Kevin Connolly’s lazy narrative

A guest post by Israelinurse:

“In the Middle East once you have chosen between the irreconcilable narratives on offer, everything confirms the narrative you have chosen, and nothing confounds it.”

After barely a year in the Middle East, the BBC’s correspondent Kevin Connolly appears to have reached the conclusion that facts and objective analysis of events are not what he came here to look for. Like many a Western journalist, crippled by preconceptions based on historical inaccuracies and hampered by an inability to speak any of the local languages fluently, he has succumbed to the temptations of ‘narrative’.

Connolly’s report of June 9th from Majdal Shams indicates very clearly the category of narrative he has chosen to adopt and promote. Whilst the acceptance of ‘narratives’ as legitimate versions of events has evolved from the prevailing mores of a politically correct climate in the United Kingdom which recoils from any kind of judgement- based assertions, its application in far flung corners of the world does not necessarily serve the interests of the BBC audiences. The airbrushing of facts, the subjective impressions of a reporter trapped within his own culture and the ‘dumbing-down’of news into pastiches of black and white contribute nothing to the listeners’ understanding of events.

And so Kevin Connolly begins his piece by referring to the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel captured the Golan Heights. He provides no background to the outbreak of hostilities: no mention of the Syrian attempts at diversion of the water sources which feed Israel’s only fresh water supply – the Sea of Galilee, no reference to the years of shelling and sniper attacks on the Israeli villages situated below the Golan Heights and of course no reminder to his listeners of the attempt by Arab armies to annihilate the 19 year old Jewish state. As far as Connolly’s audience is concerned,Israel just decided one fine morning to conquer the Golan.

Next, Connolly informs his audience that the border fence stormed by Palestinians from Syria is not technically a border but a line of disengagement “since there is no peace deal to make it permanent”. Significantly though, he fails to mention that just over a week after the Six Day War ended, Israel – via America – proposed a return of the captured land in the Golan Heights and the Sinai in exchange for signed peace treaties with Syria and Egypt. This offer was of course met with the famous ‘Three Nos’ of Khartoum; the Arab states chose the option of “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel”.

That decision resulted in Israel’s holding of the Golan from 1967 until the Syrians tried to re-conquer it in the Yom Kippur war of 1973. Once again Syria lost the war it had started and the ceasefire lines eventually drawn up in May 1974 under the Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria included the return of portions of the conquered territory to Syria. That ceasefire agreement was intended to be part of UN SC resolution 338 which stated that”immediately and concurrently with the ceasefire, negotiations shall start between the parties concernedunder appropriate auspices aimed at establishing a just anddurable peace in the Middle East”.No peace agreement was of course reached, despite Israel having returned some of the territory as stipulated in UN SC resolution 242 which calls for “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” in return for “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency andrespect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State inthe area and their right to live in peace within secure andrecognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”.

Connolly also fails to mention the two rounds of failed negotiations between Israel and Syria in the mid- 1990s and 2000, as well as subsequent efforts by the Olmert government. His listeners remain ignorant of the fact that if there is no peace agreement between Israel and Syria, it is certainly not due to lack of Israeli effort.

Having established in the minds of his audience that the border is not a border and that the land in question is held ‘in sin’, Connolly then goes on to subtly inform listeners where their sympathies should lie. The Syrian protesters are “unarmed”. They find themselves “pinned down by gunfire” with limited cover from an earth bank. Only two paragraphs later does Connolly bother to point out that the infiltrators had actually been warned – in Arabic – by means of megaphone not to approach the fence and that when they proceeded despite this, warning shots had been fired into the air. In his subsequent bizarre comparison of the situation with soldiers caught in razor wire inWorld War 1, Connolly once more indicates where his audience’s sympathies should lie by using the words “vulnerability and pathos” to describe a group of political protesters trying to illegally cross a highly volatile border between two countries at war.

Again he reminds listeners that his heroes “carried no firearms” and that they “risked their lives”. Whilst acknowledging that Syrian reports of the death toll cannot be taken as necessarily accurate, Connolly also purports that “the Israelis have no idea if the live ammunition they claim to have aimed at the feet and legs of the protesters, left people bleeding to death as they waited for treatment”. For some reason he completely fails to mention that the Israeli army responded positively three times to the request for a cease fire in order to permit the Red Cross to evacuate the wounded, but that on each occasion the protesters, rather than respecting the cease fire, took advantage of it to continue in their efforts to breach the fence.

