Despite the catastrophic fire in Israel, the Guardian’s demonization of the Jewish state proceeds as usual

A Guest Post by AKUS and Israelinurse

The fire raging on the Carmel has caught the world’s attention, and has made headlines in print and on TV.

The Guardian’s vicious anti-Israeli bias has rarely been better demonstrated than in the report by Haroon Siddique, filing from London (Forest fire kills 40 in Israel).

As Backseatblogger pointed out:

The Guardian has only published one story written by Haroon Siddique. That story appeared on December 2nd.  There has been nothing since. The fires are still spreading and are now approaching the University of Haifa.

Originally his story stated that 40 prison guards were killed fleeing the fire. (i.e. insinuating that the guards had left their prisoners to die).

Now that story has been ‘corrected’ to read as follows:

A forest fire in northern Israel killed about 40 people today. Authorities cleared the Carmel Forest area of hundreds of people, including some 500 Palestinian inmates from the Damon prison, after the fire broke out early today. The bus was carrying some 50 prison guards when it flipped over and got caught in the flames.

But this is still not the whole story, despite a rare admission of a correction from the Guardian, which, however, managed to omit the reason the correction was required:

This article was amended on 3 December 2010. The original, reflecting information then available, referred to the bus evacuating prison guards from blaze in Carmel mountains (sic). This has been corrected

(Note to the Guardian – the world, generally speaking, refers to the area as Mount Carmel, as it has been known for approximately 2,500 years, despite anything the Palestinian Authority might have to say on the matter).

In fact, it appears that the article was “corrected” once again, with the addition of a link to Ha’aretz and a change of subheader:

Authorities cleared the Carmel Forest area of hundreds of people, including some 500 Palestinian inmates from the Damon prison, after the fire broke out early today. The bus was carrying some 50 prison guards when it flipped over and got caught in the flames, according to Haaretz.

According to JustJournalism, the  original subheader (“standfirst” in journalese) of Siddique’s article  read:

the bus was ‘evacuating prison guards from blaze’

And that was corrected too, to read:

Many of the dead were killed when bus taking prison guards to rescue Palestinian inmates from blaze in Carmel mountains went up in flames, say rescuers

The Guardian still could not bring itself to reveal in the body of the article why the prison guards were in the bus heading into the flames. For that, you would have to go to the link to the article in Ha’aretz, which the Guardian chose not to cite in full:

Most of the dead from the blaze were students on the Prison Service’s guards’ course on their way to the Damon jail to help evacuate inmates there.

When a fallen tree blocked a road, their bus was trapped in the flames, killing 40 of 50 passengers. Seven survivors were left in critical condition and evacuated to Haifa hospitals.

The Guardian was seemingly unable to tell its readers that that 40 Israelis died trying to get to a prison filled with terrorists in an attempt to save them from the flames.

Meanwhile, the Guardian continues to cover the fire in Israel with anyone but Harriet Sherwood, their Israel reporter. Sherwood, who has never missed an opportunity to rush from one corner of Israel to the next to dig up whatever negative news she can find, has been unable to make her way to Haifa. Apparently, she is too busy in Sharm el Sheikh reporting about sharks. Stranger yet, but rather typical for Sherwood’s “I never saw an article I wouldn’t copy” style of journalism, the Guardian ran about the shark attacks two days earlier by Jack Shenker in Cairo.

Curiously, it turns out that the story she filed on December 2nd about three Arabs facing discrimination in Tzfat, something she has never noticed happening to Jews in Sinai, had been held in the hopper by the editorial staff, according to JustJournalism:

An article by Sherwood, titled, ‘Denounced as a traitor: the Holocaust survivor who rents rooms to Israeli-Arabs,’ apparently filed a week ago with The Guardian, was published online yesterday at 16.09, when news of the fire was dominating the news in Israel.

Could the curious timing of the story have been due to a desire to distract attention from the tragedy unfolding near Haifa? Does this also indicate that the Guardian keeps a reserve of negative articles about Israel to post whenever it’s a slow news day, or for days when something happens that may turn the world’s attention to Israel in a sympathetic manner? Sherwood’s feeble excuse that she was “on assignment” in Egypt is ludicrous – this is a woman who has managed to post articles from one corner of Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank day after day, but was unable to take a short flight back to Tel Aviv and a one hour drive to Haifa to report on the fire

In another example, lest too much sympathy be built up for the victims of the fire, or Israel, the Guardian makes sure to highlight the need to boycott Israeli products – Yvette Cooper calls for Israeli settler labelling on food imports. Cooper is the Labour Party shadow foreign secretary. Let’s hope this heartless wretch stays in the shadows.

The Guardian also seized on a picture showing the devastation of the beautiful artists’ village of Ein Hod to provide some tips for photographers:

Pro tip: By taking a higher viewpoint and using a large depth of field, more details of the destruction are seen in the composition

What could be more satisfactory for Alan Rusbridger’s minions than teaching aspiring photographers how to photograph a disaster in Israel?

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