February 18, 2011
Meet England's Helen Thomas: Patrick Seale
By Moshe Phillips

Patrick Seale is a columnist that is not at all well known in the U.S. At least not yet that is, however that may soon change. His criticism of America and Israel is a main theme that pervades his columns and is so intense that it must be labeled perverse. His work has long appeared in daily newspapers in London and in the English language press in the Arab world.

Criticism of Israeli policy is of course one thing in of itself and it no doubt has its place. Seale, however, has long ago left genuine criticism behind and engages in lies about Israeli history and government policy and dark innuendo about Zionist schemes to control world affairs. His language is highly charged and his voice is shrill. In short, he is the British Helen Thomas.

Seale is a leading example of a particular variety of Israel basher / Arabist that is found in England. These haters have thrived there in the media and in the foreign service for generations. They are closely related to the American of the species who inhabit Foggy Bottom and newspaper editorial offices. European media elites and other post-modern leftists enjoy participating in Israel bashing to be sure, but the British enthusiast can be particularly nasty. No doubt this is due in part to the humiliation that developed when the Irgun and Stern Group militias sent the Brits packing from the Holy Land for good.

Seale's screeds have been given little play in the U.S. by the mainstream media. This is due in no small part to the fact that he's not a very good writer and also in all likelihood because he has a total inability to ever exhibit anything close to an objective viewpoint.

Several years ago the Metro daily free commuter newspapers in Boston, New York and Philadelphia (originally owned out of Sweden) repeatedly published Seale's columns, giving him the largest audience he had had in the U.S. up to that time.

Metro US stopped carrying Seale after they were spun off as a separate company. (I've written about Metro twice before: first here http://www.israelnationalnews.com/articles/article.aspx/8088 and then here http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/phillips/101207.) After Metro stopped running Seale's essays it seemed like he would only be carried in this country by marginal publications on the left.

That could now be changing thanks to The Washington Post Company. The website for Foreign Policy (FP) magazine published a 1,200 word Seale essay on February 15, 2011 (see http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/15/the_future_of_the_destabilizing_israel_egypt_peace_treaty). The Slate Group is the business unit of The Washington Post Company that bought FP and its website in 2008.

Seale's February 15 FP article appears to be the first they have published. So was Seale's The future of the (de)stabilizing Israel-Egypt peace treaty of better quality? Hardly!

Unbelievably the thrust of what Seale has to say is that the Camp David Accords did not lead to peace but to more violence! He complains about "Israel's military dominance over the region" and "regional hegemony."

Seale followed up this nonsense with attacks on late Israeli Prime Minister Begin (who he claims "out-foxed " Sadat) and Henry Kissinger (who he incredibly states was "committed to protecting Israel"). The only villains Seale sees are Jews.

The list of Seale's inaccuracies in the piece is a long one. A typical example of Seale's insanity is his portrayal of Israel's 1981 raid on Iraq's nuclear reactor as somehow linked to Camp David. Seale would prefer a Middle East where Saddam Hussein was still in power in Baghdad and Iraq was a nuclear power.

Patrick Seale's common sense is blinded by his intense hostility towards Zionism and Israel. The question that remains is what in the world happened to the common sense of the editors at FP who decided to open up their publication to a hater like him.

© Moshe Phillips

 

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