Explaining Briefly Why Some People are Prejudiced Against the BBC

(Radio 4 Today 7:13)

 A religious studies exam question, “Explain why some people are prejudiced against Jews”, has sparked controversy over whether it is a reasonable question to put to young people. Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, discusses the question.

So says the Today website.

“You’re sitting an exam on religious studies. Question: Explain briefly why some people are prejudiced against Jews. Well, is that a reasonable question to ask  young people?”  asks Evan Davis.

The chairman of the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education thinks not. He suggests it was appropriate for a classroom discussion, to tease out why “these” prejudices arose, but when put as an exam question “you’ve lost the context” and it implies that the prejudices might be valid.  Jon Benjamin agrees. He says the question doesn’t ask for an analysis of ‘prejudice’, but virtually asks for a list of what’s wrong with Jews.

“If a student came up with such a list,” posits Evan, “they’d get an appalling mark.” (Probably.) Evan tried to illustrate the difference between the words ‘explain’ and ‘justify’ by making an analogy that involved substituting ‘Jews’ with ‘criminals’ and ‘self-harmers’.

It begged the question, could one replace ‘Jew’ with ‘Muslim’ here? Not that that would be helpful, because of course the zeitgeist that culminated in the holocaust is generally known to have been founded on ‘irrational fear ignorance and scapegoating.’ Suffice it to say that so far, dare I say, most prejudice against Muslims appears to be founded on the rational fear of misogyny, homophobia, antisemitism and  terrorism.  What’s more, no exam board would imagine for one nano second that they could get away with asking a question like that.

Evan’s snippet of an item was misleading and counterproductive. If it wasn’t for the fact that antisemitism is rearing its ugly head all over again, this whole furore would be a bit of nonsense.  I’ll explain why.

It says in the Telegraph:

“The exam board insisted that the question was part of a paper focusing on Judaism and the “relevant part of the syllabus covers prejudice and discrimination with reference to race, religion and the Jewish experience of persecution”.

“We would expect [students to refer] to the Holocaust to illustrate prejudice based on irrational fear, ignorance and scapegoating,” she said.“Part of the syllabus is that children must study the causes and origins of prejudice against Jews.”

So in that context the same isolated, clumsily-phrased question is arguably a good thing, which we might now see in a completely different light.

If Evan’s poor little snippet of an item had started off with that information, and he hadn’t sensationalised and isolated the question from its context, it might not have looked like an ill-conceived blunder by the exam board at all, but considering the BBC’s long-term barrage of one sided, out of context reports about Israel, it’s become  impossible to ask a question like that without causing offence. In fact the whole caboodle needed to be seen in context, not just the offending question. If it wasn’t for the BBC setting the scene over decades with their ever-present antisemitic innuendos and half-stories, posing such a sensitive question in an exam could have been thought-provoking and perhaps even positive. As it is, everyone concerned made mountain of a touchy, hyper sensitive issue that should have been a molehill.

 

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68 Responses to Explaining Briefly Why Some People are Prejudiced Against the BBC

  1. john in cheshire says:

    I suppose answering the question with ‘they are mostly socialists and muslims. these sectors of humanity are inherently antipathetic towards anything and anyone who acts normally’ would result in a massive fail for the student?

       23 likes

  2. OzExPat says:

    The real antipathy is towards Muslims. This is Europe – it’s going to end in tears and bloodshed. Give it 30 years.

       24 likes

  3. chrisH says:

    A sly and despicable little item from Davis…who only reads out whatever his bosses write for him.
    It would be interesting to see the “marking scheme” so we could “tease out” the mealy-mouthed poltroons at AQA. I`d not be surprised if a piece supporting (with reservations, of course) the general thrust of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion got a good grade…and a “blood libel” source that empathised with those emotional, passionate “victims of misinformation” got top marks and a chance to go for Bowens job one day.
    As you say Sue…let them try and replace that word “Jews” with say…”gays “or…Allah forbid..”Muslims”-and we`d really see what two-faced creeps the likes of Davis are.
    Where`s that Balen Report then Evan?…any news exclusives to give up on THAT then?…

       35 likes

  4. JustinCasey says:

    Myself, I have no actual Jewish friends… However I am glad that I don`t… Not becouse I dislike them, but becouse sometimes the way the BBC and other groups treat them would make it impossible to look anyone Jewish in the face!! It`s disgusting how everyone keeps laying into Jews and Isreal..

