Lobby in Hotel

200 people attended a glittering celebration at the Kensington Royal Garden Hotel the other day. Nearly forty of them were journalists, including senior journalists from the BBC. The function was laid on by Arab Media Watch, or the pro Palestinian lobby, as a fundraiser and a gesture of appreciation for sympathetic coverage of Gaza. This is a mirror image of the Jewish lobby, but, unlike that sinister satanic cabal, this one is obviously considered respectable and above board by the BBC. So for that reason I suggest we take some of the excellent advice they offer on their website since it has clearly been so effective. There is a handy list of contacts, hints on letter writing, tips on how to pressure the media to present your case, and a useful guide to ‘where journalism often goes wrong when dealing with violence’, entitled “Misrepresenting Violence.” That one should be forwarded to Jeremy Bowen immediately. It was published in 2002 but he might not have seen it.
There is also a page explaining some factual errors, for example the myth that Hamas is out to destroy Israel. They supply proof of this on two counts.

A) How could they do it with such inferior weaponry?
B) They have offered a ten-year hudna. What more could they do?

Please note amended figures. Not all 36 were from the BBC! Apologies. Everything else still stands, bilge or not.

 

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37 Responses to Lobby in Hotel

  1. Bryan says:

    The “ten-year hudna” is simply a reflection of the effectiveness of the Israeli demolition of Hamas in January. That’s how long the terrorists figure it’s going to take them to build themselves up to the point where they can fight Israel with the prospect of doing her serious damage. They’ll use the hudna to smuggle in anti-tank devices and more sophisticated long-range missiles from Iran along with technicians to provide training in how to fire them, and of course they’ll construct strong enough bunkers where they can store these missiles and hide in safety from Israeli air attacks.

    I don’t know if any BBC hacks understand the meaning of taqiya. But if any do, I’m sure they would partake in it rather than report on it.

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  2. Nachman says:

    Did anyone hear the demonisation of the Israeli Army rabbinate this morning on the programme that is supposedly about religion. The first report was about the rise of the Kurdish Islamist party where preachers anti-Semitic rants against the Jews whilst reported passed without comment. Later on they interviewed a useful idiot who belongs to Rabbis for Human Rights whose focus is not on the human rights of their Jewish brothers to live in peace but on the terrorists who would kill them. He told the interviewer how he had ripped his clothes (a sign of mourning) when he heard the story. He did not say he ripped his clothes when he heard about the killing of innocent Jews by his terrorist friends. The leaflets issued by the IDF Rabbinate were to remind soldiers that they were fighting a just war and should be strong in defence of their people and homeland no more than any other army in the world. However the BBC managed to turn it into a quite fanatical message completely neglecting to remind listeners that the enmy these soldiers were fighting have a Charter calling for the destruction of Israel and for the death of all Jews. The IDF spokesperson was pathetic as usual – in the face of the BBC’s moral turpitude instead of a robust defence of Israel’s clear moral direction in fighting wars to minimise civilian casualties she was apologetic. The demonisation of Israel goes on unabashed.

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  3. deegee says:

    The “ten-year hudna” is a reflection of the Islamic nature of the conflict. Jihad is an absolute obligation on Muslims except when the enemy is too strong. Then they are allowed to declare a ‘truce’ (Hudna) for a maximum of ten-years at which point the true believer is obliged to continue with warfare.

    However if the situation has changed in the meantime and the enemy is not too strong Muslims may abrogate the Hudna before 10-years has elapsed.

    Israel, for reasons which are unclear to me, rejected the offer :-)

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  4. deegee says:

    BTW Perhaps a FOI request for the guest list would be in order?

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  5. Bryan says:

    Dunno if this is accurate, but from the link to Melanie Phillips there weren’t 40 journalists from the BBC there, but less than 40 journalists in total:

    Among the guests were almost three-dozen senior journalists from the BBC, Al Jazeera English, Financial Times, Reuters, Daily Mail, Independent, Asharq Al Awsat, Al Quds Al Arabi, Al Hayat and others.

    Just thought I’d point that out.

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  6. Dick the Prick says:

    40? 40? For crying out loud – is it completely beyond the pale for an e-mail round robin asking for questions or thoughts and then for 4 of them to go with shorthand skills (if these tossers can do shorthand rather than blither drivel) and take notes?

