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August 19, 2014

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The Guardian rejects Dershowitz ad on ‘human shields’ in Gaza

Harvard University professor, whose ad questioned claims that Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, accuses paper of anti-Israel bias.

By Haaretz Aug. 18, 2014 | 1:50 PM |  1
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. Photo by AP
The British Guardian newspaper rejected an ad written by Harvard University Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, reported over the weekend.
The ad, titled “The Empty Spaces in Gaza,” counters the claims that Gaza is “one of the most densely populated areas in the world,” and is based on a an article of the same name that Dershowitz wrote earlier this month for the Gatestone Institute.

“The fact that these sparsely populated areas exist in the Gaza Strip raises several important moral questions,” Dershowitz wrote: “Why don’t the media show the relatively open areas of the Gaza Strip? … Why doesn’t Hamas use sparsely populated areas from which to launch its rockets and build its tunnels?” and “Why does the United Nations try to shelter Palestinian civilians right in the middle of the areas from which Hamas is firing?” The article ends with a call to the international community to enforce international law against Hamas and put a stop to the use of civilians as human shields.

After the ad was rejected, Dershowitz was quoted by as saying that “The Guardian, which holds itself out to be a purveyor of diverse truth, clearly reflects a bias against Israel on its editorial pages, as well as in its presentation of the news. Now that bias has spread to the advertising pages.”

A spokesman for the newspaper told that “The Guardian reserves the right to reject any advertisement.”

Last week, The Guardian agreed to run an advertisement accusing Hamas of “child sacrifice” as another British newspaper, The Times, came under fire for refusing to print it.

The ad, written by Nobel prize-winning author Elie Wiesel, calls on U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders to condemn Hamas’ “use of children as human shields.”

On Saturday, British newspaper The Jewish Chronicleapologized for running an advertisement for a charity raising funds for the crisis in Gaza.

The weekly paper said running the ad for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Gaza Crisis Appeal was “meant as a purely humanitarian gesture.”