General BBC-related comment thread!

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. This is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may also be moderated. Any suggestions for stories that you might like covered would be appreciated! It’s your space, use it wisely.

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75 Responses to General BBC-related comment thread!

  1. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Nobody tell the BBC:

    Study: Did early climate impact divert a new glacial age?

    The common wisdom is that the invention of the steam engine and the advent of the coal-fueled industrial age marked the beginning of human influence on global climate.

    But gathering physical evidence, backed by powerful simulations on the world’s most advanced computer climate models, is reshaping that view and lending strong support to the radical idea that human-induced climate change began not 200 years ago, but thousands of years ago with the onset of large-scale agriculture in Asia and extensive deforestation in Europe.

    What’s more, according to the same computer simulations, the cumulative effect of thousands of years of human influence on climate is preventing the world from entering a new glacial age, altering a clockwork rhythm of periodic cooling of the planet that extends back more than a million years.

    Oh dear. Looks like all those watermelon groups the BBC loves so much will do serious harm to Gaia if we let them have their way.


  2. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    Thanks David

    ‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. — Prof. P. Stott


  3. AndrewSouthLondon says:

    BBC:”The shoe-throwing attack on US President George W Bush by Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi has sparked a raft of copycat protests around the world.”

    So the shoe story runs and runs and runs. Why? Because the Bush-haters in the BBC editorial department want it to. I mean who the f*ck are they? Why is our national broadcaster employing these sh*t? Name them. Let them sign their authorship instead of hiding behind the BBC flag, cowards. How many of those journalists are willing to identify themselves?


  4. David Preiser (USA) says:


    Do you think this will become the latest party game making the rounds at Broadcasting House?

    I’m sure that flash game has hit the inbox of every Beeboid around the world.


  5. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    How many of those journalists are willing to identify themselves?
    AndrewSouthLondon | Homepage | 19.12.08 – 9:17 pm | #

    I would go further than that.
    In the spirit of openness and full disclosure and in keeping with the standards that the BBC expect of others I would mandate that ALL BBC editorial meetings be televised on a dedicated TV channel like the parliament channel or CSPAN.

    Shine a light into the Heart of Darkness that is the BBC.


  6. Ctesibius says:

    I feel very offended that ‘Lord’ Mandelson (the peer who bottled a by-election) is rumoured to be getting free publicity by being slotted in, at the last minute, on Strictly Come Dancing tomorrow.

    I’ve got a book coming out shortly. How do I apply to the Beeb for some publicity? And is it OK if I don’t pay, too?


  7. Jonathan Boyd Hunt says:

    GN&M launches Arab-language news service

    The Arab-language news service will be provided through Saudi newspaper Al Sharq, based in Qatar, which will translate up to 15 stories per day for use by media outlets in the Middle East region.

    Tim Brooks, managing director of Guardian News & Media, said the move was in line with the company’s aims to become the world’s leading liberal voice, building on the launch of the Guardian America website in October 2007.

    Brooks ruled out further launches in 2009, but said further international expansion is planned for 2010.

    He said: We are interested in Anglophone markets, growth markets, and those with no strong tradition of free press.

    Earlier this month, Guardian News & GN&M launches Arab-language news service

    Media appointed Caroline Little as chief executive of its North America operations. The appointment followed a series of moves strengthening the GN&M brand in the US.

    In July, GN&M acquired ContentNext, owner of digital media news site paidContent, for an estimated £15m. And in October 2007, it launched Guardian America, a news website dedicated to its growing US audience.

    The tribal, leftist ideological war against the last bastion of conservatism – the U.S. – is coming to fruition.

    Looks like we’re in for a great deal more global vicious anti-U.S. rhetoric accepted as fact and disseminated by the impartial Beeb…

    If only there was a documented case study that proves the Guardian’s and Beeb’s inherent lawlessness and dishonesty…. If only…


  8. kersal flyer says:

    Those naughty “youths” are up to their old tricks again:
    “Swedish city hit by youth riots”

    “Dozens of youths have rioted in the southern Swedish city of Malmo for a second consecutive night, setting cars on fire and clashing with police.”
    “… the trouble was linked to the closure of an Islamic centre.

    The owner of the building, in an immigrant neighbourhood, had decided not to renew the centre’s lease. The centre, which included a mosque, had to move out.