    I used to work in quite a disparate and multi disciplinary organization and if more than 2 of us turned up at a conference or meeting we usually had the wit to sort it out so 1 or more of us could bugger off – it’s embarrassing, vulgar, pointless, inefficient and a waste of cash.

    Oops – just realised, they don’t actually have a core function they should be getting on with – mae culpa.

    Idiots.

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  7. Sue says:

    Nachman | 29.03.09 – 9:22 am
    Yes I heard it. Here’s what I thought too:

    The Sunday Programme again. Thank God, if there is one and he’s listening, that no-one much else is awake. Maybe just Nachman above, and myself.

    After a sympathetic report about Jew-hating Kurds and an interview with a lady vicar about the late Jade Goody and Jesus; “How well did you know Jade?” ” I only met her at the baptism.” “Oh.” “Can death ever be showbiz?”
    Sigh. Don’t know, don’t really mind.

    Then Roger Bolton suddenly jumped for joy.
    “Have you heard The News! He is in ecstasy.
    “Military Rabbis have said that the Jewish soldiers are supposed to rid their promised land of all Gentiles! They have issued a booklet to religious IDF soldiers instructing them to treat Palestinians as worthless! It’s a holy war! “

    “We are the Jewish people, God has brought us back to this land by a miracle, we need to fight to expel the Gentiles because they interfere with our conquest of this holy land.”

    Well done Roger Bolton. You’ve managed to repeat this precious gem of incriminating evidence three whole times before the topic ended.

    What’s more he has an interview with a yuman rights Rabbi with an American accent so they can repeat these allegations and wring their hands with horror. (‘if it’s true.’)

    Roger Bolton has worked himself up even more, and by the time he interrogates IDF Spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovitch he is incandescent with outrage, so that everything she says is discredited because ‘she would say that wouldn’t she.’
    For example she said there are many religions in the IDF: Muslims, Druze, Christians Circassians (not from the circus, Turks.) she added that there are one or two cases like this, but it is an aberration that will be investigated by the Israeli army. “But how can it be right that they investigate themselves?” Roger asks.
    “Well” she replies,” all other armies do so, and I don’t see you asking that of Hamas.

    “Got them at last!” he seemed to say, ignoring the fact that all the distasteful allegations made against ‘one or two’ Israelis have been openly and proudly mirror-imaged by Hamas and no-one’s batted an eyelid.

    Roger, calmed down by now, moves on to homosexuality, asking ‘can gays help it?’

    The good news is that If you didn’t alter your clock you would have missed it all.

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  8. Sue says:

    Bryan | 29.03.09 – 9:38 am
    Three dozen. 36. Nearly 40. What I said.

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  9. Robert says:

    Sue: I think Bryan means there were 40 journalists in total. Not 40 from the BBC.

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  10. Nachman says:

    By the way Sue what Roger Bolton said is in fact the spin put on the pamphlet by a non-religious Jewish soldier. That is not in fact what the pamphlet said. The pamphlet contains commentary by Ramban (Nachmanides). The message is clear: (Soldiers) defend our land. Do not give up an inch. This should be perfectly suitable for a soldier to read before going out to fight. It is nationalistic (that’s war), it is not overtly political. Secondly the pamphlet is about optimism and hoping for redemption and for appreciation of everything the land gives. In the section about the Palestinians, what is basically said is that they never did have a state within Israel. Isn’t that true? The passages about sacrifice and war are about understanding that war sucks, that a soldier must bear it, and that when confronted with cruelty (i.e. people who are trying to kill him) he has to fight back with the same fervour. This is certainly not an incitement to racism as Bolton was trying allege – after all not only Jews fight in the IDF. The passage qualifies itself by saying it only applies in war when the enemy is being cruel. And what is wrong with saying it is it is preferable if an enemy can be defeated without your own soldiers losing their lives? Wouldn’t we want that for our troops in Afghanistan? The sum total of the pamphlet is clearly about appreciating and defending the land and understanding war and what is required of a moral soldier in war. It is to help the soldier should he want it. There may be a few excerpts that may offend some people – but they have been taken out of context and have been blown up into something it never was. The BBC however has given up all pretence of acknowledgement of an Israeli narrative.

