While we have been occupied with election business, the BBC’s delegitimisation of Israel carries on relentlessly. But they disguise the bias as best they can, because they know they’re being watched.
There have been several seemingly trivial examples over the last few weeks.
On the open thread, Pounce and David Preiser mention the BBC’s initial silence over Hamas’s bulldozing of Palestinian homes. (They weren’t the only ones who didn’t like the story) Then, when it came, at last, to the BBC’s attention, Pounce noted the contrasting treatment given to similar stories – where the guilty party are Palestinians, and where the villains were Israelis.
The report that deals with Israel’s ‘transgression’ is presented through the words of notoriously anti-Israel campaigners Human Rights Watch. By repeating HRW’s allegations appended by “the report said,” the BBC are able to cram in all the emotive language they want, including, for good measure, our old friend the tally of deaths in Operation Cast Lead.
In subtle but significant contrast, ill-concealed sympathy for Hamas seeps into the belated report that they couldn’t ignore any longer. Mitigating statements from Hamas are included, as well as gratuitous mentions of Israel’s misdemeanours and incursions into Gaza.
Later, on the same open thread, Deegee draws our attention to this BBC story about commemorating the ‘Nakba’ which the BBC is usually keen to elaborate on. (You rarely see or hear anything on the BBC about the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands that occurred at the time.)
The emotive language in the opening paragraph gives Mills and Boon a run for their money. The article continues in that vein, till the last sentence of the paragraph headed ‘Both right’ jolts you out of your somnambulence. “When the war broke out ….”
You know, as wars do. All by themselves.
These seemingly insignificant examples are part of a very much bigger whole. Added together, such things, and there are more than fifty years’ worth, amount to the delegitimisation that we have now.
In universities, in trade unions, at dinner parties, in the broadcasting fraternity, everyone has been educated by the BBC, and everyone agrees that Israel is beyond the pale, and everyone is outraged.
For half a story, you can rely on the BBC. But you won’t necessarily know that it’s only half.
Partly it’s a result of dumbing down. For the missing bits you have to read things like this fascinating article and the comments below it, about antisemitism, the creation of Israel, and the grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, cross posted on CiF Watch. Without this quality of information, how can anyone get anywhere near making a balanced judgement?
We don’t get anything of such depth from the BBC, on either side of the divide. But even something superficial and glib, BBC style, would be a start; if it was just, purely and simply, even-handed and unbiased.