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‘The Guardian’ Turns ‘Zionism’ Into a Dirty Word in One-Sided Hit Piece

The Guardian newspaper’s London offices in 2017. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

How do you turn 2,000 years of Jewish longing for a return to Zion into an insult and a slur? By mainstreaming extreme voices, distorting history, and placing the entire onus for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict solely on the shoulders of the Jewish state.

This is exactly what The Guardian did in its recently published piece, “How ‘Zionist’ became a slur on the US left.”

While this piece aims to analyze the use of the term “Zionist” as a slur by those on the far left of the political spectrum in general, and those taking part in the anti-Israel encampments at universities in particular, it is not a balanced and nuanced take on the subject.

Instead, it uncritically echoes the distortions and manipulations of those opposed to the movement for Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish peoples’ historical homeland.

Leave it to @guardian to publish a piece discussing how the word “Zionist” (someone who believes in self-determination for the Jewish people in their historical homeland) is an insult.

Naturally, one of the “experts” the Guardian consulted is pro-BDS, Israel-obsessed professor…

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) May 13, 2024

Amplifying Anti-Zionists, Shunning Zionist Voices

For a piece aiming to answer such a thorny question, one would expect The Guardian to interview people with various viewpoints, including those who subscribe to traditional Zionism and those who oppose the Zionist movement.

However, aside from two brief references to a recent statement by Zionists at Columbia University and a quote by Bret Stephens on why he is a Zionist, this entire piece is filled with analyses and observations by those who are fully entrenched in the anti-Zionist camp.

While it is understandable that The Guardian quotes at length a representative for Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Simone Zimmerman, one of the founders of IfNotNow, in a piece about anti-Zionist student activists, the only two individuals interviewed are Peter Beinart and UCLA professor Saree Makdisi.

In typical Guardian fashion, Beinart’s fringe views are held up as evidence of supposed contradiction at the heart of liberal Zionism, while Makdisi is used to add context to the ongoing debates about Zionism on university campuses.

Aside from the fact that Saree Makdisi’s academic background is in literature and not Zionist philosophy, he is known for extreme anti-Israel views. As HonestReporting noted in 2016, he has a long history of questioning the Jewish State’s right to exist, spreading libels about Israel and the IDF, and demeaning those who express concerns about the extremes of anti-Israel activism.

Therefore, instead of offering readers what could have been a nuanced conversation about Zionism — that is, the movement for Jewish self-determination that has been weaponized into a slur — The Guardian offers nothing more than an anti-Zionist screed.

The Missing Context on Zionism and Zionist History

If The Guardian had included the opinions of Zionist academics or commentators, it is likely the piece would’ve taken a different tone. For one, readers might have been informed of the many distortions and manipulations expressed by both the writer and those interviewed.

First, this piece presents Zionism as a late-19th-century European ideology, ignoring the fact that one of the core precepts of Zionism (the return of the Jewish people to their historical homeland) has been a key element of Judaism for thousands of years.

By ignoring this historic continuation between Judaism and Zionism, this piece gives undue weight to the minority camp of anti-Zionist Jews who want to “reclaim Judaism from its association with Israel.”

It also means  embracing the sheer absurdity of Saree Makdisi’s observation that he has no issue with a Jewish state in principle, just the issue of “where [the Jewish people] have this state.” This completely disregards the fact that the only just location for a Jewish state is in the land they have inhabited for thousands of years, which is the current location of the State of Israel.

In addition, the claims that Zionism “underpins the policies that drove their [the Palestinians’] mass displacement from what became Israel in 1948” and that the term “Zionist” is “emblematic of the violent state policies driving the war on Gaza” are ludicrous assertions that are unworthy of a serious piece of journalism.

Both claims are based on a superficial understanding of Israeli history, which apportions all blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Israel and Zionism, ignoring the fact that Palestinian dispossession in 1948 was the result of both the Arab refusal to accept the UN Partition Plan and the choice to engage in war against the budding Jewish state, while the current war in Gaza is the direct result of Hamas’ atrocities on October 7.

Whether it’s references to failed peace negotiations or the disappearance of the Jewish movement for a binational state before the creation of Israel, The Guardian seems intent on absolving the Palestinians of any responsibility for the violence that has wracked the region.

