Aiding or Abetting

The BBC’s approach to the I/P conflict is to assume there’s a unanimous consensus amongst its viewers and listeners that Israel is guilty on all counts.

Dissenters like myself take the view that the BBC taints the news it brings us by using a combination of devices.
A distancing, dehumanising approach to Israeli individuals, the exaggerated human interest treatment of Palestinian victimhood, the omission of vital context and historical background, and undue prominence given to unverified statements from Palestinian spokespersons; to name but a few.

All this reinforces the perception of Israel’s unreasonable conduct, and rationalises the guilty verdict.

There has been a lot of news about the merits or otherwise of giving large amounts of aid to needy countries. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, say some, and aid inevitably gets into the wrong hands, causes corruption, and creates dependency and hampers self determination and enterprise.

One group, however, is so needy and so deserving, that the urgency of their predicament supersedes such considerations, causing all doubts to melt away. Which brings us to..

The Flotilla.
When the flotilla approaches Gaza, people wonder what will happen. What will Israel do?

What will the BBC do?

The Other Half

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.


A biased bbc reader writes…

“Mosab Hassan Yousef is the eldest son of a senior Hamascommander. He was arrested by Shin Bet and beaten by three of their agents. Hepoints out that this is not Shin Bet or Israeli policy, but the actions ofindividual agents who hate Palestinians. He has converted to Christianity andnow works to save lives – Israeli or Palestinian. If that means informing onHamas or Fatah operations he will do it. He blames the war not of Israelis orPalestinians but on ideology – specifically the Koran.

He was presumably asked onto Hardtalk on account of abook he has written. Zeinab Badawi persistently interrupted him, and tried todivert him from points he wanted to make to issues which she considered moreimportant. Badawi is from a Muslim background, though whether she is apractising Muslim is not known to me. It was obvious that Yousef’s criticism ofPalestinians and Islam were getting under her skin. That Yousef should hold upa Koran at the end and blame it for the whole Israel/Palestine conflict musthave shot a dagger through her multicultural spleen. Watch for yourself.”

Righteousness and Wrongteousness

Recently some of us linked to a comprehensive study of the BBC’s institutional hostility to Israel and its biased reporting of the I/P conflict. It mentions much of what we’ve been highlighting here for yonks, and includes a systematic analysis of emotive partisan terms and references. They submitted it to the BBC, and awaited a response. So far all that has materialised is a rejection, conveyed indirectly, via the Jewish Chronicle.

The BBC is impartial, so it ignores pressure groups.

“It’s not uncommon to hear these sorts of findings from pressure groups but our role is to provide independent reporting and analysis of all perspectives of a story, so our audiences can make sense of what’s going on themselves.
The independent panel set up by our board of governors found no deliberate or systematic bias in the BBC coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.”

By labelling every individual and organisation that supports Israel a pressure group, the BBC absolves itself from having to look into any complaints about its reporting, or anything at all that happens to be brought up in Israel’s defence.

It doesn’t, however, consider the pro Palestinian, anti-Israel NGOs that shelter under the protection of Human Rights or charitable status pressure groups, no matter how partisan they obviously are.
If audiences are to be expected to make sense of anything, they must be given the whole story. But the BBC thinks of one side as independent reporting and the other as propaganda.

A response to another separate complaint contained the following:

“We’re committed to honest, unbiased reporting and are determined to remain free from influence by outside parties, whether political or lobbyists. Our Corporation’s Charter and Agreement allows us independence from political pressure and the licence fee gives us independence from advertising, shareholder or other commercial interests. Impartiality forms the cornerstone of BBC News and Current Affairs and we’ve nothing to gain by weighting our coverage in political terms or by allowing influence from any other outside body.”

…but maybe much to lose from not allowing influence from other outside bodies?

I suspect they really believe all of the above. If they don’t, they really really want to. They believe in their own righteousness, even when it means turning reason on its head.

From the BBC’s perspective, Israel has been delegitimised, (mainly by the BBC itself), till it’s a given that it’s just plain wrong.

