Chris Hedges likened Israel to ISIS in an inflammatory column. He was sanctioned for it but still defends his anti-Israel extremism. 

Former New York Times Middle East bureau chief Chris Hedges sparked outrage after publishing a column in which he equated Israel with the notorious Islamic State (IS or ISIS) terror organization.

Hedges published the column, titled “ISIS – the New Israel,” this month in Truthdig, a so-called progressive site, in which he likens ISIS’ ascendancy to power and its policies to those of Israel.

He claims that “ISIS, ironically, is perhaps the only example of successful nation-building in the contemporary Middle East, despite the billions of dollars we have squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

He completely ignores reality when he writes that ISIS’ “quest for an ethnically pure Sunni state mirrors the quest for a Jewish state eventually carved out of Palestine in 1948.”

He continues by charging that ISIS’ “tactics are much like those of the Jewish guerrillas who used violence, terrorism, foreign fighters, clandestine arms shipments and foreign money, along with horrific ethnic cleansing and the massacre of hundreds of Arab civilians, to create Israel.”

Not Wanted at Forum on Peace

Hedges’ malicious allegations have generated a public outcry, and his invitation to speak at an event in April at a forum on prospects for peace in the Middle East sponsored by Philadelphia University’s International Affairs Association was withdrawn.

Zachary Michael Belnavis, a student leader of the association, complained that in light of Hedges’ comparison of Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East – to ISIS, ”we don’t believe he would be suitable to a co-existence speaker based on this stance he’s taken.”

While Christians, Yazidis and others are being slaughtered by ISIS terrorists, Israel is the only safe haven for religious minorities in the Middle East.

Hedges responded to the cancellation of his speaking engagement and defended his false and anti-Semitic accusations in another column a week later, titled: “Banning Dissent in the Name of Civility.”

“Being banned from speaking about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, especially at universities, is familiar to anyone who attempts to challenge the narrative of the Israel lobby. This is not the first time one of my speaking offers has been revoked and it will not be the last.”

He claimed to support Israel’s right to exist, but only within the 1967 borders. He further lashes out at the so-called American-Israel lobby for “suppressing debate,” and then at Israel itself.

History of Anti-Israel Bias

Hedges has a long history of anti-Israel bias.

Hedges spoke at an anti-Israel “Occupy AIPAC” event, where he was described as “an outspoken critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.”

His coverage of Operation Protective Edge was “severely marred by material errors and grave anti-Israel bias,” CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) writes.

CAMERA fact-checked numerous allegations he had made and found many to be false.

After pointing out numerous flaws and errors, CAMERA concludes : “Chris Hedges’ account was marred by other serious deficiencies, including the gross omission of context with regard to violence against Israelis in Gaza – failing to mention there had been nearly 3000 Palestinian attacks launched between October 2000 and June 2001 – and the total absence of any Israeli voice to challenge specifically the grave accusations against its people and policies.”

Can Hedges honestly claim he is being banned and suppressed because he represents another “narrative?”

By: United with Israel Staff