The other morning, when the BBC was on strike and there was no Today, I watched instead a film about the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, on the channel known as ‘Yesterday.’
The film began with the birth of Israel, and didn’t shy away from including Britain’s shameful cruelty and heartlessness in rigidly enforcing a cap on immigration by Jewish refugees to Palestine, even though they were known to have been fleeing Nazi persecution. It showed the ship Exodus with a cargo of 4,000 concentration camp survivors hoping to restart their lives in Palestine, being turned turned away by the British, heedless of the fate of those on board. It described the formation of the Irgun, and explained quite fairly the cause of their resentment against the British.
Fast-forward to the film’s focal point. The filmmakers had decided that Rabin and Arafat were partners for peace, both equally dovish and conciliatory, and on the brink of ending the ‘intractable conflict’ in the Middle East. Aside from a snapshot of the Grand Mufti’s notorious meeting with Hitler, Arafat’s ‘three nos’ and the intifada he engendered as he famously walked away, were conspicuously absent from the narrative, as was Islam’s inherent antisemitism.
Subtlety and nuance were sacrificed for the simplicity of the fallacious message that Rabin and Yasser Arafat were heroic peaceniks, while the peoples they represented were unanimously opposed to peace.
Yigal Amir, Rabin’s assassin, was portrayed as a rogue representative of the right-wing warmongering Israeli public, though a little more deranged; an extremist, motivated by a commonly held malevolent determination to scupper the peace process just so that Israel could continue sadistically oppressing the Palestinians. In other words, Israel’s own Anders Breivik, acting on behalf of the universal right-wing nutter fraternity.
The myth that Arafat sincerely sought peace thrives to this day, and his modern-day counterpart Mahmoud Abbas has inherited the undeserved mantle of moderate seeker of peace. In the Telegraph Benedict Brogan explains why David Cameron is a dupe, playing dangerous games with his Security Council vote. Netanyahu’s latest concession doesn’t interest the BBC, and neither do the qassam rockets that were fired from Gaza recently . As a Harry’s Place commenter predicted, only Israel’s retaliatory strikes were worthy of a mention by the BBC.
When one of the Fogel family’s murderers was convicted yesterday the author of the BBC web article felt compelled to mention Abbas’s condemnation of those behind the killings, as if to emphasise that he was a man of peace, and included, even in this incongruous context, the obligatory reminder that the world and his dog regards settlements as illegal ‘though Israel disputes this’, which smacks of the accusation that, for having the impertinence to be there, the family was ‘asking for it’.
Much of the British public clings to the sentimental parody systematically projected by the left, in which Palestinians play the part of the universal victim. Images of wailing women brandishing giant keys, mutterings about bulldozed homes, shortages of food and medicine, all because of the Zionist oppressors and nothing to do with their very own ‘democratically elected’ corrupt and venal leadership. The widely-held belief that Israelis are Western interlopers transplanted onto ‘Muslim land’ by interfering outsiders who who should have minded their own business, is alive and well. Pallywood seduced the BBC, and the BBC seduced the liberal left world.
The aid that Israel trucks into Gaza on a daily basis, the luxury hotels, the abundant provisions, the shopping malls and restaurants that are springing up, the virulent antisemitic passion that fuels the Islamic world, and the findings that a majority of Palestinians are opposed to the peace process and are of the opinion that Israel should not exist, are all absent from the BBC’s impartial reporting.
Anyone who wishes can easily track down Arabic television programmes, translated by Memri. They can see interviews with Nonie Darwish or Wafa Sultan on Arabic T.V. stations, Imams and preachers waving their arms histrionically, screeching infantile rhetoric that would be laughable if it weren’t as incendiary and hate-filled as anything that ever emanated from Nazi Germany.
If you care to look, you can watch clips from Palestinian children’s TV, and observe men in animal costumes implanting aspirations in the next generation of Palestinian children. Not, Mr. Michael Morpurgo, of peaceful coexistence with Jewish children, but of murdering Jews for Allah, and promoting the glory of martyrdom with all the gusto and advertising acumen of T.V.’s Mad Men in every sense of the phrase.
Yet the BBC has never shown any interest in that. Viewers, mildly interested in world affairs, but not enough to look beyond the BBC, are treated to half a story. Most people are baffled by the left’s ‘cognitive dissonance.’ Nick Cohen says, ‘of ‘the “liberal” press where I make my living:’
“you see them deploy two tactics. The first is a determined refusal to admit the nature of radical Islam. They never discuss the misogyny, homophobia and antisemitism, let alone stir themselves to confront it. Second, they pretend that anyone who does describe and condemn it is a part of the supernaturally powerful “Israel Lobby” – or the “International Jewish Conspiracy,” as previous generations called it.”
I have never forgotten the deference with which the production team of Any Questions treated Baroness Tonge. They had invited me on to the programme with her, perhaps because they thought it a bit of laugh to sit someone called ‘Cohen’ next to someone who had updated the medieval blood libel and suggested that an inquiry was needed to ascertain whether Jews were stealing the vital organs of Christian earthquake victims.”
In Britain today we have people expressing openly antisemitic opinions while enjoying respectability and a fully functioning public life, regularly given a platform on the BBC. We have anti Israel meetings, which purport to be pro Palestinian, where people are shouted down disgracefully; we have rabbles behaving appallingly in supermarkets and outside Israeli businesses and overt antisemitic bullying in our universities, yet the BBC, paragon of virtue and righteousness looks the other way.