Letter to the Arab World

Is The Arab World another world? Separate from the ordinary one?
I thought the world was just the world, inhabited, but not owned, by various groups, creatures and vegetation. But if I was wrong, and the Arabs own a world, or part of the world I occupy, who owns my bit? Should we call it the Infidel World?
Or is the Arab World like the World of Leather, not a world at all, just a place where a helluva lot of Arabs reside?
Can anyone write a letter to this Arab world?

Dear Arab World,
Sorry for not writing sooner, but your beliefs are so profoundly disturbing that I’ve been putting it off.

Looking at your forays into the 21st century by way of Youtube, it seems to me that not only is your religion incompatible with the infidel world, it is incompatible with the adult world. You behave like a bunch of infants acting out some make-believe self-aggrandising fantasy. I suspect you’re putting more effort into convincing yourselves than into trying to persuade others to take you seriously.

The BBC is your biggest and best useful idiot. You’ve got them hooked, lined and sinkered! Who’d have thought the British Broadcasting Corpse would have fallen for it!

This morning’s letter to the Arab World was cunning. Posing as a letter to Syria’s famous political dissident Riyad al-Turk, it contained all the elements of the righteous railing against evil.
Syria’s secret police, walls have ears; they come and get you in the middle of the night. They incarcerate you in a tiny cell and feed you grit.
Who could not be sympathetic to the glorious uprising against a regime bristling with restrictions and repressions? We’re with you all the way.

But wait, what’s this you’re complaining about? They bombed the last stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood squandering arms that were intended for exterminating Israel? Our struggle? Freedom? The Supposedly malign influence of Islam? Courageous act of prayer? Feisty young Lebanese Palestinian-supporting kaffiyeh-wearing heroine?
Hmm.
Your slip is showing. Your seductive pleas for freedom and democracy are barely concealing your antisemitic zeal. Too soon to spell it out, but bide your time and you’ll be able to shout it loud and clear, facilitated by your compatriots at the BBC. Why, you’re half way there already!
Must dash to catch the post.

Shocking and Callous

Several B-BBC people have commented on the BBC’s bizarre take on the recent horrific murder of an Israeli couple and three of their children. Honest Reporting singles out the BBC’s version of the story as being particularly shocking and callous.
Why would the BBC illustrate Saturday’s article with an IDF soldier?
“Palestinian ‘kills five Israelis’ in West Bank.”
What are the scare quotes for?
“Kills five Israelis?” what, they didn’t “kill” them? There weren’t five? or they weren’t Israelis?
What a pointless and inappropriate use of inverted commas, which are, don’t forget, “to convey irony.”

The headline promises the report is to be about the “killing,” but the article sets off, not with the “killing” but with something Israeli troops have done. They’ve launched a manhunt! So the report is about the manhunt, and the “killing” is relegated to second place, perhaps to provide context for this story about a manhunt.
Of course the victims weren’t just an Israeli family. No, they were a settler family, deemed illegal and subhuman under international law.

The intruders showed generosity because two other children had been spared. Mr Netanyahu on the other hand is less compassionate. He is full of threats of punishments and vigorous actions.

So “Palestinians have refused all direct contact with Israel until construction is frozen.” What about the months when all construction was frozen when the Palestinians still refused all contact with Israel? Where have all the scare quotes gone when you need them? They must have run out. ‘Until construction is frozen’ could do with a pair.

And while they are repeating the tag about settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation, why doesn’t the BBC remind the readers about why Israel needed to occupy any areas in the first place? It was because of a war. A war which the Arabs started, and the Arabs lost.

Next, the article last updated 13th March.
“Israel Approves new Jewish settler homes in West Bank”
An act of pure defiance and obstructionism? Handy for the BBC, though. Just the thing to justify the murder of an Israeli family including a little baby.

So the concept of ‘hundreds of homes for Jews’ excuses this compassionate intruder and his pal for an act they had no choice but to carry out?

“An Israeli government official said the construction is to be in settlements that Israel expects to retain control of in a possible peace agreement with the Palestinians.”

When it suits them, the BBC uses the all-purpose Palileaks revelations to show that, much to their disapproval, certain agreements over the allocation of territory were under consideration by both parties. That’s the Palestinians as well as the Israelis. However the BBC habitually regards whatever an Israeli government official says with deep suspicion. No, for the purpose of this particular case we are to perceive Jews expanding into ‘stolen Palestinian land’.

