Spinning For Syria

Typical BBC spinning history to make Israel look like the villain in this Q&A article about the recent Israeli airstrike on Hezbollah weapons and a related facility in Syria. The only real background context to the conflict you get is this:

Syria and Israel have been technically in a state of war since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The main grievance is over Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights in 1967. Syria has been demanding the area back as part of any peace deal. But the border area has been quiet and Damascus has never retaliated to Israeli attacks.

Let’s just break this propaganda down line by line.

Syria and Israel have been technically in a state of war since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

Well, that’s “accurate”, anyway. Any reason why Syria would be at war with Israel since then, BBC?

The main grievance is over Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights in 1967.

Oh. So let’s just forget about why Syria would be at war with Israel since 1948. As always, the BBC rewrites history so that 1967 is Year Zero. And Israel now becomes the villain of the piece over its “occupation”. Why is Israel there, BBC? Why did it happen, BBC? Without this important bit of background info, Israel is made to look like the aggressor. It’s a main grievance now, sure. But it’s “a” main grievance, not “the” main grievance, which is key. I’m pretty sure an astute News Online editor carefully chose the indefinite article there, which is nice. But it doesn’t make up for the lack of context.

Syria has been demanding the area back as part of any peace deal.

Has it now? That’s nice, but pretty pointless in the face of Syria’s real goal of eliminating Israel, which has been censored here. Since you aren’t told why Israel is “occupying” the Golan, this line lends support to making Israel appear as the villain, full stop. Oh, if only those vile Jews would hand back land they stole, all would be well, eh? That sounds familiar, somehow. Yes, the article itself makes no bones about Syria arming Hezbollah, but at no point are we told why or given any other context in which to view this. Of course, even that bit of honesty is watered down a bit by it all being qualified as “Israel believes”, etc. No other authority we can appeal to has an opinion, BBC? I guess we can’t go to the US for confirmation because, as Katty Kay told us, they’re under pressure from the Jewish Lobby.

But the border area has been quiet and Damascus has never retaliated to Israeli attacks.

Other than arming Hezbollah in a couple of different wars against Israel – and obviously continuing to arm them now – and trying to control Lebanon and doing everything it possibly can to aid violence against Israel, yeah, Syria has never retaliated. Sure, the Syrian military has never officially done anything overtly, but please, let’s not pretend that Syria is always doing the good Christian thing of turning the other cheek. Even something as simple as “Damascus has never officially retaliated” would have helped immensely. Plus, anyone already sympathetic to Syria – or just already anti-Israel – will read the bits about Syria being unable to deal with Israel directly due to their own internal problems will see only Israeli aggression, adding fuel to what any observer of comments on BBC output will know is an already raging fire of anti-Jewish sentiment in their readers.

We’re also told further down that Hezbollah and Israel both expect another war between them, only adding to the long-term BBC Narrative that Hezbollah is a legitimate defense force against Israeli aggression. The takeaway impression is that Israel is the villain, full stop. This goes beyond criticizing Israel and strays into demonization.

 

 

BBC to Twitter: Ban the IDF and Hamas

From Breitbart:

The BBC took to Twitter to let the world know that it thinks that there is no difference between terrorists and victims.
If you are unaware of what is going on in Israel lately, Hamas and the Palestinians have been launching rockets into the Jewish State killing women and children in a renewed and sustained attack. Today, the Israeli government and her Defense Force (IDF) have at last had enough. The IDF even took to Twitter to warn the Palestinians that retaliation is immanent.

The BBC’s tweet:


In other words, the BBC is so obsessed with seeing Israel as a warmongering rogue State, they cannot distinguish between the purpose of the IDF’s tweets and those of Hamas. And they’re trying influence Twitter in the process. Yes, the IDF tweets real-time updates of their war efforts to inform the population and news outlets, but also warns people to get out of harm’s way. Because Israel is the superior force and is tweeting results and warnings to Hamas leaders, and all Hamas can do is reply with threats, the BBC naturally sees only David vs Goliath. But the BBC is not supposed to try to influence other media outlets are they? Is this a violation of their Charter?

Your license fee hard at work.

BBC Censorship: DNC Taken Over By The Israel Lobby Edition – UPDATED

(SEE UPDATE BELOW) With all that website space taken up with Mark Mardell’s encomium to Bill Clinton, a dishonest attack piece on Govs. Jindal and Haley, and Kate Dailey’s furrowed-brow musings over Elizabeth Warren’s mewling about horrors of “income inequality” (making sure not to mention Warren’s fake Cherokee ancestor controversy), the BBC News Online editors had no more room to report that the convention bosses had to force an acknowledgment of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital back into the Party platform. That must be the reason why the BBC seems to have censored the controversy from all news outlets.

Along with putting back the term “God-given” talent, it took three votes from the delegates to get the language restored to the platform. Party bosses who were not under the thumb of the Israel Lobby had removed the acknowledgment of Jerusalem, and what must be either public, media, or Israel Lobby pressure made them want to put it back. All censored by the BBC.

