Guardian flash of fairness: Sherwood gets it right, again.

This post actually represents our second observation of a ‘flash of fairness’ by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, Harriet Sherwood.

Sherwood in Itamar, March 2011

Sherwood in Itamar, March 2011

On Dec. 7, in Sherwood gets it right, we praised Sherwood for a piece she wrote on Dec. 3 titled ‘Israeli settlement move risks further isolation say Netanyahu opponents‘, for giving voice to mainstream Israeli views, rather than merely those on the far-left.

While Sherwood is not going to be nominated for a ‘Guardian of Zion’ award anytime soon, her latest piece, ‘Binyamin Netanyahu fights surge from right-wing opponent before poll‘, Jan. 7, again displays a fair amount of balance – at least in comparison to what she typically has written, and definitely compared to other Guardian reporters.

While Sherwood’s piece is broadly consistent with the Guardian narrative in its characterization of Naftali Bennett (leader of the Jewish Home Party) as an extremist in a manner she never would with Palestinian political leaders who espouse much more extreme views, she also quoted the Jerusalem Post chief political correspondent, Gil Hoffman, to provide an alternative view.

Sherwood wrote the following:

“Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent of the Post, said: “Bennett is seen as a cool guy and salt of the earth. You couldn’t come up with two things more respected in Israel than hi-tech success and serving in Sayeret Matkal [the elite special forces army unit] – and Bennett has both”.”

Then, to add context to Bennett’s political success, Sherwood quoted Yedida Stern of the respected think-tank, the Israeli Democracy Institute.

“According to Yedidia Stern of the Israel Democracy Institute, “a long-term change in Israeli society” underlies Bennett’s immediate popularity. “More and more Israelis are strengthening their Jewish identity, not necessarily becoming more religious but becoming more connected to Jewish identity. We’ve seen it in academia and the media; now we’re witnessing the political expression.” The conviction among many Israelis that the Palestinians were unwilling to negotiate an acceptable peace settlement bolstered a belief that “we have to be strong. And to be strong in Israel means to be rightwing,” said Stern.”

As a friend observed upon reading Sherwood’s report: “It’s an analysis that an Israeli could have written as far as tone is concerned.”

While we will, of course, continue to hold Sherwood and her colleagues accountable, fairness demands that we give Guardian reporters credit when they make a credible attempt, despite their particular views on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, to provide their readers with a degree of balance and context.

100 replies »

    • Yes folks “Sanity” is back again with the usual pointless questions that have absolutely nothing to do with the article. Oh joy.

    • Why do you care? Why do you post here? Don’t you have nothing better to do with your life? Just curious.

      • I’m committed to monitoring and exposing race hatred, religioethnonationalism and antisemitism on the web. This place has quite a bit of it. That’s why I post here. And I’m interested to know who funds it.

        • So, you are a self-righteous blog-police, with a self-aggrandizing complex and a totally slanted & selective views. Yeah, we know about that.

        • BTW, who pays you for your “racial-police” job? Don’t tell it’s the Saudis, as they are fond of these type of fake-moralism.

          • Ok, same for other people here. Except for the usual anti-Semites (that you strangely never sees) that come here only to vent their hatred.

          • Well, I don’t run this site but you very first irrelevant post in this thread was a whine against my comment. So, you are totally inconsistent, which is probably the result of your narcissistic pomposity.

          • No, that’s not true. I have commented here on and off for a while, while I’m concerned with your comments if they are antisemitic, I’m concerned mostly about the moderators and why they don’t choose to remove antisemitic comments from this site, given that that’s what they demand from the Guardian. Also Islamophobic comments which appear here regularly enough.

        • Sanity “I’m committed to monitoring and exposing race hatred”

          Text book definition of a sanctimonious hypocrite. Shameless pomposity. What would the Vidal Sassoon Centre for the study of Anti-Semitism do without you? So far up your own arse I doubt you’ve even heard of it, let alone used it to gain an education.

          • T”ext book definition of a sanctimonious hypocrite. Shameless pomposity.” Groovy

            Just the perfect characterization.

          • Interesting, because that’s also the mission of this website! Hope you’ve made the same comment to Adam Levick!

          • The mission of the blog is to combat anti-semitism and Israel delegitimization, particularly as practiced by the Guardian. So, no, it has nothing to do with your self-aggrandizing pompous blog-police fantasy, which is just an excuse for trolling.

          • Yes, but who appointed this blog topolice the Guardian? I’m just doing the same, so I don’t see what your problem is. I point out that using Nazi analogies is for example antisemitic, as I did on a recent post.

          • If you think who pays me and who funds this site (if indeed it is funded, Adam Levick may be doing all this out of community-spiritedness, etc) are analogous, then you’re more of a bufoon than I initially envisaged.

          • In fact, you should disclose your entire vitae, for if you want to have the status of high-priest of morality you have to prove without a shred of doubt that your credentials are impecable. Otherwise, you are just a ridiculous sanctimonious hypocrite, as is obvious to everyone who reads your non-sense.

          • No, it doesn’t, because, as you will remember, YOU are the self-styled blog moralizer. So the onus (and the anus) is yours. Deal with it or just STFU.

        • “I’m committed to monitoring and exposing race hatred, religioethnonationalism and antisemitism on the web.”
          Yes, in a very hypocritical and lopsided way.

        • No, you’re interested in trolling, and making implications. If you were interested in the funding, you’d be looking for that information somewhere other than the comments page. ‘Religionethnonationalism’ is not a word, BTW.

          • ‘Religionethnonationalism’ is not a word, BTW.
            During his day job Sanity while cleaning the faculty cafeteria certainly can hear words like this from certain undergraduate students who thinks that the use of this kind of expressions makes them a professor.