“An Israeli government spokesman said the construction move had been planned for some time but the BBC’s Jon Donnison in Ramallah says it’s hard not to see the timing of the announcement as linked to the killings.”
It may be hard for Jon Donnison; but surely not as hard as seeing Jewish settlements as justification for slitting the throat of a three month old baby.

Most people think that celebrating violence and terrorism by handing out sweets is newsworthy. Most people, but apparently not Jon Donnison.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

I came across this astonishing article by Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph newspaper today. As it had gone online yesterday I braced myself before checking out the expected tirade of hostile comments. Strangely, they weren’t predominantly hostile though the article was certainly ‘popular’ as it attracted over 1,400 comments.

The article begins by alluding to David Cameron’s speech to the CST in which he promised support for the Jewish people and Israel. Noting Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent concerns about the UK (which were explored in another Telegraph article by Charles Moore), Brogan explores the whole delegitimisation process we are undergoing, spearheaded largely by the BBC.

“Together, the BBC and the internet act as an echo chamber for a coalition of religious and political campaign groups and academics of all stripes – some of them Jewish – pumping out a propaganda campaign of explicit and implicit hostility to Israel.”

Melanie Phillips has posted an article about this ‘rare event indeed in the British media’. So. Cameron has talked the talk, but most people agree it is unlikely that he will ever actually walk the walk.

POURING OIL ON THE FLAMES

This was such an important post from Pounce on the Open Thread that it deserved a main post all of its own. Thank you Pounce.

Questions are currently being asked about why a British designer is anti-Semitic and how did he become so polarised. Well with News articles like this from the bBC it isn’t hard in which to find fault with the Jews:
Row over Israel gas reserve tax

The above link takes you to a video link where Iranian ‘Mohammad Manzarpour’ who used to be a Human Resources manager in Tehran opines over how Israel has changed its tax system towards oil companies from one of tax breaks to one of paying Tax (to around 50%) on their profits. Yet while the title states American companies they interview..Jewish companies. (That’s because only 1 American Oil company (Noble) is involved in the drilling of Oil.)

Now I’m all for diversity but come on bBC get somebody whom I can bloody understand. Call me ugly, call me a bigot but the fact remains I want to hear somebody speaking English which I can understand. Instead you allow somebody who sounds like a window licker to air a very biased report about how bad Israel is for upping its tax on Oil companies which isn’t how the same tax rate taken against US Oil companies elsewhere are reported:
Venezuela
Bolivia
UK
Funny how the champions of liberty in those countries can do likewise and the bBC doesn’t bat an eyelid.

Then there’s the clip in the end where the allegation is made that actually the new gas fields found off Israel actually belong to Lebanon and that Israel (backed up by showing a picture of an Israeli gunboat) is prepared to back up its theft of oil by force. Where actually the Oil fields if looked at on a map are well away from Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey who have all stated it belongs to them. But ref that Israel claim about going to war in which to protect its claim what the bBC doesn’t state is it was made in reply to this statement from Hezb-allah:
Hezbollah’s Executive Council head Hashem Safieddine said the militant Islamist group would not allow Israel to pillage what it considers Lebanese natural gas, Haaretz reported. “Lebanon’s need for the resistance has doubled today in light of Israeli threats to steal Lebanon’s oil wealth.”

And here another snippet Mohammed of the bBC doesn’t want you to know:
“Maps from Noble Energy show Leviathan within Israel’s waters. An official with Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services, which is surveying gas fields in Lebanese waters, told The Associated Press that from Noble’s reports there is no reason to think Leviathan extends into Lebanon”
Yet again another non story from the bBC in which to slate how Israel is taxing Oil firms, on that note when was the last time you saw the bBC champion BP, Shell or even Exxon? But when they are sparing against Israel they can only be victims.

And we all wonder why the British are becoming polarised against Jews. Years of character assassination from the bBC has ensured that Jews can only be evil while in the mirror universe they inhabit Islam is promoted as a religion of peace.

Just to add a couple of things about Mohammad Manzarpour of the BBC Persian service. His Facebook account shows that he “likes” Che Guevara. More significantly, he also added his name to an anti-war petition, along with Galloway, Benn, Pinter et al, protesting about possible US/UK action against Iran.