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  11. Bryan says:

    Robert | 29.03.09 – 10:03 am,

    Yes, that’s what I meant. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Sue, let’s restrict ourselves to bashing BBC hacks strictly when they deserve it.

    If there were nearly 36 hacks from Al Jazeera English, Financial Times, Reuters, Daily Mail, Independent, Asharq Al Awsat, Al Quds Al Arabi, Al Hayat and others as well as the BBC, that would make an average of less than four hacks from each organisation.

    But I guess the quote can be read to mean that there were nearly 36 from the BBC as well as from other media.

    Dunno, just seems excessive, even for the BBC.

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  12. BJ says:

    Sue writes: “Nearly forty of them were senior BBC journalists.”

    The Arab Media Watch website reports:

    Among the guests were almost three-dozen senior journalists from the BBC, Al Jazeera English, Financial Times, Reuters, Daily Mail, Independent, Asharq Al Awsat, Al Quds Al Arabi, Al Hayat and others.

    So that’s nearly forty hacks in total, not just from the BBC. And I notice that those bastions of evil-statist-leftitude, the Daily Mail and the Financial Times, were represented.

    What a complete load of bilge this website manages to drag up from time to time.

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  13. Bryan says:

    BJ | 29.03.09 – 10:51 am,

    It’s not bilge but a simple error.

    Anyone who doesn’t know by now that the BBC is in the pocket of the Arabs really hasn’t been paying attention.

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  14. BJ says:

    Bryan, it’s not a simple error. The whole premise of this blogpost was that the BBC had sent forty journalists to a drinks reception hosted by the “pro-Palestinian lobby”.

    But it turns out that it probably sent the same number as the Daily Mail.

    Doesn’t quite fit your agenda, that, does it?

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  15. Sue says:

    BJ | 29.03.09 – 11:47 am |
    Yes you’re right, I did misread it. Sorry, I was hasty. But it’s not at all what the whole premise was about.
    The whole premise was about something else, that the Arab Media Watch *Lobby* is active, more so, and perhaps more effectively so, and possibly better funded than the so called Jewish *lobby* that is known as a cabal and denigrated so freely and so frequently by all and sundry.

    Also, by repeating a tiny bit of their propaganda about a so-called myth, the one about Hamas, I was pointing out that they are less than reliable. They lie.
    Whatever you say about my agenda I return to you, with brass knobs on. I misread Melanie’s figures, you misread my whole post, so we’re quits. I will amend my mistake, and you can revise yours if you like..

    I admit my mistake about the number, but I still have to say, what are ANY senior BBC journalists doing at this function, never mind writing them thank-you letters.

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  16. Sue says:

    Nachman | 29.03.09 – 10:36 am
    Thanks for that. Your explanation is unlikely to get an airing on the BBC. It’s much too believable.
    There was a heading last week in the Telegraph (tree version)about their online religious blog ‘Holysmoke.’
    It was supposed to be critical of the BBC R4 Sunday Programme. When I looked it up it wasn’t there. It never appeared as far as I know.

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  17. archduke says:

    its not made clear in your blogpost Sue, but you need to point out that this event was a FUNDRAISER.

    also, this event has gotten even wider coverage via the high-traffic LGF site over here:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/33207_Phillips-_The_Real_Lobby

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  18. archduke says:

    sue : you also need to have the quotes from the bbc on this blogpost

    ‘I enjoyed the programme and the company of your nice guests.’ – BBC

    ‘Thank you very much for the invitation. I wish you all the success you deserve.’ – BBC

    ‘Thank you very much for the invitation. I really enjoyed the annual dinner. It was refreshing. It was, as before, perfectly organised…’ – BBC

    ‘Thank you so much for your generous invitation…The event was wonderful and the presentation was flawless…Best wishes for continued success…’ – BBC.

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  19. Sue says:

    Bryan | 29.03.09 – 11:16 am
    Thanks for defending my honour. It was a stupid error, even more stupid because I know people seize on such things because they don’t want to understand what you’re getting at.
    Few people read posts or comments properly in any case. Including me sometimes. It’s good to see you back. (I suppose that could be misread as It’s good to see the back of you)

    As someone wise once said, we can’t all be perfect.

