Harriet Sherwood’s report on ordinary Palestinians seeking statehood includes profile of Abu Ahmed: Profession, Terrorist

You really can’t make this stuff up.

Harriet Sherwood’s latest post, Sept. 17, is titled “Palestinians: profile of a people in search of statehood“.

Her profile of the Palestinian “man on the street” includes the following:

For those unaware, the al-Quds Brigade is the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Islamist group designated by the U.S., the EU, the UK, Japan, Canada, and Australia as a terrorist movement.

Their goal is the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist state. While PIJ is primarily interested in a Jihad for destroying Israel, it also opposes “moderate” Arab governments, whom they see as being insufficiently Islamic and too Western.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad

PIJ was formed in 1979 by Islamic fundamentalists who had split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza whom they deemed too moderate.

PIJ is believed to have been responsible for 25% of all suicide bombings during the 2nd Intifada.

Here is Sherwood’s profile of Abu Ahmed, which, we are told, is not his real name.

His family came to Gaza City in 1948 as refugees from Beit Jirja, a village that has now been absorbed into the Israeli town of Sderot, a town just across the border at which his fellow militants regularly fire rockets.

Get it? Ahmed’s fellow militants‘ firing of rockets at Israeli civilians in Sderot (and, we are to believe, only at Sderot) is a perfectly reasonable response to the fact that 63 years ago Israel took control of the city. 

He joined the Islamic Jihad movement when he was at high school, but it was only during the second intifada that he became active in the group’s militant wing, al-Quds Brigade.

Yes, we all remember our high school days, don’t we? Some people joined the chess team, others played sports, but Ahmed instead decided on the “political wing” of a terrorist group committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.  Who are we to judge?


“I believe military action [is] the only way to liberate our land,” he explains. “I saw we had two choices, victory or martyrdom.”

Yes, because, either way, he wins!

Continues Sherwood:

Ahmed keeps a low profile for fear of being targeted by the Israeli Defence Forces in retaliation for the regular rocket attacks on civilians in southern Israel. But even as a father, personal safety is a sacrifice he’s happy to make.

There is no conflict between being a militant and a father,” he says. “We are ready to sacrifice even our family. My eldest son is 13 now, but I would prefer him to be educated and go to university first. The educated militant is better than the uneducated militant.

Ahmed clearly loves his family so much he’s even willing to sacrifice his sons’ lives to give his people a world without Israel.  And, of course, an educated Shahid is naturally always preferable to an ignorant Shahid.

Sherwood concludes by quoting Ahmed, thusly:

“I think if we united our nation’s efforts, the people of Israel would flee. And when there is no Israel, there will be peace all over the world. Jews are trouble-makers.”

So, Abu Ahmed is living proof that you actually don’t need to read the Guardian to understand that Jews are trouble makers and that Israel’s destruction would bring world peace and harmony.

Who knew?

11 replies »

  1. According to the comments as noted by Harriette the Palestinians have no ambitions for their own state, all their thoughts and desires are centred on the destruction of Israel.

  2. Reading between the lines in Sherwood’s article, we see that, far from helping them to put their point of view across in a way which will convince the undecided, intelligent reader that “Palestine” will be a brave, gutsy new state which will contribute to the world, and whose birth will herald an era at least of calm in the neighbourhood, she has done precisely the opposite. I wonder whether she realises this and, if she does, whether she cares? One theme unifies the reported conversations, that nothing will be achieved, “we are still occupied”

    These are not verbatim interviews so how sure are we that she did not ask these people leading questions and these people are not giving her answers they think she wants to hear? How do we know that any of them exist at all? Knowing Sherwood’s laziness, she’d hardly put herself out to interview a wide enough range of Palestinian citizens to give us a realistic picture, rather than one that corresponds to the Guardian World View.

    Most chilling of all is that she includes “Abu Ahmed” (aka “not his real name”) among these gutsy would-be new residents of the state of “Palestine” No doubt she would call his actions “audacious” – it’s a real surprise that she didn’t. And the few sentences she writes about him are a fractal of why, unless there is massive change in how Palestinians themselves view statehood, unless they realise that state building cannot be predicated on hatred of their neighbours and the expectation that everything will be handed them on a plate, they will come to grief again and again.

    When Abbas opens his mealy mouth I myself am convinced that “not his real name” is more common than Sherwood makes out. After all any who can be reported as saying (and I can very readily believe that he said it if only for sensationalism so that he could puff out his chest to his friends) :

    “There is no conflict between being a militant and a father,” …. “We are ready to sacrifice even our family. My eldest son is 13 now, but I would prefer him to be educated and go to university first. The educated militant is better than the uneducated militant.“

    Note “we are ready to sacrifice even our family..” Well, “not his real name” certainly fits the picture, down there in the depths with Nizar Rayyan who actually did send his own son to deal murder to Israelis, but at least had the stupidity to remove himself from the gene pool so as not to breed any more shaheeds.

  3. Usually what we read is a whitewash of groups like PIJ and their members. For a change, I think Sherwood is actually doing her job her. She tells us the truth about PIJ. The group wants to destroy Israel, kill Jews and it doesn’t care who gets killed in the process.

    Will the Guardians Jew-hating readers understand the implications of this man’s comments? I doubt it, although from what I can tell, the paper’s readers and certainly its staff, including Sherwood, also support the PIJ goals.

  4. Mike, but does Sherwood actually realise that that is what she is doing? If she doesn’t then she is dimmer than I thought; if she does then she may even be brighter than I thought and actually using her position to do some good by honest reporting.

    Everyone, did you notice a “Phoebe Sherwood” next to Harriet’s name? Anyone know who she is? I know that Rustbucket can do nepotism like a Roman emperor, but is Sherwood powerful enough to do likewise?

    I think we should be told who this Phoebe Sherwood is and how exactly she came to be co-authoring Harriet’s work, if that is what she is doing, and if not, what her name is doing there.

  5. Of course, one might wonder whether Sherwood even knows what the Al-Quds Brigade is.

    Possibly she thinks its the Firefighters Union of Gaza.

  6. Could we make a plaque with her name on it “To the worlds dumbest Guardian female reporter”……… from CiF posters…..And mail it to her……….

  7. Sherwood is as lazy as she is stupid:

    Why, for example, did she not interview the people mentioned in this article:

    How does this chime with the stupidity of Abbas using the mother of the “martyrs” promoting a new state?

    This man sounds thoroughly fed up with it all and he gave his real name:

    “People here have been through many social, economic and political crises, and they want things to improve, not to go back 10 years,” said Muhanad Khalili, a shop manager. “They’re focused on their homes, their work, their financial situation. They don’t want to get arrested or wounded.”

    He has Abbas’ measure and the likely effect of Abbas’ bombast if he follows through. I don’t blame Khalili – unless Abbas is very careful indeed things will go back at least 10 years in the West Bank thanks to Abbas’ stupid pride and his putting the cart before the horse and trying to declare statehood before he can guarantee a lasting peace with his neighbour.

  8. I actually thought it was brave and honest of her to show us not all Palestinians are all about love and peace and there are also people like Abu Ahmed that really just wants Israel destroyed. What thought was clear 40’s like propaganda was the photo. Mahmoud Albeak is a math school teacher, but they still took his photo near the all symbolic olive trees…