(On the company he worked for as a Human Resources manager, Atieh Bahar Consulting, this article from the Progressive American-Iranian Committee alleges very close links to the Iranian regime).

The Day Today

I was listening, on and off, to Today this morning. Somewhere in a news bulletin I thought I heard:
“US President Barack Obama has condemned the shooting of two American airmen. He described it as an “outrageous act”, and pledged to “ensure that all the perpetrators are brought to justice”
I’m sure they will leave no turn unstoned to discover the motive.
Then I heard Evan Davis discussing the Pope’s extraordinary decision to forgive the Jews. More on that later.
I avoided Jeremy Bowen. The programme ended with Justin Webb’s interview with a glottal-stopping expert on ‘gigs for despots’ by the likes of Beyonce who get zillions of dollars for two-song sets for sons of sheikhs. Say that wiv your teef out. To his credit, Justin mentioned double standards, where celebs “Make a lot of fuss about playing in Israel.” Then he said, I thought somewhat reflectively, “It’s cooler to play for an Arab dictator than it is to play in Israel.”

For reasons that I won’t go into, my late father always felt deeply uncomfortable about the Catholic church’s theological condemnation of the Jewish race. So I had more than a passing interest in the latest decision by Pope Benedict to reinterpret the matter. Oddly, this item is omitted from the Today website running order, so I’ve transcribed the whole thing and posted in the comments field so as not to bore you with it here.

This issue has always troubled people particularly because, as even the Guardian acknowledges

“Anti-Jewish Catholic doctrines such as the claim that the Jews murdered Christ were said to have ideologically underpinned nazism. Vatican officials allegedly helped Nazis escape Europe after the war.”

So. No small matter. At the end of the piece, Evan asks, ‘ if the Pope is able to ‘reinterpret’ such a thing theologically, how could such a big mistake have been made for a couple of centuries?’

Now we’re getting somewhere, I thought. But no. We aren’t going to get a straight answer to that, especially with such gentle questioning.

There is, however, another question this papal uturn begs. If it’s so easy for a Pope to turn such a fundamental theological matter upon its head, what’s to stop another Pope reverting to default position at some future date? This was touched upon in the Guardian piece.

“Disquiet that the apology was a beautiful gesture but a theological mistake bubbled to the surface last week.

Echoing widespread concern from liberal as well as conservative theologians, the Bishop of Como, Alessandro Maggiolini, said: “In whose name, exactly, is the holy father asking pardon? He is relying on a group of experts, but tomorrow another group of experts might come up with different examples.”

And how well will it go down with the other antisemites of the world?

“Other churchmen said the gesture would be seen by Muslims as a sign of weakness and by secular enemies as a cue to launch further attacks.”

What is my point? I’m not sure. It’s all verbal chip paper anyway, all forgotten by the next day.

Naughty But Nice

Robin Shepherd spots the BBC’s response to Iran’s official complaint that the Olympic logo reads “ZION.”

See how they do that? The 2 is like a Z, the 1 underneath is the I, the 0 is, of course, the O, and the other 2 is a sideways N.

The Iranians find the word Zion so objectionable that they’ve threatened to boycott the Olympics if nothing is done.

In this clip Adrian Warner and the cute BBC presenter find this amusing, if not a little endearing, in an “Ooh you are awful, but I like you” kind of way.

Robin Shepherd sees this as a typical nod to Muslim antisemitism – it’s the sort of thing that happens all the time, and tragically, we’re used to it.

Broken Promise

After watching the first two episodes of “The Promise” on Channel Four, I was sure Peter Kosminsky’s advertising-savvy, cinematographic trickery would whip the audience into a passionate frenzy of Israel bashing ferocity in no time. A few prematurely written rave reviews from predictable sources reinforced this probability.
However, halfway through the third episode confusion set in, and last night’s finale degenerated into farce, with what looked like a guest appearance from the bedridden old lady out of “’Allo ‘Allo,”(Will nobody ‘ear the cries of a poor old woman?) along with a risible Rachel Corrie moment as Erin bravely faces a Caterpillar as it demolishes an already blown-up house. “Oh no!” I thought, “she’s going to be martyred!” But no luck.

Left-wing Paul’s pensive soliloquy, something like: “We can do anything we like to the Palestinians; beat them, rape them, pat them and prick them and mark them with B; disembowel them, blow their houses down – and we Israelis just carry on swaggering, like the dirty European Jewish interlopers on Muslim lands that we really are” – evidently reflecting the director’s personal politics. I assume Paul’s ominous “Come back soon Erin, there’s work to do” has further significance. A sequel perhaps?