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UPDATE: The BBC has now posted an article on it. Jonathan Marcus must have been filing this while I was writing my post.

Democrats’ headache over Jerusalem status

How to describe the city of Jerusalem has caused controversy at this week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, with confusing scenes on the convention floor as a vote was held on the issue. BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus explains why.

“Confusing scenes”, eh? Well, that’s “accurate”, alright. Some people were confused by what happened. But that’s all the BBC will allow you to know. They decided to keep censoring what actually happened: the majority of the crowd voted No, but the Party bosses decided to go ahead anyway. This is what democracy looks like?

Marcus reports claims that the President Himself personally intervened to get Jerusalem put back in. He also admits at last that the President said when running for election in 2008 that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. But then we get doublethink: the President’s personal position is not the same as the US Government’s position. Can He be in two places at once as well?

Who decides the Government’s position on issues, then? Hillary? She’s already said Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, so it’s not her. So who? Valerie Jarrett? Michelle Obama? Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? The family dog? Marcus doesn’t explain.

No mention whatsoever, though, that this controversy has been ongoing for months. It’s just a political football, Romney was going to use it as an attack angle, etc.

Having said that, I’m very glad to see the BBC busting the dual loyalty myth about Jews. I applaud them for being brave enough to say that, because I expect they’ll get swamped with complaints about them being controlled by the Zionist Entity. They get complaints from both sides, you know.

********************

As anyone can see from the video, at least half the delegates didn’t want this to happen. There’s no way to know if most of the objection was about the “God-given” bit or about Jerusalem, but only one of the issues has been an ongoing controversy. And there’s no way the BBC doesn’t know about this.

Useful Jew and Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the press that this was done “to maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the President and in the Democratic Party platform in 2008″.  In other words, there have been enough complaints about the fact that the White House position says the fate of Jerusalem should be left up to the Palestinians and Israelis to fight it out (I paraphrase slightly, of course) which directly contradicts what Candidate Obamessiah said in 2008. White House mouthpiece (and personal friend of Katty Kay) refused to say what the Adminstration’s official position was when pressed on it. Worse, The Obamessiah Administration decided last year to remove “Jerusalem, Israel” from passports of US citizens born in Israel, because that defines the city as the capital. The White House also redacted all references to Jerusalem from photos of a Biden trip there, replacing it with “Israel”. So they had to force it back in there.

CNN’s video, with the text in question visible on the big screen, can be seen here.

So the Israel Lobby got to the Dems, and the BBC is silent. I’m not surprised, really, because reporting this now means they would have to admit there has been a controversy at all about the President and Jerusalem’s status. They’ve been censoring news of that all along, so can’t really start talking about it now. Too messy, and it makes Him look bad.

I find this silence interesting. In May of this year, HardTalk brought in anti-Israel activist Norman Finklestein to declare that most United Statesians were fed up with Presidents being controlled by the Israel Lobby. In October 2009, the BBC discovered a Jewish Lobbying group of which they can approve: J-Street, whose goal is to fight against the influence of the pro-Israel Lobby. This was actually the second time the BBC discovered this “new” group. They made a similar report in April 2008. Sometimes, the BBC does approve of Jews trying to influence US foreign policy. In 2007, the BBC reported on the controversy over a book about how bad the Jewish Lobby is. The article opened with this:

The power of America’s “Jewish lobby” is said to be legendary.

So why the silence now, when this has been in the mainstream news? Because it makes the President look bad, and makes the Democrats look anti-Israel. I’m not sure why the BBC cares about the latter, but they definitely care about the former. So you’re not informed about real controversy and are instead treated to manufactured ones about “income inequality” and fake Christians.

Your license fee hard at work, supporting the leader of a foreign country.

 

SHOCKER: Mark Mardell Spins Romney, Then Plays An Obamessiah Campaign Video

This is why I call Mardell the BBC’s US President editor instead of his official title, BBC North America editor. Mardell’s report about Romney’s trip to Israel leaves out the most important thing he said, and the second half of it is devoted to defending the President on the domestic economy issue.

Mitt Romney: US will stand with Israel

In the accompanying blurb, the BBC mentions that Romney said that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Yet Mardell strangely left that out. Why? He instead says that Romney’s show of support for Israel and strong stance against Iran is less about appeasing US Jews and more about portraying him as being stronger on foreign policy than the President. This is actually correct, and I’m left wondering why Mardell strayed off the BBC reservation here. He’s previously fretted over the Jewish Lobby, so it’s interesting that he doesn’t see them as the main factor here.

