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.’ 

Guardian whitewashes Nathan Filer’s support for pro-terror group, ISM

We haven’t read ‘The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer, and can’t comment on the artistic merits of the book which recently won the Costa Book of the Year award.  However, we can speak about the Guardian’s report on the award, and the author’s curious understanding of the words “peace” and “human rights”.

The Guardian’s story, Costa winner Nathan Filer: ‘This is huge, isn’t it?’, by Guardian features writer , begins thus:

This has been one of the most eventful weeks so far in an already eventful life for Nathan Filer. On Saturday, it was his wedding – the culmination of a journey that began in spring 2012, with an unexpected proposal to his partner Emily while they were being held in an Israeli detention centre. Then on Tuesday he won the Costa Book of the Year award for his first novel, The Shock of the Fall, a trip to the podium that began in 2002, when he was training to be a mental health nurse.

Why was Filer held in an Israeli detention center?  Cochrane gives us a bit of background:

In 2009, having worked on The Shock of the Fall for seven years, he decided to study for a creative writing MA, making the novel his priority. That same year he met his partner Emily, who also works in mental health, and her interest in human rights led to them volunteering in Palestine. In 2011, the pair travelled to Hebron, working with the International Solidarity Movement. They taught English at a university, and offered what support they could to people whose houses had been demolished: they filmed one man in this situation, and put his story online. “It’s about raising awareness,” says Filer. “We would go to protests, to be there and observe. If international people are there, it’s less likely the Israeli military will use heavy-handed tactics, so we were there to try to make things more peaceful, really.”

(Indeed, on his blog, Filer freely writes that “(ISM) does important work in Palestine. I’ve volunteered with them…”.)

Cochrane then directly touches on the detention:

He says he loved being in Palestine and, about six months later, he and Emily travelled there to volunteer again. This time though, as soon as they arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv, they were taken into a side room and questioned, before being driven to a holding facility, to await deportation on the next plane home – their passport details had been taken by the Israeli military during a peaceful protest on their previous visit. Filer didn’t feel he was in danger, but says he was furious, “because we knew that the work we were doing was perfectly legal. We didn’t break any Israeli laws, we’re pro-human rights, peaceful people.”

The casual Guardian reader would be forgiven – after reading the passage – for believing that ISM was a peaceful organization.  

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

ISM members pose with Palestinian terrorists (Photo courtesy of Lee Kaplan at StopTheISM)

Though ISM describes itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action” their activities have included “serving as human shields for terrorist operatives wanted by the Israeli security forces” and providing the Palestinian terrorist operatives and their families “with financial, logistic and moral support”.  They have even reportedly “embraced Palestinian suicide bombers as freedom fighters” 

Here’s more info on ISM from The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and NGO Monitor:

  • ISM rejects the existence of Israel as a national homeland for the Jews. 
  • ISM has been responsible for endangering the safety of many foreign nationals, including Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall. Both were killed while participating in ISM activities. In response to Corrie’s death, ISM co-founder Thom Saffold said, “we’re like a peace army. Generals send young men and women off to operations, and some die.”
  • 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…In actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured,” but these deaths are “no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah.”
  • In 2003 ISM activist Susan Barclay said in an interview that she “knowingly worked with representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad…” 
  • In 2003, ISM activist Ewa Jasiewicz wrote about a shooting attack against Israeli civilians: “Lawd – S-T-R-A-T-E-G-Y, I understand its about attacking civilian life the way civilian life has been crushed and continually denied under the occupation and showing Israelis that they are not safe… from the indefatigable Palestinian resistance etc…But that mesage (sic) has been got loud and clear. I don’t get why activists can’t go and do the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) or something, or do a sophisticated politician bump-off…”
  • In a 2003 interview on the ISM-London website, Saif Abu Keshek, ISM’s Nablus coordinator at the time, said: “we recognise the right of the Palestinians to choose their way of resistance. To join our way of resistance or to choose armed struggle.”
  • In March 2003, senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.
  • In 2003, terrorists originating from the UK attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people. An official Israeli report showed how the terrorists covered their tracks “by forging links with foreign left-wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).” According to this report, “ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against IDF soldiers. At times, their activity….is under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations.”
  • After the second intifada senior ISM activists moved their operations to Gaza where Hamas was gaining a foothold before its violent takeover in 2007. Four senior American ISM activists were key in founding an international pro-Hamas umbrella organization called the Free Gaza Movement, which strives to strengthen the Hamas administration in the Palestinian territory.
  • In 2008, ISM member Richard David Hupper was convicted by a U.S. federal jury for materially aiding Hamas, “giving about $20,000 to Hamas while working in Israel with the International Solidarity Movement.”

