March 25, 2004
Yassin, the New Mandela: a Guardian ObituaryBy Michael Morris
After reading The Guardian's repulsive obituary for Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, one must never again doubt the revisionist creativity of the British left. The author of this abomination, David Hirst, should be giving classes to Holocaust apologists.
Take your hats off to Mr. Hirst, ladies and gentlemen, because he is simply untouchable in his skillful ability to portray the 'spiritual' kingpin of mass murder as some sort of twenty—first century Lawrence of Arabia, romping through the
The only inconsistency in this Guardian obituary is that it never seems to be able to make up its mind whether Yassin was more like Lawrence of Arabia, or Nelson Mandela. I guess the problem for David Hirst is that since all these heroic types are so similar, it's awfully hard to distinguish one from the other.
Apart from the subject's imputed identity crisis mentioned above, this obituary is wholly consistent in whitewashing Sheikh Ahmed Yassin's life.
The Guardian wastes no time in the sanitization process:
'When, in October 1997, the halfblind, almost wholly paralysed Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who has been killed in an Israeli air strike at the age of around 67, arrived in Gaza, after being released from an Israeli jail in exchange for Mossad agents caught redhanded trying to assassinate a colleague in Jordan, one Arab commentator likened him to Nelson Mandela.'
What an intro! If that doesn't trigger the reader's sympathy then they must either be completely heartless or victims of a suicide bombing. But let's all remember that The Guardian is only read by caring Socialist types, whose empathy with those who suffer knows no bounds.
David Hirst also mentions assassination and killing in that opening, and each time conveniently affiliated with the Israelis. Throughout this whole obituary, Yassin's name is soiled in reference to murder just once, and only allegedly. Of course, when Mossad kills they are —— 'caught redhanded'.
At the end of the paragraph the author sneaks in the first mention of Mandela — setting the tone for the reader.
The Guardian continues with:
'In truth, neither Arafat nor Yassin had Mandela's special greatness. But of the two, it was Yassin, the founder—leader of the militant Islamist organisation Hamas, who came closer.'
So there you have it from The Guardian's official scribe. Neither Arafat nor Yassin had Mandela's special greatness, but of the two, Yassin came closer. Determining exactly how much closer isn't necessary as long as the reader associates Yassin with Mandela. That's enough of a semantic victory for the author —— clarity is neither necessary nor welcome.
The Guardian's apologetics continue with:
'as a prisoner in enemy Israeli jails, he had little practical to do with the devastating suicide bombings, from which, more than anything else, he derived that force.'
Does the author really have to add the word 'enemy' in reference to the Israeli jails?
He could just have easily removed the word and instead added an unhappy face :—(
—— yes, we get your point David, loud and clear.
Adding to the already risible confusion caused, the author says that Yassin had little to do with the suicide bombings, in practical terms. That's a lot like saying that Hitler was an alright bloke really because he didn't actually pour the Zyklon—B into the gas chambers. According to David Hirst —— not guilty milord!
Sweat must have been pouring down the author's face as he was writing his little screed, because the effort expended in spinning Yassin's life to this extent is nothing short of remarkable.
'Yassin justified the change of strategy by saying that new realities — a product of the "divine will" — had imposed the need for a new, activist form of jihad. He also offered more than the PLO ever could: a special kind of struggle that combined moral purity and social action with the promise of divine grace — not just redemption of the homeland, but salvation of the troubled soul as well.'
According to The Guardian's Mr Hirst, no—one can resist the delightful temptation of slaughter when imposed by the mysterious 'divine will'. The author then tells us almost gleefully that Yassin could offer more (than the PLO) with his special brand of struggle that combined purity and social action with the promise of divine grace. In other words ——mass—murder of innocents, but just coming out and saying it would spoil David's Mandela—like imagery.
Next up is:
'Before long, Hamas was outdoing, in violent deeds, all the secular nationalist groups that had formerly mocked the Islamists for their inaction'
So now it's the other terrorists' fault that Hamas started their 'violent' deeds. Making fun of Hamas will only make them mad, and we won't like them when they get mad.
'In 1989, it took Yassin back to an Israeli prison, this time with a life sentence for his alleged involvement in the abduction and murder of an Israeli soldier'
It took him back all by itself. Let's not be accountable for one's actions —— that would never do. It's that 'divine will' problem we had earlier —— forcing people to incite and commit mass—murder. His alleged involvement in the abduction and murder of an Israeli soldier is neither here nor there —— forget that he ran the set up —— that's too much information.
That paragraph was as close as Yassin gets to murder in this whole obit. Anticlimactic, I know.
'Like a Mandela — unseen, unheard, yet charismatic in his prison cell — now half blind and deaf as well as crippled, Yassin's prestige grew inexorably, just as that of Arafat, the official Mr Palestine, an ever—greater travesty of all that Mandela ever stood for, withered beneath the glare of a publicity he could no longer escape.'
I'm just waiting for the part where the buxom and voluptuous temptress comes rushing through the door into the hero's arms. David Hirst's talent is clearly wasted at The Guardian newspaper.
Mentioning Mandela twice in the same paragraph doesn't hurt either. Yassin never minded the glare of publicity all that much — especially with the never—ending supply of sycophantic Guardian writers willing to pen obituaries.
'But it was the self—sacrificing zeal of Yassin's followers that achieved this for him. It was only after the massacre of 30 worshipppers in a
As David Hirst clearly implies, it was a suicidal land—grabbing Jew that really started off the whole suicide bombing malarkey. There is no explanation as to why Yassin's followers were self—sacrificing zealots —— such as his 'spiritual' manipulation convincing Palestinians to commit mass—murder —— and instead, we are left with the distinct impression that it was all
His language is all starting to sound a bit too Biblical, an odd thing to be happening at the ultra—secularist Guardian.
'Whether or not Yassin, who was still in jail at the time, really willed it, they became what, with the coming of the second intifada, they remain to this day, the ultimate expression of Islamist violence, terrifying the Israelis, undermining Arafat, and, in symbiotic connivance with their extremist counterparts on the other side, pushing the whole Arab—Israeli struggle towards the dark extremities of the inter—communal fanaticism from which Mandela rescued South Africa.'
And that's it? Would you believe that's how it ends? I thought there was something wrong with my web browser.
So according to the Guardian, it's just some nondescript violence and as long as it terrifies the Israelis, it must be for a good cause. Also, let's mention Mandela one last time just for the hell of it.
Bringing up details about suicide bombings, and the hundreds of innocent civilians Yassin has been directly responsible for murdering, would be counterproductive. After all, David Hirst wouldn't want to undo all that tireless work he's accomplished up to now making Yassin's life sparkle and shine.
One can't help but wonder whether this obit is the type of gutter journalism that sets off British suicide bombers such as Asif Muhahmmad Hanif, and Omar Khan Sharif.
When you've got The Guardian unashamedly spinning history — there is absolutely no need for an old and rickety Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.