Harriet Sherwood and Phoebe Greenwood take steps towards understanding Palestinian incitement

gaza_2548597bThe failure of many to truly understand the ‘root causes’ of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and accurately contextualize news in the region is based in part on the MSM’s general tendency to ignore or significantly downplay the pervasive antisemitism and anti-Zionist agitation within Palestinian society.

This blog’s ‘What the Guardian won’t report‘ series often focuses on such disturbing stories about the official Palestinian glorification of violence, racist indoctrination of their children and other such grossly underreported examples of the reactionary Palestinian political ethos which ‘genuine’ advocates for peace can not reasonably ignore.

Whilst reasonable people can argue over what degree such Palestinian incitement represents an impediment to peace relative to other factors, such as the issue of Israeli “settlements”, the Guardian’s obsessive focus on the latter and their almost total silence about the former serves to grossly misinform their readers on the politics of the region.

As such, it was encouraging to read a recent story by the Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood, entitled ‘Gaza schoolboys being trained to use Kalashnikovs, April 28, which reports on news that Hamas is now providing Gaza schools with military training for young boys.  The program, which includes the use of firearms and explosives, will likely be extended to girls next year.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmBAZpbKhmM]

Sherwood even quotes Al Mezan, a Gaza-based “human rights organisation”, criticizing the program thusly:

“It’s unbelievable. Hamas has been cutting sports activities in schools for the past six years, saying there is no time in the curriculum, but now they find the time to have military training inside schools,”

Additionally, on the very same day that Sherwood filed her story, Phoebe Greenwood published a piece at The Telegraph entitled ‘Hamas teaches Palestinian schoolboys to how to fire Kalashnikovs’ – a report which is especially noteworthy in the context of a CiF Watch post back in 2011 which noted Greenwood’s skepticism over ‘claims’ made by Israeli officials regarding Palestinian incitement. 

Though both reports are problematic in many respects, and indeed ignore the broader problem of Palestinian incitement in both the West Bank and Gaza, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Further, we can at least hope that Sherwood and Greenwood will follow-up on their stories and continue to inform their readers on the pathos within Palestinian political culture which inspires the constant vilification of Israel and dehumanization of Jews – a dynamic which makes most Israelis wary of the conventional wisdom which uncritically accepts that a two-state solution will necessarily result in peace.

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