Middle Eastenders Like Us

The army of BBC reporters who’ve been plonked in Egypt have one thing in common – unalloyed joy at the people’s uprising.
We’ve heard people say, ‘Mubarak may be a monster, but he’s our monster,’ or, ‘ Careful what you wish for – some Iraqis long for the stability of Sadaam’ – but what we mainly hear is wholehearted enthusiasm for the ‘deposing of the tyrant’. They approve of Ben Ali’s removal from Tunisia, yet have little interest in what will follow.

Just because we all abhor torture and corruption, and applaud democracy and freedom, our enemy’s enemy is not necessarily our ally, and we should all be careful about expressing unreserved enthusiasm for what we know little about.

Even though the Muslim Brotherhood is not considered to be an immediate threat to Egypt’s future, none of the BBC interviews I’ve seen have questioned the bright-eyed protesters about their attitude to the West, and Israel in particular. Polls suggest that the majority of Egyptians sympathise with Sharia, which doesn’t auger well for an enlightened future. Remember Iran.

Representatives of the BBC should engage their brains and stop assuming all Egyptians view everything through the eyes of the western liberal. That’s a common failing of all the BBC’s reporting. None of them seem to have the imagination to put themselves in any shoes other than their own. I think I’ve said this before. The Middle East isn’t like Islington, and Islam isn’t a religion of peace.
H/T True Too for Caroline Glick

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45 Responses to Middle Eastenders Like Us

  1. DP111 says:

    David Suissa: Israel has never looked so good

    They all warned us. The geniuses at Peace Now. The brilliant diplomats. The think tanks. Even the Arab dictators warned us.
    For decades now, they have been warning us that if you want “peace in the Middle East,” just fix the Palestinian problem. A recent variation on this theme has been: Just get the Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to “freeze” their construction, and then, finally, Palestinian leaders might come to the table and peace might break out.

    And what would happen if peace would break out between Jews and Palestinians? Would all those furious Arabs now demonstrating on the streets of Cairo and across the Middle East feel any better? Would they feel less oppressed?

    What bloody nonsense.

    Has there ever been a greater abuse of the English language in international diplomacy than calling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the “Middle East peace process?” As if there were only two countries in the Middle East.

    Even if you absolutely believe in the imperative of creating a Palestinian state, you can’t tell me that the single-minded and global obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the expense of the enormous ills in the rest of the Middle East hasn’t been idiotic, if not criminally negligent.



  2. TrueToo says:

    Thanks for the hat tip, sue!

    World Service coverage of Egypt has vacillated between dire and awful. They are handling the revolt like a precious possession and woe betide anyone or anything that nudges them and might cause them to drop it.

    I heard (not on the BBC) that Omar Suleiman has invited the Muslim Brotherhood for talks. Not good. 


  3. DP111 says:

    So far the US and the EU, have pressured Israel to give in to virtually all Arab demands. The reason stated, or un-stated, is that if the ME process does not move forward, it will lead to the fall of “moderate” Arab regimes of the sort of Mubarak (they are falling anyway). The result is that Israel keeps losing any sympathy for its cause, both within and without Israel if it resists. The eventual destination of this road leads to the piece by “peace” destruction of Israel- as it is ceases to be a viable geographic or economic nation. Essentially, the present paradigm forces Israel to commit suicide.
    As the main reason to support “moderate” regimes in the Arab world is now discredited, it effectively liberates Israel from the shackles of the Road Map, and the requirement to give land for peace. The peace that Israel now has is a sham. It is far better for Israelis to know that, and accept that they will always be at war with Islam. Islam requires that territory once captured by Islam can never leave dar ul Islam.
    The fall of Mubarak, and unintended consequences, may actually liberate Israel from its so called supporters. Even In Israel, the “Peace Now” fanatics will be silenced, or lose credibility. Its evident that even Left wing media in Israel are concerned about the fall of Mubarak. We see thus, that real danger concentrates the mind to the essentials. That is good.


  4. sue says:

    Charles Moore has some good stuff in the Telegraph. However, he thinks David Cameron, at last, gets it.
    I thought so too when I heard the headlines this morning, but no. He’s saying now that there is good, religious Islam, and bad, political, ideological, unIslamic Islam. He’s not admitting that the ideoplogy stems from the religion.
    Anyhow, Charles Moore has something to say about the TV coverage of Egypt.

