General Antisemitism

Harriet Sherwood defames Israel with claim of “Jews only” public accommodations

On Wednesday, with Rosh Hashanah fast approaching, Jews were treated to another variation of the lie periodically perpetuated by the media that there are roads, parks, or recreation in Israel for Jews-only – tropes meant to evoke the broader narrative of an inherently racist Jewish state.

While there’s much about the piece which deserves fisking, the following passage from Sherwood’s latest story, “Palestinian children woken up in night to be photographed by soldiers“, Sept. 28, deserves speical scrutiny.

I went to Nabi Saleh earlier this week, a West Bank village which has been the scene of weekly protests over a nearby spring for almost two years.

It’s a small village of around 550 residents and the spring is located on land that the Palestinians say is privately owned. But settlers from Halamish [known as “Neve Tzuf“, located in the southwestern Samarian hills to the north of Ramallah, 10.7 kilometers east of the Green line], across the valley, began construction work in 2008 to turn the spring into a picnic site and leisure attraction for Jews only.

As CAMERA has pointed out regarding other media outlets who spread the lie of “Jews-only” roads (many of whom indeed later corrected their stories), there are no such religiously restricted sites anywhere in Israel. All public accommodations are open to all Israeli citizens and residentsof all religions and ethnicities. 

"Muslims Only" highway in Saudi Arabia the Guardian will never report

 As CAMERA noted:

The “Jewish-only”…canard has long been trumpeted by ideologues — Jewish and otherwise — seeking to spread misinformation about Israel. But responsible media outlets, which strive to adhere to journalistic guidelines calling for accuracy, have largely managed to avoid echoing the false claim.  [emphasis mine]

Note that CAMERA referred to responsible media outlets, a category which necessarily excludes the Guardian. 

Note also that CAMERA referred to journalists committed to accuracy and avoiding false claims, which clearly leaves out Harriet Sherwood.

Moreover, Sherwood’s reference to “Jews only” public accommodations clearly evokes historical comparisons with “whites only” accommodations in the racially segregated pre-civil rights era American South, as well as such racial discrimination in Apartheid South Africa.

While Palestinian leaders openly acknowledge that the future Palestinian state will be completely free of Jews, 25% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish, and yet are afforded the same democratic rights as Jews.  

The infamous “Zionism is Racism” UN Resolution of 1975 may have been repealed in 1991 but the spirit of the resolution’s odious moral inversion – which turns a blind eye to the endemic anti-Jewish racism in the Palestinian and Arab world yet obsessively singles out Jewish nationalism for opprobrium – habitually colors Harriet Sherwood’s coverage of Israel.

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4 replies »

  1. So what’s the real story, then? You say in Israel segregation and discrimination are illegal, but the village in the report is in the West Bank, which was never annexed.

    The village and the spring are not within Israel.

    Moreover, settlers and natives are routinely seperated, by barriers, fences and the former are basically protected from the latter. So, what is the truth of the story? Debunk it, please.

  2. @cbfrmTH

    The story is debunked by the simple fact that, contrary to Sherwood’s suggestion, there are not “Jews only” accommodations anywhere in Israel.

    What about this don’t you understand?

  3. Adam

    Western journalists based in the region and reporting on the Israel/Palestinian conflict were the subject of Khaled Abu Toameh’s ‘Durban Watch’ speech last week.

    I don’t know if you managed to catch it so have enclosed a link. It’s quite an eye-opener and should have as wide an audience as possible.

    (Other speakers included Prof. Ruth Weiss, Douglas Murray, Alan Dershowitz and Elie Weisel.)

    • Thanks for that clip – actually, it seems to me that the Durban III was a massive non-event in the end, following the refusal by many of the states the anti-Israel mob were hoping would give them some legitimacy. After all, if Arab or Moslem countries attend, no-one expects anything different. But when the EU countries, the US, Canada, and Australia – the developed world, basically – refuse to attend, it becomes an echo chamber with no-one who matters listening.