Yet, in an over 1700 word story, the Guardian journalist never once mentions ISM’s terror-supporting activities nor noted the seeming contradiction of Filer’s alleged support for “peace” and “human rights” with his active participation with a group which aids and abets antisemitic extremists who intentionally murder innocent Israelis. 

Indeed, one of the biggest scandals of the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and the Palestinians is the dishonest manner in which they frame the debate – the way they automatically impute good will and progressivism to nearly anyone claiming to advocate on behalf of Palestinians, even those compromised by their support for violence against innocent civilians.  Such moral blind spots regarding the human rights of Israelis continue to define the ideological territory occupied by the Guardian Left.

Guardian misleads in tale of ‘heroic’ Palestinian sperm smuggling

The latest story by Harriet Sherwood about Palestinian prisoners reportedly smuggling sperm out of Israeli jails to impregnate women in Gaza continues the Guardian method of significantly downplaying the terror record of Palestinian prisoners.

First, we should note that this is actually the second such report by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent on the pressing issue of ‘smuggled sperm’ and Palestinian prisoners. On Feb. 8 she published the following:

oneYesterday, Oct. 13, the day, incidentally, in which other papers were reporting the discovery by the IDF of a major terror tunnel between Gaza and Israel, Sherwood detailed the latest ‘victory’ for the Palestinians’ burgeoning underground terrorist sperm trade, reporting the following:


Sherwood begins her story, thus:

Hana al-Za’anin and her husband, Tamer, have not set eyes on each other, let alone had physical contact, for almost seven years. But the young Palestinian couple are delighted to be expecting their first child in January.

The baby – a boy already named Hassan – is not a modern-day miracle but the result of medical science combined with old-fashioned subterfuge. He was conceived after Tamer’s sperm was smuggled out of an Israeli prison, across a stringent military checkpoint into Gaza, and impregnated into an egg harvested from Hana at a fertility clinic in Gaza City. The resulting embryo was transplanted into her uterus.

Hassan will be the first “prison baby” born in Gaza, but he will join at least three infants delivered in the West Bank as a result of a rapidly growing sperm-smuggling phenomenon,

Sherwood does briefly quote an Israeli prison official expressing doubt that sperm had in fact been smuggled out of their jail, but most of the story is devoted to celebrating the Palestinian ingenuity .  

Later in the report, we learn a bit more about al-Zanin and his ‘heroic’ example of Palestinian ‘resistance’ in the face of Israeli conjugal oppression:

Za’anin, who had been denied permission by Israel to visit her husband in prison since his conviction for membership of the militant organisation Islamic Jihad just a few months after their marriage, consulted [the fertility doctor] by phone. “He was surprised that I asked. He had also heard about this, and had wanted to ask me, but thought people might wonder about me being pregnant with my husband in jail. So when I asked, he agreed right away,” she said at the family’s home in Beit Hanoun.

It not only took Sherwood eight paragraphs before briefly noting (in roughly ten words out of an 875 word story) that Tamer al-Za’anin is a convicted terrorist, but she characteristically downplayed his terrorist record.

According to Israeli court records (Hebrew), al-Za’anin not only belonged to a terror organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but volunteered for their military wing (Al-Quds Brigades), a group which has carried out numerous attacks against Israelis, including deadly suicide bombings.  Further, court records show that he was imprisoned after pleading guilty to four counts of being an accessory to attempted murder, a plea bargain in which he admitted his active participation within terror cells that on one occasion laid an explosive (IED) and fired two missiles at an IDF vehicle, and on three other occasions fired rockets at civilians in Sderot.

In other words, the protagonist in Sherwood’s celebratory tale allegedly brought life into the world only after a career in terror focused on trying desperately to end as many Israeli lives as possible.

Faithless guitarist Dave Randall: “If we got rid of Zionism people can live peacefully.”

Cross posted by London-based blogger, Richard Millett


l to r: Ziadah, Randall, Wiles, Chairperson at SOAS.

The major obstacle to Randall’s vision is that Israelis are not going to voluntarily agree to dissolve the Jewish state. In the absence of such an agreement there would be bloodshed.