    “Personally, I am getting a bit sick of being told what to think by the famous presenters – Jon Snow, John Simpson, George Alagiah – who are “big-footing” their local colleagues. They call supporters of President Mubarak “thugs”.”

    “After all those news bulletins, few of us are much the wiser about who has power in Egypt or what this great turmoil is really about”


    • hippiepooter says:

      There’s a lot of room for diplomatic hypocrisy in the way HMG views Islam in the interests of our foreign relations.  One consideration is the fate of British Subjects in these looney Muslim states if one fine day a British Prime Minister gets real about Islam without warning.

      I remember Tony Blair saying with considerable resolve that ‘the rules of the game have changed’ after 7/7 I believe, but nothing came of it.  I think all Muslims have to do is whine and wail with the connivance of our subversive BBC-led left wing media and Cameron will bottle it.

      I deeply admire Charles Moore, but he is one of Cameron’s inner circle (so I perceive) and I get the impression he deludes himself about Cameron to reassure himself about the natural order in having an old Etonian as Prime Minister.  Alas, British society today is not the stuff of comfort zone Ealing comedies any more, as much as he (and I) may yearn for those days.


    • NotaSheep says:

      Did these BBC geniuses point out that Mubarek was a thug pre this uprising? I don’t seem to remember this?


  5. john says:

    “Even though the Muslim Brotherhood is not considered to be an immediate threat to Egypt’s future,”

    Oh dear, who told you this, the BBC?

    Those of us here are always on our guard against BBC propaganda, but I suppose it is inevitable that some gems like this sneak through unnoticed. I have fallen for plenty myself.

    I caught a report on TV yesterday (not the BBC) which showed a sermon from one of the Muslim Brotherhoods spiritual leaders saying words to the effect that the Nazis had made a good start in punishing the Jews, but that it lay with the true believers of the faith to complete the job.

    I think the lesson here is to double check everything the BBC says, even that apparently uninnoccuous statement that the Muslim Brotherhood are nothing to worry about. The idea being promoted by the BBC that our friends in the Brotherhood are unlikely to get their hands on power in Egypt, and even if they did, that we can do business with them needs a lot more research before one accepts it as a given.


    • sue says:

      “Even though the Muslim Brotherhood is not considered to be an immediate threat to Egypt’s future,” 
      Oh dear, who told you this, the BBC?

      ……. not considered to be an immediate threat by the BBC and many others. If you assumed I meant I don’t think the Muslim Brotherhood is a threat, you’re mistaken. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

      However, the threat that the M.B. will fill the political vacuum immediately isn’t a certainty, according to various people, but most would agree that their popularity is a very serious threat to the whole region, particularly in the absense of any alternative.


      • john says:

        For my part, Sue, I’m still trying to understand exactly where North Africa is headed. I just have a gut feeling that the BBC interpretation that we have a struggle between fun loving democratic movements and thuggish dictators, with Islam playing a secondary role, to be far too simplistic and almost certainly agenda driven.
        Keep on lifting the stones to see what crawls out because few in the media are going to do this.


  6. Cassandra King says:

    Just why is the BBC coverage of Egypt so poor?

    You could say that the BBC are treating protestors and their aims as if they were European mass protesters with European aims and mindsets, a kind of equality of aims and purpose. The same attitude prevails when approaching Eygptian political parties especially the fruitcake variety includig the MB, the BBC simply cannot see the difference between the mindsets of Egyptians and those of Europeans, they try in their limited imaginations to append the Egyptian political spectrum with our own and their political aims with those of our political parties.

    Egyptian politics have nothing in common with Western democratic politics at all, its akin to learning about the frog by disecting a mouse. We are not all alike, our aims and ambitions and hopes and dreams are different there is no unity of purpose and common aims and to try to look at the problem by direct comparisin with Western politics gives a wholly false picture.

    Here the BBC falls down badly and they let their audience down, the use of the word milltant for example translates so poorly as to render the word meaningless and indeed dangerous. Moderate is another example of BBC ignorance because what is a moderate in Egypt? An Egyptian moderate can still be a Jew killing suicide murder supporting Gay hanging fanatic and a conservative could be an ally of israel or the West and yet the BBC are either simpletons playing at grown ups OR they are quite deliberately trying to misrepresent the issues.

