Did Hamas and Sky News cynically exploit a paralyzed Palestinian girl?

Cross posted from Barry’s Shaw’s blog, The View from Israel

The foreign media in Gaza have been accused of biased reporting, often bordering on the cynical and, sometimes, even cowardly.

Faced with the fear of what might happen to them, many abandoned any presence of journalistic ethics and simply regurgitated whatever Hamas gave them, or whatever they saw from their restricted vision, often ignoring, of course, the rocket fire coming from outside their hotel windows .

However, what’s infinitely worse is a media outlet like Sky News which, from the safe distance of their London studio, still puts out emotional Hamas propaganda while taking gratuitous swipes at Israel.

This occurred on August 10the when they repeatedly broadcast a segment on a seven-year old Palestinian girl who reportedly had been paralyzed in an Israeli air strike.

The girl is heard saying “We were sitting at home when we heard a noise. So we went down the stairs.”  What noise was this? Could it have been the “Knock on the roof” pre-strike warning that this house had been cited as a terror target by the IDF intelligence? What’s this girl’s family name? Is it among the names of leading Hamas terrorists? This was partially confirmed by the girl known as Mata when she said “Me and my mother were injured, and we knew if we stayed like this we would die. But my mother stayed at home and she died.” Did her mother knowingly act as a human shield (or sacrifice) for Hamas?  We don’t know. The reporter didn’t ask or investigate this.

The report stressed that there are only three hospitals worldwide capable of treating anyone in her condition, a claim which seemed quite dubious, as there are numerous Israeli hospitals of international reputation that regularly treat Palestinians with such injuries.

The Sky News report suggested that Matya was being prevented from leaving Gaza by Israel. 

But, this is simply not true! 

COGAT top representative, Guy Inbar, told me that a request from Gaza had been made and accepted by COGAT on the same day, July 26, and that final details had been requested by COGAT to prepare her exit.

Nothing more was heard from the other side.

It certainly appears that Hamas has cynically played a propaganda game for weeks over this little girl. They invited members of the press into Shifa Hospital to hear her story, rather than expedite her release for treatment.

There is an excellent fully staffed field hospital set up by the IDF on the Gaza border ready to received patients from Gaza. Only problem is that Hamas physically threatens and prevents people from getting to this facility. This also was not mentioned by Sky.

The IDF Spokesman, Peter Lerner, tweeted Sky News offering to give them information but he apparently failed to get a response. Neither did I when I emailed Sky News a list of questions on this incident and their coverage.

It is still far from certain that a Sky reporter ever met or spoke to the girl. Were they there at the Gaza hospital, did they question, did they ask for Israeli response, or did they simply put out the story as presented to them by Hamas?

My sources in the IDF and with COGAT were never contacted by Sky News concerning this incident.

COGAT was, however, later contacted by Palestinian health officials and they are coordinating with them (and also with the World Health Organization) to have the girl removed from Gaza as soon as a new request is received together with all the relevant documents and information.  She will be removed first to Jerusalem and then on to a hospital where she can receive the best of care.

Moreover, COGAT has facilitated every request received by people needing to leave Gaza for serious medical cases, one hundred and fifty in number, throughout this current Gaza conflict.

As for Sky News, I have yet to receive a response to my numerous complaints. 


Barry Shaw is the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.  He is also the author of ‘ISRAEL RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE.’ 

The Guardian or PressTV? Iran’s president to export the Islamic Revolution ‘peacefully’

If you were to glance at the Guardian’s home page today, you’d be treated to the following featured story:


So, apparently, the newly sworn-in Iranian president is launching a “peace” agenda.  

Interestingly, if you open the link on the Guardian graphic you get a report by  titled ‘Hassan Rouhani sworn in as president of Iran, urging moderation and respect‘ – indicating that the home page title was the creation of a Guardian editor, and not the author.  Dehghan’s piece is actually a pretty straight forward assessment, simply repeating the highlights of Rouhani’s speech.

However, here’s the passage of Rouhani’s speech highlighted by Dehghan which likely inspired the Guardian headline about the new “peace agenda”:

Rouhani said Iranians sought “peace” and “stability” in their region and across the world and said Tehran was against “foreign intervention” in any country. 

Pardon our cynicism, but it seems reasonable to ask if, as part of Rouhani’s new campaign for peace, the Islamic Republic will indeed stop providing money, arms and personnel to the Syrian army – support which has perpetuated the unimaginable bloodshed in a more than two-year long civil war.

Similarly, we can be forgiven for remaining skeptical that the new peace campaign will bring an end to a foreign policy which bestows upon Iran the distinction of being arguably the largest exporter of terror around the globe – which includes crucial support for Islamist terror movements such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

And, those genuine peace advocates among us may reasonably believe that it strains credulity to imagine a brave, new ‘dovish’ Islamist regime which will suddenly cease in its coordinated campaign of antisemitic propaganda, which includes Holocaust denial and incitement to genocide.

So, while continuing to export the Islamic Revolution by providing a military lifeline to the butcher in Damascus and sending sophisticated weapons to terror movements in Lebanon and Gaza, thus helping to destabilize the region, we are being asked to believe that the new President will, nonetheless, emphatically oppose all forms of “foreign intervention”.

