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October 20, 2011

An Answer to Jeffrey Goldberg's Question


Since Snapshots is in the question-answering mood — see our most recent post, "An Answer to the New York Times' Question" — let's take a stab at a question posed by Jeffrey Goldberg on his blog today.

Responding to a stunningly surreal article on the Guardian website about the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, Goldberg asks the Guardian: "Shouldn't your editors do a better job of masking prejudice on your website?"

The piece he's talking about, by Deborah Orr, slams Netanyahu, and Israel, and Zionists, and implicitly Jews, for trading over a thousand prisoners for Gilad Shalit. Why? Because, Orr argues, it is evidence that those guilty parties believe the "obscene idea that Israeli lives are more important than Palestinian lives." Later in the piece, she substitutes "the lives of the chosen" for her earlier reference to "Israeli lives."

Hamas's hard-line negotiating position is proof of "Zionist" racism? What can one really say about an idea so obviously shaped by blind hatred rather than rationality? It is, in Goldberg's words, "almost-comical nastiness."

So turning back to his question: Shouldn't Guardian editors do a better job at masking prejudice?

No. The Zeitgeist that produces Orr's piece is the same one that colors the newspaper's distorted treatment of Israel in general, and its better for people know it.

Modern haters tend to realize that masked prejudice has more power to influence than the unmasked variety. And if an observer tries to remove the mask, or even just tries to rebut a hateful slur, they're frequently attacked for "using the anti-Semitism card." Better, then, for the hater to remove his or her own mask. If Guardian editors want to make their anti-Israel bigotry more apparent, let them. Hopefully the reasonable public will take note.

Posted by GI at October 20, 2011 12:51 PM


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