Incredibly, Randall replied that he rejected the idea that there would be war between the two sides and that he had been advised by Ronnie Kasrils that white South Africans actually felt “liberated” after apartheid ended.

Incidentally, Kasrils once claimed that “South African Jews told their children not to waste time on the blacks.”

Randall continued:

“The antagonisms are the product of Zionism. If we got rid of Zionism people can live peacefully together.”

Randall, who described himself as a “socialist”, said it was in the west’s “interests to cosy up to Israel and turn a blind eye when it breaks international law because it sees Israel as an ally near 70% of the world’s oil resources”.

Randall said Faithless joined the boycott because “to play in Israel sends the message that it is acceptable to conduct business in an apartheid state”.

Although, he said, some of the band members weren’t happy about not going to Israel to play.

However, Faithless are now defunct having been active from 1995-2013. Only in 2011 did they actually decide to join in this racist cultural boycott. Ironically, their Wikipedia profile has a photo of them performing in Haifa, Israel in 2005.

Last night Dave Randall was, instead, performing to just 30 people at a SOAS Palestine Society event sponsored by British charity War On Want. It was the book launch of Voices from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. The so-called Palestinian “right of return”, which would lead to the destruction of the Jewish state, is the main racist plank of this Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Also on the panel were the book’s editor Rich Wiles and War On Want’s campaigns officer Rafeef Ziadah. In answer to my question about how many should die Wiles said he didn’t see why anyone would die but that the Palestinians “will never give up the right of return”. As for destroying the Jewish state Wiles continued:

“The idea of having a Jewish democracy is an oxymoron. It’s a case of one group of people privileging their rights over those of others.”

Meanwhile, War On Want’s Rafeef Ziadah claimed that for me to speak in terms of “Israel being destroyed” was racist discourse because it was actually the Palestinians who were suffering an “ongoing destruction”. She said that “the BDS movement will relinquish the racism of the Zionist movement”.

As an aside Ziadah told the audience that I attend all her talks to write about them. She flatters herself but seeing as she obviously reads this blog maybe she could leave a comment letting us know whether she is still a big fan of Islamic Jihad terrorist Khader Adnan who does a nice sideline in inciting Palestinians to become suicide bombers.

Wiles also said that the three main events that have attracted people to BDS in increasing numbers are:
1. Israel killing 1200 people, “mostly civilians”, in Lebanon in 2006.
2. Israel killing 1400 people, “mostly civilians”, in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.
3. Israel killing Turkish activists on the flotilla.

But he left out the main reason; those who deliberately single out the Jewish state because it’s, well, Jewish. Wiles [claimed] that “650,000 mainly innocent Iraqis had been murdered by American and UK led forces”, but calling for a boycott of the USA and UK did not pass his lips.

Wiles, who said he had lived in “Palestine”, claimed that although it was now “quiet times in Palestine” there was an “ongoing Nakba” including:

1. The planned removal of 70,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel from the Negev so that a forest funded by the JNF can be built instead. Wiles said that to Israelis “the lives of trees are more important than the lives of the Palestinians”.

2. The West Bank Palestinian village of Sosia whose inhabitants were displaced so an “illegal settlement” could be built there instead.

3. Seven Palestinian villages that are waiting to be demolished so Israel can build Firing Zone 918 to practice military manoeuvres.

4. 90,000 Palestinians living in east Jerusalem who are at risk of displacement so Israel can build road links to settlements.

Wiles described all this as a “silent transfer policy which can slip under media attention unlike what the Zionists did between 1947 and 1949″.

At one stage there was a surreal discussion about the size of the anti-Iraq war march through London and the size of the crowds in Tahrir Square. Wiles said that although BDS wasn’t as big they would, instead, be more “strategic”.

Just as well because with only 30 people in the audience Wiles, Ziadah, Randall and War On Want are embarrassing themselves. And now you can understand more fully why even arch-critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein felt compelled to call the BDS lot “a cult of dishonesty” with no other desire than to destroy Israel.

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.)

Racist double standards watch: Guardian ignores Palestinians’ extreme right drift

Reports and commentaries in the Guardian (as well as in the mainstream media) analyzing Israel’s upcoming election which warn of a far-right shift within the Israeli electorate have been ubiquitous.  Much of the reporting has focused on the possibility that Binyamin Netanyahu’s party may form a more right-wing coalition government following the election, one which will be injurious – if not fatal – to the “peace process”.

