Phoebe Greenwood manages to vilify Israel in story about tragic auto accident

Confirmation Bias: The habit of favoring information that confirms what you believe, whether it’s true or not, and ignoring the rest.

One of the most consistent habits of Guardian reporters is their ability to vilify Israel in response to almost any story about the country.

A case in point is the tragic accident yesterday, which killed ten and injured 40 others, when a bus carrying Palestinian children (from a kindergarten in the Palestinian territories) and a truck collided in Adam Square in northern Jerusalem.  Israeli Magen David Adom and Palestinian Red Crescent teams were working together on the rescue operation, and Israeli and Palestinian police are similarly collaborating on the subsequent investigation.

An initial investigation indicated that the truck or the bus had veered from the oncoming lane, probably due to inclement weather, Army Radio reported.

Yet, Phoebe Greenwood, the Guardian stringer based in Israel for the past eight months (who has yeoman’s work delegitimizing the Jewish state while filling in for Harriet Sherwood) was able to frame even this tragic auto accident in a manner consistent with a broader anti-Israel narrative.

Her story on the accident for The Telegraph, Palestinians mourn death of ten children in bus crash, Feb. 16, included this passage in the penultimate paragraph:

Ahe gleeful reaction of several Israelis on Twitter has provoked disgust and outrage on social media sites.

One tweet posted by Ajali Cali read, “Great, less terrorists” while another tweeter named Itai Viltzig said: “Thank God [these are] Palestinians. I hope every day there is a bus like this [that crashes].” [emphasis added]

First, it turns out that the offensive comments weren’t Tweets, but rather a couple of comments within one Facebook thread beneath a link to a story about the accident from the site of Walla.

More broadly, there are 3.4 million Facebook users in Israel, and it seems relevant to ask how precisely a couple of stray hateful comments (in one FB thread) is news worthy, yet alone represents a dynamic that is in any way relevant to properly contextualizing the story?

But, the most outrageous facet of Greenwood’s gratuitous focus on a few Israeli FB comments is the deafening silence, by both Greenwood and Sherwood, in face of a Palestinian culture saturated with antisemitic incitement not only “beneath the line” at social media sites, but by the official state controlled media, as well as political and religious leaders.  

The Palestinian culture of hate towards Jews – and not merely Israelis – is well-documented and impossible not to acknowledge except for those willfully blind to the phenomenon.  

To cite just one of countless examples of the consequences of such incitement – a culture which routinely honors terrorists – nearly one-third of Palestinians polled expressed SUPPORT for the terror attack last year in Itamar, in which two Palestinians broke into a Jewish home and butchered five members of the Fogel family, including three children, ages 10, 4, and 3 months.

Interestingly, Greenwood not only doesn’t find such disturbing realities about Palestinian culture to be newsworthy (based on her reports), but evidently is skeptical that such incitement even occurs. Here’s a Tweet by Greenwood in December about statements by Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon that Palestinian textbooks promote terror.

As I posted at the time, all Greenwood would had to have done is go to the site of Palestinian Media Watch to read a comprehensive report on the incontrovertible evidence regarding the glorification of violence against Israelis in PA textbooks.

But, as with so many of her colleagues, Greenwood’s liberal racism, which compromises any claim to objective journalism, necessitates that Palestinians are never held accountable for such an endemic antisemitic culture – a vital political dynamic, in accurately understanding the politics of the region, that the Guardian will never report.  

35 replies »

  1. I would really like to know how many transport accidents have been reported in the Guardian outside the UK and from which countries.
    (Plane crashes not included)
    BTW Everyone who drove a car anywhere in the ME would know that the local driving culture has a lot to do with this accident and it has nothing to do with the quality of the roads.

    • It’s equally relevant to ask Ms Greenwood whether she reports the outpourings of joy amongst the Palestinians at every terror attach perpetrated on the west. Rember 9/11 and the street parties in Nablus and East Jerusalem?
      I had a quick search and found no evidence of her mentioning these incidents.

      • I’m sure Phoebe reported on the Palestinian celebrations as “actually” happening from a year before regarding something else entirely. The same goes for video of the soldiers dismembered in Fatah run police stations. Those weren’t blood of their hands, but rather strawberry jelly.

