The BBC’s Little White Lie For Palestinians

On the heels of Turkish PM Erdogan’s remark that Zionism is a crime against humanity, the BBC felt the need to briefly explain what Zionism is.

Zionism is an ideology or movement that asserts that the Jewish people have a right to a national home or state in what was the Biblical “Land of Israel”. There is no consensus among Zionists where the borders of the state should be. For Palestinians, the success of Zionism has meant the frustration of their national aspirations and life under occupation.

Except for one thing: there was no such thing as Palestinians or their national aspirations until after the Arabs failed twice to destroy Israel. Only then was there any movement to create the concept of Palestinians and a national identity, leading to the founding of the PLO in 1964. Only after Israel occupied territory ceded by Jordan and Egypt after yet another failed war to destroy the Jews was there even a concept of Palestinian territory. Until then, Israel’s enemies saw them as Jewish usurpers in Muslim Arab land, full stop. There was no such thing as Palestinian nationalism. Rather, the identity group was encouraged as a buffer and cannon fodder for the Arabs’ continued war against the Jews. As always, the BBC rewrites history so that 1967 is Year Zero. There was no “occupation” before that, unless one feels that the entire State of Israel has been an occupying force since 1948. That’s the impression given by this BBC article, though.

For other examples of this kind of BBC revisionism, see here, here, and here.

There was no movement for a Palestinian homeland when it was part of Jordan, or under the British Mandate, or under the Ottoman Empire or anything else. It’s a modern concept, created long after the creation of Israel. Of course, by “the success of Zionism”, one assumes that the BBC journalist who wrote this means that Israel hasn’t been destroyed yet. After all, the Palestinians’ true goal is not self-governance in Gaza and the West Bank (which they already have), but the removal of the Zionist Entity entirely. Every once and a while, the BBC admits this, but for some reason fail to mention it here. Nor do they ever mention that a Palestinian State will be Judenrein. If, hypothetically, there was a sort-of contiguous Palestinian State existing side-by-side with the Jewish State, does anyone seriously believe the Palestinians and the Arabs (and Iranians) would accept that the occupation of Arab/Muslim land had ended? Of course not. The very existence of Israel is the “success of Zionism”. That’s what the Beeboid meant here. The only logical conclusion is that, so long as Israel exists, Palestinian national aspirations will remain stunted.

(UPDATE: On further reflection, I’m now wondering if perhaps by “the success of Zionism”, the Beeboid meant not merely maintaining Israel’s existence but the conquest/occupation of Arab land. That’s more Palestinian/anti-Israel propaganda, as if 1967 was all about Israeli conquest and precious little to do with the attempts to destroy it. Can someone else find a better explanation? Or is this code for the evil Settlements?)

Whatever one thinks about the right of people who now call themselves Palestinians to their own self-governed territory, or the Jews’ right for same, the BBC is spreading a false version of history. This goes beyond mere criticism of Israel and strays into demonization territory. It’s impossible to have an honest discussion of the situation when the BBC taints the scene in this way.

Please don’t anyone try to start arguing about whether or not Israel is right or wrong, or give me any BS about how I think Israel can do no wrong or any other nonsense. This is about the BBC distorting reality in way that favors one side and demonizes the other.

 

 

Mitt Romney and Lech Walesa Fail

In the open thread, I made a comment that Lech Walesa was now on the BBC’s sh!t list for having spoken positively of and essentially endorsing Mitt Romney. Since Romney is the enemy of the President, I just knew the BBC wasn’t going to look favorably upon the hero of Solidarity and Polish freedom from Soviet oppression.

No prizes for guessing if I was right.

Mitt Romney Poland Visit Stirs Solidarity

Why, what do you know: it’s a negative perspective.

The Republican candidate is due to lay a wreath on Tuesday, to mark the Nazi invasion of Poland in September 1939.

But trade union movement Solidarity has distanced itself from the visit.

Mr Romney has just travelled from Israel where comments he made about the Palestinian economy angered a senior Palestinian official.

Yep, there’s even more space spent on the Israel visit, spun negatively, so even less room (On the internet? There are no space limitations. -ed) to mention that Walesa might have kinda sorta endorsed Romney. In fact, as of this writing, only half the news brief was given over to Poland. Wasn’t there enough slamming of Romney in your other reports, BBC? (If News Sniffer or The Wayback Machine show that the story “evolved” later and they make the piece at even slightly more about the actual Poland visit, I’ll post an update.)

The only part of Walesa’s remarks the BBC will allow through the censors is this bit, which is at least positive:

“He’s very open, and brimming with values, his wife is always by his side, he’s got five kids — we’re very much alike, I really like him and am pleased we met,” Mr Walesa told reporters.

Curiously, the BBC chose that over this bit:

“I wish you to be successful, because this success is needed to the United States, of course, but to Europe and the rest of the world, too,” Walesa told Romney at the end of their meeting Monday. “Gov. Romney, get your success — be successful!”

I wonder what editorial thought process went into that choice? In the interests of balance, of course, this is immediately followed by harsh words from the BBC’s trade union friends in Poland:

But the trade union movement, which originated in Gdansk and toppled Poland’s communist regime in the late 1980s, said it had nothing to do with Mr Romney’s trip to the city.

“Regretfully, we were informed by our friends from the American headquarters of AFL-CIO (trade union in the US), which represents more than 12 million employees… that Mitt Romney supported attacks on trade unions and employees’ rights,” Solidarity said in a statement.