Here are excerpts from such prognostications on the Guardian’s Israel page since early January.  

The left in Israel is its own worst enemy, Rachel Shabi, ‘Comment is Free’, Jan. 21

“Israel is expected to elect the most right-wing government in its history on Tuesday…”

Binyamin Netanyahu rejects calls for Palestinian State within 1967 lines, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 20:

“…a strengthening of the hard right in the next parliament [is expected]”

Obama’s dysfunctional relationship with Netanyahu likely to trundle on, Chris McGreal, Guardian, Jan 20:

…disillusioned former peace negotiators and Middle East policy officials expect his “dysfunctional” and confrontational relationship with Binyamin Netanyahu to stagger along even if the Israeli prime minister returns to power after Tuesday’s election with a government even further to the right of the present one.”

Arab gloom as Israel shifts rightward, Ian Black, Guardian, Jan. 19:

“To measure just how far Israeli politics have shifted to the right it is worth recalling that 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the Oslo accords in which Israel and the PLO recognized each other…

But with Netanyahu poised to return to power at the head of a more right-wing and uncompromising government than Israel has ever seen before…”

Binyamin Netanyahu on course to win Israeli elections, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 18:

Binyamin Netanyahu is on course to head a more hawkish and pro-settler government following Tuesday’s elections,

Support has drained to the ultra-nationalist, pro-settler Jewish Home, led by Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Naftali Bennett, in an indication of the hardening of opinion on the right of the Israeli political spectrum.”

Peace process dead if Netanyahu wins Israeli election, academics war, Paul Owen, Guardian, Jan. 15:

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is dead if Binyamin Netanyahu wins next week’s Israeli election, leading academics have warned.” [quote from strap line]

Jewish Americans may be increasingly disenchanted with Netanyahu. But their priorities lie elsewhere, Peter Beinart, Guardian, Jan. 12:

“In Israel, public discourse is moving right. You can see it in the rise ofIsrael Hayom, the free, pro-Likud newspaper that has eclipsed Israel’s more traditional, centrist press. You can see it in the rise of Naftali Bennett, the settler leader whose party could come in third in the elections due later this month. You can see it the election campaign as a whole, in which the two-state solution is a virtual afterthought.”

Israel election: country prepares for next act in the great moving right show, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 12:

“Secular liberalism once dominated politics in Israel, but polls next week are set to confirm a long-term shift to the right

Naftali Bennett interview: ‘There won’t be a Palestinian state within Israel, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 7:

“Jewish Home is all but certain to be part of the next coalition government, tilting it significantly further to the right.”

Binyamin Netanyahu: strong man with a fearful heart. Peter Beaumont, Observer, Jan. 5:

“The question of the nature of Netanyahu’s conservatism has been complicated by Israel’s right-shifting political scene.”

Israel’s shift to the right will alienate those it needs most, Jonathan Freedland, ‘Comment is Free’, Jan. 4:

“For now the focus is on the Israeli elections of 22 January. The polls suggest that a government ranked as one of the most right-wing in Israel’s history is set to be replaced by one even further to the right

Even if Bennett is kept out of coalition, Netanyahu will still head a more rightist government.

The centre of gravity is about to shift so far rightward that Netanyahu and even Lieberman will look moderate by comparison.”

Meanwhile, if you were curious about the political center of gravity in Palestinian society, you wouldn’t find much information on the Guardian’s ‘Palestinian territories’ page.

In fact, the ‘Israel’ page and the ‘Palestinian territories’ page look exactly the same:

Guardian Israel page, Jan. 21:


Now, here’s the Guardian’s Palestinian territory page, Jan. 21:


However, for those interested, news regarding a possible extreme right Palestinian political coalition – which was reported in the Algemeiner, as well as in the Arab media - may provide some vital insight into Palestinian political culture.

The Algemeiner reported the following on Jan. 20:

“A member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Dr. Ahmed Majdalani, told Al-Quds newspaper that he expects Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join with the PLO after National Council elections later this month, though the government will still headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.”

Hamas, in case it needs reminding, is an Islamist terrorist group which refuses to recognize a Jewish state within any borders, cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in their founding charter, and whose leaders calls for the mass murder of Jews. Hamas advocates the destruction of Israel through violent means, indoctrinates their children to become suicide bombers, and displays extreme intolerance towards women, gays, non-Muslims and their Palestinian political opponents.

