NO DISPUTE – OCCUPIED.

I was listening to the BBC “Today” programme early this morning cover the news that the worlds “highest moral authority” – the United Nations – has appointed a law professor in the shape of Richard A. Falk – who has compared Israel to the Nazis – as special investigator on Israeli actions for a six-year term. Nothing odd so far – after all comparing Israel to the Nazis is a favoured rhetorical device for the morally bankrupt. But I then noticed that the BBC interviewer referred to the “Occupied Territories” as the location for these imagined genocidal crimes that the UN will investigate and I wondered WHY it is that the BBC gets away with this routine parroting of Palestinian propaganda? The territories concerned are “disputed”, they are not occupied. In fact last time I checked the only people “occupying” Gaza were the Jew-hating barbarians Hamas. The use of language is of fundamental importance in all news reporting and the BBC should not parrot terms which can clearly be seen to favour one side and not another. The neutral term to use in this situation is to define the given territories as “disputed.” Why won’t the BBC use it?

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88 Responses to NO DISPUTE – OCCUPIED.

  1. Cockney says:

    I’ve never really seen anyone use ‘disputed’ for the West Bank, except for Mel Phillips, but certainly take your point re: Gaza. “Occupied territory”?.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Cockney | 08.04.08 – 8:19 am

    Gaza isn’t ‘disputed’ either. Israel removed all settlers in 2005 and makes no claim on it.

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  3. backwoodsman says:

    DV , yep, when the bbc has a house point of view, they aren’t going to let anything inconvenient such as being impartial, get in the way of their presentation.
    (Think Israel, think climate change, think Bovine TB).
    This mornings’s offering on bovine tb was amongst their most blatant yet. The Welsh Assembly are due to receive a report today, which it is believed will include as part of a package of methods, control of infected badgers in hot spot areas.
    Cue beeboids to devote a large part of the news roundup , before Farming Today, to a bloke from badger watch Cymru (honestly !), saying that there was no scientific proof to back up a cull of infected badgers. (Apparently its OK to cull infected cows, but not infected badgers !)
    Well, firstly the ‘science ‘in favour of controlled culling , is certainly stronger than the ‘science’ against culling infected beasts. Because of the pathetic way the ‘trials’ were carried out, there is no actual definative data.
    However, the beeboid practice is always the same.

    1. Give a bloke from a tiny organisation that probably exists in name only, as much air time as he needs to state categorically that there is no scientific evidence to justify a cull. Allow him to state that there is no effective practical method of carrying one out, which is completely untrue.
    2. State ‘some farmers believe’ = nasty cruel farmers , ignorant bumpkins.
    This is all rather akin to the beeboid view that all science unquestionably supports global warming

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  4. John Reith says:

    David Vance

    WHY it is that the BBC gets away with this routine parroting of Palestinian propaganda? The territories concerned are “disputed”, they are not occupied.

    Wrong. Under international law, they are ‘occupied’.

    That’s why, if tou look at the US State Department website, you get this:

    Israel and the occupied territories

    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78854.htm

    and if you consult the CIA website you find:

    West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement – permanent status to be determined through further negotiation

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/is.html

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  5. Joel says:

    Doh! BiasedBBC shoots itself in the foot again.

    “The neutral term to use in this situation is to define the given territories as “disputed.” – Neutral because that’s the term BiasedBBC and Israel prefer!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/newsid_6040000/newsid_6044000/6044090.stm#occupied

    I shall not be posting again until HillHunt is resinstated. Bannign someone because you disagree with them is wrong David.

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  6. Bryan says:

    Resolution 242 is the key to this. One of its principles states:

    Withdrawal of Israel’s armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict. It doesn’t say the territories. Law professor Alan Dershowitz says that he played an informal consulting role to US ambassador Arthur Goldberg, who played a major role in negotiating the resolution. According to Dershowitz,

    The elimination of the definitive article the was an explicit compromise engineered by the United States in order to permit the retention by Israel of territories necessary to ensure secure boundaries.

