Reflections on the Theme of Time Management. or: Me Me Me.

I’ve been writing on this website for a couple of years or more
and it don’t seem a day too much,
but there aint a broadcasting corporation livin’ in the land
as I wouldn’t “swop” for a bit of honest reporting.

However for all my efforts, and those of David Vance and the others, nothing changes at the BBC. In fact, things have taken a turn for the worse now that the chair of the BBC Trust happens to be a known pro Palestinian advocate.
The situation seems to be this. The BBC, and therefore the liberal unintelligentsia, have given special status to Islam by conferring a unique religious diplomatic immunity upon it. By qualifying as a religion, Islam as a whole is awarded sanctity which exempts it from being criticised. This applies in varying degrees to other religions and holy things. For example, in order to give vent to one’s antisemitic urges, one must stick to Israel-themed criticism. You’re not supposed to admit that this has anything to do with your distaste for Jews.
Christianity is an open target, and Catholic misdemeanours have made it acceptable to condemn the entire religion, whereas similar unmentionable Islamic practises are given a free pass or regarded as unrepresentative.
However, desecrating something holy is still thought not nice, particularly setting fire to it. So if Nazi ideology were elevated to the status of a religion with Herr Hitler as its prophet peace be upon him, it would immediately be distasteful to point out the racist, supremacist and murderous proclivities therein, and Mein Kampf would be a holy book, the fire-resistant immutable word of God speaking through the prophet. Can you imagine, post WWll – “It’s their culture, innit” ”Only an extremist minority” “Not inherent to the ideology”
and it would then have to be “ because of the Jews” rather than “because of Israel”

Being an atheist, I don’t see why anything should be given a free pass, or absolved from accountability, yet, perhaps inexplicably for some, I still have values which encompass what is loosely called right and wrong, and I don’t ask for God’s backing to justify them.

The BBC is a crazy mixed up place. In a good way, viz: On one hand it is all patriotic, with the most unlikely celebrities performing Royal Wedding-themed antics, and talking about ‘the big day’ as if the ordinary viewer regards it as such, and on the other, it’s giving air space to staunch republicans. I like that in principle, although I am more than indifferent about the topic. Or should that be less than indifferent. (Meaning I couldn’t care less) like when people mistakenly say something can never be underestimated when they mean overestimated.
But crazy mixed up in a bad way is when they eulogise about the uprisings in the Arab World without a care or a thought about the rise of Islam, and what this will mean for Israel, and the Jews and others who are trying to live there.

If you look back at my incontinent output, just click on the anti Israel tag in the label cloud, you’ll see that I’ve covered a myriad of variations on the theme, and not made one iota of an impression on the BBC.
Call me an idiot and knock me down with Louise Bagshawe, but how’s that for a waste of time?

“An Israeli teenager wounded when a Palestinian rocket hit a bus has died of his injuries.
Daniel Viflic, 16, was on a school bus in southern Israel on 7 April when it was hit by an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip.
The driver was slightly hurt in the attack, which happened just after the other children had been dropped off.

Nineteen Palestinians died in the ensuing wave of Israeli air strikes and Palestinian counter-attacks.
It was the most serious violence since Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.
About 1,400 Palestinians, more than half of them civilians, and 13 Israelis, including 10 soldiers, were killed.”

This hideous example shows that the BBC cannot report the death of a boy at the hands of terrorists without adding gratuitous references to previous unverified and disputed death-toll statistics; and by various weasely words, making light of the attack itself.

