Guardian ad blames Hamas for Palestinian deaths
The Guardian newspaper has been accused of pro-Israel bias after printing an advert accusing Hamas of 'child sacrifice'. The advert was printed just over a month after Israel began an assault on the Gaza strip which left nearly 2,000 Palestinians, including nearly 400 children, dead.
“Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it’s Hamas turn,” stated the advert. “In my own lifetime, I have seen Jewish children thrown into the fire. And now I have seen Muslim children used as human shields, in both cases, by worshippers of death cults indistinguishable from that of the Molochites.”
The advert was co-written by Elie Wiesel, a Nobel prize-winning author whom the Electronic Intifada reports has “been a chair of the advisory board of Elad, a group of fanatical religious Israeli setters actively involved in ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the eastern sector of occupied Jerusalem.”
According to the Electronic Intifada, Israeli leaders and their supporters have repeatedly accused Hamas of using Palestinians as human shields in order to absolve Israel of responsibility for killing Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip. The advert read:
“Moderate men and women of faith, whether that faith is in God or man, must shift their criticism from the Israeli soldiers – whose terrible choice is to fire and risk harming human shields, or hold their fire and risk the death of their loved ones – to the terrorists who have taken away all choice from the Palestinian children of Gaza.”
In an article in the New Statesmen on 22nd July, the BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said “I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields... Raji Sourani, the director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, told me that Hamas, whatever you think of it, is part of the Palestinian DNA.”
The Guardian said it had received 140 complaints about the ad at the time of publication on 11th August. The following day it published an open letter on its website signed by individuals from the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, amongst others, criticising the advert:
“We write to condemn the Guardian’s decision to print a wildly inaccurate and inflammatory advert from supporters of the state of Israel branding the Palestinian resistance as “child killers”. This is especially sickening when Israel’s latest bombardment of Gaza has killed close to 400 Palestinian children. Amnesty International has condemned the deliberate targeting of schools and hospitals by Israel as a war crime.”
The advert was paid for by This World: The Values Network. It was previously published in a number of American newspapers but rejected by The Times in London.
The Guardian defended its decision to publish the advert. A spokesperson for Guardian News & Media, which owns the Guardian, said: "The decision to run any display advertisement in the Guardian is made on a case-by-case basis and there was a full discussion about accepting the advert in question.”
Ethical Consumer considered the Guardian's decision to run the advert to be discriminatory as it promoted the view that Palestinians were to blame for deaths caused by Israeli airstrikes.
This story has been added to our corporate database. The database powers all our live product guides, giving the score for each company on our rankings tables. Find out more about how we rate companies.