In the past year I have noticed that my very occasional sojourns into the Guardian's "Comment Is Free" discussion have been deleted by the moderator when saying something as innocuous as: "The Palestinians, perennially complaining about lack of opportunity, have had next door to them for sixty-one years an example of a people who rose from oppression and created a high-tech democracy where gays can march and women do as they please without fear of being stoned to death." Unless you live on Mars you will be aware that it is obviously not in the Guardian's house style to laud the achievements of tiny, oil-impoverished Israel.
So, presto! In October 2009 Simon Rogers of the Guardian finally eradicated Israel. How did he do this?
The day after Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Guardian decided to publish a chart showing the nations and people who had won the prize in the past century. To the utter disbelief of those who saw it, the list omitted the Israeli names. There was Yasser Arafat in 1994, clearly listed as a winner from a country that does not actually exist, "Palestine," but there was no Shimon Peres or Yitzhak Rabin of Israel. There was Anwar Sadat of Egypt, but no Menachem Begin of Israel. The aforesaid Israelis had worked as tirelessly as their Muslim counterparts to forge a new generation of peace and prosperity amongst the warring nations. Who could forget Prime Minister Rabin's impassioned speech about "no more blood and tears," as he signed agreement after agreement with his nation's former enemies? Who could forget the embrace of Egyptian President Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Begin — a sight no one would have believed possible just a few years before they signed the historic Camp David Accords? It was this scenario that was to cost Sadat his life. It was the handshake in the Rose Garden of the White House that would lose Rabin his life.
Readers of this site may think I have become a crazed supporter of Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), but my point is that no matter how one despised the coming together of Begin and Sadat and Arafat and Rabin, the omission of the Israeli Nobel winners is shocking and unforgivable. As far as I am concerned it was deliberate and malevolent. The Guardian used the excuse that there had been a glitch in the entering of data in the Nobel listings. Oh, please.
What I do like about this staggering omission is that it corroborated my belief that Israel hatred in the liberal press is obsessional. The Nobel omissions corroborate Julie Burchill's courageous journalism protesting what she perceived as the "vile anti-Semitism" around her during her departure from the Guardian-Observer. People who have scoffed that Julie Burchill and I see an anti-Semite and Israel-hater in every corner can now please be silent. In National Review Online Tom Gross reported that the Guardian "has wiped Israel off the Nobel Prize map, much as Iranian despot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would like to wipe Israel off the real map."