       34 likes

  5. LondonCalling says:

    I always liked Jackie Mason’s line:
    “The trouble with the Jews is they are just like everyone else. Only more so.”

       24 likes

  6. Backwoodsman says:

    There is probably an element of ‘small dick syndrome’, in the socialist bbc dislike of Jews. They just naturally hate anyone who is more intelligent and successful than them.
    Give them a palestinian, wallowing in their own filth and failure, someone they can feel smugly superior to, that’s yer man for a beeboid to support !

       49 likes

    • Richard Pinder says:

      Exactly. No one likes to be poorer or less intelligent than others, but for socialists, this selfishness turns into hatred. For some socialist such as National Socialist and Soviet Socialists, this lead to genocide. This selfishness also explains why they have an exaggerate liking for people they fell superior too, those type of people in the inner-city shit holes that vote Labour , for instance.

         10 likes

  7. George R says:

    We shouldn’t be prejudiced against Beeboids because they use taxis occasionally at our expense.

    “BBC Chief Operating Officer claimed more than £1,000 in taxi expenses in three months.
    “One of the favourites to become the next BBC director general claimed more than £1,000 in taxi fares in three months. ”

    Apparently, such taxi expenditure should be regarded as normal for a Beeboid candidate such as Caroline THOMPSON in the run in to the interviews for the post of Director General.

    And why not start as you intend to carry on?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9285151/BBC-Chief-Operating-Officer-claimed-more-than-1000-in-taxi-expenses-in-three-months.html

       8 likes

  8. Biodegradable says:

    It’s clear from the interview and the attitude of the interviewer that the BBC see nothing wrong with the exam question.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9723000/9723827.stm

       9 likes

  9. Biodegradable says:

    One also has to wonder how many of the teachers imparting those religious studies courses are supporters of BDS and “The Palestinian Cause™”.

    Boycott Israel: Zionists are “the most hateful people imaginable”

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the writer of this hate rant wasn’t a teacher or some kind of “comunity/social worker”.
    http://londonbds.org/2012/05/24/audience-participation-encouraged/
    Exams are based on the material taught in class so I’d be curious to know what reasons, according to the study material, explain Jew hatred. What answers get top marks? Something like above?

       8 likes

    • Sue says:

      Can I just add that as Bio says the majority of schoolteachers and an even larger proportion of college and uni lecturers are pro Palestinian and politically left-leaning.

      On the other hand, the GCSE syllabus used to be, and for all I know still is, heavily focused on WW2, with 1930s Germany and the holocaust being part of the material studied. So if part of the process included questioning ‘how could such a thing have happened?’ the offending ‘prejudice against Jews’ question falls into place.

      The influence of the BBC is largely responsible for much of both these seemingly contradictory situations. It’s that old underdog scenario again. Perceived underdog rather than actual underdog of course. Perceived largely because of biased reporting on the part of the universally trusted BBC.

         14 likes

      • Sue says:

        On second thoughts, the GCSE syllabus I was talking about was modern history, not religious education.
        I have no idea what the content of the R.E. course is. So unless they’ve studied history, the pupils may not know much about the holocaust after all.

           3 likes

        • chrisH says:

          Religious Studies covers “Moral and ethical Lifestyle choices”-animal rights and global warming.
          It also makes room for heroes like Darwin and Jerry Springer-The Opera, but does cite Jesus as a good bloke like that Buddha or Ganesh…all on the religious spectrum of delusions.
          Get a life Bish…you looking at that scout troop Rev?..that kind of thing.
          Funnily enough though-there is ONE religion that seems not to get a mention…Rushdie, Regensburg, Danish cartoons 7/7 or ricin..all they do is great architecture and led whitey out of science and maths pools of ignorance?…any idea which faith it might be?…boys?…no, girls are not allowed to answer this one I`m afraid!
          Here`s a clue…you have to storyboard his life…but you can`t represent him in a picture.
          Therefore we get a lot of black rectangles in cribs, caves ans walking down the aisle with child brides…or not, as the case may be.
          And not a smile, a smirk or a joke to be had at how ludicrous it`s all gone…might be the “wrong kind of stoned” if you don`t show “rispeck.
          innit”
          9/11 DOES get a mention..but mainly to tease out the conspiracy theories-after all, who`s really to say what actually DID happen?

