Palmed Off

I hope they warned Mark Regev that the focus of his interrogation had been altered at the last minute, from the original version on the Today website –

“The “million people march” is due to take place tonight in Tel Aviv, protesting against the high cost of living and shortage of housing in Israel. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev looks at the state of Israel today”

– to this updated item, an interrogation about Israel’s refusal to apologise to Turkey for the deaths of nine activists: Israel ‘had right to board flotilla’

So John Humphrys has read the Palmer Report. Well, parts of it, he assured Mark Regev. The parts of special interest to the BBC. Not the main parts, the ones that confirm the legality of Israel’s blockade against the smuggling of arms into Gaza, but those saying Israel used excessive force when they boarded the Mavi Marmara.

The fact that the BBC brought Mark Regev on at all will have irked a particular type of listener. The type who is instantly up in arms at the sound of his voice, writing letters to the BBC about disproportionate pro Israel favouritism. They’re the ones that enable the BBC to claim impartiality ‘because we get complaints from both sides’.

The Palmer report concludes that the blockade is legal, as was the interception of the boat in international waters. The problem seems to arise with how this was enforced. The Israelis’ reaction to the violent reception they faced was criticised because in the end nine activists were shot at close range, some in the back, and some several times.

The fact that the activists were armed and uncooperative doesn’t seem to have been taken into consideration; it certainly wasn’t by John Humphrys.

I’m wondering what the difference is between being shot dead, or being shot dead several times. They must have been very dead indeed.

Would it have been acceptable to the BBC if the Israelis had waited to see just how far the activists were prepared to go before retaliating?

If they had allowed one or two Israelis to be beaten to death, say, before deciding that shooting back was fair and proportionate?

Or should the Israelis have given in, after polite requests to lay down weapons and comply with international law?

It seems that is what Mr Humphrys would have advised. He must have seen the footage of the reception that greeted the boarding party when it landed on the good ship Mavi Marmara, it was shown on Panorama after all, but given that he is aware of the violence, and who initiated it, he seems to think the Israelis shouldn’t have boarded the ship at all!

“It is hard to see how they could have initiated violence had you not boarded their ship.” he says.

I suppose he would think that Britain had no right to intercept armed shipments from Libya to the IRA in international waters, either.

Were the activists armed and resisting arrest? Yes they were. Were the Israeli soldiers being attacked and beaten with iron bars? Yes they were. Was Israel within its rights to intercept the ship in international waters? Yes it was. Was there a “Complex combative chaotic situation and close hand-to hand combat?” as Mark Regev repeated, and John Humphrys disregarded. Yes, undoubtedly.

The truth is that the BBC thinks the ship should have been allowed to break the blockade, which they still want to believe is illegal, just as they still want to believe the flotilla was carrying aid, which they still want to believe Gaza needs. They still believe that Israel is the most evil place in the world, and they still want to doubt its legitimacy, no matter what any reports or investigations come up with.

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29 Responses to Palmed Off

  1. john in cheshire says:

    Sue, I’m pleased you and others on this website are regularly watching and listening to the dross that the bbc churns out and calls news because I am more frequently not paying any attention to them. bbc tv and radio is increasingly a very unpleasant experience that I’d rather avoid, so thanks for doing the dirty work on behalf of people like me.


  2. hippiepooter says:

    Yeah, there are spells that might span days or even weeks when Humphrys manages to curb the worst excesses of his biased impulses lest even he considers his credibility might become too threadbare, but at the end of the day Humphrys, like Naughtie, is a fully paid up shill for the Nazi Left.  He made that very clear when he sought to put the blame on Israel for the lethal force assault its commandos suffered boarding the Mari Marmara for boarding it in the first place, when he knows perfectly well the purpose of the blockade they were lawfully enforcing was to prevent the supply of weapons and rockets to Gaza to launch attacks on Israeli civilians.
    If they were still building Cathederals today, the gargoyles they would place outside to remind us of the existance of evil would be of the likes of Humphrys, Paxman, Wark and Naughtie.


  3. john says:

    It’s always puzzled me that the BBC and their leftie friends could maintain that Palestine was blockaded when all along Palestine shared a common border with Egypt, a border criss-crossed with numerous smuggling tunnels and policed by a force sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.


