I want to mention Jeremy Bowen again, and the interviews with John Humphrys and Palestinian official Husam Zomlot and Mark Regev. While I’m at it I may as well bring in Mark Mardell’s BBC Obama fanzine blog too, for another example of the BBC’s approach. The comments illustrate my point. Go instead to Caroline Glick if you’re interested in Obama’s policy on Israel.
The following is not verbatim, but a rough transcript of Webb and Bowen.
Webb. “Were these concerted demonstrations part of the Arab Spring? […]Is that how Palestinians see them?”
Bowen: ”I think it is the way to see them as a madder of fact, and [….]it was organised by Facebook and other social media. Israel says it was inspired by Iran…I think it’s a….*….who knows …but Palestinians have many grievances of their own. I think that they have seen what other people in the Arab world have been doing and they’ve thought well hang on, why can’t we do something as well as… like that.. to get on the streets or on the roads.”
Webb: “Pretty worrying for Israel..”
Bowen: “That’s why the Israelis opened fire on them and killed quide a lot of people. It was the biggest loss of life in one incident in South Lebanon since the 2006 war and the Israelis have warned that this is just the beginning, that Barak the defence minister has said that in the future they might have to deal with similar and maybe more complex incidents.”
On to Syria.
Webb. “They got into Golan and occupied the Golan Heights as well.”
Bowen then proceeded to analyse the situation in Syria. The ‘trouble’ in Syria. The Assad regime wanted quiet borders. The Israelis want Assad to stay.
Jeremy Bowen is perfectly well aware that the similarity between Facebook-orchestrated plans for a third intefada and the Arab spring is that the planning was social-media inspired, which enabled large numbers of people to co-ordinate their activism. The comparison ends there.
Mark Mardell should know this too, but his infatuation with Obama clouds his thinking.
In BBC world, the Arabs are revolting, end of. They see it as a simple matter of ‘the oppressed’ trying to break free. The fact that one lot is targeting their own oppressive leaders and the other is targeting another sovereign state is of little consequence, because the BBC has spent the last 60 years presenting Israel as the great oppressor of the Palestinian people, interlopers and thieves of ‘Muslim lands.’
This was illustrated in the interview with John Humphrys I mentioned earlier. I won’t transcribe, but I will say this. John Humphrys began with a fairly robust line. “how did you expect the Israelis to react?” However, the Palestinian gentleman was arguing on an entirely different level. Kindergarten. “Keys.” “Deeds.”
You started a war Mr. Palestinian spokesman. You lost. Your Arab brothers have had 63 years to absorb the refugees from their own failed war of annihilation, something the Israelis did straight away with the refugees from their own “Nakba”, you know, the one nobody mentions, where 800,000 Jews were chucked out of the countries they lived in, with nothing.
That’s just a fraction of the sort of thing Mark Regev means when he talks about the Palestinians rewriting history; but, sorry, time is running out.
What was fairly obvious is that behind all this is the ever more visible feeling from the BBC that Israel’s legitimacy is in doubt.
‘we are just at the start of this matter and it could be that we’ll face far more complex challenges.’
Time is running out.