In 2014, the Guardian fired its journalist Nafeez Ahmed for using his editorial freedom to post on the site about Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian resources. What remains largely unreported is the role Gaza’s natural gas could play in the current Israeli war with, and occupation, of Palestine since the conflict intensified on 7 October.
Israel: colonising Gaza for its gas?
Israel is blocking Palestinian development of its resources costing its people billions of dollars. While the climate crisis means we need to leave such resources in the ground, Gaza has offshore natural gas in its territory and Israel could be motivated to exploit it for itself.
The Guardian fired Ahmed in 2014, claiming that his piece on Gaza was “inappropriate” for a blog about the environment, even though it was the website’s most shared story about the situation at the time. As Ahmed wrote on his Medium site, his piece was:
exposing the role of Palestinian resources, specifically Gaza’s off-shore natural gas reserves, in partly motivating Israel’s invasion of Gaza aka ‘Operation Protective Edge.’ Among the sources I referred to was a policy paper written by incumbent Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon one year before Operation Cast Lead, underscoring that the Palestinians could never be allowed to develop their own energy resources as any revenues would go to supporting Palestinian terrorism.
Fast forward to 2023, a secret Israeli Intelligence Ministry document shows a plan to expel Palestinians in Gaza to Egypt, which would make way for Israel to seize Palestinian resources. Indeed, Israel is publicly demanding Palestinians flee Northern Gaza. The state has colonised Palestine since 1948, enjoying its gas and oil licenses as a result, and seems to be using Hamas to settle further in Gaza.
The Guardian: censoring the truth
So, the Guardian fired Ahmed for revealing the truth about Israel’s colonialism.
However, this approach isn’t a one off. The Guardian has form here. Recently, the outlet fired its long-term cartoonist Steve Bell for a drawing criticising Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has overseen the killing of over 8,000 Palestinians since 7 October and many more in the years before. The Guardian says it fired Bell because of allegations the cartoon was antisemitic. But these appear to be based on loose association with other examples of antisemitism, rather than the cartoon itself.
Another example of the Guardian firing critics of Israel is when media company sacked Nathan J Robinson in 2021 for a sarcastic social media post, criticising the US for arming Israel.
Indeed, the Guardian played a key role in what academics found to be a “disinformation paradigm” when it reported on alleged antisemitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.
The Guardian remains a great resource on certain topics but it also plays a role in the information artillery of the US-led empire, as its reporting on Corbyn and Julian Assange indicates.
However, when its mattered the most the Guardian has sided with the establishment and that shouldn’t be forgotten. And neither should Israel’s potential exploitation of Palestinian resources.
Featured image via the Guardian – screengrab
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