    But some youths squatted in the premises, until they were evicted by police earlier this week.

    Once police left the premises, the youths returned, setting fires in the area. They then clashed with police.”


  9. Chuffer says:

    Ten O’clock News, tonight (Friday), about 10.10, Nick Robinson analyses Brown’s year.
    First interesting point is that all the ‘red screens’ of the market crash ‘saved’ Brown’s premiership.
    The second is that the Tory howls after Brown’s ‘we saved the world’ comment were caused by ‘frustration’ at Brown’s success.

    Planet Robinson: a strange and scary place.


  10. Martin says:

    Can someone invent a Flash based game that involves throwing 12 year old rent boys at Beeboids?


  11. deegee says:

    Just Journalism newsletter comments on ‘Brown meets Palestinian PM Fayyad’, which was the subject of the earlier NO FRIEND OF ISRAEL THREAD No agenda here?

    (Apologies for complete article rather than a link but otherwise I would have to link to my e-mail inbox.)

    Settlement spin
    · On Monday, the BBC News website published, ‘Brown meets Palestinian PM Fayyad’, the opening sentence of which read: ‘Gordon Brown has said he hopes Israel and the Palestinians will “overcome” the issue of settlements in the West Bank in the near future.’

    · More than half of the article was devoted to quoting Brown on the settlement issue.

    · The piece was based on a joint press conference given by Gordon Brown and Salam Fayyad the same day, about the London Business Forum on Trade and Investment with Palestine.

    · In his statement, Brown emphasised his commitment to a two-state solution and did not mention settlements. He said, ‘Establishing a viable Palestinian State with a stable economy and a flourishing private sector is a crucial part of this process and that is what today’s Business Forum, that many people will speak at, is about.’

    · The issue of settlements only arose when Brown and Fayyad took questions from the press. BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen asked:

    ‘A question to each of you if I may. First of all to Mr Brown. Britain has said that Israeli settlement activity ought to stop. Can you tell us why that is important and why you believe Israel is not stopping settlement activity. And to Mr Fayyad, shouldn’t you be working harder to mend the rift with Hamas?’

    · The BBC did not report Fayyad’s answer to the second question.

    · Similarly, despite the fact that Brown only spoke about settlements in response to the question put to him by the BBC, Ian Black of The Guardian claimed, ‘The prime minister used a Palestinian business conference in London to highlight the settlement issue…’


  12. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Martin | 19.12.08 – 10:43 pm |

    Can someone invent a Flash based game that involves throwing 12 year old rent boys at Beeboids?

    Yes, but why would you want to create something that would please them?

    Unless you’re interested in making some cash off subscription fees….


  13. Martin says:

    Oops! David you’re right 🙂


  14. Anonymous says:

    not bias, just plain thick

    3 of france telecomms internet cables in the med are down

    the inevitable bbc response…..

    “Has your internet connection been affected? Are you having trouble accessing any particular sites? What are your experiences? Send us your comments using the form below.

    In most cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name and location unless you state otherwise in the box below. ”

    if your internet is not working you cannot post a response! doh !


  15. David says:

    Please find the quotes from David Cameron and Nick Clegg in this article. As you can see, there aren’t any. This is a press release.


  16. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Finally, after an entire week of silence, the BBC does a report on the Jewish charities affected by the Madoff fiasco. I just now caught the second half of it on BBC World Propaganda America (hosted by Katty Kay, as Matt Frei doesn’t work on the Islamic Sabbath). I wonder what prompted them to do this report. Did enough people ask them what their problem was?

    Thank you, BBC. Now, was that so difficult?


  17. George R says:

    Could the BBC be relied upon to do what Fox did in this case?:

    “Facebook halts jihadist ‘invasion’ of site for propaganda recruiting”


  18. George R says:

    For attention – BBC’s LYSE ‘the humanity of the Taleban’ DOUCET:

    “Talaban ‘threatens British values like the Nazis'” (Defence Secretary, Hutton)


    “John Hutton, the Defence Secretary, has compared the Taleban and al-Qaeda to the Nazis, saying that British forces in Afghanistan are defending the country’s values as they did in the Second World War.

