Peace activist’s home vandalized with death threats: Harriet Sherwood blames Bibi

The following is a perfect illustration of the endemic anti-Israel journalistic bias which can frame any anti-social behavior by Israelis as an indication of systemic oppression.

Harriet Sherwood’s latest post, “Israeli peace activist’s home vandalised with death threats and swastikas“, Guardian, Nov. 8, reports on threatening graffiti on the home of an Israeli peace activist.

The phrases “price tag” and “Rabin is waiting for you” were spray-painted on Tuesday near the residence of Peace Now official Hagit Ofran.

Tuesday evening marks the Jewish anniversary of prime minister Rabin’s assassination.

The vandals wrote “Hagit Ofran – zal (of blessed memory)” and “Givat Assaf” – an illegal outpost in the West Bank slated for evacuation by the State. The Israeli right have been protesting against the planned razing of a number of illegal outposts.

While such behavior is, of course, morally reprehensible, Sherwood’s characterization of the event is hysterical, and simply classic Guardian. 

First, there’s this gratuitous photo of an angry PM Netanyahu brought back into service after previously being used in an August post.

Then, after describing the events, which Israeli police are investigating, Sherwood pivots to her desired narrative. 

Sherwood quotes a representative from Peace Now directly blaming Netanyahu for the attacks, and then adds:

“The attack came as Netanyahu announced he was supporting two parliamentary bills to curtail the foreign funding of Israeli human rights organisations. Groups targeted by the bills have said the legislative move is an attempt to silence them and restrict their work.”

As I noted the last time Sherwood tried desperately to connect unrelated phenomena, in a report on anti-BDS legislation, the bills in question don’t curtail funding, but merely require that foreign funds to NGOs be reported – similar to such requirements in the U.S. – and certainly don’t, in any manner, “silence” them or “restrict” their work in the least.

Sherwood concludes:

“A human rights worker who asked not to be named said: “There is a public atmosphere of trying to stop human rights activity.” 

I suppose we’re to take from this that the human rights worker was afraid for his or her life.

More likely, the activist knew that such an allegation flies in the face of an Israeli society where human rights work is ubiquitous and robust; where their message is amplified by a free press; and where such activists can engage in their work without fear.  Indeed, suggestions to the contrary can not be taken seriousy by anyone who actually lives in the state.  

Further, it’s diffiuclt not to contextualize Sherwood’s shoddy causation with her dearth of similar narratives relating to the cause of Palestinian terrorism.

Sherwood, for some reason, didn’t note that a day before the Fogel family massacre – in which five Israeli civilians, including 3 children, were murdered in their home – the Palestinian Authority honored Ahlam Tamimi, the accomplice who led the suicide terrorist to the Jerusalem Sbarro’s in August, 2001.  Fifteen people were murdered in the attack, 7 of them children. 

Of course, the glorification of terrorists by Palestinian society is nothing new, nor is the obvious connection between such honor bestowed upon those who murder innocent Israelis and continuing acts of such terrorism.

The deadly effects of routine Palestinian incitement is not surprising or new unless, of course, your view of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is shaped by the reports of Harriet Sherwood.   

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