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Voices from the conflict: Israeli and Palestinian op-eds in The Guardian

This is a cross post from Just Journalism.

NEW REPORT: The Guardian has consistently published commentary from Palestinians who reject the concept of two states for two peoples, in keeping with an editorial line that questions the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state.

‘Voices from the conflict: Israeli and Palestinian op-eds in The Guardian’ – August 2011 (PDF)

London 25 August 2011 – Since its involvement in the release of the Palestine papers, The Guardian (UK) has maintained an editorial line that goes beyond simply endorsing the end of Israeli occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state. The paper is critical of any recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, specifically because it would hazard ‘the right of return’ – the admission of millions of Palestinians that would turn Israel into an Arab-majority state. A report published by Just Journalism today shows how this editorial line is reflected by the external commentary it prints.

Voices from the conflict: Israeli and Palestinian op-eds in The Guardian’ is a six month study of the comment pieces by Israelis and Palestinians that appeared in the broadsheet. It is a qualitative and quantitative analysis that documents how The Guardian instinctively promotes the views of those who oppose the very concept of two states for two peoples.

Its findings show that The Guardian repeatedly provided a platform to Palestinians who see the Jewish right to self-determination as either irrelevant or unacceptable. While the few Israelis who offered their opinions are associated with a political left that believes Israel must help facilitate an independent Palestinian state, The Guardian gave preference to those on the other side of the conflict who see Israel’s very existence as an intolerable intrusion. Characteristic of this was the comment pieces by those affiliated with Hamas, which believes that there can be no resolution until Israel is physically destroyed by force.

Just Journalism’s Media Analyst Chris Dyszyński said:

‘The Guardian has long been associated with its endorsement of the Palestinian cause, and its criticism of the occupation. However, this new report suggests that the real sticking point for the paper is not the number of settlements in the West Bank, but Israel’s very nature as a national home for the Jewish people. While you would expect ‘the world’s leading liberal voice’ to endorse Israeli concessions in the name of the two state solution – and to promote the views of liberal Israelis who don’t believe their government is doing enough for that solution – it seems perverse to overwhelmingly plump for Palestinians who don’t share that view. The decision to repeatedly offer a platform to signed-up Hamas members is the logical, if distasteful, outcome of its preference for those who fundamentally disagree with Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.’

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • The Guardian published more op-eds by Palestinians than by Israelis during the first half of 2011, with eleven comment pieces by nine Palestinian contributors in comparison with six by four Israelis
  • Three of the Palestinians who contributed op-eds during this period were either members of Hamas or strongly affiliated with it, and have endorsed  terrorist attacks
  • Four further Palestinians were secular nationalists who also reject Israel’s legitimacy and endorse policies that would turn it into an Arab majority state
  • All of the Israelis given op-eds are associated with the left-wing of Israeli politics that supports the concessions needed to create a Palestinian state in order to facilitate two states for two peoples
  • The majority of comment pieces by Israeli contributors dealt with the repercussions of the Arab Spring, rather than directly with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict itself.

For the full report as a PDF file, Click Here.

For all media enquiries about this report please email contact@justjournalism.com or call 020 7837 5960

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