The Guardian or Gaza TV News? Harriet Sherwood continues to run interference for Hamas apologists

Harriet Sherwood’s reports on Israel and the Palestinians for the Guardian possess a degree of ideological uniformity which would have pleased Soviet propagandists during the height of the former totalitarian regime’s anti-Zionist crusade.

Sherwood’s most recent dispatch, on her personal involvement with efforts by anti-Israel activists to provoke a confrontation with the Israeli Navy, could have been produced and edited by Gaza TV News, Hamas, or at least by the terrorist group’s apologists – those on board the vessel which organized Sherwood’s junket: Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSG), which is made up of groups such as International Solidarity Movement, Code Pink, European Jews for a Just Peace  (headed by Dror Feiler), Free Gaza’ and the Popular Struggle Co-ordination Committee – all of whom, to varying degrees, legitimize or openly support the quite illiberal political aspiration of bringing about Israel’s demise, and who Sherwood characterized (using perfect Newspeak) as a human rights groups“.

Indeed, her post, Gaza fishermen swamped by Israeli gunboats and water cannons, July 24, contained a video narrated by a Brit who intoned with the monotone gravity of a correspondent reporting on the blitzkrieg of London on the “harrowing” water assault on the vessels (who were significantly beyond the 3 nautical mile limit) by the Israeli Navy which left several passengers shockingly, umm, “drenched”!

The post itself is classic Sherwood – accepting at face value claims by Palestinian fishermen that their “livelihood” is demolished by the Israeli blockade, ignoring the context of Hamas terror, and dismissing the Israeli justification for the limit by placing both references to Israel’s security concerns in quotations.

Not in quotations however, and without a hyperlink citing a source, was her casual allegation that the United Nations and human rights organisations say the fishing restriction is collective punishment in violation of international law.  

Sherwood  also uncritically quotes an official from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights  – an EU funded NGO which regularly describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid” and accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing – characterizing the broader Israeli blockade of arms as “illegal”, a claim which can no longer credibly be made in light of the United Nations Report‘s conclusion that the blockade is perfectly in accordance with international law. 

More broadly, evidence relating to the propaganda value of Sherwood’s report can be found in the following images.


Gaza City:

While the movement behind Gaza TV News is less than clear, the fact that they cross-posted Sherwood’s dispatch verbatim from her Guardian report piqued my interest, and, in the course of my research, came across their Facebook page:

And, lo and behold, one of the few pages Gaza TV News “likes” just happen to be CPSG, the group who organized Sherwood’s voyage.

If you’re the member of CPSG who organized Sherwood’s fishing trip, you are, no doubt, gleaming right about now. 

The word “dupe” simply doesn’t do justice to Sherwood’s continuing acquiescence to radical anti-Israel “activists”. 

12 replies »

  1. “those on board the vessel which organized Sherwood’s junket: Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSG), which is made up of groups such as International Solidarity Movement, Code Pink, European Jews for a Just Peace (headed by Dror Feiler), Free Gaza’ and the Popular Struggle Co-ordination Committee”

    I’ve just done a quick check on these groups that you say “support the quite illiberal political aspiration of bringing about Israel’s demise”. All of them oppose the siege of Gaza and some have wider political aims promoting a Palestinian state. None have the demise of Israel as an aim. Would you care to provide some evidence to support this apparent slur?

    • @sencar, please open the hyperlinks I provided for the evidence you requested regarding the groups’ support for, in vary degrees, a “one state solution.”

      • Well I’ve learnt something from this exchange: ‘supporting Israel’s demise’ is code for ‘backing a one state solution’. Why not just call a spade a spade?

        Armed with this new knowledge I followed up your hyperlinks again and visited each group’s own website. Guess what? I found no evidence that these organisations promote a one state solution either. Their core aims can be summarised in the following quotes:

        “CODEPINK stands in solidarity with Palestinian and Israeli non-violent activists and human rights advocates working to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to promote the rights of Palestinians.”
        European Jews for a Just Peace
        We believe that the only way out of the current impasse is through an agreement based on the creation of an independent and viable Palestinian state and the guarantee of a safe and secure Israel and Palestine. We condemn all violence against civilians in the conflict, no matter by whom it is carried out. We support non-violent actions aimed at ending the Israeli occupation and Israeli breaches of international law.
        International Solidarity Movement
        “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.”
        “We believe that ending the occupation and achieving justice for Palestinians will bring peace for Israeli civilians.”
        Free Gaza
        “We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine’s right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise.
        As a first step towards a just and lasting peace, Israel must withdraw its military presence from all territories occupied since June 5, 1967 and revoke all legislation, regulations, directives and practices that apply differently to different populations living in those territories.”
        Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
        “The Coordination Committee was formed to facilitate fruitful communication between the different popular committees.” “These diverse, non-partisan committees lead community resistance to Israeli occupation in various forms, such as marches, strikes, demonstrations, direct actions and legal campaigns, as well as supporting
        boycott, divestment and sanctions.”

  2. If she were a proper journalist, Sherwood would at least make an effort to analyze the situation. Nowhere does she give an explanation re. the behaviour of the Israeli navy. Are they solely there to prevent arms getting into Gaza? Or does she think it’s pure malice?

    • If she were a proper journalist, Sherwood would at least make an effort to analyze the situation. Nowhere does she give an explanation re. the behaviour of the Israeli navy.
      But no need to explain. Everybody knows that the main reasons of the sea blockade of Gaza and the consequent harrassment of the fishermen by the Israeli Navy are

      1. to eliminate the competition for the Israeli fishing industry
      2. to satisfy the demands of the Israeli Animal Rights lobby

      and it has nothing to do with preventing arms smuggling into Gaza.

    • Actually Sherwood offers three perspectives on the reasons for the navy’s actions:
      1) The IDF line: “”The ongoing hostilities between Israel and Palestinian terror organisations create significant security risks along the coast of the Gaza Strip. Due to these risks, fishing along the coasts has been restricted to a distance of three nautical miles from shore”.
      2) Her version of the UN and human rights NGOs’ view: “the fishing restriction is collective punishment in violation of international law.”
      3) The fishermen’s view that the navy knows their boats and the crews, and has searched them many times without finding any arms, so can’t be acting as they do for security reasons.

      The fact that she doesn’t try to choose between these views isn’t out of place in this type of report. If she did you’d probably complain about that too…

      • sencrap, collective punishment for the collective responsibility for electing racist, genocidal, fascist hamass to “lead” them, which has fired 8,000 rockets into Israel..

        I’m STILL waiting to see pictures of emaciated gazans, starving to death due to lack of food.

        Any pictures of lauren booth, recent convert to the religion of peace, holding the head, tenderly feeding a starving gazan.