Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Something rotten at the Guardian

FURKAN DOGAN , 19-year old student wanted to be doctor, shot dead by Israeli troops as he tried to video them storming aid flotilla. Trevino said "better off without" him.

THERE'S something rotten at the Guardian. And its name is Joshua Trevino. The fanous liberal newspaper has somehow persaded itself, or been persuaded, that its US political coverage would be improved by the recruitment of a Texan, formerly with the Texas Public Policy Forum, who went on record last year saying that if Israeli forces intercepted an aid boat for Gaza and shot Americans on board, "well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me."

Apparently this was not the first time. He had said the same about a young American-born student who was shot and killed in the Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla. As Sarah Colbourne of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign tells us:
On 3 June 2010, Treviño tweeted, “There are some Americans we’re better off without. Furkan Dogan is one of them'.

The UN Human Rights Council report found that 19-year-old Furkan was filming the attack with a small video camera when he was shot five times by Israeli commandos - including a shot to the back of his head.

Sarah is one of a number of people who've signed a lettter to the Guardian expressing "shock and dismay" at the paper's bringing in Trevino:tion.

"In what way does publishing a man who clearly has no regard for the rule of law, and who advocates the killing of his fellow citizens by a foreign army, enhance the Guardian's reputation as a serious newspaper? The extremist views of people like Treviño, who have no hesitation in wishing death upon those who disagree with them, can be found on countless sensationalist, racist and hate-speech websites. They have no place in a reputable publication."


Among other signatories are CND vice president Bruce Kent, Diana Neslen of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, Professors Stephen Rose of the Open University and Hilary Rose of LSE, Canon Garth Hewitt, St George's Cathedral, Jerusalem, and Victoria Brittain, former associate foreign editor at the Guardian.

An attempt by Trevino to supposedly "clarify" what he said by surrounding it with waffle brought this response:

Trevino's Risible Clarification

As some one who might also have been a target of his lethal opinion, I find Travino
's "clarification" a desperate and mealy mouthed attempt to salvage his image. What he said, "Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me." was unequivocal, it clearly expressed his beliefs. To try to excuse it as “badly marred by its lack of rhetorical integrity” is risible.

That he “actively urged the IDF to shoot Americans, that (he) welcomed their death, or that (he) hoped for that outcome” was his categorical statement. The current meaning of “cool” is ‘approval’,‘great’, ‘well done’ When he says, “Nothing could be further from the truth” he is, having run into a storm, attempting to turn his own unpalatable conviction on its head.

He says, “Above all, I have worked for policies and a society that I believe gives the most hope to the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized”. Perhaps he should pay more attention to the 77% of Israeli Palestinian children who live below the poverty line, to the 24,000 Palestinian families made homeless by the demolition of their homes, to the 30-40,000 Bedouin due to be cleared from 45 villages under the Prawer Plan, to the statement by an Israeli general that no one in Gaza now dies of old age, to the reports by Israeli Human Rights groups which detail the maltreatment and torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

By his own admission he says, “I was quick, intemperate, and too clever-by-half. I failed as a writer. And that is not the fault of my readers, but of myself.”

What on earth is the Guardian doing to its reputation by employing such a journalist? You have made a serious error of judgment and should have the courage to divest yourselves of this ranter.

Glyn Secker

Captain of the Jewish Boat To Gaza, 2010

Jews For Justice For Palestinians

Another person who has commented is Dror Feiler, on Facebook:

The Guardian is hiring Joshua Treviño who was endorsing the killing of unarmed civilians (among them myself)

"In June 2011, as several boats carrying unarmed civilian activists attempted to set sail from ports in southern Europe to break the blockade of Gaza, Treviño tweeted out a message to the Israeli army: "Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla - well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me."

When another Twitter user called on Israel to "sink the flotilla", Treviño chimed in that the effort to reach Gaza was "not morally different from a Nazi convoy". A third Twitter user asked Treviño point blank if he was "Endorsing killing Americans overseas," and Treviño left no room for doubt: "Sure, if they adhere to our enemies. Flotilla participants do."

Among the passengers, whose killing by Israel Treviño endorsed, were poet and author Alice Walker, elderly Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein and several journalists, including Joseph Dana on assignment for The Nation.

I'll lay my cards on the table. I had many friends and colleagues who travelled on these and previous boats, and I do take calls for their murder personally. And Treviño knew that a year earlier, Israeli forces had shot dead nine unarmed civilians attempting the same journey aboard the Mavi Marmara".

Dror Feiler was aboard one of the ships in the Gaza flotilla stormed by Israeli commandoes on May 31, 2010 and in 2011, he was involved in the Freedom Flotilla II, and among the 15 activists arrested by Israeli authorities aboard the boat Dignité. He was deported from Israel, and I understand he was banned from re-entering, though he was Israeli born and his parents still live there.

Incidentally, I see the animals down at "CiF Watch" , (dedicated to "monitoring and confronting antisemitism and the assault on Israel's legitimacy at the Guardian and its blog Comment is Free") have correctly identified Dror as among other things chairman of the Swedish organization Jews for Israeli–Palestinian Peace (JIPF) and of the European organization European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP), but they nevertheless refer to him as a "terrorist".
I presume they are not referring to his military service with the Israeli paratroops, when he declined to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Dror has been the target of unknown assailants while he was working for the current Swedish ship to Gaza.

It was at the founding conference of European Jews for Just Peace in Amsterdam that I first met Dror, and his fellow Swedish activist Henry Ascher. The son of refugees from Germany, Henry spent over a year working as a children's physician in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. He too was on the 2010 Gaza flotilla.

I was there as one of the representatives of the Jewish Socialists' Group from Britain, which was also a founder member of European Jews for Just Peace. So I guess for CiF's watchdogs that makes us all "terrorists".

We're not of course.

All the same, should anything unpleasant happen to Joshua Trevino and/or to his friends at CiF, particularly if it followed further Israeli attacks on those taking part in aid flotillas, then speaking personally, I might be "cool" with that.

But what I'd much rather see right now, not just for the Guardian's reputation but considering the resolutions passed by NUJ conferences on Palestine and boycotts to help human rights, would be for action to be taken over Mr. Trevino by that newspaper's contributors and staff. It should be a matter of conscience and their self-respect.

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At 9:00 PM, Blogger Maju said...

Personally I quit reading (except the occasional link from third sources) both BBC and The Guardian many months ago. Why? Because I could not stand anymore their blatant Zionism (what means racist colonialist bias, not at all different from supporting, say, Hitler or Apartheid South Africa).

Nowadays I am in the process of quitting Al Jazeera as well. Can you suggest an English-language alternative that is not Zionist or a Pentagon cheerleader while still having ample quality international coverage? Thanks in advance.


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