A hysterical Harriet Sherwood berates Stephen Pollard of The JC

This is cross posted by Stephen Pollard at The JC, and is a fascinating window into the extreme political biases which animate the Guardian’s Israel correspondent.

I’ve just had a truly bizarre conversation – well, screaming match – with Harriet Sherwood, the Guardian’s correspondent in Israel (with whom, I should say, I have never before exchanged a word, either in person or via email).

Normally when a mainstream journalist calls it’s for help, for a quote or for something specific. Not this time. Ms Sherwood rang me to scream at me for publishing a piece by Geoffrey Alderman last week,  which began:

Few events – not even the execution of Osama bin Laden – have caused me
greater pleasure in recent weeks than news of the death of the Italian
so-called “peace activist” Vittorio Arrigoni.

Pretty arresting, indeed, and not something I would have written. But then the editor of a paper doesn’t agree with everything in the paper. Ms Sherwood doesn’t seem to realise that.

‘How could you print that? Don’t you think that is a disgusting thing to say? You are happy to publish that?’

I pointed out that it’s not my view but it’s the view of the writer.

‘That is disgusting. He was a peace activist!’ she screamed back.

I pointed out that Mr Arrigoni was not a ‘peace activist’ but a member of ISM, a hardcore anti-Israel group. Ms Sherwood then started screaming at me in a frankly unintelligible manner, but which included more about him being a peace activist and asking me:

‘So you take pleasure in someone’s murder at the hands of Hamas?’

I pointed out again that it wasn’t my piece.

‘But you’re the editor! You must think it worth publishing’.

I asked if she thought Alan Rusbridger agreed with everything in the Guardian, to which she mumbled something in response.

On and on it went, including her telling me exactly what she thought of my morals.  Noted.

Utterly bizarre. Or maybe not, given what she writes in the Guardian.

70 replies »

  1. ‘So you take pleasure in someone’s murder at the hands of Hamas?’

    Does Harriet know something the rest of us don’t? I thought the official version was that it was the Salafists who murdered him.

  2. Was just about to say the same myself, “murdered at the hands of Hamas”. Anyone who thought otherwise please step forward! What, nobody???

    And she actually used the word “murdered” and not “fell accidently into a stream of bullets” or “onto a knife” or similar. WOW, I´m impressed.

  3. I don’t understand Harriet at all. Is she a reporter of or a “peace activist “herself? If she is the latter then maybe the Guardian should warn its readers about this fact and the expected objectivity of her reporting…
    Ms. Sherwood must be a leading light in her profession.
    Not to speak about the image on Arrgoni’s FB page with the “Israelis and dogs don’t enter” sign. This is her idea about being a peace activist? Interesting opinion. Next time she will consider Haniyeh a peace activist and Hamas a human rights organisation.

  4. LOL!

    So she misunderstands how journalism works AND misunderstands who killed Arrigoni.

    Could she be any less qualified?

  5. She’s abnormally ‘invested’ in the anti-Israel ’cause’, isn’t she. Very curious.

  6. Israelinurse, I doubt that Hattie the Hen knows anything others do. I doubt that she ever had an original thought in her life.

    So many, “Dear Pot, yours sincerely Kettle” screeches from her, such as:

    “.. ‘How could you print that? Don’t you think that is a disgusting thing to say? You are happy to publish that?’…”


    “.. ‘So you take pleasure in someone’s murder at the hands of Hamas?’…” (typical Guardianista “mind reading” assuming motive and embroidery of that)


    “.. ‘But you’re the editor! You must think it worth publishing’…”

    (Bet she’d never say that to her Guardian bosses)

    Wheel in the Hissy Fit Police and the jacket which zips up the back….

    Oh Hattie, such an ignominious end to a less than glittering career!

  7. Four things strike me about Sherwood’s attack on Stephen Pollard:

    1) Stasi-like tactics.

    2) Utter lack of professionalism.

    3) No common sense.

    4) As the Guardian cares little or nothing about the deaths of Jewish Israelis, Sherwood is the last person who should be complaining here.

  8. “The Guardian is a sewer – QED”

    That’s the fifth point I should have made. Sherwood’s attack is proof positive that the Guardian is a staunch ally of the Islamofascists and an enemy of the Jewish state.