First, though, let me whine for a moment about Mardell’s offensive use of the term “Wailing Wall”. While I don’t expect him or any Beeboid to use the Hebrew, ha Kotel (literally, “the Wall”), as showing that much respect is reserved for Muslim holy sites, I do expect him to use the correct English term, “Western Wall”. The “Wailing Wall” is an outmoded stereotype, which comes from non-Jews observing the orthodox Jews’ style of praying. To the uninformed, it was said to sound like wailing. Plus, there’s the historical emotional connotation of this being the only part left standing of the Holy Temple, the only actual holy site in all of Judaism. This is also the only part of the Temple Mount at which Jews are allowed to pray, or even wear religious garb. Mardell should show more respect, and the BBC ought to educate it’s staff better, the way they do for Muslim issues. To many Jews today, the term “Wailing Wall” is offensive. The New York Times (admittedly with more concern for its Jewish audience than the BBC ever could have) uses the term “Western Wall”, and Mardell has no problem taking a page from their playbook when he refers to Bibi Netanyahu as Romeny’s “old friend”, so one would have thought he’d at least get that right as well. But no, he uses an outmoded stereotype temr instead. Whine ends.

It’s especially curious because he fails to mention Romney’s statement about Jerusalem, which is meant to speak to Jews everywhere, and specifically US Jews who are worried about the President’s increasing betrayal of our ally on this issue. Did I say “betrayal”? Yes I did. Has the BBC reported this? Of course not.

We all know by know that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not approved by the BBC’s editorial policy. Several people here have shown how they refuse to show it on, for example, the Olympics page for Israel. Yes, everyone knows it’s “controversial” because the Palestinians don’t accept it, and that the Muslim World hates it and wants Jerusalem to be Judenrein, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Knesset is in Jerusalem and it’s the functioning capital of the country. Outside factors do not decide the capital for any country. The BBC, of course, bows to the Muslim position here, and decides not to acknowledge Israel’s sovereignty on the matter.

Fortunately, the BBC has reported elsewhere that Romney said that about Jerusalem, and used the dodge of reporting other press reports about it as a means of showing how awful it was without having to make any messy editorial decisions themselves. Yes, the Muslim press is all about anger at appeasing the Jewish Lobby. So why does Mardell omit what many see as the most important statement Romney made? Could it be because he knows this will highlight the President’s increasing betrayal of a US ally on this issue?

I say betrayal because that’s exactly what it is. In 2008, when running for President, Candidate Obamessiah said Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Now, He’s been distancing Himself increasingly from that position. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that His press secretary (personal friend of BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News Ameirca, Katty Kay, and husband of her friend and business partner) refused to answer reporters questions about it. Watch the video below:

Yes, you saw that bit at the end right: the President now says that Jerusalem is up for grabs, going back on His word. No wonder the BBC’s US President editor didn’t want to admit what Romney said. If any defenders of the indefensible want to say that doesn’t matter because it’s in the blurb or on that other website page featuring Muslim anger about it, remember that most people will see only Mardell’s video report and not the website text, and so most will remain blissfully unaware of it. And for those wishing to play the source and not the ball, attempting to dismiss this because of who made that video, dispute this quote if you can, and dispute the video evidence above of the President’s original statements and Carney’s sad display.

In reality, Romney’s trip to Israel was meant to show everyone in the US who cares – remember, we hear about how evil Evangelical Christians are equally concerned about Israel’s safety just like the nasty old dual-loyalty Jews are – that he will not betray Israel like the President has been doing. Regardless of which side of the issue one is on, the facts of both candidates’ positions and behavior are there. Mardell spun all that away very nicely.

But that was only a fraction more than half of Mardell’s report. The rest was spent defending the President against the charges that He can’t handle the economy. In fact, Mardell merely states a few words of Romney’s criticism – the only acknowledgment by the BBC anywhere of that “You didn’t build that” gaffe!!! – then plays about ten seconds of the President’s own campaign video rebuttal, complete with the President Himself smiling and speaking to the camera. This is the BBC’s tacit admission that it was a big deal after all. Mardell then closes his report by saying what he thinks Romney’s stop in Poland will cover.

Basically, the President gets a chance to speak for Himself in a report about Romney, while Romney’s campaign gets only Mardell uttering one sentence from their side. In the end, Mardell spins away Romney’s trip to Israel, refusing to mention the most important issue from it.

UPDATE: Oh, dear, it seems I’m 100% wrong on this one. As we know, the standard line on things like this from defenders of the indefensible is that the BBC can’t be biased because other media outlets are reporting the same way. The killer line:

Instead of sending political reporters who report on politics, the foreign affairs reporters might have given us serious reporting on the international issues raised when the Republican nominee for president traveled abroad.

While Romney was in Israel, for example, he proposed a U.S. policy fundamentally different from the one President Obama has given us. Most of the political reporters on the trip missed the significance of the announcement.

Missed, or censored? So either Mardell is a useless tool who just follows along with what his DC Beltway colleagues say, he deliberately censored the key bit out to protect the President, or he’s just a poor political analyst and doesn’t deserve his job. But the BBC expects you to trust him anyway.

