I know. I’m no Judy Garland. But I really wish I didn’t have to bother addressing the ridiculously biased reporting of yet another publicity stunt by Palestinian activists.
Look at that photo! What do they look like? Not Rosa Parks, that’s for sure.
The BBC ‘s report ends thus: “There are around 500,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Settlements are illegal under international law although Israel disputes this.”
Every BBC article has one of these. Israel disputes this because it’s not true. The allegation of illegality is ‘without foundation’. But we’ve become accustomed to seeing it. Should anyone fail to reach the intended conclusion after wading through the article, it’s hammered home at the end.
I was impressed by a speech that was delivered at the conference “The Perils of Global Intolerance: The UN and Durban lll” by Shelby Steele. It’s called ‘The Narrative of Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood’
He does compare the victimhood status of the Palestinians with that of the civil rights movement, but concludes that perpetual victimhood and an obsession with the blame game merely displaces facing a harsh reality, namely acknowledging and coming to terms with ones own shortcomings.
“you are humiliated and you say,”Well you know the real truth is I am not free. Racism still exists. Zionism is my problem. The State of Israel is my problem. That is why I am so far behind and that is why I cannot get ahead.”
His main point concerns what he calls ‘poetic truths’. That is, the Palestinian narrative that has caught the imagination of the media and the ‘liberal left’. No amount of facts can dislodge poetic truths. Once poetic truths have taken hold, real truths count for nothing.
“Poetic truths like that are marvelous because no facts and no reason can ever penetrate. Supporters of Israel are up against a poetic truth. We keep hitting it with all the facts. We keep hitting it with obvious logic and reason. And we are so obvious and conspicuously right that we assume it is going to have an impact and it never does.”
The tone and content of the BBC report is a typical example of the romanticised narrative that is the basis of the BBC’s poetic truth. For the facts, read the JPost report. From the Israeli perspective, certainly. But all the better for that.
So 50 reporters and photographers were there, chasing the poetic truth. The BBC must know that flocks of cameramen regularly hang around Palestinian stone throwers and activists hoping to catch some poetry in motion. If there’s no action they’ve even been known to set some up. But the BBC doesn’t quite tell us that. “The West Bank Freedom Riders punched above their weight, drawing a lot of publicity for what was a relatively small event,” says Jon Donnison, “and I’m helping by spreading the word,” he implied, though no doubt he disputes this.
“Palestinians from the West Bank are not allowed to cross into Jerusalem without Israeli permission.” says the BBC, simplifying the truth so that the restrictions appear discriminatory and unreasonable, adding:
“Israel says such restrictions are for security reasons”
The ‘Freedom Riders’ demand unrestricted freedom of movement. They can surely have it when Israelis have the freedom from fear of being blown up on a bus.
The BBC quotes the freedom activists, so why not also include some Israeli quotes, for balance? I suppose certain people would consider that too “pro Israel”.
“It is Israelis who have issues with transportation because of fear of terror attacks,” an Israeli passenger said. “These are buses that are protected against stones and bullets in case of Palestinian violence.”
“It’s not racism, it is security,” she said.
“When I can walk freely in Ramallah with my children, they can ride on my bus.”
“Another passenger, Haggai Segal, who wore a skullcap, said he had asked the Palestinian activists, “‘Can I go on a bus in Ramallah as a Jew?’ They answered: ‘I could not.’” He shook his head at the comparison to the civil rights movement.“This is not a Martin Luther King bus”.
What’s wrong with mentioning these points? I know my words will have no impact on your poetic truth BBC, but if YOU, purporting to be an impartial news organ, make a start by allowing the real truth to reach the public, it might filter through. But in the meantime I have to keep doing what you’re making me do.
You make me angry sometimes, you make me sad
But there are times, Beeb, you make me feel so bad.
You made me sigh for, I didn’t want to tell you
I didn’t want to tell you
I need some news that’s true, yes I do, deed I do, you know I do
Give me, give me, give me what I cry for
You know you ought to tell the public what you lie for
You know you made me loathe you.