The Guardian (formerly known as the Manchester Guardian) is a leading newspaper in the United Kingdom. It is owned by the Scott Trust, which was created in 1936 by created by John Scott – son of C P Scott who edited the paper for 57 years.
It is famous for its support of liberal causes. In these days, that means that it provides better coverage of Palestine than many other papers. In the past, however, true to its support for what it regarded as underdog causes, it supported Zionism.
Before the issue of the Balfour Declaration, the work of the Zionists in Manchester (where Chaim Weizmann worked in the university) was greatly aided by the support, advice and encouragement of the staff of the Manchester Guardian. Harry Sacher , one of the original members of ‘the Manchester School’, worked there as a journalist from 1905. Through Sacher, Weizmann was introduced to Herbert Sidebotham , a Guardian journalist who came to believe that the interests of the Zionists coincided with those of the British Empire. His articles did much to counter the arguments of those who saw the negative implications for Britain if a colony were planted in Palestine.
The editor of the Manchester Guardian was the liberal and high-minded CP Scott, who had been a Liberal MP from 1895-1906. Scott first met Weizmann and was won over by him at a party held by the chairman of a medical clinic in which Vera Weizmann was working. Familiar with all the influential personalities in English public life, he was a tremendous asset to the Zionist cause, and through his introductions Weizmann was able to converse with David Lloyd George , Arthur Balfour , Herbert Samuel , and other leading members of the government. It was Scott who argued for the potential importance of Weizmann’s discovery regarding the manufacture of acetone, and who leaked to Weizmann details of the embryonic Sykes-Picot agreement. Scott was also the first member to join the British Palestine Committee , the Manchester organisation that founded the Zionist publication Palestine .
A later editor, W. P. Crozier , similarly supported Zionism. By this time, Weizmann was in London and it was the historian Lewis Namier who maintained the strong links between the Manchester Zionists and the Guardian. Crozier denounced Hitler’s policy along with Britain’s refusal to give refuge or protection to the German refugees, and MacDonald’s White Paper (1939) which severely limited immigration into Palestine.
The Guardian maintains an online archive of its articles on Israel and the Middle East.
You may also find this calendar-driven archive interface useful.
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The Guardian’s historical reputation for radicalism was already a sham under the editorship of Rusbridger, and has completely vanished under Viner, in favour of hardcore Clinton identity politics failing to disguise unbending neo-conservatism. The Guardian smashed the hard drives containing the Snowden files under GCHQ supervision, having already undertaken “not to even look at” the information on Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact the hard drives were not the only copies in the world does not excuse their cravenness.
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