardian’s exceedingly anti-Israel Comment-is-free section.
The Guardian’s predilection for over-the-top anti-Israel commentary has been well-documented. It’s editorial board has taken views similar to Hamas’s on the peace process, it has published letters applauding terrorism against Israelis, and it recently printed a highly offensive cartoon of President Mahmoud Abbas dressed up like an Orthodox Jew.
And while Guardian editors may equate their anti-Israel views with anti-imperialism, Cohen points out in his column that the demonization of Israel has actually helped keep the autocratic leaders of the Muslim world in power:
Far from being a cause of the revolution, antagonism to Israel everywhere served the interests of oppressors. Europeans have no right to be surprised. Of all people, we ought to know from our experience of Nazism that antisemitism is a conspiracy theory about power, rather than a standard racist hatred of poor immigrants. Fascistic regimes reached for it when they sought to deny their own people liberty. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the forgery the far-right wing of the decaying tsarist regime issued in 1903 to convince Russians they should continue to obey the tsar’s every command, denounces human rights and democracy as facades behind which the secret Jewish rulers of the world manipulated gullible gentiles.
The Guardian has been one of the loudest and most reliable mouthpieces of anti-Israel propaganda in the media. Perhaps Cohen’s column will finally cause readers to pause and consider who is actually benefiting from the paper’s editorial slant.