        • “I’m committed to monitoring and exposing race hatred, religioethnonationalism and antisemitism on the web. This place has quite a bit of it.”
          The first sentence merely shows you are not adept at time management and properly focusing your attention. The second one calls into question what grade your reading level scores out at (if any).

          • You’re entitled to your opinion on the first. On the second, which official reading metric would you prefer to use?

      • No, EI clearly states how it is funded. As does Mondoweiss, Hybrid States,etc. This one doesn’t which is why I’m curious.

    • Who funds CIF Watch?

      The Guardian does not hide where its funding comes from.

      If CIF Watch wants to criticize the Guardian, it should start by being as transparent as the Grauniard.

      • “The Guardian does not hide where its funding comes from. ”

        Really Nat, so where does the funding for The Guardian come from?
        Explain to me, 1) which ‘offshore’ funds they use, and 2) how this is either ethical or moral as they are used to avoid paying taxes in the U.K.

          • Perhaps I should. However, my income tax is not analagous to the situation of who funds this site.

          • Sanity perhaps you would point out on which page it explains how it is moral or ethical to use ‘offshore’ funds to avoid paying tax in the U.K.?

          • And perhaps you should create your own website and quit parasitizing other blogs with your condescending inane trolling.

          • You really are upset SerJew. What got your goat? Are you officially affiliated with CifWitch(Hunt) or just a casual follower?

          • Gerald, I don’t don’t care whether this site is funded by tax dodgers. Couldn’t care less. Just want to know who funds it. There’s no ‘please donate’ page, which is unusual for such regularly updated blogs, such as Elder of Ziyon, for example.

          • Upset? Methinks you now entered your projection-mode. That’s what happens to pompous narcissistic hypocrites when they are questioned. Mull over it.

          • “Gerald, I don’t don’t care whether this site is funded by tax dodgers. Couldn’t care less.”

            In fact you’re only interested in inane trolling, aren’t ya?

            “Just want to know who funds it.”

            So, you first send your curriculum vitae and your petition will be analysed for its merit.

          • SerJew, do you work for this site? Are you speaking for Adam Levick or just your own bigoted opinions?

          • Sanity I asked Nat/Ariel two questions about funding of The Guardian.
            You decided to answer for him/her, with a link which you claimed “It’s all explained here” No it isn’t so I asked for some clarification from you.

            You now respond with some drivel about funding of this site by tax dodgers. I see no reason to indulge in further pointless exchanges with you as clearly you are unable to address the question that was actually put.

          • Which is just natural, as “sanity” only user his sanctimonious moralizing as a mask for trolling and disrupting. It’s quite funny, though, to watch his type of Soviet-commissar “inquisitiveness”.

          • Gerald, I never said the Guardian weren’t hypocrites, just that they declare quite clearly how they are funded. As does for example Elder of Ziyon. This site doesn’t, I’m only asking for clarification.

          • So, we blog-people demand clarification of your background. That’s just reciprocity, dude. Meanwhile, I´m off to collect my salary for this month’s work. Adam, I need a raise!

          • Well, if it’s parity you’re after, if all commenters on the site disclose their income tax status, I’ll happily do the same. But parity between sites seems fair. If Elder of Ziyon can declare, why not this site?

          • Nice dodge. But, recall you are the self-styled commissar of blog-morality and race-defilement, so the onus is on you to prove that you measure up to the expectations. Meanwhile your credibility is ZIP and you should quit your shameles pomposity.

          • I don’t care whether you think I’m credible or not.

            I also don’t see why, since you don’t work for this site nor have any official affiliation, you are jerking off so hard about the issue.

          • “I don’t care whether you think I’m credible or not.”

            That’s perfectly fine. Nor do people should give a damn to your demands.

            “I also don’t see why, since you don’t work for this site nor have any official affiliation, you are jerking off so hard about the issue.”

            I like to make fun at your type of sanctimonious pompous hypocrites. Say, it’s for sheer edification.

        • And who the hell sponsors you, oh almighty high-priest of blog-morality? What are you credentials as the internet-Torquemada? Why don’t you start your own boring blog instead of parasitizing others with your sanctimonious babbler?

          • I’ve already explained that I’m a lone ranger, I don’t make money posting on this blog, and I don’t receive any in kind benefits. Will Cifwatch also disclose its funding sources?

          • Again, what are your credentials to demand anything? Will you disclose your income-tax report? Will you ever quit your sanctimonious diversions and for once will discuss the relevant issues? If not, why don’t you go start your own blog of whining? Don’t count on many followers, though, because your type of hypocritical pomposity are more appropriate to parasitizing and disrupting other blogs, just as you´ve been doing here.

          • As you said, you are entitled to your opinions, fantasies and idiocies. I take that you work for the Saudi morality-police.

          • Nor do I work for this blog. Now, just between you and I (don’t spread it): I heard this blog is sponsor by McDonald’s as a cover-up for the Mossad. I couldn’t check the veracity of the source, though.

          • @ Sanity: You’re a lone ranger, you say? You’re not even bright enough to be Champion the Wonder Horse.

  1. The conviction among many Israelis that the Palestinians were unwilling to negotiate an acceptable peace settlement bolstered a belief that “we have to be strong.”

    I could have said that – and I’ve spend a fraction of the time Sherwood has in the country.

    I was struck by the “fortress mentality” when I was there. But there are good reasons for the latter. “Paraonoid”, as certain critics would judge? Nah. Common sense.

    • What do you think you are doing, Pretzel? Commenting on the article? Don’t you know this comment thread is reserved exclusively for “Sanity” and his/her/its trolling?

      Honestly, some people.

  2. I spent only a fraction of time in Berlin before the Wall came down, but I was struck by the fortress mentality. Luckily, I never bumped into pretzelberg. Germanophiles are rather creepy, it seems to me.