             7 likes

          • Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

            That’ll be presbyterians then!

            no? oh..errrrr…baptists?

            methodists? latter day saints? pentecostals? No? Catholics then No? oh I give up !

               1 likes

      • Biodegradable says:

        If the course was centred around the Holocaust surely a more reasonable question would have been, “explain the prejudices that led The Third Reich to hate Jews to the extent of organising an industrial scale extermination of them”.

           8 likes

  10. Barry says:

    I think that poor English is the problem in this instance. “It begged the question”, as the writer correctly says.

       6 likes

  11. noggin says:

    Question: Explain briefly why some people are prejudiced against Jews.
    Why not finish it, eh! …
    well, just ask the socialist workers or the uni common room eh! check out the bbc website.
    hey no smoke without fire, and people are soooooo! ….
    lets look around the uni common room (shock/horror) oh the “poor” palestinians
    wheres those leaflets that funny dressed bearded fella was handing out, goodness, oh the thieves, displacing the “poor” palestinians –
    oh no apartheid wall … prison camp … no food/water

    oh that nice ship trying to take food to the erm “poor” palestinians … stopped oh no, shucks (shakes head)
    im so glad now i know the truth …
    oh whats the question again?

       11 likes

  12. DavidLamb says:

    One might find ways of responding to this question in the predictable HYS discussions which seem to gather together those who are hostile to Jews. Statements about Israeli genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians are so uncontested that examination assessors might easily confuse explanation of prejudice with justification of prejudice. Come to think of it, one of the defining features of left wing thought is the tendency to blur explanation with justification. See how the Beebies explained/justified last summer’s riots.

       9 likes

    • LondonCalling says:

      In Beebland, the cause of events is “what they wish was the cause” (dispossed underclass angry with society, bankers bonuses, whatever) rather than the actual cause (criminal enterprise, greed, opportunism)

      Poor rocket-firing Palestine and its Hamas gangster leaders, all “underdog” to those in need of a cause but not wanting to seem uncool by disagreeing with the likes of Annie Lennox and other misinformed rock stars.

         9 likes

      • The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

        Ah, ‘subjective truth’ the scoferous partner to ‘necessary evil’

           3 likes

  13. TrueToo says:

    Explain briefly why some people are prejudiced against Jews.

    Is this really the kind of question that high school students should be expected to answer, when adults with considerable learning and life experience find themselves unable to answer it comprehensively?

    Be interesting to see the material they had to study for this exam. How does that material deal with the question? What and how were they taught about prejudice against Jews?

    It’s impossible to come to a conclusion about this issue without knowing a bit more about the background to it.

       6 likes

  14. Phobias says:

    What an absolutely bigoted and irrational article. Israel is the one of the largest violators of human rights on the planet. Forcing Muslims off land that they have been in for 2000 years and handing the same land to jews because they apparently lived there 6000 years ago. Gaza is in an appalling state, Israel’s embargo is inhumane, Israel diverts water supplies from Palestinian lands to Israeli territories, Palestinians don’t get water to drink whilst Israelis water their gardens. These are as reported by Amnesty International, but I suppose they are also biased according to you, right? Antisemitism has been around for centuries and is a creation of EUROPEANS not Muslims, your forefathers may well have been the founding fathers of Antisemitism, does that give anyone the right to blame you for their wrongdoings? . Now blaming the Jews of Europe or USA for the wrongdoings of those in Israel is not right, neither is blaming the whole of Islam and all Muslims for the wrongdoings of a couple of extremist Muslims. Global Jewish population is 14 million as opposed to 1.57billion Muslims (20% of the global population is Muslim). You are irrational and barking mad if you think you can ‘rationally’ demonise 20% of the global population. Please go and educate yourself before you make a bigger fool out of yourself. BBC may be biased on one side, you’re biased on the complete other side, making you no different to the BBC in terms of the ‘rationality’ you are trying to argue about.

       4 likes

    • Sue says:

      Is that supposed to be your answer to the offending examination question? If so, it’s a fail I’m afraid.

         20 likes

      • George R says:

        “Sir Martin Gilbert on the plight of Jews in the 20th Century ”

        (20 min video)

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDLC-Qvn8uw

           2 likes

      • George R says:

        “How Strong Is the Arab Claim to Palestine?”

        By: Lawrence Auster

        http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=11607

           3 likes

        • Pah says:

          I heartily recommend this article to the house.
          Every bugger at the BBC should be forced to recite this ad nauseum until the FACTS finally sink in.