Islamic Jihad (PIJ) , funded by Iran, is another radical Islamist terrorist group, which was formed in 1979 by fundamentalists in Egypt who split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood because they were deemed too moderate. PIJ advocates the destruction of Israel through violent means, indoctrinates their children to become suicide bombers, and displays extreme intolerance towards women, gays, non-Muslims and their Palestinian political opponents.

Even if PIJ doesn’t join with the PLO, Hamas and Fatah are currently working out plans to implement, by the end of this month, previous reconciliation agreements signed between the two parties.

So, any way you look at it, right-wing extremism within Palestinian politics is evidently so endemic that “terror groups who urge the ethnic cleansing of Jews” are considered mainstream – a dangerous phenomena which would certainly explain why, at least on national security issues, citizens of the Jewish state seem to have reached a more right leaning political consensus.

Of course, a truly “liberal” media institution would report on Palestine’s dangerous extreme right-wing drift, condemn a possible political coalition which includes groups espousing homicidal antisemitism – and which would necessarily end any hopes of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement – and contextualize Israeli political sentiments accordingly.  

In other words, you won’t read much about Israel’s legitimate fears regarding the ominous strengthening of the Palestinian extremist right on the pages of the Guardian. 

Harriet Sherwood and the ceasefire that never was.

Harriet Sherwood appeared to wake up rather late to the fact that one million Israeli civilians have been (and still are at the time of writing) under constant attack from missiles fired from Gaza since Monday afternoon, producing her first report on the subject on Wednesday morning

In both that report and the one she produced on June 21st, she seems to be trying to promote a rather curious concept. 

In her article from June 20th Sherwood states: 

“Hamas has largely adhered to a series of ceasefires since the three-week war in Gaza ended in January 2009, although it has not contained rocket fire from other militant groups, notably Islamic Jihad. Hamas was weakened by Israel’s military onslaught, known as Operation Cast Lead, and is reluctant to provoke another major confrontation with Israel.”

In her June 21st piece, she writes: 

“Hamas had earlier announced its militants had fired rockets into Israel for the first time for more than a year. It has largely adhered to previous ceasefires because it is unwilling to provoke Israel into a major military confrontation.”

So Sherwood would have us believe on the one hand that Hamas has ‘largely adhered’ (a strange concept in itself) to various ‘ceasefires’. On the other hand, Sherwood admits that Hamas has turned a deliberate blind eye to the activities of numerous other terror groups operating out of the Gaza Strip and so –as the residents of southern Israel know only too well – there actually was no real ceasefire at all

Hamas is the (albeit unelected) governing body in Gaza. It is responsible for everything that goes on in its territory, just as the British government would be responsible for preventing ‘militants’ in Dover from firing Grad missiles at Calais. And Sherwood must know this full well, because the opening paragraph of her June 21st piece states that: 

Hamas has said it will commit to a ceasefire after more than 100 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel in the past three days and eight Palestinians, including three teenagers, were killed in Israeli airstrikes.”

In other words, according to Sherwood’s patronizing approach, Hamas is ruler enough to broker a ceasefire, but not ruler enough to be expected to enforce it across the board. 

Equally patronizing –this time to her readers – is Sherwood’s euphemistic description of “eight Palestinians, including three teenagers” having been killed in Gaza. 

Among those killed in Gaza during the past week  are, (according to various Palestinian sources), Mohammed Bassam Abu Mueliq and Yousef Talbani (both 16) who were killed whilst handling an explosive device near the border fence between Gaza and Israel, 21-year-old Ghaleb Armilat (according to Hamas, a member of the Al Quds brigade of Islamic Jihad), Ismail Abu Ouda and Muhammed Shabat (both members of the Islamic Jihad en route to carrying out a terror attack), and Mahmoud Abdo Za’anin and Ibrahim Abdel Fattah (both members of Hamas ‘Defenders of Al Aqsa’, with the latter apparently belonging to its ‘youth brigade’). Hamas also claimed that a member of its Izz al Din al Qassam brigades named Jihad Abu Shabab (23) was killed.

Here are pictures of Abu Ouda and Shabat taken from the Islamic Jihad website (courtesy of Challah Hu Akbar). 

Ismael Abu Ouda

Ismael Abu Ouda

Muhammed Shabat

Muhamed Shabat

Abu Ouda & Shabat

And here is a video – released via Twitter by Hamas – of its Al Qassam Brigades firing ‘home-made’ rockets at what it describes as ‘military bases’. 