BBC Reports From Gaza Always Forget To Mention The Presence Of Hamas “Minders”…I Wonder Why?

Remember reading the 2004 Balen report requested by the BBC itself to investigate accusations of anti Israel bias in its Middle East reporting?

No, neither do I – because the BBC has resisted all attempts to force it into the public domain. Don’t bother to ring Sherlock Holmes either to find out why because the findings must have been an embarrassing indictment of the Beeb’s lack of neutrality.

At The Commentator Simon Plosker has a good analysis of a more recent report on the BBC’s coverage of the Arab Spring. Generally a whitewash but, to be fair, there are some criticisms, particularly of the rather cavalier use of unverified mobile phone footage without an accompanying caveat.

Perhaps the Balen Report also found that the BBC has an unhealthy reliance on Palestinian “eyewitnesses” whose versions of events cannot be guaranteed as reliable.
And what about the lack of caveats? Does the BBC announce the reporting restrictions from Gaza where there is risk of intimidation and threats from Hamas, both towards foreign media and against Palestinians who deviate from the party line?

That is a very pertinent point. The Hamas administration in Gaza is an authoritarian regime with an unpleasant record of human rights abuse. Any Palestinian who publicly criticised it would almost certainly suffer severe consequences. But in any Gaza vox pop presented by the BBC there is never a caveat about this lack of freedom.

But then should we be surprised? After all whenever “ordinary folk” were interviewed in any Catholic enclave in Northern Ireland during the thirty years of the Troubles we were never told by the BBC that their reporters only operated under IRA “protection”.

Similarly we were never informed that government “minders” always accompanied BBC “journalists” around Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, making certain that every citizen toed the party line.

As long as a regime or group is anti British (or anti Israel) you can be certain those caveats are conveniently forgotten.

After all, as the BBC says, “it’s what we do”

OF NO INTEREST..?

Here is an incident which the BBC, along with other liberal media bastions like CBS,  refuses to report.  Based on the BBC’s record of selectively biased reporting, one can be certain that if those evil Jewish “obstacle-to-peace” settlers had carried out such an act, the BBC would make it their lead story!

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.

 

Crying Shame

If anyone still doubts that the BBC reports negatively and one-sidedly about Israel, do look at the comments (296 and counting) below the line at Nick Robinson’s article here.

The dubious standard of literacy and the appalling ignorance indicates that the commenters aren’t in the habit of seeking out details or background beyond their own armchair. In other words they’ve been relying on the BBC.
All they seem to know is that Israel has ‘nukes’ and Iran hasn’t, (so unfair) and anyway Israel is at the root of all the problems in the Middle East; and oh, Israel’s wars are none of our business.

It’s enough to make one weep.

Update. Quite a few pro-Israel commenters are fighting back! (356 and counting!)

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.

WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE, FOUND WANTING…

“The belief that security can be obtained by throwing a small state to the wolves is a fatal delusion.”

Biased BBC contributor Alan notes that the BBC is adopting its usual casual ‘Israel is the Devil’ stance in their report on Gunther Grass and his poem.

The BBC attitude adds immeasurably to the febrile anti-Israel/Semitic atmosphere that is being whipped up. The BBC continually says it does not have the time or space to put the Israel/Palestine conflict into any context for each report but it does find time to add on the casualty figures for two years after the Gaza conflict and in the recent report on Hamas executions manages to slot in an end piece explaining away Hamas’ actions by blaming Israel.

What the BBC does not tell us is that the Gaza assault came as a result of 10 years of missiles raining down on Israel….what they don’t tell you is that Israel suffered over 1000 dead in a variety of attacks against them in those years. So when the BBC says Israel only suffered 13 casualties in Gaza a real view of events would put the reason for the assault into perspective….not so much disproportionate but Just Retribution.

Their report is curiously uncritical and accepting in tone of the poem which says Israel is The threat to world peace, her nuclear weapons are somehow more unacceptable than the US’s or Britain’s or France’s or North Korea’s or Russia’s.

Curious that Grass picks on Israel and not Pakistan. Another nuclear power…and highly unstable…not long ago people were expecting a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

Is it not Iran, amongst many others in the region, that threaten Israel’s existence? Yes.

Strange Israel is endangering world peace by defending itself. Though how like the modern Western elite’s relative world view….just lie back and accept any indignity for a peaceful existence….and blame ‘The Jew’ for wars.

Churchill sums it all up, the moral equivalence, the cowardly sacrificing another country, a ‘people’ in effect, for ostensibly the delusion of peace but in reality Grass and his defenders don’t like Israel, its very existence jars with them…..and they would look the other way if it were ‘somehow’ to disappear. He says he likes Israel and wants it to exist, how kind, but his actions say otherwise……have a look at Der Spiegel and what is being said….’At the moment, Iran is feeling the pressure of sanctions. But the time has finally come to put some pressure on Israel, as well. Mind you, whoever says such a thing is not trying “to relativize the guilt of the Germans by making the Jews into perpetrators,” as Mathias Döpfner says.’(http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,826180,00.html)…and this is an article which wilfully ignores evidence from all sources including the IAEA that Iran looks to be developing a nuclear weapon capability.