Ken Cons The World

A Website called “We Are For Israel” is shocked that the BBC refers to the late Vittorio Arrigoni as a peace campaigner. H/T Daphne Anson.
This may seem like a trivial matter. For one thing, he was, in a way, a peace campaigner, that is if you define peace as a Middle East without Jews.
The BBC may or may not be aware of Mr Arrigoni’s reputation, but to take even the slightest interest in his murder at the hands of Ultra Islamist Salafist terrorists is to know that he was not popular in the pro Israel blogosphere.
Any news outlet that pretends it hasn’t noticed that the interweb has been ablaze with obituaries detailing the exact nature of his ‘peace campaigning’ must be blind.
However, when you take into consideration that Ken O’Keefe, the deranged cartoon baddie who became a spokesman for flotillas was repeatedly invited to disgorge his bile on the BBC, well what can you expect? He was even given a whole Hardtalk. I’m all in favour of giving ridiculous people a platform on Hardtalk – I’m sure Sarah Montague deserves every minute of it – (joke) But giving Ken, or Kenneth as he is respectfully entitled here, the credibility of appearing on what is meant to be a serious vehicle for debate beggars belief.
The whole point is that the BBC has lowered our expectations to such an extent that we have to assume that they have abandoned reason, and we must learn to live with it.
So we have every right to complain when the BBC describes this person as a peace campaigner, but we know that nobody at the BBC will see that there’s anything for us to make a fuss about.

Wishful Thinking

As a member of the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport, I imagine Louise Bagshawe bumps into Jeremy Hunt quite a lot.

I was wondering, since she has taken an interest in the BBC’s bias against Israel, whether she had drawn Mr. Hunt’s attention to Melanie Phillips’s open letter about the very same subject!

According to the Jewish Chronicle, the BBC has backed down over their lack of coverage of the murder of the Fogel family. As it happens, the BBC’s report concerning the arrest of the perpetrators belatedly describes the crime in the detail it neglected to include at the time.

If the Jewish Chronicle is merely going by Helen Boaden’s mealy-mouthed statement, I’d say the term ‘backing down’ is wishful thinking.

Louise Bagshawe was not satisfied, I was not satisfied, and no doubt the thousands of people who wrote messages of support to Ms Bagshawe were not satisfied. So BBC, please could you come clean and admit your “lack of evenhandedness” as your genetic proclivities
urge you to do.


Here is an excellent site that also details the BBC’s antipathy towards Israel – recommended and worth a visit! Trevor Asserson should be congratulated for his meticulous work on this!

“The bbcwatch Reports demonstrate how the BBC consistently fails to adhere to its legal obligations to produce impartial and accurate reporting. Our systematic, objective and rigorous research points to the firm conclusion that the BBC frequently displays marked and consistent pro-Palestinian bias in their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Their inability to report on this subject in an impartial way raises questions over their ability to report on all other politically sensitive issues.”

Them and Us

The way the recent upheavals in the Middle East have been reported by the BBC show clearly that it’s beyond their collective imagination to wonder whether the Arab/Islamic population is really and truly full of ordinary people just like us.

Even though Jon Donnison and Jeremy Bowen have spent considerable time in the Arab world, they still can’t grasp the concept that there is a “them and us” and that *their* worldview is antithetical to *ours* . Would Jeremy Bowen send his young relatives off to prosecute holy jihad wearing a suicide belt? Would Jon Donnison support the stoning of an adulteress or the limb amputation of a thief? Would he expect to enter Paradise if he copped it in the fog of struggle? Probably not. But they must know that these beliefs exist and can’t be shrugged off with a casual “I’m sure they don’t really mean it.”
The BBC’s reporting on the escalation of attacks from Gaza is an example of this moral equivalence. Towards the end, the BBC’s report demonstrates how the writer identifies with Hamas, “Last month saw some of the worst violence since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December 2008, says the BBC’s Jon Donnison in Gaza.” reminding us as usual, of Cast Lead.
“In one week in March, at least 10 Palestinians – including several civilians and children – were killed by Israeli attacks” Donnison begins, adding:
“In the same period, militants in Gaza fired more than 80 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel.”
This implies that Israel killed “several” (how many?) innocents, then Hamas responded, pitifully, killing no-one.
“Hamas had pledged to try to restore a ceasefire that ended on 16 March when an Israeli air strike killed two of its militants in the Palestinian territory.”
This makes no sense. Would or could Hamas ‘try to restore’ a ceasefire that was allegedly broken by Israel?
“However, Israel said it had suffered “bouts of terror and rocket attacks.”
Israel said? Hamas has pledged? Which is more reliable, a *say* or a *pledge*?
“Despite recent calls for calm, neither side seems to be able to stop firing, our correspondent says. Both say the other started it. Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for all attacks coming out of Palestinian territory, even if it is other militant groups carrying them out”
Read Melanie Phillips and Honest Reporting on that kind of remark.