    How on earth can the BBC report the events in Egypt fairly and accurately? Its easy, forget any Western notions of political discourse, leave behind any notion of a common cause with Western political life and spell out clearly each fault line by explaining each different political group and its general aims, its obvious to all that even now with hours of first line primetime airing we still have not the faintest idea of what parties support what main aims and policies and who the parties represent and from wht part of the nation and this is important because Egypt is not just one nation but several interconnected tribal groups from different geographical areas.

    The BBC is engaging in childish pornography insead of building us a coherrent picture with solid base lines and rules of engagement, all we see are rabble engaging with rabble in violence and BBC approved talking heads pimping their own narrow untranslated narrative.

    So in effect the BBC coverage leaves us in the dark about motives and aims, we know less than when coverage first began and its all so confused and mixed up it ends up with ridiculous assertions that the MB can be termed moderates, its like calling Adolf Hitler a moderate becasue he never actually killed a Jew with his own hands.

    If you want real adult mature coverage with expert dissection and analysis of events then only Fox offers anything close, the BBC is ill informed badly put together juvenille trash with as much meaning as reading a copy of the Mirror.


  7. George R says:

    Was there an Islam Not BBC (INBBC ) contingent on this pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Sharia law demonstration in London, in support of demonstrators in Cairo?

    If not, why not?

    “London embassy protesters demand sharia law amid continuing chaos in Egypt ”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1353787/London-embassy-protesters-demand-sharia-law-amid-continuing-chaos-Egypt.html#ixzz1D6m5jWGN


  8. sue says:

    Make Barry Rubin a daily must-read!
    Six new relevant posts today.
    1. (alarming) Turkey to Train Syria’s Army.
    2. ( failures galore) The Obama Administration and the Middle East.
    3. (clue is in the title) Egypt: Western Blindness on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Extremism Is Beyond Ridiculous.
    4. ( one for B-BBC) A Journalist’s Tale: Covering Terrorism Upside-Down.
    5. (quote from M.B. deputy leader) It’s Official: M.B. Leader Says Will End Peace Treaty With Israel.
    6. (A Rubin speculation special) What Would An Egyptian Election Look Like?


    • John Anderson says:

      Yes,  Rubin’s stream of articles have tried to be realistic about what is happening – and what might happen.   Rubin’s analyses effectively demolish the naivete of the BBC.

      The other writer I check is Caroline Glick – and also the excellent Powerline website


  9. NotaSheep says:

    This morning I blogged that ‘Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood movement has unveiled its plans to scrap a peace treaty with Israel if it comes to power,’ I have just had a thought, since that peace treaty was a land for peace deal; if a Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt decides to renege on the peace side of that deal, can Israel take back the Sinai peninsula?


    • sue says:

      “if a Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt decides to renege on the peace side of that deal, can Israel take back the Sinai peninsula?”

      A non governmental opinion poll carried out yesterday in my household sez “yes.”


      • hippiepooter says:

        Take back Gaza as well and expel all but a remnant of the population of this terrorist statelet to Sinai.


  10. pounce_uk says:

    The bBC, reporting from Eygpt and not even half the story.
    You’d think that with an army of bBC personnal on the ground in Eygpt that the bBC would get around to reporting some news. You know like how the pipeline (which the MB doesn’t like) which suppliesIsrael with 40% of its gas has been blown up. Oh the bBC have reported it, its jsut you really do have to look high and low in which to find it. (the strange thing is the place where it was blown up is only 10 kilometres from Gaza)
    Then there another story about how a Church (also just across the border from Gaza) has been blown up.
    Then theres how a Hamas commander jailed in Eygpt escaped from Prison and is now back in Gaza.
    Then there’s how the MB are saying if they get into power they will tear up the peace trwweaty with Israel.

    It seems that when it comes to actually reporting from Eygpt the bBC  isn’t reporting anything at all. If that is so why the hell are we paying them £145 a year in which to sing the praises of theological oppression. The only good thing i can actually see if the whole region goes to war agaisnt Israel, is that Israel nukes every Islamic country within reach into the stoneage. Hopefully that will include Bowen and his ilk.


