Tony Greenstein | 29 December 2021 | Post Views:

Open Letter to the Guardian’s Editor Kath Viner & its Zionist Gatekeeper, Jonathan Freedland

 Do You Not Have a Shred of Decency? Why did the Guardian remove from its coverage of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s death any reference to the Palestinians?

Dear Kath and Jonathan,

Yesterday’s Guardian has 4 pages dedicated to the life of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 60% of the front page was also devoted to his death. As someone whose first political activity, as a 16 year old schoolboy, was demonstrating against the 1970 Springbok Rugby tour, I am the last person to quarrel with the extent of your coverage.

What I find amazing though is that there wasn’t even a passing mention of Tutu’s support for the Palestinians or his description of Israel as worse than its South African counterpart:

your struggle will be harder than ours, as Israel’s apartheid is even worse than South Africa’s. We never had F-16s bomb our bantustans killing hundreds of our children. Remember that.”

Tutu never lost an opportunity to criticise what he termed an apartheid state. This was well before B’Tselem’s Report describing Israel as ‘A regime of Jewish supremacy’ and Human Rights Watch’s Report ‘A Threshold Crossed – Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution’.

Perhaps I can make a more general observation? When people pay a tribute to someone and deliberately, for unspoken political reasons, excise a part of their life, they end up saying more about themselves than their subject. Your coverage of Desmond Tutu’s death says more about the Guardian than it does about him.

To do all these things and distort someone’s life, because it’s politically inconvenient to tell the truth, and is at variance with the Guardian’s editorial line, is not merely dishonest but politically odious. It suggests that the tribute you paid to Archbishop Tutu’s struggle against Apartheid is just hot air. Pious and empty words aimed at convincing your readers that you retain some integrity.

We all know the reasons for the Guardian’s dilemmas. You spent five years demonising Jeremy Corbyn and the Left as ‘anti-Semites’. You lost no opportunity to portray people who were opposed to apartheid as racists. Even worse you did it in the company of genuine racists and anti-Semites.

People like Boris Johnson, who in his 2004 novel ‘72 Virgins’ depicted Jews as controlling the media and being able to “fiddle” elections. Not forgetting Jacob Rees-Mogg who, apart from tweeting in support of the neo-Nazi AfD in Germany, described fellow Jewish MPs John Bercow and Oliver Letwin as “Illuminati who are taking the powers to themselves.” A comment described as ‘expressly anti-Semitic’ by Professor Michael Berkowitz of UCL.

Let me remind you both of one of Desmond Tutu’s most famous speeches when he said:

 “I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces. Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”

What is there in this that you or your fellow scribes at the Guardian don’t understand? Either your opposition to what happened in South Africa, the subjugation of people according to the doctrines of racial supremacy, is a principle or it is a narrow political calculus dependent on the circumstances of the time.

The omission of any mention of Desmond Tutu’s longstanding support for the Palestinians was not accidental, an unfortunate oversight but a deliberate editorial decision. We know this because a critical comment from Professor David Mond, who pointed this out, was deleted by the Guardian. It did not accord with your ‘community standards.’ Likewise two comments from Mark Seddon, the former Editor of Tribune, were also deleted.

Desmond Tutu was a strong supporter of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, just as he supported sanctions against South Africa. That was the real reason for your selective editing.

Of course you did not want to mention Tutu’s position on Palestine. Tutu’s opposition to Israeli apartheid routinely attracted cries of ‘anti-Semitism’ from those who refuse to understand that opposing the Israeli state for what it does is not the same as hostility to Jews.

I fully understand your dilemma. The Guardian has spent so much of its time making false accusations of anti-Semitism that you don’t know how to handle the legacy of someone who, according to your definition, was anti-Semitic. Desmond Tutu was an opponent of apartheid in all its forms, including its Jewish equivalent, Zionism.

Just one final thing. The Guardian seems to have gone quiet on Labour ‘anti-Semitism’. I presume that you are satisfied with the fact that in order to eradicate ‘anti-Semitism’, Starmer is expelling dozens of Jewish members? If you are Jewish in the Labour Party today you are 5 times more likely to be expelled as non-Jews. It seems a strange way to oppose anti-Semitism which is presumably why the Guardian says nothing?

Is it too much for you now to come clean and admit that the campaign against Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ was never about Jews and always about Israel and its apartheid practices?

Yours truly,

Tony Greenstein

Posted in

Tony Greenstein


  1. June Simmons on 29/12/2021 at 3:12am

    With a very few rare exceptions occasionally printed in ‘Opinion’, the editorial has long slid down the same greasy pole as among the worst of the Billionaire owned media and given far too much exposure way on social media by people content with it’s off-the-peg reactionary half-truths.

  2. Catherine Ahearn on 29/12/2021 at 4:35am

    This is a remarkable and gut-wrenching damnation of the Guardian. May true and strong voices continue to stand up in support of the damnable plight of Palestinians at the hands of the brutal Israeli government.

  3. Patrick Szyndel on 29/12/2021 at 6:15am

    Dear Arch would be turning in his. Shame on you.