    “In an interview in The Times today, Mr Hutton says that, like the war to defeat Hitler, the military campaign in Afghanistan is ‘a vital national security mission’ and not just a matter of foreign affairs.

    “‘We know that we must tackle the [terrorist] threat at source, it is not just going to go away,’ he says. ‘It is a struggle against fanatics that may not challenge our borders but challenges our way of life in the same way the Nazis did.’ British troops may be a long way from home but they are ‘defending our values and that must be understood’.


  19. Robert says:

    Kersal Flyer: perhaps the “youths” in Sweden were, like those in Sydney, “of mediterranean appearance” (as the BBC liked to put it)?


  20. Robert says:

    …in other words, the racist BBC prefers to substitute religion with race – as usual


  21. Robert says:

    News we don’t expect to be reading anytime soon on the State Broadcaster:
    “Gordon Brown’s poll-revival halted”


  22. Anonymous says:

    Kersal flyer 10:10 pm above.

    Yes; the BBC routinely misses out the ‘M’ word in its report title on riots in MALMO, SWEDEN:

    “Swedish city hit by youth riots”

    To understand more fully what present-day MALMO represents (where the Muslim population is over 25%), this essay by ‘Fjordman’ (2007) is enlightening,:


    “Fjordman: Jihad and the collapse of the Swedish model”:


    ‘Another great piece from the extraordinary European essayist Fjordman’:

    “I decided to write this essay following the riots in Malmö this weekend. Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and by far the worst city in Scandinavia when it comes to Muslim aggression. I read recently that an Arab girl interviewed in Malmö said that she liked it so much there, it felt almost like an Arab city. Native Swedes have been moving away from the city for years, turned into refugees in their own country by Jihad, not too different from the non-Muslims in some regions of the Philippines, southern Thailand or Kashmir in India, or for that matter, Christian Serbs in Kosovo.

    “Sweden was presented during the Cold War as a middle way between capitalism and Communism. When this model of a society collapses • and it will collapse, under the combined forces of Islamic Jihad, the European Union, Multiculturalism and ideological overstretch • it is thus not just the Swedish state that will collapse but the symbol of Sweden, the showcase of an entire ideological world view. I wrote two years ago that if the trend isn’t stopped, the Swedish nation will simply cease to exist in any meaningful way during the first half of this century. The country that gave us Bergman, ABBA and Volvo could become known as the Bosnia of northern Europe, and the ‘Swedish model’ will be one of warning against ideological madness, not one of admiration. I still fear I was right in that assessment.” (Fjordman).

    (Sorry BBC; this Fjordman essay shatters your ‘Wallander’ image of Sweden.)


  23. George R says:

    Anonymous 9:00 am was me.


  24. Grant says:

    Jonathan Boyd Hunt 10:04

    How brave of the Guardian to challenge Islamic extremism in the Middle East and spread “liberalism” !


  25. George R says:

    BBC report:

    “Secular Turks ‘facing prejudice'”

    Of course they are; Islam regards them as inferior.

    But this is irrelevant to the ‘multiculturalists’ of the E.U., and to Brown and D. Miliband who lead the charge to get the 75 Muslim Turks into the E.U. as soon as possible – and as many millions of them who want to come – into the U.K.

    This is how things are reported in Turkey today:


    In slow step forward, Turkey opens EU reform chapters”

    Even now, this is the Turkish PM’s message-


    “Turkish PM to Muslims in Germany: ‘Assimilation in a crime against humanity'”



    “Welcome to Germany”


  26. Ricky Martin says:

    So the Labour Party State Broadcaster never ever reports on “opinion” polls, stating that they do not do speculation. Perhaps this policy relates to the fact that the hated opposition has been doing rather well in the polls – up to recently. Yet, on the 6pm BBC News yesterday their “political” correspondent devoted a full four minutes to examining Browns changing fortunes and focused heavily on the “opinion” polls. Now they show his revival, they become the subject of a lead news story.

    Few B-BBC bloggers have yet commented on the secret stitch-up giving the Labour Party Broacaster a further funding deal up to 2011. Hopefully an incoming Conservative government will knock this on the head and dismantle the Ship of Fools.

    And JBH – remember the Grauniad has just an ABC readership of around 350,000 – mostly public sector job seekers. The Western hating tabloid only survives through government sponsored ads.