    Dershowitz also says that 242 for the first time in history ordered a nation to return territories lawfully captured in a defensive war. But it ordered this only as part of an overall peace agreement recognizing Israel’s right to “live in security.”

    (The Case for Israel. P 96)

    The BBC, typically, will not explore 242 in any kind of depth. It simply falls into line with the misinterpretation of 242 pushed by the Arabs and their allies in the US State Department, The UN, the EU and probably 95% of the rest of the planet. The BBC is very careful indeed not to rock this particular boat. It is also careful not mention the obligations placed on the Arabs by 242.

    Yes, the territories certainly are disputed rather than simply “occupied.” But it will be a cold day in hell before the BBC acknowledges this fact, or any other fact that highlights the legitimacy of Israel’s position in the conflict.

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  7. max says:

    Wrong. Under international law, they are ‘occupied’.

    No JR, quite the opposite (pdf):
    http://www.aijac.org.au/resources/reports/international_law.pdf
    And here (pdf):
    http://www.mythsandfacts.com/Conflict/mandate_for_palestine/Mandate_for_Palestine.pdf

    Good to see that you consider the US State Department an authority on international law (when it suits you).

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  8. Sarah Jane says:

    We are quite clear on this in the bits of the Balen Guide that you can read online:

    OCCUPIED TERRITORIES/OCCUPATION
    The general phrase “occupied territories” refers to East Jerusalem, the West Bank and strictly speaking the Golan Heights. However, it is not usually understood to refer to the Golan Heights (unless it is in a story specifically on the 1967 war or Syrian-Israeli relations).

    It is advisable to avoid trying to find another formula, although the phrase “occupied West Bank” can also be used.

    Under international law, Israel is still the occupying power in Gaza, although it no longer has a permanent military presence there. See that section for our use of language.

    Try not to confuse the phrase “occupied territories” with Palestinian Land or Palestinian Territories. (See those sections for the reasons why.)

    The Israeli government’s preferred phrase to describe the West Bank and Gaza Strip is “disputed territories” and it is reasonable to use this when it is clear that we are referring to or explaining its position.

    As you might expect Bryan disagrees.

    The ommission of the definitive article from Resolution 242 and the varying interpretations of it is something which is highlighted to all BBC journalists whose reporting may touch upon the issue.

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  9. deegee says:

    Regrettably, the term normally used is ‘occupied’. A search through the UN site uses the term occupied thousands of times. With the exception of ‘occupied’ Azerbaijan it would seem that ‘Palestine’ is the default occupied nation (Occupied Tibet, Occupied Western Sahara, anyone?)

    The term is inaccurate (particularly in Gaza); legally dubious (The Geneva Conventions refer only to states and Palestine wasn’t one in 1948 and isn’t now) and hypocritical (the automatic Arab/Muslim majority sees to that).

    Unfortunately, the BBC will have no difficulty in defending the use of Occupied Territories as that is the common term.

    Move on the something winnable, DV. 🙁

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  10. David Vance says:

    Joel,

    Can’t you read? I banned Hillhunt because despite my repeated warnings, he resorted to ad hominem. If you seek to run away because he is in the sin bin, it’s your call.

    John Reith,

    Yes, US State Department is well known for its impartiality in the Israel/Palestinians conflict. LOL, but can’t you do better than that? Listen up, check out UN Security Council Resolution 242 from November 1967, the one which has served as the basis of the 1991 Madrid Conference and the 1993 Declaration of Principles. Israel is only expected to withdraw “from territories” to “secure and recognized boundaries” and not from “all the territories” captured in the Six-Day War. This language resulted from months of painstaking diplomacy. Thus, the UN Security Council recognized that Israel was entitled to part of these territories for new defensible borders. Taken together with UN Security Council Resolution 338, it became clear that only negotiations would determine which portion of these territories would eventually become “Israeli territories” or territories to be retained by Israel’s Arab counterpart. They are disputed – not occupied.