             2 likes

      • noggin says:

        it certainly is :-D
        just as this statement of yours :-
        “blaming the whole of Islam and all Muslims for the wrongdoings of ahem! a COUPLE! (?????? … WHAT!) of extremist Muslims”

        ha ha ha ha! “a couple” ? ha ha ha!
        18,944 islamic terror attacks since 9/11
        and counting ….
        been busy those couple of chaps have they eh!
        AND countless 1000s before, if thats an example of your ahe … solid? arguments hmmm.

        look if you want to insult anyones intelligence, i urge you to go
        to pro islam-pro palestinian sites
        they re quite used to it :-D

        yup! act crazy somewhere else we re all out here :-D

           14 likes

      • Demon says:

        For once Sue I think you’re wrong. That is the perfect answer, i.e.:-

        The reason people are prejudiced against Jews is due to vicious lies and disinformation fed to the uninformed like Phobias above. By all his repeating of the left-wing lies and distortions – and he probably believes it himself – is the reason people are prejudiced against Jews.

        Anyone with an open-mind who has taken the time to study the real history of Israel rather than the Horrible Histories type of rewriting truth which the BBC specialises in, would know that the only non-Apartheid state in the ME is Israel. But I’m preaching to the converted here. Phobias with his bigotry will never change – not until those two naughty Palestinians he mentioned murder someone in his family. Even then he would still probably blame the Jews.

        Is this the same person as Jon from Norway and that other new bigot who clogged up the other thread? I reckon it’s probably the same person who is trying to make us think there are loads of anti-Semites on here, by changing his nick every day.

           11 likes

    • chrisH says:

      Your view is already well-represented enough by those who massage our culture.
      It hardly needs, therefore, an examination question in the Judaism section of an Religious Studies GCSE to be winkled out of 16 year olds about to leave school.
      For , then : they`ll be as indoctrinated in the “correct LibLeft opinion” as you seem to have been.
      THAT is the point-the next generation of reflex anti-Jewish mindsets are being assessed by the AQA, in the presumption that there is an argument to be had about how anti-Semitic you are entitled to be.
      No point in me giving you the version of history that I agree with-it will be the opposite of yours-but if you really think that the above question could or should have used the word “homosexuals” or “muslims” without the hounds of hell being released on the AQA…then at least I`d be interested in your views.
      We could have had this discussion in Israel-the only oasis of free thought in that whole area. That ought to make you think-but I doubt that it ever would.
      By the way…Israel was there long before Palestine…a Roman bureaucratic creation having no basis in history at all, as far as I`m concerned…unless you want Gaul to be recognised instead of France at the UN.

         10 likes

    • The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

      Please go and ‘educate yourself’.

      Israel is not perfect but the lies you have been fed by the BBC and others have obviously distorted your reasoning powers.

      Please visit some less anti-Israeli, or , gasp some pro Israeli, sites to get a broader view. Then come back and say Israel is always in the wrong.

      Oh and before you go forth unto your (re-)education here’s a question for you. How many Jews live in Gaza and how many Muslims live in Israel? I’ll give you a clue (because you won’t find this question asked on the BBC) one figure is much greater than the other.

         19 likes

    • johnnythefish says:

      I got as far as ‘Forcing Muslims off land that they have been in for 2000 years….’ and stopped reading. Mohammed was born in the 7th century – go do the maths. Ahhh, the blissful ignorance of the Israel haters.

         22 likes

    • NotaSheep says:

      Don’t feed the troll…

         8 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Phobias, do you think the fact that the BBC does spend an extraordinary amount of effort telling the public that it’s wrong to blame all Muslims everywhere for the wrongdoings of a couple of extremists while spending zero effort to do the same regarding Jews and Israel is a sign of bias in any way?

         5 likes

    • Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

      If 20% of the world population obey the savage outdated barbaric practices forced on them from the Qu’ran then yes they are all demons!

         0 likes

  15. Phobias says:

    Oh, and Arabs are also Semite’s, they are Semitic people just as the Jews are. Hebrew and Arabic are both Semitic languages. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic
    Just have a look at that link, the largest Semitic group is the Arabs with a population of 206 million.

       2 likes

    • LondonCalling says:

      You are George Galloway, I claim my prize. A one way ticket to Teheran?