I guess this is the best the AFL-CIO can do these days since they pulled funding from the President’s campaign in order to focus on themselves. Anyways, Walesa is then dismissed.

Mr Walesa and Solidarity have not seen eye to eye for some years.

In other words, Walesa’s words are now to be taken with a large grain of salt, right, BBC? Negative, negative, negative. To judge by BBC reporting, in the last few days Romney has angered the entire planet and appeased only a few wealthy Jews. Can’t wait for the stop in Warsaw to see how awful things are next.

Disaster Day

On BBC News 24 yesterday, Jon Donnison reported the demonstrations in the Gaza strip and the West Bank by Palestinians celebrating Nakba day. I use the word ‘celebrate’ deliberately because Nakba day has become a celebration of victimhood rather than a commemoration of a Nakba (catastrophe) or cataclysmic disaster. Using this name brings it into line, in the world’s eye view, with a real catastrophe when half the world’s Jews were exterminated.

Naming the anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel after the Arabic word for catastrophe puts the largely self-inflicted expulsion of approximately 700,000 Arab inhabitants of the region on a par with the murder of six million Jews.

Jon Donnison’s report was more than a mere account of the demonstrations attended by ‘Thousands of Palestinians’. It was also a history lesson – consisting solely of a dumbed-down version of the ‘Palestinian narrative’, which itself is a very particular version of the creation of Israel. “The beginning of our continued hardship” he quotes Abbas saying, sorrowfully.

The role that Arab leaders played in this fright and flight exercise in 1948 by propagandising and scaremongering is ignored, as is the fact that the exeat was intended as a temporary  inconvenience while the Jews were neatly disposed of by invading Arab armies. Forgotten altogether is the little known “other Nakba”, the expulsion of approximately 800,000 Jews from the Middle East, who were absorbed into Israel.

“How Palestinian Arabs became refugees and how they have suffered at the hands of the Jews,” is a version of history that many have chosen to adopt as *the* authentic account of the creation of Israel. The term Jews has been prudently ‘euphemised’ into ‘Israelis’ as if to dissociate it from the malevolence that dare not speak its name.

Of course many suspect there is another side to this story, but, with the help of the BBC, they have chosen to adopt this one, and this one alone. Glorifying, or ‘rooting for’ the underdog bestows a quick-fix self-righteousness and a comforting sense of belonging. For the activist, the more radical, the more rewarding; the more assiduous, the more smug; the more strident, the more dangerous.

It can’t just be a simple case of unavoidable brainwashing from an overdose of incessant, biased reporting, because it’s easy to discover both sides of a story through the internet. Even if you know you’re not going to like it, the knowledge that the information is there for the asking suggests there’s an element of choice in the Israel-bashing zeitgeist surrounding the intelligentsia and the unintelligentsia, and the fact that so many choose to ignore or reject the so-called “Jewish narrative” out of hand, yet adopt the Arab one unquestioningly indicates that antisemitism resides within the default Israel-bashing epidemic.

Surely the BBC’s own biased reporting can’t be due to brainwashing either, unless they’re hopelessly incompetent, and incestuously regurgitating each other’s biased reporting. Their unique access to funds and resources means they are capable of ferreting out the whole story, so their failure to do so must be because of somebody, somewhere’s conscious decision, and their failure to fulfill their obligation to report fully and impartially must also be a matter of choice.

 

Marching Orders

Israel-supporting blogs have been cross posting an account of the manner in which Richard Millett was roughly ejected from yet another of the sinister pro-Palestinian meetings that abound in London institutions.

The organisers objected to the fact that he was filming, but as there were others doing so too, it is more likely that they simply objected to his presence. He makes it his duty to attend these functions, which are, after all, advertised as public meetings, and he is well known for asking difficult questions and ‘disrupting’ the antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric.

The relationship between this incident and the BBC is an indirect one, apart from the fact that one of the speakers who watched this incident take place from his seat on the  platform was our old friend, the BBC’s go-to Middle East talking head, Abdel Bari Atwan.

That, and the fact that the BBC’s biased reporting has fostered a default anti-Israel attitude amongst otherwise well-meaning people who mistakenly think this is a good and righteous principle.

BBC Censorship: Muslim Brotherhood and the Destruction of Israel Edition

The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for President in Egypt has launched his campaign. A leading Egyptian cleric, Safwat Higazi, gave a keynote address. I give you the following highlights (translated by Memri):

Ceremony leader : Mursi will liberate Gaza tomorrow.
Crowds : Mursi will liberate Gaza tomorrow.
Ceremony leader : I am an Egyptian and proud of it.
Crowds : I am an Egyptian and proud of it.
Ceremony leader : Mursi will liberate Gaza tomorrow.
Crowds : Mursi will liberate Gaza tomorrow.
Ceremony leader : Mursi will liberate Gaza tomorrow.
Crowds : Mursi will liberate Gaza tomorrow.
Ceremony leader : Say: “Allah Akbar.”
Crowds : Allah Akbar.
Ceremony leader : Say: “Allah Akbar.”
Crowds : Allah Akbar.
Ceremony leader : Say: “Allah Akbar.”
Allah Akbar.
Safwat Higazi : Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca, or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem, Allah willing. Our cry shall be: “Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.” Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.
Crowds : Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.
Crowds : Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.
Safwat Higazi : Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.
Crowds : Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.
Ceremony leader : Banish the sleep from the eyes of all Jews.