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  11. max says:

    I shall not be posting again until HillHunt is resinstated. Bannign someone because you disagree with them is wrong David.

    I, for one, support Joel’s inalienable right not to post again on BBBC occupied comment territory.

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  12. pounce says:

    Joel writes;
    “I shall not be posting again until HillHunt is resinstated. Bannign someone because you disagree with them is wrong”

    Oh please with the threats. Just do it.

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  13. thud says:

    I just can’t get past “highest moral authority”…I’ll try again later.

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  14. Cassandra says:

    Great news about the loss of the terrible twins!
    No more pathetic excuses and uncalled for insults to our greatest asset DV!
    I am sure they will be far happier with blogs like Labour home etc!

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  15. David Vance says:

    Thud,

    Yeah, tears of laughter always flow when I hear lefties intone that. The world’s most corrupt organised hypocrisy and yet the BBC et al treat it as if it were the source of all goodness and light (Plus, the UN hates those pesky Jews)

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  16. BaggieJonathan says:

    I fail to see the ‘occupied’ or ‘disputed’ ought to be about Gaza.

    Surely as Israel has withdrawn all of its forces and its settlements it is no longer occupying Gaza under any logical view whatever the twisted legal words say.

    Unlike the other disputed lands Gaza was part of Egypt a land that Israel has made peace with.

    Would not the simple solution be to return Gaza to Egypt and then leave it to them to decide whether that status should be changed to independance or ‘stay’ as province.

    Of course if you did not look in depth at the BBC coverage you would think that all the lands (West Bank, Gaza, Golan) had been seized from the single independant peace loving Palestinian state that existed prior to Israel/USA’s despicable invasion of Palestine after the second world war that genocided and ethnically cleansed all non Jews from the land leaving Israel 100% Jewish today and the Palestinians all in the ‘disputed’ territories or in exile in refugee camps.

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  17. BaggieJonathan says:

    Joel,

    Take my advice on action I took before I made this return now (after David took correct action having shown massive restraint).

    Don’t let the door hit your backside too hard on the way out.

    Bye.

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  18. Rob says:

    From a cursory reading of articles on Tibet, the BBC refers to China’s occupation as “Chinese rule”, not “Chinese occupation”. There are some hits for “Chinese rule”, but most of them are very old. Recent references are to “Chinese rule”.

    So, “American occupation” of Iraq, “Israeli occupation” of the West Bank, “Chinese rule” in Tibet. Why?

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  19. Rob says:

    Sorry, some early references for “Chinese occupation”, above was a typo.

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  20. Squander Two says:

    All the analysis here of why “Occupied Territories” is wrong is, I think, correct. However, in this case, I don’t think it’s the BBC who are at fault: they are using the usual, generally accepted term. They didn’t define it. It would make sense to lobby governmental bodies to have the term redefined. If successful (ha!), then complain that the BBC aren’t using the official term.

    On the other hand, there’s a usual, generally accepted definition of the word “terrorism”, which the BBC refuse to use for reasons of their own.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    I shall not be posting again until HillHunt is esinstated………David.
    Joel | Homepage | 08.04.08 – 9:44 am | #

    Good. I’ll miss you like a hole in the head. Bye

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  22. David Vance says:

    Squander Two,

    Good points.

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  23. Sarah Jane says:

    David, the excerpt from the Balen Guide makes clear the BBC’s position on the usage of the term ‘disputed territories’ – got any comment on it?

    Because clearly it is at odds with the last few lines of the original post…

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  24. Arthur Dent says:

    Sarah Jane, I would be interested in the answer to the points above made by Rob

    So, “American occupation” of Iraq, “Israeli occupation” of the West Bank, “Chinese rule” in Tibet. Why?

