In an April 7 post, we asked how many of the roughly 800 Jews currently living in the ancient city of Hebron Harriet Sherwood had spoken to or interviewed. Our interest in the Guardian Jerusalem correspondent’s familiarity with Hebron’s Jews was piqued by the following sentence in her April 4 report about an outbreak of violence in the West Bank – including in Israelis cities such as Hebron.
After the funeral Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli soldiers close to an extremist Jewish settlement in the heart of the city. The Israeli military responded with teargas, stun grenades and rubber bullets
We noted that by referring to a community of hundreds of Israelis as “extremists”, Sherwood was lazily imputing widespread fanaticism without evidence – and, more broadly, conveying a message that there’s something radical or extreme about the desire to maintain even a small Jewish presence in Hebron, the oldest Jewish community in the world.
Our April 7 post is relevant in contextualizing Sherwood’s report on today’s terrorist attack in the West Bank – in which a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli man to death, then grabbed his weapon and fired at nearby border police.
Sherwood begins her piece, entitled ‘Israeli security forces deployed in West Bank after settler is stabbed to death‘, April 30, with the following information, which includes a curious reference to the victim’s home town:
Large numbers of Israeli security forces have been deployed in the West Bank after an Israeli settler was stabbed to death by a Palestinian amid fears that the killing could trigger widespread confrontations.
Eviatar Borovzky, 30, a father of five children and a part-time security guard at the hardline settlement of Yitzhar, near Nablus, died of his wounds at the scene of the attack.
Even if the contention that some Jews who live in Yitzhar are “hardline” has merit, it’s unclear what significance the politics of the victim’s home city has in understanding the attack, anymore than the fact that the terrorist suspect is reportedly from a city (Tulkarem) where several deadly terrorist attacks have originated would have relevance.
Sherwood’s report also included the following:
Around the same time [as the attack on Borovzky],an Israeli air strike killed an alleged Palestinian militant in Gaza in the first targeted assassination since the eight-day war last November. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said Haitham Masshal, 24, had been involved in a recent rocket attack on the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat. It described him as a “Global-Jihad-affiliated terrorist” and said he had “acted in different Jihad Salafi terror organisations and over the past few years has been a key terror figure”.
Hamas, the Islamist organisation which controls Gaza, has observed the ceasefire agreement that ended November’s conflict. However, in the past two months there has been renewed intermittent rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, blamed on small extremist organisations that Hamas is trying to rein in.
So, according to Sherwood, Hamas is trying to “rein in” extremism in Gaza.
- Hamas is recognized as a terrorist movement by the US, EU, Canada, Japan, the U.K., and Australia.
- Hamas’s founding charter cites the wisdom of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to “prove” that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world.
- Hamas has carried out hundreds of deadly terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.
- Hamas leaders have called for genocide against the Jews.
Regarding the final bullet point, here’s one example: Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior leader and co-founder of Hamas, is seen in this video waxing eloquently (on Al-Aqsa TV in 2010) about the the Jews’ future in the Middle East:
No, there’s clearly nothing “extremist” or “hardline” about that!