This is completely as expected, of course. But not if you trust the BBC for your information on such matters. So far, the BBC is spending lots of time fretting about what Netanyahu will get up to next with the new changes in his government, but not a single word about this. Two weeks ago, Beeboid Yolande Knell reported this without question in her rather gentle profile of the candidate, Mohammed Mursi, portraying him as a not-so-bad Muslim Brotherhood candidate who hoped to “win over” ultra-conservative Muslims to his more even-keeled approach:

On the sensitive subject of Israel, Mr Mursi, says that he will keep the 1979 peace treaty but will not meet Israeli officials. He has promised to prioritise the Palestinian issue.

She wisely added this little disclaimer, though that’s no excuse for taking an obvious liar at his word about the peace treaty without comment.

He has said: “Egypt’s next president can’t be like his predecessor, he can’t be a follower who executes policies put to him from outside”.

Not a word about the MB’s desire to destroy Israel in Jon Leyne’s report from the other day about some local violence hurting their election chances, either.

Commentators believe the clashes have weakened Islamist groups, bolstered the popularity of the army, and strengthened the hand of the candidates from the secular side of Egyptian politics, including those with links to the former regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Yeah, maybe. But what do “commentators” believe about how well the “Kill the Jews” platform play with the Egyptian public? If Leyne continues to hang out with mostly liberal bloggers and happy youths, don’t expect the BBC to report that honestly.

It’s irrelevant whether or not one supports Israel or hates it or thinks this blog is full of “Israel Firsters” who wrongly cry that any legitimate criticism of Israel is really anti-Semitism. The BBC should quit sanitizing this stuff, and quit hiding the truth. Reporting that the MB candidate is dedicated to the destruction of Israel isn’t something to shy away from for fear of being accused of demonizing them due to influence by the Jewish Lobby.

Ethical Woman

Rowlatt is an unusual name, so it didn’t surprise me to learn that Bee is Justin’s other half. Bee is a BBC World Service producer, so should she really be participating in the Palestinian Festival of Literature (affectionately known as PalFest) as Hadar Sela recounts here? Not that anyone could object to a lovely cultural festival of booky wooks written by the Guardian’s favourite authors, poets, and literary geniuses.

Or could they?

When does a literary fest become a hate-fest? When it’s full of Guardian writers, Pro-Palestinian activists and anti-Israel propagandists.

The PalFest website states:

‘“For the first time, PalFest will conduct activities in besieged Gaza, where Palestinians continue to resist Israel’s illegal blockade which has transformed the occupied Gaza Strip into the world’s largest prison camp. PalFest is a sign of the growing solidarity across borders in our struggle against racism and oppression. Intellectuals and writers played a key role in ending Apartheid in South Africa; likewise, Arab cultural figures are visiting Gaza this year to show solidarity with Palestinian academics and artists in support for their call to increase the global BDS campaign against apartheid Israel.”

“On behalf of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel(PACBI), we deeply appreciate the Arab writers’ principled and consistent support for the Palestinian civil struggle for justice and peace in Palestine.”

“British authors Rachel Holmes and Bee Rowlatt will lead extended creative writing workshops in Birzeit with the Palestine Writing Workshop.”

So, BBC World service producer Mrs Ethical Man is promoting the  ill-conceived, mendacious smear that multicultural Israel resembles South Africa under apartheid, and campaigning for BDS. Nice.

Mistaken Identity

Honest reporting alerted me to this Yolande Knell report. Anyone familiar with the UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk and Yolande Knell would not be not surprised to see that the shoogly peg upon which Ms. Knell hung her article was yet another of Falk’s condemnations of Israel. Falk has featured on this website more than once.

Before the article was stealth edited  the BBC got his name wrong, such was its haste to spread Falk’s word. Knell’s piece provided Robin Shepherd with ‘another of those do-I-laugh-or-do-I-cry moments’. He calls it ‘flagrant anti-Israel propaganda.’

The BBC frequently cites Falk on the Middle East, but it persistently fails to define him as the anti Israel fanatic he obviously is. Calling him Robert was a silly mistake, but why bother with the details when you’ve got some anti-Israel material to publicise?

The best ‘Rob to Rich’  joke wins.

HALF THE NEWS…

Excellent catch send my way!

Here is a BBC news story (last paragraph), reporting the “Palestinian man” who was shot dead near the Gaza security fence: Here is the same story by Israel National News:

Note that the BBC’s sanitised & sketchy version makes absolutely no mention of the fact that the “Palestinian man” who was shot also happened to be carrying a Kalachnikov assault rifle. (Maybe he was just going shopping?) This vital fact, missing from the BBC’s account, would strongly indicate that the “Palestinian man” was a terrorist, rather than some hapless Palestinian civilian who accidentally wandered too close to the fence.  This omission by the BBC (by neglect or design?) would have their readership conclude wrongly that again those evil Israelis killed another innocent Palestinian civilian…

It doesn’t end there. If you read the BBC report again, you have to get NINE PARAGRAPHS in before it is made clear that Israel that facilitated the fuel for Hamastan. Yes, I know the second para has the curious formulation “tankers of Israeli diesel” but why not just plainly state upfront that ISRAEL has sent fuel to keep the lights on in Gaza? Might that deflect from the endless narrative about those bad Jews and the poor Palestinians? Just for laughs, here’s the sort of video you will NEVER see on the BBC.