Descending rapidly into ever more ridiculous analogies, Connolly then informs his audience that “the Israel of Majdal Shams hardly seems like the Jewish David ranged against the collective Goliath of the Arab world”. In other words, Connolly is making sure that readers know that Israel actually has nothing to fear from these ‘unarmed’ and heroic protesters to whom he has taken such a shine. Clearly to him, this is just another case of Israelis over-reacting; a function of “the Israeli national nightmare of Palestinians massing on their borders demanding the right of return”.Nightmares are of course illogical; rooted in unfounded fears and something to be got over. In fact, having established throughout his report that Israel is guilty of almost hysterical over-reaction, Connolly then goes on to declare that “Israel sees the protesters as extremists or followers of extremists”, obviously implying that sensible people should appraise the situation very differently. One cannot but wonder exactly what the appropriate term is in the BBC lexicon for groups of people who seek to resolve an ongoing conflict by force rather than by negotiation and compromise.

Connolly then tries to claim that the information regarding the possibility that protesters in this and the previous event were paid to storm Israel’s borders is an Israeli fabrication which shows “weakness”. In fact, as Just Journalism has pointed out, this information came from non-Israeli sources such as the Reform Party of Syria and the Guardian. He also seems to doubt the involvement of the Syrian regime in the organization – either passive or active – of these recurring demonstrations: “And above all, Israel sees Syrian government manipulation in all this”.

Had Connolly any experience or knowledge of value about the area he would know that for over four decades now, levels of activity on the border between Israel and Syria have been dictated by the mood in Damascus. When Assad – either father or son – wanted the border to be quiet for reasons known to them, it was so. When they did not – it was not. There exists a well-entrenched myth that this border has been perfectly calm since the ceasefire in 1974. Whilst it is certainly true that when compared to some of Israel’s other borders, levels of activity by infiltrators has been low, it is not true to say that there have been no attempted terrorist infiltrations over the years. The fact is that on the day following the June 5th demonstrations, the Syrian security forces prevented the protesters from again reaching the border. They could have acted similarly the day before, but chose not to.

Unfortunately for his listeners, Connolly appears to be content with parroting the jaded narratives repeated by so many Western journalists rather than learning from the local people who actually live in the area or making the effort to equip himself with the background information necessary to comprehend this complex region. His report, therefore, is indeed no more than unchallenging narrative; undemanding of both his listener and himself and confirming all his and their preconceived prejudices. News it is not.

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47 Responses to Kevin Connolly’s lazy narrative

  1. George R says:

    Obama’s and INBBC’s Islamic imperialist foreign policy:

    “The ‘Muslims First’ Foreign Policy”

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/37461

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  2. D B says:

    Excellent blogpost.

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  3. Demon1001 says:

    Excellent blog Israelinurse.

       0 likes

  4. Ragbag says:

    So sad this does not get the wider audience it deserves

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  5. ltwf1964 says:

    I’d love to see our favourite trolls Scott and dez get their teeth into that one,instead of trying to snipe at spelling mistakes and the like

    what’s that flying past?A group of pink farmyard animals of some kind?

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  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Great post.  Thank you, Isrealinurse.  It’s obvious that Connolly is just as awful and biased in the Middle East as he was from the US.

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  7. Biodegradable says:

    I hope this won’t be the last post from Israelinurse.

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  8. Henry says:

    Take a moment to consider how the Israel/Arab problem is represented in the US media.

     

    Fairly? What do people think?

     

    Of course that doesn’t excuse the BBC bias in this case. But perhaps worth mentioning in the same discussion.

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      US media is irrelevant here.  This isn’t about a US issue, and the only reason to bring up “fairness” as far as I can see is to start a fight and distract the discussion away from BBC bias.  The only possible way the US media could be relevant to this discussion is if you want to compare how they reported on US issues to the behavior of Kevin Connolly while he was assigned to the US.

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      • Henry says:

        It’s important context about bias and therefore very relevant.

        The old internet behaviour: accuse someone of trolling/picking an argument if you disagree with what they’ve said. (rather than taking issue)

        I’ll leave this subject alone in future. It’s too touchy for anyone to talk about sanely

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        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Henry, how is whether or not the US media is biased relevant?  How does US media bias provide any context?  There is no national broadcaster which people are forced to pay for.  If the US media reports something and the BBC doesn’t, that’s relevant to whether or not the BBC is biased depending on how they cover it, but US media bias on its own doesn’t. 