  4. cjhartnett says:

    Thanks for listening Sue!
    I like to think that clever people at Tel Aviv/Haifa Universities are counting things like Craig did…interruptions/presumptions and sly deceits as doled about by the hand-wringing apologists for terror/riots/ travellers and fellow-travellers…like anyone associated with the BBC.
    The Toady Show on a Saturday seems to get away with more slapdash and nasty critques  than (even) its weekly slop outs.
    Regev hopefully passes on the transcripts and tapes of his fools errand of trying to inform superannuated lotus eaters like Humphrys.
    Typical of the BBC to get away from the civil protests in Israel, and dwell on what the kebab shop owner told them when the research team had the munchies last night…that the PLO/Turkey are “innocent”…aren`t they always?
    As someone like DV said-this refusal to take Israel as another country with civil protests( not like the Arab ones either!) is another tactic to de-legitimise Israel…what other country would be asked to explain  its tactics while patrolling  its own borders.
    Only hope Mark won`t give up talking over Humphrys ear trumpet in order to educate the rst of us. The BBC are way beyond that!
    Now if we could get a couple of Dale Farms “travellers” to move onto the Israeli borders…that should buy Israel all the peace it will need from the likes of the Team Toady!


  5. Andrew says:

    Humprhies lets the cat out of the bag when he says they shouldn’t have boarded it.  It would have been nice if Mr Regev had turned the tables on him as Humphries seemed convinced he had all the answers.

    Version One – in which Regev asks Humphries how not boarding the vessel would have panned out given that the report seems quite clear that there that were no obvious circumstances in which the Mavi Marmara would stop or deviate from its course to gaza.  Which would Humphries have preferred – ramming the Marmara or firing on it with a bloody big naval gun.

    Version Two – in which Regev allows Humprhies to recommend that the Marmara be allowed to dock at Gaza at which point Regev can point out that as also stated in the report that the boat was too big to dock in Gaza port.


  6. As I See It says:

    A surprising number of Beeboids of a certain age suffer from a debilitating condition that I like to call “Gregory Peck’s Syndrome”. It is a sad fact that this much misunderstood condition can strike anyone at any age – so no one can ever be complacent – but middle-aged male BBC commentators are the group most at risk.

    They may be living a normal life dealing with everyday work situations when suddenly they imagine that they have doned a pale coloured suit and become Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. They will then play out the part of courageous liberal lawyer for the defence, no matter what the actual facts of a given situation. This can be a frightening and confusing delusion particularly for those watching or listening to the victim as he departs from reality.

    The best advice is to humour the sufferer (it can be dangerous to try to reason with these people), then to find an excuse to switch off to their conversation.


    • john says:

      Good point.
      However the Film and the Book are as far apart as BBC reporting and actual fact.


    • cjhartnett says:

      Gregory Peck Syndrome?…like this!
      Feel I`ve got myself a blue badge coming.
      Sadly The Tories won`t let me ride a National Express bus up and down the country though before too long…but I`m sure the Beebs soggy section on the Today Programme will do a sponsored run round the water cooler/crossiant trolley to raise funds to allow me to get up to see Stornoway and Penzance!


  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Nice catch, sue.  Another Today ambush interview.  What a shock.  Funny how it never seems to happen to guests on the same side of the political spectrum as the Today Beeboids.


  8. ltwf1964 says:

    Mark Regev knows the score with the beebscum 😉

    he is no fool that guy


  9. Biodegradable says:

    Humphrys admits to not having read the whole report, He actually tells Mark Regev at one point that he has it in front of him and has read “large parts of it”.  
    As to the dead “activists” having been shot not once but multiple times, well, when you shoot somebody who’s trying to kill you I believe, and I’m sure pounce can confirm, you do shoot several times, to be sure the bugger no longer presents a threat.


    • TooTrue says:

      True. What would a leftie BBC hack know about fighting for your life in a dire situation like that. Would the aforementioned hack ever acknowledge that an attacker can keep attacking even with a bullet or two in him when the one being attacked is an Israeli commando? Of course not.


      • Biodegradable says:

        On another blog somewhere I just read somebody suggesting that perhaps the “activists” who were allegedly shot in the back were attacking an IDF soldier and were indeed shot from behind by another soldier to protect his colleague.

        Sounds well possible to me. Don’t brothers in arms tell each other, “I’ve got your back”?


        • TooTrue says:

          Also, all this was taking place at night- a very different story from being able to clearly see your foe in broad daylight.


          • Biodegradable says:

            That too. But if I saw a gang of thugs attacking you with iron bars and knives I wouldn’t hesitate in shooting them, even if they had their backs to me and even if it took a full magazine to stop them.


  10. TooTrue says:

    The poor dears at the BBC must be most confused and upset that a balanced report on Israel/Turkey emerged from one of their favourite organisations of all time – the UN. What business does the UN have getting out of the rut of continual Israel-bashing?

    Apart from that exceptional Panorama documentary, which the BBC has removed from its Panorama page for some reason:

    but is available here:

    the BBC will simply not look at the Mavi Marmara in anything approaching a balanced fashion.


    • Biodegradable says:

      Indeed, comments on blogs throughout the ‘net are full of people who usually claim that Israel ignores and is in violation of UN resolutions, as if the UN was the Supreme Authority On Everything, suddenly accusing the UN of being biased and its report being nothing more than Zionist propaganda.

      You gotta larf!