As if all that wasn’t enough, consider the interactive Q&A debriefing with the great man himself. Winsome looking Kosminsky reveals that he and six others spent eight years talking to Combatants for Peace and Breaking the Silence, consulting experts from the Jenny Tonge school of thought, reading the Guardian and watching the BBC so that his film could give a true picture.
An interactive participant called Leia, possibly some sort of comedienne, asks insightfully: “Do you expect a backlash from the Jewish community?
There was I, thinking his wistful expression was due to stress from being on constant lookout for a targeted assassination by terrorists from the Jewish community. But no. Kosminsky was philosophical. I paraphrase. “Unfortunately we’re not allowed to criticise Israel without being accused of antisemitism.”

After the Tweets on the Twitter thread, further indications of imbecility amongst Kosminski’s fans crop up in questions such as: “What is ‘The Promise’ in the series?
Instead of answering “The gigantic key, you moron!” Peter writes: “Hi Aisha. Thank you for your question. It has many levels, including I Promise to provide you illiterate cretins with a focus for all your pent-up frustration. Go forth and vent your spleens!! ….. promised land, Jews, nakba, catastrophe, etc etc.” (My paraphrasing again.)

‘Iman’, wonders if Kosminsky found it hard to put aside his preconceptions. “What a great question Iman!” No, Iman, it wasn’t hard to put them all aside because I didn’t have any in the first place.”
“Hi Peter, I’m Jewish and I thought it was one-sided.” Says Lucy from London.
“Hi Lucy. You would say that wouldn’t you. But it wasn’t, so there.” (I paraphrase.)

“What is your favourite bit?” asks someone else. “Gosh, so hard to choose – a Palestinian woman tries to prevent the IDF using her child as a human shield.”
What is he talking about now? He’s cherry-picked an incident where two IDF soldiers were convicted by an Israeli military court, and turned human shield-dom on its head. In fact the entire charade was made from a crudely tacked-together patchwork of things turned on their heads.
So we wait, with bated breath, for Mark Thompson to confront us with “The Other.”

If anyone doubts that the programme was an incitement, or to use the popular term a “recruiting sergeant” for antisemitism, they should simply read the warm review in the Palestine Telegraph. A resounding thumbs-up from “Journalist” Sameh A. Habeeb, with one small reservation.
Like the BBC, it was still too biased in favour of the illegitimate rogue Zionist entity.

Democracy the Panacea

Before the Egyptian uprisings we were told that we in the West must support tyranny to maintain stability. After the uprisings we were told that our newly discovered duty is to oppose tyranny and support democracy.

Our government strove for stability by maintaining a harmonious relationship with “tyrants,” but now they’ve seen that turning a blind eye to tyranny was morally wrong, and universal democracy would be morally right.

Many people suspect that “tyrants” were all that stood between the fragile stability and the dreaded clash of civilisations. However, for the BBC and, it seems, Cameron’s government, democracy is a thing with magical properties. If it comes, lo and behold, it will turn the Islamic street into a secular wonderland.

Meanwhile, (as if we had any choice) we’re plumping for toppling tyrants and keeping our fingers crossed this will bring about liberty, freedom and peace – and abracadabra, turn the Arab World into the West.

No longer must we turn a blind eye to tyranny. Now our blind eyes are turned to the baying mobs chanting “Death to Jews” in Tunis, the stars of David scrawled on Mubarak posters, and the sinister signs of religious bigotry rather than secular liberalism that are emerging from the angry rioting crowd. The BBC’s eyes are the blindest of all.

Many people, apart from the BBC, think this is quite important. Should ‘free and fair’ elections materialise, and the Arab World democratically elect their governments of choice, and hey presto, should their choices involve the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk, the glorious revolution will, with our blessing, have brought back tyranny. Plus an inharmonious relationship with the West, and lashings (excuse the pun) of extra insecurity and instability thrown in for good measure.

A reader has sent me this:

“There has been so much misinformation circulated that the Egyptians have not used their demonstrations to attack Israel.