         5 likes

    • chrisH says:

      True that Arabs and Israelis are Semites I`m sure.
      Indeed, with the partition of 47/8 my take on history is that Israel did its bit to incorporate Arabs as much as anybody else….and , despite its flaws: still does include faiths other than Judaism in its political and cultural life.
      Compare and contrast how Jews-and Christians too-are treated by the neighbours of Israel.
      I used to be a reflex liberal PLO type stooge-then I found God and then I saw 9/11.
      Israel is the Wests canary in the marsh gas…and ,rarely among effete democracies…actually has a backbone, borne of its very need to survive the onslaught of its obvious neighbours..and its backstabbing weasels like the BBC and the Guardian.
      May God Bless Israel…and bring the end of the BBC a few days early!

         11 likes

      • johnnythefish says:

        Also worth remembering (because the BBC seem to have collective amnesia on this one) that in ’47 the Arab countries voted against the UN resolution to create a separate Palestinian state alongside Israel because they believed they could drive the new Jewish state into the sea as soon as it was formed. This, of course, they duly attempted in ’48 and found themselves on the wrong end of a good kicking (and again in ’67 and again in ’73). The Palestinians have been no more than Arab pawns for the last century in their quest to eradicate all trace of Jews from the Middle East.

           5 likes

    • Biodegradable says:

      ROTFLMFAO! :-D

         1 likes

  16. TrueToo says:

    Phobias, thanks for that. I’m sure you had to take a deep breath afterwards; you must have been blue in the face.

    I suggest you get hold of a couple of unbiased historical accounts of the period. That might help you undersatnd what has actually transpired till now in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

    Here’s one:

    Egypt & Israel by Howard M. Shacar. It’s an objective and totally unbiased account of the Arab-Israel conflict from shortly before 1948 until the Begin-Sadat peace treaty. The author travelled extensively in Egypt and Israel and conducted many interviews with people from both countries.

       8 likes

    • George R says:

      ‘Biased-BBC.com’ is a site where individuals can express their ‘biases’; but the main concern of the site is that British people should not be enforced to pay a tax to view television, nor to be subjected to the BBC’s political biases.

         12 likes

    • Alephnull says:

      ‘Objective and unbiased’? The author of the book you recommend is a on the advisory board of the pressure group J Street, which describes itself as “The Political Home for Pro-Israel Pro-Peace Americans.” Sachar (not Shacar) may be a sensible and eminent scholar, but this is stretching the notion of objectivity a little far, I feel. Unless your definition of ‘unbiased and objective’ is ‘agreeing with my views on the subject’.

         4 likes

      • johnnythefish says:

        Yeh, that last sentence will do nicely, thank you, as an antidote to the biased, economical-with-the-history reporting we get from Al-Beeb.

           2 likes

        • Alephnull says:

          I was just pointing out that, given the name of this website, it does not help our own cause if we describe as ‘unbiased’ scholarship by individuals known to have a particular agenda. We wouldn’t let the BBC get away with it, so we shouldn’t turn a blind eye when somebody here calls a book by a pro-Israeli lobbyist ‘impartial’.

             2 likes

      • Sue says:

        Alephnull,
        I haven’t read professor Sachar’s book, but J Street is supposed to be a ‘peace-seeking’ organisation. It’s left-leaning, so its ideology is not in any way like one of the “Israel-right-or-wrong” groups, as your comment intimates.

        Just out of curiosity, what do you think are the criteria for an unbiased author of an unbiased book on the history of Israel and the Middle East ?
        Sir Martin Gilbert? Too Jewish I suppose.
        Not being a Jew, maybe? What about Neill Lochery?
        Mitchell Bard? Too American? Robin Shepherd? Too pro Israel?
        Or to qualify as a truly impartial authority on the Middle East must the author be pro-Palestinian?

           7 likes

        • Alephnull says:

          Your last comment appears to insinuate something about my own views which is entirely unwarranted. For what it’s worth, I think an ‘unbiased’ history of the region virtually impossible. It makes no difference that both historian and lobbyists are pro-peace; he cannot possibly be described as disinterested. Imagine if the BBC described an Arab historian as ‘unbiased’; we’d be up in arms.

             1 likes

          • TrueToo says:

            Alephnull, he’s not “disinterested,” but totally steeped in his subject – i.e. in both the Israeli and Egyptian narratives and actions.

            If you really believe it’s impossible for Sachar to be unbiased, then you are simply denying the possibility of a truly objective historical evaluation of the conflict. Put differently, you are denying a true historian his professionalism.

