Guardian’s pro-Palestinian activist Harriet Sherwood manufactures the ‘news’.

Harriet Sherwood has been for a boat ride this morning. Not just any old boat ride, mind you, but one off the Gaza coast where it seems that four fishing boats, two press boats – one of which she calls “the Guardian boat” – and one NGO vessel met the Israeli navy.

Here are highlights from her Twitter feed:

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

On boat heading out from Gaza port. Fishermen regularly fired on by Israeli military. Going to check

Shouldn’t there be an ‘allegedly’ or a ‘reportedly’ in the second sentence there – or has she already made her mind up?

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

Getting close to 3 mile limit for fishing. Israeli gunboat speeding towards us

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

Israeli gunboat circling around. Siren sounding. Machine gun mounted at rear

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

IDF coming very close. Sirens. Banking hard causing a lot of backwash for our small motor boat

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

6 or 7 troops on bridge, all armed. We have cut our engines

Armed soldiers? Well, I never!

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

Guardian boat is flying under Barcelona FC flag….

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

Fishermen saying there are no fish. They want to go out another 50 metres. But that could provoke reaction. No boat willing to go first

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

One fishing boat heading further out. But the guys are asking us (Guardian) to go in front for protection

Ah, in other words the Guardian is being asked to act as a human shield. Is this Harriet playing out her International Solidarity Movement fantasies?

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

I’m told that the point of the IDF continually circling us is to create continuous waves and noise. Makes fishing harder

Note how she unquestioningly accepts and repeats everything she is told.

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

Water canon boat maybe 200m away. Heading straight towards us. May have to put comms away forbit

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

Boats being wate canoned. Veryu dangerous. The NGO boat almost went under

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

IDF still firing on Oliva the human rights boat. They are trying to drown it says my translator

“Firing” or spraying with water? There’s a very big difference, Harriet.

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

These fishermen are strangely euphoric – singing clapping dancing on their boats. Glad simply to survive I guess

Or maybe they’re “euphoric” about having provoked an incident which will be the subject of one of Sherwood’s signature gushing reports; famously sympathetic to noble peasant fishermen just trying to make a penny or two and blindly parroting any and every story conveniently provided by her “translator” – otherwise known as a fixer‘.

The ‘Olivia’ belongs to the Civil Peace Service Gaza:  the NGO with which murdered activist Vittorio Arrigoni operated.  CPSGAZA was set up by a collection of anti-Israel activist groups including the International Solidarity Movement, Codepink, European Jews for a Just Peace (headed by Dror Feiler), ‘Free Gaza’ and the Popular Struggle Co-ordination Committee, all of which are committed to bringing about Israel’s demise.  

 These organizations are also behind the organization of the flotillas and the recent flytilla. It is not unreasonable to assume that the lack of mainstream media interest in the ‘Freedom Flotilla 2’ and the remarkably un-newsworthy end to its attempts to breach the naval embargo with the ‘Dignite al Karama’ yesterday prompted this morning’s media circus off the Gaza coast. As is well known, the flotilla organizing movements are in dire financial straits and desperately in need of donation-generating publicity.   

And so, keen volunteers for the post of ‘useful idiot’ from the international media, including the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, are offered the opportunity for a ‘hands-on’ exclusive –covering events deliberately engineered by ‘peace activists’ for political ends.

We have over a decade’s experience on the issues of the presence of the foreign press influencing and provoking incidents in this region as well as their regrettable tendency to make themselves part of the story. An escapade such as the one in which Sherwood took part this morning is not about reporting the news; it is about manufacturing events in which the reporter plays a role and then subsequently publishing them. It is political activism and Harriet Sherwood’s enthusiastic co-operation with an organization dedicated to making Israel disappear indicates the manner in which she long since crossed the line between journalism and political activism.     

harrietsherwood harrietsherwood 

That’s it from Gaza City port. I will be writing a piece for the Guardian and we have shot video. Over and out, as they say.

Oh, we know you will, Harriet. In fact by now we are so familiar with your work that we could even write it ourselves.  

49 replies »

  1. I noticed the Twitter messages on the G’s homepage a little while ago, and I think you’re onto something there, Israelinurse, i.e. Sherwood is desperately looking for material to post an article about. I was likewise struck by the one-sidedness of her “account”.

    • And here it comes ….

      harrietsherwood harrietsherwood
      That’s it from Gaza City port. I will be writing a piece for the Guardian and we have shot video. Over and out, as they say

      If there’s no news, she will manufacture news. Perhaps she’s hoping for a job with Murdoch, though in vain. She is as disreputable as those he just fired.