  9. Wow, the Guardian really scored with Harriet Sherwood. Seriously, where did they find her?!

  10. Most of Alderman’s article is ok, in my view, though he should have mentioned Arrigoni’s anti-Jewish language and imagery rather than call him a ‘Jew-hater’, perhaps.

    But Pollard’s allowing this

    ‘Few events – not even the execution of Osama bin Laden – have caused me greater pleasure in recent weeks than news of the death of the Italian
    so-called “peace activist” Vittorio Arrigoni.’

    Was a serious error of judgment. Which doesn’t change the problematical nature of Sherwood’s assertion that he was a ‘peace-activist’, simply needlessly undermine’s Pollard’s and Alderman’s argument for it.

    I have no love for Sherwood or TG, but Pollard’s laxity hands them a moral point I’d rather them denied.

    • What you write is correct, but the last person of Earth who could complain abut this is Harriet Sherwood.
      BTW If I were her boss I would be very busy at the moment drawing the letter of firing her inmediately after she publicly compromised the Guardian’s objectivity and professionalism. Maybe there are one or two extremely naive person who consider it a liberal newspaper and not a mouthpiece of Hamas – a religiofascist antisemite movement.

      • I have no love for Sherwood, or Arrigoni. More like contempt. But Pollard handed her an easy victory by letting Alderman rant his initial hatred (which is what exulting in the murder of someone is). A mistake. Even though Sherwood has revealed her biases and prejudices with her personally interceding on Arrigoni’s behalf.

  11. Harriet hasn’t much sense. As a reporter didn’t she think for a moment that this error of sense and judgement would be retailed, with relish?


    • Margie, you are forgetting that Hattie the Hen must feel under great stress because she is, after all a lousy “journalist” and comes under criticism for her embroidery of the facts and presenting supposition as fact, and being so she has literally “lost her senses” in this encounter which threatened her distorted sense of self.

      It’s about time she got the Order of the Boot. She seems perilously near the edge.

  12. I think you should sub-title articles by Alderman “Peace Activist”

    I also want to be one, but I don;t have the secret handshake that gets me the diploma.

    BTW, I agree wholeheartedly with Alderman, This Italian meddler contributed as much as he could to the hatred of Israel and supported Hamas. The world is well rid of him. In fact, Pollard SHOULD agree with what Alderman wrote.

    • AKUS, perhaps Pollard takes his role as Editor with due seriousness and regardless of what he might think privately, tries to be impartial on the page. This is an object lesson for the idiots at the Groan.

      Hattie the Hen also does her ignorant best to add to the hatred of Israel (and Jews, because the knuckle draggers below the line on CiF often don’t care to distinguish between Israel as a state and its Jewish citizens, much like Islamists don’t differentiate).

      Let’s face it, any newspaper of distinction wouldn’t even let her clean its floors.

      • Serendipity wrote, “Let’s face it, any newspaper of distinction wouldn’t even let her clean its floors.”

        Let’s really face it! Today’s journalists have no more nuanced a concept of truth than a politician. “Truth” is of so little value that it can be totally ignored. The New York Times has long accepted this purposely perverse view of lying by omission or by commission as its policy. An example: Google the al-Dhurra affair and the French appellate decision favoring Karsenty. It is nowhere to be found in the pages of the New York Times, though it was of earth-shattering importance to journalism, Israel, France, lawfare as a tactic, and the French justice system. Expect nothing and you will still get more garbage from the press than you wanted!

  13. Interesting insight into the motivations of the Chicken Lady..

    Behind the spectacles of the mild-mannered reporter from Guardian City lurks .. Darth Vader.

    • How have they come to be so concentrated in the Guardian newspaper though. It is almost like as if someone carefully orchestrated a take over of what was once respectful rational LEFT by the fringe extremists.

    • Yes, the very same wise “progressive liberal humanist”, professional journalist and intellectual.

    • “Is she the same one who thought an Orthodox Rabbi was a Messianic Jew?”

      Adam Levick writes:

      “Though it would be easy to make more of Sherwood’s gaffe – she asked the Rebbetzin if she considered herself a “Messianic Jew” – than it warrants, it seemed an apt illustration of her unfamiliarity not just with Judaism, but with the political, moral, and historical terrain of the nation she’s covering.”