  4. Kathlyn Strafford on 29/12/2021 at 7:06am

    Excellent letter.

  5. Me on 29/12/2021 at 7:20am

    But Tony, you have said absolutely nothing about Tutu’s ongoing support for the struggles of Tibet!
    Why won’t you call out the Chinese regime, even when mourning one of their greatest adversaries?
    I mean, if we were to use the logic of Tony Greenstein, this could only be because you are an apologist for the murderous Chinese regime!
    Shame on you! Writing such a long piece while completely neglecting such an important part of his legacy!

  6. Naeem on 29/12/2021 at 7:21am

    Too true

  7. Rupert daniel on 29/12/2021 at 8:20am

    An excellent discretion of the hypocrisy expressed by the Guardians trembling moral compass who’s direction sways with the wind of educated indoctrinated western centrism.

  8. barrie ormsby on 29/12/2021 at 9:23am

    thankyou for speaking the truth something the Labour party and the Guardian have abandoned

  9. Barry Pitney on 29/12/2021 at 9:24am

    Very well written . It is so nice to see someone telling the truth and holding false reporting to account. Thank you. Jeremy Corbyn is a good man. Probably one of the most genuine leaders we could have had.

  10. Philip Hodkinson on 29/12/2021 at 9:39am

    This is patently obvious to all left wing members of the Labour Party. The press in general are totally corrupt and controlled by too few people. Many papers, the guardian included, are starting to struggle with sales.
    I predict that our youth will continue this trend, being able to establish the sheer lengths that are taken to avoid the truth.

  11. Dr Nigel Speight on 29/12/2021 at 10:09am

    Well put Tony. I share your disappointment at the Guardian’s actions on this whole area

  12. Jo Marshall on 29/12/2021 at 10:28am

    Excellent,one could hope that this letter would be published in the Guardian,but I am not holding my breath.

  13. HASSAN A. KHAMIS on 29/12/2021 at 11:06am

    Noce comment

  14. John Hamilton on 29/12/2021 at 11:38am

    A heartfelt and accurate tribute to Archbishop Tutu, also an accurate depiction of pro Zionist political motives.

  15. David on 29/12/2021 at 11:58am

    About time somebody held the msm to account.

  16. Tony Greenstein on 29/12/2021 at 12:03pm

    I’m not inclined to join the Cold War against China today. I have no illusions in Chinese rule, be it in Tibet nor over the Uighurs, but I leave it to hypocrites like you to condemn them whilst whitewashing an Israeli regime that the West sponsors and subsidises. This is just whatabouttery

  17. Tony Greenstein on 29/12/2021 at 12:04pm

    Do you have a problem with communicating your thoughts? You haven’t explained why Desmond Tutu should be turning in his grave other than at the hypocrisy of the MSM

  18. Vaughan Leslie on 29/12/2021 at 12:25pm

    Ex-Guardian journalist David Hirst spelt out the parallels between South Africa and Israel, in his excellent book, The Gun and the Olive Branch, in 1977. He argued that Israel was more successful in repressing dissent, because they were more ruthless at the outset.

  19. Paul C on 29/12/2021 at 12:45pm

    So you’re not denying Israel has a lot to answer for too – just deflecting attention?

  20. Lorcan Smith on 29/12/2021 at 1:08pm

    The Grauniad has had an MI5/6 minder since it went off-piste and published the WikiLeaks papers on US war crimes and spying on its own citizens. The US and UK spy network value Mossad information and collaboration much more higly than they view human rights, so it’s inevitable the Guradian would bend to its spy-master’s voice to protect the apartheid Israeli government from sanctions similar to those that helped bring down the apartheid South African regime.

  21. Geoff Kendrew on 29/12/2021 at 4:56pm

    A very clever and comprehensive assessment of the situation with respect to the sad thinking of almost all hard copy and electronic media.
    Respect and gratitude for addressing this deep rooted problem. Particularly the mention of the strange attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

  22. Him on 29/12/2021 at 5:46pm

    i think you might have missed the point of that post there Tony.
    I took that as an exaggerated position to demonstrate that someone neglecting to mention something that you see as important, does not automatically mean that they support or condone it. i.e. I see you have also failed to mention Tutu’s ongoing dislike of Kitkat chocolate bars, therefore you must fully support the actions of Nestle, etc etc.

    I’m pretty sure thats not how it works.

  23. Preston Ferguson on 29/12/2021 at 7:05pm

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats’ feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar FOR Jonathan land of the free ” and the world will end not witH a bang but A WHIMPER”

  24. David on 29/12/2021 at 7:17pm

    Great piece of writing. Keep it going.

  25. Sean Geraghty on 29/12/2021 at 11:55pm

    Absolutely spot on.
    Guardian hang your heads in shame for the Freedland zealot and co, and your appalling tripe, smearing humanitarians as Antisemites. Enough!!

  26. Tony Greenstein on 30/12/2021 at 2:09am

    I think not. Apart from assuming that I know what is in your head (‘I took that as an…’ – what is ‘that’?) yours is a classic example of ‘Reductio ad absurdum’ reducing something to an absurdity.