    Again, when the Conservatives win they must pull the plug on this cosy set up and spread govt budgets more fairly. I hope our US friends see through a newspaper group that had villified America for over 40 years.


  27. Sue says:

    “Ian Black of The Guardian claimed, ‘The prime minister used a Palestinian business conference in London to highlight the settlement issue…'”
    deegee | 19.12.08 – 10:45 pm |

    What a twister. I hate the Guardian. I can’t stand anyone who reads it now, either.
    Just a little tweak; inserting the words “Used” and “Highlight” makes everything appear just the way he wants it to.
    Middle East Editor?
    Jeremy Bowen and Ian Black, both.

    ‘Editor’ is SO right. Edit.That’s what they do.


  28. Sue says:

    In the olden days, when BBC spokespersons used to show up here, there was a bit of a last-resort defense they dragged up to be used against examples of indefensible bias.

    Namely, if the BBC DID broadcast something like that, there would always be something else, somewhere, if you looked for it, that would restore balance.

    I have just heard Jeremy Bowen’s FOOC. As subtle as Aleem Maqbool’s sentimental journey, Bowen took us on a guided tour of his journey through the ‘echoing chambers’ of the iron-gated border crossing from Israel to Gaza. He was greeted by broadly grinning Palestinians, happily offering to carry his bags, cheerful despite their suffering.

    Everything that might have seemed faintly mitigating on the part of the Small Satan was preceded by the usual “Israel claims,” whereas, naturally everything sympathetic to the poor Pale Stinians was relayed direct.

    Nothing unusual there I know. But where have they hidden the item ‘included to restore balance? ‘
    Don’t tell me, they’ve stopped even bothering.


  29. Anonymous says:

    The BBC’s permanent guest and Labour ‘multiculturalist’, (on BBC News TV ‘Dateline London’ this morning): POLLY TOYNBEE, the clueless dhimmi; she, in an unsubstantiated two second assertion, emphasising the 200 years ‘sins of the fathers’, British overseas occupation in history, as cause of Islamic terrorism cases in Britain, including this week’s cases! She doesn’t even mention the ravages caused by Islamic imperialism over 1400 years, including the violent conquest and occupation of the Indian subcontinent. (Recommended Christmas reading for her: Efraim Karsh “Islamic Imerialism”.)

    As goes Sweden, so goes Britain courtesy of Labour Party, BBC, Toynbees, and all the other ‘multiculturalists’. They all want more mass immigration still!

    (See 9:00 am item above, on Sweden, by ‘Fjordman’.)


  30. pounce says:

    Ctesibius: wrote:
    “I feel very offended that ‘Lord’ Mandelson (the peer who bottled a by-election) is rumoured to be getting free publicity by being slotted in, at the last minute, on Strictly Come Dancing tomorrow.”

    From what I’ve heard on the Media ,Mandy loves to get slotted up the tube at the last minute by his Brazilian lover. Personally I’d love to see Mandy get slotted like a certain Brazilian on the tube.
    Sorry if I offended anybody with what I wrote. But this government of ours is a joke. The fact that the bBC has no problem being a bitch to it makes it even worse and how I am forced to pay the twats in which to pump me full of Nu-labour propaganda really takes the biscuit.


  31. George R says:

    Anonymous 1:26 pm was me.


  32. Bryan says:

    Interesting show on World Have Your Say last night on the Israeli-Arab conflict:

    [audio src="" /]

    Guy called Sami from Gaza (at around 33 minutes in) wanted to know the name of the organisation that conducted the poll showing a majority of Palestinians support suicide bombings. The ZOA guy gave it to him (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR)) so I thought I’d have a look. Here’s the last paragraph of conclusions from a March 2008 poll. Doesn’t look encouraging:

    Finally, findings show a significant increase in the level of support for armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel with 67% supportive and 31% opposed. Average support for such attacks on Israeli civilians stood at 40% in 2005 and 55% in 2006. Findings also show wide-spread support for the suicide attack that took place in the Israeli town Dimona and led to the death of one Israeli woman, with support standing at 77% and opposition at 19%. The armed attack on a religious school in West Jerusalem which led to the death of eight Israeli students is supported by 84% and opposed by 13%. Support for similar suicide attacks inside Israel dropped significantly during 2005 with only 29% supporting a suicide attack that took place in Tel Aviv and 37% supporting another one in Beersheba. But support for such attacks increased in mid 2006 as a suicide attack in Tel Aviv at that time received the support of 69% and the opposition of 27%.