Iranian imperialism with a ‘smiling face’, courtesy of the Guardian. 

Idolising Palestinians: Guardian goes mad over Arab ‘Reality TV’

In addition to their pages dedicated to news about Israel and “Palestine, the Guardian has a separate Gaza page.

gaza guardian

In case you wanted to get up-to-date on the most important news in the Hamas-run territory, here’s a snapshot of the Gaza page on June 23.

new gazaTaking into account two overlapping graphics of the same story, there are four separate reports (and nearly 2500 words) and two videos about the 22-year-old contestant  - from a Gaza “refugee camp” – named Mohammed Assaf who competed in (and recently won) a reality tv show broadcast by the Saudi-owned MBC1, called ‘Arab Idol’.

Remarkably, you have to go back a full month for a story on the Guardian’s Gaza page which actually focuses on news relating to Gaza that is unrelated to Arab Idol – and even that story, published on May 23, only revisits an incident which occurred 13 years ago.

Additionally, the Twitter feed of Harriet Sherwood, who was responsible for three of the four Guardian reports about ‘Arab Idol’, would suggest that the paper’s Jerusalem correspondent can’t quite get enough of the song competition.


Meanwhile, as we noted in a previous post, save for a couple of photos with misleading captions not even linked to on their Gaza page, the Guardian has ignored news that Hamas and Islamic Jihad ‘trains’ tens of thousands of Palestinian children at ‘summer camps‘ each year on the use of automatic weapons, ‘best practices’ in abducting Israeli soldiers and radical Islamist ideology.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad proudly posted the following photos of a recent camp “graduation ceremony”:




Whilst the Guardian has focused on the fate of one Palestinian contestant on an Arab talent show, they continue to bury news about the disturbing reality of life for over a million and half Palestinians whose lives are controlled by a fanatical regime which indoctrinates innocent children on the values of jihad.

Jihad camp: Guardian caption softens depiction of Palestinian child abuse

The Guardian’s June 17 edition of ‘Picture Desk Live’ included the following photo depicting a day in the life of Gaza residents:


Here’s the caption:

A Young Palestinian crawls under barbed wire during a summer physical training camp run by Hamas in Gaza City

Now, it doesn’t take too much investigative work to note that the Palestinian youth attending this “summer physical training camp” is crawling beneath barbed wire, not exactly a routine activity at a regular youth summer camp. In fact, the original image (at Getty) by the same photographer, Mohammed Abed, includes a caption which notes that the youths are indeed engaged in “military exercises”. 

Additionally, the photojournalist site Demotix includes several photos of the same ‘camp’, and includes a title: ‘Palestinians participate in military style exercises run by Hamas.

Here’s Yahoo reporting on the same camp, which include captions clearly stating its military purpose.  This photo at Yahoo, for instance, has a caption clearly indicating that these youths are being taught how to properly fire a rocket-propelled grenade.


A peak beyond the Guardian obfuscation clearly indicates that the ‘camp’ provides training for future jihadists.  Indeed, every summer both Hamas and Islamic Jihad reportedly train more than 100,000 Palestinian children (as young as six) in “resistance” (terrorism), the destruction of Israel, the “right of return” and other elements of the groups’ radical Islamist ideologies.

The decision by editors at ‘Picture Desk Live’ not to inform readers of the paramilitary nature of the youth camp represents yet another example of Palestinian child abuse that the Guardian won’t report.  

(See also a post at the blog This Ongoing War‘ on a similarly misleading caption at The Telegraph beneath a photo of ‘summer jihad’ in Gaza.)

Will the Guardian report on war crimes committed by Hamas?

Here’s how the Guardian’s Gaza page looks today, Dec. 27.


As you can see, there’s very little about Gaza, save ‘Snapshot amid blockades and gunfire from June, which highlights Palestinian suffering in the territory due, it is claimed, to Israeli restrictions, and a piece (circled) from Dec. 20 about an accusation by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that Israel violated the laws of war by attacking the offices of al-Aqsa TV and al-Quds TV during ‘Pillar of Defense’

Currently missing from the page, however, is a report issued by HRW – reported elsewhere in the media – that Gaza terrorists violated the laws of war during the November conflict by launching over a thousand rockets toward population centers in Israel.  HRW highlighted statements by the groups firing the weapons admitting that they were targeting civilians.

The report also noted that Hamas and other armed groups “repeatedly fired rockets from densely populated areas, near homes, businesses, and a hotel, unnecessarily placing civilians in the vicinity at grave risk from Israeli counter-fire.”

No, it’s not significant that HRW occasionally takes a detour from it’s egregiously disproportionate criticism of Israel to acknowledge the painfully obvious about the contempt for human life routinely displayed by the Palestinian extremists who currently rule Gaza.

The only question is whether the Guardian’s Israel correspondent will deem the Palestinians’ violation of Israeli human rights newsworthy.

