THE GUARDIAN: IN DEFENSE OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

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Guardian offers bizarre new defense for hiring Islamophobic murder-inciter Joshua Treviño

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla — well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Gaza flotilla, on which I salute the IDF for doing the right thing, the right way.

The Guardian is offering a bizarre new defense for its decision to hire Joshua Treviño, an extremist Islamophobic ideologue who openly, repeatedly and gleefully incited murder and celebrated the deaths of unarmed civilian Palestine solidarity activists.

Because Treviño’s brand of extremism, hatred and incitement is “ascendant,” an editor claimed, the Guardian is somehow obligated to give it a platform.

At the same time, The Guardian continues to refuse to correct Treviño’s blatant lie that he never made such statements, despite a growing mountain of uncontradicted evidence to the contrary.

In this post I take you through Treviño’s shocking incitement to murder and how he lied about it in The Guardian and provide you with information if you want towrite to the editors.

The Guardian: a platform for extremism?

On 20 August, the Guardian published Treviño’s first branded column about the debate over Medicare in the United States. However, almost two hundred reader comments to date focused almost entirely on Treviño’s history of racist and violent statements.

Today, Matt WellsThe Guardian’s New York-based blogs editor, made the following statement in the comments section of Treviño’s 20 August article:

I completely understand the strong reaction against Josh [Treviño]. Much of what he has said in the past on Twitter and elsewhere is tasteless, to say the very least. But we have taken Josh on to write about the Republican side of the US presidential campaign because he represents a strand of thinking in the GOP that is in the ascendancy. Whatever we think about it, the Republican party has taken a significant lurch to the right in recent years and we should try and understand why that is, and what’s going on there. Josh is well placed to articulate that.

Who else deserves a column?

This is utterly bizarre reasoning. It is also true that extreme Islamophobia of the kind that inspired mass killer Anders Breivik “is in the ascendancy” in many parts of Europe. Indeed, many of Treviño’s columns have appeared in thevirulently Islamophobic Brussels Journal.

Does this require the Guardian to provide Pamela Geller or Geert Wilders with columns and to arrange media bookings for them in the name of helping us to “understand” their views? What about David Duke? If his brand of racism and anti-Semitism finds itself “in the ascendancy” can we expect to find Mr. Duke joining the team too?

For many years it was thought Osama Bin Laden style jihadism was “in the ascendancy” in many countries. I don’t recall the Guardian offering a branded column and a media-booking service to any members of Al-Qaida.

Surely when extremism of any kind is “in the ascendancy” you report about it using people who are genuinely knowledgeable, rather than providing its proponents a privileged platform and a media booking service.

Has The Guardian noticed that Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian extremism are central to US electoral debates and campaigns? Thus writing about “the Republican side of the US presidential campaign” is not separate from these issues and Treviño’s hateful and violent views are not irrelevant to them.

Treviño’s experience

Notwithstanding his violent hate speech, the claim that Treviño has something valuable to offer is not particularly convincing. He is a marginal figure with little influence or following. He has never been part on any significant conservative or right-wing platform – except for the website he co-founded – in the United States.

His known experience as a political consultant was primarily to work for the campaign of Chuck DeVore, a right-wing California state assemblyman who came third in his 2010 bid for the Republican nomination for a US Senate seat from California.

Treviño has not disclosed all his consulting clients – a major problem for someone who is supposed to be helping readers understand as Wells claims, and a possible violation of the Guardian’s editorial code related to conflicts of interest.

And while he’s sometimes described as a “Bush speechwriter,” according to his own Linkedin profile, Treviño was a speechwriter for the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, not for the president. He was hardly at the center of anything.

There are many more informed and influential conservative commentators in the United States who at least come without Treviño’s history of violent hate speech.

Refusing to correct a lie

As I detailed in a post yesterdayThe Guardian has ignored requests to issue a correction to a blatantly false statement Treviño made in a “clarification” theGuardian published on 16 August after the initial outcry over a June 2011 tweet in which he wrote:

Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.

In his “clarification,” Treviño claimed:

any reading of my tweet of 25 June 2011 that holds that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record.

However, this is simply a lie, and one that Guardian editors have continued tospread in Treviño’s defense. There are numerous examples of tweets by Treviño in which “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings.” Here are a few:

Incitement to murder and hate speech

You can find many more examples at Topsy.

Write to The Guardian and demand correction of Treviño’s falsehoods

The Guardian’s editors have so far been unresponsive to requests that they correct the blatant falsehood in Joshua Treviño’s “clarification,” detailed above, that he never “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings.”