What really gives away Grass’s politics is his attack on the “hypocrisy of the West” …whilst at the same time claiming to be a realist…if he was a realist he would understand ‘real politik’…and why most of the products in his house he imported from Communist China.

Back to Churchill….
“The belief that security can be obtained by throwing a small state to the wolves is a fatal delusion.”

“All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness. We have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been derailed, and these terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies, ‘Thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting’.”
- Lamenting the abandonment of Czechosolovakia by Britain at Munich in 1938

This is the BBC report….although it gives views condemning Grass there is a lack of analysis of his comments…..something critical for a full and truthful view of what Grass claims. Especially as we are told that the Israel/Palestine conflict, if it can be solved, will bring world peace. Who am I to doubt…but you would think the BBC would therefore put more effort into its reports… in the interest of World Peace that is.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-17650548
‘Grass, a Nobel laureate, recently criticised Israel in a poem.
In it, Grass condemned German arms sales to Israel, and said the Jewish state must not be allowed to launch military strikes against Iran. Grass attacks Israel’s nuclear programme.
“Why do I say only now… that the nuclear power Israel endangers an already fragile world peace?

But he has been defended by some sections of Israeli liberal opinion.

Writing in the Haaretz newspaper, columnist Gideon Levy criticised the ban on Grass.
“A situation in which any German who dares criticise Israel is instantly accused of anti-Semitism is intolerable”, he said, “after we denounce the exaggeration, after we shake off the unjustified part of the charge, we must listen.” ‘

Note the final words….’we must listen’…to Grass.

BBC having the final word there?

What must be said

Why have I been silent, silent for so long?,
Our generals have gamed it out,
Confident the west will survive.
We people have not even been considered.

What is this right to “preventive war”?
A war that could erase the Iranian people.
Dominated by it’s neighbor, pulsing with righteousness
Smug in the fact that it is they, not Iran,
Who have the Bomb.

Why have I so far avoided to identify Israel by it’s name?,
Israel and it’s ever increasing nuclear arsenal,
Beyond reproach, Uncontrolled, uninspected.

We all know these things
Yet we all remain silent, fearful of being labeled:
anti-Semitic
hateful
worse

Considering Germany’s past these labels stick
So we call is “business”, “reparation” take your pick,
As we deliver yet another submarine.
As we provide to Israel the means to deliver annihilation.
I say what must be said.

Why did I stay silent until now?
Because I’m German, of course.
I’m tainted by a stain I cannot wash out
I’m silent because I want so badly to make it right
To put my sins in the past and leave them silently there.

Why did I wait to say it until now?
And write these words with the last of my ink?
Declaring that Israel threatens world peace?
Because it is true and it must be said,
Tomorrow will be too late.

We Germans now carry a new burden of sin on our shoulders
Through the weapons we have sold
We are helping to carry out this foreseeable tragedy
No excuse will remove our stain of complicity.

It must be said. I won’t be silent
I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy;
Please shed the silence with me,
The consequences are all too predictable.
It’s time to demand free and permanent control
of BOTH Israel’s nuclear arsenal
AND Iran’s nuclear facilities
enforced with international supervision.

It’s the only way, in a land convulsed with insanity,
Israelis, Palestinians, everybody, will survive.
And we too, will survive.

Iran Matters

Over the last few days Nick Robinson and Mark Mardell have been speculating about likely topics of conversation between David Cameron and President Obama. They predict that having settled Afghanistan, the new buddies will turn their attention to Iran. Or rather Israel, because the question they will be tussling with is not “How to make sure Iran doesn’t acquire nuclear weapons” but “how to stop Israel taking unilateral military action”.

Because the BBC frames Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons as “Israel’s problem,” the prospect of pre-emptive military action against Iran’s nuclear activities is contemplated with pre-emptive righteous indignation.Israel is blamed in advance for the anticipated consequences such as oil price rises, perhaps Western armed forces being ‘sucked in’, and the probability that it would hand the Islamists in our midst an additional excuse for home-grown grievance-based terrorism. People are preoccupied with the understandable concern that they may suffer because of “Israel’s war”, but their trepidation completely overshadows Iran’s culpability.