          I tried to explain in my initial comment why I disagreed with your claim that US media bias provides context, yet you haven’t explained how or why US media bias does provide context, and insulted me instead.  Please try again.

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          • Henry says:

            We’re talking about bias. It’s entirely relevant to look at other biases in the media. I can’t see how that needs explaining, or why bias in a different country (which has huge influence on politics) should not be talked about here – which is what you are saying. It’s exactly the kind of thing we should discuss.

            If we start saying the BBC are the only ones who are biased we’re doing what we’re accusing them of.

            It’s ridiculous to treat blogs as spaces to just agree with each other and toe the line, rather than to discuss rationally. We might as well not have an internet, in that case

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            • John Horne Tooke says:

              So you don’t want to acknowledge that the BBC is different? Bias in other media is irrelevent in this case.

              “..or why bias in a different country (which has huge influence on politics) should not be talked about here” No it does not,  this is BBC bias not The Times bias, or the Telegraph bias.  All of these media outlets are not paid for by the taxpayer, no one has to buy them and none have a charter which at its heart has a comitment to impartiality.Read the link below.

              Can you see the difference?

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              • Henry says:

                Yep I can. Fair point.

                It’s one part of the problem I have with BBC bias, but not the only part. Another reason this is an important blog is because the BBC is HUGE. A lot of people get information from it, and will have their opinions affected by it.

                You can’t talk about one subject without reference to the rest of the world. It would then make us hypocritical in talking about BBC bias.

                To suggest I shouldn’t even mention other possible biases existing in the world will hopefully seem as daft to some others here as it does to me

                Bye 🙂

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            • David Preiser (USA) says:

              The fact that other media outlets are or are not biased is irrelevant.  You’ll have to seriously explain how it is, which you still haven’t done.  If you can’t see how it needs explaining, perhaps you’re just too smart for me and can declare victory now.

              The reaon this blog exists is because the BBC has a special position spanning generations as the national broadcaster, with an inherent legacy of trust and a legal reason – the Charter and Agreement – for its existence for which people are forced by law to pay. Not to mention it’s international scope, which is also payed for without consent by the taxpayer.  There is no such thing in the US.

              It’s ridiculous to come here and redefine the point of this blog’s existence to suit an arugment you want to have about US media bias.  You don’t want to discuss bias at the BBC, that’s fine.  But don’t tell me you don’t have to explain your position yet demand that I engage or there’s something wrong with me.

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              • Henry says:

                I’ll try again then.

                Because you think bias is important, you are concerned with the versions of news people are given, right?

                Soooo, the context that quite a lot of people might be given an opposite biased view is important to gaining a balanced view of a situation. Just banging on about bias on one side and refusing to accept any other maked you (guess what) biased!

                It’s rather basic. 

                And I have already said I do want to discuss BBC bias several places on this blog, so check your facts.

                You’re trying to narrow the blog to one idea – we don’t need a blog or comments section for just one idea. 

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                • David Preiser (USA) says:

                  Henry, you’re not making any sense.  Start your own blog about bias in all media.  Can’t you read what it says on the tin?

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                • Cassandra King says:

                  The BBC is funded by an enforced taxation, the BBC is legally obliged to be impartial. Other biased MSM outlets can be as biased as they like simply becuase they can.

                  The BBC is not supposed to be biased, it claims to be impartial and is therefore trusted to be impartial, this BBC impartiality is a lie and gross deception. B-BBC exists to highlight the truth about the BBC.

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              • My Site (click to edit) says:

                don’t tell me you don’t have to explain your position yet demand that I engage or there’s something wrong with me.’

                Does rather fit a familiar template, mind.

                Hello, again :*

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            • Henry Wood says:

              I have personally mentioned bias on various worldwide news sites concerning “the Israel/Arab problem” in the comments sections of some of those news sites and on relevant blogs.

              I understood this blog to be “Biased BBC”. To fail to mention bias on other news sources in this blog neither increases nor diminishes the bias so clearly witnessed on the BBC, and nore does it give it any more credence.

              You ask, ” […] why bias in a different country … should not be talked about here … ?”

              Can you explain how bias on US news sites, or any other news site come to that, will explain any of the BBC’s unremitting bias?