Update on latest round of Gaza terror: Over 60 rockets fired; 7 Israelis injured

Report collated from the Israeli media and the blog ‘This Ongoing War edited by Arnold and Frimet Roth

Israelis run for cover after rocket sirens are triggered in Ashkelon

  • On Saturday night, Nov. 10, terrorist forces in Gaza fired an anti-tank missile that hit an IDF jeep patrolling 200 meters inside the Israeli border with Gaza near the Karni border crossing. Four soldiers were injured, and two are in serious condition (one with shrapnel wounds to the head).

A wounded Israeli soldier is evacuated by ambulance in southern Israel on Saturday. | Photo credit: AP

  • On Saturday night, Tzeva Adom (Code Red) warnings were blaring in the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netivot, Sderot, Gedera, Yavne, Kiryat Malachi and Beit Gamliel, as well as in the Sha’ar Hanegev, Eshkol, Lachish and Sdot Negev regions.  
  • In addition to the injuries to IDF soldiers, three civilians have been injured by rocket shrapnel.
  • ‘Credit’ was claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) for the initial round of rockets, but the IDF believes Islamic Jihad is behind most of the attacks. 
  • The so-called Al-Mujahideen brigades (which likely means the Mujahideen Shura Council of Jerusalem, a terrorist group that claims to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda) is claiming responsibility for 2 of the rockets fired into Israel.
  • The Popular Resistance Committee said it had fired four rockets at Israeli communities close to the Gaza border and at Sderot and Netivot.
  • Hamas, which controls Gaza, published an announcement saying all Israeli military targets (meaning civilian targets) are “legitimate” objects of attack.
  • Islamic Jihad announced on Saturday that it “…will not give the Zionist enemy calm for free… The Resistance cannot sit idly by. Our message to the foe is that it will be bombardment for bombardment, blood for blood…”.
  • Israeli Channel 2 reported on Saturday that “recent cross-border fire from Gaza had included highly accurate Katyusha rockets, capable of doing far more damage than previous rocket fire”.

  • Overnight, the IDF carried out well-targeted air assaults on several Gazan targets involved in yesterday’s attacks against Israeli civilians: a Palestinian weapons manufacturing facility, two weapons storage facilities, and two rocket-launching sites in northern Gaza.  
Thus far, there are no reports on the latest round of Palestinian terror on the Israel, Palestinian territories, or Gaza pages of the Guardian.
(Update: A few minutes ago, at 14:45 Israeli time, the Guardian published an AP report on the latest terror from Gaza)

‘Comment is Free’ contributor claims International Solidarity Movement is “non-violent”.

Radical Chic: ISM members pose with Palestinian terrorists

For much of the Guardian-style far-left media, commentaries – and indeed often straight news reports – serve largely to buttress preconceived ideologically determined conclusions, and often have only a tangential relationship with facts or journalistic context.  

In such a propagandistic paradigm, there is no objective truth as such, only a greater ‘narrative truth’. 

Ami Kaufman’s Aug. 29 ‘Comment is Free’ piece, “For many Israelis, Rachel Corrie was a nuisance“, represents an exquisite example of this phenomenon.

The polemical objective which the +972 founder wanted to achieve was quite predictable: contextualizing Corrie’s death, in 2003, as part of a larger pattern of Israeli intolerance towards political dissent.

Thus, the strap line:

“Since Rachel Corrie’s death, the Israeli establishment has been losing patience with activists of any kind”

In the essay, Kaufman writes:

“The Israeli establishment has less and less patience for activists of any kind of late. As part of the recent government offensive on human rights in Israel, freedom of expression has been hit hard.”

Kaufman, like Chris McGreal and the author(s) of the official Guardian editorial on Corrie’s death, doesn’t even attempt to rationally refute the Israeli court’s decision, question the judge’s reasoning or dispute the evidence or testimony presented at trial.

No, for Kaufman, Israel’s guilt was a foregone conclusion – and the judge’s decision thus represented a “slippery slope” towards the abrogation of civil rights in Israel.

But, Kaufman’s polemic becomes especially risible in his assertion about International Solidarity Movement.

“Corrie, bulldozed to death by a massive D9 Caterpillar on 16 March 2003, was part of an activist group called ISM – International Solidarity Movement. This is a group of international activists who advocate nonviolent demonstrations in the West Bank (and Gaza back then, before the disengagement in 2005) in solidarity with Palestinians opposing the occupation.

A nonviolent movement, you say?

Well, isn’t that what Israelis were always looking for? For their enemies to abandon terror, suicide bombings and rockets and to go down the route of Gandhi?” [Emphasis added]

Of course, the suggestion that ISM is non-violent is beyond parody.

The ISM’s website states that it recognizes “the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle.” [emphasis added]

As I wrote previously, ISM’s activities have included “serving as human shields for terrorist operatives wanted by the Israeli security forces”, and “provid[ing] Palestinian terrorist operatives…with financial, logistic and moral support”.

Paul Larudee, the Northern California head of the ISM, has said that his group “…recognize[s] that violence is necessary and it is permissible for oppressed and occupied people to use armed resistance and we recognize their right to do so.”

Similarly, in a 2002 article, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf wrote, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent,” adding that “[i]n actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured.”

