Harriet Sherwood’s truncated history of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Harriet Sherwood’s latest dispatch, “Palestinians to present state bid to UN General Assembly“, wasn’t especially problematic.

Sure, it parroted the tired, worn-out Palestinian narrative that the absence of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians was the result of “[Israel’s] refusal to extend a temporary freeze on settlement expansion” – ignoring the fact that such a building freeze had never, until 2009, stood as an impediment to direct talks between the two parties – but, all in all, Sherwood’s report wasn’t egregiously biased by Guardian standards.

However, at the end of her piece Sherwood provides readers with a short history, titled, “Road to Statehood”, with some remarkable historical omissions – a timeline suggesting that all relevant history pertaining to the conflict ceased in 1993.

Here’s her brief history:

First, note the difference in terms Sherwood employs when alternately characterizing Jordanian, Egyptian, and Israeli control of territory in the region. Israel “occupied” territory after the Six Day War, whereas Jordan and Egypt merely “governed” the West Bank and Gaza.

Also, as it’s quite peculiar, not to mention highly misleading, to provide an account which abruptly ends in 1993, here’s a brief historical account of the subsequent years – events which would seem rather significant in the overall context of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:

2000-2001: After intense U.S. brokered negotiations, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat rejected an offer of statehood, by Israeli PM Ehud Barak, which included 100% of Gaza and would have given them a contiguous state which included 97% of the West Bank, as well as a Palestinian Capital in East Jerusalem.

2000-2004: After talks break down, Palestinians launched a deadly intifada which resulted in the deaths of over 1100 Israelis, and injuries to thousands more.

2005: Israel completes withdrawal from Gaza. The following year, Palestinians in Gaza elect Hamas, a terrorist group which rejects negotiations and is committed to Israel’s destruction.

2008: Israeli PM Olmert proposes an offer of statehood to the Palestinians confirmed to have been even more generous than Barak’s in 2000 – an offer which PA President Mahmoud Abbas rejected.

Finally, here’s the map reflecting what specifically Abbas rejected in 2008:

It seems like quite a few historically significant events have indeed occurred since 1993 – information about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict which Harriet Sherwood, for some reason, decided not to report.

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