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The Guardian should immediately correct an op-ed by Nick Cohen


I sent this note to the Guardian’s readers editor today about a Nick Cohen article that was both libelous and anti-Semitic.* The article has already been up for over a week. I wish I had noticed it earlier but I can seldom bother to read Cohen’s trash closely.
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It is ok to conflate “the Jews” with Israel in the pages of the Guardian?
Cohen wrote
They blame the Americans, the May administration, which doesn’t have the competence to conspire its way out of a paper bag and, inevitably, the Jews. Corbyn eggs them on by saying that “Russian mafia-like groups” may be behind it. But why would the mafia want to do it?”
 
Cohen links the words “the Jews” to an article by the Canary which reports Craig Murray’s observation that “other states or agencies could have access to the nerve agents today, not just Russia”
The Canary article links to Murray’s blog post which says that
And one country which has always manufactured very similar persistent nerve agents is Israel. This Foreign Policy magazine (a very establishment US publication) article on Israel‘s chemical and biological weapon capability is very interesting indeed. I will return to Israel later in this article…..
To return to Israel. Israel has the nerve agents. Israel has Mossad which is extremely skilled at foreign assassinations. Theresa May claimed Russian propensity to assassinate abroad as a specific reason to believe Russia did it. Well Mossad has an even greater propensity to assassinate abroad. And while I am struggling to see a Russian motive for damaging its own international reputation so grieviously, Israel has a clear motivation for damaging the Russian reputation so grieviously. Russian action in Syria has undermined the Israeli position in Syria and Lebanon in a fundamental way, and Israel has every motive for damaging Russia’s international position by an attack aiming to leave the blame on Russia.
Both the Orbis and Israeli theories are speculations. But they are no more a speculation, and no more a conspiracy theory, than the idea that Vladimir Putin secretly sent agents to Salisbury to attack Skripal with a secret nerve agent. I can see absolutely no reason to believe that is a more valid speculation than the others at this point.
Whatever you think of Murray’s speculation, it is not anti-Semitic. Nether he nor the Canary has blamed “the Jews” for anything as Cohen alleges. Not only has Cohen libeled Murray and the Canary he has done so in a way that conflates Israel with all Jewish people.
Would the Guardian allow anyone to write that “The Jews perpetrated  Operation Cast Lead” or would that (rightly) be shot down by an editor?
Joe Emersberger
* I followed up  with emails to the Observer’s readers editor and other editors

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