It really is hard to decide which is more patronising: Harriet Sherwood’s assignation of a childlike diminished responsibility to the rulers of the Gaza Strip or her apparent belief that her readers need to be shielded from the realities of an ongoing terror war through employment of delicate euphemisms.   

The Guardian: aspiring to become the PSC’s ventriloquist’s dummy?

The British fringe group known as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) may not be large in numbers, but it is certainly big on noise.  Its ‘one-stater’ members have a particular penchant for radical chic, taking  part in convoys, flotillas, flytillas, and frequent demonstrations and events starring supporters and  members of terrorist organisations. 

The PSC’s director Sarah Colborne was a member of the executive committee which organised the Global March to Jerusalem. She was also recently in Gaza, together with PSC chair Hugh Lanning, as part of the Interpal-organised ‘Miles of Smiles convoy. Interpal is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Union of Good, headed by homophobic and anti-Semitic hate preacher Yusuf al Qaradawi

Obviously, these extremists at the PSC – who both support and enable terror organisations proscribed by the British government and behave like star-struck teenage pop fans whenever their racist, homophobic, misogynistic heroes come to town – would not be the type of bedfellow the socially responsible Left liberal progressives at the Guardian would go out of their way to support. 

Or would they? 

The PSC has recently been running a high-profile campaign on behalf of Mahmoud Sarsak – an active member of the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (or – in less euphemistic terms – a member of a violent terror organisation) currently held in Israel under administrative detention laws because (as Adam Levick has already pointed out on these pages) numerous judges in both the District Court and the Supreme Court in Israel are convinced that he poses a real danger to the public

“In its response, the State claimed that the Supreme Court should uphold the district court’s decision and referred the Supreme Court to current intelligence information that indicates that the appellant continued to maintain ties with the PIJM and its military activity even from within the detention facility. Moreover, the assessment of ISA’s experts is that the combination of the appellant’s high motivation and expertise in manufacturing and training others in the use of explosive weapons raises the probability that if released, Sarsak would be reintegrated into the PJIM in Gaza promptly and would endanger the security of the State.”

Of course the PSC does not inform the public about that aspect of Mahmoud Sarsak’s activities.  Instead, it chooses to focus exclusively upon the fact that he is also a footballer. PSC newsletters implore their recipients to telephone the UK Foreign Secretary and contact their MPs on Sarsak’s behalf as well as to put pressure on UEFA to cancel a football tournament in Israel next year, even providing handy letter templates for the purpose. 

Obviously, neither the PSC nor figures such as Eric Cantona who have signed a petition calling for Sarsak’s release care a jot about the civilians at risk should he be free to return to his PIJ terrorist activities. 

And seemingly neither does the Guardian, if we are to judge by the heart-string–tugging article by Harriet Sherwood on the subject on June 6th in which Sarsak’s extra-stadium activities were flippantly dismissed in one sentence:

“Sarsak’s family deny that he is a member of any militant organization.”

Since then, the Guardian appears to have upped its participation in the Sarsak campaign by publishing a letter on the subject from former MP and Socialist Campaign Group member John Austin on June 14th. Of course Austin failed to mention the background to Sarsak’s detention too. 

On June 17th, the Guardian ran another article by Hugh Muir, also featuring a half-baked version of the Sarsak story (he in fact began drinking milk several days before Muir’s article was written and his hunger strike has now ended) as well as neglecting to make any mention of Sarsak’s connections to a terrorist organization.

Muir also thought it fit to promote the latest PSC escapade entitled Palestine Place – a squat in London – which may appear bizarre until one appreciates the fact that he also appeared at an NUS conference in 2010 alongside Amena Saleem of the PSC, Anas Altikriti of the BMI and Luftur Rahman (mayor of Tower Hamlets), among others. 

Yet again, it appears that the Guardian has elected to patronizingly ignore ‘the public’s right to know’ all the details of a story it chooses to promote – repeatedly – if those details present stumbling blocks on the route to its broader agenda. 

Part of that agenda seems to involve an aspiration to become the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s ventriloquist’s dummy. 

