Concentrating the mind of Harriet Sherwood wonderfully

Israeli child in Tel Aviv receives gas mask

Harriet came to Israel as cool as a cucumber, deeply steeped in the Guardianista lore of the malevolent Israelis and the innocent Palestinians, so innocent that their motives and deeds remain unscrutinised and beyond suspicion.

Israelis? She dumped them into two categories, soldiers and religious fanatics.

The rest of us civilians, mums and dads, ordinary people had no being for her and consequently none for the captive Guardianistas who only know us through her far from objective paragraphs. The victims of Palestinian terrorism were depicted as settlers, extremists, and the faceless “other” – nobody to identify with. Photographs of Israelis showed uniforms with individual features obscured by helmets on soldiers, the hats and hairstyles of the religious.

A report by Sherwood, on the Iran blogs page of the Guardian, “Israeli speculation over Iran strike reaches fever pitch“, August 14, analyzes the threat to Israel posed by the Iranians and how best to deal with it.

She has evidently been reading the leading commenters avidly.  She mentions a survey in which a startlingly high percentage of our opinionated citizenry admits to not knowing which scenario will play itself out: will Israel attack first, will it wait for the USA to attack, and can we afford to wait?

She speculated along with us that Barak was Haaretz’s decision maker‘ and correctly evaluated Olmert’s ellipsis ridden sentences as his tuppence worth.

Tellingly, Hattie forgets that the population previously central to her view is as vulnerable to a rocket attack as Israelis are and that unlike them, the Palestinians have no caring government, no secure rooms, no gas masks. Her article is illustrated by a photograph of an Israeli woman, not a soldier, not in religious dress, trying on a gas mask against the threat of chemical warfare. She herself was apparently one of those who has recently stood in line to receive the protection that Israel mandates.

The threat of an attack seems to have woken Hattie to the fact that everyone living in Israel is equally a target of our enemies, she herself among them. She’s not living in the UK which attacks targets thousands of miles away, but in Israel, a country that daily justly defends its own people against imminent and actual dangers.

The threat of a bio-warfare attack and the risk it poses to Hattie personally, living in Jerusalem, seems to have concentrated her mind wonderfully.

She has apparently noticed that everyone living in Israel is equally a target of our enemies, she herself among them. Suddenly, those “sporadic” firecrackers from Gaza, and the wonderful people belonging to Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria who write such heart-wrenching comment pieces in Hattie’s paper are little less wonderful now that she’s not safe in her London salon.

Suddenly, their threats to wipe out the entire population, which temporarily at least includes her, are rather more frightening.

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