    • Demon1001 says:

      Pounce,  I was with you all the way until you expressed your hope that all these countries are nuked.  I really think that is going a bit too far.

      Plus the fact, in any nuclear exchange Israel would be completely wiped out, even if there was no retaliation (not likely at all) the radiation from their own bombs will kill their own citizens too.


      • pounce_uk says:

        Actually, I’m not far off the mark there. If Eygpt falls to the MB they will restart hostilites woth Israel. That is fact, If Hezb-allah wins Lebanon (like it looks like it is) then they will start a war with Israel and it looks like any future war in which to wipe out Israel will include Turkey. Syria doesn’t require an invite.  
        So how will it begin, well becasue the Arabs understand public image and have the bBC on their side. They will get Hamas to up the tempo, If Israel strikes back and say hits a baby milk factory then that gives the arabs justifaction in which to launch rocket attacks So Hezb-allah ,Syria and Hamas will pound away at Israel safe in their own backyards. Once Israel has been beaten up by all those home-made rocket atatcks Eygpt will send in the land forces as will Jordon. (remember their attack will be justified becasue the bBC  will say so) In which to appear magmanious the Arabs will demand Israel returns to the 1967 borders, that a 1 state solution is implimented, that they allow all the refugees who they have kicked out to return , that they are paid to return, that they disband their armed forces and this being islam we are taking about they will ensure that jews pay a tax to their superiours.

        Eitherway the Jewish homeland is gone. The arabs aren’t stupid and neither are the jews. As I said hopefully the jews will nuke every f-ing arab city in the region before they are wiped out. I am looking at over 100 million dead  

        Then and only then will Muslims relaise that in fact they can be victims.  
        Europe will see a huge backlash agaisnt Islam and becasue i look like one I will most likey get killed. However before i do I would like to visit the bBC and give them a piece of my mind. Simply becasue the bBC has been the biggest standard bearer of radical Islam in the West. becasue of them Anti-semtism has gone through the roof and because of them white liberal wankers presume that muslims can do no wrong. Sorry but every country that Islam touches it ruins. So ref Israel nuking every arab country do you really think Israel is going to sit back and see themselves destroyed without taking out the root casue of their problem. I can’t and as i said I look forward to the day they do.


        • deegee says:

          Then and only then will Muslims relaise that in fact they can be victims.  
          Muslims are always victims. They are just cognitively dissonant about connecting the actions they initiate (cause) and the consequences of defeat (effect).


        • hippiepooter says:

          @ Pounce

          >>and this being islam we are taking about they will ensure that jews pay a tax to their superiours.<<

          If Israel falls there wont be a Jew left alive to pay.


      • Charlie says:

        I am pretty sure Israel will have mastered the technology to build small nuclear devices which will be militarily affective, but keep Israel safe.

        Arab states have long kept their populations passive by massive propaganda against Israel, transferring the hate for the state to hate against Israel.

        It seems this position is now breaking down.

        Jeremy Bowen may have to rejig his agenda.


        • ltwf1964 says:

          things could well be lining up for the yet to happen Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39 war

          have a read and see the line up of countries which are to line up against Israel with a view to its destruction

          and the epic fail which ensues

          there is also a mention elsewhere about Damascus being “laid waste”


      • Biodegradable says:

        Never heard of the Samson Option?


        • ltwf1964 says:

          I’ve never heard that term,but I was aware of the alleged/speculated arsenal available


  11. deegee says:

    For some reason no one seems to be articulating or even speculating on what result in Egypt will be best for the UK or even the US. If Egypt becomes a 2nd Iran what will the effects be on us? Ditto in the (IMHO) less likely result that an apparently secular democracy takes over from Mubarak?

    Britain, France (and Israel) went to war in 1956 largely to protect free access to the Suez Canal. What would Britain’s reaction be if the new government sought to put pressure on indirect pressure on Israel by closing the canal? What if they only closed it to Israeli ships? 

    The US has invested billions of $ in Mubarak since Camp David. Will they keep propping up the Egyptian economy with $2.8 billion a year if Mubarak is replaced by a government hostile to the US? If the Peace Treaty with Israel is torn up is there any reason to continue? Why is there no discussion? What will the UK do in the event of tension between the new Egyptian regime and the US?