    No it is true I didn’t mention what brand of chocolate Desmond Tutu ate. what relevance is such trivia to greater questions of the enslavement of a people? You remind me of Jean Marie Le Pen who described the holocaust as a ‘detail’ or the AfD spokesman who said that the Nazi period was ‘birdshit’ in the great German history.

    I provide context for the Guardian’s omission such as their unflinching support for the fake antisemitism campaign running a propaganda filme on Panorama. The long Israeli inspired campaign against Corbyn using the classic Zionist smear of ‘antisemitism’. Or if that fails the fact that the Guardian deliberately removed posts pointing out the omission.

    I suggest you go back to birdshit or whatever takes your fancy!

  27. Tony Greenstein on 30/12/2021 at 2:11am

    I wasn’t sure whether this was spam or not. Have I ever denied that Israel has a lot to answer for? How is my open letter to Viner/Freedland ‘deflecting attention’. I would have thought it was doing the precise opposite. You seem to have difficulty matching words with their dictionary meaning although I am aware that the basis of the Orwellian nightmare is distorting and changing the meaning of language to mean its exact opposite

  28. Tony Greenstein on 30/12/2021 at 2:11am

    Yes a very good book

  29. Tony Greenstein on 30/12/2021 at 2:19am

    another piece of Zionist whataboutery. It’s true that I said nothing about the Chinese regime when referring to the Guardian’s censorship of any mention between Tutu and the Palestinians.

    They get ever more desperate to defend their propaganda outlets

  30. Marianne Cook on 30/12/2021 at 9:38am

    I have hitherto defended the Guardian as the least worst of the UK press on account (as Ms Simmons said above) of publishing some spot on opinion pieces, and been condemned by friends for it. No more. This is the last straw. All that’s left is to mourn the final demise of a once great newspaper.

  31. David platt on 30/12/2021 at 10:27am

    It won’t happen but there should be a law banning the billionaire class from owning our media controlling the narrative.

  32. Sirajuddin Holland on 30/12/2021 at 10:29pm

    Well said.

  33. Martin on 31/12/2021 at 2:28pm

    The Groaniad is now, in my view, the worst British paper. It is entirely in the hands of of its corporate sponsors including Bill Gates who bought favour with millions.
    That any self respecting left person still takes it is bewildering.
    While there are still a couple of contributors still worth following there are other means to do so, other than buying this awful Orwellian rag – pure double think, new speak propaganda dressing in pseudo left clothes.
    Boycott this apartheid supporting, genocide ignoring anti news paper.

  34. Robin Brown on 02/01/2022 at 10:34pm

    i used to buy The Guardian as an undergraduate student in the Late 70’s and 80’s, the coverage was excellent and essential reading for students of sociology, politics, current affairs, economics, development studies/comparative social analysis. It’s gone down hill to the extent that its rolling about in a stream in the valley somewhere.

    For its analysis/reporting of Israel/Palestine, the Labour Party, or Jeremy Corbyn left politics, and now the life of a Desmond Tutu I may as well be reading the Daily Hate, which even Wikipedia won’t cite these days.

    I won’t subscribe and read around more these days, usually finding my own sources of material from the academic journals, alternative new-media, The Gordian has joined the establishment.

  35. malcolm pittock on 04/01/2022 at 10:44pm

    Have you read Chris Renton’s disgraceful book “Labour’s Anti Semitism Crisis : What the Left Got Wrong and How to Learn from It”? Renton was until recently a member of the Socialist Workers’Party- but he still doesn’t claim to have moved to the Right! I shall be publishing a critique of his book on my blog :”Malcolm Pittock for Peace Truth and Justice” in due course.The Guardian is a hopeless case : I submitted many letters defending Jeremy Corbyn: none were published. There is definitely an unofficial censorship going on

    The Labour Party under Starmer is now in Israel’s pocket and has been ever since Starmer proclaimed himself a Zionist. Zionists support the Naqbah which involves the justification of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from Israel in 1947 and denies them the right of return

    It is necessary to keep up the good work ! All the arguments are on our side and must tell in the long run.The sacking of Professor David Miller by Bristol University owing to pressure from Zionist students ( condemned by Terry Eagleton as “disgusting”)however, shows the entrenched political power we are up against

  36. Kolin Thumbadoo on 05/01/2022 at 11:01pm

    Very well constructed critique of a newspaper which has shed all its historic pretence at objectivity, informed journalism and currency. It is now just an ideologically driven rag in the service of a rabidly racist,Zionist state of Isreal.

  37. Michael Keefer on 07/01/2022 at 6:22pm

    Thanks for so effectively slamming the Guardian’s despicable propagandists. The gross dishonesty of that formerly decent newspaper’s slandering of Jeremy Corbyn, and its squalid treatment of any supporter of Palestinian rights, are sickening.

  38. Tony Greenstein on 10/01/2022 at 4:49pm

    Hi Malcolm

    It’s David not Chris Renton. See my own review on this blog. Yes he is despicable. I challenged him to a debate but he ignored my challenge. Can’t imagine why!!

Leave a Comment

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