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  20. nrg says:

    It is perfectly in order for hacks to keep contacts in all camps and to attend events and be cordial; however the feedback certainly suggests a particularly strong BBC turnout and the letter saying ‘. I wish you all the success you deserve.’ – BBC, goes beyond the usual courtesy and implies support for the cause that would inhibit impartial reproting.

    BJ – as you are a stickler for details maybe you could enlighten us:
    1. Are you a BBC employee?
    2. Are you posting here on BBC time?
    3. Do you disagree that the BBC is institutionally inclined to supporting the Palestinian position?

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  21. archduke says:

    call me old fashioned , but surely accepting grace-and-favour gifts in the form of an event+dinner from an Arab media lobbying group is surely a prime candidate for conflict of interest ESPECIALLY if you are a journalist.

    when i worked for an American corporate i couldnt so much as accept a lunchtime sandwich being bought by a client – fireable offense under their conflict of interest rules. seriously. not making that up.

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  22. archduke says:

    regarding the bbc quotes i posted above – an FOI request is in order.

    who said them?

    and how much has the BBC contributed to Arab Media Watch’s “fundraising”?

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  23. archduke says:

    feedback for the previous dinner, from 2008

    http://www.arabmediawatch.com/amw/AboutUs/MediaInteractions/AnnualFundraisingDinner/2008/MediaFeedback/tabid/4118/Default.aspx

    —————————
    “We both thoroughly enjoyed what was a superb organised evening.”

    BBC Radio 4 / Al Jazeera English
    —————————

    “Thanks for your hospitality – a terrific evening.”

    BBC World Service
    —————————
    “The pleasure was mine and thank you for accommodating me. My best regards to all the wonderful team at AMW.”

    BBC World Service
    —————————
    “Many congratulations for a highly successful event. Thank you, of course, for inviting me.”

    BBC World Service
    —————————
    “Thanks a lot for the enjoyable dinner. The evening was excellently coordinated, and the hard effort made it all proceed smoothly and efficiently.”

    BBC Arabic
    —————————
    “Thank you for another great night. The speakers were very good – and their comments have stayed with me, especially about the importance of the emerging generation of journalists, writers, artists and politicians creating a new narrative from their own perspective, in the Middle East and the wider Arab world. Rageh Omaar was a superb choice for your special award – and Aron’s comedy was truly inspired and very funny. I wish you the very best in all things, not least the great work you’re doing.”

    BBC World Service
    —————————

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  24. BJ says:

    BJ – as you are a stickler for details maybe you could enlighten us:
    1. Are you a BBC employee?

    Yes.

    2. Are you posting here on BBC time?

    No. Welcome to my living room.

    3. Do you disagree that the BBC is institutionally inclined to supporting the Palestinian position?

    I do disagree, yes.

    Now, I’m sure that the Israeli embassy has hosted receptions for journalists before. I’ve never been to one, but I’d like to wager that some of my BBC staff have. Government departments do all the time, and political parties, and other organisations. I’m happy to admit that I went to a lunch at a university last week, and talked to some scientists.

    They’re useful for allowing journalists from all media organisations to talk to people and make contacts, and get stories.

    Now, if Mel Phillips was getting exercised about the Arab lobby wining and dining a large group of senior BBC journalists, she would probably have a reasonable point. It might look as if impartiality was not being enforced.

    But that a handful of hacks turning up at a reception alongside colleagues from another of Melanie Phillips’s employers, the Daily Mail should somehow demonstrate bias is quite laughable.

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  25. BJ says:

    Whoops. In the post above I wrote “some of my BBC staff”. I meant to say either “some BBC staff” or “some of my BBC colleagues”.

    I’m not a BBC boss and therefore don’t have anyone working for me.

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  26. Millie Tant says:

    The teaboy, then? Heh…(only joking)

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  27. Millie Tant says:

    —————————
    “Thank you for another great night. The speakers were very good – and their comments have stayed with me, especially about the importance of the emerging generation of journalists, writers, artists and politicians creating a new narrative from their own perspective, in the Middle East and the wider Arab world. Rageh Omaar was a superb choice for your special award – and Aron’s comedy was truly inspired and very funny. I wish you the very best in all things, not least the great work you’re doing.”