ISM activist Susan Barclay admitted that she worked with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists originating from UK who had attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, in 2003, murdering three people.  The Mike’s Place bombers had, according to an Israeli report, ”forg[ed] links with…members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)”.  

Also, senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.

Just because individual ISM members may not personally fire the weapons which kill and maim Israelis, an organization which aids and abets the Islamist terror groups, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that intentionally murder innocent Jews is – by definition – a reactionary, anti-peace, pro-violence movement.

No amount of sophistry or doublespeak can obfuscate this painfully obvious fact.

The Commentator picks up BBC fact-check fail.

The now one year-old (congratulations all!) news and commentary site The Commentator brings us the story of a report by the BBC’s Middle East correspondent Yolande Knell which includes lengthy quotes from a source whose name she could not even get right. 

This is a screenshot of the original, which was later amended following the article in The Commentator:

‘Robert’ Falk is, of course, the infamous Richard Falk. Despite his position since 2008 as ‘UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian Territories’, he makes no pretence of objectivity. Here  is Falk on his personal blog expressing support for the 2010 Stuttgart Declaration which opposes a two-state solution and at the bottom line calls for the eradication of Israel.

As The Commentator points out, his anti-Israel ‘CV’ includes much more.

“In a nutshell, Falk is so hostile to Israel that he’s a de facto anti-Israel activist. But even that fails to do justice to the sheer viciousness of his diatribes against the Jewish state. Here’s just a smattering of examples of his approach. First there are the suggested comparisons with Nazi Germany. He has sometimes claimed that he doesn’t quite mean it literally. On others he has talked of Israeli policies as “genocidal”.

He’s ambivalent about Hamas as a terrorist outfit. His language about Israel is peppered with references to “apartheid“, “criminality“, “collective punishment“ and so on. The picture is clear enough.”

Read the whole article here.

So if the BBC could not get Falk’s name right, does that also mean that they failed to run a background check on his suitability as a quotable source before publishing an article relying so heavily upon his opinions? 

And why (just like the Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood only a few days ago) did Yolande Knell fail to point out that the two Palestinian prisoners named in her article – Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla (Tha’er Halahleh) – are Islamic Jihad activists

In Hebrew there is a useful phrase: ‘Itonut mita’am’ – עיתונות מטעם – which translates as ‘media on behalf of’. The British public funding the BBC through its compulsory license fee may well ask on behalf of whom or what. 

Harriet Sherwood on the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike – high on pathos, low on fact.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?”

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, (1949), pt. 1, ch. 3)

Next month will mark the second anniversary of Harriet Sherwood’s arrival in Israel. Those two years have made no noticeable difference to her reporting – suggesting that Sherwood’s tendency to blindly reproduce frequently unsubstantiated claims made by various individuals or organisations (often with a lot more to them than Sherwood chooses to inform her readers) is more a matter of method than lack of knowledge or experience. 

As we saw just a couple of months ago in the Guardian’s coverage of Khader Adnan’s hunger strike, what Sherwood (and others) omit from their reports is often just as critical to the overall picture as the words they do choose to write. Thus Adnan – an Islamic Jihad activist seen on record recruiting suicide bombers – became a baker as far as Guardian readers were concerned, whilst the victims of his militant group  (as Sherwood elected to term a proscribed terrorist organisation) remained outside the sphere of Guardian readers’ awareness.  

Now Sherwood is at it again, with an article from April 26th on the subject of the latest round of hunger strikes by Palestinian security prisoners held in Israeli prisons. In it, she covers two specific prisoners; Bilal Diab (aged 27 from the village of Ra’ei, south-west of Jenin) and Tha’er Halahleh (aged 34 from Hevron and one of the leaders of the hunger strike). 

What Sherwood refrains from informing her readers is that – like Khader Adnan – both men are members of the Islamic Jihad

בלאל דיאב מהכפר ראעי שבקרבת ג'נין. נמנה עם הג'יהאד האיסלאמי. צם 48 יום בדרישה להשתחרר

Bilal Diab

ת'איר חלאלה. ממנהיגי שובתי הרעב, מהג'יהאד האיסלאמי. מאזור חברון. דורש לבטל את מעצרו

Tha’er Halahleh

Sherwood quotes ‘Addameer’ in her article, describing it as a ‘prisoners’ rights group’ but declining to mention the organisation’s political aspects and its use of Palestinian prisoners as a means of political leverage. 

This interview (worth reading in its entirety) with Addameer legal researcher Mourad Jadallah gives an idea of the group’s political affiliations and the significance of the subject of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons in internal Palestinian political power struggles.

Asa Winstanley: Palestinian hunger strikes seems to have developed a lot recently. It’s an old tactic, but there seems to be a new focus on it.

Mourad Jadallah: We have days for hunger strike for prisoners from Fatah and [then] twenty other days for prisoners from the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine], which means that also the prisoners’ movement is not united like it was [in the past]. So what happened outside the prisons is reflected inside the prisons’ movement.

AW: The factional divisions you mean?

