In which scales drop from eyes

Anyone who regularly reads op-eds and commentaries on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute will by now be used to the articles that pop-up every few weeks along the lines of:

I used to be a card carrying zionist/grew up in the Habonim movement/spent a summer on a kibbutz/made aliyah in 2001 BUT NOW this, that or the other action of the IDF/this, that or the other security response to a spate of murderous attempts on Israeli citizens/this, that or the other speech by a minor figure in the government’s political party/this, that or the other murderous act by a fringe Jewish radical and his three friends has made SCALES DROP FROM MY EYES and now— and now– I agree that Israel is an apartheid state/Israel is increasingly a totalitarian state/it’s time to recognise that Israel creates antisemitism….

+972 magazine is the natural home for such op-eds, but Ha’aretz isn’t far behind. Gideon Levy and Amira Hass have been writing this very article in different guises for too many years, so today’s favourite SCALES DROPPED FROM MY EYES Ha’aretz columnist is Bradley Burston, who should be able to run variants on the same theme for a good few years till they find a new born-again anti-zionist.

Now here’s something completely different.

And it should shock you.

Because there’s a SCALES DROPPED FROM MY EYES article by a Swedish progressive pro-Palestinian activist. No less than a former enthusiast recruit for the International Solidarity Movement, whose poster girl is still the late Rachel Corrie, portrayed in the UK and US as a noble would-be poet who was sacrificed in the course of demonstrating against brutal IDF oppression, crushed beneath the wheels of a juggernaut of an IDFT bulldozer.

Our Swedish activist is Daniel Borg. He went off to Ramallah and Hebron hoping and expecting to play a noble role protecting defenceless Palestinians from the supposedly routinely criminal and war crimes committers of the IDF.

To his surprise, it was the IDF who turned out to be humanitarians. And the war crimes he saw being committed were being committed by Palestinian Hamas and Fatah foot soldiers and supporters.

But I don’t suppose you’ll read his extraordinary and revealing story in The Guardian. Because the Guardian’s recently appointed editor is Katharine Viner.

Her most famous achievement, other than her 18 years of Guardian journalism before her appointment, was being the writer of the agitprop theatre piece “My name is Rachel Corrie”. This was a romanticisation and sanctification of the anti-Israel agitator and campaigner Rachel Corrie, an ISM stalwart who went through exactly the same induction training as the one Daniel Borg writes of so scornfully.

That’s the sort of person who’s editing the UK’s most widely read and most influential liberal daily newspaper and worldwide news website today.

About the Author
Judy Keiner is a London based, retired senior Lecturer in education at the University of Reading and former teacher, school inspector, government education and schools consultant.
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