Fool’s Prophecy: Harriet Sherwood’s latest compelling tale of Israeli oppression…that hasn’t yet happened

In reading Harriet Sherwood’s recent tale of the cruel Israeli Goliath raking havoc on innocent Bedouin victims, Bedouin children hope their West Bank school will be spared Israeli bulldozers, one salient fact stood out: The unauthorized Bedouin school that Sherwood speaks of has not been torn down and won’t be until the community can be adequately relocated.  In other words, no demolition has occurred and, per Israeli officials Sherwood interviewed, whatever the outcome of the structures, the community certainly won’t be left homeless or without schools for their children.

Of course, a restrained, sober, objective analysis of the land dispute – one which would take into account the complex moral, legal and social issues involved with the nomadic Bedouin communities who reside in the West Bank  – simply wouldn’t produce the desired narrative.

Indeed, the story seems based on merely anecdotal evidence, one statement by the head teacher Hanan Awad who “fears that if the building is left empty, bulldozers will rumble up the hill from the main road to tear down the illegal two-year-old structure built out of old car tyres and mud.”

The fact that Sherwood provides no corroborating evidence that such plans are in the works doesn’t stop her from posting a story with a requisite photo of small Bedouin children “dressed in her blue-and-white striped uniform”  juxtaposed with a characteristic imagery of Zionist oppression – those ubiquitous “Israeli bulldozers”.  Further, Sherwood accepts, at face value, Bedouin claims of “settler…attacks on Bedouin villages.”

A broader story of Israel’s treatment of her Bedouin communities would inevitably contrast Bedouins in the West Bank with Bedouin communities in Israel proper, and conclude that, regarding the latter, Israel’s Bedouins enjoy conditions that their brethren in Arab counties (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, etc.) lack in two areas: civil rights and land ownership.  

Additional research by Sherwood would lead her to note that a Ministerial Committee for the Advancement of Bedouin Affairs has been established by the Israeli Government, that this Committee comprises ten government ministers, and that billions of Shekels have been allotted for the implementation of new programs to assist the Bedouin.  

Sherwood may even have come across the revelation that the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Middle East Adviser is a Muslim Bedouin named Ismail Khaldi, who once stated: 

“I am a proud Israeli – along with many other non-Jewish Israelis such as Bedouin, Druze, Bahai, Christians and Muslims, who live in one of the most culturally diversified societies and the only true democracy in the Middle East. Like America, Israeli society is far from perfect, but let us deals honestly. By any yardstick you choose — educational opportunity, economic development, women and gay’s rights, freedom of speech and assembly, legislative representation — Israel’s minorities fare far better than any other country in the Middle East.”

A less ideologically driven post would balance concerns about the possible relocation of one Bedouin community in the West Bank with figures noting the ten fold increase of the Bedouin population in Israel since 1948 (a population which now exceeds 170,000), and their dramatically reduced infant mortality and increased life expectancy.

Of course, why bore her readers with such dry data when she can more easily conjure a tale of Israeli oppression – which hasn’t yet happened – much more familiar to Guardian readers?

As Guardian Assistant Editor Michael White acknowledged in a revealing blog post in March about his paper’s institutional bias against Israel, the Guardian “strives much of the time to tell [their readers] what [they’d] rather know rather than challenge [their] prejudices.”

Indeed, if nothing else, Sherwood’s latest boilerplate anti-Israel agitprop exceeds spectacularly at the urgent task of feeding her readers’ anti-Israel prejudices. 

10 replies »

    • The Guardian’s prejudices are on daily display, and few demonstrate it better than Sherwood, that silly, silly woman. They seem unable to grasp the concept of actually checking things before they print them, but since apparently the goal is to blacken Israel’s name at every turn, they really don;t care what lies and fabrications they come up with.

      • I suspect they c an grasp the conceptof actuallychecking things, but don’t because truth is not the aim – it doesn’t fit in with their ignorant and prejudiced agenda

  1. Without having read the Sherwood article … where is said Bedouin community being relocated to? And why are they being moved?

    • This disgusting woman would have to have the thick skin of a Rhino,nothing seems to faze her,she just keeps fishing in murky waters,she is the kind of reporter that has all the qualifications that the Guardian wants and needs……..

      • I wonder if this woman even spoke to an Israeli Bedouin,or does she get her information from her usual sources, palestinians who feed her what she likes to hear.

  2. To some people the Jews are always guilty.
    From a older article
    In the video “Mick Napier addressing end the siege of Gaza demo 5.6.2010” he mentioned a case where an Israeli “killed” an off duty policeman and “got off” with 100 hours community service.

    I tracked the case down:
    “Mr Goldberg also proved that PC Dent, who was riding his own motor bike, had been speeding at the time of the crash, having accelerated away from traffic lights to a speed of not less than 41 miles an hour in a distance of 60 yards and in a 30-miles-an-hour speed limit.”

  3. Am just starting to read again “The Hidden Hand” by Daniel Pipes, which is about the Arab/Muslim paranoid proclivity for delusional thinking and conspiracy theories which involve the Jews, Zionists and the US. Pipes argues that one of the aspects of a conspiracy theory which beds it in and places it literally beyond reason and reality testing, is that it is invariably directed against more advanced peoples.

    I believe that it also based on jealousy.

    The Groan and Hattie the Hissy Fit Hen are afraid of Israel but that very fear has a sort of fascination about it. Usually one avoids what one is very afraid of and one leaves it alone beyond keeping a watchful eye on it, but the extent of the Guardian’s and Hat the Hissy Fit Hen’s obsession mirrors the delusional mindset described by Pipes in “The Hidden Hand.”

    The Groan is terrified that Zionists/Jews/”the Right” or the boogeyman will take over unless they focus on it all the time. And Hattie the HIssy Fit Hen is their ideal dupe.

    • “the Arab/Muslim paranoid proclivity for delusional thinking and conspiracy theories”

      What would be your reaction if someone were to make such a sweeping statement about Jews?

  4. “A broader story of Israel’s treatment of her Bedouin communities would inevitably contrast Bedouins in the West Bank with Bedouin communities in Israel proper, and conclude that, regarding the latter, Israel’s Bedouins enjoy conditions that their brethren in Arab counties (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, etc.) lack in two areas: civil rights and land ownership.”

    There has been an explicit policy to remove Negev Bedouin from their lands and either drive them out of the country altogether or forcibly concentrate them in urban centres since before 1948. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, wrote to his son in 1937: “Negev land is reserved for Jewish citizens whenever and wherever they want. We must expel the Arabs and take their place.” In an interview for Haaretz in 1963 Moshe Dayan said””We should transform the Bedouin into an urban proletariat in industry, services, construction and agriculture … the Bedouin would not live on his land with his herds, but would become an urban person who comes home in the afternoon and puts his slippers on… The children would go to school with their hair properly combed. This would be a revolution, but it may be fixed within two generations … this phenomenon of the Bedouins will disappear.”
    Since then the Bedouin in villages have been persistantly persecuted. Buildings have been repeatedly bulldozed and their occupants deprived of basic rights such as water and power connections. Blueprint Negev is a programme aimed at replacing Bedouin with 100s of thousands of Jewish settlers. Bedouin forced into urban areas are a little better off but the towns lack many facilities expected in normal urban areas and unemployment is very high. The vwhole policy is part of Israeli endeavours to solve the ‘demographic problem’. There has even been consideration given to methods aimed at reducing Bedouin population growth rates.