  11. cjhartnett says:

    The riots, the travellers, the Al Magrabhi stuff?…I`m sure Regev knows that , if the BBC are unhappy with your actions: then you`ll be doing just fine.
    The BBC have long been on the wrong side of every cause they have themselves promoting or “championing”….they just have to get the wrong end of historys stick and run into the back of any empty bandwagon with it!
    As long as the Guaardian are manacled to the axle…
    Can`t imagine anyone in Israel worrying about the BBC…it`s we poor souls that have to pay for it( theoretically)


  12. RGH says:

    Turkey has no decided that it wants to take Israel to court. The BBC reports this and offers a summary, in its own style, of the Palmer/Uribe report.

    The report has much to say but the criticism of Turkey as a state actor is entirely absent from the BBC report with its emphasis on ‘excessive’ force.

    Turkey, states Palmer, should have done more to dissuade the IHH contingent from seeking confrontation with Israeli soldiers.

    “The report is also critical of the flotilla organizers, asserting that they “acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade.”
    It argued that while the majority of the hundreds of people aboard the six vessels had no violent intention, the same could not be said of IHH – the Turkish aid group that primarily organized the flotilla. It said, “There exist serious questions about the conduct, true nature and objectives of the flotilla organizers, particularly IHH.”

    This was a failure by Turkey in its duty to take precautionary measures to minimise any risk of violence when the inevitable boarding took place. Turkey, as a state-actor, should have understood that the same law which entitles Israel to act also allows Turkey to act in its security.

    The success of state ‘discouragement’ with this years blockade breakers, demonstates hoe a situation can be defused and not be allowed to become an incident which brings further instability into an already difficult situation.


    • Cassandra King says:

      None of this will get into a BBC report will it? The BBC is leading on the most critical elements of the repor while actively hiding the parts that criticise Turkey and their islamist deniables.


  13. ian says:

    Ex-BBC presenter David Icke believes that Jews are giant shape-changing lizards from outer space who have secretly taken over the world, thus proving that even if you’re not gay, female or black, you can still get a job at Broadcasting House.


  14. Louis Robinson says:

    Before putting foot in mouth Mardell could have done a quick google search and found:   


  15. Hazel says:

    Sue, thank you for a good article.  I can’t bear to listen to the Today programme nowadays so it’s useful to know what they’re up to.  And Mark Regev is very good at handling hostile beeboids.

    I’m appalled Turkey hasn’t apologised for financing armed thugs who deliberately intermingled with naive European leftwingers on the mavi Marmara for the purpose of causing a lot of trouble to Israel.  I believe the IHH’s true goal was to take hostages of IDF soldiers, and they nearly succeeded.  They had got the leader of the Israeli boarding party below deck with a fractured skull plus 3 others.  How long would it have taken the Turks to say ‘sail to Gaza or else’?  Then it wouldn’t just have been Gilad Shalit held hostage there, but 4 others with him.  Which could have started war between Turkey and israel!  Quite outrageous,

    i think the Turks have lost the plot.  Why should israel apologise for defending themselves?  And the EU don’t seem very happy with Turkey, the German foreign minister basically said Turkey should accept the UN report and move on constructively.


    • sue says:

      Hazel, the BBC headlines this morning were back demonstrating their continued fixation with Israel. First they were comparing the demonstrations in Israel with the Arab Spring, only less favourably, because they view the glorious Arab Spring with wonderment.The Israeli demos are against the evil right-wing Israeli government, but the protesters are left-wingers, a tiny bit like themselves, (good) but they’re still damned Israelis.(bad) Then they went on to describe why Turkey is taking their ridiculous demands to the International Courts of Justice! The BBC’s weird, inexplicably pro Turkey interpretation of the Palmer report beggars belief.

      (Why do they bother with these reports if nobody accepts the findings. Half of them seem designed so as not to offend certain people, but they always end up offending everyone.)

      Maybe it’ll be like the Goldstone fiasco. When all the fuss has died down, Palmer changes his mind, by which time nobody is interested.


    • TooTrue says:

      Hazel, it’s typical islamic arrogance. The Jews should just accept the rockets, dismantle all border security and then submit to Islamic rule. After all, they are invaders of Muslim land, so the theory goes. (Except that the Jews were there before Islam, of course.)

      Erdogan made the most vitriolic statements by far of any anti-Israel leader back when Israel took out chief Hamas terrorist sheikh Yassin and also at the time of Operation Cast Lead. He appears to believe that the only ones who should be dying in this conflict are Jews.

      I don’t notice the UN or the West putting pressure on Erdogan to finally acknowledge Turkey’s responsibility for the Armenian genocide and pay reparations to the survivors. Seems Muslims can do whatever the hell they like in this world and get away with it.


    • TooTrue says:

      Barry Rubin is always worth reading for his knowledge and insight and he doesn’t disappoint here. His style is a little clumsy, though.