Here are the people to write to should you wish to add your voice:

Feel free to send a copy of your letter to me atfeedback@electronicintifada.net

Note: Guardian email addresses are public information.

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There’s more …..
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How The Guardian’s Joshua Treviño injected anti-Muslim hate into 2010 California senate race

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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The growing outrage over The Guardian’s hiring of Joshua Treviño as a columnist has focused on his tweets inciting Israel to murder American citizens aboard a flotilla to Gaza in June 2011 and his celebration of the killing of passengers aboard the flotilla a year earlier.

What has escaped scrutiny — until today — is Treviño’s record as a political consultant. This is important because The Guardian has justified its hiring of Treviño on the basis of his experience.

Treviño evidently used his position as communications director for California Senate candidate Chuck DeVore to disseminate his personal message of hate, vilification of Muslims, and support for the Israeli killings of civilians on the flotilla.

DeVore, then a California State Assemblyman, ran unsuccessfully for the Republican party nomination for the United States Senate in 2010.

This role, once again, flatly contradicts Treviño’s claim published in theGuardian that any reading of one of his controversial tweets “that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record.”

Israeli-government sponsored rally

On 6 June 2010 — a week after the attack on the flotilla — DeVore spoke at an Israeli-government sponsored rally outside the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles. Treviño posted a video of his candidate’s speech on his Vimeo account.

Even by the standards of an American politician, DeVore’s speech was vitriolic. It never mentioned the word “Palestinians” but focused exclusively on “Israel’s enemies” who were always described in vague terms as “Islamists” and directly compared to Nazis.

Although the words came out of DeVore’s mouth and he is politically and morally responsible for them, they were undoubtedly written by Treviño himself.

For DeVore, the only people in Gaza are “terrorists” and any support or solidarity with 1.6 million people there — half of them children — was support for a “terrorist” enemy.

“Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies,” DeVore declared to loud cheers, “They hate Israel for the same reason they hate America…. They hate the free society, they hate the religious liberty and they hate people who will not bow down to their oppression.”

DeVore claimed that the battle between Israel and America and their common “enemies” is the battle between “civilization” and “barbarism,” the same message that has recently emerged in the form of Islamophobic hate-ads on public transport in San Francisco placed by notorious anti-Muslim inciters Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

DeVore “unequivocally” endorsed Israel’s attack on the flotilla. “There is only one thing about the Gaza flotilla that contributed to peace,” DeVore said, “and that is when the IDF stopped it dead in the water.”

DeVore’s hate-speech and Treviño’s tweets

The following excerpts are transcribed from the video of DeVore’s speech, and although offensive it is important that they be quoted at length. The blockquoted text are DeVore’s words at the 6 June 2010 rally. The tweets in between are Treviño’s from the days preceding the rally.

They are juxtaposed this way to show that the tweets make many of the same points and sometimes even use the same words or phrases that DeVore used days later:

Make no mistake, defending Israel is defending America. If Israel disappeared tomorrow, who believes that the terrorists would disband? Who believes that the target would not simply shift from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles?

Why do I support Israel despite not being Jewish, nor Israeli? Because the people coming for it are coming for me next. 

Let us say this unequivocally and unashamedly and emphatically, what Israel did to the Gaza flotilla was right, it was legal and it was moral. It is never wrong to blockade a terror state. It is never wrong to defend your existence. It is never wrong to starve a movement that thinks theHolocaust was simply a good start.

Let me be clear: even if the worst reports of Israeli actions on the are true — and I doubt that — Israel is still right.

Let’s not forget:  sought to open supply lines to Hamas, an entity that thinks the Holocaust was a good start.

The fight between Israel and Hamas is the fight between civilizationand barbarism. It’s as simple as that. Our grandfathers left their homes and families to travel half-way around the world to defend freedom and it was on this day 66 years ago that they landed at Normandy beach in their righteous quest to destroy the Third Reich. If this generation of Americans does not fight Islamists who seek to complete the Third Reich’s work we dishonor the memory and sacrifice of our grandfathers.

 also makes clear that murderous Jew-hatred in the West did not die with the Third Reich. It merely evolved.

Our very identity as Americans compels us to stand with Israel and against Israel’s enemies. America stands against Israel’s enemies for the same reason it stood against Nazism, Fascism and Communism.

I say clearly that the enemies of Israel are just as genocidal, just as tyrannical and just as savage as those defeated movements. The defenders of the Gaza flotilla say it was a humanitarian mission. They say they were peace activists. They lie!