    Jonathan Marcus asks Does the US really want Mubarak to go? Does the UK?

    Does the UK have no interest in the result? If we listen to the BBC, the anwer must be No.


  12. deegee says:

    BBC suggests that Mubarak is like Hitler and Mussolini.
    Hitler and Mussolini did not actually make the trains run on time any better than their democratic contemporaries. They just created circumstances where only a mad man would complain that they were late.
    Will Hosni Mubarak regret his poor sense of timing?

    By Kevin Connolly 
    BBC News, Cairo
    Does anyone recall the BBC making such a criticism of the Egyptians before?


    • NotaSheep says:

      What you have to realise is that the top priority of the BBC’s Middle East news coverage is to make Israel look bad. Whilst Mubarek’s Egypt was the only game, it could not be criticised – except for not being sufficiently anti-Israel. Now there is a chance that a fanatically anti-Israel Egyptian could come into being, the BBC are very pro-this happening. If this means lying about the Muslim Brotherhood then so be it, the end result justifies the means…


  13. Cassandra King says:

    Niiice 😀 .

    The triains were bang on time even if they actually never showed up at all.
    The Soviet harvest was an all time record high even if it was an all time low and that which did come in was rotten.
    The allied forces were being pushed back into the English channel even as they broke out into open country.

    Lying propaganda from lying socialists? But of course, its who they are and what they do.

    Cameron and the EDF(see that beautiful flag in Luton?), both in the same BBC report and the BBC are trying to tie them both together with the same motives and intent.
    Never mind that Cameron is a supporter of the UAF street thugs and his party is a signatory to the UAF charter, the opportunity was to just too good to miss eh BBC?
    Funny how the BBC forgot to include shots of the UAF street thugs though, must be the cuts in funding and the shortage of film. Perhaps they didnt want the public to see the real face of the UAF and its islamists helpers with banners proclaiming islam will dominate the world, and death to those who insult islam and even one reading kill the unbeliever =-O . Which is ironic because many UAF supporters being infidels and leftists and Gays were actually supporting their own murder with frothing leftists standing with frothing islamists who would happily kill them and murder Gays if given the chance. Its a funny old worl 😀 d!

    Now Why would the BBC show a tiny part of the EDL crowd carefully selected to show only those young strapping big lads in the front line who BTW were protecting others behind who were not able to defend themselves like women and children and the elderly? But why would the BBC not show the UAF protesters and their banners of hate? Its a little strange to show one side while hiding the other dont you think?

    The BBC bringing you one side of the story while hiding the other? >:o


  14. Guest Who says:

    ‘Representatives of the BBC should engage their brains and stop assuming …..everything through the eyes of the western liberal.’

    ‘… getting a bit sick of being told what to think by the famous presenters ‘

    Well the news value is near zero, so I also wonder about the eco-consequences of these thirsty folk jetting about to stay in 5* hotels to catch up in the bar and take a quick peak out of the balcony to pontificate on occasion.



  15. George R says:

    Nick Cohen has this:

    “At last, Islam’s appeasers may be on the run.”

    He notices this ‘benign’ attitude to the Muslim Brotherhood:

    … “the BBC’s attempts to portray the Muslim Brothers as moderates, as if they were the Middle Eastern equivalent of the Anglican Communion…”



  16. pounce_uk says:

    The bBC reinvents history in which to scub up the Muslim Brotherhood.  
    Brotherhood profile 

    The Muslim Brotherhood, or al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, is Egypt’s oldest and largest Islamist organisation. Founded by Hassan al-Banna in the 1920s, the group has influenced Islamist movements around the world with its model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work.The movement initially aimed simply to spread Islamic morals and good works, but soon became involved in politics, particularly the fight to rid Egypt of British colonial control and cleanse it of all Western influence.  
    After Banna launched the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928,branches were set up throughout the country – each running a mosque, a school and a sporting club – and its membership grew rapidly.In 1952, colonial rule came to an end following a military coup d’etat led by a group of young officers calling themselves the Free Officers.  
    And here is what the bBC doesn’t want you to know. Eygpt became independent from Britian in…1922. However Britain was allowed to keep troops in the Suez area in which to protect the Canal until 1949 (Something about the british empire in India?)  So while the bBC talks about a coup removing the colonial (british) jackboot in 1952, the army actually removed King Farouk the ruler of Eygpt and here is something else the bbCleft out:  
    “In opposition to the Constitution with its overt secularism was the Muslim Brotherhood. Additionally, contrary to orders issued by the Council, members of the Liberation Rally accumulated much of the seized non-Muslim property and distributed amongst their closed networks. Angered at being left out of the political and economic spoils and seeing a continuation of secularism and modernity within the Free Officers Movement such as had existed under the King, the Muslim Brotherhood organized its street elements. From June 1953 into the following year, Egypt was wracked by street riots, clashes, arson, and civil tumolt as the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood battled for popular support.”  
    It seems the bBC in its bent in which to defend radical Islam is more than happy to rewrite history.