    Just to help out, I will accept that the BBC is simply using the UN definition for Israel, so the simple question is why does the US “Occupy Iraq” (which it clearly no longer does, Iraq now has its own democratically elected government under Mailki) whilst China ‘rules’ Tibet

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  25. pounce says:

    Arthur Dent writes;
    “Just to help out, I will accept that the BBC is simply using the UN definition for Israel,”

    As much as I do believe that the UN is a force for good. It has allowed certain sections of its organisation to be hijacked by the PC crowd who while remaining silent on Sudan/Zimbabwe/China and the rest of the worlds true despotic regimes have no problem attacking Israel as the crucible of all the worlds evil.
    Here is a screen shot I took of the UN Human rights councils front page.
    http://bp2.blogger.com/_Gf65NLuwWsU/R_mMyu-NdjI/AAAAAAAAAeo/lLfXklKeyQw/s1600-h/Image1.jpg

    The article that picture is linked to refers to the London protest the other day over the Olympic torch. (Over 50 years of Chinese occupation in Tibet) How Mugabe is playing the race card and how the UN is still procrastinating over Darfur 7 years down the line. But hey according to them only Israel requires a special session and a special investigator on Israeli actions. Of course the Racist and very bias BBC has no problem juxtaposing Jews and Nazis. I mean they must be wetting themselves like Abu Bowen does whenever he reports on the ‘struggle’.

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  26. Biodegradable (Bannned) says:

    DISPUTED TERRITORIES:
    Forgotten Facts About the West Bank
    and Gaza Strip

    February 2003

    # The West Bank and Gaza Strip are disputed territories whose status can only be determined through negotiations. Occupied territories are territories captured in war from an established and recognized sovereign. As the West Bank and Gaza Strip were not under the legitimate and recognized sovereignty of any state prior to the Six Day War, they should not be considered occupied territories.

    Legality of Israel’s Presence in the Territories

    # Despite persistent claims by the Palestinians and their supporters, occupation is not, in and of itself, illegal. It does not violate international law. Rather, international law attempts to regulate situations of occupation through the application of pertinent international conventions and agreements. Therefore, political motivations lie behind the claim that Israel’s presence in the territories is illegal. Israel’s presence in the territories is not illegal.

    # Israel’s presence in the territories began in 1967 as a direct result of the aggressive actions of Israel’s neighbors that forced Israel into a war of self-defense.

    # UN Security Council Resolution 242, which was adopted following the Six Day War, places obligations on both sides (as does Resolution 338, adopted following the 1973 Yom Kippur War). 242 does not call for unilateral withdrawal from the territories. Despite this, the Palestinians focus exclusively on the call for an Israeli withdrawal, ignoring those clauses that place responsibilities on the other parties to the conflict.

    # Resolution 242 does not require Israel to withdraw from all the territories gained as a result of the 1967 war, as the Arab regimes claim. Instead, the resolution deliberately restricts itself to calling for Israel’s withdrawal “from territories” while recognizing the right to live within secure and recognized boundaries.

    Territories in Dispute

    International Law and Occupation

    Palestinian spokespersons and their supporters have expended great efforts to advance their claim that a state of occupation is – by definition – illegal. This ingenuous claim not only ignores international law, but also by its very repetition at every opportunity, attempts to create new international norms.

    The claim that any occupation – no matter the reasons for its establishment or its continued existence – is illegal is not consistent with the principles of international law. The international legal system does not outlaw occupation. Rather it uses international conventions and agreements to regulate such situations.

    Many states hold onto territory taken in a war – particularly a war of self-defense – until a peace treaty is negotiated. In fact, many situations of dispute exist today around the world in which one side continues to hold territory that another claims. A key difference in the situation regarding the West Bank and Gaza Strip is that Israel has attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the status of these disputed territories ever since they came into Israel’s possession.

    Claims of illegality are politically motivated as neither international law nor the agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority support this baseless allegation.

    Of course John Reith and others will not accept the above, just as they refuse to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, historical and indisputable homeland of the Jewish people.