      • If Sherwood is so ignorant, how can she be a journalist? At Der Guardian, it’s ideology over knowledge.

        Harriet Sherwood is clearly an ignoramus.

        She should at least do some reading and educate herself BEFORE she goes out to do a story.

  14. Does Harriet Sherwood honestly think that calling someone on the phone and screaming at them is an effective manner to voice ones opinion? Personally, I would have just hung up(after chuckling fora few seconds).

    • Jane, she’s lost it, pure and simple together with any connection, however tenuous to any sort of professionalism. Who knows, her job may even be on the line (oh, please heaven!!!)

      • It’s sort of nice to think of Harriet in a big knicker twist over this. Wish I could have heard the conversation ‘live’.

        She is a pityful person. One of the many extreme lefties who ‘inhabit’ The Guardian/Cif who have forgotten what it was to be ‘true left’.

  15. I don’t know whether “Alan Rusbridger (agrees) with everything in the Guardian” but, as a regular Guardian reader I can say with confidence that he would never publish a piece that takes delight in a terrorist murder.

    • Why then does he publish pieces from people who suborn terrorist murder, y’know from Mishal and Haniyeh, let alone the likes of Azzam “I would if I could” Tamimi, and support or can “understand” antisemitism like Ben White?

    • If this were 1943 and I had discovered that one of Reinhard Heydrich’s most faithful underlings was dead, I would have rejoiced. I would not have cared less how he died and who had done the deed.

      In terms of the security of the Jewish people, I would consider Alan Rusbridger to be easily the most dangerous propagandist since Goebbels.

  16. OK….. maybe it’s time now for somebody here to do the ultimate mitzvah and direct hairbrained Hattie towards another career?

    After all, “A Mitzvah a day keeps the Malchamovuss away!”

    • Maybe there are vacancies at the PressTV, the Electronic Intifada or the al-Aqsa TV?

        • Maybe instead of the Hamasnik Mickey-mouse on Al-aqsa TV or she could replace Laureen Booth on PressTV who became a devoted Muslim.

          • Lauren Booth is less devoted to Islam than she is to bigging herself up (literally and metaphorically). I mean, what idiot converts to Islam because of a so-called “spiritual” experience and then admits that she has not read the koran?

            (I wonder whether she got past page 1 yet?)

    • Faigeh, ooh I like it!

      You are right – it would be a mitzvah to encourage the Groan to reconsider Harriet Sherwood’s position.

  17. Does publishing Alderman’s article mean that the JC itself took joy in Arrigoni’s death? No.
    Does publishing pieces by Hamas representatives mean that the Guardian supports their views? No.

    • Does publishing pieces by Hamas representatives mean that the Guardian supports their views? No.

      Yes Pretzel they do support Hamas. Harriet Sherwood – the Guardian’s Israeli correspondent – whose job is not writing opinion pieces on CIF but reporting the facts from Israel is openly (and let me add hysterically and emotionally) symphatizes with a Hamas supporter Israel-hater and considers him a peace activist obviously means exactly this.
      BTW THE Guardian does support Hamas – not because it publishes pieces from Hamas representatives but because it doesn’t make a secret about their hate of Israel, they actively participate in the delegimitisation of the “Zionist entity” and they are against the two-state solution as it became perfectly clear from their editorial about the so called Palestine papers. Their reporting is extremely biased, full of distortions, being absolutely silent about any context and they avoid publishing anything positive about Israel.
      Maybe you should note that Victoria Brittain, Seumas Milne etc. are or were paid employes of the paper and they are very active in anti-Israeli organisations.

    • Can you prove that? If you were right then they would publish articles from the EDL and the British National Party, by Geert Wilders and others who hold his views, and, yes, from CiFWatch – all in the interests of open debate. But they don’t want that, do they? They stifle or ban those who disagree with their pushing the Islamist standpoint.

      Instead they give column inches to the dregs of humanity of Hamas who talk big but accomplish little except to incite hatred, violent death and destruction, and who manipulate their people to fight to the last man standing and urge them to choose martyrdom for themselves while their leaders and inciters are themselves in safety and egging them on from the sidelines.

      Do these Hamas leaders and apologists actually believe in making a better life for their people which is a sure-fire index of at least a wish for good statesmanship? If so, how do they do that if they continue to attack their neighbour and bring their kids up in hatred? Good leaders would work hard to give their people safety and peace and a better quality of life than they have already.