              “Biased BBC” !!! Geddit?

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        • John Horne Tooke says:

          Henry – there is a lot of bias against Isreal in the western media, that is true.  The BBc however is unique in being paid for by us, the taxpayer and the deal is that because of its funding it is bound by a Charter.

          “Impartiality lies at the heart of public service and is the core of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences.  It applies to all our output and services – television, radio, online, and in our international services and commercial magazines.  We must be inclusive, considering the broad perspective and ensuring the existence of a range of views is appropriately reflected.”
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-impartiality-introduction/

          I do not doubt that you are right about the context. It is easier to attack a democracy than blood thirsty terrorists.

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          • Henry says:

            I agree with you absolutely about the BBC’s “impartiality”. It’s a myth and it needs to be corrected – that’s why I’m here.

            People on this site are failing to be impartial too, unfortunately. Look at middle-east history: it’s just a little bit more complex than democracy vs terrorists.

            We have to discuss without recriminations otherwise we are digging ourselves deeper into our own prejudices. Behaviour on so many blogs is falling too far short of the ideal of rational debate.

            So I have to ask: do we approve of rational debate here?

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            • Grant says:

              Henry,
              You don’t seem to be getting the point.
              There is no duty for anyone on this website to be impartial. There is no duty for the MSM to be impartial if people can choose to pay for it.
              There is a duty for the BBC to be impartial as it is in its Charter and we  all have to pay for it on pain of imprisonment.
              It really is as simple as that. 

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  9. David vance says:

    Excellent post. Hope to see more.

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  10. Mailman says:

    At least America has Fox News…to bring you all the news the other mfm outlets wont. Whereas us here in the UK really dont have anything that can report anything from any other perspective other than the lefts!

    Mailman

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  11. Charlie says:

    Kevin Connolly like Mark Mardell  BBC reporters who eat far to much and know so very little.
    I wonder if they know of the harm they do by misreporting. Probably don’t give a damn anyway.

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      They think they’re right.  Because they’re highly trained in making BBC reports, and so know better than you or I.  It makes no difference to them whatsoever whether or not they actually know the facts of their patch: it’s about storytelling and how to create a news report.  They know how to do that, which is all that matters. Their bosses judge them based on that “skill set”, and whether or not they get the right Narrative, and not on what ordinary people would think of the quality of their reporting.

      It’s why the Today producers thought Justin Webb did such a great job reporting on the US election that they wanted him in the presenter’s chair in place of Ed “Other Projects” Stourton.

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  12. John Anderson says:

    Henry

    No-one is saying that only the BBC shows bias.

    But the whole focus of this site is BBC bias.   Because we are FORCED to pay for the BBC – and the BBC exhibits clear bias on a variety of issues.  Senior BBC and ex-BBC staff have stated this many times.

    What we try to check week-by-week are the specific instances of BBC bias – in this case against the “Israeli narrative”.  This bias is usually shown by total failure by BBC news staff to even recognise the Israeli narrative.

    Yes,  the Guardian,  the Indy,  Haaretz and others may be biased in a similar way to the BBC.   And there are SOME – very few – media outlets in the UK that are favourable to Israel.   But we are not forced to pay for these,  and if we want to dispute their bias we would do it more directly with them,  on their own websites or on blogs dealing more widely with media bias.

    In short – please try to stick to the subject, the focus of this blog,  namely the BBC.   The current thread gives what appears to be a very clear example of BBC bias shown by Kevin Connolly,  who is new in the Middle East.  He surely must know the “Israeli narrative”.   Can you suggest why he skates over it,  evades it ?

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    • Grant says:

      John,
      Just posted similar above before I read yours !
      Of course, Connolly is just another useful Beeboid idiot. There is no way anyone who is pro-Israeli could get a job with the BBC. 

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      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        I don’t want anyone hired just because they’re pro-Israel, either.  Or just because they’re Jewish.  It can’t be that difficult to find someone who doesn’t just tell fibs and believes that their main purpose is to counter Israeli propaganda.

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  13. Cassandra King says:

    The BBC is pimping a UNRWA report and as usual it is pure anti Israel poison.

    “Gaza’s unemployment rate was among the world’s highest, at 45.2% in late 2010, the UN has found, as Israel’s blockade of the territory enters its fifth year.”