Heinz meanz beanz, and Impartiality meanz Israel is wrong.

A Non Event and A Non Report

The BBC has remained silent over the frightening behaviour of Manchester Students from Action Palestine who attacked the deputy Israeli Ambassador Talya Lador-Fresher the other day as she tried to leave the university after giving a political science lecture.

Students are renowned for their passionate advocacy of of democracy, and they regard it as their democratic right to violently attack a speaker from a democratic country in alleged support of a regime in which free speech is non existent.

The BBC has spent decades whipping up the public into the sort of righteous indignation against Israel that could only have been achieved by withholding half the story, and continually suppressing the notion that there IS another half.

This display of ignorance and immaturity may only be a small part of the bigger story that is being ignored by the BBC, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Gestalt.

The BBC has been announcing this non-event several times today. So it can’t be Manchester itself that isn’t newsworthy.

Inconvenient Tale

Please put the pressing issue of UK politics to one side for a moment to read the latest post on Robin Shepherd’s blog. It’s aimed at the BBC because of something they’re currently ignoring.
Robin says he has reason to believe that BBC editors sometimes read his blog, and I sincerely hope they do. Whether they still read this one I know not. In case they do, I’ll reiterate here that Robin poses a challenge to the BBC. It’s a pigs will fly sort of a challenge, but never mind.

The story involves rape, a television series, Palestinian prisoners, and the IDF.
All subjects that would normally be of great interest to the BBC. So why isn’t this one? Read on….

Ooops. BBC Retracts Misleading Report

It seems some people DO have success when it comes to having their complaints upheld by the BBC. As long as they belong to the anti-Israel brigade.

Should a report that shows anti Israel campaigners in a poor light accidentally slip through the net, the BBC Editorial department will leap into action.

Nobody can interrupt a meeting or performance and come out smelling of roses.
Certainly Tony Greenstein and Deborah Fink’s display of exhibitionism that ruined the Jerusalem Quartet’s performance at the Wigmore Hall was counterproductive in the extreme. I hope their ‘cause’ suffered a setback of disproportionately greater magnitude than the distress their disruptive outbursts caused to the musicians and the audience that had hoped to enjoy the performance.

On the other hand, a meeting that took place at the School of Oriental and African Studies last year in which the guest speaker was Bongani Masuku, “a man condemned as an inciter of hatred against Jews by the South African Human Rights Commission,” was ‘disrupted’ by a question from Jonathan Hoffman about the morality of hosting such an event and inviting such a speaker, a hullaballoo ensued, which, unlike the one at the Wigmore Hall, was reported on the BBC website.

In the confusion it is alleged that racist taunts were hurled at Mr. Hoffman. “Jew-ish” and some such. Whatever they were, the threatening atmosphere that was engendered simply because of a question that went against the grain, was undeniable. If you can bear to look at the video, you’ll see that when Mr Hoffman asks “Why do you interrupt me?” The woman behind him can clearly be seen wagging a finger and saying “Because you’re a Jew!”

Some furious lobbying by organisations such as “JustPeaceUK” were instigated, in order to get the BBC report amended to what they considered was a TRUE representation of what had taken place, and to omit the bit about the racist taunts.

They succeeded; not only was the web report amended, but the original reporter was reprimanded, and the editor wrote:

“After publication it quickly became clear that there was more to what had happened in the meeting than was apparent from the video and Mr Hoffman’s allegations. As soon as that became clear the story was amended to reflect the differing views of those who had been at the meeting.
It is regrettable that the original story did not reflect a wider range of views and the journalist concerned has been made well aware of the requirement to do so in the future.
Yours Sincerely
Hugh Berlyn
News and Sport Interactive
BBC England “

Concert disrupter and anti-Zionist campaigner Tony Greenstein proudly declares the success of their lobbying on his website under the heading
“ BBC – Hoffman Lied When Claiming He was a Victim of anti-Semitism.”

