Interviewing the Israeli PM back on June 7, Evan Davis starts with a fair question, and it’s fine that it has a challenging tone to it. After all, it’s an interview:
Prime Minister, you’ve said Israel will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons; how do you propose to stop them?
But then comes the inevitable BBC perception that Israel is misguided and practically alone in the world in its approach to everything, including Iran:
Most of the world thinks the deal is the best way of stopping them. You’re not a supporter of the deal. All roads lead to military action, don’t they?
Netanyahu disagrees and mentions paralyzing sanctions as a way to subdue Iran.
Davis says, You’re not going to get the world behind sanctions, demonstrating BBC wishful thinking, along with the bias.
The debate on Iran and sanctions and military action goes on for a while, with Davis losing, till, at 3:40 minutes in, he switches to two major events on May 14, which must have had the BBC gnashing its collective teeth in rage and frustration: the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the shooting of protestors on the Gaza border. He does his best to portray the Israel PM as a monster, glorifying in the Embassy opening while refusing to wear sackcloth and ashes over the tragic deaths on the border – of 50 Hamas terrorists, a couple of Islamic Jihad terrorists and about ten human shields, including children, as the terrorists cut through the fence under cover of a huge cloud of black smoke from burning tyres, striving to get into Israel to murder Jews.
At 7:40 minutes in, Davis says, I think the really important thing is, who is the obstacle to peace. And in terms of how the world sees the division of terrain… [And he carries on with the standard BBC uninformed bias about the conflict. Now of course we’ve graduated from not only the majority being against Israel but the entire bloody planet.]
There’s a funny moment at 11:10 minutes in when Davis says, …we’re out of our allotted time… and the PM responds with a smile and, I’ll give you a little more time. Davis does not appear to grasp the humour.
The PM ends on a positive note, re Israeli Jewish and Arab doctors treating wounded Syrian civilians who cannot believe the kindness and help they find in Israel because they have always been told that the Israelis are the devil.
I haven’t dwelt on the PM’s responses to Davis since I’ve tried to concentrate on Davis’ bias, but the way he dealt with the bias – by calmly explaining the Israeli perspective – is worth a look.
The scruffy Evan Davis, who looks, with his growth of beard and open-necked shirt, like he has just been hauled off the street, freshened up a bit and plonked before the PM, might even have learned something from the encounter.