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January 5, 2014 4:53 pm

Guardian: Only ‘Jews’ Can be Settlers in the West Bank

avatar by Adam Levick

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

The Guardian considers all Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and eastern Jerusalem to be “illegal” under international law. Though we’ve fisked the specious legal and political logic that inspires this view, many other media outlets also parrot this narrative and, so, such routine claims by Guardian reporters are not at all surprising.

However, in glancing at the Guardian Style Guide recently, we came across their definition of the term “settler,” which is much more difficult to fathom.



So,according to the Guardian, only a Jewish citizen of Israel can ever be considered a “settler.”

Now, just think about this for a minute. According to the recent census, there are just over 8 million Israelis. Out of this total population, just under 6.1 million are Jewish and around 1.7 million are Arabs. (The remaining 345,000 people are non-Arab Christians as well as people of other religions and people with no religious affiliation.)

Out of this Arab population, there are more than 270,000 people living in neighborhoods within Jerusalem, which became Israeli territory after the Six Day War (aka, “East” Jerusalem).  This number includes both permanent residents and full citizens.

So, extrapolating from the Guardian’s logic, a Jewish Israeli citizen living in an “East” Jerusalem neighborhood (like Sheikh Jarrah, Gilo, French Hill, Ramot, etc.) is a “settler” living in an “illegal” community. However, per the Guardian, non-Jewish Israeli citizens (Muslims, Christians, etc.) living in the same neighborhood across the green line are not “settlers” and, evidently, not living in an “illegal” community.

While it’s not clear what term the Guardian would recommend when referring to non-Jews who live on the “wrong side” of the boundary, it’s remarkable that the moral and legal status of two Israelis (both with full citizenship) in the same neighborhood – or even the same house – would be considered different based merely on the religion of the particular inhabitant.

They’re saying, in effect, that it is only illegitimate if Jews live in communities beyond the green line – a racist distinction between Jew and non-Jew that even those international bodies (such as the International Court of Justice) condemning such settlements as “illegal” don’t make.

If there is indeed some moral or legal logic at play in the Guardian’s definition of the term “settler” that we’re missing, we’d appreciate it if someone could enlighten us.

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  • A L Rice

    The Guardian is left wing, anti white indigenous Brit,pro Muslim and mass immigration, so I am not surprised it has taken on an anti-semitic mantle. Annoying but I wouldn’t worry too much about it as not too many take the Guardian and even less probably take it seriously.

  • Topcat

    Approx. 204,000 people read The Guardian in Great Britain. Population approx 63.7 million. Love and best wishes from this Limey. Both Limey father and Limey father in law fought for you in second world war. Limey and proud of it. Christian and even prouder.

    • Julian Clovelley

      Again inaccurate information but this time by omission. The Guardian is not just a print newspaper circulating in the UK . It is also a highly influential weekly newspaper circulating in over 170 countries, read by political leaders and members of national intelligentsia including lawyers. The Weekly magazine’s total readership is estimated at 200 thousand on a circulation base of 122 thousand worldwide.

      In addition it is an important online service, free of charge (unlike, for example, the Times) The combined print and online readership statistics would suggest just under 6 million unique readers per week access Guardian articles

      In my own country, Australia, the print media is dominated by two monopolies that jointly control the local news agency. Indeed one such monopoly, the Murdoch Empire, virtually holds the present Australian Government as a puppet Government. This is where the importance of the Guardian shows itself, for it has three local editions. Online it breaks media monopolies and stands up against Right Wing American foreign policy interests

      Small wonder then that as one of the last remaining powerful, social democratically based, media sources in the English language, it finds itself under orchestrated media attack from the political right – most especially for its willingness to report varying views on a single topic.

      What worries me is that the Right Wing campaign to attack social democratic media is being picked up and joined, on the basis of inaccurate information, by members of the Jewish community. I feel I have to ask such people, out of much sympathy and friendship with the Jewish community, “will you never learn?”

      You may not like much of what the Guardian is prepared to report. But the Right’s attacks on it are always based on a desire to censor. The Guardian was important in breaking news stories related to Wikileaks, the Snowden NSA revelations, the use of torture by all sides in the Middle East conflicts – and the Right does not like that.

      Historically – who betrays the Jewish community in the end – the Right or the Left? What were the actual forces that destroyed the Third Reich – the ordinary people amongst the partisans and the allied armies?

      Who were the people that stopped the rise of Fascism in Britain in the thirties, making it possible for Britain to be the nation that held out against Hitler? It was the Left.

      Please don’t make the same mistakes again. If for strategic reasons it is found necessary to sup with the Right in politics, I would use a very long spoon. And never attack those, who when the chips are down are most likely to defend you.