For a piece filled with one-sided bias and distorted facts, why did The Guardian present it as an objective news report instead of an opinion piece?

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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University of Toronto seeks injunction to end protest encampment over ‘harmful, discriminatory’ speech outlined in court filing

The University of Toronto is now seeking a court injunction to put and end to the encampment in King’s College Circle after the 8 a.m. deadline passed Monday morning—while unionized workers joined students, faculty and other protesters at a rainy morning rally. Shortly after the ultimatum hour, the university announced in a statement from UofT […]

The post University of Toronto seeks injunction to end protest encampment over ‘harmful, discriminatory’ speech outlined in court filing appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Monday morning saw the Toronto community and politicians showing support for the Chabad girls’ school struck by weekend gunfire

Mayor Olivia Chow was among those who addressed the crowd.

The post Monday morning saw the Toronto community and politicians showing support for the Chabad girls’ school struck by weekend gunfire appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘A Call for Genocide’: South African Jews Blast Country’s President for Chanting ‘From the River to the Sea’

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Chatsworth, South Africa, May 18, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

South African Jewish leaders castigated their country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, for what they described as him calling for a “genocide” against Jews in Israel over the weekend.

Ramaphosa was speaking at an election rally in Johannesburg on Saturday when he deviated from his prepared speech to lead the crowd in in a chant of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine shall be free” — a popular slogan among anti-Israel activists that has been widely interpreted as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state, which is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The address took place at FNB Stadium, where South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) held its final rally before South African elections on Wednesday. According to Politicsweb, a news website focused on South Africa, a call for the release of the “hostages held in Gaza” who Hamas terrorists kidnapped from southern Israel on Oct. 7 appeared in Ramaphosa’s prepared remarks but not in his final speech.

The South African Jewish community lambasted Ramaphosa for his remarks in a statement shared with The Algemeiner, expressing “its revulsion at the introduction of a call to exterminate Jews from their homeland” by the president.

“The president of the ruling ANC party and the head of state of a democratic country has called for the elimination of the only Jewish state in the culmination of the ANC president’s election speech made to thousands of ANC members and on national television,” said Wendy Kahn, national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD). “He uses the populist slogan ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be Free,’ which is widely regarded as a call to genocide of the Jewish people. The call to remove all Jews from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea equates to removing all Jews from Israel.”

Kahn compared the slogan with Hamas’ goal to “see Israel as ‘Judenfrei,’ or Jew free,” before noting that such an endpoint contradicts the South African government’s stated policy of supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The chanting of this slogan by a head of state of a government that recurrently tries to express their commitment to a ‘two-state Solution’ as their policy on Israel and Palestine is hypocritical to the full,” the SAJBD said. “How does a sitting president reject his own government and own party’s international relations policy? This reconfirms our understanding that President Ramaphosa and his government are not looking for a peaceful solution to the tragic conflict, but rather to cause discord among fellow South Africans against its Jewish community.”

Kahn added, “The president’s contempt for South African Jewry is evident in this unscripted outburst at the rally which amounts to nothing more than Jew hatred. The SAJBD is reviewing its options for holding the president accountable for these hateful words.”

South Africa’s ANC government has been one of the harshest critics of Israel since Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists launched the ongoing war in Gaza with their invasion of and massacre across southern Israeli communities.

South Africa temporarily withdrew its diplomats from Israel and shuttered its embassy in Tel Aviv shortly after the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom, saying that the Pretoria government was “extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians” in Gaza.

In December, South Africa hosted two Hamas officials who attended a government-sponsored conference in solidarity with the Palestinians. One of the officials had been sanctioned by the US government for his role with the terrorist organization.

Earlier this month, members of South Africa’s Jewish community protested Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor’s recent call for students and university leaders to intensify the anti-Israel demonstrations that have engulfed college campuses across the US.

In January, the South African government failed in its bid to argue before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Israel’s defensive war in Gaza constituted a “genocide.” However, the top UN court last week ordered Israel to halt its military operations against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The emergency ruling was part of South Africa’s ongoing case at the ICJ.

The post ‘A Call for Genocide’: South African Jews Blast Country’s President for Chanting ‘From the River to the Sea’ first appeared on

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