MJ: Yeah. Like today — this is something we don’t want to talk about but maybe for The Electronic Intifada we can say [that] until today we are not sure that the prisoners of Fatah will participate [in the hunger strike starting tomorrow].


 This is one side of how we can explain all these hunger strikes in the prison. From one side, the peace process failed to release the prisoners … And the other side, you have the [prisoners] exchange. Most of the prisoners released … they are affiliated to Hamas. So the other prisoners said, OK, what we have [are] political factions who just look out for their own prisoners and if we are from other parties nobody will ask for us and the peace process can’t release all the prisoners … The prisoners decided and they understood that they have to fight for themselves.

AW: Most of the prisoners released in the exchange were from Hamas?

MJ: Especially in the first phase of the release — 80 percent of them were from Hamas.

AW: Why was that?

MJ: This is what Hamas wanted, and also the majority of prisoners today, they belong to Hamas. This is the reality even after the exchange. And we know that Fatah and the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization], when they release the prisoners, they look for the Fatah prisoners, they want to keep this legitimacy at least in the eyes of the Fatah prisoners.

So everyone is saying, OK, Hamas succeeded to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners — 80 percent of the first phase, which is like 450, they were Hamas. And the others, who were serving short sentences, were from different parties. So maybe it’s time for others to do the same as Hamas and release their prisoners.

… Since the beginning of the year there have been some short hunger strikes … Then suddenly you have the PFLP prisoners who went on an open hunger strike for twenty days, then Hamas came and did the prisoner swap … And then Khader Adnan put all the focus on Islamic Jihad. So you have a competition between the political parties. At some point you have the focus on the Fatah prisoners.

An additional aspect connecting this latest round of hunger strikes to its many predecessors -which Sherwood also completely ignores – is its role in the ongoing attempt by some  Palestinian groups (including organizations such as Addameer) to have people serving sentences due to convictions for terrorism recognized as political prisoners. In fact, as Addameer’s director Sahar Francis states in this article, they already view all Palestinian security prisoners as ‘political’ – even leaders of terrorist groups such as Ahmed Sa’adat of the PFLP and those convicted of acts of terror. 

Sherwood’s next quote in her article comes from Shawan Jabarin of Al Haq. As was previously pointed out by CiF Watch when Sherwood wrote a puff piece about ‘Defence of Children International – Palestine’ in January 2012, Jabarin (who sits on the board of DCI-Pal together with Sahar Francis of Addameer) is linked to the proscribed terrorist organization the PFLP. 

In June 2007 the Israeli Supreme Court noted that:

“[Jabarin] is apparently active as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in part of his hours of activity he is the director of a human rights organisation, and in another part he is an activist in a terrorist organisation which does not shy away from acts of murder and attempted murder, which have nothing to do with rights, and, on the contrary, deny the most basic right of all, the most fundamental of fundamental rights, without which there are no other rights – the right to life.”

If – as with almost everything she writes about – Sherwood were not so busy endeavoring to reduce the subject to simplistic concepts of innocent, helpless Palestinians and bad, powerful Israelis, she might have been able to broaden her readers’ knowledge on the subject of these repeated hunger strikes as part of a comprehensive strategy to try to secure the release of prisoners. 

She could have pointed out the connections between the well-organized strikes and the calls by Khaled Mashaal and other prominent members of Hamas such as Ismail Haniyeh, Ahmed Bahar and Ismail Radwan to kidnap more Israeli soldiers as a ‘second front’ in the bid for the release of convicted terrorists from Israeli prisons. 

She might have mentioned the statements by Issa Qaraqa  (PA Minister of Prisoner Affairs) and PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi on the subject of the coordinated hunger strike – both of which called for ‘internationalization’ of the issue – adding  further evidence to the fact that rather than some kind of spontaneous reaction to specific grievances, the strike is part of a co-ordinated political campaign, as the between Hamas and Fatah leaders in its promotion also indicates. 

“Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke by telephone Thursday about rallying Palestinians to support Palestinian prisoners in their hunger strike against certain Israeli prison policies, such as administrative detention, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Friday, citing a Hamas statement.

The two also discussed tactical strategy for emphasizing the hunger strike and prisoner issues on the public relations and diplomatic fronts.”

But unfortunately for anyone who actually relies upon the Guardian for news and information about what goes on in Israel, they will learn nothing of the wider context of the hunger strikes in Israeli prisons because Harriet Sherwood apparently deems it unnecessary for readers to be aware of the connections of her subjects and interviewees to terror groups or the political campaigns of which the strikes are part and parcel. 

Instead, she’s busy piling on the pathos; slowly but steadily narrowing her readers’ range of thought in true Newspeak fashion. 



Propaganda by wife of Islamic Jihad terrorist, Khadr Adnan: Courtesy of the Guardian

Islamic Jihad terrorist Khadr Adnan, imploring Palestinians to launch suicide attacks

Articles penned by high-ranking members of terrorist organisations proscribed by the British government – and also by UK-based supporters of those organisations – are, as we all too well know, nothing new to Comment is Free.  Now we have the WAGs version of puff pieces whitewashing terror groups and their actions in the form of an article written by Randa Musa. (My husband, Khadar Adnan has shed a light on Israel’s disregard for human rights, Feb. 22).