Arguments against military intervention are boosted by speculation that Iran hasn’t got nuclear weapons yet, and is a long way off acquiring them. People cite Iran’s repeated reassurances that their nuclear activities are one hundred percent peaceful; yet still they retain, as back-up, the theory that even if the Iranians have lied, perish the thought, diplomacy and sanctions will rescue us.
This argument comes with yet another back-up. If Iran has been fooling us all along, and should sanctions and diplomacy fail, we can always fall back on Mutually Assured Destruction – the all-time, ultimate deterrent. However, in a country ruled by people who are awaiting the End Times with joyous anticipation, an event that entails the coming of the Shia Mahdi accompanied by the apocalypse, the Mutual part of this deal doesn’t seem quite so relevant. Which just leaves the Assured Destruction.
It could be that if we wait too long, we’re in permanent thrall to nuclear-armed Ayatollahs. However, meantime we could bombard Iran with a concerted programme of overt sabre-rattling.

“The dirty secret about President Obama’s generally successful effort to put more pressure on Iran through sanctions and diplomatic methods is that in the last resort its effectiveness depends on exactly the military threats that he would like to downplay. “

It hasn’t occurred to the BBC’s political analysts that if we stick together and threaten, we could give Ahmadinejad the serious willies, which, End Times notwithstanding, could be more effective than trying to ingratiate ourselves with him by pacifying, tolerating and being patient. It’s known as Brinkmanship.

On Tues 6th March 5:05 am the BBC World service featured the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu. I couldn’t blog it at the time because my internet connection was down. Their interpretation appeared to be that Netanyahu is making a big fuss about nothing. Though President Obama’s and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s clearly expressed preference for diplomacy was mentioned briefly, it was all but cancelled out by extremely misleading hinted-at images of Netanyahu straining at the leash like a mad dog, with peace-loving Obama wrestling with all his might to rein him in and save us all from Armageddon.
Mark Mardell and Nick Robinson are not alone in believing Obama is insincere in his friendships, both with the UK and, even more so, with Israel. The BBC portrays Netanyahu as a warmonger simply because they dislike him. They undoubtedly remember Sarkozy saying he can’t stand Netanyahu, and calling him a liar, with Obama’s apparent approval. Why, they may argue, pretend otherwise?
The Guardian.

The president sees the Israeli PM “as a liar who uses subversive tactics, shamelessly meddles in American politics and is encouraging the Republican campaign to topple him,” [Haaretz] while “Netanyahu sees Obama as a spineless leftwinger whose fantasies about world peace are threatening Israel with the prospect of a second Holocaust.” So, not exactly chums, then.”

The BBC attributes President Obama’s abrupt recollection of the unshakeable solidarity between the US and Israel to the upcoming US election. Why else, they imply, would the esteemed Obama bother with a hard-line leader of such a despicable country as Israel?
Obama undoubtedly does hope to curry favour with the Jewish voter, but since the majority of US Jews traditionally vote Democrat come what may, all this does seem an unnecessarily elaborate strategy.

However, whether or not the BBC should really be putting such ideas into people’s heads, it certainly isn’t their job to inspire people like Peter Oborne and Jenny Tonge to scatter sinister warnings about the Jewish Lobby, or to boost the credibility of people who talk about tentacles and tails that wag dogs.

If military action does eventually prove unavoidable, can a pre-emptive surgical strike with a clearly defined target be compared unfavourably with an open-ended military adventure like the one in which we are currently embroiled? The one popularly believed to have an undefined, ever changing, unachievable goal, the success of which is impossible to evaluate and the end of which is likely to be never, ever?

The possibility of a surgical strike specifically targeting Iran’s nuclear activities is not the same as an all-out attack against Iran. Who knows if such a thing is, or ever was, feasible, but the window of opportunity, if there is one, is closing – or closed. What would the situation in Syria be now, if such a thing hadn’t (allegedly) occurred in 2007?
And in any case, the consequences of our existing interference in ‘Muslim Lands’ are already with us. Maybe it would be better to go for it now, before it’s too late; whichever party does the deed, Israel knows it would face retaliation from Hezbollah, and despite what Jon Donnison says, Hamas.

This is not an argument for war. It’s simply about the BBC’s inappropriate advocacy of appeasing the Ayatollahs on top of their willful misrepresentation of the Arab Spring as a benign and enlightened success story. And now, their delusional attitude to the monumental differences between the Western and the Islamic world, framed as though it’s a straightforward case of ‘war or peace, ‘either or’. Meaning either (Israel’s) war or (the world’s) peace.

BBC World service. ‘The World Today with Lawrence Pollard and Roger Hearing’ reported the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu. They called on the services of Professor Avi Shlaim of Oxford University. Prof Shlaim is an Israeli domiciled in the UK, and a harsh critic of Israel, so it’s no surprise that he would be consulted to reinforce the BBC’s stance. He did not disappoint.

He cited a warning to Israel not to take pre-emptive military action, made recently by “ex Mossad hard-liner” Meir Dagan. According to Haaretz Mr Dagan did indeed issue such a warning, but Ynet adds:
”Ultimately, the former head of Mossad said the Iranians cannot be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, but an attack on their nuclear sites now would be a mistake.” So Dagan wasn’t playing down the threat from Iran, but, for better or worse, handing the hot potato of what to do about a nuclear-armed Iran, back to President Obama.
In the programme, after short sound-bites from Netanyahu and Obama, came Professor Shlaim’s analysis.
He kept referring to the Israeli government as ‘reckless’, without acknowledging that, even if it’s really all bluff and bluster, sabre-rattling is a necessary piece of the jigsaw.

