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December 22, 2013 5:19 pm

Guardian Mourns a Palestinian Who Asked: Are Jews Evil by Nature?

avatar by Adam Levick

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The Guardian newspaper's London offices. Photo: Derek Harper.

What exactly does it take to disqualify a Palestinian from being canonized as a liberal human rights activist by the Guardian Left?  This question came to mind when reading a Guardian obituary for Eyad Sarraj, who died recently at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem where he was being treated for cancer.

The obit was written by the Guardian’s former associate foreign editor Victoria Brittain, a Palestine Solidarity Campaign patron who recently penned a spirited defense at ‘Comment is Free’ of radical Islamist preacher (and suspected  al-Qaeda operative) Abu Qatada.

Brittain begins by acknowledging the personal nature of her relationship with Sarraj:

My friend and mentor Eyad Sarraj, who has died aged 69 after suffering from multiple myeloma, was not only Gaza’s first and most distinguished psychiatrist, but also a tireless chronicler of pain and resilience in that tiny, crowded territory under occupation and Israeli firepower.

Brittain then engages in a bit of historical white washing:

Eyad [Sarraj] was born in Palestine under the British mandate, in Bir al-Saba, which became Beersheva after the establishment of Israel…Returning to Gaza, he lived through the violence of the Israeli military against the youthful defiance of the first intifada in 1988, which left a new generation traumatised

Of course, the intifada Brittain alludes to – which raged between 1987 and 1993 – included hundreds of terror attacks by Palestinians using weapons such as Molotov cocktails, hand grenades, and assault rifles. Two hundred Israelis were killed, thousands injured, and countless more “traumatised” by such acts of “youthful defiance.”

Brittain adds the following:

In 1990, he founded the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme [GCMHP] and built a team of 40 specialists, many of them with the experience of Israeli prisons’ torture and forced collaborations. Every suffering family’s door was open to the GCMHP, which became a key part of Gaza’s ability to function against all the odds.

However, as head of the GCMHP, Sarraj cynically exploited his ‘expertise’ to “psychoanalyze” Israeli villainy, a record of demonizing rhetoric that included his allegation that “inside Israel there is an identification with the aggressor, the Nazi.”

Brittain then concludes her beatification:

He was a father figure in Gaza – foreign delegations always wanted to call on him, friends phoned him from around the world to get Gaza’s news, especially when it was bad. The texture of his life was in the assassinations, bombed homes, arrested fathers, attempted suicide bombings, and their consequences of trauma and dysfunction in GCMHP’s everyday work. His private strength was buttressed with quiet early morning walks on the beach, where he was greeted by fishermen and children going to school, and with evening talks with friends in his book-lined home.

From 2002 the occasional sharing of these walks and times with Eyad in Gaza, or in London, always meant new understanding and a renewal of optimism that against all odds Gaza’s exceptional people could transform the grimmest of times.

Eyad [Sarraj] received many honours including, in 1997, the Physicians for Human Rights award, and, in 1998, the Martin Ennals award for human rights defenders. In 2010, he won the Olof Palme prize for his self-sacrificing struggle for the Palestinian people. He was a key witness to the Goldstone report on Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09.

However, in addition to the fact that Sarraj was on the Gaza Advisory Council of the international “pro-Hamas umbrella organization,” called the Free Gaza Movement, there’s one especially relevant piece of history Brittain left out that seems quite relevant in assessing his overall moral legacy.

In an interview with Tikkun in 2003, Sarraj said:

I’ve asked myself: ‘Are they evil by nature, these Jews? Or are they stupid, born mentally subnormal? Why are they doing this?’ It’s unbelievable. And I found after long, long thinking about it that they are not born evil. And they are not stupid. They are psycho-pathologically disturbed.”

As we’ve argued in previous posts, the most egregious problem at the Guardian is not explicitly Judeophobic commentary, but, rather, the moral cover the media group’s contributors often provide for Palestinians with well-documented records of engaging in anti-Jewish racism.

Victoria Brittain’s Guardian obituary for the Palestinian ‘activist’ represents yet another example of their ubiquitous antisemitic sins of omission.