If you support the , you support supplying Hamas. If you support supplying Hamas, you support genocide. Simple as that.

What humanitarian mission opens sea lanes to terrorists, to Hamas? What peace activists lynch Israeli soldiers? What humanitarian mission refuses to cooperate with lawful authorities? What peace activists chant about Muhammad’s massacre of a Jewish tribe?

If you’re defending the  effort to open sea lanes to Hamas, no, you don’t: RT @ebertchicago: I support Israel.

The Gaza flotilla was not about peace. It was about war! It was about establishing a supply route to Hamas. It was about supporting theeradication of the Jewish state. It was about seeking and gettingcombat with young Israeli men who earnestly desire peace.

Said it before and I’ll say it again: the  wasn’t about humanitarian aid. It was about opening a maritime conduit to Hamas.

Again, I would feel better about  supporters if it wasn’t so clear they think the eradication of Judaism is a valid policy option.

Defenders of the  cannot avoid the emerging truth that its participants sought, prepared for, and initiated violence.

The Gaza flotilla is in short the greatest international fraud since the plight of the Sudeten Germans. There is only one thing about the Gaza flotilla that contributed to peace, and that is when the IDF stopped it dead in the water.

 proves that the busybodies who worried about justice for the Sudetendeutsche are still with us.

And indicating that Treviño had electoral politics, rather than merely a selfless concern for the well-being of Israel at heart, he tweeted:

While  is hot, I’m going to remind you that @chuckdevore is the only  candidate who’s always stood strong for Israel.

These are Treviño’s words

There can be little doubt that the words DeVore uttered at the Israeli consulate rally were penned by Treviño.

According to Treviño’s Linkedin profile, Treviño worked as Communications Director for the DeVore for California campaign from March 2009 to June 2010.

Treviño was “Responsible for all media” and messaging for the campaign. Among his self-proclaimed achievements was that he:

Created and conveyed public narratives that highlighted the candidate’s manifest strengths — in particular his qualities of leadership, integrity, intellectual power and civic-mindedness — in media and journalism.

From 2001-2005, Treviño worked as a speechwriter, and then communications director for the US Secretary of State for Health and Human Services.

Tweets as tests of political message

Treviño also boasts about how he “leveraged new media” for the DeVore campaign. This casts his tweets in a new light. Perhaps he was simply testing a political message.

The Guardian claims that Treviño’s political work qualifies him to be an informed commentator on its pages.

In a 15 August press release (note The Guardian was caught doctoring parts of the release after it was published), Janine Gibson, Editor in Chief of Guardian US, said that Treviño “brings an important perspective our readers look for on issues concerning US politics.”

The release quoted Treviño himself claiming, “My background in communications and activism has given me insight into what works and what doesn’t in the digital age.”

Contrary to any claim that Treviño’s tweets are in the past and no longer relevant, they are actually central to the political experience that is to inform his column.

Why won’t the Guardian correct this lie?

Meanwhile, The Guardian continues to ignore requests to issue a correction to a blatantly false statement Treviño made in his “clarification” the Guardianpublished on 16 August after the initial outcry over a June 2011 tweet in which he wrote:

Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.

In his “clarification,” Treviño claimed:

any reading of my tweet of 25 June 2011 that holds that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record.

It is now amply clear this is a lie. In recent days, even more vile tweets from Treviño have come to light in which Treviño gloated about and celebrated Israel’s violent attack on the Mavi Marmara on 31 May 2010 and his mockery of the 9 unarmed civilians who were shot dead.

He tweeted, for example that Furkan Dogan, an American teenager “deserved” to die. Yasir Tineh has compiled even more examples.

After viewing this video of DeVore’s speech, can there be any doubt that Treviño not only “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings,” but used his role with the candidate to push his extremist views to an even wider audience?

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5 Comments

  1. Bill Lee said,

    August 23, 2012 at 17:47

    Guardian promotes hatred and incites terrorism.

  2. Donna Bubb said,

    August 23, 2012 at 21:52

    Boycott the Guardian and Trevino.

  3. It is I only said,

    August 24, 2012 at 01:35

    Most of the people I know, have a deep Ziophobia instinct!

  4. Blake said,

    August 27, 2012 at 13:03

    Hired and subsequently fired! Justice!

  5. August 28, 2012 at 06:05

    […] THE GUARDIAN: IN DEFENSE OF ISLAMOPHOBIA […]


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