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To

That outrageous interview on Today was but a mere chapter in the Jenny Tonge saga.
She may not have anticipated that her recent ill-advised antics at the Middlesex University would make the headlines so spectacularly. That is, apart from on the BBC.

The BBC were particularly reticent about the event, waiting till her ‘resignation’ was announced before they realised they had little option but to report it. Even the Guardian was quicker off the mark. Martin Bright suspects that the report in the Guardian “not known for its Zionist views” was what finally did for “Jihad Jenny”. Of course Ed Miliband’s Tweet obviously helped:
“[There is] no place in politics for those who question [the] existence of the state of Israel. Nick Clegg must condemn Jenny Tonge’s remark and demand [an] apology.”
Motes and beams.
Despite Baroness Tonge’s record of making antisemitic speeches of varying degrees of virulence and her relentless pro Palestinian campaigning, which frequently veers into full-on conspiracy theory paranoia, Nick Clegg dragged his feet interminably before deciding to dump her from his party. Previously the Lib Dems had dealt with her by imposing a series of cautious incremental demotions.Of course the BBC itself has used Mrs Tonge before, as a roving reporter. In 2004 they sent her to Israel, or rather to Gaza, as an apologist for the suicide bomber.
The clutch of below the line comments “reflecting the balance of opinion” were gratifyingly hostile to the line she took, and I’m pleasantly surprised that the BBC let them through.
The Web Article.
The BBC is not alone in giving the impression that the Baroness ‘quit’ the party – rather than being presented with an ultimatum that forced her resignation, but I think it’s fair to say that anyone who hadn’t been following the tale through Richard Millet, Student Rights, The Commentator, Guido Fawkes, etc., might glean from the BBC’s report that she was made a martyr. Martyred for the cause, scuppered below the line by the all powerful Jewish Lobby.
The strap-line implies that she had been unfairly punished for making a relatively trivial observation, which stated the obvious:

“A Liberal Democrat peer has resigned from the party after saying Israel “is not going to be there forever”

Many people have taken this line and defended her on various blogs, remarking that she was ‘only saying what’s true.’ I imagine John Humphrys would identify with this notion.
She herself complains that her comments were taken ‘out of context’, but clearly anyone who viewed the video in which she played a prominent role in what she disingenuously calls the “ill-tempered meeting” would realise that taking her comments ‘out of context’ as the BBC does here, effectively does her a huge favour. It’s viewing them in context that damns her out of hand and justifies the Lib Dems’ ultimatum and her dismissal.
The sub-heading “Proud Record” stands out. An odd choice, because it alludes, not to Jenny’s personal record, as any casual reader might assume, but to the Lib Dems’ proud record of campaigning for the rights of the Palestinians.
She was given a considerable amount of space to defend herself in the article, which included a generous number of direct quotes, although her accusation that the Zionist campaigners mouthed obscenities at her, and her complaint that:
“the leadership of my party” (ex party) did not consult me….
“…………...seems always to abet the request of the pro-Israel lobby” looked like desperate straw clutching.
The Today Interview.
Throughout the interview John Humphrys was clearly sympathetic to Baroness Tonge. He spoke to her warmly, and sounded ‘sorry for her troubles’. He allowed her to speak virtually uninterrupted, whereas while Robert Halfon was speaking Humphrys continually interjected with helpful counter-arguments on Jenny‘s behalf. “She’s saying what she believes”
He addressed Mr. Halfon with amused cynicism. Robert Halfon seemed sadly unprepared. He kept calling her Mrs Tongue, and over-used the word ‘delegitimise’ which has become meaningless. Through over-use.

Baroness Tonge spoke with the confidence of someone who knew she was among friends, sure that what she was saying would be welcome.
“Oh, come on Robert,” she laughs beguilingly at one stage, like a person who knows the world is on her side.

“Israel is making enemies all over the Middle East” she states. She knows she can get away with insinuating that Israel has deliberately made enemies of Turkey or Egypt. She can make wildly inaccurate comments with impunity under John Humphrys’s compassionate chairmanship. She knows quite well that with the aid of – or in her words ‘abetted’ by the BBC, many listeners languish in ‘psychologically embedded’ denial of the irrational Jew-hate that Islam drums into its followers. The BBC prefers to pretend that the Islamic world – Turks, Syrians, Iranians, those liberated Egyptians and Libyans, Muslims from Arab and North African Islamic states are ‘just like us’, only perhaps, being more devout, they’re all the more motivated by benevolence and goodwill.

Although I doubt that John Humphrys has watched the video of that “Ill-tempered meeting” he was evidently aware that Jenny Tonge had been sitting next to Ken O’Keefe the dangerously unhinged antisemite who the pro Palestinian fraternity have been busy distancing themselves from recently. Oh how the BBC fawned over him not so long ago, when they hailed him as a hero after the Mavi Marmara debacle.

John Humphrys wanted to hear why Jenny Tonge hadn’t challenged crazy Ken, but failed himself to challenge her likely story: “I didn’t know I was sharing a platform (with him)”. He asked if she had applauded him, knowing full well that she had indeed, and that it was captured on the film. She got away with a blustering justification “Probably at the end of his speech I did, y’know, at the end everyone gives a little clap.”