    No mention of hamas suicide bombers waiting for an opening of the borders to murder Jewish civilians? No mention of the rocket attacks and cross border snatch squads just waiting for more supplies of explosives and weapons? No mention that hamas could end the blockade within a week if it wanted to? No mention of the billions of aid pumped into Gaza creamed off by hamas gangsters?

    “Israel imposed sanctions in 2006 after Gaza militants snatched Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.”

    So thats what the blockade is all about is it BBC? Just one soldier kidnapped and a five year blockade for just one reason? The entire five years boils down to just one thing does it BBC? “Gaza militants” snatched an IDF soldier? NO NO! It was hamas that launched a series of kidnap raids AFTER Israel withdrew from Gaza, it was hamas that provoked Israel on numerous occasions with raids and suicide attacks. See how the UN scum and their BBC lickspittles misrepresent and twist the reality?

    “Israel says the measures against Gaza are necessary to stop weapons smuggling and to put pressure on Hamas, but the UN insists the restrictions amount to collective punishment of Gaza’s population.”

    The first part and the second part, the UN “insists” its all about “collective punishment” But isnt collective punishment justified when the majority of the population support the use of terror raids, murder of Jewish civilians, rocket attacks? After all, hamas is a democratically elected regime isnt it? With majority and popular support for its terror war against its neighbour, this is not “collective punishment” at all. The reaction of Israel to the hamas popular terror campain is a fully justified containment of terrorist vermin. See how the BBC wilfully misrepresents the Israeli side?

    “If the aim of the blockade was to weaken Hamas, the employment numbers suggest this has failed”
    ‘Chris Gunness UNRWA’

    There just had to be a quote box at the side eh? And it just had to be that scumbag Jew baiter and terrorist enabler Gunness. Look at the quote and how twisted and perverted the thinking is behind that statement. NO Gunness you bigot, the blockade has saved countless innocents from being butcherd by hamas, in that the blockade has been a storming success, not that Gunness gives a sh*t for Jewish lives. The truth is so wildy different from the UNRWA/BBC version, hamas is solely to blame for the economic situation in Gaza, the UNRWA is jointly to blame for helping hamas to ride out the blockade by feeding billions of dollars into hamas, feeding the population under the spell of hamas and helping hamas stay in power. If it were not for UNWRA support and assistance then hamas would have crumbled years ago and Gaza would have accepted peace with Israel and the blockade woud have been over years ago. The truth is stunningly and ertbreakingly different from the BBC version isnt it? That hamas is still in power due to the billions in aid cash and food and medial supplies which hamas sells on at a profit. The UNRWA is responsible for the continuation of the terrorist scum hamas and its regn of terror.

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    • Cassandra King says:

      The ugly and simple truth is that UNRWA is to blame for the situation in Gaza, the UNRWA has supported hamas with money and aid, it has allowed hamas to continue its reign of terror. The truth is very different from the BBC version isnt it?

      Without UNRWA support and aid it is certain that hamas would have crumbled years ago. UNRWA supplies money to hamas, it allows hamas to pay and feed its armed thugs, it allows hamas to stay in power. The BBC will never reveal the truth about UNRWA will it? The BBC will never reveal where the billions in aid has gone.

      The billions in aid has supported and aided a terroist cartel of thug killers, it has enriched the hamas leadership, it has fed the population and allowed hamas to continue its terrorist campaign. Gaza could have peace and trade if that is what Gazans wanted, the last thing Gazans want is peace, they desire war and death and conflict and the UNRWA is helping them.

      The UN has become so corrupted by islamist hatred it has become a terrorist enabler and supporter of terror. The UN has always held the keys to a peaceful solution and it has wilfully withheld those keys in order to give aid and support to hamas in its terror campaign of race hate and murder.

      No mention of the reality by the BBC, no mention of the truth about hamas and its intentions if the blockade is lifted, no mention of the role UNRWA aid has played in the direct support of a terrorist gangster regime that makes Gadaffi look like a boy scout.

      If the UN had used the billions in aid to force hamas to the negotiating table there would have been peace years ago. The UN is in effect directly supporting a terrorist regime, without massive UN aid that the hamas gangster regime could not have held its population under the spell of hatred and jealousy and race hatred. The unemployment that the UNRWA report whines about is the sole responsibility of hamas and its UNRWA allies.

