Guardian

Comment is Free: ‘We are all Brothers now’.


Readers will no doubt have taken note of the recent spate of articles on ‘Comment is Free’ connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. Both The Alchemist here at CiF Watch and Adam Barnett over at Harry’s Place have commented on the lack of serious analysis of the movement by the Guardian’s Middle East ‘expert’ Brian Whitaker and Jack Shenker in their misleadingly titled article ‘The Muslim Brotherhood uncovered’ of February 8th which was accompanied by a photo gallery.

The air-brushing continued with the publication of an article by Muslim Brotherhood spokesman and Executive Bureau member Muhammad Mursi on February 8th. Just Journalism’ reports on a recent CNN interview with the same Mr. Mursi (sometimes spelt Morsi) which is worth watching in light of the repeated claims in the Guardian and other Western media outlets that the Muslim Brotherhood has ‘rejected violence’. Of course the all-important question no Western journalist ever asks is how exactly they define the word ‘violence’ and what is the difference between ‘violence’ and ‘resistance’, which the Muslim Brotherhood categorically does not ‘reject’. Note too Mursi’s ‘interesting’ views on the subject of the 9/11 terror attacks.

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Not to be outdone, Harriet Sherwood also wrote a gushing article on February 7th about the ‘hero’s welcome’ received by escaped Hamas ‘militant’ (Guardian-speak for terrorist) Ayman Nofel who arrived back in Gaza after breaking out of an Egyptian prison.

The most Sherwood could find to say about the paramilitary activities of this leading light of the Izz ad Din al Qassam brigades (proscribed by her own government) was that he has been “accused of planning bomb attacks against Israel”. Apparently her enthusiastic descriptions of sticky pastries and ‘potent Arabic coffee’ left no column space for speculation as to what her subject might mean when he said that:

“…..he was ready to return to “work”. Three years “and a few days” in the dank and wretched conditions of an Egyptian jail had not dulled his eagerness for what he described as “the next battle”.”

Just in case Harriet Sherwood has any doubts about the real meaning of the euphemistic term ‘work’, (and no, I don’t believe she does either), here is a partial list of what her hero actually means.

  • The 1 June 2001 suicide bombing of a Tel Aviv discotheque, in which 21 people were murdered and 120 were wounded;
  • The 9 August 2001 suicide bombing of a Jerusalem restaurant, in which 15 people were murdered and 130 were wounded;
  • The 1 December 2001 double suicide bombing on the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, in which 11 people were murdered and 188 were wounded;
  • The 2 December 2001 suicide bombing of a #16 bus in Haifa, in which 15 people were murdered and 40 were wounded;
  • The 9 March 2002 suicide bombing of a Jerusalem cafe, in which 11 people were murdered and 54 were wounded;
  • The 27 March 2002 suicide bombing of a Netanya hotel on the first night of Passover, in which 30 people were murdered and 140 were wounded;
  • The 18 June 2002 suicide bombing of a #32A bus in Jerusalem, in which 19 people were murdered and 74 were wounded;
  • The 4 August 2002 suicide bombing of #361 bus at Meron junction, in which nine people were murdered and 50 were wounded;
  • The 21 November 2002 suicide bombing of a #20 bus in Jerusalem, in which 11 people were murdered and 50 were wounded;
  • The 5 March 2003 suicide bombing of a #37 bus in Haifa, in which 17 people were murdered and 53 were wounded;
  • The 17 May 2003 suicide bombing in Hebron, in which two people were murdered;
  • The 18 May 2003 suicide bombing of a #6 bus in Jerusalem, in which seven people were murdered and 20 wounded;
  • The 11 June 2003 suicide bombing of #14A bus in Jerusalem, in which 11 people were murdered and over 100 were wounded;
  • The 19 August 2003 suicide bombing of a #2 bus in Jerusalem, in which 23 people were murdered and over 130 were wounded;
  • The 9 September 2003 suicide bombing of a hitchhiking post near the IDF base at Tzrifin, in which nine soldiers were murdered and 10 were wounded;
  • The 9 September 2003 suicide bombing of a Jerusalem cafe, in which seven people were murdered and 70 were wounded;
  • The 29 January 2004 suicide bombing of a #19 bus in Jerusalem, in which 11 people were murdered and 44 were wounded;
  • The 14 March 2004 double suicide bombing at Ashdod port, in which 10 people were murdered and 16 were wounded.
  • On Aug 31, 2004 16 people were killed and 100 wounded in two suicide bombings within minutes of each other on two Beersheba city buses.

Ironically, Sherwood was back on February 10th, complaining about her experiences at the Erez crossing where, apparently, the Israelis search her and do not help with her luggage (of course, the friendly Palestinians do) and it takes 15 minutes to walk through the corridor.

Apart from wondering when Sherwood last took a flight from Heathrow where, in my experience,  security measures, porter services and corridor length are remarkably similar to those she describes at Erez, I couldn’t help asking myself if she even appreciates the fact that the need for such stringent security measures both at the Gaza border crossing and in airports around the world is precisely because of the actions of people holding the kind of ideology so enthusiastically whitewashed, airbrushed, cultivated and encouraged by her own newspaper.

I guess that little inconvenient fact would be completely lost on Sherwood and her fellow ‘ideo-journalists’ at Guardian HQ.

2 replies »

  1. He was safer in an Egyptian prison … his “work” routine might be rudely interrupted by Israel if he returns to his bad old ways.