But the most outrageous thing was that she got away with her appalling little history lesson:
“Israel was a good concept at the beginning. I wish they’d left the Palestinians where they were. Jews were in a minority when the state of israel was founded. there were very few of them there.
If they’d gone in and said okay we’re going to help you, we’re going to build up this state and we’re gonna include Palestinians from the very beginning – If they’d done that instead of persecuted(sic) them and now trying to take the whole area for themselves it would have been a very different story.”

Pointing out that this is all wrong is not an attempt to enter the debate about the history of Israel. What I am saying is that anyone who knows the first thing about the birth of Israel (and if they don’t they shouldn’t really be opining) knows that there are conflicting ‘narratives’.

The Arabs allege that they were physically displaced in 1948 to compensate European Jews for the holocaust. The Jews say that when Israel was born they begged the Arabs to stay. It’s easy to find out what each side has to say on the matter. All you have to do is read a bit from both sides to gather that there are different versions of the story, and it’s up to you to decide which version, or which parts of which version, you believe. Which story seems more credible? Which bits are evidenced? Who do you trust?

“WE APPEAL - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.
WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.
We all know that the surrounding Arabs merely responded by launching their war of intended annihilation against Israel.” (H/T Bio)

The BBC has been methodically portraying the Jews as greedy, untrustworthy, and recently, completely batty. They’ve reported Israel in a systematically negative manner and have continually portrayed the victim as the aggressor / aggressor as victim. At the same time they’ve been doggedly whitewashing Islam, and the more crazed the Islamists appear, the more the BBC whitewashes them. So the chances are that the majority of viewers will identify with Arabs and be suspicious of Jews. They’ll follow Jenny Tonge’s propagandistic defamation-by-short-cut, referring, knowingly, to “What Israel is doing” or “How Israel is treating the Palestinians.” Having established that Israel is a brutal, heartless, racist, supremacist, expansionist pariah state, they are confident that there’s no need to explain what’s already understood. Their obsession with the notion that Israel is oppressing the Palestinians is so ingrained that any mention of any measure Israel might take in self defence is reflexively treated with derision.

Some of this might stem from antisemitism of the type with which the foreign office is tinged, or the traditionally ‘Arabist’ proclivities of those who view Johnny Arab with a mixture of awe and amusement. The Queen has never, for example, visited Israel. In the political left this uneasy feeling about Jews is coupled with a misguided empathy towards Muslims whose intolerance towards everything, including themselves, they view with an illogical disregard. The need to be thought of as liberal and tolerant could explain the BBC’s policy of treating all Muslims, bar the bogeymen Al Qaeda, with exaggerated sensitivity, and re-branding them as ‘the new Jews’. This has taken political correctness to stratospheric heights, where almost any less than reverential reference to Islam is deemed offensive.

They needn’t worry about Jenny Tonge though. She will still be keeping herself busy.

POUNCED!

This from Pounce two days ago in the OT. It received 29 ‘likes’. You’ll see why.

“At the end I link to pieces from the Telegraph, Independent, the Jerusalem Post and Wiki. You decide if there are grounds for BBC Online being investigated by the anti-terrorist squad for promoting terrorist propaganda. To me, there is a clear and intentional ‘import’ to the way BBC Online decided to cover the story:-

Pounce OT 2 days ago, 21:15:42 (amended version)

How the BBC rewrites the facts in which to justify Islamic terrorism.
Jet bomb plotter Nezar Hindawi loses parole bid

A terrorist jailed for 45 years for plotting to blow up an Israeli airliner has lost a legal battle to secure his release, the BBC understands The Parole Board rejected Jordanian Nezar Hindawi’s bid for early release, despite previously recommending it. Hindawi, 57, planted a bomb in his unwitting pregnant fiancee’s hand luggage on a flight from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv in 1986. The device could have killed 375 people had security staff not found it….. Hindawi was jailed for hiding Semtex explosive in the luggage of his pregnant fiancée, Irishwoman Anne-Marie Murphy, then 32, without her knowledge. He was from a wealthy Palestinian family whose village was burned in the Israeli-Arab war of 1967, when he was 12. After his family became refugees in Jordan, he joined the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), became a writer and travelled to London. (Where else? DV) 

So the BBC reports on how a Palestinian was jailed for hiding semtex inside his fiancee’s hand luggage and did so because his village had been burnt down during Israeli-Arab war in 1967. Really?

Here is what the BBC doesn’t tell you in their the Jews can only be evil article:

Nizar Nawwaf al-Mansur al-Hindawi (his first name is also spelled Nezar) is a Jordanian of Palestinian origins. Born in 1954 in Baqura, a village near the east side of the Jordan River, he worked as a journalist in Amman. Although he is from a prominent establishment family (two uncles had held cabinet posts), Nizar’s extreme anti-Hashemite views and his founding membership in a shadowy organization, the Jordanian Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation, got him in trouble at home.

