Guardian Travel publishes article by Sarah Irving, former ISM activist


It’s getting near that time of year when people in the UK, fed up of their dank, grey winter, begin flicking through holiday brochures and the travel supplements in their weekend newspapers, dreaming of a warm and exciting destination for their summer break.

Sarah Irving - Former ISM activist

As may be expected, the Guardian’s travel section also contains articles on a variety of tempting destinations. Las Vegas, Spain, Turkey and the Red Sea to to name but a few, and this week there’s also an article by the author of the newly published Bradt Guide to Palestine, Sarah Irving, on its top 10 attractions.

The vast majority of readers of the article will of course be unfamiliar with the region and may therefore not pick up onIrving’s distinctly partisan style or the inaccuracies in her article and, one can only assume, her book.

Already in her introduction,Irving makes much of potential travel difficulties visited on the unsuspecting voyager by the Israeli authorities. Of course she makes no mention of why inconveniences such as checkpoints or airport security checks may be necessary in order to protect the lives of tourists just as much as Israelis.

Irving then proceeds to give her recommendations for places to visit. Sebastia becomes a site of Hellenic watchtowers, ruined Samaritan palaces and crumbling Byzantine churches” along with “Islamic shrines”: no mention of the history before the relatively late naming of the town Sebastia after Augustus Caesar, which includes the archeological excavations of the royal citadel and kings of Israel, including Ahab, between 880 and 721 BCE.

Next, Irving moves on to the Dome of the Rock which, despite this being a guide to Palestine, is of course situated in Israel. The only clue the reader might get about that fact is her claim that the site is “[u]sually closed for Islamic holidays, Jewish holidays, Fri/Sat (except Muslim worshippers), and whenever the Israeli authorities consider there to be a security risk.”  Ah, those unpredictable and hysterical Israelis again!

Northwards to Jenin and Irving cannot resist yet another context-free remark: “this bustling town, sadly better known for the Israeli army’s massive 2002 attack on the refugee camp.” Of course one does have to admit that Jenin’s other title as terror capital of the Palestinian Territories is somewhat less likely to draw in the crowds.

Next Irving manages to turn Abraham, after whom a hiking trail is named, into “the Prophet Abraham”, and to skip meticulously over any Jewish history in Taibeh or Jericholiable to distract the reader, before arriving in Hevron. The tomb of Abraham and the other patriarchs at Machpela is not recommended to visitors – presumably because that would not fit into the narrative – but she does manage the by now obligatory mention of wicked Israelis. “Many [shops] have closed, shut by Israeli military order to protect the settlers who have occupied parts of the city, or because the settler threat makes business unviable.”  In fact, rather than having ‘occupied’ it, the Jews living in Hevron do so under the terms of the Oslo Accords signed by the representatives of the Palestinian people.

Irving’s attention turns next to Acco – or as she for some reason calls it ‘Akka’. Acco is of course situated in Israel, but Irving gets round this by informing her readers that “The new Bradt guide also covers areas of Israel that are home to large numbers of Palestinians and where their culture survives. The Arabs living in Acco are Israeli Arabs – who chose not to leave Israel during the War of Independence in 1948.

It is clear that far from being a ‘travel guide’, Irving’s book is actually a political polemic.

Why Bradt should have selected such an obviously biased author to write a guide which appears to attempt to erase Jewish history from Judea and Samaria (unless in the form of context-free references to contemporary security issues) is a mystery.

A quick Google search would have shown Bradt’s editors that Sarah Irving has a very rich history of her own.

In 2002 she visited the Palestinian territories as a member of the International Solidarity Movement. She writes forElectronic Intifada‘  (among others) and also maintains her own fiercely anti-Israel blog. She has co-written a book (promoted by the ISM) about Operation Cast Lead which she describes as “the massive Israeli invasion in December 2008 and January 2009, when 1,400 people were killed, mainly children and other civilians.”

As is well known, Hamas itself has admitted that over half the casualties were members of its own terrorist organization which had fired rockets at Israeli civilians for years before the Israeli military operation.

Currently Irving is writing a biography of the hijacker and terrorist Leila Khaled, also to be published by the same Pluto Press which includes Gilad Atzmon in its stable of reviewers, and runs a blog dedicated to Leila Khaled. 

Irving’s ‘understanding’ and ‘expertise’ on the Middle Eastis summed up here in her own wors:

“On a wider political scale, it’s impossible to disconnect the West’s support for Israel and our governments’ apparent blindness to Israeli human rights abuses and also to the massive theft of land for settlements, the discrimination meted out to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Palestinian citizens of Israel, from issues like control of the Middle East and its oil, racism and anti-Islamism, and global hatred and hostility which feed religious fundamentalism – Christian and Jewish as well as Islamic.”

Obviously, this article byIrving calls into question the reliability of this particular Bradt travel guide as far as genuine tourists are concerned but it also prompts one to wonder if their previous publications also cater exclusively to the terror-chic market.

That the Guardian’s travel editor apparently saw nothing unprofessional in publishing an article and promoting so blatantly faulted a book by a terrorist-supporting writer indicates that readers need to regard its travel recommendations with considerable caution.

(h/t Infinity)

32 comments on “Guardian Travel publishes article by Sarah Irving, former ISM activist

  1. That’s what you get when the racist Guardian rag and a radical ISM member get to gather,they end up with this spurious garbage……….

