Baying For Blood

The groundswell of hatred and resentment against Tony Blair is at fever pitch, so that anyone who dares to raise their head in support of him or his performance at the Chilcot inquiry will be pelted with dogshit and disemboweled.
The BBC had a queue of talking heads lined up, eager to add their bit. “He showed no remorse, no contrition, no respect for the families,” they bleated. “He took us to war on a lie, he disregarded the legality, he ignored Robin Cook and Clare Short, he promised undying loyalty to Bush, he switched the justification for war from WMDs in 24 hours to regime change” etc etc.
Suddenly Robin Cook and Clare Short are reinvented as heroic martyrs. If only they’d been listened to, albeit resigning making that a little difficult, everything would have been fine and Saddam and Iraq would have lived happily ever after. No one would have needed to be radicalized, no one would have insurged, and Uday and the other one would have mellowed and given out posies of roses.
The BBC’s disproportionate fascination with the new-age under-age protesters ratcheted up the ante; various interviews and analyses consolidated the consensus that Blair was an insensitive self-obsessed delusional war criminal, and an Oscar-deserving actor to boot.

Today ran an interview with the former ambassador to Iran, Sir Richard Dalton. You can guess what he had to say about Blair’s allusion to confronting Iran. It caused James Naughtie to remark, “The Devil Incarnate would like that” – sorry, that should be, “Benjamin Netanyahu would like that” – to which Dalton replied, “That’s not in the UK’s interest.”
Naughtie referred to rogue states with access to nuclear weapons, but was assured that Iran having nuclear capabilities doesn’t necessarily mean it would ‘hand secrets to terrorists.’ After all, Iran has chemical weapons and hasn’t done such a thing and never would. Not counting Hamas and Hezbollah of course. If the former ambassador to Iran says they don’t arm terrorists, well, he would know. Or did he mean to say they don’t harm terrorists?


The bias lies in the very first sentence.

“UN development projects in Gaza are being stalled by Israel’s blockade of the region.”

As we all know, the BBC has such a loathing of Israel that it always spins in favour of Hamastan and of course when the UN is involved, it’s a double-header of rancid bias. Wonder why the BBC couldn’t run the same item as follows,
“UN development projects in Gaza are being stalled by Hamas terror threats against Israel”

Gaza Groaning With Goodies. Israel Still Guilty

You know when there’s a well-established mantra that’s invariably used to batter one’s adversary over the head with?
A notion that’s repeated over and over till thoroughly incorporated into the narrative, to be produced reflexively each time a certain something sets it off?

Well, when that thing is suddenly exposed as a bit of a myth, but the adversary doesn’t wish to concede or make friends, so they continue beating you with a new stick as though nothing has changed?

I’m talking, of course, about the accusation that follows the slightest mention of Israel; namely that Israel’s blockade has driven residents of Gaza to a state of malnutrition and starvation.

Ed Stourton seamlessly shifts the emphasis thus in his recent reports from Gaza on R4 Today and From our Own Correspondent. Which brings me to Alan Johnston. Reminiscing nostalgically, he says in his introduction :
In the years when I was a correspondent in the Gaza Strip there was always one steady bleak trend; life there always got harder and harder, and for most Gazans that continues to be true.” (But not for all, as Ed will attest.)
“A major reason for this is Israel’s economic blockade. The Israelis say it’s aimed at weakening the Hamas movement, which controls the strip.”(They’re just saying that)
“ For years Hamas has launched rockets from Gaza targeting homes, schools and offices in nearby Israeli towns, and Hamas doesn’t only oppose Israel’s continuing occupation of the Palestinian territories, it also talks of ultimately seeking the destruction of Israel itself.”

( Hurry that past the listeners and they might think Israel still occupies Gaza and won’t notice the other bit) “So the blockade goes on, and Ed Stourton has been looking at the everyday impact it has on the streets of Gaza.”

Ed Stourton:
“The shops in Gaza City centre are so well stocked that the abundance is almost indecent!” […] “All of this in a place that is supposed to be on the brink of a humanitarian crisis because of Israel’s economic blockade.”
You said it bud. But although the ‘tunnel economy’ has allowed crooks and thieves to prosper, and cars and camels to be brought in, somehow Israel is to blame for the fact that Hamas won’t let poor people acquire the materials to mend their houses. (Because Israel says they might be used for military purposes.) Well, if the need for washing machines and fridges is greater than the need to repair their houses, whose fault is it that they haven’t bothered to smuggle in a few bags of cement too?
Whose do you think?
So the starvation/malnutrition mantra no longer holds water, and the charge against Israel is cunningly transferred from the original one to the updated crime of forcing them into corruption and profiteering. The prosperity of crooks and thieves, the abundance of which could also be described as indecent, seems somehow to be the fault of Israel.