    Back to the programme, here’s a Question from Mark (in Israel) for Gazans:

    Since Israel pulled out of Gaza, how do the thousands of missiles from Gaza help Palestinians get a state?

    The Gazans pulled their usual trick of pretending they couldn’t hear the question. (I’ve heard this tactic used quite a few times on these shows.) So the host, Ros Atkins, repeated it and got the usual nonsense that this is in response to Israeli attacks as well as more ducking and diving as the conversation progressed.

    And BBC hacks speculate on whether Obama will get tough with Israel:

    No getting tough with the Palestinians then, much as they deserve it.


  33. Bryan says:

    Just had another look at this:

    The armed attack on a religious school in West Jerusalem which led to the death of eight Israeli students…

    As if they were somehow caught in crossfire, instead of being murdered in cold blood by an Israeli Arab who walked into the school.

    I recall that Mahmoud Abbas, Israel’s “moderate” hope among Palestinian leaders for a peace partner, praised the killer as a “martyr.”

    Yet another Paleostinian among the Palestinians.


  34. Sue says:

    Never mind Any Questions (thread above)
    What about Any Answers?
    A caller, obviously a devout BBC listener and Guardian reader, phoned in to make his comment (on the topic of Iraq.)
    He knows the cause of terrorism and all Middle East related problems.
    It’s the appalling treatment meted out by Israel to the Pale Stinians in Gaza.
    Unusual for Jonathan Dimbleby not to put forward an opposing argument to callers’ outrageous remarks, but he let that one go unchallenged.


  35. Anonymous says:

    The BBC’ typical political line:-

    “Moroccan jailed over Madrid bombs”

    ‘M’ word and ‘I’ word crucially omitted from BBC report.

    Contrast –

    “Moroccan jihadist gets 20 years for his involvement in killing 191 people in Madrid bombings.

    “20 years for involvement in the murders of 191 people? Could it be because Islamic law values the life of an infidel less than that of a Muslim?”


  36. George R says:

    Anonymous 2:55 pm was me.


  37. Martin says:

    Pounce: I nearly chocked on my skinny latte reading that 🙂


  38. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Somebody tell the BBC:

    New World Post-pandemic Reforestation Helped Start Little Ice Age, Say Scientists

    Stanford University researchers have conducted a comprehensive analysis of data detailing the amount of charcoal contained in soils and lake sediments at the sites of both pre-Columbian population centers in the Americas and in sparsely populated surrounding regions. They concluded that reforestation of agricultural lands—abandoned as the population collapsed—pulled so much carbon out of the atmosphere that it helped trigger a period of global cooling, at its most intense from approximately 1500 to 1750, known as the Little Ice Age.

    See, BBC, it’s possible to stop your nightmare of Global Warming without all the watermelon crap you’re pushing now. Just encourage people to plant trees.

    Since the indigenous population in South and Central America collapsed in such a short time span, it seems that the indirectly Anthropogenic Global Cooling ramped up pretty quickly. Sounds like a good plan, and how hard could it be to sell it to the public? I mean, they could just get Jeremy Paxman to say, “If we don’t plant trees, we’ll all be dead in a few years.” Plus, unlike the junk-science which drives the current movement, the “Little Ice Age” is scientifically proven, beyond any “consensus”. Speaking of which, not even those dreaded “opponents of the consensus” would object to a tree-planting campaign.

    Will the BBC environmentals take this up, or, as we all suspect, are they really more concerned about the red underneath the green?


  39. The Bias Must End says:

    Britain wins battle for the pint

    Decades of wrangling with the EU over switching to metric measures has ended with a vote confirming that imperial measures can carry on indefinitely.

    The European Commission acknowledged last year that persuading the UK to embrace litres and kilometres over pints and miles was a lost cause.
    The vote means a 2009 deadline to end the use of imperial measurements alongside metric units has been scrapped.

    So how does the BBC respond to this? By reporting only in km and completely ignoring miles!
    The BBC’s psychological warfare against the British people must continue regardless!

