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March 23, 2015 7:46 am

The Guardian Appoints Anti-Israel Propagandist as Editor-in-Chief

avatar by Adam Levick

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Rachel Corrie. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

On Friday the Guardian announced that Katharine Viner, deputy editor of the Guardian and editor-in-chief of Guardian US, was appointed as their new editor-in-chief.

The decision was not a surprise to those following the media group’s search for a new chief editor.

In December, I was asked by Josh Jackman of the The Jewish Chronicle to share my thoughts on the announcement that Alan Rusbridger was stepping down as the newspaper’s editor-in-chief after more than 20 years at the helm, and how the appointment of a new editor may affect their Middle East coverage. I told Jackman that the Guardian was institutionally biased against Israel and I wasn’t optimistic that a new editor would have a positive effect.

Specifically, I noted that Viner, one of the top early contenders for the job, could possibly even push the media group to adopt an even more pronounced pro-Palestinian stance.

My concerns were largely based on the fact that Viner was the co-creator of an anti-Israel play called ‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’, a piece of theatrical agitprop about the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist killed in March 2003 while attempting to stop an IDF anti-terror operation in Gaza.

In a review in 2005, Times of London culture critic Clive Davis characterized the play as “an element of unvarnished propaganda…with no attempt to set the violence in context.” “We are left,” he complained, “with the impression of unarmed civilians being crushed by faceless militarists.” At one point in the play, Corrie declares, “The vast majority of Palestinians right now, as far as I can tell, are engaging in Gandhian non-violent resistance.” As Davis noted, “Even the late Yasser Arafat might have blushed at that one.”

On March 16th, 2013, Viner tweeted this: “10 years ago today, Rachel Corrie, 23, was crushed to death beneath an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza. Thinking of her and her family this Mar 16”

Tellingly, the Guardian’s coverage of the Rachel Corrie saga – including the civil law suit brought by the parents of Corrie –  has been similarly obsessive, tendentious, and breezily unconcerned with the facts. (A complaint we filed with the Press Complaints Commission in 2013 regarding an extremely misleading Guardian editorial prompted editors to add an important addendum.)

Moreover, as noted on these pages several years ago, Rachel Corrie is not Ms. Viner’s only Middle Eastern heroine. In 2001 Viner interviewed the terrorist Leila Khaled, opening her article with words that seem to glorify terrorism.

“In a way, the whole story is in the ring. The iconic photograph of Leila Khaled, the picture which made her the symbol of Palestinian resistance and female power, is extraordinary in many ways: the gun held in fragile hands, the shiny hair wrapped in a keffiah , the delicate Audrey Hepburn face refusing to meet your eye. But it’s the ring, resting delicately on her third finger. To fuse an object of feminine adornment, of frivolity, with a bullet: that is Khaled’s story, the reason behind her image’s enduring power. Beauty mixed with violence….And the ring? “I made it from the pin of a hand grenade – from the first grenade I ever used in training,” she says. “I just wrapped it around a bullet.”

With the departure of Rusbridger, the Guardian could have chosen an editor committed to abandoning the radical left ideology that has informed so much of their visceral hostility towards Israel, and taken steps to repair their fractured relationship with the British Jewish community. Instead, they hired as chief editor an ideologue more closely aligned – at least on the Palestinian issue – to the editorial style of Electronic Intifada than that of a ‘respectable’ British newspaper.

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

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  • I totaly agre with Adam, the Guardian lost its respectable news paper statutes a long time ago.
    The situation in the Midle East is catastrophic ,the people that live in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Aothoroty are brutally intimidated and repressed , any descend ,the whole extended family is punished , than Hamas and I’ts charter, open murder for descent. Lebanon under the control of Iran-Herzbulla,Syria’s bloodthirsty war, the never mentioned war in the Sinai , Jordan’s and Soudi Arabia,s war with Iranian proxies in Yemen . These countries all border Israel ,

  • Julian Clovelley

    What you are experiencing Adam is not the Guardian’s drift away from Israel but the Zionist drift towards the extreme right. As the viewpoint becomes more fascist it appears that the world is changing, when in fact it is you that are changing.

    I note it in Algemeiner too. The drift to the Right threatens the Jewish community with the loss of some of their staunchest sympathisers. It is foolhardy and dangerous, for the Community will first isolate itself from humanitarian sympathy, and then be betrayed by the Right

    Its the Weimar Republic scenario. The nodal point is complete isolation.

    Think again Adam. The Jewish Right is the Jewish communities’ greatest and most malignant threat. It is a threat of the magnitude of a Fifth Column.

    In the West Bank the greatest fear is that extremism will take over amongst the Palestinian communities as an act of desperation on their part. I find myself unable to even type where I fear this will lead.

    Your critics are right – and you are horribly, horribly, wrong!

  • Spoiled, ugly eurasian trash

    Spoiled, ugly eurasian trash stop spreading into the rest of the world and stay in your ugly continent europe.

    Many Israelis and Global South can easily invade Europe and be rid of you pests once and for all.

    • Alan Bernson

      Jullian Clovelly : Regarding Adam’s column that speaks of Jews drifting to the Right.

      Mr. Clovelly does not approve of the idea that Jews are drifting to the right.

      Mr.Clovelly, I am a Jewish person who is 86 years old and live in the USA.My grandparents came to America circa 1895.

