Harriet Sherwood’s reports on Israel and the Palestinians for the Guardian possess a degree of ideological uniformity which would have pleased Soviet propagandists during the height of the former totalitarian regime’s anti-Zionist crusade.
Sherwood’s most recent dispatch, on her personal involvement with efforts by anti-Israel activists to provoke a confrontation with the Israeli Navy, could have been produced and edited by Gaza TV News, Hamas, or at least by the terrorist group’s apologists – those on board the vessel which organized Sherwood’s junket: Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSG), which is made up of groups such as International Solidarity Movement, Code Pink, European Jews for a Just Peace (headed by Dror Feiler), Free Gaza’ and the Popular Struggle Co-ordination Committee - all of whom, to varying degrees, legitimize or openly support the quite illiberal political aspiration of bringing about Israel’s demise, and who Sherwood characterized (using perfect Newspeak) as a “human rights groups“.
Indeed, her post, “Gaza fishermen swamped by Israeli gunboats and water cannons“, July 24, contained a video narrated by a Brit who intoned with the monotone gravity of a correspondent reporting on the blitzkrieg of London on the “harrowing” water assault on the vessels (who were significantly beyond the 3 nautical mile limit) by the Israeli Navy which left several passengers shockingly, umm, “drenched”!
The post itself is classic Sherwood – accepting at face value claims by Palestinian fishermen that their “livelihood” is demolished by the Israeli blockade, ignoring the context of Hamas terror, and dismissing the Israeli justification for the limit by placing both references to Israel’s security concerns in quotations.
Not in quotations however, and without a hyperlink citing a source, was her casual allegation that the United Nations and human rights organisations say the fishing restriction is collective punishment in violation of international law.
Sherwood also uncritically quotes an official from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - an EU funded NGO which regularly describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid” and accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing - characterizing the broader Israeli blockade of arms as “illegal”, a claim which can no longer credibly be made in light of the United Nations Report‘s conclusion that the blockade is perfectly in accordance with international law.
More broadly, evidence relating to the propaganda value of Sherwood’s report can be found in the following images.
While the movement behind Gaza TV News is less than clear, the fact that they cross-posted Sherwood’s dispatch verbatim from her Guardian report piqued my interest, and, in the course of my research, came across their Facebook page:
And, lo and behold, one of the few pages Gaza TV News “likes” just happen to be CPSG, the group who organized Sherwood’s voyage.
If you’re the member of CPSG who organized Sherwood’s fishing trip, you are, no doubt, gleaming right about now.
The word “dupe” simply doesn’t do justice to Sherwood’s continuing acquiescence to radical anti-Israel “activists”.