Wednesday, May 24th | 28 Iyyar 5777

Close

Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

Subscribe
May 3, 2016 6:39 am

The Guardian and the Telegraph: Creating a ‘Safe Space’ for Anti-Zionists?

avatar by Adam Levick

Email a copy of "The Guardian and the Telegraph: Creating a ‘Safe Space’ for Anti-Zionists?" to a friend
Jeremy Corbyn addresses Labour Friends of Israel, vexing one heckler for failing to mention "Israel" by name when attacking Jews. Photo: Screenshot

Jeremy Corbyn addresses Labour Friends of Israel, vexing one heckler for failing to mention “Israel” by name. Photo: Screenshot

British media reports on the ongoing antisemitism scandal plaguing the Labour Party have been largely unproblematic, and quite unsympathetic to those attempting to rationalize or defend expressions of anti-Jewish racism by party members.

However, the latest story, involving the suspension of former London Mayor Ken Livingstone for arguing that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist, inspired an official Guardian editorial on the row that indicated that editors do not understand — or aren’t willing to acknowledge — what the term “anti-Zionism” actually means. The editorial (‘The Guardian view on antisemitism: Stay vigilant on the left flank, April 28) included the following passages, which attempt to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism:

Most people committed to justice for the Palestinians are more than capable of distinguishing between opposition to the Israeli state and hatred of the Jews, but the placards sometimes seen on demos – equating a swastika with the star of David, for example – suggest that some campaigners don’t. The post-1967 occupation needs to be condemned, and it is not in and of itself illegitimate even to question the original creation of IsraelIt is, however, never legitimate to discuss the conflict without taking seriously the rights and claims of the people on the Israeli as well as the Palestinian side.

Related coverage

September 19, 2016 6:32 am
0

Israel Is High on Medical Marijuana

JNS.org - Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes Israeli entrepreneurs succeed because they challenge authority, question everything and don’t play by the rules. “The...

While nobody would accuse critics of the occupation of being antisemitic, the editorial defends those who “question the original creation of Israel” — a muddled characterization of the views of those who consider themselves anti-Zionist.

Similarly, The Telegraph, in a recent article (“Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism: what’s the difference?”,  April 29) attempts to define “anti-Zionism” by a series of bullet points meant to provide an understanding of what the word “Zionism” means:

zionism

The Telegraph, as with the Guardian, strangely defines “anti-Zionism” through the prism of what the term meant prior to 1948, before the state of Israel actually existed.

However, anti-Zionism does not represent opposition to the historical process by which Israel was created 68 years go, and it is not a theoretical discussion.  Rather, anti-Zionism today necessarily refers to opposition to the continued existence of the actual Jewish State within any borders — a position that the overwhelming majority of British Jews, and most Britons of all religions (per a recent YouGov poll), understandably consider a form of antisemitism.

If either paper wants to create a “safe space” for anti-Zionists, at the very least they can begin by being honest about what the term actually means today, and what the position would ultimately mean to millions of Jews in the existing Jewish state.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • nelson marans

    The British media only continues to show its antisemitism The tradition is long standing and a disgrace from our reputed ally. When push comes to shove, the only country that Israel can rely on is Israel.

  • nat cheiman

    Double dealing, deceitful and adversarial. That is Corbyn, Livingstone, Gallowayand all the canditates like Shah etc.
    Snakes in the grass only to be found out.

  • Evan Lowenthal

    The Telegraph is usually pro-Israel.

Algemeiner.com