The blood libel that has been doing the rounds recently might have some foundation after all. Clare Short shouldn’t have antagonized those dastardly Israelis. Parts of her have been harvested and reallocated. Jane Corbin got the face, and Alan Johnston the voice.

How neat, alluding to the blood libel as “organ harvesting,” with its connotation of avarice and greed. Why not use the term as a euphemism for acquisitions of any type, not just stolen body parts. Anything one might gather in, so to speak, such as the groaning shelves of Gaza which are a veritable harvest festival.

Mountains and Molehills

A relatively minor molehill has made into a mountain by the BBC because it casts Israelis in a bad light.
Robin Shepherd sets out the case against the BBC with his usual eloquence. Seen in conjunction with the BBC’s habitual glossing over of anything that might reveal the extent of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism and bigotry, this distortion of priorities typifies the prism through which BBC lviews the world, and chooses to feed to us. It illustrates why this website exists.

“I have remarked many times that the BBC continues to run a profile of Hamas which excludes all reference to the group’s Holocaust denial and its Protocols of Zion style anti-Semitism. Despite vast amounts of evidence of the daily assault on the Jewish people from “moderate” Palestinian leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas, who wrote a doctorate denying the extent of the Holocaust, that too is censored out of the reporting. In my recent book, A State Beyond the Pale I also provide polling evidence showing that negative sentiment about Jews even in “friendly” Arab countries such as Egypt and Jordan runs at 97 and 98 percent respectively. Again, such realities are simply not referred to.
Without being aware of such a fundamental issue it is simply impossible to understand the Israeli point of view, which is presumably why the BBC is so adamant that it will not report on it.”

Panorama (Non Culinary Version)

I’ve been thinking about the influence the BBC still has over the general public. I hope it’s diminishing, what with other sources becoming part of everyone’s normal news-gathering. But for now it still seems hugely significant; even if it were to cease tomorrow, the residual effect would take time to wear off.

Monday’s Panorama was so one sided that I didn’t even attempt a point-by-point analysis, but chose instead to express my despair in the form of cookery.

Robin Shepherd took the bull by the horns in a more masterful fashion, setting out the programme’s flaws with his customary thoroughness and accessibility. For example he revealed that the individual who was supposed to represent the voice of impartiality and reason was in fact “Danny Seidemann, a well known (but not to British viewers) left-wing lawyer-activist.”
He also added the bits (in bold ) that Jane Corbin neglected to mention, vital bits that changed the entire focus:
“When the State of Israel was born in 1948 — following Arab and Palestinian rejection of a peace agreement accepted by Israel which would have seen the internationalisation of the city — Jerusalem was divided.
The West of the city became part of Israel and the East was controlled by Jordan — which expelled Jewish residents and forbade Jews from praying at all of the city’s holy sites.
In 1967, Israel annexed East Jerusalem after seizing the West Bank following war with its Arab neighbours. That war was caused by Arab governments and the Palestinians who had the aim of eliminating the state of Israel in its entirety and expelling its Jewish residents.”
When I saw the trail, before seeing the programme, I referred to the same bias by omission on the open thread, and asked:
“Does she think Israel started an unprovoked expansionist war in 1967? It looks like it. She must surely know that that is almost the exact opposite of the truth.”

Honest Reporting delves deeper, setting the record straight and unravelling the misconceptions that Jane Corbin was so eager to perpetuate. In summary, the distortion and denial of the Jewish historical link with East Jerusalem, the allegations of racism and ethnic cleansing in the housing policy, the facts behind the notorious Hanoun family eviction, the shooting incident, and various other notable omissions and half truths.

All of this is not so unusual for the BBC. Does it matter? There are after all, some saving graces. The Newsnight report from Sderot ( scroll to 27:25 ) that was more balanced, though someone mentioned that it took a member of the British Army to do that, and not a BBC employee. (I note that Paxo revised the obligatory Pali war dead figure down from the usual 1400 to 1300, presumably for one day only.)

But the general consensus that Israel’s legitimacy itself is questionable persists.
I wonder why the UK tries so hard to misrepresent a country that it ought to admire, why the BBC has orchestrated a delegitimising campaign that ignores Israel’s wonderful achievements and altruistic deeds, and distorts and twists everything it possibly can to depict it in a bad light, concentrates on its flaws and shortcomings, magnifying them out of all proportion while glossing over that of its – and our own – enemy.

Cooking with Corbin

Cookery programmes are still popular, and last night’s Panorama offered another traditional and much loved recipe for making Israel look really evil.

Two or three bright-eyed fanatics.
One grey-haired self-hating lawyer with American accent.
One or two Chosen People, with multiple progeny.

