Gaza is Paying the Ultimate Price for Decades of Media Pandering to Zionist Bigotry

We all understand that, shamefully, a number of Zionist Jews and non-Jews identify so completely with Israel that they are not only willing to excuse the mass slaughter and starvation of civilians in Gaza but think others should not even be allowed to express disquiet at the slaughter.

Hardline Zionists tell us they find concern for the welfare of Palestinians “offensive”, and that they feel “unsafe” when others raise such concerns or call for a ceasefire to end the bloodshed.

The question for the rest of us is: How do we deal with those “sensitivities”, and how much do we prioritise the “offence” taken by hardline Zionists?

Not unreasonably, most ordinary people place very little weight on the “sensitivities” of those who believe mass slaughter and the starvation of children should be allowed to proceed, at least when weighed against the sensitivities of those opposed to mass death.

What’s so weird is the way, as far as official bodies and the western media are concerned, those priorities have been turned upside down.

Here, in typical fashion, the Guardian falls over backwards to indulge the “feelings” of a few Jewish Arsenal fans because they “felt unsafe” and “betrayed” by their club for not more aggressively stopping protests last weekend at a Women’s Super League game by other fans over the complicity of the UK government in Gaza’s genocide.

No evidence is produced by either the fans or the Guardian that any Jewish fan was in any danger whatsoever. Just that a few Palestinian flags were smuggled into the stadium, that leaflets and stickers were handed out, and that some protesters tried to “engage” with fans as they arrived at the stadium – presumably in that dangerous tradition of trying to persuade others of the validity of one’s position.

But the Guardian sympathetically dedicates a great deal of space to relaying the concerns of the handful of Jewish fans who “believe their safety was compromised by security staff not curtailing the protest” – that is, those who wanted to prevent an entirely peaceful demonstration taking place in a public space outside the ground.

The story is risible. It is news as therapy for Zionists and gaslighting for the rest of us.

But it is decades of nonsense journalism about Israel and its apologists of precisely this kind that has led us to the dismal place we are today.

The constant indulgence by the political and media class, the constant elevation of these kinds of ugly, ignoble “feelings” – feelings that dehumanise and vilify Palestinians, as well as anyone acting in solidarity with their suffering – the constant treatment of Zionist bigotry as warranted, as justified, as normal, that has gotten us to a position where Israel can commit genocide and its western allies and parts of their Jewish populations can treat it as “offensive” to raise the matter.

If we had not got so entirely used to it, we would immediately understand how completely nuts – and catastrophically inhumane – the coverage is.

Jonathan Cook, based in Nazareth, Israel is a winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). Read other articles by Jonathan, or visit Jonathan's website.