Hang on, the BBC tell me he is a Palestinian whose village got burnt down in 1967. Yet and a big yet, they fail to point out he was born in Jordan in a Jordan village (Now part of the city of Irbid) and that he left Jordan after he took up Islamic terrorism as a hobby. He fled his home country and set up shop in..London where he was recruited by Syrian Intelligence, which is why after he planned the bomb he went and hid in their embassy and which is why the Brits closed down the Syrian embassy and broke diplomatic relations with Syria after the very sophisticated bomb was found to have been constructed inside the Syrian embassy. (It had passed 2 X-rays and was only found during a hand search when El Al security became suspicious of the weight of the calculator. (3Ibs of plastic explosive inside a pocket calculator)

Yet the BBC cannot allow the public to know the full story, instead they weave a sob story about how this poor man’s village was burnt down during the Six Day War and this was his attempt at revenge. Nothing about how his victim when she found out she was pregnant was told to abort, then when his Syrian handlers found out , they got him to use her as a patsy in which to carry a bomb aboard an Israeli aircraft which according to the BBC could have killed 375 people. No, you Islamist shills, it would have murdered 375 innocent people. But hey what’s the truth to the propaganda arm of Islamic terrorism.

Wake up Calls

Last night’s BBC World Service broadcast two notable items for insomniacs. From Our Own Correspondent aired an old episode, first heard in 2007, by Martin Bell.
As a BBC correspondent Martin Bell had been “trained to be objective”, but later wondered whether such a thing could really be achieved.
TV news is the most powerful medium that has yet been devised, he said. Politicians and generals take account of it and adapt their policies accordingly. He spoke about impartiality, and warned against ‘false equivalency,’ and after giving what seemed to me a very shaky example concerning Hitler, (he persecuted the Jews, but he rescued the economy) he concluded that reporters should be aware of the moral ground and not stand equally between good and evil. But all the time questions were begged, and answers were not forthcoming. I’d like to have heard his view on another item that disturbed my slumbers. An episode of Hard Talk featuring Michael Morpurgo. I’ve heard most of the content before. He dragged out the incident during his infamous visit to Gaza, where he saw a sight that convinced him that the IDF deliberately target children. He wouldn’t hear any of the multifaceted explanations that might have shed new light on what he saw then, and he obviously hasn’t changed his mind now. Stephen Sackur even had a go, and accused him, gently, of naivety. I see from my earlier article I noted that Paxo also ‘had a go’ at him on Newsnight.
“Children were innocently picking up rubble. They weren’t shooting at anyone, they weren’t throwing stones, yes there was an exclusion zone, but a young man was shot in the leg, and that means the Israelis deliberately target children.”
He felt very very strongly about it, so like a good schoolteacher, he felt it was his privilege, nay, his duty as a famous storyteller, to side with the Palestinians against the Israelis.
I can’t say I warm to indignant smugness, especially when it’s wrong-headed and comes from a sentimental school-teacherish bloke who dresses only in clashing shades of red.

Leadership Debate

Two of the Today guest editors bucked a familiar BBC trend. Two in a row. Yesterday Tracey Emin courageously admitted that she Voted Tory, (gasp) and our Thursday, Jewish guest editor chose to explore leadership with special reference to the Middle East, whereupon Sarah Montague, the BBC’s premier advocate of the “talk to Hamas strategy’ was dispatched to interview Tony Blair. Tony Blair may not be everyone’s favourite person, but having settled into his post as Middle East Peace Envoy it started to look, to some people, as if he was gradually discovering what was going on.

One wonders whether he felt, like Tracey Emin, that it was difficult to bare his soul openly to the Today audience without obsequiously justifying himself, because some of his answers seemed designed to pre-emptively appease a cynical reception. For example:

“There will always be incidents that go, …it might be acts of terrorism…. it might be raids that go wrong. There will always be reasons why people retreat to their comfort zone and say “I’m not dealing with these people”

Which sounded as though he too was contemplating the inevitability of the Talk to Hamas strategy. Then again, on Israel’s security problem. Because, thanks in no small measure to the BBC, the separation wall has acquired notoriety as a disingenuous excuse for land grab, rather than what it really is, a lifesaving protective barrier against terrorism.

“Look. The Israelis worry hugely about their security.
And their security worry is a genuine worry.
They haven’t just made it up.
They have their genuine security problem.”

Please believe me, he almost pleaded. I do protest! Then he continued with a bizarre and startling example of moral equivalence.

“As a result of that they go into the Palestinian areas. As a result of that many Palestinians feel the weight of the occupation upon them. That makes them more angry; they therefore want to retaliate.
The Palestinians have a genuine worry. particularly with things like settler violence starts [sic] on the increase, they think ‘will these guys ever get out and let us run our state.”

Who is ‘retaliating’ and who is ‘instigating’ here? Let’s leave that aside though, and ask, is Tony Blair really equating ‘settler violence’ with suicide bombings, murderous assaults and rocket attacks on civilians? By jove, it seems he really is.
Sarah moved the discussion on.

“Let’s move on the western leadership because that’s the other big player. I wonder to what extent western leadership has made things more difficult. We encouraged the Palestinian elections. The EU funded them. But when there was an outcome that we didn’t like, which was Hamas being elected, we withdrew aid, and we ignored the result. And I wonder when you look back at what has happened in the past year across the Middle East, and you wonder whether that was a mistake?”

Having avoided looking at the Israeli or the Palestinian leaderships, what was on Sarah’s mind was the Arab Spring. But Tony Blair wasn’t quite finished. He was referring in some way to the IRA, and apparently warming to the idea of talking to Hamas.