Spicy Topping:
Assorted Palestinians. (select: sad, angry, wounded, bereaved, evicted from home, tearful child.
Before use, carefully remove all traces of religiously based anti-Semitism and murderous intent.

Available off the shelf: Ready-made clip of small group walking towards camera in religious fancy dress. Must include one large furry hat made from enormous car tyre.

Pre heat audience by drip-feeding propaganda for 40 years till boiling. Scrupulously remove and discard all historical context. Mix together, dish up and present, preferably by woman who has stolen Clare Short’s face.

If this is facetious, there is a serious side. Panorama used to be an important programme, a flagship BBC product. Now it’s superficial, sensational and slapdash. A microcosm of the BBC.

Gonna Start a Riot

The treacherous MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, George Galloway has been away from his constituency lately. He’s been sparking off riots in Egypt. His recent publicity-seeking escapade, getting a convoy of aid to the Palestinians who are currently perceived to be imprisoned in Gaza and starving, has even antagonised the Egyptians.
“ The Egyptian foreign ministry launched a scathing attack on convoy leader British Respect MP George Galloway, claiming that his comments regarding the hold up of the convoy defied “honesty and facts.”
“Being aware that Mr. Galloway loves media exposure, for various reasons, the ministry refrains from engaging in media arguments with someone who deliberately changes facts for personal objectives and masters the promotion of false championships that are based on wrong impressions leading to wrong conclusions,” it said.”

The convoy, organized by Viva Palestina, was unable to get to Gaza in time for the celebrations.
The BBC doesn’t tell us this because they’re more concerned with interviewing the poor activists who have been beaten up. They’re also keen to tell us part of what Gorgeous George said.
“It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza.”
They didn’t bother to report the end of that statement, which was blatantly slanderous and far-fetched: “because nothing that goes to Israel ever arrives in Gaza.”

Time for Al Het from Naughtie?

Remember James Naughtie’s disgraceful interview with the Israeli Ambassador Ron Proser on Today 22nd December? I commented that Naughtie seemed unaware of ex President Jimmy Carter’s reputation as the most anti Israel US President ever.

To further a point, Naughtie produced one of Mr. Carter’s notoriously disparaging statements, saying:
“I take it you don’t regard him [Carter] as somebody who is anti-Israel in his bones!”

“Does Naughtie know nothing about this subject?” I wondered.
Well, it’s high time someone tells Naughtie all about it if he doesn’t know already, because now Jimmeh is offering a kind of apology, which, of course, is a tacit admission of guilt.

People are speculating as to whether it’s because his grandson is running for office in an area with Jewish voters, or for some other reason.
The peanut president has written an open letter to the Jewish community, and concludes:
we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel. As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so.

In Hebrew ‘Al Het’ means plea for forgiveness.

Pathos in Gaza

Who commissioned Katya Adler’s pathos extravaganza that BBC News24 has aired several times today?
What news value does it have, apart from being a gratuitous reminder of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians, just in case we forget about all that for a second?
Now that there aren’t any juicy war crimes to salivate over, did the BBC’s Middle East Editor brief Katya to seek out a cute enormous-eyed child to tug at the heartstrings merely to rekindle dying embers of indignation over Israel’s brutality, fearing the public might be beginning to lose interest?

If the BBC ever commissioned a proper and a thorough examination of how the Palestinians’ suffering came about, and who is responsible for prolonging it, the BBC might begin to claim some credibility.

Or if they stopped implying that children governed by ‘democratically elected’ Islamist Hamas would have a normal childhood if only Israel would stop preventing it. But they insinuate that Israeli oppression is the only thing stopping Gazan children from having a normal childhood when they must know very well indeed that indoctrinating them with hatred of Jews, glorifying child martyrdom and engulfing them in a repressive Islamist medieval straightjacket is a million miles away from any Western perception of normality.

So Katya and Jeremy, you’re pretending. You’re selecting. You’re projecting. You’re using sentimentality and half-truths to twist and poison. For what? Do you think it will bring peace? I don’t even think you do.

Arrested Development

The BBC is eerily silent on the subject that The Times and Telegraph both think worth reporting. That is the admission, boast even, by Hamas operative Diya al-Din Madhoun – nice name – that Hamas was responsible for persuading the British courts to issue an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni for war crimes, should she be bold enough to venture upon British soil.

The BBC are, on the whole, admirers of Hamas, so one might expect them to publicise this, even if only because they might see it as small success and victory for audacity, which they are equally fond of.

Ron Proser has an article in the Telegraph in which he decries the lamentable hypocrisy of the British, and the double standards that are generally applied to matters concerning the Middle East, democracy and terrorism.

Some of the comments below the Times article illustrate what Mr Peres calls “ a hostile majority public opinion,” the effect of 40 years of brainwashing dished up to the public by the BBC.