        It’s disgusting to see this behavior, and I abhor these so-called journalists. They are hatemongers, plain and simple.

        With an emphasis on Simple.

    • Even CNN reported on the horrifying comments posted by some sick, racist Israelis who praised the death of 4-year-old children. Many other Israelis prayed for their young souls and some even helped to care for them in hospitals. However the pure hatred of some comments is deeply revealing of the mentality of some far right wing, racist Israelis, and there is no reason to ignore it since it’s a reality. Journalism is about reporting facts, not about editorializing.

      These comments were covered in all world media, not only in the Guardian. Instead of targeting, as usual, a female journalist more successful than he is, couldn’t M. levick do something useful for Israel such as assisting in identifying those who posted such atrocious comments and send them to prison for inciting to hatred?

    • Nothing new here: M. Levick seems to chose and criticize every story written by a woman who has a more successful career in journalism than he does.

      • Hannah. If this is truly the motivation behind Adam Levick’s criticism of Harriet Sherwood and Phoebe Greenwood, then how do you account for his equally determined attempts to discredit all the male contributors to the Guardian and CiF who persist in defaming Israel at every opportunity?

        Your immediate presumption that this criticism is founded on the respective genders of the critic and the journalist is actually indicative of your own obsession with gender. I don’t know Adam personally, but I would guess that he couldn’t care less whether Ms Greenwood is male, female, transgender or other – as long as anyone prints distortions about Israel, they are open to criticism.

      • Nothing new here: Hannothing brings the standard feminist card, basically implying that women journalists should be shielded from criticism, i.e., treated differently from men, being such those poor helpless beings. In sum, it´s the very same racism of low expecatations that progressives use with palestinians: they treat them as irresponsible, child-like professional victims.

        Congrats, Hannothing, you shot yourself in the foot once again.

      • No, Adam chooses and criticizes pretty broadly, I think. Shows no particular favoritism.

        Not everything in the world is a feminist issue.

    • What vilifies Israel is the reaction of this bunch of racists celebrating the death of small Palestinian children.

      In any Western democracy, the state prosecutor would have prosecuted whoever wrote these hate speeches and they would now be in prison.

      • Really? The comments of a couple of nutcases on facebook “vilifies Israel”? Is there any nation, country, political group, race or religion that doesn’t contain a few nutters with extreme and disgusting views?

        You are a true misanthrope, aren’t you Nat. I feel sorry for you.

  2. What a silly cow. To make political capital out of such an obviously non-political tragedy is sickening and sadly she isn’t the only one whose initial reaction was to go looking for the inevitable few idiots on FB or Twitter. Several pre-Palestinian bloggers have picked up on the same “story”, e.g.,
    It’s a unfortunate fact of the web and social media that a few big-mouthed extremists can have their unrepresentative viewpoint beamed all over the globe.
    It’s equally unfortunate that journalists like Ms Greenwood don’t do their research as diligently as CiF Watch does.

    • Typical: instead of blaming the small bunch of racist Israelis who rejoiced at the death of little Palestinian children, CIF W atch prefers to blame the messenger – the journalists who reported this atrocious reaction which shocked people throughtout Europe.

  3. This is the tried and tested method of all sanctimonious racists and bigots, to continually seek examples of criminality and immorality as evidence of the intrinsic inferiority of those they hate.

    It was used in the Deep South against Blacks – focusing of every misdemenour and crime committed by black people as confirmation of what all good white folk knew already; that former slaves were unworthy of joining the family of nations as equal citizens.

    Just as the Guardian’s imperialistic reflex is finely tuned to reporting on every ‘crime’ committed by uppity Jews who have proved that their national liberation struggle is an abomination that disqualifies them from any kind of sympathy as fellow human beings. Jews / Israelis have once againd become a grotesque charicature in the dark fantasies of European anti-semites masquerading as concerned liberals.

  4. Absolutely ludicrous. Imagine a busload of UK black and Asian (or indeed Jewish) kids in a fatal accident, and a foreign newspaper bothering to quote some tiny-testicled racist wankers from the BNP/EDL gloating about the tragedy online.