I transcribed this programme, because it ticked all the above mentioned boxes.
+++++++++++++++++
Intro: “We don’t know exactly what went on at the meeting between president Obama and the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington but we can be pretty sure Mr. Netanyahu strongly argued the case for urgent military action against Iran to stop it developing nuclear weapons, and that president Obama pressed the case for seeing what sanctions and diplomatic pressure could do before sending in the bombers. In a speech before the American Israel and Public Affairs Committee AIPAC Mr. Netanyahu said time was running out.”
B. Netanyahu:
“My friends, Israel has waited, patiently waited for the international community to resolve this issue we’ve waited for diplomacy to work. We’ve waited for sanctions to work. None of us can afford to wait much longer. As prime minister of Israel I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihilation.”
Beeb:
Well, earlier Mr. Obama said that both he and Mr. Netanyahu preferred a diplomatic to a military solution.
B. Obama:
“I reserve all options, and my policy here is not going to be one of containment. My policy prevention Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, and as I indicated in my speech when I say all options are on the table I mean it. Having said that I know that both the prime minister and I prefer to resolve this diplomatically. We understand the costs of any military action.”
Beeb:
But what complicates this is that in a presidential election year Mr. Obama has to be very careful of alienating the large number of pro Israeli US voters by appearing not to be safeguarding the security of the Jewish State. Avi Shlaim is the professor of international relations at the University of Oxford, here in Britain. he doesn’t think President Obama does have to make concessions to the Israelis.
A. Shlaim:
“I question whether Israel has the ability to take unilateral action against Iran. The whole of the Israeli strategy for a long time has been geared to getting America to take military action against Iran. That hasn’t succeeded, so now there are rumours and speculation that Israel will be forced to take unilateral action.”
Beeb
:
“You think that’s bluff?”
A. Shlaim:
“I do think that it is bluff and more than that I think it is reckless. It’s not I who thinks that Mr Netanyahu and his defence Ehud Barak are reckless. It is the former director of the Mossad Meir Dagan who is a hard-line and former general who said that Israel cannot carry out unilateral military action against Iran, and that Israel shouldn’t be talking about unilateral action, and he called the prime minister and the defence minister of the state of Israel ‘reckless’. So I do believe he is right on this issue.”

Beeb:
“Many in Israel would say it was reckless to ignore what they see as a very real threat from Iran, after all the Iranian president has threatened to wipe Israel from the map, and I suppose, with nuclear weapons they would have the capacity to do that. Isn’t it reckless not to take any action?”

A. Shlaim:
“No, because Netanyahu keeps repeating that a nuclear-armed Iran will be an existential threat to the State of Israel. Well first of all, it would not be an existential threat, because Israel already has nuclear weapons, and therefore Israel’s nuclear weapons would deter Iran from launching an attack. So the worst case scenario would be a nuclear-armed Iran, and there would be a balance of terror, and the Iranians would be committing an act of suicide if they attacked Israel, and They are Not Irrational. That’s the worst case scenario. It wouldn’t be a good scenario, because if Iran had nuclear weapons, other countries, and first and foremost Saudi Arabia would want to have nuclear weapons, so it’s not a good scenario, but we are a very very long way from that worst case scenario because Iran hasn’t got nuclear weapons, it has a peaceful nuclear programme, and the best estimate from the American experts is that Iran has not made the decision yet to acquire a nuclear capability. That Iran’s programme is still peaceful and the decision to weaponize has not been taken yet so at the moment what we have is very serious severe western sanctions against Iran, so there is still the possibility of a diplomatic solution and this is what Obama should be concentrating on rather than threats of military action.”
Beeb:
“Professor Avi Shlaim.”

+++++++++++++++

Today in Parliament with Mark D’Arcy

M D’A:
“good evening. This is Mark D’Arcy at Westminster, where a peer who quit the Lib dems renews her attack on Israel.”

J T:
“I am not antisemitic. But I am anti-injustice.”M D’A:
“Plus border tensions between parliament and the civil service as the Sir Humphreys insist they answer to ministers, not to MPs[...] but first tonight, former Liberal democrat peer Lady Tonge who quit the party whip in the Lords after being told to withdraw criticisms of Israel has spoke out during a debate on the Middle East. Lady Tonge attracted furious criticism when she said Israel would not be there forever, defended her comments.”

J T :
“I am not antisemitic. But I am anti-injustice. And I think the treatment of the Palestinians over the last six decades by Israel and the international community has been a gross injustice which has eaten away at peace in the Middle East and has served to fuel extreme Islamism and terrorism.”