The massive crowd (possibly over a million) is first incited by Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi who as part of his victory speech (following the resignation of Mubarak) calls upon the crowd to pray for the conquest of the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The crowd goes wild. Al-Qaradhawi is the “moderate” muslim leader that condoned suicide bombing of Israeli civilians and advocated the murder of homosexuals. He is now banned from entering the UK after his last visit as a guest of the then mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

Shortly afterwards, the crowd erupts into chanting in unison “To Jerusalem we go, for us to be Martyrs”

So it may be true that the Egyptians were more interested in overthrowing their despotic leader than a Palestinian state, but don’t be misled into thinking that they are likely to set up a wonderfully democratic country with good relations with Israel anytime soon. How could they, if all they’ve been used to receiving on their TV sets for the past 3 decades are programmes inciting the hatred and murder of Jews.”

Our government and our BBC will say, ‘that is how democracy works,’ so like it or lump it.’ Our foreign policy would have to be slightly adjusted, our appeasement of Islam ramped up, and William Hague could stop defending Israel’s right to exist, a stance that looks more faltering and unconvincing each time he declares it.

If they believe that a settlement freeze will hasten the peace process, they must have little or no idea at all what the conflict is about, probably through misleading journalism courtesy of the BBC.

Logic says that anyone who accepts that the Palestinian Authority’s demand for a settlement freeze is a valid prerequisite for ‘coming back to the table’, should equally wonder what’s to stop Israel feeling that Arab recognition of Israel and renunciation of violence is a jolly valid prerequisite for the resumption of negotiations too?

How can anyone expect Israel to come to a peace agreement with neighbours who insist loud and clear that they will never renounce violence and will never ever recognise Israel’s right to exist?

Yet because of heavily slanted reporting, which ignores previously negotiated and agreed territorial apportionment in order to portray all settlement construction as defiant, and a mere land-grab, Israel is not only unjustly given the role of intransigent, swaggering obstacle to peace, it is expected to make concession after concession whilst its enemy sits back and waits for more Hamas-like Islamist-style democracies to load the dice more and more heavily against it.

The Other

Several other bloggers are alarmed at the recent tidal wave of films and documentaries we’re being bombarded with, which subtly or overtly misrepresent Israel. Many have been brought to us by the BBC, but the most seductively beguiling of them all is on Channel Four. On last night’s Newsnight, in a wider discussion on the role of the media, I heard Mark Thompson say that BBC is obliged to “confront people with the other.

In the light of that, I feel justified in explaining why I find The Promise so disturbing, and why I feel that under the principle of confronting people with “the other”, it’s high time the BBC made and aired a programme that shows Israel in a truer, fairer light.

After Louis Theroux, Michael Morpurgo, and some upcoming radio plays which have clear anti Israel agendas, I suspect that as far as Israel is concerned, the BBC may not even be aware that there is an “other”.
A state of emergency should be declared.

Peter Kosminsky has spent several years, some say eight, some ten, devising and incubating this drama. He uses his considerable cinematographic skills to produce a slick advertising-savvy film with an agenda that subliminally and openly reconfirms what many think they already know about the Israel Palestine conflict. Namely: ‘Rich European Jews are transplanted into Muslim Lands by the British in a blundering attempt to atone for the holocaust, with the unintended consequence of penalising the innocent indigenous Arab population.’

The filmmaker has so far used two cheap tricks to mimic balance. One. Gratuitously and voyeuristically-inserted ‘real’ footage of emaciated concentration camp corpses. Two. A cafe suicide bombing in which two of the characters we’re following are injured. These two devices represent Israel’s case for the defence, while everything else represents the case for the prosecution.

Rich, heartless Jews versus poor, noble Palestinians; the giant key symbolising the right of return; left wing, European-born Israelis; checkpoints, the wall, stolen land, brutal Israeli soldiers, heroic, wronged Palestinian schoolgirls, Jewish terroism, stony-faced settlers.

Peter Kosminsky has even turned reality completely on its head! The stone-throwing children were not Palestinian, but Israeli! The Israeli hostess calls Palestinians ‘animals’ when Kosminsky really ought to have known that it’s Jews that are the desendants of pigs and apes. Ruthless Zionists tarred and feathered the female spy as a bluff to make our hero trust her. And though terrorism is the current method of resistance of the Muslims, it was brought to you first by Jews; and guess who were ‘put into prison camps’ by the Jews.

All this, and still one episode to go. But these things have all been done before, though perhaps less slickly and perhaps less seductively.