    • George R says:

      In ‘multicultural’ dogmatic fashion, the first person INBBC presents with an unchallenged TV space to comment on Cameron’s mild criticism of parts of Islam is not someone who might in some way represent the vast majority of Britsh opinion. Instead, INBBC chooses  Mohammed Shafiq,  someone from a tiny outfit called the ‘Ramahdan Foundation’, who plays the usual Muslim victim role, and, of course, denounces the British government for daring to criticise aspects of Islam.

      Of course, INBBC does not mention that the Ramahdan Foundation has links with INBBC chums, the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD. No doubt, PM Cameron will continue to give funds to Ramahdan Foundation:

      “The Ramadhan Foundation is described as ‘ a leading Muslim youth organisation in the United Kingdom that is working for peaceful co‐existence and dialogue for all communities.’ One of the prominent members of the Ramadhan Foundation is Jamal Badawi, a leader in many of the most important organizations of the global Muslim Brotherhood including the Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American Islamic Relations (Canada), the Fiqh Council of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. As previous posts have noted, recently released documents indicate that he was (and probably still is), a member of the leadership structure of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. He can be characterized as one of the leading ideologues of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and has traveled widely all over the world as a representative of the U.S. Muslim community.”



      • Craig says:

        Thanks for the background George. Yes, Mohammed Shafiq was the main critic used on the BBC News Channel’s hourly report on Cameron’s speech following their earlier use of the dreadful Inayat Bunglawala (of Muslims4UK and the Guardian).


      • Demon1001 says:

        Surely Cameron could give an easy answer to this sort of criticism:  “I made it clear I was not criticising Islam per se, so if you have peaceful leanings and want to integrate properly into British society then I was not referring to you.  If you criticise my comments, then that means you are trying to defend the violent and isolationist elements within the Muslim Community, therefore you are the problem!”


    • NotaSheep says:

      Anything about allying with the Nazis?


  17. Craig says:

    I was a bit surprised to hear an Israeli perspective on events in Egypt on this morning’s Broadcasting House

    Zalman Shoval, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., said the U.S. government – like everyone else – had been surprised but shouldn’t have been. He criticised the Obama administration for being so fixated on “less important issues”, such as how many buildings Israel was constructing in East Jerusalem, that it took its eye of what was happening in the Arab World.

    A similar criticism could be made of the BBC.

    And as if to prove that point, presenter Paddy O’Connell then asked the ambassador this question – a tweaking of what I suspect was a pre-planned question about Jewish settlements:

    Is Israel surprised to find that the Muslim Brotherhood is in talks today with Vice President Suleiman? And the issue which you describe as less important – the building of…er…homes in East Jerusalem – that’s moving up the agenda in the region and, so, what kind of surprise is faced by Israel?”


    • NotaSheep says:

      Israel’s guilt is the BBC narrative that will never go away…. until Israel is either gone or so diminished that it might as well be.


  18. Craig says:

    After this short interview, Paddy O’Connell introduced a second diplomat – and the choice of guest this time was no surprise at all. It was BBC favourite Oliver Miles, a former Foreign Office chap and Guardian writer who is forever attacking Israel and, to a lesser extent, U.S./U.K. foreign policy – so much so that strong accusations of anti-semitism have been made against him.  
    After a few cautious words about Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, the fire came into Mr Miles’s voice as he turned to what he really wanted to talk about – wicked Israel:  
    I think what we’ve got to be very, very careful about is this. If we allow ourselves to be led by the rhetoric which I’m sure will come from Israel and was, to some extent, evident in the first part of Ambassador Shoval’s remarks, and will certainly come from the Israeli government and Israel’s friends in America, and if we then decide at an early stage that we simply can’t deal with the Muslim Brotherhood and that they’re not acceptable then we risk going into the sort of situation that we’ve got into with Hamas, who won a democratic election, control Gaza, but nobody talks to them except the Russians, who have talked to them very sensibly, or even worse we might get into the situation  that we got into in Algeria… This man is no friend of Israel, and clearly a bit obsessive. Mmmm. 