    BBC World Service
    —————————
    archduke | 29.03.09 – 1:12 pm | #

    ———————————–
    Aaaaagh no…not “narrative” again!
    I am beginning to hate that word. It’s everywhere. Don’t suppose we could ban it from here.

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  28. Qoooze says:

    “But that a handful of hacks turning up at a reception alongside colleagues from another of Melanie Phillips’s employers, the Daily Mail should somehow demonstrate bias is quite laughable.”
    BJ | 29.03.09 – 3:16 pm

    The only media feedback AGW published from the Mail for 2008 and 2009 was:

    “It was a very interesting and enjoyable evening…I particularly enjoyed hearing the flautist; I thought he was fantastic. And the comedian…” – Daily Mail

    So the most polite thing they could say was they liked the music and the comedian, the rest was ‘interesting’. There was no praise for a new (obviously pro-Hamas) ‘narrative’ like the BBC scum.

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  29. Robert says:

    BJ: great to hear from you. Strange, however, that you’ve chosen to remain silent all this time on the 99.999999% of blatant cases of bbc bias reported here that do NOT make errors – and, let’s admit it, when errors ARE made here at least they’re fessed up to immediately – something your employers might want to consider next time they cover up (err, ‘overlook’) a blatant bit of Jacqui Smith business, an obscene Jonathan Ross phone call, a stringent attack on Gordon Brown to his face at the EU etc etc

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  30. deegee says:

    The unsigned ‘thank you’ notes AKA media feedback lack the style, verve and vocabulary of professional newspaper people. Frankly they are bland in the style of someone who over monitors English as a 2nd language.

    These days who writes these things? Perhaps Arab Media Watch wrote them and to avoid some real person complaining (and suing) left them anonymous?

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  31. TPO says:

    What a complete load of bilge this website manages to drag up from time to time.
    BJ | 29.03.09 – 10:51 am |

    Quite right. This website is about BBC bias. Consequently it will have to deal with BBC bilge.
    Now tell me public servant, just why did the BBC ignore Daniel Hannan wbhilst focusing on an obscure Conservative local councillor in Essex.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Was George Galloway there?

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  33. Sue says:

    Before reading about it on Melanie’s blog, I had no idea that there was an organisation openly and actively doing the very thing on behalf of the Arabs, that everyone was so contemptuous of and horrified by when Jews do exactly the same thing.
    The focus of my original post was that the accusation we hear time and time again, most memorably from BBC’s “John Reith” who used to comment here, was that Jewish lobbies exert pressure on the media on behalf of Israel, and somehow control and influence events.
    What hypocrisy if the BBC participates in AMW fundraisers.

    So I looked at the AMW website, which I thought was surprisingly sophisticated, and was shocked that it blatantly encourages a pester campaign aimed at the media, and has a disturbing section devoted to lies and falsehoods.
    More than that, I discovered an article by Johann Galtung written in 2002 – an analysis called Misreporting Violence, that sets out ‘where journalism goes wrong’. Most of the offending types of bias he describes are typical of those we find in the BBC reporting, and are the very things we complain of.

    *******
    Decontextualising violence: focusing on violence as “irrational” or presenting it as endemic, without looking at the reasons for unresolved conflicts and polarisation, and ignoring the historical causes for grievances – thus making events seem unknoweably “complex.”

    Dualism: reducing the number of parties in a conflict to two, when often more are involved. Stories that just focus on internal developments often ignore such outside or “external” forces as foreign governments and transnational companies.

    Manicheanism: portraying one side as good and demonising the other as “evil.”

    Armageddon: presenting violence as inevitable, omitting the alternatives.

    Focusing on individual acts of violence while avoiding structural causes such as poverty, government neglect, and military or police repression.

    Confusion: focusing only on the conflict arena (i.e. the battlefield or location of violent incidents) but not on the forces and factors that influence the violence.

    Excluding and omitting the bereaved, thus never explaining why there are acts of revenge and spirals of violence.

    Failure to explore the causes of escalation and the impact of media coverage itself.