While I’m at it – “Attack on Bus” Why does Hamas attack just *a bus?* Is ‘damaging a bus’ their intention? When rockets land without killing any Israelis, is that intentional?
Also, when is a teenaged boy a child? When he’s a Palestinian, of course. Israeli children are ‘people’ or teenagers, young Palestinian resistance fighters are counted as children till they get the key of the door.
The invariable chronological inversion of attack and retaliation and the habitual emphasis on the retaliation and downplaying of the provocation is automatic for the BBC. Not many people used to know that, but thankfully more and more people are starting to notice.
Even Sky has:
“The violence began when Gazan militants launched an anti tank-missile at a school bus in an apparently deliberate escalation.”

The BBC prefers to begin their article by concentrating on Israel’s military might, emoting a disproportionate response to a damaged bus.
“Israeli tanks, helicopters and planes have struck Gaza after an anti-tank missile fired from the Palestinian territory hit a bus in southern Israel.”
If the BBC understood what is happening it could have speculated that the escalation in hostilities might be related to the “Arab Spring.” It might have occurred to someone that Hamas has been emboldened by the the Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood’s prospective rise to prominence throughout the Arab world.
Here’s a quote from a thought-provoking article everyone should read.

And, as in much other coverage of the Middle East, the journalists – take a bow, BBC – did not bother to exercise the elementary functions of their craft: to be inquisitive, to question assumptions, to look beyond the overheated excitement. Having written the script, they were determined to stick to it in breathless, eye-moistening interviews – “live and direct from Tahrir Square” – with self-selecting, highly educated, English-speaking protesters.

And just as the media made their bizarre extrapolations and re-wrote the script, they also changed their language. In less than a month, Mubarak had made the seamless transition from “moderate, pro-Western Egyptian president” to “corrupt, tyrannical dictator”.

I blogged something like this myself not so long ago.

Inverted Reporting

The BBC has changed its opening line from:
“Israel Shells Gaza City after Palestinian mortar strike” to
“Gaza: Israeli forces strike after attack on bus”
No idea why, apart from the fact that deleting the word Palestinian skews the report against Israel a bit more. At any event, as usual they’ve reversed the roles of attack and retaliation, which probably explains why the average viewer sees Israel as the eternal villain. Note Jon Donnison’s observations.
I’m going to leave it to CiFWatch to expand on this, because this time it’s the BBC rather than the Guardian that is being criticised for its blatant bias.

The Inescapable Shadow of the BBC

I listened to Gavin Esler’s programme, radio 4 ‘Esler on Eichmann’, (a title which elevates ‘Esler’ to one-name status alongside Elvis and Eminem.)
It was about BBC’s favourite Jews, holocaust victims. Accordingly, there was little to complain about in the programme itself, as it consisted mainly of interviews with witnesses of Eichmann’s trial, leaving little time for cynical speculation by BBC sages.
The dodgy bits are in the printed material – the article on the website, and the content of the programme information. The latter bears little relation to the programme that I heard. Glad to see that Esler is ‘award-winning’ though. Well done!

“The kidnapping violated Argentina’s sovereignty and was condemned by the UN. Questions were raised about whether it was appropriate to try Eichmann in Israel, and international Jewish leaders feared an anti-Semitic backlash.”

What a nice touch! I always relish seeing the words ‘violated’ and ‘sovereignty’ in a piece about Israel, especially when followed by ‘condemned by the UN.’ An acute attack of pedantry led me to look up ‘lead’ and ‘led’. Petty, I know.

As for the web article, like familyjaffa in the open thread – I wondered what

“This 50th anniversary is, therefore, also a time of debate within Israel about whether the inescapable shadow of the past also makes it difficult to make peace in the present, and thrive in the future.”

is doing there. It seemed to have no relevance to the actual programme.

As for “thrive” – I regularly receive a newsletter entitled “Good News From Israel” (thanks to the Ordmans) It’s choc full of heartening tales of Israeli successes in technology, business, medicine, science and anything else one could think of, so Israel’s *thriving* in the future is more down to whether blindness, political recklessness and stupidity lets international governments sanction the genocidal behaviour of her neighbours than to any ‘inescapable shadows of the past.’ The same goes for the difficulties of making peace, settlement freeze or no settlement freeze.

Backtrack Goes Without Saying

I don’t know. You go away for a week, and all sorts of things happen behind your back. Sensational things such as Judge Goldstone’s OpEd in the Washington Post. “Sorry, I was a bit wrong!” he said. “Silly me. Wonderful thing, hindsight. We can’t all be perfect, can we?

“That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets.”

No, it doesn’t go without saying. It shouldn’t. It needs to be said.

“I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence
explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were
targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about
intentionality and war crimes.”

“Oops! Sorry! Oh well, it’s partly Israel’s fault for not co-operating with us.”

“we were not able to corroborate how many Gazans killed were civilians and how many were combatants.”

“(So we just believed uncorroborated figures from Hamas.)”

”The Israeli military’s numbers have turned out to be similar to those recently furnished by Hamas”

“Oop! Sorry again. Oh well, you live and learn.”

“The purpose of the Goldstone Report was never to prove a
foregone conclusion against Israel. I insisted on changing the original
mandate adopted by the Human Rights Council, which was skewed against Israel.”

Skewed against Israel, eh? ‘It takes one to know one’ as the saying goes.

“Something that has not been recognized often enough is the fact that our report marked the first time illegal acts of terrorism from Hamas were being investigated and condemned by the United Nations. I had hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.”

This judge fellow has remarkably high hopes it seems. He must be a jolly little chap, always looking on the bright side.

“…our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.

Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations.”

“Get me! So naïve! Silly old absurd little me.”

The BBC of course, so keen to absorb the Goldstone report and flourish it at the merest whiff of pro Israel odour, was unmoved. “Old Goldie must be having a senior moment,” they assume.

“Operation Cast Lead was launched in response to repeated rocket attacks on Israeli territory by militants in Gaza. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians, as well as 13 Israelis.”

“We’re sticking with that, thanks all the same. That’s the one we know and love, and nothing’s gonna change our world.”

Twitter To Replace BBC?

As Melanie Phillips says, Louise Bagshawe’s piece in the Telegraph is startling, but for reasons beyond the BBC’s insultingly cursory and misleading coverage of the atrocity in Itamar.

Although Louise Bagshawe’s article was like a breath of fresh air, it’s astonishing that anyone, let alone an MP, had to write it.

It was slightly disturbing that Ms Bagshawe was surprised it wasn’t reported prominently on the BBC and that she had to find out about it on Twitter, which surely implies that MPs normally rely on the BBC. Indeed we should all be able to count on the BBC’s ability to impart news and current affairs impartially and fully, but as it is we must just hope and trust that any MP worth his salt will be aware that if they want to know the whole truth – so help me God – they need to look beyond the Beeb.

It is startling that Tweeting on Twitter is the only way one can get a response from the BBC, and astonishing that the response took the shape of an offhand brush-off.

If MPs are going to involve themselves in foreign affairs, and they all have to vote on such things from time to time, it’s their responsibility to familiarise themselves with both the history and the current situation. Being shown round Gaza by CAABU or watching The Promise on Channel 4 is not enough. MPs should also be smart enough to recognise when and how the BBC’s coverage is slanted against Israel. They should understand that bias has been practised obsessively and continuously for decades and explains the mass ignorance facing us now.

The comments below any article relating to Israel, anywhere, reveal the depth of hatred for Israel and Jews that the BBC has bestowed upon the public.
Commenters frequently set out a string of falsehoods before launching into torrents of abuse.
People believe that Jews somehow manipulated Britain into permitting them, illegally, to drive Arabs out of their homes at gunpoint, and from then on to oppress and murder the indigenous Palestinians willy-nilly.
When the BBC bombards us with one-sided emotive and misleading reporting and omits everything that would let people reach a sensible and balanced conclusion, no wonder nearly everyone including Chris Patten hates Israel.

Comparing More Notes

Today I’ve been mostly looking at reports of the terrorist bomb in Jerusalem.

Leaving aside the unnecessary inclusion of:
”Jerusalem suffered a spate of bus bombings between 2000 and 2004 but attacks had stopped in recent years.”
and again further down:
”However the attacks have stopped in recent years. Jerusalem last experienced a bus bombing in 2004.”
– duplication possibly intended to imply good behaviour on the part of Hamas – this time the BBC fares better than Reuters, who, according to Elder of Ziyon have a poor track record where matters Israel are concerned. (Contrary to the impression given in my last post)

Until Jon Donnison’s contribution pops up towards the end, when things revert to normal, the BBC’s effort seems reasonably informative. They actually include some quotes from named Israelis rather than the usual ‘Israel says.’

The BBC’s:
“But an Islamic Jihad leader said a Palestinian attack would be a “natural response” to this week’s Israeli strikes in Gaza.”
is at odds with the Jerusalem Post’s:
“Authorities said that there was no connection between the attack and events in the Gaza Strip in recent days. However, they suspected a connection between this attack and one several weeks,(sic) in which an explosive device was left on the side of a main road near Gilo.”
– and the BBC is still eager to mention Wednesday’s airstrikes by Israeli warplanes, dutifully adding:
“after Palestinian militants fired two rockets into southern Israel.”
– though in my book, reversing these two events gives precedence to the wrong one.

It seems strange that the BBC needs to include:
“Islamic Jihad said it carried out the rocket attacks in reprisal for the killing of eight Palestinians near Gaza City on Tuesday. Four of those killed were members of one family and two of them were children”
while the Fogel family ‘weren’t there again today’ (Oh how they wish they’d go away)

Comparing Notes

The BBC is one of the most respected news organs in the world is it not? But why?
I’ve compared two reports about the recent activity in Israel. (Reuters and the BBC.)

I’ve divided them both roughly into three categories. Facts, Background and Analysis.

Reuters is the longer report. Perhaps the BBC is pushed for space, time or some other constraint, such as ‘dumbing down’ so let’s make allowances for that.
The BBC devotes about one hundred words to the ‘Facts’, but some are more emotive than essential, such as:
The BBC’s Jon Donnison in Gaza City says warplanes could be heard over the Gaza Strip for more than an hour.
Never mind. Straight to the casualty toll. The BBC has:
“At least 17 people have been injured… Palestinian medics say” whereas Reuters has
…wounding at least 19 people….witnesses and militant groups said”
So who is telling us about the casualties? The BBC wants us to know that medics have told them, whereas Reuters call the informants “witnesses and militant groups.”
Mustn’t read too much into that though, I mean medics and militants are not mutually exclusive. Medics are back again in the BBC’s report, to say that seven children were wounded.
Reuters says: “including four militants, seven children and two women.” The BBC is not quite so interested in wounded adults for some reason.

The Background category is completely different. The BBC has 22 words of background (excluding 11 gratuitous words of the off topic Cast Lead body count) The BBC’s ‘background’ extends as far back as Saturday: “On Saturday, Palestinian militants fired dozens of mortars into southern Israel in what was reportedly their heaviest such barrage in two years.” We’ve heard that ‘dozens’ phrase somewhere before.
Reuters has much more, for example:
About 130 such attacks had been made on Israel this year, 56 of them since Saturday, a military spokesman said.”
That sort of background is deemed too intellectually challenging for the BBC’s audience, probably.