“I think historically the difficulty of the west has always been, and you know, we faced the same difficulties with the IRA, the circumstances where people are not foreswearing the use of terrorism to advance their political objectives, can you interact with them or not? I actually think there is an opportunity now, with what is happening across the region, because after all, frankly we will be dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas are associated with them all over the region. Now, I think if Hamas were prepared to at least say ‘look, so far as we’re concerned we’ll pursue our political objectives, but by non violent means, I think that would give you a far greater opportunity of creating circumstances in which you get all of the Palestinian parties in some sort of dialogue.”

Good luck with that. Good luck with Hamas pursuing its political objectives by non violent means. Perhaps a polite notice of eviction will do the trick. Dear Israel, kindly vacate the premises, Yours sincerely, Ismail Hanyieh. Or perhaps not.

Sarah persists.

“We’ve slightly been forced into this because as you say the Muslim Brotherhood now is actually looking like the more moderate of those
Islamist groups rising in Egypt, But back in parliamentary elections as far back as 2005 they did well, and yet we were still supporting and promoting Hosni Mubarak. I wonder whether we have been guilty of thinking that our self interest lies in supporting stability, and making sure that we’ve got intelligence on terrorism and we’ve prioritised that over promoting democracy, over our own values.”

Here the BBC’s real attitude is laid bare. We are, apparently, guilty of supporting despots and tyrants and ignoring peoples’ human right to democracy, and all for a selfish little bit of peace, stability and a tip off or two about potential acts of terrorism. It ignores the nature of Islam, and has done all along. It projects our concept of democracy onto people who haven’t been pressed to be explicit or specific about their aims and aspirations. Sarah criticises our desire for stability as though it was misguided. But isn’t that what the very people who are voting for the Muslim Brotherhood want for themselves, over and above many other things? Could that be part of the reason why they like the Muslim Brotherhood and why they voted for Hamas? Do they prefer order and certainty over chaos and uncertainty. They opt for the certainty of the Islamic conservatism with which they are familiar, over what they see as the decadent and directionless west. But nobody asks these questions.

Tony Blair is unable to say what he might really wish to. What I hope he really wishes to. He is constrained by political correctness and reluctance to risk alienating the audience, or perhaps because he really doesn’t know what he’s been dealing with all along, throughout his Peace Envoyship. He waffles, insinuates and emotes, but he doesn’t and can’t come out with an outright condemnation of Islamism or an explanation as to why our own concept of democracy might differ from that of the Egyptians, the Tunisians, the Libyans, the Syrians and the Palestinians.
And as for Sarah and the BBC, they still refuse to see what is in front of their noses.

I Didn’t Wanna Do It


You made me write this
I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to do it
You made me do this
and all the time you knew it
I guess you always knew it.

I know. I’m no Judy Garland. But I really wish I didn’t have to bother addressing the ridiculously biased reporting of yet another publicity stunt by Palestinian activists.
‘Freedom Riders’
Look at that photo! What do they look like? Not Rosa Parks, that’s for sure.
The BBC ‘s report ends thus: “There are around 500,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Settlements are illegal under international law although Israel disputes this.”
Every BBC article has one of these. Israel disputes this because it’s not true. The allegation of illegality is ‘without foundation’. But we’ve become accustomed to seeing it. Should anyone fail to reach the intended conclusion after wading through the article, it’s hammered home at the end.

I was impressed by a speech that was delivered at the conference “The Perils of Global Intolerance: The UN and Durban lll” by Shelby Steele. It’s called ‘The Narrative of Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood’
He does compare the victimhood status of the Palestinians with that of the civil rights movement, but concludes that perpetual victimhood and an obsession with the blame game merely displaces facing a harsh reality, namely acknowledging and coming to terms with ones own shortcomings.

“you are humiliated and you say,”Well you know the real truth is I am not free. Racism still exists. Zionism is my problem. The State of Israel is my problem. That is why I am so far behind and that is why I cannot get ahead.”

His main point concerns what he calls ‘poetic truths’. That is, the Palestinian narrative that has caught the imagination of the media and the ‘liberal left’. No amount of facts can dislodge poetic truths. Once poetic truths have taken hold, real truths count for nothing.

“Poetic truths like that are marvelous because no facts and no reason can ever penetrate. Supporters of Israel are up against a poetic truth. We keep hitting it with all the facts. We keep hitting it with obvious logic and reason. And we are so obvious and conspicuously right that we assume it is going to have an impact and it never does.”

The tone and content of the BBC report is a typical example of the romanticised narrative that is the basis of the BBC’s poetic truth. For the facts, read the JPost report. From the Israeli perspective, certainly. But all the better for that.
So 50 reporters and photographers were there, chasing the poetic truth. The BBC must know that flocks of cameramen regularly hang around Palestinian stone throwers and activists hoping to catch some poetry in motion. If there’s no action they’ve even been known to set some up. But the BBC doesn’t quite tell us that. “The West Bank Freedom Riders punched above their weight, drawing a lot of publicity for what was a relatively small event,” says Jon Donnison, “and I’m helping by spreading the word,” he implied, though no doubt he disputes this.

“Palestinians from the West Bank are not allowed to cross into Jerusalem without Israeli permission.” says the BBC, simplifying the truth so that the restrictions appear discriminatory and unreasonable, adding:
“Israel says such restrictions are for security reasons”
The ‘Freedom Riders’ demand unrestricted freedom of movement. They can surely have it when Israelis have the freedom from fear of being blown up on a bus.
The BBC quotes the freedom activists, so why not also include some Israeli quotes, for balance? I suppose certain people would consider that too “pro Israel”.

