The Guardian weblog Comment is Free carried a piece by the Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh last week. Many are still reeling from the shock. How could a left-leaning liberal newspaper give a platform to a terrorist, mysogynist, homophobic reactionary?
For at least one regular reader, Charlotte of Digital Geopolitico blog, it was the last straw. She swore never to read or buy The Guardian again. ”It was the equivalent of the paper giving a column to the leader of the KKK”, she wrote. The media watchdog HonestReporting branded The Guardian Der Stuermer.
Despite Haniyeh’s effusions in English about freedom, democracy and human rights, Hamas is plainly not interested in a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people. It only wants to wage jihad in order to claim Palestine back for the Islamic Wakf from the infidels. Hamas is the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement with clear Fascist roots established to reverse modernity and the emancipation of women.
And kill the Jews.
The Hamas Charter spells out its main objective: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” These are the words of Imam Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928.
From the 1930s – well before the creation of Israel – the Muslim Brotherhood was agitating against the Jews of Egypt, Palestine and Syria. By 1945 the Muslim Brotherhood had a million armed supporters in Egypt.
The Third Reich financed and trained the Muslim Brothers of Palestine and Egypt in terrorism. The Nazi concept of the Jews as the epitomy of all-controlling evil was exported to the Arab world, where it is entrenched to this day. Hitler shared his plans to kill the Jews of Europe with the main ally of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, the Mufti of Jerusalem. The Mufti ‘s machinations led to a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq, and the murder of hundreds of Iraqi Jews in the Farhud pogrom in June 1941. Meeting in Berlin a few months later, Hitler and the Mufti agreed a plan to exterminate all the Jews of the Middle East.
From 1947 Arab governments set about making the Arab Middle East Judenrein. They applied Nuremberg-style laws, criminalising Zionism, freezing Jewish bank accounts, instituting quotas, imposing restrictions on jobs and movement. The result was the mass exodus and spoliation of a million Jews.
Nazi-style bigotry, coupled with traditional Islamic antisemitism, remains the driving force behind the marginalisation and exclusion of minorities from the Arab world on the one hand, and the unremitting campaign to destroy Israel on the other.
The ghost of Nazi-inspired, anti-Jewish fundamentalism was never exorcised from the Arab world. The Mufti of Jerusalem should have been tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg. He was indicted, tried and convicted by Yugoslavia for crimes against humanity. But the Allies shrank from offending the Arabs. That is why today in the Arab and Muslim world, antisemitism is epidemic.
The reason why The Guardian gives a platform to genocidal fascists is less easy to fathom. The Left has always dabbled in antisemitism – the ‘socialism of fools’. Israel has been cast as the US’s little imperialist helper. No-one seems to remember that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Iraq, Bahrain and much of the rest of the Arab world are also well within the US sphere of influence.
The so-called red-green alliance, for which The Guardian is a cheerleader, has bought into the myth that Israel is a colonial project. This brazen lie both denies the Jews’ 3,000–year-old connection to their ancestral homeland, and ignores the fact that 50 percent of Israel’s Jewish population descend from refugees indigenous to the Arab and Muslim world, predating Arab Muslim colonialism by centuries.
Then there is the misplaced belief that an extremist party like Hamas will be tamed by the responsibilities of power and needs to be engaged with. No sign of such moderation yet.
Finally, The Guardian’s decision to feature Haniyeh could simply be a hardnosed, commercial one: controversy sells. Losing principled readers such as Charlotte of Digital Politico is evidently a price it is prepared to pay.