The Guardian newspaper has been criticised for listing its 1917 support for Zionism as among its worst errors of judgements in its 200-year history.
The left-leaning daily marked its 200th birthday last week, and among the articles marking the occasion was an article called ‘What we got wrong: the Guardian’s worst errors of judgment over 200 years’.
The piece, by chief leader writer Randeep Ramesh, surveyed the paper’s historic editorials deemed to be mistakes, including among them an editorial from editor CP Scott in favour of Zionism in 1917.
“The Guardian of 1917 supported, celebrated and could even be said to have helped facilitate the Balfour declaration,” stated the piece.
“Scott was a supporter of Zionism and this blinded him to Palestinian rights. In 1917 he wrote a leader on the day the Balfour declaration was announced, in which he dismissed any other claim to the Holy Land, saying: “The existing Arab population of Palestine is small and at a low stage of civilisation.”
“Whatever else can be said, Israel today is not the country the Guardian foresaw or would have wanted.”
Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies, said it was a “breathtakingly ill-considered” statement.
“In its eagerness to disassociate itself in any way from its early support for Zionism, the Guardian chooses not to focus on the simple fact that had such a national homeland existed even a decade earlier than 1948, many millions of Jews – our close relatives – murdered in the Holocaust might still be alive,” she said.
“Alongside a safe and secure Jewish State, the Board of Deputies supports the creation of a Palestinian State, something the Balfour declaration does not negate.
“The Guardian would be best advised to advocate for this as well rather than its current position, which seems to be to do everything it can to undermine the legitimacy of the world’s only Jewish state.”
Jewish News has contacted The Guardian for further comment, but did not receive a response.
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