M D’A:
“She said she accepted that Israel had a right to exist – within its 1967 borders, but she gave a warning that its actions were becoming more and more dangerous, and she claimed it was attempting to make life for Palestinians impossible.”

J T :
“Our government deals with these violations of international law by urging restraint, and expressing concern. They’re worthy sentiments my lords, but they do not stop the relentless ethnic cleansing, land grab, and what many people would describe as terrorism, by the Israeli Airforce with their targeted assassinations. And because of the pro Israel lobby bullying tactics against anyone who speaks the truth, Israel is allowed to act with impunity.”

M D’A:
“Later, winding up the debate the foreign office minister Lord Howell said that Israel suffered regular missile attacks from Palestinian enclaves, and retaliated with force. Lady Tonge intervened.”

J T:
“The raining of missiles on Southern Israel, from Gaza, always follows a targeted assassination by the Israel Airforce.”

M D’A:
“Lord Howell retorted by quoting the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu”

L H:
“If there’s quietness on one side there’ll be quietness on the other side. There were targeted assassinations, there are constant threats of the elimination of Israel, there are these repostes by rockets.”

M D’A:
“At that Lady Tonge threw up her hands in exasperation. The debate ranged across the hotspots of the Middle East …….”

***********
It did indeed, and nobody joined the dots.

I’m not blaming the BBC for reporting this ill-informed rant by Tonge, I’m not even bothering to tell Mark D’Arcy that he oversimplified and thus misrepresented the real cause of Ms Tonge’s dismissal from the Lib Dems. I’m not even going to mention the blurb that describes the audience at the event during which she sat next to and applauded Ken O’Keefe, as “a university audience.”

What I am doing is blaming the BBC for creating an atmosphere in Britain where a selective, fallacious and mischievous speech of this nature can pass virtually unchallenged in the House of Lords.

Tally of Death

Mustafa Barghouti was given a nice gentle time by Evan this a.m. Not that I prefer the Humphrys method of interrogation, which hardly gives the interviewee a chance to state his case.
But Mustafa was given free rein to spout a series of unadulterated porky pies.

“Is the ceasefire in effect?” asked Evan, nicely.
“Israel provoked the cycle of violence by attacking Gaza viciously. [it’s all Israel’s fault] ” replied Mustafa at length.
“At the moment you are respecting the ceasefire, there are no rockets being fired into Israel?” repeated Evan, to clarify that there are no rockets being fired into Israel.

“Gaza never fired rockets into Israel except as a response to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. [It’s Israel’s fault, oppression, segregation, apartheid, occupation, settlement activity]” replied Mustafa at great length.

“How much public support is there in Gaza for these rocket attacks? ventured Evan, who might think that rocket attacks are unpopular with the peace-loving Palestinians.
All Palestinians are for non violent resistance. The rockets were self defence.” Says Mustafa, with a staggering disregard for the truth.Israeli spokesperson Avital Leibovich is talking from a tunnel. A BBC sound engineer is having a laugh.
“Are you respecting now the terms of the apparent ceasefire, that there will be no more assassinations in Gaza?” asks Evan, sounding slightly less nice.
“I believe your previous speaker did not give the complete facts, he said there were no rockets but as a reaction to Israeli attack. But last year 627 rockets were fired at Israel, the rocket launching has never really stopped. I can tell you that an hour and a half ago another rocket was fired into Israel.” Avital replied echoingly.
But Evan is more interested in how many Israelis have been killed.
“How many Israelis have been killed in the last few days? ” he asks, almost certainly aware, being a journalist who supposedly follows the news, that precisely none have.
What, none? That’s outrageous!

Do you recognise how many Palestinians have been killed? You do recognise that Palestinians are dying on a much larger scale than Israelis?” He asks, leaving the audience in no doubt as to what he’s getting at. It’s disproportionate, which is just. not. fair.

Oh Evan, don’t you remember, in Operation Cast Lead at least 1,200/1,400/1,500 innocent Palestinians were killed, while only 13 Israeli solders ‘died.’ According to the BBC, the more martyrs there are, the more righteous the cause, no matter how the situation came about. So until the requisite number of Israelis are murdered, Israel can never redeem itself.

Conflict

The Guardian/BBC symbiosis has produced a cuddly pledge from Hamas to the effect that they would not help Iran militarily in any conflict with Israel.
The BBC’s Jon Donnison and Harriet Sherwood of the Graun have been speaking to Mahmoud Zahhar, a senior leader of Hamas. He has told them that Hamas are not, to coin a phrase, “ideologically wedded” to Iran.
But according to FARS news agency and Haaretz, Mahmoud al-Zahar has “strongly rejected the BBC claim as unfounded and a lie.”

“………any Israel or US attack on Iranwill be reciprocated by Hamas’s crushing response to the Zionists.”

Someone’s gone wrong somewhere.
H/T Bio and Elder of Ziyon