      If I were to put one major point to the Israeli and dispersed Jewish communities, it is that outside those communities the fact that the settlements are considered illegal is fully accepted. This is unlikely ever to change. Nor is the fact that they are considered a major stumbling block in the search for peace that removes Israel in the eyes of much of the world from the moral high ground. Your best friends find their existence – except perhaps as a bargaining chip, profoundly depressing. Several billion people on the face of this planet sincerely do not believe G-d gave the land to anyone in particular. Live with it

      I apologise that my posts have been so long but I feel that Algemeiners readers are being drawn into a serious tactical error on the basis of not liking a portion of what a very important media outlet publishes. One day you may need their help and recognised integrity. It will be there – however rudely you treat them. The Left is like that because at its core is a belief in humanity and in society.

      • If I were to put one major point to the Israeli and “dispersed Jewish communities, it is that outside those communities the fact that the settlements are considered illegal is fully accepted. This is unlikely ever to change. Nor is the fact that they are considered a major stumbling block in the search for peace that removes Israel in the eyes of much of the world from the moral high ground.”

        This just proves how biased you are!

      • yo! julian…
        you’re right when you state”The Left is like that because at its core is a belief in humanity and in society.”
        Those rightest..THEY dont believe in any civility or humainty and certainly not a society.
        The horrible right…How disgusting of them…

        HONESTLY,before I read an article I go to t he closing paragraphUsuallt it sums up the ‘wordy’ story.You convinced me that you are correct. Next time I will vote for obama and hilary clinton and livni and anyone oh yes sharon also. Israel MUST GIVE ITSELF AWAY TO THE LEFT inorder to be right.I THINK YOU ARE A TRAVEL AGENT AND WANT ALL JEWS TO MOVE TO AWAY TO ZIMBABWEH.

        By the way. The roots of australia were aborigines who ate people for a main course and criminals.
        And who are criminals…
        why they are the ‘left’
        against humanity and society.

        So…I am not taking a holiday to australia…
        I dont want to drink the water….
        I dont want to meet you…,
        And why are australian so pompous?
        Is it an overcompensation for their insecurity???
        My theory is that the reincarnated in error come back as donkeys and end up in australia.
        WHA? NOT NICE OF ME?

  • alanash.

    Judea and Samaria were given to the people of Israel by gd . the guardian wants to put their opinion and they go against God.

  • Julian Clovelly

    On a point of information – the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs has a pdf document concerning the legality of the settlements in question. The web page concerned is:

    This states:

    “Under international law,Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including East Jerusalem, are illegal. The illegality of Israeli settlements has been recognised by the international community including through resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”

    It then goes into further detail

    You are attacking a Guardian article which, including the UNOCHA statement concerning legality of the settlements, is a reporting of third party opinion, and of known facts. Mr Levick does not, to my mind, have a leg to stand on in relation to his attack on a highly respected news source

    Mr Levick describes himself as “an Israeli citizen and Zionist activist”. It is interesting to note that the Guardian actually published an article by him on February 10 2010 in which he expressed dissatisfaction with the behaviour of “Christian Aid” in publishing an article from an outside contributor on its webpage.

    Mr Levick’s article in the Guardian resulted in an unreserved apology from Christian Aid and a guarantee that its website (Christian Aid’s)would be far more carefully monitored. They accepted Mr Levicks criticisms in their entirety and agreed the independent material was inappropriate.

    So it seems that Mr Levicks attitude to the Guardian is based on whether it agrees with him at a propagandist or opinion level. He was happy to use it in 2010 to express his own sincere, and in my opinion legitimate views on that occasion, but criticises it when it reports in news form the views of others including the International Court of Justice

    That is a double standard Mr Levick – I think your attack on the Guardian is grossly unfair, inconsistent in terms of your own behaviour, and illogical. I ask readers to examine the relevant pages.

    • Monty Pogoda

      No settlements are illegal. Settlers are not illegal. This land was promised to Israel by G-D long before any of us were born. International court be damned.

  • Claudia

    Mr Adam Levick is correct. I wonder if he discussed his point with the Guardian and what would have been their answer???

  • Sarah

    Ooops! The mask slipped — “criticism of Israel” is just the fig leaf for British Jew-hating. I’m so surprised (not).

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Ok, I’ll enlighten you; the Guardian is animated by a Nazi mentality. Period.

    It really is as simple as that.

  • Better, why not call Arabs living in Israel as ‘settlers’ and their locations of residency as ‘settlements’? No reason not to. If Jews are to be exilled and deported from their homes if an independent state of ‘Palestine’ is establisged, all for peace, why not act similarly to Arabs and move them from Israel to ‘Palestine’ to improve that peace?

  • June Grant

    Proof, if any is needed, that the Guardian is anti-Semitic.

  • Ben Navon

    When are the Brits going to stop settling the Falkland Islands – thousands of KMs from the British Isles. Is this not occupation and settlements so far from home?
    Is might right. I can just see the Brits crying into their warm beer.

  • carol

    Guardian of evil. Such lies can’t survive forever without coming to the light of truth. May their anti-Semitic propaganda days be numbered.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Typical Guardian.

  • Guardian definition some sort of Humpty Dumpty speak: A word means what The Guardian chooses it to mean.!

    George Orwell’s. 1984 Newspeak also comes to mind.

    The destruction of language means the warping of ideas, perceptions and ultimately truth.

  • J.E Hay

    Ignore The Limeys!