The website indicates that Kosminsky hopes to introduce a wider audience to the Palestinian cause. They are to learn the “truth” Kosminsly-style, through drama.
Comments, tweets, and even a liveblog, which Kosminsky himself has graced with his interactive presence, are all provided on the website. The gullible media addicts have tweeted and texted their appreciation in droves. They were captivated, amazed, thrilled, and ever so grateful that the hitherto mystifying Israel / Palestine conflict has been set out in technicolour for easypeasy digestion, painlessly and enchantingly.
What is alarming is that this advertising propaganda masquerades as enlightenment.
Kosminsky, far from trying to warn people that his partisan film isn’t a substitute for a fully comprehensive education, graciously accepts the plaudits. Lindsey (No I am not an anti-Semite) Hilsum provides a handy Potted Political History. Comments pointing to the omissions and obfuscations therein are dismissed by a Channel Four spokesman – because Lindsey Hilsum is an expert, so there.
I know it’s not part of my remit to comment on Channel Four business, so, if only because of the BBC’s obligation to confront people with “the other”, I rest my case.

Kites for Peace

In the last couple of days there has been an extraordinary mish-mash of television on the subject of Islam and Israel. All but one sanitising Islam and denigrating Israel.
For example, yesterday’s hostile portrait of Geert Wilders BBC2 seen through thick-lensed left-wing specs. The filmmaker’s agenda was showing – almost embarrassingly – so hopefully no-one will have been persuaded to change their minds on the issue from watching it. One thing that stood out was the way the filmmaker saw Israel. He assumed that just a slight association with it was enough to turn Wilders into a villain. And the bit where he approached Wilders with his furry microphone, feebly bleating something unintelligible while Wilders and entourage swept past, then “See! He wouldn’t speak to me!” I found that hilarious.
Straight away, most people will have switched on to Dispatches Channel 4 for the Islamic Schools programme. I thought they were trying to stretch a tiny bit of material too far – they kept repeating bits of it – they should have concentrated more on the Ofsted inspectors, and asked why nobody seemed to suspect anything or care. Melanie Phillips has this.
Nevertheless, these contrasting items provide a good example of the art of television, showing how it can make you think one thing one minute, and another, the next.
Which brings me to the major four-parter on Channel 4, The Promise. The director has a left wing agenda, and he tries to pretend he hasn’t. Take a look at the website, see Lindsay Hilsum’s potted history which leaves out the important bits, read some of the tweets and comments, and weep. The audience thinks they’re being educated.

Then for desert, last night’s Newsnight with Michael Morpurgo. He’s been to Gaza, and he’s got it into his head that Israelis target children. It’s so firmly embedded in his brain that even though Paxman says “the Israelis don’t go in to deliberately target children” , and he admits that “It’s not that they they’re targeted”, it still pops back in a few seconds later, when he says “You can’t achieve peace by targeting children.”
Call me cynical, but I think I know whose side he’s on. Even Paxo had a tiny go at him, reminding him of the traumas suffered by Sderot children. Louise Ellman did well, but she missed a few opportunities. Of the malnutrition he witnessed – not caused by the blockade of course – she should have pointed out the lorryloads of goods that go into Gaza every day, not to mention the international aid that pours in. Where is it all? She should have mentioned the hate that is taught to the children, not in Israel, but in Gaza.

I wondered why the donkey cart with the allegedly injured child rushed past at the exact moment they were filming. But Pallywood makes you cynical. I’d also like to know exactly what the Israelis had to say about targeting children. Of course, as Jeremy Bowen would say, they’d be partial, so we shouldn’t believe them, which makes rather a mockery out of all reporting. The BBC could just get ‘impartial’ people to speculate, and stop bothering to verify or investigate anything. That’s what they already do on the telly, some broadcasters more than others.

Easy Come Easy Go

Don’t for one minute think anyone can get an intelligent, nuanced analysis of the situation in the Middle East from the BBC, despite the endless chatter.
Islamic organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim Council of Britain are treated with reverential obsequiousness by the BBC, and to evaluate the threat of Islamism taking over the Egyptian government, or having a huge influence in Egypt and therefore the entire region, you have to look, for example, at Barry Rubin here, and here. The possibility of this happening, which would almost certainly entail the ‘removal,’ or attempted ‘removal’ of Israel, has been alluded to on the BBC with a cavalier indifference that beggars belief.