      And you know as well as I that the Guardian encourages this lowest form of pond life by printing far more mad articles from them than reasoned, well-argued ones from those who support Israel. This in effect, means that they support Hamas.

    • Pretz: Hamas openly calls for Israel’s destruction, as you know, and engages in explicit genocidal antisemitism. Even if Alderman’s post was in bad taste, there’s no moral comparison between the Guardian granting license to a terrorist movement which seeks to kill as many Jews as possible, and the JC’s decision to publish a piece which merely noted how absurd the lionization of Arrigoni was. Alderman isn’t calling for the murder of such activists, Hamas openly calls for the murder of its enemies. Big difference, I think.

        • No he didn’t pretzelberg – it just suited the haters at the Guardian to say that he did and interpret what he said in that way.

          The rodef concept is complex and historical and not used now. It is far less horrible and handwringing that what Islamists say when they perform “intellectual” somersaults to justify their murder of Jewish men, women, including pregnant women, and children in Israel, and not a squeak from their brown-nosing Guardianistas in condemnation of that.

  18. Sherwood is an archetypal sanctimonious English bigot, with no understanding, interest or sympathy with Jewish concerns. Did it ever cross her mind that murdering Jews in gas chambers was a ‘modern’ and ‘progressive’ development in the quest for world peace, and those that sanctioned, supported and took part in it were ‘peace activists’ who were doing the world a favour by ridding them of the Jews once and for all.

    Much in the same way that Hamas and their supporters – like Arrigoni believe in an Islamic utopia without the Jews to spoil the party. Two sides of the same coin. What makes Sherwood think she holds the moral high-ground and has a monopoly on who is defined as a ‘peace activist’? She is a product of her time, just as the Nazis were of theirs; arrogant, illiberal and deluded.

  19. ‘Does publishing Alderman’s article mean that the JC itself took joy in Arrigoni’s death? No.’

    It does mean Pollard doesn’t think the expression of that emotion beyond the pale, that’s the problem. It means Pollard thinks it is acceptable, or acceptable to publish.

    ‘Does publishing pieces by Hamas representatives mean that the Guardian supports their views? No.’

    Again, it does mean it thinks them acceptable.

    In some ways the latter is worse, because, although Alderman rejoiced in Arrigoni’s death, Hamas would rejoice in the death of an entire nation. But it is less explicit than that of Alderman. It requires more explanation as to why it is wrong than Alderman’s.

    That is why Pollard is guilty of a grave error of judgment, in my view.

  20. Having said that, I am in some ways glad that Sherwood was forced to drop the mask of her impartiality. That was her error of judgment.

  21. The comment which strikes me as the most bizarre of all is this one:

    “So you take pleasure in someone’s murder at the hands of Hamas?”

    If she had omitted “at the hands of Hamas” you might be fooled into thinking you were dealing with an even handed human being. But “murder at the hands of Hamas” seems to be the outcome for israeli jews that the guardian’s editorial policy is tacitly supporting.

    Either Harriett is guilty of gross hypocrisy or she is challenging Pollard to explain why he is any better than Rusbridger!

    • And she can’t even get her rant right! (See Israelinurse’s comment above). Lazy, ignorant and bigoted. In fact, ideal Guardian material.

  22. the last line again:

    Either she is a thumping hypocrite or she is suggesting that Pollard may have more in common with the guardian than he would like to admit!

  23. Add hysterical crone to her resume among all the other nasty traits of hers.Now I know why she works for the Guardian.

    Is there just one single human being working for the Guardian or are they all just as nasty and demented as each other.

    It’s true that fish start to stink from the head,and the Guardian has one very stinky fish-head sitting at the very top.

  24. And you call Harriet Sherwood “hysterical” solely on the basis of comments by Stephen Pollard??

      • Who are we to know? And Pollard has himself now said that she didn’t actually scream at him. So why the hysterical headline? That’s my point.

    • Pretzelberg

      The problem with Ms Sherwood is not her screaming or not screaming, but her active and public declaration of her opinion of a known Hamas-supporter and Israel-hater. She has the right to have this opinion but what she said to Pollard (and she’s not denying it) disqualifies her as an objective reporter.