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« Chaos: the answer to the Palestinian Question | Main | The one that got away »
Monday
Apr032006

A sheep-like wolf, no friend of Palestine

A friend said to me recently that "you should pick your battles." I am sure, as some may agree, that there was some kernal of wisdom contained in those words. The friend was referring, for some as-yet-unfathomable reason, to my periodic words of wisdom on this blog.

But, as one African sage said, wisdom is like a goatskin bag - each man carries his own. But enough of that, let's get the game afoot.

jonathanfreedland_128x256.gifMy beef today concerns the journalistic output of a writer on what periodic readers of this blog will recognise as my "favoutite" paper, the London Guardian, in particular this fellows words of wisdom on the Palestine Question. His name is Jonathan Freedland, a columnist on said paper.

Freedland has for many moons been pontificating on the progress, or the lack thereof, of the alleged peace process in Israel and the occupied territories, casting himself as the Western liberal who, inspite of his Jewish heritage, is a liberal nontheless and is interested in a just settlement for the Palestinian people. Like many avid followers of his offerings, I was initially duped into taking the words at face value - until something made me sit up and become a more discerning, as opposed to a fawning, reader.

Subsequent rereadings of his pieces on the Palestinian issue - with huge dollops of textual analysis - revealed that this man was at the very least no friend of the Palestinians and their cause. He was a Jewish hawk masquerading as a dove, a sheep-like wolf whose insidious pro-Zionist prose in that organ has done a great disservice to a cause of which he pretends to be a supporter. Interested parties may like to pay a visit to the Guardian website and call up his articles.

There have been many "clinchers" before, but the monumental one, if you like, came yesterday morning on the Andrew Marr programme on BBC 1, when he pontificated on the recent Israeli elections. According to Mr Freedland, the election results had confounded everyone, including the "rightwing" Likud of former prime minister Netanyahu, by showing that the Israeli people were not in favour of permanent war with the Palestinians.

So far, so good, so liberal. That is something you would expect any right-thinking "liberal" to subscribe to. But this was followed, in the same breath, by words to the effect that the prime minister desgnate, Ehud Ohlmert, was rightly going to give up a few settlements in occupied Palestine while holding on to the larger settlements with the aim of establishing Israel's "final borders".

To a seasoned observer like yours truly this was not a bolt from the blue. But to others who had wrongly believed that Freedland was one of these Jewish liberals who had seen the light of social justice for the Palestinians, it must have come as a bit of a shock. Especially as he was on the programme promoting a book he is supposed to have writen under the pseudonym of Jason or John Bourne!

It beats me how a supposedly liberal writer could aim to plug his new tome successfully by espousing such reactionary views. I may be missing something here but, believe you me, I know not what!

All who have eyes to see - not to mention presumably liberal journalists on the side of the Palestinian cause - could see through the cynical ploy of Sharon creating the Kadima party, which was a blatant attempt to seal the fate of the dispossessed Palestinians in their dismembered Bantustans in a final bid to stem the inevitability of Israel reverting to its pre-1967 borders.

Maybe it's too early to say that other observers failed to pick up on this faux pas by the eminent Guardian columnist, given that it took place just yesterday morning. But it is safe to assume that it will go largely unchallenged as a consquence of the "gentleman's agreement" between members of Britain's fourth estate not to openly criticise each other. But this can not go unchallenged. This is insidious and pernicious pro-Zionist cheerleading of the worst kind.

Mr Freedland, as mentioned above, has over-stepped the bounds of a supposed liberal journalist on several occasions before. We have been reticent in highlighting this for the simple reason that we felt that a word to the wise - without naming names - would have sufficed.

In a previous post on this blog, I wrote, "A just resolution of the Israel-Palestine issue presupposes the active involvement of Jewish people in the media – and this involvement should be on the side of what is right and just. They should stand up and be counted, just as whites did in the case of apartheid. I recently read a piece about anti-semitism. It was a good piece, the only problem being that there was no word against Israeli policies in Palestine. My contention here is that every article written, especially think pieces should spare at least a sentence to explain that a just settlement is required for peace. Only by such reporting can official Israeli propaganda be countered, and more people won over to the task that needs to be performed. "

The "good piece" mentioned was penned by none other than one Mr Freedland. This piece is more or less finished. All that remains s for me is to open my goatskin bag and reveal the "wisdom" for Mr Freedland therein: "Write under your true colours, like the rest of us do!"