Tony Greenstein | 19 August 2012 | Post Views:

Time to Boycott the Guardian

It’s been interesting reading the comments on Comment is Free, below Joshua Trevino’s attempt to justify his now notorious comment about how ‘cool’ it would be to murder a few more peace activists.  With the exception of a few paid Zionist bloggers (yes Israel is paying bloggers to blog on its behalf!)  comment has been almost uniformly hostile.  And even more noticeable is the number of people who have said they are not going to take the Guardian anymore.  
In the absence of a socialist daily in Britain (apart from the Morning Star, paper of what is left of the Stalinists in the Communist Party) most of those on the left read the Guardian, which has been the pet hate of the Right, Melanie Phillips et al.  

But the Guardian, and even more so its sister paper The Observer, are of liberal lineage and like their  forebears in the Weimar Republic, the DDP (Deutschland Democratic Party) who started out as radicals and ended up in Hitler’s bosom, the Guardian has begun its move to the right and nowhere more so than when it comes to Israel.  This is the real reason why Seaton has hired Trevino, a man who might even make Fox News think twice.

And it is a good reason why those on the Left and who support the oppressed should boycott the Guardian.  For one thing the Independent employs the best Middle East correspondent of any paper (Robert Fisk).  For another the Indie, despite its founding by Telegraph emigres, is a more honest paper and on certain issues such as asylum seekers has always been well to the left of The Guardian.  The other is that given the Guardian’s international reputation it is time hit it in the only place it understands – its pocket.

Ali Abunimah  suggests that the Guardian decision is a deliberate one,
motivated by a search for new funds to stem losses at the Guardian, to
move to the right and embrace US neo-cons and Zionists.  Logic would
tell them that this is a crowded market and they should play to their
strength on the left, not right.  But capitalist ‘logic’ dictates

See latest update on the story on Electronic Intifada


The war criminal hired by Seaton and who the Guardian is now trying to disgorge

 The open letter below has been sent, and is on line from the attached signatories, protesting about the Guardian’s decision to hire someone who advocated the murder of American peace activists, including Alice Walker and Auschwitz survivor Heddy Epstein, on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.  This is in addition to his recommending the establishment of concentration camps in Iraq.

Responsible for hiring a war criminal who argued for concentration camps in Iraq – doesn’t like comparisons between Israel and the Nazis though!!

It should be pointed out that the person responsible for the US Comment is Free team is one Matt Seaton, who has been trying, without much success, to defend his prize catch.  Seaton is, it has to be conceded, a particularly thick and wretched specimen whose only claim to fame is having authored 3 books on  bicycles and who, according to his own CIF profile, knows nothing about politics.  Hence his mouthing of platitudes about ‘freedom of speech’ ‘balance’ etc.

Given Trevino wasn’t merely a Texan redneck pundit but someone at the heart of the Bush administration, a ruling class ideologue who helped write the President’s speeches, his views carried some considerable weight.  Concentration camps were set up in Iraq.  Trevino’s model was the British, who first set them up in South Africa during the 2nd Boer War.

Presumably Seaton & co. would now like to extend freedom of speech, in the name of balance to holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, Pol Pot and Rios Montt, the Guatemalan Christian Fundamentalist President who oversaw the massacre of over 100,000 Indians.  After all, freedom of speech knows no bounds at the Guardian when it comes to the Right, although my comments on CIF appear to have been banned!!

Tony Greenstein

Dismay at addition of Joshua Treviño to Guardian US commentary team,

Sunday 19 August 2012 

We are writing to express our shock and dismay at the addition to the Guardian’s US commentary team
of a man who has openly called for the killing of people on
humanitarian missions to Palestine, people who have included the
Pulitzer-prize-winning author Alice Walker.

The extreme views of
your new freelance contributor Joshua Treviño, whose columns will appear
on your Guardian US website from tomorrow, are no secret. In 2011, he
used Twitter to urge the Israeli army to murder unarmed US citizens who
were preparing to sail from Greece on a flotilla to Gaza. Treviño tweeted:
“Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza
flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.” He
also backed a tweet which called for the sinking of the flotilla, which
would have endangered the lives of all on board, and likened this
peaceful mission to a “Nazi convoy”.

In what way does publishing a
man who clearly has no regard for the rule of law, and who advocates
the killing of his fellow citizens by a foreign army, enhance the Guardian‘s
reputation as a serious newspaper? The extremist views of people like
Treviño, who have no hesitation in wishing death upon those who disagree
with them, can be found on countless sensationalist, racist and
hate-speech websites. They have no place in a reputable publication.

Moreover, Treviño is hardly without vested interests. He served on the board of the pro-Israel
group Act for Israel, and was listed on its website as being “a staunch
digital advocate of Israel”. This former speechwriter for George W Bush
will no doubt be bringing his one-sided political views to the Guardian
and using it as a platform for his propaganda. It is a sad day for
responsible and impartial journalism when the opinions of such a man are
sought as an “important perspective” (the words of Janine Gibson,
editor-in-chief of the Guardian US) by a supposedly progressive

Sarah Colborne Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Roger Lloyd Pack Actor
Kika Markham Actor
Bruce Kent Vice-president, CND
Lindsey German Stop the War
Daud Abdullah Middle East Monitor
Zahir Birawi Palestinian Forum of Britain
Diana Neslen Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Chris Rose Amos Trust
Shenaz Bunglawala iEngage
Baroness Jenny Tonge
Jeremy Corbyn MP
John Austin
Professor Nur Masalha Soas*
Professor Ilan Pappe Exeter University* 
Dr Ghada Karmi Exeter University* 
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead LSE* 
Professor Kamel Hawwash University of Birmingham*
Professor Haim Bresheeth University of East London* 
Professor Antoine Zahlan (retd) American University of Beirut* 
Professor Steven Rose Open University* 
Professor Hilary Rose LSE* 
Dr Les Levidow Open University*
Canon Garth Hewitt St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem
Ahdaf Soueif Author and journalist
Victoria Brittain Author and journalist
Abe Hayeem Chair, Architects and Planners for Justice, Palestine
(*all writing in a personal capacity)

Posted in

Tony Greenstein

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.