      The very second the borders open, hamas will be importing semtex and ball bearings for its suicide killers to get to work, it will import weapons and rockets to murder as many Jews as it can. The UNRWA knows this, it channels money to hamas, it allows hamas to build up its wealth, it allows hamas to ignore the needs of its people because the UNRWA are supplying those needs which allows the hamas gangster terrorist to concentrate on the terror war against Israel. The desire to murder Jews is still greater than the desire for peace and the UNRWA has helped that hatred to reign supreme.

      The BBC has become a terrorist supporter and enabler, it is helping a terrorist propaganda campaign, it is giving direct aid and help to murderous gangsters, in effect the BBC has blood on its hands and that bloodwill not wash off.

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    • Biodegradable says:

      “Gaza’s unemployment rate was among the world’s highest, at 45.2%…”

      The majority of the population of Gaza is under 25 years of age.

      In Spain, where I live, the unemployment rate is around 23%, the hghest in Europe, rising to 43% for the under 25s.

      I’d like to see a similar breakdown for Gaza.

      This is another myth like the “highest density of population”.

      Monaco, Hong Kong, Shanghai, for example, have a higher density and they certainly don’t have the sort of problems that Gaza allegedly has.

      No mention from the BBC of this either:
      http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2011/06/humanitarian-crisis-of-gazas-palm.html

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  14. TooTrue says:

    I echo the appreciation of this post by Israeli Nurse. It’s outstanding Fisking. The BBC has distortion and omissions of fact down to a fine art. Here are Roger Hearing and Kevin Connolly from two days ago on Newshour:

    Roger Hearing:

    Now it’s 44 years since the guns fell silent in the Six Day War between Israel and its Arab enemies. Israel had conquered so much Arab territory it was 3 times the size it had been in the beginning. The idea that some of that captured territory should be traded for peace with the Arab neighbours and the Palestinians was born not long afterwards. But the longer the …. of a deal’s been around the further it’s been from being realised.

    [Mr. Hearing is a senior BBC guy, certainly old enough to have been a functioning adult when Israel returned the entire Sinai with the Begin-Sadat agreement, shrinking back to the ’49 Armistice lines with Egypt. It’s also unclear what he thinks about Jew-free Gaza, the Jews having been unceremoniously uprooted from there back to the ’49 Armistice lines by their own soldiers, as they were when the Sinai was returned. He appears to only be aware of an expanding Israel as opposed to a shrinking one.]

    It was most recently in the headlines when Barack Obama said he thought Israel’s 1967 borders were the starting point for an agreement, only to row back when Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they were unacceptable, “indefensible” in his words.

    [Mr. Hearing didn’t notice Obama mentioning “land swaps” and forcefully reiterating that position in  a subsequent speech to AIPAC? He misses a lot. Here of course the BBC is propagating the old lefty rubbish about the US being in Israel’s pocket, though doing so in a mild fashion. There has obviously been far worse than this from the BBC. But it’s perhaps more insidious for its apparently reasonable content and delivery.]

    Our correspondent Kevin Connolly considers how close or remote a deal now seems on the ground in Israel.

    Contd. below

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  15. TooTrue says:

    Kevin Connolly:

    [Cue sounds of firing and crowd noise]

    They are not borders, but lines of cease fire although it didn’t sound like it last week at Majdal Shams when Israeli soldiers used live ammunition to stop protesters trying to cross the line of disengagement with Syria.

    [Sets the tone of course, though there are a few crumbs thrown to Israel, like a clip of spokeswoman Miri Eisen explaining the concept of defensible borders.]

    Israel trebled in size after its overwhelming victory in 1967 and the principle of trading land for peace became part of daily diplomatic discourse.

    [This echoes Hearing’s point (or Hearing echoed Konnolly’s point), the aim evidently being to fix this juicy bit of info in the mind of the listener. Good point at which to pause and note the land Israel has already in fact been traded for “peace.” Konnolly doesn’t, but instead goes on to make the follow extraordinary claim:]

    But if it were that simple, it would have been done by now –

    [….which means that he is either unaware of the facts or is deliberately hiding them. This guy is a journalist?]

     Konnolly ends up in Jerusalem where, in an apparent display of the BBC’s famed balance, he interviews a young Israeli and a young Palestinian. But the BBC is simply incapable of balance here, which he proves, again, by reporting that a group of Israelis taunts some Palestinians, saying, “Mohammed is dead.” No reported taunts from the Palestinian side, need I add.

