Hamas, Harriet Sherwood and the Guardian Left’s continuing antisemitic sins of omission

In reading the Guardian daily, I’m still often struck by the enormous moral blind spot which seemingly progressive commentators possess when it comes to undeniable evidence of Palestinian hate, intolerance and malice.

No doubt, journalists like Harriet Sherwood and Phoebe Greenwood have no personal animosity towards Jews as such, likely have Jewish friends, and avoid engaging in explicit expressions of antisemitism in their personal lives.

Such souls likely react with requisite horror when reading or viewing films about Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust.  They may even sincerely wonder how Germans could have been so cruel, so blinded by hate and a murderous ideology which viewed Jews as subhuman, and whose mere presence was a threat to human civilization which had to be eradicated.  

They similarly may ask why the world was silent.

How then to understand the seeming lack of corresponding shock and outrage towards modern manifestations of such explicit Jew hatred in the Arab and Muslim world?

Sherwood’s latest, “Israel will launch significant Gaza offensive sooner or later, Dec. 28, isn’t, by any measure, the most egregious example of the Jerusalem correspondent’s bias against the Jewish state, nor the most sympathetic portrayal of Hamas her paper has ever published, but the report’s credulousness in the face of Islamist group’s narrative is still a polemical inversion worthy of scrutiny.

Sherwood begins:

A new Israeli military offensive against Gaza will be launched “sooner or later” and will be “swift and painful”, Israel‘s most senior military officer has warned.

“Sooner or later, there will be no escape from conducting a significant operation,” he said. “The IDF knows how to operate in a determined, decisive and offensive manner against terrorists in the Gaza Strip.”

Then, Sherwood connects Gantz’s belligerence with a recent IDF operation.

Within hours of Gantz’s comments, the Israeli military launched two airstrikes on targets in Gaza, killing one person and injuring around 10, according to local reports.

Though Sherwood includes IDF “claims” that the hits were on two “terrorist squads with global jihad associations” and that “one of the targets was a cell en route to Sinai with the intention of launching an attack on Israel from Egypt”, the Israeli aggression is then contrasted with Hamas’ evident moderation:

Since the end of the Gaza war in January 2009, Hamas has attempted to enforce a ceasefire among militant groups, although sporadic rocket fire has continued. Israel holds Hamas, as the de facto government, responsible for all rocket fire emanating from Gaza. [emphasis mine]

First, the degree to which Hamas has “attempted to enforce a ceasefire” is clearly only motivated by the terrorist groups’ fear of further IDF action. That is, per Gantz, the 2008-09 Gaza war, which was the focus of such obsessively critical Guardian coverage, actually achieved a good deal of its objective – deterring Hamas.

Second, a good deal of the rocket fire has been launched by Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), which is funded and supported directly by Hamas.  Think of PRC as Hamas’ terrorist subcontractor.

Further, Sherwood’s characterization of the subsequent rocket fire as sporadic (as AKUS pointed out the last time Sherwood used the term) has absolutely no relation to reality. As our Gaza rocket counter notes, there have been 47 rocket attacks from Gaza in December alone, and 683 for all of 2011.

What country on earth would consider a 683 enemy rocket attacks into its territory, by an enemy committed to its destruction, “sporadic”?

Sherwood’s credulousness as to the claim of Hamas’ benign intentions continues:

There have been suggestions in recent weeks that Hamas is ready to distance itself further from attacks on Israel as part of its reconciliation process with its rival faction Fatah.

“They have accepted popular [non-violent] resistance,” senior Fatah official Mohammed Shtayyer said, adding that Hamas would stop “these fireworks” being launched.

The “fireworks” the Fatah official speaks of have killed 44 Israelis (and injured 1,687) since 2006, according to IDF figures.

Sherwood adds:

However, Hamas officials have also said they reserve the right to self-defence and the prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, pledged to continue “resistance” at a public rally this month.

Of course, the group’s understanding of the term “self-defence” can accurately be understood by viewing the following clip from Al Aqsa TV, on Dec. 14 (during a rally celebrating Hamas’s 24th anniversary).

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh:

We say today, explicitly, so it cannot be explained otherwise, that the armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel] from the blessed land of Palestine. The Hamas movement will lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine – all of Palestine, Allah willing. Allah Akbar and praise Allah.


This is the same Hamas of course which Tweeted the following on their anniversary:

None of this should surprise anyone who has bothered to read Hamas’s founding charter, which includes the following:

  • Article 13: “There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except Jihad. Regarding the international initiatives, suggestions and conferences, they are an empty waste of time and complete nonsense.”
  • Preamble: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
  • Article 7: “The day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them.”

It’s challenging at times to continually think of new and more effective ways to reach those who still remain unconvinced of Hamas’ open malevolence towards Jews, and not merely Israelis.

I’m challenged not by the availability of evidence as to the immutably antisemitic nature of Hamas (and related Islamist terror movements) which, in the age of the internet, is abundant – but, rather, by the seemingly limitless capacity of leftist ideologues like Sherwood to deny, or at least ignore, even the most irrefutable evidence of the group’s homicidal intent.

During the Holocaust, before the age of mass communication, decent people could reasonably argue that they didn’t fully understand Nazi ideology, lacked a complete picture of the regime’s genocidal aims, or were otherwise ignorant as to the scope of, and danger caused by, such unimaginable hatred.

However, nobody today with access to the internet can possibly plead ignorance and pretend not to understand that Islamist ideology represents the central address of annihilationist antisemitism in the modern era.

As with the masses of “ordinary men” who turned a blind eye to Nazism, those who today, for whatever reason, fail to resist, or even deny, such insatiable and consuming Jew hatred in the Islamic world (whatever its ultimate result) will similarly not be judged kindly in generations to come.

Written By
More from Adam Levick
Financial Times misleads on Muslim antisemitism
Though we haven't read Weiss's book and don't know the specifics of...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *