Mud Sticks

You can’t do much about your reputation. A bad reputation can follow you like a shadow and place you at a considerable disadvantage in all your future endeavours.
Some movements, philosophies or ideologies are deemed so despicable that no affiliate or former member can ever dissociate themselves from the body’s loathsome reputation. But inexplicably, others with an equally ignominious record do it with ease.
Double standards exist. Some people can’t do a thing right, while others, apparently not for want of trying, just can’t put a foot wrong.

Take Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, representing the sunny-side of Islam. The commissioning editors of the BBC happily disregard all negative factors associated with the religion of peace, and give Shaykh Mogra a platform on radio 4 to preach to us every morning for a whole week, as though certain unmentionable issues had never raised their ugly heads. For instance Islam’s approach to women, to sex and to the non-believer; not to mention, literally, the antics of a certain publicity-seeking band of poppy-burning beardies, the Muslim Council of Britain’s duplicitous record, Islam’s inherent antisemitism, oh, and Islamic-inspired terrorism.

Ibriham Mogra can shayke off (sorry) all association with that nasty stuff and quote passages from the Koran as though butter wouldn’t melt in his beard. He evidently believes these unfortunate things are ‘nothing to do with me, guv.’
In stark contrast, certain other ideologies or movements are deemed ‘beyond the pale’. An individual associated with any of these despised bodies is automatically pushed into purgatory. Take the Nazi. Can there be a benign Nazi? At one end of the spectrum we have Goebbels and co., and at the milder end, the ‘gullible victim of propaganda’ and the ‘only following orders’ brand of Nazi. All are permanently regarded as personae non gratae, with the exception of one reformed Nazi who has made a convincing case by publicly denouncing his former incarnation and reinventing himself as the Pope. According to Wiki, Joseph Alois Ratzinger was “an unenthusiastic member” of the Hitler Youth all along, so that’s okay.

There’s little prospect of exoneration for Israel however. As far as the BBC is concerned Israel’s pariah status is set in stone. It is unremittingly portrayed as ‘beyond the pale’, and is seen by the BBC as indomitably fiendish, even though most of the evil-doing the BBC finds so unforgivable is a construct of their very own.

Organisations like the BNP can’t rehabilitate themselves. No matter how plausible he tries to be, Nick Griffin was caught on camera being racist and antisemitic, and his denials and ostensible changes of heart aren’t fooling anyone.
Similarly, Tommy Robinson has a lot of work to do on the EDL’s image before he’ll be able to distance himself from its reputation for thuggery and racism.
Incidentally, when the BBC set attack-dog Paxman onto ‘Tommy Robinson’, I doubt Paxo suspected he was in for a profound pasting. But that’s what he ended up with. The BBC was so confident that Robinson’s guilt-by-association was enough to crush him, that they didn’t bother to do any pre-interview research. In the event Paxo stabbed wildly and spuriously in all directions, and had to resort to making those faces. It probably wasn’t that particular humiliating fiasco of an interview that deterred the BBC from putting the good Shaykh up for a similar grilling before setting him up with a week’s worth of Prayers for the Day. But surely, if all things really were equal, they’d give Tommy a regular spot on the radio and send the Shaykh in for a couple of rounds with Paxo.

The BBC can brush aside the evil-doings of his religious compatriots, such as terrorism, wife beating, honour killing and gay-bashing, but can’t overlook alleged skinhead thuggery.
Every morning, for seven glorious days, Shayhk Mogra has been quoting some incomprehensible passages straight from the Koran for our edification.
On two occasions he assumed our fond familiarity with the Hajj, and an episode entitled “Kick Racism Out” contained the following:

“Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “O people, indeed your Lord and Sustainer is One and your ancestor is one. All of you descend from Adam and Adam was made of earth. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab nor for a non-Arab over an Arab; neither for a white person over a black person nor a black person over a white person except the superiority gained through righteousness. Indeed the noblest of you to God is the one who is most conscious of God.”

I wondered momentarily if the above-mentioned exception does subtly bestow superiority upon very ‘righteous’ Muslims, which by sleight of hand exempts me and the other kafir from being considered their equal. But I was all wrong, because he continued:

“Dear God, cleanse our hearts and give us the strength to be more righteous. Enable us to respect all human beings as equals and as members of Your family, amin.”

(‘Amin’ is Muslim for ‘Amen’)

Somehow Shaykh Mogra feels able to pick and choose which bits of the holy Koran he condones, and which bits he rejects. One of the latter is the death penalty for apostasy, which he says is outdated and old fashioned. But, would you adam an’ eve it, he’s sticking with the literal interpretation of the creation? “ All of you descend from Adam and Adam was made of earth.

His Pollyanna version of the ROP doesn’t mention the Jihad. But he’s not your typical Islamic cleric. Hizb ut-Tahrir calls him a ‘government linked sellout’ and, on apostasy: “Even the kafir reporter knows more on Islam sharia then[sic] Mogra!”

I’m afraid today’s prayer really takes the biscuit. It’s called Caring for Women.

If the BBC can pretend that Islam’s record of caring for women bears any relation to this sermon, I’d like to know how.
The next passage has something of the literary style of Enid Blyton about it:

“He who supports three daughters or sisters by educating them and being merciful to them until they become self sufficient, God will make Paradise compulsory for him.” A man then asked, “What about two daughters or sisters, will the same apply to two?” Another asked, “What about one daughter or sister?” Muhammad said, “The same applies to one daughter or sister.”

(I don’t know how respectfully Noddy and Big Ears treated women, but they had a very unPC reputation with regard to golliwogs.)
He continues:

“He who has a daughter and looks after her and does not disgrace her, nor does he prefer his sons over her, God will admit him to Paradise.”

Disgrace her? How? Oh never mind. Next week’s Prayers for the Day are by Alison Twaddle.

Bad Start to the Week

It seems that the BBC will be ‘Starting the Week’ tomorrow morning with a particularly objectionable duo on the guest list. Not only Peter Kosminsky of ‘The Promise’ notoriety, but also a singer / songwriter unknown to most people outside the Guardian/BBC clique called Sarah Gillespie (Who?)
I’ll leave it to Harry’s Place to expand on why her inclusion on Start the Week to discuss ‘the arts and politics’ is both puzzling and worrying.

For anyone who doesn’t want to click on the link, here’s what Harry’s Place tells us about Ms. Gillespie.

  • She is a supporter and musical associate of Gilad Atzmon, the Jewish-Israeli saxophonist who has taken self-loathing to new heights. His Israel-bashing writings are so extreme that even some of the most notorious anti-Israel activists have dissociated themselves from him.
  • She has expressed solidarity with holocaust denier Paul Eisen,
  • and has accused Mark Thompson of bias towards Israel.

The article ends by asking ‘what is the BBC’s reasoning?’

If Mark Thompson’s reasoning has something to do with “confronting people with the other”, I should think we’ve had just about enough anti-Israel and antisemitic flavoured programming already. It’s high time we had a glimpse of some real “other”, but I won’t be holding my breath.

The BBC’s Dishonest and Biased Questions For Republican Candidates

Saturday night’s Republican candidates’ debate was on the topic of foreign affairs.  In that spirit, the BBC asked PJ Crowley, a former State Dept. flack, to come up with a list of what the media likes to call “3 am phone call” questions, after then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign ad that was critical about her opponent, when she was running for President, not being ready for major foreign policy decisions.  As this is the BBC handling a US issue, before we even get to the questions there’s a glaring bit of bias and dishonesty.

Right at the top of the page, next to his photo, the BBC describes Crowley as “Former US Assistant Secretary of State”.  Partially false.  He was actually the US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. The White House officially used that title for him,  In other words, he was a mouthpiece, not a policy wonk or actual diplomat.  His career has been entirely in Public Affairs, not actual policy making. Even CNN referred to him as “State Department spokesman”.  What’s that you’re saying? That CNN link reveals something else the BBC casually left out about Crowley?  You’re right.  They forget to mention that Crowley was fired for criticizing the unfriendly detention treatment of Pvt. Bradley Manning, the Wikihacker who stole all those documents and gave them to St. Julian to publish, in the hopes of harming US foreign policy goals.

The reason the BBC redacted the key part of Crowley’s title is to give you the impression that his opinion carries more weight than it should.  I have a screen shot in case of stealth edit.  So this piece is misleading even before it starts.  They even forgot to mention that Crowley worked for The Obamessiah Administration. So he’s partisan as well, but the BBC doesn’t want you to know about it.  Once again, a vox pops presented as an innocent commentator is anything but the way the BBC wants you to think. (They did mention it at the very bottom, which I missed. My thanks to Craig for pointing out my error)

Now for the questions.  I’m not a Republican candidate, but I’m going to answer them as if I were, just to highlight the bias.

Actually, before getting to the questions, just have a look at the sarcastic, dismissive way Crowley misrepresents the candidates’ various answers.  He even spends a moment belittling the candidates as being ignorant and bashing Bush (calling Musharaf his “BFF”).  So even before you get to the substance, you already know where this is coming from: an attack on the President’s opponents, full stop.

Okay, now the questions.

1. The IAEA this week says that Iran more or less knows how to build a nuclear weapon. Assuming when you become president, there is not yet evidence of an actual weapon, what will your policy be? Will you continue to contain Iran and add pressure through sanctions until it is clear Iran is constructing a bomb? Or are you prepared to act preemptively to prevent Iran from acquiring a weapon?

This is a “gotcha” question.  “Preemptively” can mean many things. It doesn’t have to mean bombing the crap out of Iran, which is what the question obviously implies.  Under my Administration, the US would only act “preemptively” if we had real proof that Iran was about to acquire an actual weapon, or had just acquired one.  But as I said, that can mean many forms of action, both covert and diplomatic, not just bombing the crap out of them, which is what you’re trying to catch me out saying.  So the question is designed for one particular answer, sorry you’re not going to get it.

2. The Bush administration invaded Iraq to eliminate suspected weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration negotiated an end to the Libyan WMD programme, one of its signature achievements. You all have strongly indicated that Iran should never gain a nuclear weapon. Is the ultimate solution to declare the Middle East a nuclear-weapons-free zone, as called for under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

That’s a nice dig at Israel, isn’t it?  Let’s be honest about the subtext of your question.  When you say the “Middle East” as a region, that includes Israel, which is the only country so many people on the Left and in the media are really worried about.  How many times have we heard the whining about hypocrisy in allowing Israel to have nukes but not wanting Iran to have them.  Please rephrase the question more honestly.  Still, such a treaty in that region is sheer fantasy anyway, and not because Israel has secret nukes.

3. Most of you have said that Libya was not a vital interest to the United States and that you would not have militarily intervened. Does that mean you would have preferred leaving Gaddafi in power? If not, then why was Obama wrong?

On this issue, my position was different from that of most of these candidates.  Libya is a vital interest to the US because of the threat of Islamic fascism taking over if Gaddafi was removed.  I think we all know by now that’s what’s going to happen.  But that means the President was wrong to sit on his hands until Secretary of State Clinton and her staff had to convince him that it wasn’t working, and that he was going to continue to butcher his people and plunge his country into chaos.  That’s never good for US interests. Plus, there’s always an economic component to vital national interests: if Libya ends up being a reasonable, stable country on the road to prosperity, that can only be good for everyone. Since the question of military intervention became moot once Britain and France and their coalition were going to do it anyway, it was in the US’s best interest to at least take the diplomatic lead with rebels and any other potential new leadership faction.  That didn’t happen.  We sat on our hands out of fear of the usual complaints of US Imperialism. And look where it got us?  Another potential Mullocracy.  That’s not good for US vital interests.

4. President Bush achieved regime change in Iraq, but at a cost of about $800bn (£502bn). President Obama’s intervention in Libya, achieving a similar result, cost just over a billion. Keeping in mind our current financial situation, as President, what are the lessons learned from both experiences?

Total apples and oranges here.  Regime change in Libya was due to a whole host of factors, only one of which was US strategic bombing.  There was no rebel army waiting to move against Sadaam.  There are huge geographical and tactical differences between the two countries.  There was no Arab Spring-type scenario going on in the region at the time.  The only lesson to be learned here is that this question reveals a willful cluelessness and that the questioner has an agenda to push.

5. If the deficit super-committee fails, defence will take an even bigger hit than the roughly $430bn already planned. Congress may delay sequestration until after next year’s election. In 2013, are you prepared to enact deeper defence cuts to balance the budget? If not, please explain how, if Ronald Reagan could not raise defence spending, lower taxes and balance the budget, results would be different in your administration?

Another apples and oranges question revealing cluelessness and an agenda to push.  Under my Adminstration, there will be all sorts of cuts and reform that will mean we won’t have to decimate Defense.  Repealing ObamaCare alone with save nearly enough money to render this question moot. Furthermore, reducing the Departments of Education, Energy, and Health to shadows of their current selves, along with a complete dismantling and redefining of the EPA will save tens of billions. Getting rid of the insane amount of regulations which harm small businesses and curtail most others will help increase revenues and growth.  Reagan had a completely different economic situation, and didn’t have the massive, sclerotic bureaucracies we have now.  It’s ridiculous to compare the two situations.

6. Will any troops be in Afghanistan in 2016? If so, doing what?

Who knows?  A million things could happen between now and then.  Nobody wants troops there just for the sake of it. Next!

7. You have all declared you are strong supporters of Israel. Are the foreign policies of the United States and Israel identical? If not, name one area where you believe Israeli actions are contrary to US interests. What will you do to encourage a change in Israeli policy?

Another dig at Israel.  One could just as easily say that the foreign policies of the US are virtually identical to those of Britain, France, Germany, South Korea, and Gambia. All those countries surely have one area where we disagree. This question is asked from the perspective that having very similar foreign policy goals to Israel is a problem.  Why?  Ask me a more honest question, and I’ll try to answer it.

(Remember, this anti-Israel mug was the Spokesman for the State Dept. No wonder so many people have been worried that The Obamessiah is going to throw Israel under the bus.)

8. Do you consider climate change a national security issue? If not, as president, what will you say to the president of the Maldives when he tells you that emissions of greenhouse gases by China and the United States threaten the very existence of his country because of rising sea levels?

Climate Change is only a national security issue in that all these draconian rules and regulations forced on us by Warmists are causing serious damage to the economy, and to those of our strategic allies.  If the President of the Maldives tells me that my country is dooming the existence of his, I’ll tell him he’s full of it and needs to find another way to get my country to redistribute wealth to his.

9. Some of you have indicated a willingness to militarily intervene in Mexico to control violence perpetrated by drug cartels. Those cartels are battling Mexican authorities using weapons purchased in the United States, including combat weapons like the AK-47. If the war in Mexico threatens the United States, should we on national security grounds first restrict the sale of combat weapons that cannot be plausibly tied to individual security before putting troops in harm’s way at significant cost?

The reason those drug cartels are using weapons purchased in the US is because the ATF made that happen.  How can you not be aware of this?  Operation Fast and Furious and the rest of it has lead to how many deaths now?  That whole scheme was created specifically to cause the exact trouble you’re now using to demand stricter gun control.  The current Administration has the blood of US border agents and hundreds of innocent Mexican civilians on its hands, and you’re asking me about stopping something that’s happening only because the current Administration made it so?  You bet I’ll stop it, but not what you’re hoping for. Unbelievable.

(Of course the BBC has misled the public on this issue, and engaged in suppressing news which might make you better informed. So they can get away with such an unbelievably, disgustingly biased question.)

10. Congress is considering legislation that would require all terrorism suspects to be tried in military rather than civilian courts. Do you support this legislation? If so, given the strong record of open trials and convictions in civilian courts, why do you think they are not the appropriate venue for at least certain kinds of terrorism cases?

 Yes.  We’re at war. Different ball game.

Thank you for having me here today.  Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.

Moving Tale

Our friend Yolande Knell addresses the Bedouin question. I think it is fair to say that she sees it solely from the Bedouin perspective. So much so that her article comes across as another bit of pure Israel-bashing.
The fundamental issue concerns the human rights of a people who wish to hang on to their traditional way of life, when it clearly conflicts with the interests of certain other people who wish to abide by the law-and-order to which they’ve become accustomed.
In an ideal world, live and let live is a fine principle. But the reality is less than ideal. Compromises must eventually be reached and accepted all round.

Yolande Knell’s piece suggests Israel has pushed the noble Bedouin community from pillar to post, deliberately depriving them of their traditional way of life, forcibly relocating them to a static enclosure situated beside a rubbish dump. There are complex facts surrounding the legality of Bedouin rights to land, but Knell dismisses these in a cursory way and skews them till they seem discriminatory and racist:

“They mostly live in areas that Israel declared as state land or on private land leased from Palestinians. Some have deeds showing they bought territory when Jordan was in control of the area between 1948 and 1967.
Many of the nomadic communities settled there after leaving their ancestral land in the Negev desert. The Bedouin that remained became Israeli citizens but still have a tense relationship with the state.”

When Jordan was in control” she says. Or would it be more accurate to say: “when Jordan invaded and occupied it in 1948 and annexed it in 1950”

Knell uses emotive language, sub-headings and pictures throughout.
It’s ‘Dalé jâ vu Farm’ all over again; and as with gypsy and traveller sites that perplex our own communities, these disputes are highly political.
I don’t claim particular expertise on this problem, but from what I’ve read it seems that many people feel that the Bedouin have indeed been treated harshly by successive Israeli governments. Equally their uncooperative behaviour has made things more difficult for everybody including themselves. The anomalies in their demands parallel our own Gypsies’ and travellers’ contradictory demands for the right to proper housing while insisting that they need to travel. Many people ask why should the nomadic gypsy lifestyle be romanticised to such an extent that it trumps the rights of the rest of society? Similarly, the question of enforcing the law in respect of illegal building. Consider the outcry if a traveller’s illegally erected shack is demolished, and its occupants evicted, in other words if it’s treated in exactly the same way as if it had it been constructed by a member of the settled community without proper planning permission, a scenario in which enforcement of the law goes without saying.

There are generally two sides to such tales of woe, and to understand the situation you’d need to know much more than you could learn from Yolande Knell’s one-sided polemic. Actually I suspect that anyone reading it wouldn’t realise that there is an alternative perspective.
One aspect she ignores is:

“The Israeli government has made numerous attempts over the years to solve the disputes with the 40% of the Negev Bedouin population which does not currently live in one of the seven purpose-built towns. Additional new towns are planned, with offers of free land, a waiver on infrastructure development costs and financial relocation packages for those moving there from illegally constructed encampments. No other sector of Israeli society is eligible for these benefits.”

So agree with it or not, if balance of any sort is to be achieved the BBC should be telling us that the Israeli government is at least trying hard to solve this difficult conundrum in as much detail as they tell us about the woes of the Bedouin. I don’t see what is to be gained from incessantly pushing a pro Palestinian agenda by publishing endless Israel-bashing articles and emotive images.

Peas in a Pod

Isn’t Kevin Connolly like Mark Mardell? They’ve both got alliterative sounding names, their voices sound similarly sneery, and they even wear the same shirt.
Kevin has been busy in the West Bank recording the sounds of a weekly Friday demonstration by Palestinians against Israeli occupation.

“Israeli soldiers disperse the tiny crowd with a couple of volleys of stinging, choking tear gas!”

The scoundrels!

“It all feels a little jaded. A little like the international game of getting the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.”

He then hurries off to interview Mustafa Barghouti, the *moderate* Palestinian politician who is so moderate and non violent that he calls for Fatah and Hamas to be *unified*. He now wants the international community to be pro-active, just as they were in Libya, that’s how moderate and non violent he is.
Next Kevin scampers off to interview an Israeli settler, that symbol of everything we love to hate about Israel. The settler, complete with American accent and a notion that ‘the Jew’ has a special affinity with ‘the dog’, (H/T Biodegradable) and no doubt God himself, represents what Connolly undoubtedly sees as Israel’s misguided belief that they have a God-given right to *Palestinian land*. The settler duly hates Netanyahu.

Next, for balance, he trots off to find an Israeli author who hates the settler movement and Netanyahu.

What is the point, I wonder? We already know all this. We’ve already been told that settlers are extremists and loonies. We’ve already been told that settlements are the obstacle to peace. We’ve already been told that, if we’re being honest, none of us can stand Netanyahu. We already know that Israel is a major obstacle to world peace. We already know that Islam is the religion of peace.
We’ve been educated to accept all these things as a given.
But why?
Why don’t more people ask why Palestinian Arabs are entitled to demand the return of territory they lost in wars they themselves instigated? Why doesn’t anyone challenge the Palestinian leadership’s outrage at Israel’s legitimate and necessary precautions against terrorism whilst openly lauding terrorists and declaring that they’ll never accept a Jewish state? Why doesn’t anyone on the BBC acknowledge that charges against Israel of ethnic cleansing and apartheid are hypocritical and false when Abbas openly states that any Palestinian state will be Judenrein? Why doesn’t the BBC devote any air time whatsoever to enlightening us as to the legality or otherwise of Israel’s position regarding settlements? Why does Connolly meekly accept Barghouti’s outrageously hypocritical description of the Israeli government being full of settlers and extremists without asking him what the ‘Palestinian government’ is full of?

As Connolly very well knows, his report says nothing new. In his own words, it all feels a little jaded. And a lot biased.

Dumb and Dumber

Tweak a story to suit the presumed intelligence level of your audience, and you risk exposing the agenda. Omit a detail here, embellish another there, ignore chronology, obfuscate and gloss over, simplify and spin as you might do when explaining something nasty to a child. You want to make sure he knows what’s right and what’s wrong, without preaching or telling him in so many words. He must come to the correct conclusion all by himself.

Often, when watching the BBC, you will catch a glimpse of where their slip is showing; or their show is slipping.

The BBC’s web report concerning Israel’s decision to accelerate settlement building and withhold Palestinian funds is one example. If you compare it with other reports, the first thing you’ll notice is that the BBC’s presentation seems intelligence-insultingly dumb. Then you’ll notice that the agenda shows, subtly but surely.
Reuters, the source of many other press reports, and the BBC, both tell us that ‘The new building will be in “areas that in any future arrangement will remain in Israel’s hands.”
Reuters, not notable for pro Israel advocacy, puts it like this:
“A senior Israeli government official said after the cabinet meeting[…] speaking on condition of anonymity. “the new building will be in “areas that in any future arrangement will remain in Israel’s hands.”
The official said 1,650 of the new tenders are for units in eastern parts of Jerusalem, and the rest are for Efrat and Maale Adumim, Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

The BBC’s article says:
“The Israeli government said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called for the accelerated construction of about 2,000 housing units.
It said the construction will be in “areas that in any future arrangement will remain in Israel’s hands”, according to a statement quoted by Reuters news agency.”

The BBC never provide full context when alluding to “settlements” because the BBC wishes to give the impression that all Israel’s construction activity is for the purpose of creating ‘facts on the ground’ in order to steal land. They want us to think all construction work is new encroachment on “Palestinian land” in accordance with what they see as Israel’s malevolent expansionist policies.

The BBC won’t admit that Jewish settlements they refer to as illegal will remain in existence after agreed negotiated land swaps that everyone knows must eventually take place – should a Palestinian state ever come to pass.
Even though the Palestinians have implicitly torn up all previously negotiated and agreed terms by opting out of the peace process with their decision to make unilateral bids, the only circumstance in which these settlements will cease to be is if, heaven forbid, the Palestinians ever achieve their real aim, which is the total elimination of Israel. This aim has frequently been proclaimed quite openly, but nevertheless the international community and the BBC ‘disputes this’. So they insinuate that the Israeli government’s words ‘future arrangement’ and ‘will remain in Israel’s hands’ are somehow dubious, “according to a statement quoted by Reuters news agency,” as though they’re merely blustering excuses or another of Israel’s spurious claims.

The one thing that all factions of the Palestinian leadership agree on is that they have no intention of living peacefully side by side with a Jewish state. Clearly the majority of the Palestinian people have been educated against this, and the leadership has promised them they’ll never accept it. But the useful aiders and abetters in the West won’t acknowledge that, because to do so would take the shine off some of the halos they’ve created.

“Netanyahu has called to restart peace talks without preconditions, but Abbas says he will return to negotiations only after Israel totally freezes its settlement activity.” Say Reuters. At least that sounds as though Israel is interested in the peace process, and hints at Palestinian intransigence.
The BBC has, instead:
“A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, Yigal Palmor, told the BBC the measures were designed to increase pressure on the Palestinians.
Mr Palmor said they were “a response to unilateral measures aimed at confronting Israel at the UN and elsewhere on the international scene”.
“They [the Palestinians] shouldn’t be wasting time by all these manoeuvres. They should continue to negotiate,” he said.”
They’re making it look as though the Israelis are merely being vindictive, which is of course exactly what they want we infants to absorb when deciding who deserves our support.

“Palestinian Authoirty [sic] President Mahmoud Abbas says the move will speed up the destruction of the peace process” the BBC recounts matter of factly, (not ‘according to a Reuters news agency’ or any other third party) as if Abbas’s antics at the UN and the UNESCO recognition would slow down the destruction of the peace process or bring peace closer in any way whatsoever.
So Kevin Connolly says the announcement will be seen as a “Punishment for the Palestinians”. And here comes the context you can always rely on:
“Almost 500,000 Jews live in settlements on occupied territory. The settlements are illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.”
Funnily enough, Reuters didn’t bother to include that. Nor did they include the sub heading: ‘Stealing money’ as the BBC did.
The Reuters sub heading was: “Withholding funds

Reuters is as bad as the next ‘impartial news organisation’ when it comes to misrepresenting Israel and not recognising its point of view, for example their lame attempt at providing some context regarding the background to the peace process, which is full of omissions. But the BBC is in another league. Here’s the BBC:
“Nabil Abu Rudeina, the spokesman for Mr Abbas, said the decision to withhold funds collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority was “stealing money from the Palestinian people.”
This time, not “according to” Reuters or any other news agency, it’s straight from the horse’s mouth. The Palestinians are having some of their import duties withheld, when they thought they were entitled to circumvent the peace process, make preconditions, opt out of negotiations, refuse to recognise Israel, send rockets into Israeli cities, all without suffering any consequences at all. Tough.
But never mind, they’ve got their UNESCO recognition, and they’ve got the BBC batting for them so audiences worldwide are condemning and delegitimising Israel. What more could they want?


You can always rely on the BBC to paint Israel in the blackest colours. Take this headline currently running on the BBC portal “Israel strikes Gaza after “truce”.  You have to do some reading to understand that this is all a consequence of Hamastan firing rockets into Israel in the hope of some random killing of Jews.


Biased BBC reader Clifford provides his first contribution…

“The news reports onRadio 4 (the only BBC source I’ve used about this) since yesterday (11 October2011) evening have carried the story of the deal to release Gilad Shalit, anIsraeli soldier, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israel. All the reportsI have heard have used the word ‘captured’ to describe how Shalit came to beheld in Gaza by a Palestinian militant group, which is possibly not entirelyunder the control of Hamas, though for years Hamas has made no real effort tocontrol it.

To ‘capture’ means to seize someone who is meant to be in legal custody in thenational territory concerned. The normal word for taking someone, including asoldier, against his will across an internationally recognised border, as theborder prevailing between Israel and Gaza is, when he was on his own side ofthat border, as Shalit was at the time (2006), is ‘kidnapping’. However, thatdistinction is either too complicated and subtle for BBC journalists or, inview of the BBC’s record in such matters, the failure to observe thatdistinction is a calculated attempt to present the kidnapping of Shalit by aparamilitary Palestinian group as legitimate. This was either linguisticincompetence or (as I suspect) biased reporting — the BBC is capable of usingthe word ‘kidnapped’ when it wants, as in its reporting on Afghanistan.”

Headline Story

2 Arabs arrested for the double murder of the Palmers.

Israel arrests Palestinian suspects in settler deaths.

Compare these two headlines for a minute. Did you learn English grammar? If so, draw on the clause analysis that you might have come across once upon a time. I never did, so forgive me if I’ve got it wrong, but in headline number one, I’d say: “2 Arabs arrested ” is the focus of the sentence, while “the Palmers” are subordinate and “double murder” is the nitty gritty. In other words the story is about an arrest.

In number two, “Israel” is now the subject, “Palestinian suspects” are the object, and “settler deaths” are a mysterious coincidental contemporaneous occurrence. The story has turned into a slightly different one, which has a vaguely critical inference regarding Israel.

Okay, I’m not a language expert, but although they say roughly the same thing, each headline imparts a very different message. I hope you’ll see that the second headline is the BBC’s.
Israel arrests”, is a somewhat aggressive opening gambit, phrased in the active form. “Palestinian suspects” sheds doubt on their guilt, while “in settler” a dehumanising and intentionally denigrating term for the victims, and “deaths” – passive, downplaying the act of murder.

Headline number one is a straightforward presentation of the facts.
2 Arabs arrested for the double murder of the Palmers is what happened. Elder of Ziyon includes the names of the victims, tells us where and when things happened and puts in enough detail to inform the reader. He tells us the facts and only indulges in one emotive but apposite comment at the end:
Indeed, no Palestinian Arab official has condemned the murders.

On the other hand, I’m afraid the BBC continues their agenda-fuelled theme throughout. The act which caused the victims’ deaths is described in a passive form “the car crashed”. They omitted to mention that the stone was hurled from a moving car, or that the police are looking into more possible stone-throwing offences by the same two. Early in the BBC’s report they bring in another story; so predictable, yet so unnecessary. You knew it, it’s the one about the mosque. An arson attack on a building is obviously regarded by the BBC as comparable to the murder of Asher and Yonatan Palmer.
Strongly emphasised is: “the words “revenge”, “price tag” and “Palmer”[….]written in Hebrew on the mosque walls”, and where the report is light on the details of the Palmers’ murders, it provides the whys and wherefores of the Mosque attack, and brings in other “price tag” attacks for good measure. Also included, something that has become a permanent attachment to anything connected with Israel, “The settlements are illegal under international law,” So that’s why they must always refer to the victims as settlers, rather than human beings. And, it’s factually unreliable too. “though Israel disputes this.” They would!

Their presence is a major obstacle to peace talks as the Palestinians insist Israel freeze settlement building before renewing negotiations.
This dodgy factoid has also crept in for no discernible reason, other than that it has become de rigueur. But hang on. What are they on about? They might as well come right out and admit that the Palestinians’ rejectionism is a major obstacle to peace, the only obstacle in fact, talks or no talks.
If the Palestinians insisted that the world’s a balloon before renewing negotiations, it wouldn’t make one jot of difference.
Negotiations no longer apply. There’s been a unilateral bid for statehood, remember, something which, should it succeed, would override the mythical, let’s-pretend negotiations. The Oslo Discords, the peace process, the talks, the table, the preconditions – all overridden and tossed into the dustbin of a peace process that the Palestinians never wanted in the first place, no matter how much the BBC and the international community disputes this.

Undermining Peace

The latest settlement announcements regarding Gilo have already been widely condemned as a provocation by people with no knowledge of history or geography. But there’s more to this than meets the eye.

Gilo is a neighbourhood of Jerusalem, which is Israel’s eternal capital. Under many internationally-agreed final-status agreements, including the Clinton Parameters, the neighbourhood would remain a part of Israel.”

The BBC is ramping up its Israel-bashing again. Anything I/P related is being twisted and spun furiously. It’s as though after the unilateral bid the BBC wants to inflame the situation as much as possible, and maybe they’re hoping articles which use words such as ‘anger’, ‘provocation’ and ‘undermining trust’ will incite Israel-haters into such a frenzy that they’ll pressurise the EU or Nato to intervene ‘to protect civilians’.
Best friends Catherine Ashton and Hillary Clinton will probably issue some more pearls of wisdom for the BBC to quote in tomorrow’s episode of the BBC’s anti Israel campaign.

They’ve completely rewritten the ‘obstacle to peace’ scenario. You never hear anything about Palestinian ‘obstacles’, such as their openly expressed aspiration – not to any future peaceful coexistence – but to a future without Israel altogether, symbolised in their logo map, which blatantly depicts the whole of Israel as their future Palestinian state.

If the Israelis took a leaf out of Abbas’s book and produced strings of preconditions before negotiations can resume, the press might respect them more. Obviously being reasonable doesn’t do the trick, and they couldn’t spin against Israel much more than they already do.
The Israelis should demand that to tempt them back to the table the Palestinians must release Gilad Shalit, recognise Israel, renounce violence, hold another election, stop dreaming about the ROR, stop brainwashing their children, rein in stone-throwing adolescents, stop smuggling weapons into Gaza, stop sending rockets into Israel, and stop rewarding families of martyrs and suicide bombers.
Just for a start. Then, perhaps, recognition of gay rights in Gaza and a chorus or two of All You Need is Love at the next UN convention.

Knell’s Toll

Yolande Knell has taken sides. In Knell’s eyes, and in the eyes of most of the BBC’s Middle East staff, Israel’s existence automatically places it in the wrong.
An unpleasant article in the Independent by Christina Patterson drifted into stormy waters not so long ago because it characterised London’s Jews as boorish freaks. She managed to dig herself even deeper in a follow-up article entitled “How I was smeared as an antisemite”.
Well, I’ve had a look at Yolande Knell’s output, and as far as impartiality is concerned, she also sails close to the wind. But she represents the BBC, which Patterson does not.

Every one of Knell’s pieces is angled from the Palestinian / Arab perspective.
For example on 26th August, a vehicle for showcasing the tally of militants killed by Israel appeared, entitled “Militant Groups in Gaza Agree to a second Israel Truce’.
On 8th September, ‘Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood faces fresh political fight’ arrived. It portrays the Muslim Brotherhood as a relatively moderate group who have disavowed violence, and whose banner reads: “Freedom and Justice Party”
On 15th September along came “West bank residents split on Palestinian Statehood bid.” The split is echoed in the article’s two contrasting halves. The first predicts the paradise that will emerge from the forthcoming transformation, ‘when the international community will recognise our rights.

“In the city it is easy to imagine what a future Palestinian state might look like. Palestinian police officers direct traffic on the newly cleaned streets and the shops and restaurants are packed. It lends a sense of relative prosperity and security.” Yolande Knell has turned into Maeve Binchy!

In part two, the mood changes. She descends sharply into misery memoir mode and the rhetoric is ramped up to full death-Knell.
“It is hard to imagine a Palestinian state here. “We’re under occupation until now and you speak about a state?” says Zayd, a Beduin. “The Israeli army is everywhere here and the settlers are everywhere – they’re armed and they cause a lot of problems and you speak about a state?” Unadulterated pathos and bitterness, with an undercurrent of belligerence. Orla, eat your heart out.

Now for the Patterson parallel. When she composed her ‘Judaisation of Jerusalem’ (Israel-Palestinian conflict writ large etc) article on August 17th, Yolande Knell didn’t feel any need to conceal her aversion to Jews. Her assumption was clear. Empathy with the Palestinian cause is a given, therefore entirely outside the scope of the impartiality conundrum. She took it for granted that the reader would accept that the stereotypical Jew is ‘over familiar’ – “swaggering” Jeremy Bowen might say. Her friendship with a high-profile Palestinian activist seems almost a boast, as does her mischievous urge to ridicule her young Jewish fellow-passenger’s preference for using the Hebrew name for Jerusalem by expressing her personal preference for the Arabic one.

Land may be at the heart of the P/I conflict” she opines, ignoring what everyone knows deep down, but chooses to ignore, that really, Palestinian rejectionism is at its heart. The possibility that signage in Jerusalem will display “the transliterations of Hebrew names of cities”, the ‘Judaisation of Jerusalem’ hints, for Knell and her friends, at a cunning plan which threatens the Palestinians’ struggle.
After Benjamin Netanyahu’s terrific speech at the UN, where he compares the incongruity of this concept with the ‘Americanisation of Washington’, I needn’t elaborate on the ignorance and bias inherent Knell’s piece.
Drawing attention to place-names brings to mind the Palestinians’ deeply unpleasant habit of naming their streets and towns after terrorists, but such things don’t interest Knell. She recounts the conjecture posited by her friend Huda, the ‘well-known, energetic Palestinian activist’, that the Israelis are erasing all traces of Palestinian identity. Israel’s opponents frequently project their own foibles and conspiracy theories onto their enemy; the more ludicrous and malevolent the better. And as erasing traces of Jewish history and identity is exactly what Arab historians and archaeologists persist in doing themselves, Huda’s theory looks like a choice example of that psychological condition.

“The biggest problems arise in East Jerusalem – which was occupied by Israel in 1967 and is still a mainly Arab area – although Jewish settlers are fast moving in, taking over Palestinian homes”.
Knell slips that in almost casually, though she must be well aware that ‘taking over Palestinian homes’ is an incendiary statement, undoubtedly phrased, deliberately, to cause outrage, especially as she doesn’t explain how the occupation came about in 1967, and leaves the unwary reader with the impression that it was a random act of aggression by an expansionist, land-grabbing thieving entity. Which may well be what she herself believes.

So, if the BBC’s reporters are allowed to be as overtly anti Israel as Mr. Bowen and Ms. Knell, where are the overtly pro Israel ones? The impartiality in their genes evaporated and left the building long ago.

No Shortcut

The BBC has a dilemma. Their beloved Obama has made a difficult speech. “There is no Shortcut to Peace”

“Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them,”

Obama said.

“Israel, a small country of less than 8 million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that 6 million people were killed simply because of who they were.”

These facts cannot be denied. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition,” Obama said. “It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution, with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.”

The Guardian has decided that Obama is electioneering, and his only reason for sounding pro Israel is our old friend the Jewish Lobby.

Jeremy Bowen agrees:

The president’s speech was as much about the politics of his own re-election bid next year as it was about the politics of making peace.

Read his analysis, and despair.

The BBC Continues To Lie About History And Censor Calls For Ethnic Cleansing

Apologies for the lengthy title, but there are two issues here which need to be covered, and I’m combining them into one post. First, the BBC’s continued attempts to lie and rewrite history.

Q&A: Palestinian statehood bid at the UN

Most people here will know exactly what’s coming, and I know this has been covered here many times before, but it’s even more important to call the BBC out on it now because of the looming UN fight over creating a State of Palestine. For the benefit of those who don’t know the BBC’s bias about the “West Bank”, here’s the map they use to explain history to the public:

Notice on the left, the BBC is claiming that there was such a thing as the West Bank (i.e. Palestinian) Territory before the 1967 war. They’ve just erased a chunk of Jordan from history. As we all know, that was part of Jordan at the time, a country at war with Israel. Why else would Israel have invaded? This map indoctrinates the public with PLO propaganda, that Israel invaded sovereign Palestinian territory. Your license fee is being used to promote false history and anti-Israel propaganda.

Reality, on the other hand, is not Israeli propaganda. This map of Jordan – from a non-partisan source – and environs showing the borders during part of the 1967 war in question is fact, not fiction:

Notice the clear border lines of Jordan encompass the area about which the BBC is lying. Yes, I am accusing BBC News Online of telling a lie. I don’t care what some Beeboids personally believe about nasty old Israel’s land grab or the plight of the poor Palestinians or anything else. This is historical fact, and the BBC is lying about it. How can there be an honest Q&A about the topic when one of the answers is a lie? Until they remove that first map and replace it with an honest one, my accusation will stand.

Needless to say, this propaganda demonizes Israel in the minds of the public. Most people are seriously uninformed about the facts of Israel and 1967 and the “Palestinian Territories”. When one tries to explain the facts to get past the emotions, one is then accused of spouting Israeli propaganda. This is how the BBC’s editorial policy and style guide is blatantly biased, causing them to demonize Israel at every opportunity, although the BBC disputes this.

It’s impossible to have a civil discussion, national or otherwise, about the situation when the national broadcaster promotes propaganda for one side and demonizes the other. This then promotes anti-Jewish sentiment, but that’s a topic for another time.

Now for the BBC Censorship angle. Last week, Maen Rashid Areikat, the Palestinian ambassador to the US, said that there should be no Jews in a State of Palestine:

“Well, I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future,” he said when asked by The Daily Caller if he could imagine a Jew being elected mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in a future independent Palestinian state. “But after the experience of 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated first.”

Actually, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about their desire for a Judenfrei Palestine. He said the same thing a year ago. Not only that, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said the same thing last year, and went further:

Almost no notice was taken of another pre talks decision that the PA chairman revealed, as he announced clearly that if a Palestinian Authority state is created in Judea and Samaria, no Israeli citizen will be allowed to set foot inside.The PA chairman also stated that he would block any Jewish soldiers from serving with an international force stationed on PA-controlled land.

“I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land,” Abbas declared.

Judenfrei, Judenrein. And the BBC has steadfastly censored all of this. Justin Webb didn’t bring it up to the feckless Lord Levy on Today, it doesn’t feature in any BBC News Online report about Israel or the Palestinians, and it hasn’t been mentioned anywhere else on the BBC. If someone can show me one single example of it, I’ll post it here, shocked but grateful.

Without the truth and all the facts, it’s impossible to have a rational debate and reasonable understanding of the situation. Yet the BBC actively prevents that, promoting propaganda for one side, rewrites history, and censors the Palestinians’ desire for ethnic cleansing.

ADDENDUM: Here’s Katty Kay interviewing US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, in which Katty states uncategorically that only Bibi Netanyahu is the problem, and Amb. Rice corrects here. No surprise that this is Katty’s belief as she recently tweeted to her followers that this New York Magazine article – which blames Netanyahu and uncritical, “steadfast” support for Israel in the US Congress as the only obstacles to peace – is All you need to know about the frosty relationship between Barack and Bibi.”

Why, it’s almost as if there’s a groupthink on this issue extending across the spectrum of the BBC.

The Prophet Carter

Octogenarian Jimmy Carter was given a lovely long spot on Today, with James Naughtie questioning him deferentially about his particular version of the Israeli Palestinian situation and his support for the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN security Council.

They both forgot to mention the Palestinians’ continual refusal to recognise Israel or to renounce violence, and Jimmy Carter made, at length, a number of factually incorrect statements about settlements and various other things.

His prediction that a bid would succeed at the General Assembly, if not at the UN Security Council, was announced as if it was a great insight on his behalf. Perhaps he didn’t hear Jeremy Bowen stating something which we all know, namely that there’s “a built-in pro Palestinian majority, and no veto, at the General Assembly.”

Some of his remarks indicate that he thinks Palestine is already an independent state, so why does the BBC bother to broadcast his bonkers views on the forthcoming Palestinian bid for statehood?

Update. Melanie Phillips is wondering if the British government is about to vote for a Palestinian state.