Mrs Khadr Adnan, as she is also known, seeks to inform readers about her husband’s supposed exposure of “Israel’s disregard for human rights”. With considerable drama she tells us that as a result of Adnan’s arrest last December she “would not be surprised if even our unborn baby which I now bear will also be affected”.

Randa Musa’s concern for human rights apparently does not extend to the trauma her husband’s terror group, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, has caused to the thousands of family members of those murdered or maimed in its car bombings, suicide bombings and other terror attacks.

In fact, she tries to pass Khadr Adnan off as a “student activist” which, to British readers probably conjures images of someone whose activities stretch to handing out flyers or drawing placards.

The truth is of course very different.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s own website describes Adnan as a “leader” of the organisation on more than one occasion. Reuters described him as a “senior figure in the Islamic Jihad” in 2010 and AP as “a top Islamic Jihad leader” in 2005. The Gulf Daily News has him down as “West Bank spokesman of the militant Islamic Jihad group” whilst Middle East Online and IMEMC both describe him as an “Islamic Jihad spokesperson”.

And if there were any further doubts about Adnan’s terrorist ideologies and affiliations, they are quickly dispelled in this video from 2007 in which he solicits suicide bombers.

Apparently banking on her readers’ lack of geographic knowledge, Musa tells us that “life under Israel’s military occupation has turned our dream into a nightmare”. However, their village – Arraba – has in fact been under Palestinian Authority control since the Oslo Accords in the earlier part of the 1990s.

Randa Musa makes the ridiculous claim that Administrative Detention is “part of an immoral policy used to keep Palestinians in a state of perpetual poverty and under-development”. In fact it is a means used by many democratic human rights-respecting countries around the world including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Despite having a degree in Islamic Law, Musa displays her ignorance of other forms of law when she states that:

“When a military commander issues an order for administrative detention, no evidence is produced. No charges are brought against the victims, and the occupation has no obligation to give reasons for the detention. This is by no means a legal mechanism. It is simply an arbitrary draconian measure used to inflict psychological and physical harm on its victims. When they are fortunate enough to be brought before a judge, he can detain them for periods of six months that can be extended indefinitely. “

In fact, the laws of Administrative Detention require that the detainee be brought before a judge within a short period of time. Detentions must be based upon evidence and all detainees – including members of terrorist organisations – have Habeas Corpus rights before the High Court of Justice.  

Musa states that “the occupation has decided under pressure to free my husband in April” (emphasis added) whereas in fact Adnan’s detention was due to come to an end on April 17th in any case.

This self-described “devoted wife” is of course no less a propagandist for Islamist terror than her husband. Her concern for human rights, “freedom and dignity” is not universal and certainly does not apply to the ultimate right – the right to life – which her husband and his fellow PIJ members seek to deny Israelis.

She is also apparently prepared even to use her own children in furthering the Islamist cause. The picture illustrating Musa’s article is captioned as showing her daughter holding “a picture of her father, Khader Adnan, who is on hunger strike”. 

The caption omits the fact that the child is also holding the flag of Islamic Jihad – a movement well-known for its indoctrination of children with hatred and glorification of terrorism. 

Palestinian Islamic Jihad scouting boys wear uniforms and painted faces during a protest demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails, at the Palestinian Legislative council in Gaza city, Monday, Aug. 16, 2004. (http://tiny.cc/w0b62)

A Palestinian woman supporting Islamic Jihad attended a Gaza Strip rally Friday marking the 13th anniversary of the death of the group’s leader, Fathi Shekaki (http://tiny.cc/6s2su)

In indulging its now infamous addiction to terrorist chic, the Guardian long since ditched its liberal credentials to such an extent that it is not ashamed to publish unchallenged fact-free articles by terrorists and their collaborators.

One would, however, have hoped that a terrorist organisation’s exploitation of a child for propaganda purposes would have been a step too far even for the Guardian. Apparently not. 

Harriet Sherwood again takes up the cause of innocent Palestinian “baker”, Khader Adnan

Harriet Sherwood’s first heart-wrenching tale of the trials of a terrorist “Palestinian hunger striker” named Khader Adnan (Israel shackles Palestinian hunger striker), Feb. 12, held in administrative detention by Israel – who has become a martyr in the eyes of terror sympathizers everywhere – barely mentioned his ties to Islamic Jihad, and included no mention of the group’s deadly attacks which have claimed dozens of innocent Israeli lives.

Image from "Free Khader Adnan" Facebook Page

Further, Sherwood provided no legal context about the “administrative detention” being used by Israel to imprison Adnan since mid-December – a judicial method, I noted, similarly employed by other democratic and rights-respecting states around the world, including the the UK and the U.S.  For example, the recently released al-Qaeda terror suspect, Abu Qatada, was held in administrative detention in the UK for over six years.

But, more broadly, the curious subtext of Sherwood’s piece, as with similar criticisms of Israel over Adnan’s hunger strike, seems to suggest that a terror suspect in custody should be released simply because he engages in a hunger strike to highlight his imprisonment to the Western media.

