The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood Gets 2012 Off to a Shoddy Start

This is cross posted by Simon Ploskerat HonestReporting

The newsprint has barely dried on the back of 2011 that saw The Guardian deservedly pick up the annual Dishonest Reporter Award. This hasn’t, however, stopped the paper’s Harriet Sherwood from carrying on where The Guardian left off with her first dispatch of the new year.

According to Sherwood, a supposedly reformed Palestinian terrorist has had his amnesty revoked by Israeli authorities:

Zakaria Zubeidi, a former of leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, is being held by Palestinian security forces after being told he would be arrested by Israeli authorities if he did not hand himself in.

“I am in a Palestinian Authority jail in Jenin,” he told the Guardian by phone. His account could not be confirmed by either Israeli or Palestinian sources.

If Zubeidi’s account cannot be confirmed, why bother digging any deeper if it already fits The Guardian’s agenda? Sherwood has previously demonstrated an inability to do elementary research extending even to a simple Google search. In this case, the story is presented in typically black and white terms appreciated by Israel-hating Guardian readers as ‘peaceful reformed Palestinian held in Palestinian jail and it’s Israel’s fault.’

If the story fits that predetermined frame then why bother to do the same research or mention some salient points that other media outlets actually bothered with?

For example, here are some details in a report from Global Post that Sherwood failed to mention, all constructed from widely available existing news sources including Israeli media that Sherwood either didn’t bother to read or preferred to ignore:

The reason for the decision [to revoke the amnesty] has not yet been given. According to Arutz Sheva, Zubeidi was recently involved in an incident in Jenin in which “gunmen under his command pointed their guns at PA security officers.”

Ynet News also suggested that his detention had more to do with Palestinian authorities than Israeli ones:

Zubeidi […] is also on the Palestinian security forces’ radar – they accuse him of weapon offenses, which place him in violation of his clemency deal.

 Indeed YNet also reported:

Zubiedi stressed that the deal was, in fact, signed with the Palestinian security forces and “not between me and Israel.”

All this extra context and information that Harriet Sherwood failed to include. After all, why ruin a story if Israel might not actually be the only alleged bad guy in the piece?

9 replies »

  1. Yes, the Palestinian civil war just doesn’t fit the picture; if the Israel bashers spent a little time contemplating what that civil war means they might, just might, come to the realisation that it is one of the major issues that bars the Palestinians from making peace with Israel. Which Palestinians could those be, when they are so busy attacking each other? And not merely for the palm of martyrdom vis-a-vis Israel. These are gang wars about which Palestinian Arab group gets to boss the other Palestinian Arabs, which is really no different from what was going on amongst other Arabs in what was laughably known as the “Arab Spring”…

      • Well, after they had chased out their king, the Tunisians started demonstrating outside the synagogue in Tunis; Mubarak was ousted as a “Zionist”; the Egyptian ruling council (unelected) allowed the Iranian Navy access to the Mediterranean up the Suez canal, something the previous Egyptian authorities had always forbidden; the elections in Eygpt are bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to the fore, something that looks ominously like what happened in Iran when the Shah was replaced….so who is being serious about what the changes the “Arab Spring” is bringing in its wake. Elections are only one part of what constitutes a free society. Besides they have “elections” in Iran….

  2. Sherwood needs replacing. Her tweeted fishing expedition was one of her many lowpoints last year.

    Below her recent article at the G. is a link to the following:

    Juliano Mer-Khamis – a killing inspired by drama, not politics 21 Apr 2011

    That makes it sound like he was murdered because someone objected to the lighting, scenery or some other production-related issue. But in fact:

    Jenin residents claim public opinion turned on director for performing plays that went against Islamic conservative values

    They call that “a killing inspired by drama”??

  3. Every article by Chickenbrain Sherwood and Phoebe Greenwood should be prefaced by:

    “NOTE: Readers are encouraged to verify for themselves that the information in this article is true and honestly reported and should be clear that any resemblence between what is written below and hard facts/proveable truth is purely coincidental.”