            If this comment box didn’t keep on jumping around the place every time I type more than a few paragraphs I’d continue. Perhaps this quote from the ‘acknowledgements’ in the book might give you an idea of where he was coming from, subsequent JStreet or no JStreet:

            Space does not permit an extensive listing of the scores of Egyptians in all walks of life who generously received me in their homes and offices, and who shared with me their recollections and viewpoints.

            He then goes on to list a full page of these people and wraps it up with this:

            Here, too, I must offer my heartfelt thank to Mr. Adib Andrawes, Washington director of Egypt’s Middle East News Agency, whose insights, wise counsel, and unfailing friendship were largely responsible for my visit to Egypt and, indeed, for my decision to write this book in the first place. It was through Mr. Andrawe’s personal intercession, not least of all, that my access to Egypt’s leadership was climaxed by the opportunity for a question-and-answer session with President Anwar al-Sadat.

            Biased in favour of Israel? No, I don’t think so.

               6 likes

          • Sue says:

            So if an unbiased history of the region is virtually impossible, we’ll just have to make do with trying to filter out the bias from the historians we’ve got.
            Most available verifiable evidence supports the so-called ‘Israeli narrative’ rather than the ‘Arab narrative’, and the political legality and legitimacy of Israel can be ascertained, if one takes the time to look.
            However, overwhelming pro- Palestinian misinformation dished up by the media has influenced the masses negatively against Israel and Jews, and supporters of Israel face an insurmountable torrent of prejudice. Poor deluded Phobias illustrates my point. Nearly everything he says in his passionate denunciation of Israel is contrary to the actuality.

            If you don’t believe me, start by looking through the archives of this website for countless examples of partial and skewed reporting by the BBC, and read any of the authors I mentioned above.

               6 likes

            • Sue says:

              The above was addressed to Alephnull, not TT; this nesting system can be confusing.

                 1 likes

              • TrueToo says:

                Sue:

                “The above was addressed to Alephnull, not TT; this nesting system can be confusing.”

                Yes, it can indeed be a pain. It becomes unfathomable after a few responses to comments. I’m going to solve it from my side by just including the name of whoever I’m responding to and perhaps also a brief quote from their post.

                   1 likes

            • Alephnull says:

              A truly objective history of such a contentious subject is essentially impossible, yes. The answer is to read a wide variety of reputable scholarship and accept that sometimes such a composite picture is the closest one is going to come to ‘objectivity’. But I wasn’t questioning his even-handedness. I was trying to point out that objectivity is not possible for an individual who is a declared supporter of a particular political standpoint. If the BBC described a pro-Palestinian historian as ‘unbiased and impartial’ we’d be all over it. I’m merely observing that we should apply the same standards to ourselves. You’ve responded to my point by implying that I have an agenda of my own, which is snide and completely incorrect.

                 2 likes

              • Sue says:

                Alephnull,
                “If the BBC described a pro-Palestinian historian as ‘unbiased and impartial’ we’d be all over it.”

                IF?
                Whaddya mean, “IF?”
                What else do you think we’re banging on about?

                Okay, sometimes it doesn’t go so far as openly describing people as such, but when they clearly are, the BBC doesn’t say so. And believe me, they usually are.
                I’m talking about ‘experts’ on the Middle East now. And spokespersons from the FCO. And journalists and politicians who moonlight for the PSC. Ask Craig for a list.

                ‘Wide varieties’ is all we are asking for; and that – we. aint. getting.

                I’m not intending to be snide, and I assume, neither are you.

                   4 likes

                • Alephnull says:

                  Sue, you’re preaching to the choir, and avoiding my point while you’re at it. Since you appear unwilling or unable to acknowledge that the same standards of rigour and integrity should be applied here as are applied in our scrutiny of others, I see no point in continuing this exchange.

                     3 likes

                • Sue says:

                  Alephnull, 2:42
                  (this might appear above the comment it’s replying to – I’ll have to wait and see.)

                  Absolute objectivity is impossible, period.
                  Balance, however, is, or should be, achievable.

                  I’m all in favour of high standards of rigour and integrity, and although I object to the BBC’s biased reporting on this topic and try to defend Israel against unfair criticism, I think you’ll find that I do so with restraint, temperance and forbearance.
                  I know it’s tempting to flounce off, and perhaps you’re doing that just to annoy me. You might re-read this thread and maybe some of my previous posts before you go. In any case, l’chaim.