Ed Stourton presided over just such a discussion on Egypt on R4 Sunday with three specialists, including journalist and writer Carol Gould, who was one of the writers who alerted me to the full extent of the media’s demonisation of Israel and the Jews.
Also on the programme were Tarek Osman and Dr. Harry Hagopian. Ed opens with a reference to Obama’s iconic speech at Cairo – ‘reaching out to the Muslim World’. “Israel is supposed to be the only democracy in the region”, Ed opines, “but Lebanon also functions as a democracy.” I Beg your pardon?
After various assurances that the Brotherhood definitely deserves to play an important role in the new democracy, but that is ‘nothing to worry about’, Carol said she had been hearing some pretty alarming things on Press TV and Al-Jazeera. For example, the Muslim Brotherhood has promised that “the first thing to go will be Israel.” “This will be the end of the USA and Israel. They’ll be out of the region.” So, not much to worry about there then.
Carol Gould managed to remind us that Lebanon’s democracy has been scuppered by Hezbollah, and that Turkey is already a goner, but Ed had already stopped listening, because “we have to end it there”.

Only time will tell whether Egypt’s was a military coup or a straightforward people’s democratic revolution. If it’s the latter, however youthful the people are, or how Westernised they look and sound, no-one from the BBC has bothered to ask whether or not they’re actually of an anti-West and virulently anti Israel disposition. As for Tunisia, they’ve been marching on the Great Synangogue of Tunis. That should set alarm bells off about all of the freedom fighting ‘youth bulges’ in North African Islamic/Arab states, and the whole world.
The BBC? Tumbleweed.

Being Partial

Attacking Israel with malice aforethought is one of this country’s favourite pastimes. From grave political misrepresentation emanating from MPs and broadcasters, to gossip and urban myth perpetuated by press, television, journalists and chatterati.

For example, a misdiagnosis of the PaliLeaks revelations is firmly embedded in public consciousness.

Despite being filtered through sources with infamously anti-Israel agendas – the Guardian and Al-Jazeera – the consensus is that the Palestinian negotiators were weak, cravenly offering everything to the swaggering intransigent Israelis.
This interpretation sabotages the PA, the peace process and damages Israel’s image even further, if that is conceivable. Without taking the trouble to ask themselves cui bono, who benefits, they adopt this theory and stick with it. Go Figga.

Swallowing this interpretation has a prerequisite., which boils down to believing that Israel is simply wrong. Wrong to defend itself, wrong to be Jewish and wrong to be in Muslim Lands.

Imagine, if you will, that Israel’s deputy foreign minister was a nice chap. Imagine that he applauded what the Egyptian people have been striving for. Imagine, as if your imagination was huge and boundless, that this man was Danny Ayalon, and you saw that he was good, and fair, and personable, and without a nasty foreign accent. Then suspend your disbelief, and with a gigantic effort imagine that John Humphrys didn’t interrupt this, this, this…silver-tongued trickster. This is getting too much.
Snap! You’re back in the room.

Here comes Jeremy Bowen. He couldn’t believe it either. “Of course you’re getting a partial view” he spluttered, because he hadn’t got a leg to stand on.

Imagine! Jeremy Bowen accusing someone of having a partial view!
Laugh?
No, not really. Jeremy Bowen simply believes Israel is wrong. Wrong to defend itself, wrong to be Jewish and wrong to exist.

Stormy Weather

Old films are very popular. We love nostalgia, the costumes, the funny accents, lots of smoking, and we can observe with the benefit of hindsight, people going about their business in the 20s and 30s. We know, as they do not, of the tribulations to come. We particularly relish seeing everyone pooh-poohing the threat of Nazism, and we empathise with the frustration felt by a lone voice expressing alarm. We understand the complacency and innocence that made people miss the obvious signals, if only they would spot them, of the gathering storm.
Even when war became a reality, obstinacy and blindness persisted. We know all that now.
Last night on BBC World service “The Strand” I heard Egyptian novelist and political and cultural commentator Adhaf Soueif talking from Tahrir Square. She’s one of Egypt’s liberal female writers, and was breathlessly enthusing about the uprising; the diversity, the creativity, the unity and the spirit of the people in Tahrir Square. All marvellous, until her final words – “we must stop pandering to the interests of America and lsrael.”