  2. I hope someone has sent a link to this to Irving.

    And has copied in Chris Elliott providing this example of lies and nastiness as proof of the Guardian’s animus towards Israel.

    The more I think about the the more I am convinced that these people share a common set of personality traits and characteristics (apart from wilful stupidity, if that’s a personality trait) and are drawn to the Guardian/CiF because it provides reinforcement for their wonky world view.

    Her obsession with/hero worship of Leila Khaled puts her squarely in the tinfoil hat category of anti-Israel stupidity.

    I wonder if she is being groomed to be the Groan’s next Jerusalem correspondent when Hattie is exiled to Gaza? She seems to have all the credentials as regards brainlessness, laziness, sloppy research and inability to distinguish thoughts from facts.

  3. “The new Bradt guide also covers areas of Israel that are home to large numbers of Palestinians and where their culture survives.”

    That is simply bizarre.
    And in Hebron no mention of the tomb of the patriachs?!

  4. Sorry folks, the address is “undeliverable” as regards my test email.

    This is doubtless because Irving has become a victim of her own questionable success…

  5. The same sort of thing happens in Pakistan where centuries old Hindu/Buddhist history pre- dating the Islamic invasions has to be wiped away from the text books and consciousness of the converts and invaders in order to make their claims to the land legitimate.

    Interestingly, given it’s unhealthy attention towards Hindus and India, Guardian also has a hand in this bit of rewriting of history.

    • I’ve just read something from a tweet which describes the death of a Muslim cleric, I think in India, murdered by the jihadists who tried to force him to take on extremism,

      In the Palestine Mandate Arabs who were neutral or friendly to Jews were murdered by the Nazi Mufti’s terrorists. While his family was selling over-priced land to Jews and threatening death to others if they did it.

  6. The Guardian is a dump where people like Deborah Jane Orr,Sarah Irving,Ben White,come to relieve themselves……….

  7. I’d love to see Israel abrogate the Oslo agreements since the Arabs have never kept to their parts of them. Where would “Palestine” be then? It doesn’t exist now but the Groan doesn’t seem to know that.

  8. That’s the pathology of modern British anti-Semitism, any vacuous tourist who fancies parading their heroism and self-righteousness against the iniquities and illegitimacy of the ‘Zionist entity’ – more lovingly known as Palestine – is welcome to wax lyrical in Der Guardian.

    • There needs to be a BDS of Der Guardian and especially companies that advertise in its pages.

      B – BOYCOTT Der Guardian
      D – DIVEST from Der Guardian
      S – SANCTION Der Guardian

      • Further stupidity from Thank God I’m an Infidel. Suggesting that the Guardian is a Nazi publication only belittles the evil of Der Stürmer.

        • pretzels, Der Guardian has taken the mantel of Jew hatred, masquerading as “anti-Zionism” from Der Stürmer.

          You should spend some time reading the articles posted here rather than taking your marching orders from ISM.

  9. Long may the so-called illegal land settlements continue. And please God may the arab entity known as the palestinians eventually wither and die and they should surely do, if they have any decency.

    • John, it’s not a matter of decency: for the Palestinian/Arab people to survive at all they will have to cease hating and wanting to destroy and queering their own pitch again and again and blaming everyone but themselves, and the stupid NGO’s and charities and loony left rags like the Guardian will have to stop colluding with their self-perpetuated victimhood.

      Every nation’s future depends upon its nourishing its young so that they can advance and build upon what the previous generations have accomplished. While Palestinian parents are willing to give over their children’s futures to conscienceless thugs whose main agenda is to perpetuate hatred down the generations, destroying any hopes of even non-belligerency let alone peaceful coexistence, they are damning their own children which is inhuman. Every time a Palestinian child is told that the only way he/she will get to heaven is by hating and killing, that child is lost to the future and the “Palestinian people” take more steps towards the inevitable oblivion which awaits them because of their mindless and pernicious hatred.

      Their children don’t deserve not to have futures, but they haven’t the right to build a mirage of a future which is predicated upon the destruction of Israel and Jews.

      “Palestine” will perish and perhaps in our lifetimes, not because anything that Israel has or has not done, but because of its useless leaders and their slaves to a stone age death cult who hadn’t the wit to choose life rather than death.

    • Why aren’t I surprised. A comment wishing the disappearance of Palestinians gets only positive feedback.

      This website really does attract scum.

      Shame on you.

      • pretzels, this website attracts scum like you.

        Too bad the Israelis are NOT the unarmed Jews of WW2 national Socialist infested Europe.

      • pretzels, it seems that wilful misunderstanding is your strong suit. Read my post again and CAREFULLY, there’s a good chap, True the hypothetical nature of it may stump you at first, but if you stick at it you will realise that your post above is misplaced and, quite frankly, utterly without any redeeming feature. That’s why I haven’t given it even one star.

  10. Every time anywhere and everywhere that you mention the Guardian make sure that you add the words “The Racist and Antisemitic Guardian”………………………….

    • We don’t need to. Everyone knows it is, and it provides proof of this almost on a daily basis.

  11. benorr that’s a good idea. It’d work in much the same way as “apartheid” is wrongly associated with Israel in the minds of the terminally ignorant.

    If Big Lies can work, why can’t Big Truths?

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