15 seconds in Sderot: An open letter to Harriet Sherwood, the Guardian’s Jerusalem, Israel correspondent

Dear Harriet,

Recently you and some apparently intrepid ‘human rights operatives’ went out for a sail with a fleet of Gazan fishermen to experience for yourselves how Israeli ships patrol the sea off Gaza.  You helpfully informed us of how lenient the Israeli Navy is, by giving us GPS coordinates which indicated that you were right outside the three-mile limit while the only deterrent used by the IDF was water.

I sent you a little note via Twitter asking you and these unnamed ‘human rights monitors’  to complete the experience.  

As defined by their title, it must surely be their aim to see things from all angles and to find out whether the treatment on the other side of the divide is as humane and if the threats from Gaza are as empty by spending some time in Sderot.  


You haven’t replied yet and I’m sure that you wouldn’t wish to miss the opportunity to be fair and objective.  So just answer in the comments below this short note and tell me how many of you there will be and when you can make it.  I’ll ask your hosts to make sure that you get accommodations very near a bomb shelter. Although Sderot doesn’t have the water parks, luxury accommodations and fine-dining restaurants of Gaza  I’m sure there’ll be plenty of people willing to show you the nearest route to safety.  

One thing: I do hope that these monitors are young and fit. You really shouldn’t neglect your visits to the gym before going: your 15 second sprint rate is going to be tested there, possibly with your life as first prize.


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