                     1 likes

                • Alephnull says:

                  No flouncing going on here. We’re all in favour of balance, I’m sure. But we should be zealous in guarding against double standards, if we want our complaints to come from unimpeachable moral high ground.

                     0 likes

          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            The BBC approves of J Street. Enough said.

               2 likes

        • TrueToo says:

          Sue, “Or to qualify as a truly impartial authority on the Middle East must the author be be pro-Palestinian?”

          That’s it!

             5 likes

      • TrueToo says:

        You mean after a quick Google you’ve decided he is biased?

        You should rather read the book. You should also note that he wrote it over 30 years ago, way before JStreet came into being.

           6 likes

  17. George R says:

    Given the repression and massacres in SYRIA today, is the reason the political left does not organise a boycott of Syria to do with the left’s Islamophilia?

    “25 children among 90 dead in Syrian government ‘massacre’”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9291561/25-children-among-90-dead-in-Syrian-government-massacre.html

       8 likes

    • johnnythefish says:

      In fairness, the BBC covered this as the headline item in the 7am news today. But what is more important is their on-going narrative, and you bet your life that the Palestinian ‘injustices’ will get far more coverage over time than the large scale slaughter of Muslims in the Middle East by other Muslims, or the continuing persecution and murder of Christians in the region and beyond. This is the undeniable bias of the BBC, and why this website exists.

         5 likes

    • chrisH says:

      As soon as Russia(Stalin) and China(Mao) decide that it`s OK to turn the spotlight on Syria…rest assured that the BBC will do nothing to upset Assad.
      Where socialism/Ba`athism meets Islam…like Saddam and Gadhaffi, Nasser and all the rest of these third way types…the BBC just loves that socialism bit, and will grovel around the Islam bit.
      So Syria will end up as the fault of the Worldwide Zionism…or Rupert Murdoch if that`s easier to sell.

         0 likes

  18. George R says:

    ” Identities Constructed Here ”

    http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_direct_link.cfm/blog_id/39477

       1 likes

  19. TrueToo says:

    Alephnull says:
    May 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Sue, you’re preaching to the choir, and avoiding my point while you’re at it.

    If you had a point, it would be possible to avoid it. You jumped to a confusion about the author of the book I mentioned, because you made an assumption that since he endorses JStreet, he cannot possibly be an objective chronicler of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

    Since then you have steadfastly ignored all the evidence that proves your take on the issue is incorrect, then put your nose in the air and flounced off.

    Here’s how Sachar concludes his chapter on the ramifications of the ’73 war:

    The author recalls with particular vividness the account of Major General Hassan Abu Saada, a division commander in the Second Army during the 1973 war. Having successfully crossed the Canal, Abu Saada’s troops on the morning of October 7 were attacked by three Israeli armored battalions of General Avraham Adan’s division. The Egyptian commander allowed the Israeli Centurions to penetrate, then ambushed them with Saager rockets. Seventy-three Israei tanks were destroyed in the inferno. One of the officers captured was an Israeli battalion commander, Colonel Assaf Yaguri. When Yaguri was brought to Abu Saada personally the next morning, the Egyptian offered his prisoner a cigarette and tea, reassured him that he and his men would be well treated, that the Egyptians were civilised people. Abu Saada was as good as his word. “When you are victorious, he commented later, “you can afford to be generous and noble.” And, in fact, this forbearance proved to be a critical factor in everything that followed, not least of all in Anwar al-Sadat’s subsequent diplomatic initiatives. The Egyptian people had been restored to dignity.

    And this is the writer you insist cannot be objective and must be against the Arabs simply because he approves of a left-wing, pro-Israel organisation.

    You really should read the book. It would do you good.

       0 likes

  20. Biodegradable says:

    I found this very relevant to the topic of “explaining/justifying” antisemitism:

    The PSC, Ben White & Understanding Antonio’s hatred of Shylock

    [...]
    In addition to his ‘I’m-not-a-racist-but’ equation, Ben White then listed 3 main reasons for antisemitism, blaming Jews for 2 of them. Ben White himself acknowledges that, if you start to understand why some people are racist, you begin to justify racism, and then to accept it.

    Ben White is a justifier of racism.

    [...]

    Ben is “somewhat startled” that Antonio should hate Shylock. Ben does not hate Shylock himself, but understands why Antonio does. There are, in fact, a number of reasons.

       1 likes