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  27. Anat (Israel) says:

    Biodegradable (Bannned) | 08.04.08 – 12:52 pm | #
    Precisely.
    The JRs of this world are cheating by technicality. For although they may techinically claim the West Bank occupied in the sense of taken in war (which is the sense of “territories occupied in the latest conflict” in Resolution 242), nobody is actually in a state of occupation because the West Bank does not belong legally to any country. The last legal rule was the British, and this rule was withdrawn volutarily by the British who no longer claim the West Bank. The Jordanian occupation was illegal. So although one might claim that so is the Israeli occupation, such a statement is meaningless because there are no legal owners at all. This is why the Israeli position that these are “disputed” lands is in practice the correct one.

    The real cheating comes with the phraze “occupied Palestinian territories”, which insinuates that the territories legally belong to a country called Palestine. This is a plain lie.

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  28. Peter says:

    Well,of course Joel won’t post without Hillhunt,what is the point of him being Igor if he has no Master?

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  29. Sarah Jane says:

    BioD – the term the BBC use is ‘occupied territories’ not ‘illegally occupied territories’. But nice try.

    I notice the article you quote uses the term ‘occupation’ many times itself.

    Arthur Dent – I don’t know much about the semantics of Chinese rule vs Chinese occupation but a quick Google search of both shows that Chinese rule is by far the dominant terms (1.6m vs 100,000) so I guess it would the common usage argument again.

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  30. Abandon Ship! says:

    Anyone hear Brian Keenan in the Radio 4 interview last week refer to the land south of Lebanon as “Israel”, then quickly correct himself to say “Occupied Palestine”?

    An extreme case of the Stockholm syndrome perhaps – same as with Terry Waite.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Sarah Jane:
    We are quite clear on this in the bits of the Balen Guide that you can read online:

    I’m looking for the Balen Guide online but can’t find it. Can you provide a link please

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  32. UncleDaddy says:

    I think the problem here is the language of the international community, not the BBC as such (thought it pains me to say it ;))

    Legally the “occupied territories” occupy the same framework as “disputed” Kashmir. It’s only when it involves Israel that the international community (the UN in particular) will choose sides.

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  33. David Vance says:

    Sarah Jane,

    Can you please link to the Baalen guide so I can rview what you say?

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  34. Biodegradable (Bannned) says:

    The real cheating comes with the phraze “occupied Palestinian territories”, which insinuates that the territories legally belong to a country called Palestine. This is a plain lie.
    Anat (Israel) | 08.04.08 – 1:18 pm

    Absolutely correct Anat. Those who talk about “Palestinian land” should explain exactly when that land was “Palestinian”, where the capital of “Palestine” was located and who was the ruler of that “Palestine”. There has never been a country called “Palestine”.

    The claim that Gaza is still occupied because Israel controls its borders is also ridiculous. Egypt also controls Gaza’s southern border – does that mean Egypt occupies gaza?

    Spain controls its border with France – is Spain occupying France, or vice versa?

    Sarah Jane:
    BioD – the term the BBC use is ‘occupied territories’ not ‘illegally occupied territories’. But nice try.

    “illegally occupied” or simply “occupied”, both are incorrect.

    I notice the article you quote uses the term ‘occupation’ many times itself.

    Indeed it does, to define and clarify when the term should be used correctly.

    ie: # The West Bank and Gaza Strip are disputed territories whose status can only be determined through negotiations. Occupied territories are territories captured in war from an established and recognized sovereign. As the West Bank and Gaza Strip were not under the legitimate and recognized sovereignty of any state prior to the Six Day War, they should not be considered occupied territories.

    or

    # Despite persistent claims by the Palestinians and their supporters, occupation is not, in and of itself, illegal. It does not violate international law. Rather, international law attempts to regulate situations of occupation through the application of pertinent international conventions and agreements. Therefore, political motivations lie behind the claim that Israel’s presence in the territories is illegal. Israel’s presence in the territories is not illegal.

    and

    The claim that any occupation – no matter the reasons for its establishment or its continued existence – is illegal is not consistent with the principles of international law. The international legal system does not outlaw occupation. Rather it uses international conventions and agreements to regulate such situations.

