Palestinians Get Off Scot Free

scotsmanlogoHR UK drew attention to an anti-Israel polemic in The Scotsman by artist Jane Frere, publicising her new exhibition. Despite this propaganda piece employing analogies between Israel and Nazi Germany, promoting historical revisionism and making serious and unsubstantiated allegations against the Israeli military, The Scotsman did not see fit, to the best of our knowledge, to print any letters in response.

Instead, The Scotsman compounded the bias by publishing a review of Frere’s exhibition, again drawing upon Frere’s original article. Frere, relying on anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe, claims that “the creation of the state of Israel… required a deliberate strategy to rid the land of as many of its indigenous population as possible, through a process of violence and terror.”

Ignoring legitimate Jewish historical ties to the region and the fact that there had never been a sovereign state of Palestine throughout history, the reviewer Duncan Macmillan then claims:

the people of Palestine were driven into exile exactly as the Jews themselves had been driven from the same land by the Romans 2,000 years before. Two wrongs can never make a right, however, even when that first tragedy of the Jews was compounded by the greater evil perpetrated against them by the Nazis.

Bizarrely, and in the face of Frere’s original polemic, Macmillan states that “Jane Frere is not political, however. It is not her intention to join this painful argument on one side or the other, only to let the people speak through art.” Frere’s anti-Israel promotion of her exhibition in The Scotsman, its subsequent review and the lack of any balancing opinion or letters addressing the highly problematic content of these articles, have certainly made this political.

As if to demonstrate its one-sided approach, The Scotsman, one day after its art review, published an article by a staff member of the Hadeel Palestinian Fair Trade shop in Edinburgh recalling a recent visit to Gaza and simplistically stating: “The siege of Gaza must end, and so must the restrictions on Palestinian life and trade. The so-called peace process is unfair and getting nowhere.”

Please write to The Scotsman, responding to recent articles and asking why the newspaper is consistently taking such a one-sided policy towards Israel and the Palestinians – http://members.scotsman.com/contact.cfm

A FISHERMAN’S TALE 

sundayherald

Staying with the Gaza situation, Scotland’s Sunday Herald looks at the effects of Israeli security measures on Palestinian fishermen. However, much like a previous article in The Guardian, some vital context is missing concerning the reasons behind Israel’s policing of the Gaza coastline.

As an aide to former Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh recently admitted, Iranian-made Grad rockets are smuggled into Gaza across the Mediterranean Sea.

As The Jerusalem Post reported, Iran uses floatable devices that it drops near the waters off the Gaza coast to be picked up by Palestinian fisherman.

“They throw the weapons overboard in waterproof, sealed tubes which then float into the Gaza waters and are picked up by fishermen,” one official said. “Sometimes Navy boats intercept them and sometimes they get through.”

Please post your considered comments at the bottom of The Sunday Herald’s article.

GUARDIAN GETS ITS DATES WRONG

In its obituary for Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, The Guardian wrongly claims that: “Israeli Arabs lived under military rule from 1948 to 1986. They were curbed in their movements and in any political activity.”

In fact, while Israeli Arabs did live under emergency martial law following the War of Independence, these restrictions were removed in their entirety in 1966 and not 1986 as stated.

Please e-mail the readers’ editor at reader@guardian.co.uk to correct this mistake.

REPORT DETAILS ANTI-SEMITISM AT COMMENT IS FREE

ciflogoA copy of a detailed report spotlighting anti-Semitism in The Guardian’s Comment is Free blog site has just been published on Zionism On the Web (pdf format).

Jonathan Hoffman, who authored the 57-page study, has submitted his findings to the UK Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism and the US State Department’s Office to Combat and Monitor Anti-Semitism.

Some highlights of Hoffman’s study:

  • The majority writers commissioned by CiF view the Jewish character of Israel as undesirable or unimportant.
  • The sheer volume of anti-Zionist commentary promotes anti-Semitic discourse.
  • Victims of CiF’s anti-Semitism are saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the posts and comments.
  • The extent of the section’s anti-Semitism contravenes The Guardian’s own standards.

Read the report (pdf format) here.

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