      • Of course. That post above is fully consistent with my previous posts – if that’s what you’re wondering. Not that this stops the mental midgets from voting it down anway. Pretty pathetic.

        • Doesn’t seem in context. Almost as if you now think that The Guardian is negatively obsessed with Israel.

          The Guardian should sent HarrietHen to East Africa to observe the effects of famine and drought. That may give her some (normal) perspective although maybe I am expecting too much from her.

  2. And for this rubbish Harriet Sherwood gets paid,this woman is as thick as a brick shit house……Why hasn’t she been kicked out of Israel,she uses Jerusalem to peddle her anti-Israeli propganda…..Israel is too lenient with the likes of this woman……

  3. “The NGO boat almost went under”

    The Israeli Navy needs to up its game and buy a bigger, better water cannon.

    • These tweets are hilarious, Harriet Sherwood is such a fruitcake. “look at me, self-righteously sacrificing myself for the noble Palestinian cause with my exclusive scoop on the evil Jew-Pirates”

      • The series of tweets make her look rather ridiculous. If she were a serious journalist, she’d refrain from twittering and just publish her report afterwards.

  4. harrietsherwood harrietsherwood

    Guardian boat is flying under Barcelona FC flag….

    Interesting, I wonder what the team thinks of that?

  5. Yesterday, during the kerfuffle about the NotW circus before the Select Committee, one of the TV front man bletherers asked the person he was interviewing, whose name escapes me, whether he thought that there would be an knock-on effect as regards greater scrutiny and tightening up of journalistic ethics in general.

    The interviewee said that it was high time and looked very self-important, but you have only to look at this stodge from Sherwood to know that we shouldn’t hold our collective breath.

    Sherwood is a lightweight with the brains of a rocking horse but the Guardian gives her and others of what passes for their political bent enough leeway to add to the poisonous discourse with their lies.

    If, as we are led to believe, the “tentacles” of the NotW debacle are far reaching, I hope that they are at a suitablly base level entwined around the Guardian.

    • Sherwood is a lightweight with the brains of a rocking horse

      A dadaist of sorts, then?

        • Israel Nurse, the role of journalists as a necessary –sine qua non– ingredient of dramatic events in the Arab-Israeli theater goes way back. The journos were certainly active in helping stage incidents and encouraging them by their very presence goes to the first Intifudi that started in 12-1987. And probably long before that.

    • What has emerged from the revelations concerning the NoW was the pressure applied to journalists there to seek out stories and bring them to the editors, as exemplified by the late Sean Hoare, whose destructive life style seems to have been brought on by his work. Harriet Sherwood is nowhere near that state but I suspect that the Guardian supplied her with a brief for getting material for her contributions- and that’s what she has to do in order to keep that monthly check going into her bank account. As we have seen, much of it is trivial, often unreliable, rarely if ever insightful but her masters in London will be happy with it nevertheless.

      • Yes. That very much explains HarrietHen’s actions.

        While watching Murdoch ‘in the dock’ at the parliamentry ‘hearing’ on TV, I was fanatsying about the GMG being in the same ‘dock’ on charges of gross misrepresentation AND omission of ‘news’ and obvious attempts of manipulation of readers to an extreme political view.

  6. Could Harriet Poison Sherbet’s presence on the boat be seen as aiding an illegal activity thereby the only fair punishment would be, it seems, imprisonment for life?

  7. “An escapade such as the one in which Sherwood took part this morning is not about reporting the news; it is about manufacturing events in which the reporter plays a role and then subsequently publishing them.”

    It is a fact that the IDF operates a harshly enforced fishing limit off Gaza Innocent fishermen have been machine-gunned, killed and injured. This is a legitimate news story and Harriet Sherwood’s sea trip is a way of dramatising these facts rather than just stating them. Film of one boat being shot at can be seen here:

    • Your legitimate reporter somehow forgot to report about the Kassams of the last three days. The fishermen must say to ask Hamas not to smuggle rockets into Gaza then it would be much easier to convince the IDF not to gun down “innocent” helpers of killing really innocent Israeli civilians.
      Maybe you should substantiate your claim about the killed and injured “innocent” fishermen.

    • sencar, do you ever look at or consider the provenance of the links you post?
      There is a phrase “independently verifiable evidence” try and understand what it means and then apply it.

    • Thank you for the link. The video clearly shows the Israeli patrol boat firing shots (? warning) into the water and not at the fishing vessel or its occupants. Looking at the rest of the material on that website, including the illiterate illustrations at the bottom of the page, raises suspicions concerning its pose as a site independent of the Iranian regime. A long article dealing with Israelis allegedly spying in the US and held in New York at the time of 9/11 written by conspiracy theorist Wayne Madsen also sets the tone of the site.

