Race over, defamation continuing

I said in my previous post about the cancellation of the Gaza Marathon (here):

“And let’s see how many Hamas supporters do take the group to task for their ant-feminist attitudes.”

Enter the Guardian:

But let's make sure we do not miss the opportunity to bash Israel...

“But let’s make sure we do not miss the opportunity to bash Israel…”

Ms Ramdani’s first paragraph firmly grabs the opportunity to criticize Hamas bash Israel:

Anyone who takes part in a long-distance run knows there will be plenty of problems to overcome, but the Gaza marathon was always going to be in an endurance class of its own. When I registered for this year’s race, my concerns were certainly less about my personal training schedule than about global conflict. The length of the blighted Palestinian territory is slightly shorter than the 26 miles and 385 yards required for an official marathon course, making its densely packed population particularly vulnerable to military action by its neighbour Israel. Destroyed buildings and potholed streets dot the entire route as it snakes along the Mediterranean coast, marking it out as the most dangerous in the world.

What the flipping heck does the highlighted rubbish have to do with the Gaza Marathon?

And what does “...marking it out as the most dangerous in the world.” mean?  I know it’s the most dangerous place in the world for Jews, but somehow I know that’s not what she meant. But come on, what does it mean? Was the editor asleep at the wheel of the good ship Guardian?

In fairness, the next extract shows criticism of Hamas:

Hamas’s decision to ban women – 119 from abroad and 266 from Gaza itself – is wrong for all the most basic reasons. It is sexist, discriminatory and regressive, and – crucially – it wastes what should have been yet another huge blow against Israel’s illegal occupation and blockade of the Palestinian territories. What the ban ultimately shows is that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas’s more liberal political opponent based in Ramallah, is increasingly losing influence. War and occupation inevitably lead to authoritarian government, and Hamas is asserting its traditional conservatism in a manner that is of great concern to thousands of Palestinians.

But notice, again, Ms Ramdani making sure she keeps up the Israel bashing.

Memo to Ms Ramdani: Gaza is not occupied. The limited blockade is legal.

However, the real cheek has yet to come. Ms Ramdani does a leap of logic that would win an Olympic Gold Medal, were there such an event, by connecting the Gaza Marathon to…

This shortsighted ban comes as Israel introduces segregated buses travelling from the West Bank into Israel. The claim is that the buses will be popular with Palestinian workers, but they in fact come in response to demands from Israeli settlers who see these labourers as a “security threat”. It is all part of a colonial expansion that currently sees Israelis building new homes on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while Israel maintains control of Gaza’s land and sea borders, its territorial waters, its natural resources, its airspace, its food and energy supplies, and its telecommunications network. All of this prompted David Cameron to call the Gaza Strip a “prison camp”.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. From the marathon to buses. It’s an exercise in mud throwing. There is some criticism of Hamas, but in a perverted display of “balance”, the author of this piece ensures Israel is called to account for its alleged wrongs.

Second memo to Ms Ramdani: There are no segregated buses. [Readers interested in the truth about the buses. should see this excellent post by Adam Levick.] There is no building on “Palestinian lands”. There is a country called Egypt you seem to have forgotten. And, so far as the prison camp is concerned, the very piece your online article links the David Cameron comment to, includes this rather relevant response:

Ephraim Sneh, the former Israeli deputy minister of defence, said: “Cameron is right – Gaza is a prison camp, but those who control the prison are Hamas. I’m totally against the double standards of a nation which fights the Taliban but is showing its solidarity with their brothers, Hamas.

“It’s very regrettable that the British PM doesn’t understand that. It reflects a lack of understanding and is a very bad sign. Cameron doesn’t understand that 1.5m people live in Gaza under the repressive regime of Hamas – and yet he blames Israel.”

It’s a shame – but also a powerful marker of how bad the Guardian is – that the cancellation of the Gaza Marathon is framed by such poisonous, defamatory, Israel-bashing.