Adam Levick is the managing editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

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  • j

    He was obviously poisoned at Hadassah Hospital. Probably with the same pollonium used to kill Yasser Arafat.

    I agree by the way, let these Jew hating dogs be treated at their own filthy third world or less hospitals, the Jews do not need to treat them. They are the worlds new Nazis, do Jewish resources really need to go towards healing them?

    Certainly, the world is a better place with less Palestinian terrorist apologists and supporters.

    May he rest in Hell.

    • Mireille Mechoullam

      I agree. He will be in good company with his likes. Just I wonder why Hadassah hospital take care of theses no good for nothing.

      • Geoff

        Israel has higher standards than the Palestinians and most other countries in the world, in spite of being under attack from its enemies. It cannot drop those standards but has to continue trying to make others aspire to them, especially Palestinians and Guardian staff and readers. It is indeed unfortunate that Israel has to provide healthcare for its sworn enemies, but it cannot turn away people in need of such treatment. But the Guardian, once a respectable and responsible newspaper, has become a rag that supports all enemies of Israel (and Jews?). The editorial department from its editor downwards and its trustees, must all be replaced.

  • Sandy Brown

    Having lived in the Middle East and worked in the News for a long time, I believe the the Arabs are full of venom and hatred that will never go. I do not believe the Jews are evil by nature. That is just rubbish made up by some left-wing stupid mare.

  • A Zionist

    In today’s Jerusalem Post, Susan Hattis Rolef’s article, “In memory of Dr. Eyad el-Sarraj” is a glowing memorial to this man.
    It is now a feature of the moralizing left-wing to be guilty of lying by omission of salient facts. To the ordinary reader of JPost, or The Guardian, this man becomes a “Mandala-like” hero who was, “more concerned with Palestinian responsibility for the Palestinian situation, than with blaming Israel . . .”
    It should be noted that in the UK psychotherapists and especially psychoanalytic clinicians have been infected by a “spontaneous contagion” which intentionally and maliciously seeks to use psychoanalysis, “the Jewish science”, in order to pathologise Israeli Jews, Zionists and Zionism. This includes, for example, Professor Jacqueline Rose, a professor of English at Queen Mary College, university of London, who in her celebrated book, “A Question of Zion”, manages to twist the history of Zionism, using a perverse understanding of history and psychoanalysis and who, like this psychiatrist, turns the victims (Jews) into oppressors (Nazis).

  • Lynne T

    When Israel’s occupation of Gaza started after the ’67 war, it was a malerial swamp under Egyptian administration. Since the 2005 evacuation, under Hamas’s “governance” it has what may be the worst unemployment rate in the region.

    I’m sure nobody at the Guardian has ever bothered to do a real fact based socio-economic analysis of the “harm” Israel did in the intervening years, when a number of universities where built where none formerly existed and a flourising greenhouse industry, but really, someone should.

  • Typical screwed up, wacky psychiatrist.Cancer was too good for him.

  • I survived four concentration camps and a death march. My father and forty members of my family were murdered.

    Since 1985 I have lectured on the Shoah at some 500 schools, including yearly at two German schools. When I leave and a little German girl runs after me and just says:”Thank you,” I know that I have not added to the hatred that caused the Shoah.

    And if you refuse to treat that Nazi then what have you achieved? Does that make you feel proud?

    • j

      Yes, I would feel proud to watch a Jew hating dog die a painful and lingering death by not being treated in a Jewish hospital…

  • Zyx

    This terrorist dying at an “evil Jewish” hospital, shouldn’t that be called poetic justice?

  • Marta Mikey Frid

    More than 2000 years of systematic vilification and virulent defamation of the Jews — as the Christ killers by Christianity — cannot be expected to dissipate with any kind of reason from the DNA of the do-gooders of this world who prefer dogma to truth.
    Anything to release their anger and hatred. If they were not so pathetic and malevolent, they would be entitled to contempt only.

  • Bart A. Charta

    Ah…………..another Arab just how I like ’em……dead.

