A hysterical Harriet Sherwood berates Stephen Pollard of The JC

This is cross posted by Stephen Pollard at The JC, and is a fascinating window into the extreme political biases which animate the Guardian’s Israel correspondent.

I’ve just had a truly bizarre conversation – well, screaming match – with Harriet Sherwood, the Guardian’s correspondent in Israel (with whom, I should say, I have never before exchanged a word, either in person or via email).

Normally when a mainstream journalist calls it’s for help, for a quote or for something specific. Not this time. Ms Sherwood rang me to scream at me for publishing a piece by Geoffrey Alderman last week,  which began:

Few events – not even the execution of Osama bin Laden – have caused me
greater pleasure in recent weeks than news of the death of the Italian
so-called “peace activist” Vittorio Arrigoni.

Pretty arresting, indeed, and not something I would have written. But then the editor of a paper doesn’t agree with everything in the paper. Ms Sherwood doesn’t seem to realise that.

‘How could you print that? Don’t you think that is a disgusting thing to say? You are happy to publish that?’

I pointed out that it’s not my view but it’s the view of the writer.

‘That is disgusting. He was a peace activist!’ she screamed back.

I pointed out that Mr Arrigoni was not a ‘peace activist’ but a member of ISM, a hardcore anti-Israel group. Ms Sherwood then started screaming at me in a frankly unintelligible manner, but which included more about him being a peace activist and asking me:

‘So you take pleasure in someone’s murder at the hands of Hamas?’

I pointed out again that it wasn’t my piece.

‘But you’re the editor! You must think it worth publishing’.

I asked if she thought Alan Rusbridger agreed with everything in the Guardian, to which she mumbled something in response.

On and on it went, including her telling me exactly what she thought of my morals.  Noted.

Utterly bizarre. Or maybe not, given what she writes in the Guardian.

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