Following the Guardian’s excellent feature Gaza War Crimes Investigation the Zionist Federation and Israeli Embassy have coordinated a disingenuous campaign against the paper. The same story has also been picked up by ‘Honest’ Reporting and pro-Israel writers such as Melanie Philips whose article in the Spectator is embarrassingly titled The Guardian goes to Pallywood (I’m really surprised this clown gets her work published).
It’s worth remembering that the brutal assault on Gaza is a greater crime than any of the war crimes contained within it. Noam Chomsky explains that “it is […] a mistake to concentrate too much on Israel’s gross violations of jus in bello, the laws designed to bar practices that are too savage. The invasion itself is a far more serious crime.”
UN envoy, and expert on international law, Richard Falk agrees, describing the attack on Gaza as a war crime of the “greatest magnitude” stating it had no legal justification and may represent a “crime against peace”. This is because Israel had not employed all peaceful options and ignored Hamas’s calls for a ceasefire based on an easing of the siege. The siege is also an attack against the people of Gaza, a collective punishment that breaches Geneva conventions. Clearly Israel’s action most certainly were not defensive; given Israel’s illegal occupation and colonisation of Palestinian lands, it can only be seen as part of an ongoing aggressive policy.
Bearing that in mind, and the facts such as that the Israeli military has admitted killing at least 189 children, the arguments of these lobby groups are ridiculously petty and callous, they are defending the indefensible. Their point is not to educate but merely to pressure the Guardian to stifle criticism of Israel. Their complaints give room to the papers resident Zionists, like Jonathan Freedland, to argue that the Guardian needs to be careful of offending “Jewish sensitivities” (or rather Zionist ‘sensitivities’) softening the discourse on Israel while also giving space for strong criticism of Hamas to appear “balanced”.