Harriet Sherwood feels Islamic Jihad terrorist’s pain

When reading the headline of Harriet Sherwood’s report on a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror suspect being held by Israel, you’d almost think the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent was covering a political prisoner being held by a totalitarian regime.

The title of Sherwood’s piece, “Israel shackles Palestinian hunger striker“, would be easy to pass over or dismiss, but yet says so much about how the Guardian frames such Palestinian “prisoners”, even those clearly affiliated with the most violent and malevolent Islamist movements.

Sherwood’s story begins:

A Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for more than eight weeks is being kept shackled to a hospital bed by the Israeli authorities, despite warnings that he may be close to death.

Khader Adnan, 33, has been held without charge under “administrative detention” since mid-December. The Israeli military authorities have refused to tell his lawyer what he is accused of or disclose any evidence against him.

His wife, Randa, who is expecting the couple’s third child, said no reason was given for his arrest.

First, “administrative detention”, used to imprison Adnan, is a judicial method similarly employed by other democratic and rights-respecting states around the world, including the the UK – and the U.S. 

In fact, unlike the U.S., Israeli detainees are allowed judicial review, generally within eight days, and are subject to renewals every six months – which would seem to undermine claims by Adnan’s wife, uncritically cited by Sherwood, that no reason was given for his arrest.

But, more importantly, it’s only by the sixth paragraph where we learn that Adnan has been previously convicted for being a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Evidently considered of little significance to Sherwood in properly contextualizing the story is the fact that Adnan is a member of  a group recognized as a terrorist organization by the EU, U.S., and the UK,.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was formed in 1979 by Fathi Shaqaqi and other radical Islamists in Egypt who had split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza whom they deemed too moderate.

The mission of PIJ is the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel through terrorist attacks on military and civilian targets.

PIJ receives financial assistance from Iran and logistic assistance from Syria.

The group’s paramilitary wing— the al-Quds Brigades—has conducted numerous deadly attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings.

PIJ terrorist attacks have claimed the lives of dozens of Israelis and wounded hundreds.

Here is a partial list of the group’s attacks:

  • An August 1987 shooting killed one Israeli in the Gaza Strip;
  • A December 1993 shooting killed one Israeli aboard a bus;
  • An April 1994 car bomb killed nine people and injured fifty aboard a public bus;
  • A January 1995 a suicide bomb killed nineteen Israelis near Netanya;
  • A March 1996 suicide bomb at a Tel Aviv shopping mall killed thirteen and injured seventy five more;
  • A June 2001 suicide bomb killed twenty-one people in a Tel Aviv nightclub;
  • A June 2002 suicide attack at the Meggido Junction killed eighteen and injured fifty;
  • An October 2003 suicide bomb at a Haifa restaurant killed twenty-two and injured sixty;
  • An October 2005 bomb at a Hadera market killed five people;
  • An April 2006 suicide attack in Tel Aviv killed eleven;
  • A January 2007 suicide attack at an Eliat bakery killed three.

In reading the Guardian’s coverage of such terror groups, I’m often reminded of the Talmudic warning that “Those Who Are Kind To The Cruel, In The End Will Be Cruel To The Kind.”

In 482 words, Harriet Sherwood didn’t even suggest that “prisoners” such as Adnan are willing participants in a supremely cruel, violent, antisemitic movement which intentionally kills innocent civilians without remorse.

This is the story the Guardian rarely if ever tells.

It’s a sad commentary on the hard left that more aren’t outraged by a media group which fancies itself a liberal voice, yet continually finds the most reactionary political movements worthy of sympathy.

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