February 08, 2005

Obituary: Michael Adams

The journalist, Michael Adams, has died aged 84.

During this visit, too, he made the journey which changed his life: he went to Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank to see for himself what was going on. He was appalled by the brutality of the occupation and the Israeli Army's pressure on Palestinian families to join the refugee exodus; and he was outraged that none of this was being reported by British or American correspondents in Jerusalem.

He wrote freelance articles for the Guardian, culminating in a description of the Israeli demolition of three villages (including the biblical Emmaus) just outside Jerusalem. Hetherington had published earlier articles, but rejected this one on the grounds that the story must be exaggerated; otherwise, he argued, journalists based in Jerusalem would have reported it. When Adams reacted angrily, Hetherington threatened never to publish his work again. Later, however, Hetherington ran another piece confirming the destruction of the villages; and later he accepted further contributions from Adams.

Those old enough to remember Michael Adams's reports from the then recently occupied territories will know that, in spite of The Guardian's. habit of recruiting Zionist columnist and reporters, Zionists in the UK have never forgiven it for publishing Adams's reports; blowing, as they did, the gaffe on "Israel's benign occupation".

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