    At the end of this (longer) interview, Paddy O’Connell said “We wanted your analysis and thank you for giving it to us”.  I bet they did!!


  19. sue says:

    Here am I accusing the BBC of having insufficient imagination to realise that the Egyptian protesters could be ‘coming from a different place’ in the metaphorical as well as the literal sense. 
    I accused the BBC of not realising that however much those leather jacketed and Levi clad young people might look like them, they might not think in the same way as members of UK middle class suburbia.
    But all the time I’m doing exactly the same thing. I’m making wrong assumptions about the BBC!

    I was assuming that the BBC would be supportive of the so-called West, and against a Hamas-like or Iranian style take-over. How unimaginative is that?

    Silly me.  I thought the BBC’s enthusiasm for the demonstrators in Tahrir Square would diminish if some penetrating questioning were to reveal what was at the heart of their frustration with Mubarak. Never mind the poverty, torture, unemployment  and corruption. They’ll still have plenty of that and more when the Islamists gain power democratically or otherwise. No. The one unifying factor in their hurry for Mubarak’s disappearance is their desire to resume hostilities with Israel, and possibly with the US, and even the UK! 

    For some bizarre reason they believe that would constitute ‘peace.’ I imagine they feel that a united Islamic Caliphate could collectively wipe out Israel  and they could live happily ever after.

    I was on the wrong track. I thought that might bother the BBC a tad. But of course, the BBC knew all that already. Their admiration would not diminish at all. The BBC does support them, wholeheartedly, and it knows what it’s doing.


  20. Craig says:

    Returning to the nub of Sue’s post, Broadcasting House also had a section that might just epitomise the BBC’s student-like gush of enthusiasm for the protests in Egypt.

    Paddy O’Connell asked Radio 4 reporter John Sudworth (just back from a jaunt to Cairo) “Mothers brought their children to witness what was happening. Did you share the momentous mood of the crowd as you stood there?”

    Sudworth gushed back, “Yeah, you couldn’t help but do so. I think, you know, that the fact of the matter is..er..there is a real sense in which this was a genuine grassroots revolution…But it seems that the people of Egypt, the vast majority of the people of Egypt, for that indeed is what is represented by theses protests, have had enough…and there was a real sense standing in that square of Egypt having found its voice.”

    Do we really know that these protests represent the opinions of ‘the vast majority of the people of Egypt’ or is Sudworth just guessing? Is the BBC yet again confusing large demonstrations with settled public opinion? After all, the protests have so far involved a million or so people and Egypt’s population totals over 80 million. What of the silent millions upon millions? What do they think? (If the BBC had put in more effort to finding out over the last decade or so, instead of concentrating most of its efforts in Israel, they might be in more of a position to judge.)


  21. deegee says:

    Do we really know that these protests represent the opinions of ‘the vast majority of the people of Egypt’ ?

    How many, if any, of the BBC team speak Arabic?
    How many, if any, have worked in Egypt for any substantial period of time?
    Who is advising the BBC team?


  22. AndyUk06 says:

    From my perspective the BBC seem to be wetting themselves in anticipation of a kind of Israel-hating Islamic socialism to replace the current incumbents. Unfortunately for them, nothing would be further from the truth.

    In many respects, Egyptians are very much like us, wanting an end to state intrusion and a free and fair media and press.

    Young internet-savvy Egyptians are simply pissed off with poverty, unemployment, rising prices and decades of repressive rule.  As in Tunisia the Egyptian revolution is distictly un-Islamic and pro-freedom.

    If they haven’t done so already, the BBC should cop a load of the April 6th Youth Movement insisting:

    ‘Nothing brings us together except our love for this country and the desire to reform it.’  

    Egyptians basically want WESTERN values, not that the BBC will ever admit this.