David McKie, filling in for regular readers' editor Siobhain Butterworth, responded, claiming that the offending link had existed for some ten years, saying that:
Our editors, in consultation with our Middle East specialists, selected a small number of external websites that we felt provided our readers with a wide and representative selection of voices providing further information and background on this complex topic. This decision is always open to review with the advice of our specialists; but Hamas is a significant player in the region in terms of politics and power and it was felt appropriate to include a link to their website. Inclusion of a web link does not in any way mean that the Guardian endorses the content of the website, and the Guardian is not responsible for the content of external websites.
We were appalled that McKie chose not to address the real issues and at least one of our subscribers challenged him as to why The Guardian was prepared to link to Hamas's "military wing" and not Al-Qaeda. McKie's response served to demonstrate a total lack of understanding or moral clarity:
The difference is that Hamas was elected to power by the Palestinian people. Al Qaeda does not have that remit.
Does McKie really believe that the Ezedeen Al-Qassam Brigades have played any role in democratic discourse? The Hamas website that The Guardian links to is not that of a Hamas administration concerned with political decisions or the welfare of Palestinians in Gaza. The Brigades' sole purpose is to kill Israelis (and even their fellow Palestinians) through violence and brutality.
McKie evidently cannot see any problem whatsoever with the promotion of a terrorist website, even if The Guardian says it is not endorsing or responsible for the content. We believe that McKie's response is pathetic and hope that regular readers' editor Siobhain Butterworth may address these issues in a more professional manner than her deputy upon her return.
HonestReporting subscribers deserve a better answer than that provided by McKie. Please continue to write to The Guardian asking for a satisfactory and proper response - firstname.lastname@example.org
SAILING INTO A PUBLICITY STUNT
Two boats from the Free Gaza Movement are attempting to "break the siege of Gaza". However, a closer look at the background and motivations of these so-called "peace activists" exposes an anti-Israel publicity stunt.
As the boats get closer to their intended destination and Israel declares that her navy will prevent Free Gaza's boats from landing, see HonestReporting UK's latest communique on why this voyage is anything but a "humanitarian mission."
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: GADI EVRON ON CYBER WARFARE
Cyber warfare is playing a significant part of the conflict between Russia and Georgia. To get some understanding of cyber warfare and the threat it poses to Israel, MediaBackspin editor Pesach Benson talked to Gadi Evron.
Read the full exclusive interview on Backspin here.