The Guardian to run incendiary advert accusing Hamas of “child sacrifice”

The controversial advert

The supposedly left-wing liberal newspaper The Guardian will run an advertisement on Monday accusing Palestinian resistance fighters of “sacrificing children.”

The advert is a statement, written jointly by Elie Wiesel, the Nobel prize-winning author who is associated with the fanatical Israeli settler movement, and Shmuley Boteach, an outspoken American-born Orthodox rabbi. It calls on President Obama and other political leaders across the world “to condemn Hamas’s use of children as human shields”, which amounts to “child sacrifice”.

The advert says: “In my own lifetime, I have seen Jewish children thrown into the fire. And now I have seen Muslim children used as human shields, in both cases, by worshippers of death cults… What we are suffering through today is not a battle of Jew versus Arab or Israeli versus Palestinian. Rather, it is a battle between those who celebrate life and those who champion death. It is a battle of civilization versus barbarism…

“Is any of this discernible in the dark future offered by Hamas to Arab children, to be suicide bombers or human shields for rockets? Palestinian parents want a hopeful future for their children, just like Israeli parents do. And both should be joining together in peace.

“But before sleepless mothers in both Gaza City and Tel Aviv can rest, before diplomats can begin in earnest the crucial business of rebuilding dialogue… the Hamas death cult must be confronted for what it is. Moderate men and women of faith, whether that faith is in God or man, must shift their criticism from the Israeli soldiers – whose terrible choice is to fire and risk harming human shields, or hold their fire and risk the death of their loved ones – to the terrorists who have taken away all choice from the Palestinian children of Gaza.

“I call upon the Palestinian people to find true Muslims to represent them, Muslims who would never voluntarily place a child in danger. I call upon President Obama and the leaders of the world to condemn Hamas’ use of children as human shields. And I enjoin the American public to stand firmly with the people of Israel who are in yet another struggle for survival, and with the suffering people of Gaza who reject terror and embrace peace.”

The Times

The right-wing Times newspaper refused to run the same advert about the conflict in Gaza, although it has been carried in five US newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, which is published by News Corporation, the owner of The Times.

The New York Observer, which also ran the ad, reports that a Times representative wrote to the agency that sought to place the advert to say that “the opinion being expressed is too strong and too forcefully made and will cause concern amongst a significant number of Times readers.”

The ad was paid for by an organisation called This World: The Values Network, which was founded by Boteach. The Guardian says acceptance of an advert does not mean that it endorses the views and claims made within it.

the-guardian

The Guardian’s position has already caused controversy with Asa Winstanley, from the pro-Palestinian website The Electronic Intifada, condemning it.

He said: “Any newspaper that published an advertisement accusing Jews of ‘child sacrifice’ would rightly be condemned as anti-Semitic. How is it, then, that Britain’s leading ‘liberal’ newspaper is set to publish just such an ad about Palestinians on Monday?…

“Newspapers can pick and choose the ads they run, and often turn down offensive submissions. As The Guardian notes, right-wing London newspaper The Times has, to its credit, rejected the ad…. The ad, already run in some US newspapers, is incitement to genocide. Its dog whistle reference about ‘child sacrifice’ will be clearly understood by religious fundamentalists.

“Despite Israeli propaganda refrains about Palestinian resistance fighters supposedly using the population of Gaza as “human shields,” zero evidence has been presented. This is a calumny, and a blood libel against the Palestinian people – one readily accepted by too many journalists.

“In fact the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen wrote last month: I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields. I saw men from Hamas on street corners, keeping an eye on what was happening. They were local people and everyone knew them, even the young boys. Raji Sourani, the director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, told me that Hamas, whatever you think of it, is part of the Palestinian DNA.

“Like so many Zionist propaganda accusations against the Palestinian people, the ‘human shields’ calumny is a projection. It is Israel that has a long record, documented by local and international human rights groups, of using Palestinians as human shields.

Counter ad

Meanwhile, a statement signed by more than one hundred Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors of the Nazi holocaust condemned “Elie Wiesel’s abuse of our history … to promote blatant falsehoods used to justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of nearly 2,000 Palestinians.”

Circulated by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network yesterday, organizers are hoping to be able to raise enough money to run the statement as an ad in The New York Times, which published the Elie Wiesel ad.

The counter ad states: “This racist ad makes an explicit parallel between these ancient myths and modern-day Palestine, casting the Palestinian people as the modern-day Canaanites. The implication of this disgusting ad is that the Palestinians, too, deserve to die during Israel’s ongoing brutal assault in the Gaza Strip…

“While the ad is ostensibly addressed to ‘Hamas,’ the implication is clear: the hundreds of Palestinian children that Israel has killed were actually ‘sacrificed’ by Hamas. Israel must have been forced to kill them. In the context of ever-increasingly explicit cries in Israeli society for complete genocide in the Gaza Strip, such incitement must be taken most seriously…

“The deputy speaker of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, last week published a plan calling for the ‘conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters.’ Israeli army officers have recently called for ‘holy war’ against Gaza by ‘God’s army’ – supposedly the Israeli army.

“The Israeli press has recently printed calls for ‘dismantling Gaza,’ claiming there is no such thing as ‘innocent civilians’ in Gaza and even, in one now-deleted blog post on the Times of Israel website, musing on ‘When genocide is permissible.’

“That The Guardian, a supposedly liberal newspaper, seems to want to add fuel to these deadly flames by publishing such a disgusting ad speaks volumes about its anti-Palestinian agenda.”

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