As for Analysis, the BBC’s 30 word contribution is a platitudinous irrelevance, whereas Reuters 73 word effort would at least inspire the curious to find out more.
Anyone feeling manipulated, or is it only me?
I’m putting my ‘categorisations’ into the comments field. See if you agree.

Sue or Bite

Inayat Bunglawala, the Mr. Bean-alike chair of Muslims4UK has instigated a police investigation of Melanie Phillips because she said “The moral depravity of the Arabs is finding a grotesque echo in the moral bankruptcy and worse of the British and American ‘liberal’ media.”
If the police really do waste their time on this, while they’re at it they should look at Bungle’s own racist remarks.
Anyone else noticed the culture of blaming the victim that has sprung up this spring?
Jews living in Muslim lands, i.e. Israel, have only themselves to blame. By being there they’re putting themselves in harm’s way. Women, not covered from head to toe, are asking to be molested. Provoking a Muslim by not being a Muslim amounts to bringing it on yourself. Peacefully counter-demonstrating near a pro Palestinian hatefest is putting oneself in harm’s way. Jews cause offence by existing, and it’s their own fault if they’re bitten on the cheek.

Seen this, BBC? I’m blaming you and if I see you I can’t decide whether to report you to the police, or just bite.

Honours For Horrors

The recent escalation of rocket attacks from Gaza is of little interest to the BBC. Scanty reporting treats Israelis impersonally, while Palestinian individuals are likely to be given names and ages.
Reporters know that subtly empathetic wording will have one effect, just as distancing, dehumanising phrasing will have another. Why should the BBC use these tactics at all, let alone apply them to one side and not the other?
Because they think we are stupid? Luckily for them, many of us are.
For example the Jerusalem Post gave a brief account of an attack. Nothing melodramatic, just giving a few names; painting a picture, as you would if you were concerned.
Here’s a report which calls a terrorist a terrorist. It’s pro Israel, but it doesn’t shy away from quoting speech from the Al-Qassam Brigades. More accurate because it’s not crippled by political correctness.

We know which side the BBC is on. Not only do they apply journalistic tactics such as distancing or empathy to substantive incidents like rocket attacks which they are obliged to report, but if they can get away with it they omit huge swathes of subtle material altogether, skewing the picture heavily against Israel.
When the BBC reported the Fogel family murders they used the term “a Jewish settler family” under the headline “Palestinian kills five Israelis in West Bank.” No details, only inverted commas, inserted first in one place, then altered, making an already awkwardly-phrased sentence look more absurd in their efforts to dehumanise an horrific act.

While the BBC is obsessed with blaming only Israel’s construction work in ‘settlements-illgal-under-international-law’ for obstructing the peace process, an erroneous theory repeated so often that it is embedded in the collective Brains of Britain, they are silent on the real, fundamental, immovable obstacles to peace. The most obvious goes unnoticed. Hamas doesn’t want peace at all, and Fatah wants it as an interim measure only, for neither can ever renounce violence or recognise Israel. Why not? Because they have indoctrinated the people so thoroughly that they’d never get away with it. Not only their people. The Guardian and its cronies espouse such an enthusiastic pro Palestinian militancy that when they thought PaliLeaks revealed that concessions were being discussed, they were mortified by what they saw as a betrayal by craven Palestinian negotiators.

The glorification of terrorism is newsworthy because it is a massive obstacle to peace, second only to the antisemitism inherent in the Koran that makes the Arab World’s acceptance of Israel so inconceivable. If there’s ever to be peace, glorification of martyrdom and terrorists must stop and education must start.
If the BBC paid half as much attention to these crippling practices as they do to empathising with the Palestinians, even people who haven’t heard of Barry Rubin would have a chance to see reason.

The BBC influences people who make the decisions that affect us all. Even if individual MPs look beyond the BBC for information, education and entertainment, public opinion exerts pressure on our leaders just as the man in the mosque exerts pressure over his political and religious masters. Just as we beg the Muslim media to re-educate their public, we equally beseech our BBC to do likewise unto ours.