Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Media Lens alert and email to Jonathan Freedland

Another defining piece on Gaza from Media Lens, noting the double standards of 'weary' liberals, 'armchair warriors' and other evasive journalists.

A short letter, by way of response, to the Guardian's Jonathan Freedland:

Dear Jonathan Freedland

On the case for 'humanitarian intervention' in Libya in 2011, you wrote: ‘Though the risks are very real, the case for intervention remains strong.’

In considering the ruthless assault on Gaza, resulting in 158 dead - mostly civilians, including 30 children - and over a thousand injured, you state: ‘I feel it myself, a deep fatigue with this struggle, with the actions of both sides’.

Leaving aside the spurious claims made by Nato over Libya and the indecent haste with which so many liberal writers endorsed them, I wonder if you can find the intellectual depth to recognise the gross double standards at play here? Moreover, does it not dishonour the dead, injured and traumatised of Gaza to read of your 'deep fatigue' over 'the actions of both sides'?

In addition to the latest worthy indictment from Media Lens, perhaps you might also reflect on Seumas Milne's fine piece It's Palestinians who have the right to defend themselves, which, in stark contrast to your own 'weary' feelings and 'two sides' narrative, takes readers to the essential heart of this painful and prolonged issue: Israel's oppression of an occupied and besieged people?

In many ways, output like yours is much worse than standard reactionary support for Israel. For its 'middle-moderated' take and liberal gravitas helps authenticate the 'equal castigation' and 'two-sides-to-blame' line, thus offering that more vital cover for Israel's primary guilt and fabrications.

As Desmond Tutu succinctly puts it:

"If you are neutral in situations of justice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."

It would be good to read your responses to Media Lens.

Kind regards
John Hilley

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