    • First of all “Irandefence”? Really?

      Secondly did you even watch the video? Like virtually every recent video that purports to document IDF brutality, this video features rather mundane scenes which are edited and suddenly where in the midst of the action. What exactly did they edit out? IDF warning the ship to turn back? No way!

      Lastly, the ship the were “machine gunning” was right by the side of the IDF ship. Now to me that indicates that this fishing boat has advanced too far (probably defying warnings). Even so, the soldier firing on them either has the worst aim EVER or he was firing into the water or at the base of the ship to get the fishermen to turn back.

      Eyes and brain, use them.

  8. The Guardian’s new motto seems to be:

    “If we don’t know how to hack the news, at least we can manufacture the news”

  9. Harriet, you’re showing yourself up really badly.
    Where’s your journalistic objectivity? You’re clearly playing for the terrorist side, something that the government of your country frowns on in theory. You went to sea as part of their fleet and attempted to verify their stories.

    What’s more. The Guardian published your tweets without comment and without disassociating itself from you.

    I don’t know British law but it all sounds rather iffy to me.

  10. “Harriet Sherwood has been for a boat ride this morning”

    What a pity she didn’t keep on sailing. Perhaps to a country whose citizens could benefit from some media attention.

    But then, this is Harriet we’re talking about; a ‘reporter’ who apparently studied creative writing rather than journalism.

  11. Two press boats and an NGO boat? This was a carefully planned publicity stunt.

    A decent newspaper and a decent reporter would never associate itself with such obviously staged theatricals. But then the Guardian is not a decent newspaper and Sherwood is not a decent reporter.

  12. Gerald you took the words out of my mouth, so to speak. Sencar is an (alleged) and self-described statistician who should have a meticulous eye for detail and know when he’s being had, and yet he quotes from a pro-Iranaian page from a “Scottish activist” (for which you may read “provocateur”) who is at least as capable of manufacturing “evidence” as Hattie the Hen.

    Earth to Sencar, are you receiving? Please supply us with evidence from a disinterested source which confirms what you say.

    Andy Gill, whoever said that the Guardian is a decent newspaper or Sherwood even a half-way decent reporter? In that regard they are made for each other.

  13. WARNING: You should visit the bathroom before you read this: I cannot be held responsible for any “accidents” if you don’t. I have put certain points in bold. You will be able to understand why. My own comments are in italics:

    The National Union of Journalists Code of Conduct:

    Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

    A journalist:

    1. At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed

    2. Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair

    3. Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies

    4. Differentiates between fact and opinion

    (What??? Pause for hollow laughter)

    5. Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means

    (Does the NUJ really condone cheating and subterfuge???)

    6. Does nothing to intrude into anybody’s private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest

    (Oh dear… one word: “hacking”)

    7. Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work

    8. Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information

    (Question: would anyone need to threaten Hattie the Hen?)

    9. Takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge

    10. Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation

    (Hattie “writes” for the Guardian which disseminates Israel-hatred which in turn it allows to poison the blogosphere as Jew-hatred).

    11. Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed

    12. Avoids plagiarism.

    The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code. The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code.

    (a. Hattie the Hen probably hasn’t read the code or, if even she has, she’s following the lead of the others on the Guardian, particularly as regards the Middle East, by which the code is honoured more in the breach than in the observance. It’d probably not occur to her to refuse any assignment however ridiculous, as we see above)

  14. SarahLeah, re “differentiates between fact and opinion” – this is breached regularly in every form of journalism, including by TV news and current affairs programmes, to the extent that even those who are guilty of it are apparently oblivious to the fact that they are doing it!

    Back to the NotW circus, I witnessed yesterday a spot on a news programme where the allegedly erudite talking heads began by hypothesising about how the NotW business might impact on the Prime Minister. True enough, within a very few minutes they were discussing in terms of how it HAD and WOULD affect the Prime Minister, having made the major cognitive distortion of turning hypotheses into facts, apparently without realising it. They had departed completely, and apparently without realising it from the “as if” nature of the discussion.

    Now I have no idea whether and to what extent if at all the Prime Minister is involved in any illegaility, but there it was in full view – an example of a fundamental breach of journalistic ethics in their massive leap from hypothesising to the implication that he was. I am sorry I didn’t record it.