    Perhaps you should click the link and read the whole thing:
    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2003/2/DISPUTED%20TERRITORIES-%20Forgotten%20Facts%20About%20the%20We

    See also: http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0i9o0

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  35. Biodegradable (Bannned) says:

    BioD – the term the BBC use is ‘occupied territories’ not ‘illegally occupied territories’. But nice try.

    Sarah Jane | 08.04.08 – 1:21 pm

    I think you’ll find that almost every time the BBC says ‘occupied territories’, or when talking about ‘settlements’ it qualifies it with something like “considered illegal under international law, although Israel does not agree with this.”

    As in this propaganda aimed at children:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_3470000/newsid_3473600/3473699.stm

    The BBC’s own guidelines actually maintain the disinformation while at the same time proposing the use of “disputed” only when talking about Israel’s position.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/middle_east/israel_and_the_palestinians/key_documents/6044090.stm#occupied
    The general phrase “occupied territories” refers to East Jerusalem, the West Bank and strictly speaking the Golan Heights. However, it is not usually understood to refer to the Golan Heights (unless it is in a story specifically on the 1967 war or Syrian-Israeli relations).

    It is advisable to avoid trying to find another formula, although the phrase “occupied West Bank” can also be used.

    Under international law, Israel is still the occupying power in Gaza, although it no longer has a permanent military presence there. See that section for our use of language.

    Try not to confuse the phrase “occupied territories” with Palestinian Land or Palestinian Territories. (See those sections for the reasons why.)

    The Israeli government’s preferred phrase to describe the West Bank and Gaza Strip is “disputed territories” and it is reasonable to use this when it is clear that we are referring to or explaining its position.

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  36. p and a tale of one chip says:

    “An extreme case of the Stockholm syndrome perhaps – same as with Terry Waite.”

    If you read his biography, it’s pretty clear he didn’t identify at all with his captors.

    On the contrary, as he tells it he defied them through his time in captivity.

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  37. Cockney says:

    “Thus, the UN Security Council recognized that Israel was entitled to part of these territories for new defensible borders.”

    yeah, so surely the big settlements in the arse end of nowhere which require major alterations to security walls etc etc and are generally a nightmare to defend fall outside this definition? And are therefore illegal? And are therefore an occupation?

    Not that I really care, except for the fact that I’m helping pay for the mess….

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  38. Deborah says:

    It is so good to read that Hillhunt is banned – saves me scrolling past his numerous comments.

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  39. Sarah Jane says:

    While I was checking a few things on google earlier I came across this article:

    http://www.inminds.co.uk/case-study-of-bias.html

    I notice that has someone complaining about bias because the BBC refers to the capital of Israel as Jerusalem, but BioD says we are biased because we never do that. Oh the joy of reporting on irreconcileable positions and viewpoints.

    David/Abandon Ship

    When I referred to the Balen Guide earlier I was referring to the subset of Balen’s handbook for journos which is available online here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/middle_east/israel_and_the_palestinians/key_documents/6044090.stm

    Please note this is NOT the same thing as the Balen Report. After Balen wrote the report, he wrote the guide. So all the people in the BBC not allowed to see the Report could still do something about it.

    David – you don’t need to read it all (although you may find it interesting) the bit you need to answer my question (which is not a gotcha) is quoted in my first post in this thread.

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  40. Sarah Jane says:

    I think you’ll find that almost every time the BBC says ‘occupied territories’, or when talking about ‘settlements’ it qualifies it with something like “considered illegal under international law, although Israel does not agree with this.”

    Biodegradable (Bannned) | 08.04.08 – 2:08 pm | #

    BioD – ‘occupied territories’ and ‘settlements’ are not synonyms in BBC usage.

    Articles about ‘Settlements’ are often accompanied by the contextual statement “all settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this” if it is relevant.