    Failure to explore the goals of outside interventionists, especially big powers.

    Failure to explore peace proposals and offer images of peaceful outcomes.

    Confusing ceasefires and negotiations with actual peace.

    Omitting reconciliation: conflicts tend to reemerge if attention is not paid to efforts to heal fractured societies. When news about attempts to resolve conflicts is absent, fatalism is reinforced. That can help engender even more violence, when people have no images or information about possible peaceful outcomes and the promise of healing.
    **********************

    We are told that Saudi Princes fund Islamic departments in many U.K. universities, and we’re dimly aware that all sorts of covert lobbying takes place behind the scenes, and we’ve all heard of Pallywood; but this was something I hadn’t realised. Further, if it was a fundraiser, doesn’t that usually involve guests buying tickets or handing over money. That might be a concern. But we don’t know that, and we don’t know who, or how many BBC guests there were, but there were clearly some, and that is worrying.

    It’s nothing like attending a function at an Embassy, either. As far as I am aware the pro Israel media watchdogs do similar things, but without the lies, and without the blessing of the BBC.
    If I didn’t make that clear in my blog, I’m doing it now.
    Here’s a new example from Honest Reporting:
    http://www.honestreporting.com/a/FalseAccusations.asp

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  34. Bryan says:

    Sue | 29.03.09 – 12:50 pm,

    Thanks for the thanks. Yes, I really feel at home on this site.

    Few issues expose the hypocrisy of the left wing media like the Israeli-Arab conflict. The left is silent about hundreds of thousands of Jews driven from Arab countries in the 1940s and subsequently with only the shirts on their backs, but trumpets the “Jewish Lobby” from the rooftops. And it is silent about the Arab Lobby but trumpets the “plight of the Palestinians” from the rooftops.

    Still, I agree with deegee at 6:02 pm. Those alleged e-mails from the BBC didn’t ring true for me when I first read them. And of course there is no way to check the veracity of anonymous messages. Could be we are seeing Pallywood style exaggeration and falsification here, transforming what could well have been a bit of a flop into a great occasion.

    Still, there is no shortage of evidence of the tremendous power and influence of the Arab Lobby. For one thing, it has practically the entire UN General Assembly trained like circus animals to bay in unison against Israel and vote endless anti-Israel resolutions through.

    And then, of course there is UNRWA.

    And anti-Israel fanaticism infesting universities throughout the “enlightened” West.

    As someone wise once said, we can’t all be perfect.

    Yes, but we can be and are a lot better than the BBC.

    Keep up the great posts.

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  35. Bryan says:

    BJ | 29.03.09 – 3:16 pm,

    If you bump into Alan Johnston in the corridors of Broadcasting House, ask him if he truly is a “friend of the Palestinian people,” as a flood of e-mails to the BBC’s “Have Your Say” claimed during his kidnapping.

    I followed Johnston’s “reporting” for years on the World Service. He pumped out an endless stream of pro-Palestinian propaganda. If he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes in Gaza, leave alone nearly three years.

    That entire motley BBC crew “reporting” on the Middle East has to go. It cannot be reformed since the bias runs too deep.

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  36. deegee says:

    Senior journalists?
    “Thank you…We did enjoy it.” – Financial Times / Reuters Odd use of past tense. Why not simply we enjoyed it?

    “I enjoyed the programme and the company of your nice guests.” – BBC NICE? This is the word choice of a third grader.

    “It was a lovely evening. We both enjoyed ourselves and it was great company.” – Al Jazeera English / BBC Leaving aside the pairing here, shouldn’t that be, “We enjoyed ourselves and the company was great”?

    “Thank you very much for the invitation. I really enjoyed the annual dinner. It was refreshing. It was, as before, perfectly organised…” – BBC What constitutes a ‘refreshing’ fund raiser?

    “Thank you so much for your generous invitation…The event was wonderful and the presentation was flawless…Best wishes for continued success…” – BBC Why a generous invitation? Wasn’t attending this function job related? Were the news people paid appearance money? Excused the compulsary donation?

    On second thoughts, the writing was so juvenile that perhaps it really was senior journalists from the BBC?

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  37. Kensington says:

    It is tough for the BBC to decide what is based and not biased here.

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