However, Sherwood’s latest piece on Adnan, Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan near death in Israeli detention, Feb. 16, was even more sympathetic to the PIJ operative, included passages about the toll Adnan’s hunger strike is taking on his family, and even characterized the Palestinian terrorist as an innocuous “baker from a village near Jenin”. [emphasis added]

Alternately, Sherwood’s 837 word tale of Israeli cruelty included one sentence (15 words) on Adnan’s ties to one of the most violent and hard-line terror groups in the Palestinian territories.

However, Adnan’s major role in the Islamist terror group is well-documented.

  • In a June 8, 2005 Boston Globe article Adnan was identified as a PIJ spokesperson, and was quoted admonishing the Palestinian Authority for cooperating with Israeli officials to apprehend suspects in the wake of a Tel Aviv suicide bombing: “We have strong suspicions that the security coordination’ between Israeli and Palestinian authorities that has resumed in recent weeks ‘is responsible for this”, Adnan said. He further said there had been no response to Islamic Jihad demands that the PA say publicly that it was not involved in helping Israel identify jihadis who were planning fresh attacks.”
  • Al Arabiya identified Adnan as a “main leader” of PIJ.

The multi-talented “baker” named Khader Adan is evidently impressively skilled in both the culinary arts and the more sublime craft of providing rhetorical support for a “resistance” movement’s efforts to murder innocent Jewish civilians.

Harriet Sherwood’s cause celeb, Khader Adnan, is not only a “Hunger striker”, but a true renaissance man.  

Harriet Sherwood feels Islamic Jihad terrorist’s pain

When reading the headline of Harriet Sherwood’s report on a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror suspect being held by Israel, you’d almost think the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent was covering a political prisoner being held by a totalitarian regime.

The title of Sherwood’s piece, “Israel shackles Palestinian hunger striker“, would be easy to pass over or dismiss, but yet says so much about how the Guardian frames such Palestinian “prisoners”, even those clearly affiliated with the most violent and malevolent Islamist movements.

Sherwood’s story begins:

A Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for more than eight weeks is being kept shackled to a hospital bed by the Israeli authorities, despite warnings that he may be close to death.

Khader Adnan, 33, has been held without charge under “administrative detention” since mid-December. The Israeli military authorities have refused to tell his lawyer what he is accused of or disclose any evidence against him.

His wife, Randa, who is expecting the couple’s third child, said no reason was given for his arrest.

First, “administrative detention”, used to imprison Adnan, is a judicial method similarly employed by other democratic and rights-respecting states around the world, including the the UK – and the U.S. 

In fact, unlike the U.S., Israeli detainees are allowed judicial review, generally within eight days, and are subject to renewals every six months – which would seem to undermine claims by Adnan’s wife, uncritically cited by Sherwood, that no reason was given for his arrest.

But, more importantly, it’s only by the sixth paragraph where we learn that Adnan has been previously convicted for being a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Evidently considered of little significance to Sherwood in properly contextualizing the story is the fact that Adnan is a member of  a group recognized as a terrorist organization by the EU, U.S., and the UK,.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was formed in 1979 by Fathi Shaqaqi and other radical Islamists in Egypt who had split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza whom they deemed too moderate.

The mission of PIJ is the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through terrorist attacks on military and civilian targets.

PIJ receives financial assistance from Iran and logistic assistance from Syria.

The group’s paramilitary wing— the al-Quds Brigades—has conducted numerous deadly attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings.

PIJ terrorist attacks have claimed the lives of dozens of Israelis and wounded hundreds.

Here is a partial list of the group’s attacks:

  • An August 1987 shooting killed one Israeli in the Gaza Strip;
  • A December 1993 shooting killed one Israeli aboard a bus;
  • An April 1994 car bomb killed nine people and injured fifty aboard a public bus;
  • A January 1995 a suicide bomb killed nineteen Israelis near Netanya;
  • A March 1996 suicide bomb at a Tel Aviv shopping mall killed thirteen and injured seventy five more;
  • A June 2001 suicide bomb killed twenty-one people in a Tel Aviv nightclub;
  • A June 2002 suicide attack at the Meggido Junction killed eighteen and injured fifty;
  • An October 2003 suicide bomb at a Haifa restaurant killed twenty-two and injured sixty;
  • An October 2005 bomb at a Hadera market killed five people;
  • An April 2006 suicide attack in Tel Aviv killed eleven;
  • A January 2007 suicide attack at an Eliat bakery killed three.

In reading the Guardian’s coverage of such terror groups, I’m often reminded of the Talmudic warning that “Those Who Are Kind To The Cruel, In The End Will Be Cruel To The Kind.”

In 482 words, Harriet Sherwood didn’t even suggest that “prisoners” such as Adnan are willing participants in a supremely cruel, violent, antisemitic movement which intentionally kills innocent civilians without remorse.

This is the story the Guardian rarely if ever tells.

It’s a sad commentary on the hard left that more aren’t outraged by a media group which fancies itself a liberal voice, yet continually finds the most reactionary political movements worthy of sympathy.