JPost:

“It is Israelis who have issues with transportation because of fear of terror attacks,” an Israeli passenger said. “These are buses that are protected against stones and bullets in case of Palestinian violence.”
“It’s not racism, it is security,” she said.
“When I can walk freely in Ramallah with my children, they can ride on my bus.”

“Another passenger, Haggai Segal, who wore a skullcap, said he had asked the Palestinian activists, “‘Can I go on a bus in Ramallah as a Jew?’ They answered: ‘I could not.’” He shook his head at the comparison to the civil rights movement.“This is not a Martin Luther King bus”.

What’s wrong with mentioning these points? I know my words will have no impact on your poetic truth BBC, but if YOU, purporting to be an impartial news organ, make a start by allowing the real truth to reach the public, it might filter through. But in the meantime I have to keep doing what you’re making me do.

You make me angry sometimes, you make me sad
But there are times, Beeb, you make me feel so bad.
You made me sigh for, I didn’t want to tell you
I didn’t want to tell you
I need some news that’s true, yes I do, deed I do, you know I do

Give me, give me, give me what I cry for
You know you ought to tell the public what you lie for
You know you made me loathe you.

Doobedo.

What’s in a Name

When Melanie Phillips details a specific instance of biased BBC reporting, there’s nothing more to add than to direct B-BBC readers straight there, and to the follow-up piece.

Denis MacEoin is well-known for writing letters defending Israel against defamation, and his letter to the BBC and the reply he received from Tarik Kafala the BBC’s online editor are just worth an extra mention here.
Dr. MacEoin wrote to the BBC to express his alarm and disgust that a ‘Viewpoint’ contribution on the BBC Website gives a platform to someone who regards returning Palestinian ex- prisoners as heroes. Heroes solely because they murdered Israeli civilians. He feels, as many of us do, that this implies tacit approval on the part of the BBC.

Mr Kafala, who “was appointed as Middle East editor of BBC News Online in order to add extra authority to our website” (extra authority to……. Jeremy Bowen?) has form when it comes to answering complaints about the BBC’s coverage of matters M.E, notably relating to Israel. From here, circa 2005

“I emailed the BBC to complain about this outrageous misrepresentation of Judaism. I eventually got an extraordinary reply back, from which this is the key extract, from a Mr Tarik Kafala, the editor of the BBC News website on which I had originally picked up Tim’s report.”

This time Mr. Kafala justifies his editorial decision to publish these quotations because he believes another ‘Viewpoint’ article provides that vital balance. But the article is by someone who disapproves of the prisoner exchange altogether. So on the one hand we have an anti Israel ‘viewpoint’, and on the other hand, or should that be on the same hand, another anti Israel ‘viewpoint’.

I can only assume Mr Kafala thinks balance was achieved because one ‘viewpointee’ was a Palestinian, and the other was an Israeli.

“These two articles were intended to allow and[sic] Israeli and a Palestinian to explain in detail their views and feelings about the prisoner releases. Each article is highly opinionated, personal and partisan. They are both clearly labelled as ‘viewpoints’ ”

But what about the context? Presumably the website is intended to educate and inform people. Who, apart from Israel-bashers, would want to read “how many Palestinians feel about the issue of prisoners in Israeli jails and about the acts of violence carried out by them against Israelis in Israel and the occupied territories.” even though “Such views are widely held by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,” without reading, in the same article, or by a link, why they were imprisoned or how they were treated in prison, or to consider these things in comparison to Shalit’s ordeal?
Does the absence of context imply tacit approval? And why is it “important to represent them as a means of explaining the importance of the events we are reporting on the news.” without representing the views of someone who understands the situation from all perspectives, or who is sympathetic towards the dilemma Israel faces when dealing with fanatical Islamists such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad?
As for finding out about “the acts of violence carried out by them against Israelis in Israel and the occupied territories.” I see little or no evidence of that in this web article. The opposite is more the case.
An article by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes represents the Israeli perspective in the BBC’s inimicable fashion. He says:

“However, in the case of Gilad Shalit, it has always been clear that he was alive. His Hamas captors had taken him for the very reason of doing a prisoner swap.
Hamas also knew very well just how much Israel would eventually be willing to pay to get him back.
And that is why, despite the price Israel has now paid, 80% of Israelis are solidly behind this deal.”

Firstly, no, it has not always been clear that he was alive. Hamas’s reasons for kidnapping him were no assurances of that whatsoever. The last prisoner swap hostages were returned in coffins.

Shalit was kept in isolation, with no humanitarian aid at all. And if, as Wingfield-Hayes says, 80% of Israelis really were behind this deal, why didn’t we get a page of their “viewpoints” as well? As “a means of explaining the importance of events we are reporting on the news”, as Tarik Kafala is so keen to justify publishing his ‘heroes’ article.

I don’t want to leap to the conclusion that someone with a name like Tarik Kafala would automatically be prejudiced against Israel. That would make me the same as Richard “I have developed a habit, when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it” Ingrams. We mustn’t be hasty. But in my cursory research (Google of course) I couldn’t find anything to justify the BBC’s statement that appointing him as their Middle east editor of BBC news online would bring extra authority to their website. What was his expertise?
It appears that by labelling something ‘viewpoint’ one can get away with publicising any views whatsoever. Any views other than criticising Islam I daresay.