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March 27, 2006

Guardian Columnist: Israel is Vicious

wheatcroft.gifA column in the Guardian (March 24) by Geoffrey Wheatcroft shows how deeply entrenched is the anti-Israel attitude at the newspaper.

In an article subtitled "Liberals were once happy to overlook the country's crimes," Wheatcroft decries the Israeli raid on the Jericho prison, without even mentioning that the raid occurred because the new Hamas government announced their intention to release Palestinians held there who were accused of committing terrorist acts against Israel—including PFLP terrorist Ahmad Sa'adat, responsible for murdering a former Israeli cabinet minister. This, despite the agreement worked out in May 2002, where Israel turned over the terrorists to the Palestinians so long as the Palestinian Authority agreed to the stationing of British and American observers to ensure the terrorists remained in jail. Fearing for their own safety in light of recent threats, the British guards abandoned the jail, precipitating the Israeli operation. According to Wheatcroft:

It's very hard to recall the esteem and goodwill in which Israel once basked, not least on the broad liberal left, where there is now a received view that Israel has deserved this change in affections: that Israel and Zionism are vicious now, having been virtuous once. The view may be almost universal ...

He cites as examples of Israeli viciousness, Jenin (where Israel was falsely accused of committing a massacre), targeted assassinations, and alleged F16 attacks on refugee camps. In Wheatcroft's view, it seems, all attempts by Israel to combat terrorism are acts of viciousness. Wheatcroft also includes an out-of-context quote by Moshe Dayan —"There is not one single place that did not have a former Arab population"—frequently found on anti-israel web sites. Wheatcroft maintains that Israel was born in original sin and repeats the debunked accusation that Israel was founded by the ethnic cleansing of the Arabs.

Posted by SS at March 27, 2006 05:55 PM

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