Reading some of the comments on the Guardian yesterday was a bit like entering a parallel universe. Outraged readers were threatening to cancel their subscriptions and complaining about the moral bankruptcy of the paper’s new hire. Whereas usually such complaints are likely to be voiced by those who feel the paper is biased against Israel, yesterday the target was Joshua Treviño, and his 2011 tweet:
“Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.”
The angry comments were prompted by this article, in which Treviño attempts to explain away his tweet, arguing that it could be seen as little more than an executive summary of this statement from Hillary Clinton:
“[W]e do not believe that the flotilla is a necessary or useful effort to try to assist the people of Gaza … [W]e think that it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves.”
I don’t think you don’t have to be anti-Israel to find the tweet unpleasant – or indeed find this response to the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni offensive.
But I did start to wonder, as I trawled through the spluttering comments, how many of those up in arms at the appointment of Treviño had ever felt perturbed by the many pieces the Guardian has run by Hamas leaders and apologists.
Update: Commentary101 suggests (in the comments) that this appointment was made to balance that of Glenn Greenwald, whose attitude towards Israel is analysed here. S/he also suggests that this Treviño was perhaps deliberately selected (as a token pro-Israel voice) because of his potential to discredit his own side.