In the same programme there was an interview with German photographer Kai Weidenhofer who has an exhibition in London. Images of the human cost of war. (Gaza) He cited the Goldstone report to justify using such voyeuristic subject matter.

The bout of insomnia wore off and I woke up to the dulcet tones of William Hague complaining about Israel’s belligerence. According to Hague, Israel must reinstate the settlement freeze and abracadabra there will be Peace in Our Time. Actually, I saw the same interview on the telly, and he did mention that the Palestinians should also make a concession or two, but that was omitted for the purposes of Today.
Then there was a shameful interview with Sir Sherard Cowper Coles, who echoed Hague’s sentiments, and said in no uncertain terms that all the region’s problems are Israel’s fault. James Naughtie disgraced himself by confusing PaliLeaks with WikiLeaks, and then repeating the Guardian’s and Polly Toynbee’s face-value interpretation of them: ‘Israel was offered everything, turned it all down, offered nothing in return. Swaggered.’
Does he actually think it was WikiLeaks, and not Qatari Al-Jazeera’s malicious “release” of selected spin, designed to undermine the PA, Abbas, Israel and the entire peace process?

Where was Israel’s point of view? Oh I forgot. We don’t need that. Because we’re well into the olden days. The days when, despite some lone voices expressing alarm, everyone’s happily missing the signs if only they would spot them, of the gathering storm.

Pressing Matters

Honest Reporting poses a significant question in its latest lament about Israel’s coverage in the media.
Why does Israel’s every move get scrutinised, magnified, exaggerated and endlessly regurgitated through a filter of disapproval, while seriously reprehensible events that occur in the surrounding Arab countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, pass unnoticed by the tunnel-visioned press pack?
Honest Reporting answers its own question, putting this bashfulness down to fear of having their access withdrawn, but I’m afraid it’s simply down to pure you-know-what.
At any one time there are some 450 foreign journalists permanently resident in Israel,” they say, plus copious support staff, but all of a sudden, due to present circumstances, most of them decamped to Cairo.

Apparently there was a bit of a media fuss when an Al-Jazeera journo was made to take her bra off at a security check before attending an event with PM Netanyahu, but virtual silence over “many stories of foreign journalists inconvenienced, detained, threatened and sometimes worse.” in neighbouring Arab states.

Pardon me, then, for being mildly amused at this. After the eulogistic praise we’ve had all week for the uprising in Egypt from the BBC’s reverential reporters, how about this from Tom Gross:

BBC’s Jerome Boehm also targeted by protesters

BBC also reported their correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes’ car was forced off the road in Cairo “by a group of angry men.” He was detained by the men, who handed him off to secret police agents who handcuffed and blindfolded him and an unnamed colleague and took them to an interrogation room. They were released after three hours.

BBC reporter Wyre Davies in Alexandria – Attacked and driven off by locals several times in the past few days

BBC foreign editor Jon Williams said via Twitter that security forces seized the network’s equipment in a Cairo Hilton hotel in an attempt to stop it broadcasting.

I don’t know how many times they’ve been attacked by Israeli Jews.

Middle Eastenders Like Us

The army of BBC reporters who’ve been plonked in Egypt have one thing in common – unalloyed joy at the people’s uprising.
We’ve heard people say, ‘Mubarak may be a monster, but he’s our monster,’ or, ‘ Careful what you wish for – some Iraqis long for the stability of Sadaam’ – but what we mainly hear is wholehearted enthusiasm for the ‘deposing of the tyrant’. They approve of Ben Ali’s removal from Tunisia, yet have little interest in what will follow.

Just because we all abhor torture and corruption, and applaud democracy and freedom, our enemy’s enemy is not necessarily our ally, and we should all be careful about expressing unreserved enthusiasm for what we know little about.

Even though the Muslim Brotherhood is not considered to be an immediate threat to Egypt’s future, none of the BBC interviews I’ve seen have questioned the bright-eyed protesters about their attitude to the West, and Israel in particular. Polls suggest that the majority of Egyptians sympathise with Sharia, which doesn’t auger well for an enlightened future. Remember Iran.

Representatives of the BBC should engage their brains and stop assuming all Egyptians view everything through the eyes of the western liberal. That’s a common failing of all the BBC’s reporting. None of them seem to have the imagination to put themselves in any shoes other than their own. I think I’ve said this before. The Middle East isn’t like Islington, and Islam isn’t a religion of peace.
H/T True Too for Caroline Glick