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    Why was this creature being treated for cancer in Hadassah Hospital? This is not an example of blessed Israeli humanitarianism-it is an example of addled ultra-liberal starry-eyed unrealism. Should some elderly Nazi war criminal be treated in an Israeli hospital?

  • Herb Loomer

    It would be interesting to know whether Victoria mentioned in her obit that Mr. Sarraj died at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem where he was being treated for cancer. It kind of rebuts her anti-Semitic demonizing of Jews and of Israel. Even someone of her stripe must realize that.

  • Emil Schafer

    Altho he hated Jews and Israels, apparently chose to die in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital. Why would he chose to die in a JEWISH/ISRAELI hospital?Strange that the Guardian did not mention that…

  • Kris Kristian

    Time ffor the world to stop the Palestinians from calling Gaza “occupied”
    It has not been ocupied for a number of years now.

    But, what better way to get woeld sympathy, than to say they ar Occupied and living in the biggest prison in the world.
    Time for Israel to stop supplying their enemy who has a charter to destroy Israel and every Jew.

    Israel supplies Gaza is hundreds of tons of food , medicines electricty etc.
    Let them feed themselves, if they are capable of doing anything other than produce weapons to murder Jews.

  • Alter

    They refer to Edomite converts to Judaism who are in charge to punish them. They are the “numerous westerners” (Zohar I, 25a).Unfortunately, Jewish blood is still scarce even in Israel.

  • Wallace Brand

    He died in a Hadassah hospital. Those evil jews.

  • Julian Clovelly

    The constant attacks on the Guardian newspaper to my mind demonstrate ignorance concerning the type of newspaper the Guardian is, and the intellectual nature of its readership – largely online and largely very well educated.

    Monopolistic press barons who use their media to press personal, or in some cases concealed national foreign policy and intelligence agendas, have led people to expect newspapers to be spearheads of a particular political view. The reader buys them because he agrees with them, and therefore is complicit in his own brainwashing

    That is not the role of a newspaper. A newspaper should make viewpoints available for people to examine and understand. I do not expect to agree with everything I read in the Guardian – and most of their readers would be the same. But the newspaper grants me access, so I can see those alternative views, even though my reaction to them might be negative. The Guardian online also runs a very active comments forum for most articles- there is plenty of space usually for refutation, use it.

    A few days ago Algemeine was asking why it was that the Left seems to be so unsympathetic to the Israeli cause. Well part of it is the adherence towards the extreme Right in American politics. It is not so much Israel itself that is being questioned, but the friends it currently – to my mind, understandably – seeks. Attacks on the Guardian as an institution generally, and not on individual items specifically, will not win any friends

    I live in Australia. we are dominated by two media Empires, the largest being the Murdoch Empire. Murdoch media is largely responsible for the destabilisation of our former minority Government, and for the election of an ultra Right Government, run by a person brought up as a Jesuit – who can’t even grasp Climate Change Science. That new Government has lost majority popularity in just three months, but we are stuck with it.

    The Guardian is the only media source of any size that provides the independent views(sic) – It opened up its Australian edition just before the election in September

    We need it desperately here. Think twice before blanket attacking it. To many conscious people, when you do that you ally yourself with some very evil forces in the world. The Guardian is very important to preserving our Democracy here and provides an accessible voice for many in an even worse situation

    Maybe you should encourage your readers to take a look at it and maybe even contribute comments. the online UK edition – from which you can access all local editions is on

    Will Algemeine be as open as the Guardian is to helping people access a variety of views? Let’s see if you publish this unedited. I read Algemeine and am not so upset when you publish views counter to my own, by the way. Isn’t it good to understand each other?

    Kindest Regards Julian

    • A Zionist

      The reader would be well advised to attend to Comment Is Free website, which examines and deconstructs the lies and biases so deep inside The Guardian that it is now acknowledged, by a BBC newscaster, that the BBC now takes its news reporting from The Guardian. This is not an example of intelligence, but an example of the incapacity to think and reflect.

      For those who are interested in The Guardian, see here:

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Typical of the Guardian. The truth means nothing to the