    This is much less common when referring to ‘occupied territories’ solely.

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  41. Alan says:

    On a somewhat related issue.
    Leftoids usually do not realize this, but Israel offered all the territories captured in 67 war back in exchange for comprehensive peace negotiations.
    The Arab League replied with infamousa ‘Three Nos’.
    1. NO peace with Israel
    2. NO recognition of Israel
    3. NO negotiations with Israel

    Only at that point did Israel started settling parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

    Khartoum Resolution of 1967:
    http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1967to1991_khartoum.php

    I am all for the establishment of a prosperous Palestinian state with territorial exchanges around 67 borders where appropriate. From the polls I read, so are most Israelis.

    But a less known fact is that Jews were massacred and expelled from some ancient Jewish communities in the West Bank (Hebron, old city of Jerusalem, etc) in 48. During the Jordanian rule of the old city of Jerusalem they built a public toilet on the Western Wall. And were shooting constantly at the West Jerusalem and the enclave of the Mt. Scopus Hebrew University campus.
    So considering the attitude of the Arab world towards Israel, it is not at all surprising Israel started settling some of the “occupied” territories.

    The truth is no one in the Arab world ever cared about the Palestinians (then Jordanian and Egyptian Arabs, speaking in two different dialects of Arabic). Palestinian sense of nationality developed in the past 40 years. Then as now they are being used as a propaganda tool.

    The only question is why is the BBC accepting the Arab “narrative” so completely.

    They will never mention that Arabs (Egypt and Jordan) refused to accept the territories in exchange for peace.

    The Arab league, finally changed its position with the rise of Iran, which scares them more than Israel ever did.

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  42. Pete says:

    When do we get to read that report on BBC bias in middle east reporting that we’ve paid for?

    If the licence fee is scrapped then I wouldn’t care how biased and selective the BBC’s news is, or about the daily avalanche of utter trash that it manufactures to fill its ever increasing number of channels.

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  43. Alan says:

    I notice that has someone complaining about bias because the BBC refers to the capital of Israel as Jerusalem, but BioD says we are biased because we never do that. Oh the joy of reporting on irreconcileable positions and viewpoints.
    Sarah Jane | 08.04.08 – 2:52 pm |

    Another misconception. West Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
    West Jerusalem is neither “disputed” nor “occupied”. Israeli Knesset is in West Jerusalem and so are different ministries.

    The only reason BBC never says (West) Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not to offend Arabs and Muslims who see (any) use of “Jerusalem” in the context of non-Muslims rule as a Crusader incursion.
    West Jerusalem is completely within the 67′ borders.
    A similar situation is with Greek objection to the name Macedonia for the ex-Yugoslav republic. Accept, of course that Greeks are not blowing up public transport in European capitals over it.

    Even Fatah’s only claim is towards *East* Jerusalem as their future capital. Hamas of-course wants Tel-Aviv as well and is playing games with hudna deceptions.

    When asked what was the capital of West Germany during the cold war, wouldn’t you answer Berlin? Even though the city was divided and it was only the west part of it, you can always prefix it with “West” to avoid confusion. During the 90’s peace talks all Arab parts of East Jerusalem were offered to Yasser Arafat and they are probably offered again to Abu Mazen.
    But (west) Jerusalem will still be the capital of Israel.

    SJ, you sound like a honest person. Much more so than the other Beeboids on this board. Many of the truths held tenaciously by the Euro left are propaganda. I know you realize that.

    I know your instinct is to defend against the attacks on the BBC. But from some of your comments I am sure you already see past there.

    In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – yes there are two narratives, but there is also undisputed truth that is objective.
    Only moral-relativists like Abu-Bowen can see it as two narratives and then pick the one that suits their views.

    I for example would call the territories “occupied”. However it is not at all clear from the international law and UNSC resolutions where the (future) border is.
    That is what is being negotiated right now.

