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Jonathan Freedland justifies the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Jonathan Freedland's writing is Israel-centric and biased towards Israel. Jonathan Freedland's Mideast world is largely free of Palestinians. Jonathan Freedland conflates criticism of Israel with 'anti-semitism'. Jonathan Freedland's narrative is largely that of Israeli hasbara.   Share:  
Thrust of argument: Blake Aclott writes 'Why Jonathan Freedland Isn't Fit to be the New Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian'. Direction of resistance / implied resistance: In 2008 Freedland wrote 'Iím of the view that says admit the price that was paid but then say to the world, tragically, it was necessary, given the place the Jews were in given the calamity of their own, the slaughter in the holocaust. So I think you have to, you can be cleared-eyed and honest about this. It doesnít actually compromise the moral need that Israel had 60 years ago, to admit that in order to implement that moral need there were terrible sufferings for other people involved.'


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Removal of resistance: Alcott writes 'In an example of his amoral attitude towards Palestinian issues, Freedland judges Sharon's building of 'the separation barrier', his decision that the Palestinians must be 'bombed, harassed and intimidated' and his 'pursuit of the settlement project' not on ethical grounds but rather on the grounds that these undermine Israel's true interests.'

Alcott also notes 'In his chapter 'Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism?í Freedland concludes that it isnít necessarily, but usually is. He places the burden of proof (of innocence of 'anti-semitismí) on those who reject Israel or Zionism. His main argument for the Yes answer to the essayís question is however not defended 'intellectually' but by feeling, by listening to 'tones of voices', to 'how' rather than 'what' is said. Even worse: evidence of 'anti-semitismí lies not so much in the 'singling out' of Israel but rather in the 'fervor' with which this is done. To avoid even this vague, emotional charge of 'anti-semitismí critics should I suppose tone things down, observe persecution of Palestinians with appropriate coolness. By this criterion the present critique of Freedland stems from my 'anti-semitismí, done as it is with considerable effort, dedication, perhaps 'fervor' Ė even if I have shown that exactly the same criticism could be made of the views of anybody applying for this Guardian job.'
Unification: Alcott concludes 'Freedland's refusal to honour the right of self-determination to the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine is undemocratic and thus inconsistent with the liberal principles of the Guardian's owner, the Scott Trust Limited. And to my mind his justification of ethnic cleansing is particularly alarming.
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