In defending Israel I’ve come to realise that preconceived ideas and gut feelings override all reasonable argument. That is to say however well argued, very few are willing to engage, or even listen to any case you may make.
Even those who see themselves as profoundly logical abandon all reason when it comes to this particular topic. The so-called open-minded can’t literally be so, unless they’ve suffered catastrophic memory loss.
It’s a big ask. Why would anyone cast aside a lifetime of negative input the media has subjected them to, and suddenly agree to re-evaluate, reconsider or unlearn material that they’ve digested and misunderstood? It is firmly embedded, and it’s staying that way, thanks all the same.
Defenders of Israel face a fiercely stubborn resistance, impenetrably and formidably fortified and reinforced on a daily basis by the BBC.
Abandoning reason is not the BBC’s exclusive prerogative. We can all do it. Fruitlessly citing individual examples of unfairness, and still, despite past performance, hoping for a breakthrough in some kind of imaginary BBC future, has to involve blind faith. Where is the logic in believing that One Day someone important at the BBC might have that crucial, eureka-damascene-moment?
Silly me. It’s all water off a duck’s back to the Beeb, but here’s one anyway.
Yolande Knell has noticed that an Israeli hacker has retaliated. She noticed, in the best BBC tradition, the retaliation only. The provocation, no.
Here’s another one, and I’m using today’s examples but I could just as easily have picked any other random BBC day.
Israel is banning Palestinians who marry Israelis from gaining Israeli citizenship. How awful! Newsworthy because it fits a pattern perhaps. Less newsworthy because it does not, is the way the rest of the Arab World treats Palestinians. And the rest of the Arab World, unlike Israel, hasn’t even been threatened with holy Jihad with the intended goal of annihilation. They can be racist, discriminatory and evil to their hearts’ content, and no-one at the BBC bats an eyelid. But the BBC and their sibling, the Guardian, with hostility in their hearts send forth reporters just to put despised Israel under a microscope. The mission is to seek out whatever might conceivably add to their systematic vilification, egging each other on like a couple of gossips revelling in the character assassination of another.
I wrote the above yesterday, but despondency prevented me from posting then. That, and the fact the article did stick more or less to the facts and didn’t contain the BBC’s usual ‘Palestinians-as-victims’ emoting.
However, last night the BBC world Service spurred me into action by broadcasting a self-piying interview with a married couple who had been inconvenienced by this ruling. No, they were not actually inconvenienced yet, but they might be in the future.
Racist, apartheid, discriminatory, nationalistic and any other evil insinuations can be made by the media about ‘Jewish Israelis’ or ‘Israeli Jews’ for ever and a day, but never can the same be made about the people in the places where such things are a reality. We rarely hear from the BBC the openly-stated Palestinian boast that any future Palestinian state will be “Jew-free”.
The BBC will not engage with this simply because it doesn’t choose to. Sixty years of insidious, slippery, stealthy demonisation can’t be undone overnight, and rational argument will have no impact unless the BBC changes its mind.