I was surprised and pleased at some aspects of the phrasing in this feature about Israeli checkpoints.
“Since the beginning of the three-year Palestinian uprising, or intifada, Israel has significantly increased the number of roadlocks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in response to rising Palestinian violence.
“In September 2003, a group of 20 aid agencies issued a statement calling for the removal of the travel restrictions, which they said were limiting Palestinians’ access to schools and medical care, increasing frustration and destroying hopes for peace.
“Israel sees the barriers as vital to stop suicide bombers flooding into its cities to terrorise the civilian population.”
Emphasis added by me. It’s fairly unusual to see Palestinian violence described as Palestinian violence, but that use of the verb to terrorise really made me blink. Time was when I was an admirer of the BBC. The first letter to an MP I ever wrote, when I was still at school, was to ask that funding to the World Service not be cut. If there is one single thing that turned me into a maddened termagant given to adding “Ceterum censeo BBC delenda est” to observations about the weather, it was the BBC decision not to use the word “terrorist.” It made me sick. The BBC (not to mention Reuters) does not pretend to be “above” moral judgements when discussing murder, or rape, or child porn, or racial harassment. It also inserts moral judgements into reporting of poverty, war and politics; sometimes with the platitudes appropriate to a tax-funded organisation, but often in a manner so partisan as to violate its Charter. It certainly pushes the line that continued state funding of the BBC is desirable for the “public good” i.e. on moral grounds. But after all that it still frequently pretends to be “above” morally judging people who, in defiance of the laws of war, hide among the civilian population to blow up families in pizza parlours. In refusing to judge them the BBC show themselves traitors to the civilisation they claim to represent.
But if this small instance is the start of a return to the common values, I will soften my line.
In the next paragraph the writer reverts to the “militant” usage, which is a vile insult to all the extreme but basically non-violent Trotskyists and Leninists in the British Left who were the previous people designated by the term “militant”. But hell’s bells, look at it again: “terrorise”. Implying that those doing it are terrorists. It’s a start.
UPDATE: Might’ve known it was too good to last. Regular commenter PJF has observed that the reference to rising Palestinian violence has disappeared, along with the whole first paragraph I quoted.