    • pretzelberg,

      I’d amend your example to a more realistic “supremacist [w…] from the MPAC/MAB” gloating online about the tragedy of a busload of UK Christian, Hindu and Jewish kids in a fatal accident, but otherwise I agree with the comparison.

      Just wanted to put into perspective who the real expected troublemakers in this day and age are.

  5. Did anyone mention that the truck driver was an Israeli Arab (not that this should make any difference,as this was an accident) just imagine if it was a Jewish truck driver.There would all sorts of conspiracy theories thrown at us.

    We would then have another Al-Durrah hoax..

  6. A few Israeli idiots (Do we really know that they were Israelis they could just as easily have been Arabs) posting on social media,does not compare to the gushing deluge of sick posts in the Guardian from their posters above and below the line against Israel….

  7. “Proof chaps” This idiot called Phoebe Greenwood wouldn’t know or accept proof if it was served to her on a silver platter.

    Put her on the next plane that leaves BG airport.She needs to end up in Syria.I would love to read her articles from there.

    • Put her on the next plane that leaves BG airport.She needs to end up in Syria.I would love to read her articles from there.

      Perhaps Tahrir square would be better. On a moonless night.

  8. Phoebe Greenwood is a racist.

    She is probably racist against Jews, for the reasons that Groovy Tiimes points out. (Using a couple of isolated examples of individual Jews being assholes, in order to promote the idea that Jews in general are a bad lot.)

    She is DEFINITELY racist against Arabs, as her consistent failure to ascribe normal levels of moral agency and responsibility to Arab individuals implies that she sees Arab people as somehow incapable of such agency/responsibility. She may as well just say – “Well, you can’t expect much from ARABS, they are, after all, a primitive, child-like people who are not even really fully human but more like animals”. She will never actually come out and say that, but only because she is a coward, not because she doesn’t, in her heart of hearts, think it.

    By the way, I watched that video of you Adam, and to my surprise, you’re a YANK!! Dunno why I imagined you as a Brit!! xx

  9. I have the proof that the screenshot also used in the article of the Lebanese leftist paper Al Akhbar (ttp:// and by Aali Abunimah of electronic intifada ( is completely photoshopped and I found out that these few cruel comments copied were users untraceable on facebook nor google, what do me think that these comments, immediately removed from the site were made on purpose as anti-Israel propaganda. I have been on the orginal page after these comments were removed and I can prove that at least 3 screenshots of subsequent pages were needed to made that photoshopped picture. Not only a hoax but a probably also propaganda plot! Yesterday evening I have sent an email to (after a phone call) with copy to the Jewish Chronicle explaining in more detail why it is photoshopped (the left margins of the blue FB boxes do not match reality), of course no reponse! Also I posted that on Electronic Intifada, but the “intellectual honesty” of Ali Abuninah looks to have some limitations when it does not match his objectives.

  10. To the author – you wrote “Greenwood’s liberal racism.” I agree that her approach appears biased. However I would not call racism liberal or conservative. It is equally abhorrent, whatever the political bent. As someone who is left of center, I try to call people on their racism on my side of the divide, just as I would hope people on the right would do.
    What Phoebe Greenwood and other journalists should have is a course on journalistic ethics, with an emphasis on fair reporting (we’re not talking about opinion columns here). Sadly, there is a sore lack of such ethics among many journalists today.

    • Being ethical includes stop being such condescending racists (liberal or not) , lazy ideologues and grotesque hypocrites. The journalistic profession is over. Self-destructed by the post-modern ideological fraud and the lack of basic intellectual and moral standards. They only have themselves to blame. Check the behavior of the BBShit regarding the Balen report. It´s just nauseating.

      • To SerJew,
        Since I am also a journalist, I would very much appreciate your not generalizing. We are not all knee-jerk purveyors of sensationalist screed. I am also a consumer of news, like you, and I am picky – I try to react to bad reporting, bias, or hatred by supplying facts and remaining calm. If I attack, I only get a defensive reaction. I can’t win every argument, but I can try, and I can also stop reading or watching certain media if I object to it. These media outlets depend on consumers, so if you cancel your subscription, you’re saying a lot. But please be fair to those of us who try to report fairly.