    Konnolly also informs us that the Israelis “pushed the Jordanians out of Jerusalem in ’67.” Perhaps he doesn’t know how or why the Jordanians got there in the first place or what they did to the Jews who were there and to the synagogues and cemeteries.

    There is a wealth of subtle, perhaps even unconscious bias here and I haven’t checked it all out and could well have missed quite a bit. Anyway, I present Hearing and Connolly in all their posturing to my esteemed colleagues on this site. It’s a five-minute clip starting at 14:30 minutes in:

     

    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/newshour/newshour_20110612-1356a.mp3

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      It’s only a matter of time before the BBC starts reporting that the war of Israeli independence was a war of conquest as well, and that the only solution to peace is if Israel retreats to the pre-1948 borders.

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      • Biodegradable says:

        The bBC does already talk about the 1948 war as the war “that led to the establishment of the State of Israel”, instead of being a war of rejection launched by the Arabs immediately following the declaration by the UN.

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      It just occurred to me (took a while for the tea to kick in): if Connolly says that the Israelis pushed the Jordanians out of Jerusalem, doesn’t that mean there’s no such thing as “Palestinian territory”?  If that was Jordan, why was there no complaint about Jordan “occupying” Jersualem?  This whole bogus history is really impossible to deal with.

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  16. magiclantern1 says:

    Excellent post, may thanks.

    May I suggest those with time copy the url and send it to Kevin Connolly, whose email, I’m guessing, is [email protected] along with a message that does not allude to either his ignorance, or girth.

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  17. George R says:

    What INBCC censors, and politically campaigns against: Israel’s history and right to exist.

    Compare INBBC’s hostility to Israel with its frendship and campaigning  for Islamising Turkey.

    Part I.

    “A tale of two cities: Istanbul vs Jerusalem (I)”

    http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/35735

    A tale of two cities: Istanbul vs. Jerusalem (II)

    http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/35736

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    • John Anderson says:

      That’s a good little video.

      In a nutshell – to avoid bias either way,  the BBC should ALWAYS use the term “disputed territories” – not “occupied territories” when talking about East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

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  18. jarwill101 says:

    I wonder when the BBC, the ‘Voice of the Nation’, is going to begin speaking up for millions of people like me. I give them enough money. I’d like to have large swathes of the East End back, large areas of the Midlands, the northern towns & cities, the ‘occupied territories’. My people have been here for centuries, despite what Bonnie Greer thinks. I feel oppressed by the invaders, threatened by their settlements, their bayonet-like eyesores that pierce the sky like giant fence posts, their drug-dealing gangs, their grooming gangs, their incessant talking about themselves, their no-go areas, their turncoat army of media Muslims, many of them not Muslim, their baleful presence everywhere I look. Their closed, irrational minds that want to suppress knowledge, not quest for it, & coerce all those who find their religion/political ideology abhorrent.
    But there’s no chance of that happening, is there? Nobody over at the White City would want the truth to spoil the fable.

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  19. cjhartnett says:

    Makes me angry that we pay the Bowens and the Connollys all the rials they want to pump out their state sponsored tripe as “news”…whereas something so cogent and authoritative as this fine post from Israelinurse comes free to us, thanks to the persons wish to explain and inform pro bono.
    Sue does likewise with the Middle East…and I trust either of the above named stalwarts over the useful tools of the Beeb like Bowen/Connolly.
    Where are the decent programmes on this key history, as opposed to the cow-eyes of a Guerin peeping from a behind a hijab or the like-whilst making up her views on why Israel is the only democracy where she can be safe in without her film crew!
    THanks Sue/Israelinurse-you`re on the right side of history,so keep it coming please

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    • ltwf1964 says:

      i can assure you that al-Bowen’s biased arse does not sit on any chairs bought by money paid by me 😉

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  20. TooTrue says:

    Just realised that Hearing said this a few days ago:


    Barack Obama said he thought Israel’s 1967 borders were the starting point for an agreement, only to row back when Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they were unacceptable, “indefensible” in his words.

    While on May 22nd, the World Service had something like this:


    In an address before an AIPAC audience, President Obama refused to back down on the issue of 1967 border with land swaps.


    The World Service needs to make up its mind. Either their beloved Obama is staunchly restisting the Jewish Lobby or he has succumbed to it.

    Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter to them: the propaganda works just as well either way – those powerful Jews nudge, nudge, wink, wink. 

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