    Notice the complete absence of miles in this report:
    Swiss glaciers ‘in full retreat’

    One assessment found that some 10 cubic km of ice have been lost
    The assessment found a total ice volume present in the Swiss Alps of about 75 cubic km
    Area covered by the glaciers – Aletsch: 83.01sq km; Rhone: 16.45sq km; Gries: 5.26sq km; Silvretta: 2.89sq km
    Thickness change over the entire period – Aletsch: -65m; Rhone: -43m; Gries: -97m; Silvretta: -35m
    Mr Huss has applied future climate projections to the 10km-long Rhone Glacier

    They haven’t really given up their metric campaign…

    Now schools routinely teach children to think of their weight in kilograms and their height in metres and centimetres, and petrol by the litre is common.

    So the schools will do their bit on the children and the BBC will play it’s part on the rest of the population by reporting in km only.

    The BBC: always looking for opportunities to undermine British culture. It’s what we do.


  40. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mr Brown. The worst is yet to come.

    Sterling: Why it can’t stop falling


  41. will says:

    Ahead of a 2 part Hollywood biopic about Che, the Sun tells their readership about his tyrannical ways

    Che Guevara: ‘A cold killing machine motivated by hate’

    So at least some people in this country will know a bit more when the BBC starts to drool over the productions

    CHE: Part One (15) is in cinemas on January 2. Che: Part Two (15) follows on February 20


  42. Bryan says:

    No doubt there’ll be a flurry of activity in BBC closets as faded old Che T-shirts are taken out and admired.


  43. Dick the Prick says:

    Sue – I read the Guardian because I think Hoggy is brilliant and also for the crossword. Some of the articles are genuine comedy – they really are. George Monbiot was wittering about bringing airships back earlier this year and the fact that we should all be veagan – hokely dokely.

    However not so much biassed but just WRONG is the continued employment of John ‘never won a bloody thing in his life’ Virgo. Not many people, on hearing news of their painful and agonising death, would I reach for the champers and have a party. He is a vile creature who’s a wasted abortion.


  44. George R says:


    “BBC ‘favourite’ Muslim-spokesman: ‘Any Muslim killed fighting Israel goes to paradise'”


    “As to all those who disagree with this position, well, they can simply ‘piss off!’ — according to Mr. Ashgar Bukhari, leading spokesman of The Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), ‘one of the media’s favourite Muslim organisations.'”


  45. TPO says:

    Can’t see the BBC reporting what this labour arsehole has been up to.

    Not ‘newsworthy’ I suppose.

    BBC Biased in everything it omits.


  46. deegee says:

    Aleem Maqbool makes the expected jump from trite to blatant propaganda inThe road to Bethlehem EVENING, FRIDAY , 19 DECEMBER: NABLUS

    I am happy to report that we (donkey and I) safely negotiated what locals reassuringly call “The Journey of Death”. I have been following the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for decades now and have never heard that term for the trip from Jenin to Nablus nor found that reference by googling.

    His disappointment was very apparent when we saw the spring had been reduced to a trickle, and no waterfall. Most springs and waterfalls are seasonal in Israel/Palestine and may dry up completely in the dry months. Rains are a bit late this year so low or absent water should have come as no surprise. As a BBC hack I would have expected Maqbool to blame Global Warming :-).

    As idyllic as this area looked, water shortages had become a huge problem, particularly affecting the main source of income here, agriculture.

    Abu Reyad and his brother-in-law Abu Hafiz, had lived here all their lives and told us that low rainfall and mismanagement of resources had led to their troubles.

    They also complained that Israel, as the occupying power, controlled most of the Palestinian water resources, and took the vast majority of the water.

    It was a reminder that water is one of the core issues in this conflict, and is likely to become more so if current climatic trends in the region continue, as Israel has few water resources of its own. False! Israel’s major water source is the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and its major catchment area is the Golan – one reason why Israel is so loath to give it up to the Syrians. If Israel removed every Israeli from over the 1967 ceasefire lines and pumped only from pre-1967 areas there would still be a major dispute because of the aquifer lying under both areas. There is no way that Maqbool can add anything to an immensely complicated issue from conversations from the back of a donkey. The two ‘Abus’ know as little as he does.

