Monday, December 20, 2010

[The following, by AKUS, is crossposted from CiF Watch.]

In a recent article, A perfect example of the Guardian's appalling myopia, I pointed out how the Guardian overlooked a key event in a visit by a group of boys (no girls) from Gaza to the USA, and, specifically, the UN building in New York:

A Guardian video entitled, "Documentary follows 15 boys from Gaza on trip to US" contained the subtitle:

"Fifteen boys left their besieged homeland to visit America earlier this year. The moving film No Sharp Objects reveals their first experiences of snow and skyscrapers."

Correctly, it should read:

Fifteen boys left their homeland to visit America earlier this year. The moving film No Sharp Objects reveals their first experiences of snow, skyscrapers and pictures and lessons from the Holocaust.

The Guardian, enthralled by the chance to show Hamas and UNRWA, which organized the trip, in a good light completely overlooked mentioning a significant portion of the clip which showed Arab-speaking guides explain to the youngsters from Gaza what the Holocaust was, and why it is so important to the Jews. Clearly, this was the first time that they these young boys had heard of the Holocaust and seen the iconic pictures that form the display.

A day later, despite the same timestamp on the article, Harriet Sherwood followed up with an article about the trip, noting briefly: "the group paused before a Holocaust exhibition at the UN headquarters. As the boys considered the terrible images from the death camps, their teacher, Rafiq Murad, spoke of the significance of what they were seeing. "And so, guys," he concluded, "because we faced suffering and injustice we have to appreciate and understand the suffering of others, regardless of their religion and race."

A great message.

It turns out, however, that it was not the message that Hamas wanted the children to see.

Astonishingly, Ana Carbajosa (of El Pais, who appears to have taken over reporting duties from Sherwood with regard to Israel*) reported in the Guardian: Hamas in dispute with UN over school trips for Palestinian pupils:

"The UNRWA [the agency for Palestinian refugees] has to stop the visits they do, where they teach the Holocaust and where they promote solidarity with Jewish suffering created by the Nazis," said a statement from the department for refugee issues.

Hamas also said that "the minds of the children are not big enough to understand the suffering of all the victims around the world", adding that "the Palestinian suffering caused by the Jewish occupiers is enough of an example". In the statement, Hamas suggested that instead of organising trips to the US, the UN should take the Gazan children to Vietnam, the US prison in Guantánamo Bay or Abu Ghraib detention facility in Iraq.

UNRWA refused today to comment on Hamas's statement.

These are the people who Israel is supposed to make peace with simply by talking to them!

Of course, no article on the Guardian that deals with the Palestinians is complete without a drop of context-less poison aimed at Israel. Carbajosa's article concluded:

These trips are a rare opportunity for the Gazan children to travel. For the past four years, Israel has blocked people and goods from moving into and out of Gaza.

There is no reason given for why Israel has blockaded Gaza, nor does the article mention that thousands of Gazans travel to Israel every year for medical treatment. I wonder if Carbajosa wrote that, or if it was added by one of the eager editorial clones the Guardian employs to push its endless attacks on Israel?

I have a suggestion for UNRWA: On the next trip, take the kids to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. There they can mix with families and schoolchildren who come from all over the world to learn about the Holocaust. And take some girls along, too.

(*Sherwood appears to have been relegated to reporting from the West Bank and Gaza unless she can come up with an article that includes negative news from inside Israel).

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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