The Guardian – twisting, turning and spinning as it covers for Palestinian terrorism

A guest post by AKUS

The heavily critiqued commentary by the wife of terrorist Khadar Adnan (My husband, Khadar Adnan has shed a light on Israel’s disregard for human rights, CiF, Feb. 22) drew two unusual interventions by Becky Gardiner, who’s described as “the editor of the Guardian comment pages”.  (I take it, in passing, that this abbreviated description of what once included the words ‘Comment is Free’ can be considered recognition of what we have all known for some time –“Comment is Free” may adorn the masthead, but free comment is not allowed).

Dozens of angry, cynical, and shocked comments were deleted by the moderators (others completely vanished without a trace) in a counterattack on commenters. Their efforts were apparently designed to remove any reference they could find to the video of Adnan in the BTL comments that showed him calling for volunteers to become suicide bombers, or referring to him as a terrorist:

The disgust shown by dozens of commenters and the incredible number of deletions used to try to control the horrified crowd must have caused a panic at Guardian HQ. When the clamor of commenters asking why it had been published and why the Guardian supported a terrorist reached uncontrollable levels, Becky Gardiner, editor of the Comment pages, decided it was time to step in.

Rather than stepping in, she stepped right into it, up to her eyebrows, with the following ludicrous attempt to defend her decision to publish (commission?) the article:

Gardiner’s comment was such a transparent attempt to deflect the criticism by spinning the rationale behind this article and twisting the argument to one of a fair trial that it drew howls of cynical laughter from readers other than the 22 sycophants who were loudly praising this terrorist wife and her husband.

There were ten responses to her post. Three were immediately deleted. Here are samples from the responses to her attempt to justify the article by invoking “interesting to hear … comment from a variety of perspectives” and, apropos nothing relevant to the criticism, “the right of everyone to a fair trial” (which Israeli body responsible for Adnan’s detention said he would not get a fair trial?).

  • Perhaps one of Osama Bin Laden’s wives could do a piece next week?
  • I’m still waiting for a piece by a member of the EDL however.
  • I’m sure Assad’s wife Asma would be interested in submitting a comment piece – it could be called ‘ A wife’s perspective- Syria-the Untold Story’ .
  • What I do despise though, and what makes me despair of this paper is that you are apparently planning to publish the – uncommented – piece in the print version of you paper. Are you sure The Guardian still has a grip w.r.t. what it actually wants to stand for?
  • Well I don’t normally comment on I/P keech but this is a stonker of a stinker.

This comment stood out:

Gardiner has never apparently heard that when you are in a hole you should stop digging. Or, possibly she is so brainwashed with the Guardian warped world view she genuinely does not understand that praising terrorists just because they attack Israel is unacceptable. So she tried again after “external” took her to task:


And, of course, what Adnan is said to have done, and we have a video of him doing just that, is at the very least inciting others to terrorism.

Gardiner then made the following utterly incredible response, breathtaking in its falsehood and awe-inspiring in her belief that readers would accept her claim that the Guardian “wouldn’t simply repeat allegation made on the internet”

This brought down the house:

  • … most readers will always be disgusted by puff-pieces for people who advocate violence and murder against innocent civilians.
  • Becky, when can we expect similar articles of wives of people also held in prison without charge in the UK?
  • Did I read right? The Guardian does not use material gleaned from the Internet? Most CiF articles contain allegations, suppositions, theories, quotes and all sorts of other screeds obtainable from internet sites.

No one asked her to “repeat the allegations made on the internet. The Guardian should have left the video and references to  Adnan’s terrorist career to speak for themselves.

Of course, you need only look at the rolling ME blog to see video after video from the internet posted there. Neither the Guardian nor I have the slightest reason to doubt the validity of the allegations against Assad that these videos and commentary provide. We have had a year of videos and blogs from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria showing the violence there and the allegations against this or that politician or person, all quite acceptable, and eagerly published by the Guardian. The allegations made against Tony Blair in the Guardian could fill a telephone directory. The vicious article condemning Israeli politicians are left standing.

But when it comes to a terrorist who belongs to a jihadi group dedicated by its own platform to the destruction of Israel and the murder of its Jews, is videoed calling for suicide bomb volunteers to kill Israelis wherever they can, a different and higher standard is suddenly applied.

Gardiner could not even bring herself to wimp out by writing “alleged” terrorist, but had to continue to twist and turn in the gale of criticism, and try to spin the story and lie about her motives in a way that only the most utterly naïve or biased could accept. She apparently believes that if the lie is big enough, and repeated often enough, even others than Berchmans will eventually believe it.

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.