That old familiar sinking feeling, courtesy of BBC morning headlines concerning Rowan Williams’s forthcoming Easter address.
According to the BBC, he was going to say: ‘Although the persecution of the Jews justifies the existence of Israel, harassment of the Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints must stop.’
Updated wording reversed the order. Now harassment of the Palestinians headed the announcement, while Israel’s existence trailed at the tail end.
Later still, Israel was wiped off the face of the announcement and the Archbish’s retirement address was to be all about easing the everyday lives of the Palestinians.
Anyone would think he was about to deliver a sermon on behalf of the PSC. But was he? The press releases hardly mention the Middle East. The Telegraph, for example only says: “The religious leader will touch on the conflict in the Middle East.”, and even in the BBC’s own web article any reference to the topic is buried, and the tenor of that is completely different, more a plea fro God to bring peace to the region than a potpourri of anti-Israel innuendo as per those headlines.
Who, I wonder chose to give such prominence to this segment of an otherwise, if I may say so, somewhat dull-sounding sermon, in the Easter Sunday headlines?
Rowan Williams is well known for making foot in mouth announcements, which might pass unremarked if it weren’t for the BBC’s mischievous habit of cherry-picking misguided molehills and making them into populist mountains.
I haven’t heard his speech. But if it’s anything like what’s predicted in the written press, i.e. about Christianity and young people, well, why must the BBC gratuitously stir up more anti-Israel feelings?