CiF Watch Special Report: Increasing tensions along Israel’s southern border

As the second anniversary of Operation Cast Lead approaches, the past few days have seen increasing tension along the international border between Israel and the Gaza Strip due to a rise in terror attacks both upon the IDF patrols along the border and upon civilians living in the surrounding area.

As we know from past experience, despite the fact that there are more foreign correspondents per capita in Israel than anywhere else in the world, such attacks are largely ignored by the Western media, including the Guardian, and therefore the context for Israeli actions aimed at containing terrorist activity is often missing from subsequent reports.

Here at CiF Watch, we consider one of our aims to be to supply our audience with factual background information which will provide a comprehensive understanding of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the various terrorist groups functioning in the region, and thus enable our readers to make informed comment on media forums. With that aim in mind, earlier today I took part in a briefing by a senior IDF official regarding the current situation in the south, which readers will hopefully find both interesting and useful.

The officer first gave an overview of the events of the past few days, pointing out the increase in terror attacks against IDF patrols and civilians in the area. According to him, the deterrent achieved as a result of Operation Cast Lead two years ago is still in effect, but one can also identify a change in the overall situation.

Terrorist groups such as the Islamic Jihad, which up to now were not operational, have linked up with Hamas, which has also been largely dormant on the terror front since January 2009, and the result is more attacks upon IDF patrols along the international border, both by means of snipers and anti-tank rockets. In addition, an increased number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are being laid along the fence which marks the border and a rising number of mortar attacks both on the IDF and civilians living in the communities surrounding the border with the Gaza Strip are being experienced, together with rockets being launched towards longer range targets.

Continue reading

Inconsolable victimhood?

This is cross posted from the blog, This Ongoing War

The Islamic Jihad terror organization announced earlier this afternoon (in a report quoted by Haaretz, as well as by Reuters) that one of its terrorists was killed on what it termed a “Jihadist mission” today – in other words, an attack aimed at Israelis. Islamic Jihad has been behind many of the rocket attacks that have targeted civilians in southern Israel from launching points in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Ynet, quoting Gaza Palestinian sources, says the dead man was 20, and a member of Islamic Jihad’s so-called military wing al-Quds Brigades (as if a terrorist organization has wings that are not inherently terrorist).

The IDF’s spokesperson confirmed the basic facts: one of its tanks fired on “two Palestinian suspects who approached the security fence” and the target was hit. Palestinian Arab medical sources in Gaza, also quoted by Haaretz, said a second person nearby was wounded.

As happens so often, this is only part of the story. Earlier today a mortar shell fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open area near one of the kibbutzim of Shaar Hanegev. Fortunately, no one was hurt and there was no damage, but this was not the intention of the jihadists. And unlike the death of the terrorist, the mortar attack is entirely unreported at this hour, outside of Israeli news channels.

Meanwhile, true to form, the major news agencies are already promoting the traditional photos(see below) of wailing, inconsolable friends and relatives… of the dead terrorist for heaven’s sake. His name happens, perhaps not by chance, to be Jihad Afanah. The narrative by which the jihadists and the Islamists are perpetual victims is, somehow, irresistible to the photo editors who, sad to say, know their customers well.

Here, below, are several of the agency photos already making their way around the world into the syndication channel. To us, the tone of sympathy and tragedy they sound is a disgrace. Not a new disgrace, but a disgrace. Either the editors at AP and Reuters believe the dead man is a terrorist, in which case why do they time and again frame the death by reference to bereavement and loss? Or they actually believe this dead man and his ilk are activists – and in that case their message seems to be: how very sad that a sincere young man died while trying to achieve his noble goal. Either way, the syndicated publication of pictures like these brings no credit to the editors or the agencies.

Continue reading

What the Guardian won’t report: Turkish IHH activists from latest Viva Palestina convoy hanging out with Islamic Jihad terrorists

As noted by a colleague, this story from Ynet, unsurprisingly, hasn’t gotten much press in the international media yet.  However, the Islamic Jihad website displays photos of recent flotilla’s Turkish passengers visiting Gaza and trying on the organization’s uniform.

The Viva Palestina 5 ship carrying “peace activists,” which docked at the al-Arish port recently, brought along not only humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza, but also enthusiastic Turks who took advantage of the opportunity to visit local Islamic Jihad members.

In pictures obtained by Ynet, the Turks are seen holding weapons and rocket launchers. While their prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to blast Israel and demand an apology for “state terrorism,” two of the guests put on the uniform of the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s military wing.

The pictures from the Turkish delegation’s visit were put on the al-Quds Brigades website as part of the coverage of their visit. The guests’ face was blurred, but shortly afterwards the photos were removed from the site, most likely for fear that the Turks would be hurt.


Turkish activist holds weapon alongside Jihad gunmen


During their visit to Gaza, the Turkish delegation members visited several Islamic Jihad posts. One of the guests was quoted as telling the group’s gunmen that they are “a source of pride for all decent people in the Arab and Muslim world.” He defined them as “the forefront of the struggle against the Zionists.”


Turkish guests visit Jihad post in Strip