    Compare this with the transcript from the accompanying video:
    We have been talking to villagers and they say there are problems specifically in terms of water shortages. What they say is a contributing factor is they don’t control the water. It’s the occupying Israeli Government that does. What ever happened to low rainfall and mismanagement of resources? In fact,the Arab fellahin never controlled the water. He simply drilled wells and collected from winter rains.

    It is called that, not just for its long, steep, rocky climbs, or the fact that Israeli snipers frequently use the mountain tops. This becomes libelous. Sniping at passing traffic is generally a Palestinian tactic and one of the reasons for building protective walls, for example, at Gilo and why some parts of the Security Barrier are concrete and some parts are only wire.

    This is what Jews – but not most Christians and Muslims here – believe to be the burial site of the Prophet Joseph. Could anyone conceive of Maqbool saying “The night journey of Muhammad to Jerusalem is believed by some Muslims but not accepted by Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus or anyone else? I personally don’t believe that the building really is Joseph’s tomb but I resent the idea that journalist supposedly uncritically following the path of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem (Some biblical historians claim that the Bethlehem in the bible was a different town of the same name in the Galilee) feels he can question another person’s faith.


  47. deegee says:

    In the mid-1990s, there was local consternation that Israel still controlled access to the area even after Nablus was handed over to Palestinian Authority control. Although according to AM the site is religiously significant to Jews and not Arabs. Perhaps it’s hard for Maqbool to do any research from the back of an ass but during the Western Wall Tunnel riots in 1996, the tomb was attacked and six Israeli soldiers were killed. It somehow also slipped his mind that access to Jewish and Christian religious sites by students and pilgrims was guaranteed by the Oslo Accords.

    In 2000, Palestinian youths used the site as a focus for demonstrations against Israeli occupation, which led to clashes with Israeli troops there. In October of that year, in an infamous episode, 17 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were killed. Why infamous? Armed Palestinians attacked and were eventually driven off. See Border policeman dies of wounds after Palestinians prevent his evacuation Perhaps Maqbool was thinking of the Palestinian security forces preventing the medical evacuation of the critically wouned, 19-year old Druse border policeman, Cpl. Madhat Yusuf for over five hours? Or perhaps he was thinking of then Prime Minister Ehud Barak refusing to send the Army in force during that period?

    Soon after, the army pulled out and stopped having a permanent presence at the site, which a group of Palestinians then burned and ransacked. The destruction of Jewish religious sites by the Palestinians is one of the reasons why even secular Israelis distrust the Palestinians.

    With a torch, I could see candle wax on the small pillars close to the centre of the tomb. The Israeli army still regularly escorts Jewish pilgrims here in the dead of night. I have heard that they come, at considerable risk to their lives, despite Army opposition. See:IDF arrests 3 Israelis who illegally enter Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus or IDF arrests nine Israelis who illegally enter Joseph’s Tomb (

    I headed on to the old quarter of Nablus, and one of the oldest buildings – the bath-house. Script over the door claims the place was established 150 years before the birth of Jesus. In what language does the script say this – Greek, Roman or Hebrew? Try as I might the oldest Turkish bath I can find is the Al-Shifa Hamaam built in 1624. Old but not that old.

    When a journalist writes an analysis we expect (perhaps wishful thinking) competent research and counter views. When a journalist writes a colour piece, such as this, we expect mostly description of things he sees with his own eyes. Aleem Maqbool simply uncritically repeats Palestinian propaganda as fact. What has that got to do with Jesus?


  48. Bryan says:


    That bit about Israeli snipers waiting to shoot Palestinians certainly warrants a complaint to what’s left of the BBC. I’d do it but I’m not sure I,m up to yet another wild goose chase.


  49. Anonymous says:

    BBC report (and where does its political sympathies lie?):

    “Australian Taleban ‘fully free'”

    In this report, the BBC unusually does mention Hicks’ religion; he is a “convert to Islam”, adding:

    “Hicks has admitted to training with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and meeting its leader, Osama Bin Laden.

    “The 33-year-old has said he is recovering still from his ordeal at Guantanamo Bay..”

    In the BBC’s moral universe, Hicks’ training with al-Qaeda, which is an enemy of the British people and our Western allies, appears to have no moral condemnation, but Guantanamo represents some ‘ordeal’. Typical al Beeb.