Harriet Sherwood’s continuing advocacy journalism on behalf of Palestinian terror suspects

Those reading Harriet Sherwood’s latest two advocacy pieces, Israel warned of volatile situation as Palestinian hunger strikers near death, and Administrative detention the key to Palestinian hunger strikes, (posted at the Guardian on May 13th) could almost be forgiven for believing that Israel imprisons Palestinians either arbitrarily or to suppress their political beliefs.

While you can read our blog’s substantive critiques of the Guardian Group’s sympathetic coverage of Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strikes (here, here, here, here, & here), the following represents a summary of Harriet Sherwood’s latest two reports:

Passages which represent, or are sympathetic to, the Palestinian prisoners’ side of the story: 20

Passages which represent, or are sympathetic to, the Israeli side of the story: 4

Use of the words “terror”, “terrorism”, “terrorist” (or even the Guardian Style Guide preferred word, “militant”) to characterize the suspects in Israeli custody, or in any context at all: 0

Passages offering context concerning the use of administrative detention by other democratic states: 0

Most incendiary, unserious or hyperbolic quotes included in Sherwood’s report:

Sherwood quotes from a letter written by a Palestinian prisoner to his daughter:

“…You will know that your father did not tolerate injustice and submission and that he would never accept insult and compromise, and that he is going through a hunger strike to protest against the Jewish state that wants to turn us into humiliated slaves…” [emphasis added]

Sherwood also quotes an Israeli MK:

Jamal Zahalka, a member of the Israeli parliament, told a solidarity rally in Jaffa: “If one of the striking prisoners dies, a third intifada [uprising] will break out.” [emphasis added]

And if the “striking” prisoners are released they are highly likely to continue their involvement with terrorist movements intent on launching lethal attacks against Israeli civilians: a real world consequence of treating violent extremists as human rights activists which the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent never seems to consider.

(The media just reported that the prisoners have ended their hunger strike, after both sides agreed to an Egyptian brokered deal.)

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