  15. I’ve found these little gems from the NUJ’s Guidelines for Reporting on Racist Organisations

    (Think CiF and Hamas, Hezbollah, PSC, ISM &c &c)

    Do not sensationalise by reports, photographs,film or presentation the activities of racist organisations

    Seek to publish or broadcast material exposing the myths and lies of racist organisations and their anti-social behaviour

    (They’re joking of course. The Guardian, remember, published a glowing obituary for Nizar Rayyan, Hamas suicide recruiter. The NUJ does focus on the BNP however so the Groan is keeping to the rules a bit, (a bit like being only a little bit pregnant)

    Do not allow the letters column or ‘phone-in’ programmes to be used to spread racial hatred in whatever guise.

    (Oh dear – CiF fails on every count!)

    When interviewing representatives of racist organisations or reporting meetings or statements or claims, journalists should carefully check all reports for accuracy and seek rebutting or opposing comments. The antisocial
    nature of such views should be exposed

    (Well, yes they should, but does the Guardian expose the antisocial nature of Islamism?????? Er…. no. Well done! You got it in one)

  16. “In fact by now we are so familiar with your work that we could even write it ourselves.”

    Surprisingly, she’s gone one better and written a song about the incident:

  17. I hope Harriet Sherwood stays in that job,imagine if someone who actually did have a brain replaced her.We are definitely better off with Harriet Sherwood.

  18. If the pen is mightier than the sword,then humor is mightier than the pen and the sword……..

  19. You should have read the BBC report of the killing before you made a bigger fool of yourself (if it is possible at all):

    Some details:

    Israeli officials say the boat had strayed beyond the limit to which Palestinians are allowed to fish under the Israeli blockade.
    However, they say a warning shot was fired first.
    Israel says the naval blockade is necessary to stop weapons being smuggled to militants within Gaza.

    And te PressTV report? Who reads, listens, watches the Iranian government propaganda arm but hardcore Islamofascists and extreme left British USA/Jew haters?

    A pity that you don’t quote the KCNA news agency…

  20. You asked for evidence of a killing from a respected source; I gave it. I always doubt IDF statements of this kind as the IDF have been proved to be liars so many times. Even if this one is accurate the fact of the killing remains – which is all I ever claimed. Note that the IDF statement doesn’t claim the dead man was anything other than an innocent fisherman.
    The PressTV report quotes Agence France-Presse (AFP), the ultra respectable French news agency, one of the three largest in the world according to Wikipedia.

    • sencar you should never rely on Wiki for information, according to its founder it’s just another media site.

      Far from being ‘respectable’, AFP is the agency that was the conduit for the lies about Al Durrah as proved by public trial.

    • The PressTV report quotes Agence France-Presse (AFP)…

      then maybe you should post the link to the original AFP report…it doesn’t exist naturally.

      I always doubt IDF statements of this kind as the IDF have been proved to be liars so many times.

      Then please let me know these proofs.. That you believe the IDF reports or not has no significance at all.

      Again the BBC report:

      A fisherman has been shot and killed by the Israeli navy off the northern coast of the Gaza Strip, doctors in the territory say.

      …and these Palestinian doctors are known saying the truth only and never lie.

      Note that the IDF statement doesn’t claim the dead man was anything other than an innocent fisherman.

      Note that the IDF statement says that they fired warning shots and they have no way to know that this “innocent fisherman” died or not as they don’t know the identity of the victim – he could be a smuggler of weapons too. Your “innocent fishermen” are like the 600-700 armed Hamas victims of Cast Lead – reported as civilians.

      Anyway what do you think what is the reason behind the blocking the movement of fishing boats outside the easily controllable three mile area?

      I’ll help you with some possible answers and you can choose the correct one.

      a. The Israeli fishing industry doesn’t want competition in supplying the luxury hotels, restaurants, holiday resorts and shopping malls with fresh seafood.
      b. The Israeli Save the Animals and the Israeli Organisation of Vegetarians lobbied the Knesset to block the killing of innocent sea creatures.
      c. This is only one of the usual evil act of the world Jewry.
      d. Rogue Israeli soldiers and officers demand protection money from the Gazan fishing industry and if you don’t pay you die.

      And the last and least probable option:
      e. The Israeli Navy is trying to prevent smuggling weapons for Hamas and save the lives of Israeli civilians.

      I know sencar this option is extremely improbable – all of the previous reports about such attempts were lies of the IDF, Hamas never launched any Qassams at Israeli population centers and never tried to smuggle weapons into Gaza via the sea.

  21. Harriet no wonder the Guardian didn’t allow you to write up your disgraceful escapade yesterday

    A Tweeter called:@KellyGerryMLA found that according to the GPS location you gave you were 4.5 to 5 miles out at sea, which means that you and your ‘fleet’ had sailed right out of the three mile limit that you made so much of and that the IDF were well within their rights to warn you off. In fact you’re lucky that they didn’t take much harsher measures.