        • Listen, as a journalist you should know that generalizations are unavoidable in human discourse. You use it, I use it, everybody does. When a journalist writes, say “Europeans think Israel is a greater menace that North Korea” or “Right wing settlers decide to screw the peace process”, she´s doing a generalization. Every person with a minimum of intelligence knows that not every journalist is un-ethical, but the professional is going through an incredible decadence, and I won´t apologize for spelling a known fact. Journalists nowadays are as credible as politicians. I agree that consumers should be much more demanding. But the main responsibility are on the journalists shoulders.

          • I agree that the responsibility is largely ours, in the media, and that’s why I recommended a tough course on journalistic ethics. Look at what happened with Murdoch’s empire, where journalists in fear for their jobs invaded people’s private spheres and broke the law for a sensational headline. There’s definitely a market for it. You are right that there is a loss of values – on the part of media and the public. However, it also behooves us to try not to generalize. The truth is stark enough: for example, that a large percentage of (not all) Europeans think Israel is more dangerous than Iran or North Korea. We and our editors need to avoid making sweeping statements that dismiss those who stand up for Israel against the tide of hate. Unfortunately, some journalists (like the one described above) seem more interested in generating readers through repeating hateful stereotypes. It’s shameful. Thank goodness there are also ethical journalists out there. We should support and promote them. It’s easy to blast the bad. Which ones are exemplary? That’s harder to document but well worth it.

            • For instance, those ethical journalists that remain should get together and demand that the BBShit release this Balen report for once. That would be a nice begining. Also, why don´t we see more discussion of repeated journalistic blunders regarding Israel, such as the al Durah affair, the Jenin hoax, the Tuvia Grossman issue and many others? It´s a repeating pattern of disgusting breaches of the most basic ethical standards, basic ignorance of facts and mendacious bias dressed in self-righteous “activism”.

              We need more books like Shraga Simmons´ “Goliath & David”. Otherwise the impression is that those “ethical” journalists either don´t care about that or they are a very small bunch.

        • “We are not all knee-jerk purveyors of sensationalist screed.”

          The problem this site exists to demonstrate, expose, and, perhaps, one to to correct, is that the Guardian has become exactly that. There is no attempt to verify facts, the lies specially about Israel and the careless and biased reporting out the ME in general are appalling. In fact, more and more of their “reporting” and “journalism” is simply reposting unverifiable rubbish from blogs of dubious provenance.

          At the Guardian there is an issue of ethics, another of integrity, and, what underlies them both, that they have no care for the facts but have become little more than rumor mongers dishing up dirt wherever they can, specially to defame Israel (and, I might add, the USA, but the USA can shrug them off).

  11. Israel is the only sane, civillized entity in this region. Look ak the Arabs and the Muslims butchering each other as well as everyone else. Even an Arab friend if mine has recently told me that the Aeab mentality us barbarian. If reporters can’t see this then they are truly blind…

  12. The Guardian id a left paper, if you chumps don’t like it then don’t read it!
    You’re juat as bad, you’re just b!tching and moaning on another site instead. Plus Israel (former Palestine) is in breech of so many international laws that its not even funny!!

    Get a life people!!

  13. You people on this site need to realise there is a diffence between a person on the Jewish faith and Israeli Nutters and crazy Jews!!

    Similarly to how ther is difference between:

    -an Irish person and the IRA
    -a Muslim and a terrorist
    -a British person and the BNP or UKIP
    My point being, most sectors have their extremist and stop being swept up in your self pitty!!

    Are Israel really so different? Anyone remember how it was created? Remember the killing of British soldiers and suicide bombings of hotels??

    Get yourselves and education people!! You need it!!

    • Hi “The Truth”,

      I think you have apoint but we dont want your opinions on our site. This is only for those of us who are pro Israel and we will destroy anyone and thing that gets in our way.
      Mercy is for the weak, we believe in blood… and we are thirsty for blood!!

      None of the international govenments can touch us as we have high profile friends and can put pressure on anyone we want.