      In the USA, in Britain, in Europe and in the Arab world, the left supports the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of each and every one of its 6 million Jews.

      Why would any Jew who is sane support the left and its ghoulish objectives ?

      Alan Bernson

      • Julian Clovelley

        Easy answer

        A Holocaust survivor who was of mature age in 1933 would have to be over 100 by now. It is too late to directly pose your question. So I suggest you read a history book – preferably several – of the Weimar period and of the rise of Hitler

        You’ll find your answer there. The Leftists and Social Democrats who tried to block the rise of the Nazis largely ended up in camps such as Dachau – unless they had the good fortune to get out in time or were killed.

        I’m knocking seventy myself – No-one is too old to learn. it was largely the Left that provided the resistance to Hitler and Mussolini, and Franco for that matter, and brought the war to an end

        • elixelx

          Churchill was “Left”? De gaulle was “Left”?
          Eisenhower was “Left”?
          You are saying that the handful of French socialists who collaborated with the nazis as much as opposed them, THEY brought the war to an end?
          Wow! Your ignorance of History is only exceeded by your self-regard.
          You, sir, are a arrogant pedant.

  • Arnest Mekvan PhD

    The media politics often use for false propaganda against the nation/individual who do not dance at the tune of the USA is a common practice. Catherine Viner editor in chief of the ‘Guardian’is not surprise.As the people believe that Guardian is biased at Israel.The bias reporting against Israeli people and the Israeli PM will not generate good picture in international media and thereby ‘The Guardian’ will looses its popularity. Unbiased reporting is a positive part of the press or of the media.And they should stick to it.

  • The Guardian is one of the ‘usual suspects’ along with the BBC and The Independent. The Press Complaints Commission is nearly useless. Years back The Independent covered a case of a man falsely accused of child abuse. The jury and judge threw the case out because it was so unsound. The Independent gave it very slanted coverage and when I wrote a careful reply, which The Independent refused to print, the ruling by the Complaints Commission was that no one can complain unless they have been named. Saying all Jews eat children for breakfast is therefore Okay, as long as you don’t name any specific Jews. The BBC commissioned an idependent report on its Middle East coverage, and then refused to publish the report! The court ruled it was an internal report and technically not covered by the freedom of information law.

  • VictorMc

    EVERYONE in Britain anyway has known for many many years that the G******* is a nasty anti-Semitic rag, always has been always will be.
    The G******* is always bordering on the edge of bankruptcy and is slowly selling off it’s tradable assets- their biggest profit maker the “Auto Trader” being the most profitable THING THEY OWNED WAS SOLD OFF 2 YEARS AGO. The Scott trust who were the original (family) owners in the thirties of the Manchester G******* have given up on them ages ago. Hopefully the bailiffs will call soon.

    • Julian Clovelley

      On a point of fact the Guardian is very far from Bankruptcy and its online service one of the world’s most successful

      The Guardian is not run like most newspapers – It does not have the aim of making massive Corporate profits

  • Heinrich

    Well, she’s prettier than Goebbels, but that’s about the only obvious difference.

  • Bullfrog Europe

    Vines, Robert Fisk, Orla Guerin, just a few of the names that bring the Guardian’s reputation of being anti Semitic and anti Israel. An interesting newspaper, ruined by the ‘poison pen’ of a vociferous minority.

  • steven L

    Guardian openly antisemitic. Not News.

  • Isaac Bensussen

    The British Government has never been sympathetic to the State of Israel; since their
    begininings. Now the British are having a lot of anti-Semitic incidents in England. The Government has the obligation to protect all of its citizens. Many of the Jews living in England were born in England and I am sure that many of them, if not all, are outstanding citizens cooperating everyday for England’s success. Having a notorious pro-Palestinian at the helm of The Guardian US will insure continuous attacks of anti-semitism masquerading as anti-Israel. Stop the harassing.

    • Julian Clovelley

      if it hadn’t been for the Balfour Declaration there would be no Israel

  • Jack

    The belief that ‘abandoning the radical left ideology that has informed so much of their visceral hostility towards Israel,’ is misinformation at best.
    Hamas and it’s supporters, ‘the radical left’ are a form of neo-Nazism. And yes, it was called the National Socialist Workers Party under Hitler.
    They pretend to be radical left, just like the Nazis.
    Pretenders, thugs, criminals, and just as dangerous.

  • Virginia Apple

    It is the Nazis all over again. How these people live with themselves is beyond my ability to fathom. Palestine needs its own state? Great! Let the Arab countries surrounding them give them land to establish a country of their own. They have plenty of land to donate, and oil money to build with. Look at Abu Dhabi building islands out of nothing. But,oh wait!! Then they couldn’t justify tormenting Israel, or their brutal attacks on innocent Israelis. Even some of the Americans of Jewish descent are fighting and siding against Israel. They cannot be justified in calling themselves Jews. I expect no less from the muslims but for Jews to attack Israel is beyond the pale. It makes me sick!


      kuddo’s to your statement,,,NO TRUER WORDS CAN BE SAID….J STREET…I m not afraid to state this.

    • Julian Clovelley

      Palestine has a country of their own

      But unfortunately a foreign nation has built settlements in it and to preserve that de-facto invasion they occupy it

      A conflict two generations ago is no excuse for the continuing occupation

      Israel should have left some forty five years ago

      Palestinians who were involved in that conflict would mostly be in their seventies and older now