Harriet Sherwood, MIA during Israel’s catastrophic fire, returns in time to report on her favorite topic: Jewish racism

With the international Marine Biology community still abuzz over Harriet Sherwood’s groundbreaking reports on shark attacks in waters off the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, the Guardian’s premier reporter returned to Jerusalem to conquer more familiar territory: racism in Israel.

Sherwood, who was uncharacteristically silent about events in Israel for three days, in which the worst fire in Israel’s history (which killed 42 people, and destroyed 12,000 acres of land) raged across Mt. Carmel, managed to bookend two stories (on Dec 2nd, and 6th) about a number of bigoted Israeli rabbis who signed a (non-binding) petition calling on Jews not to sell land to non-Jews. (Sherwood’s only reports on the fire were filed after the blaze was contained on Dec. 5)

The ruling, which has no weight under Israeli civil law, and which was emphatically condemned by Israel’s Prime Minister, President, Minority Affairs and Education Ministers, has now garnered four stories at the Guardian.

In yesterday’s piece, Mya Guarnieri not only hyperbolically warned that the ruling represented nothing short of a “wave in a rising tide of religious fascism”, but managed to try and convict not only Israel – but the very “soul of Judaism” itself – all in a remarkably thrifty 614 words!

Sherwood, without a an hour to rest after her grueling Egyptian excursion, published a third piece today, on the rabbinical edict, which evoked the memory of the Holocaust in highlighting the fact that officials at Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust Museum) issued a statement condemning the racist decree.

Time will only tell how long the Guardian will play this story – but the manner in which events in Israel over the past week have been covered by Sherwood and Guarnieri serve as a perfect illustration of how the world’s leading liberal voice views the Jewish state – a window into (what Ms. Guarnieri might characterize as) “the Guardian’s very soul.”

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