October 30, 2015

Guardian Opinion Editor denies all knowledge of Guardian Editorial Opinion

An utterly bogus hasbara piece on The Guardian website titled The Guardian view on the war of knives in Israel and the West Bank and subtitled Editorial prompted an interesting twitter exchange.

Here are some chunks from the editorial:

For openers:
Off-duty soldiers go jogging with submachine guns slung across their chests. Men and women who have never owned a firearm hesitate at the door of gun shops after the laws on weapon ownership were relaxed. People eat at home, and plan their trips to the supermarket or their bus journeys to avoid the places where the Palestinian stabbing attacks, which have surprised and frightened Israelis in recent weeks, seem most likely.
The issue here is "the Palestinian stabbing attacks" and the Israeli response.  Palestinian actions couldn't possibly themselves be a response.
On the Arab side, parents worry that a loved son or daughter will decide to trade their own life for that of an Israeli, or that a family member will be caught in crossfire.
Not deliberately killed by Israelis simply for being Palestinian.
at the last count, nine Israelis dead, although with more than 60 Palestinians killed as armed Israelis reacted to the attacks or tried to forestall attacks they thought imminent. The Palestinian dead include some who were demonstrators, not perpetrators, some who were killed in error, and some who just got in the way. 
Wow, a concession to the idea that Palestinians might, just might, get killed by Israelis simply for demonstrating.

Well it was only a small concession and it was soon marred by this little gem:
For one thing it is hard to imagine that the influence of jihad movements beyond Israel’s and Palestine’s borders has not played a part in inflaming young minds, a development that must be bad news for both Israelis and Palestinians.
Which brings us to Twitter and a tweet from Ben White:
He quickly followed up with a question to Jonathan Freedland whose profile page at The Guardian reads:
Jonathan Freedland is the Guardian's executive editor, Opinion, overseeingComment is freeeditorials and long reads.
Here's the question:
And here's Jonathan Freedland's response:
Then David Aaronovitch appears in the thread:
"Well, you know..", as Ben White points out, it's in Jonathan Freedland's job description and he often opines in The Guardian and elsewhere in favour of Israel.  I'm fed up with embedding, copying and pasting but you can follow the thread for yourself where you'll see that Aaro seems to be saying that there are lots of people at The Guardian with the same JD and who write about Palestine.  But I think there is only one person with the JD which states, that the person in question is the Guardian's executive editor, Opinion, overseeing Comment is freeeditorials and long reads and that is Jonathan Freedland.

Now surely that makes it fair to assume that Jonathan Freedland was responsible for an editorial comment at The Guardian or if he's not directly responsible he could "provide some insight into how such an 'observation' made it into the editorial."

He claims that he can't.

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