    A part of Israeli settlements is illegal under the Israeli law.
    And the settlers there are being fought by the Israeli police all the time. Something BBC, in their attempts to demonize Israel, never reports.

    However, part of the settlements is not considered illegal. Since there was a Jewish community in the old-city of Jerusalem and Hebron for hundreds of years until 48, when Jordanians massacred it and built public toilets there. It is not at all clear that Jewish quarter in the old-city is “illegal”.

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  44. John Reith says:

    Alan | 08.04.08 – 3:28 pm

    When asked what was the capital of West Germany during the cold war, wouldn’t you answer Berlin?

    No. I used to answer ‘Bonn’.

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  45. Sarah Jane says:

    Alan, if you look through the link I gave – you will see a question from the original CBBC website ‘What is the capital of Israel?’ – what do you think the answer is? 😉

    Of course in the Palestinian perspective that is ‘bias’.

    Just wanted to pick this one up:

    “A part of Israeli settlements is illegal under the Israeli law… Something BBC, in their attempts to demonize Israel, never reports.”

    Never say never:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2880039.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2066892.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/471308.stm

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  46. Sarah Jane says:

    Here’s a more recent one in case any questions the age of those others:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6934445.stm

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  47. Sarah Jane says:

    Alan | 08.04.08 – 3:28 pm | #

    Meant to add that this point of yours sums up the situation pretty well IMO:

    “I for example would call the territories “occupied”. However it is not at all clear from the international law and UNSC resolutions where the (future) border is.
    That is what is being negotiated right now.”

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  48. Alan says:

    No. I used to answer ‘Bonn’.
    John Reith | 08.04.08 – 3:36 pm |

    Right, my bad. Forgot about that. Seems like it was ages ago.

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  49. Biodegradable (Bannned) says:

    I notice that has someone complaining about bias because the BBC refers to the capital of Israel as Jerusalem, but BioD says we are biased because we never do that. Oh the joy of reporting on irreconcileable positions and viewpoints.

    Sarah Jane | 08.04.08 – 2:42 pm

    The BBC was “forced” by the “Palestinians” to apologise for referring to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It was dealt with on this blog. I remember debating it with John Reith and Hillhunt, and possibly also with you.

    Jordan’s brief annexation of east Jerusalem was never internationally recognized.

    BBC sorry for calling Jerusalem capital of Israel

    I’d rather see ‘sorry’ in scare quotes…

    BBC Rejects Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

    Just in case the relevance of the BBC’s apology escapes you:

    Groundbreaking MPACUK SUCCESS: BBC Admit Error Publically & Apologise!

    BioD – ‘occupied territories’ and ‘settlements’ are not synonyms in BBC usage.

    Articles about ‘Settlements’ are often accompanied by the contextual statement “all settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this” if it is relevant.

    This is much less common when referring to ‘occupied territories’ solely.
    Sarah Jane | 08.04.08 – 2:52 pm

    Perhaps it is less common but the fact remains that the BBC constantly parrot the propaganda line that the occupation is considered illegal under international law, which is untrue – internatioanl law on the matter, as the status of the territories themselves, are disputed. Only the BBC and the Arabs insist that the illegality is beyond question, in both cases.

    But a less known fact is that Jews were massacred and expelled from some ancient Jewish communities in the West Bank (Hebron, old city of Jerusalem, etc) in 48. During the Jordanian rule of the old city of Jerusalem they built a public toilet on the Western Wall. And were shooting constantly at the West Jerusalem and the enclave of the Mt. Scopus Hebrew University campus.

    Alan | 08.04.08 – 2:53 pm

    Another much avoided fact is that as many, if not more, Jews were expelled from Arab countries than Arabs who left Israel in 1948.

    When you have 45 minutes to spare see this:

    http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-693217217048940768

    Related to this:
    http://jewishrefugees.blogspot.com/2008/04/congress-adopts-first-ever-jewish.html

    Which was of course totally ignored by the BBC and the rest of the Jew hating MSM.

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