Harriet Sherwood characterizes Hamas as a “conservative” group

What does the Hamas movement in Gaza have in common with the Republicans in the U.S. and the Tories in the UK?  Well, according to some, they all can fairly be characterized as politically “conservative”.

Reem Raiyshi, 22, A mother of two from Gaza City makes a video statement for Hamas days before blowing herself up, killing four Israelis and wounding seven others.
Reem Raiyshi, 22, A mother of two from Gaza City makes a video statement for Hamas days before blowing herself up, killing four Israelis and wounding seven others.

A June 21 report by Harriet Sherwood about Arab Idol contestant Mohammad Assaf, titled ‘Arab Idol favourite Mohammad Assaf carries hopes of Palestinians into final‘ (one of four stories published by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent about the Arab reality show), includes the following paragraph, on the success of the 22-year-old resident of Khan Younis in Gaza:

The acclaim is not quite universal, however. Some conservative Islamic groups, including Hamas, disapprove of the western-style Arab Idol. 

And, only a month ago Sherwood similarly characterized Hamas as a “conservative Islamic group” in another report on the Arab Idol contestant.

But Assaf’s performances have met with criticism from some conservative Islamic groups, including Hamas, who disapprove of the western-style programme

Interestingly, while Hamas – a group recognized as a terrorist movement by the United States, the European Union, the UK, Australia, Canada and Japan – is evidently merely “conservative”, here’s how Sherwood has described the political party of Israeli Economics Minister, Naftali Bennett:

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “insoluble” and most Israelis “couldn’t care less about it any more”, according to Naftali Bennett, the surprise star of the election campaign, whose extreme rightwing nationalist and pro-settler Jewish Home is within sight of becoming the country’s second biggest party.

Indeed, there seems to be something of a trend in imputing political extremism to Israeli Jews due merely to their city of residence, as the following sentence in Sherwood’s April 4 report about an outbreak of violence in the West Bank indicates.

After the funeral Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli soldiers close to an extremist Jewish settlement in the heart of [Hebron].

Additionally, here’s what Sherwood wrote about Hamas in a report later in April after a 30-year-old Israeli man was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist near Nablus, where she attempts to contrast Hamas with the ‘genuinely’ extremist groups in Gaza:

Hamas, the Islamist organisation which controls Gaza, has observed the ceasefire agreement that ended November’s conflict. However, in the past two months there has been renewed intermittent rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, blamed on small extremist organisations that Hamas is trying to rein in.

Whilst in previous reports Sherwood has described Hamas a “militant Islamic group” or an “Islamist group”, her recent work suggests movement towards such shameful moral inversions, by which Jews living on the ‘wrong’ side of the green line are “extremists”, while a radical Islamist movement whose leaders have openly called for genocide against Jews are merely “conservative”.

As we’ve noted on many occasions, one of the more disturbing elements of the Guardian Left ideology is this increasing tendency to grotesquely distort ordinary language in an attempt to shape political reality.  It’s difficult to overstate the political toxicity of such activist journalism, which attempts to convince the public that a movement advancing a racist, violent ideology should arguably evoke greater moral sympathy than the Jews who represent the object of their malign fixation.

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