Not only that, but the Head of editorial complaints, Fraser Steel has written apologising profusely and promising to take further action. We must wait with bated breath to see what that will be..

I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Cleudo

The BBC is not alone in its certainty over who killed the honourable Hamas Commander. While it is still by no means a foregone conclusion, other MSM have also known from the outset, and have had no problem telling the world, that Israel is the guilty party.
As it stands there are many unanswered questions, inconsistencies, and suspects with a motive.
Even if it turns out the culprit was actually an elderly BBC presenter, with a pillow, in the conservatory, the BBC will still believe it was Mossad, and continue to insinuate such by innuendo and snide remarks from people like Jeremy Hardy “It’s a matter of give and take; or in Israel’s case, take.” Ba boom The News Quiz.

‘Must be time for another reminder of how awful Israel is’, thought the producers of Today, (scroll to 0:43:44) so they got someone to go to Nablus to find out what has happened to the generous gift of olive trees a charity has sent along. But alas and alack, the land had been stolen by a nearby settlement, illegal under international law, and the poor farmer was very sad. The Olive Tree is a symbol of Arab nobility, and Settlements embody Israeli oppression, so this was a gift in more than one sense.

Anyway all that is by the by. Back to the assassination. There has been a spate of assassinations, or as some people like to call them, mercy killings, recently. A Saudi Prince has done one in a hotel, apparently. Some have our approval, some not.

The press and blogosphere are going mad. All hell has been unleashed in the rush to condemn Israel and implicate Jews in a worldwide conspiracy in which they’re all traitors and would-be assassins on standby. I myself always carry a pillow with me just in case.

Gonna Start a Riot

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

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

Pathos in Gaza

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

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

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

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


Breaking my Christmas silence because of this BBC item. “Six Palestinians killed in West Bank, Gaza attacks” Oh really? Just killed as they walked about their daily business, eh? You have to read down to discover that those killed were “militants” or, to be more accurate, murderous Palestinian terrorists. The BBC does mention in passing that the IDF had responded following the “killing” of an Israeli father of seven by Palestinian “militants” but lest we start to feel even slightly sympathetic towards Israel it finishes with a flourish reminding us that the violence comes a day before the anniversary of the Gaza war that killed some 1400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Dont’cha love the way that BBC deliberately conflates the number of Hamas Jihadists with genuinely innocent civilians to get to their magical Hamas approved 1400. Always good to bash the Jews at Christmastime, right? Revolting.

Free Marwan Mandela!

Is the release of one thousand Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one young Israeli soldier kidnapped in 2006 a good deal?
Under the circumstances, and in the long run, maybe. Superficially though, one would have thought it looked a leedle, – how you say? – disproportionate. Never mind. We’ll soon be hearing the outcry about that from the BBC. Or not.

So the imminent swap – Gilad Shalit for Marwan Barghouti and nine hundred and ninety nine others– is good news. We want Shalit to be safe more than we mind returning one thousand criminals who are hell-bent on harming Israel.

The World This Weekend (hat tip Craig) featured a rather splendid profile of Barghouti, straight out of the school of journalism that regards certain terrorist atrocities as audacious, and euphamises certain terrorists as militants. So, to establish some weird sort of moral equivalence, three of Barghouti’s admirers were brought in to sing his praises; Ghada Karmi from the University of Exeter with its Saudi-funded Islamic studies dept., BBC’s useful Arabist Alistair Crooke, and Richard Burden M.P. Britain-Palestine all-Party group. Oh yes, and for balance, Devorah Chen chief prosecutor in Barghouti’s trial.

I forgot to mention that Barghouti was convicted of murdering several Israelis. –But that’s a mere detail of no consequence; in fact it’s quite an asset.

The man’s a hero, clean, honest and a patriot, some say he’s a bit like Nelson Mandela, and an ideal replacement for Mahmoud Abbas. He might unify quarreling Palestinian factions.
All Hamas wants is a little stake in power, yet it is treated as a pariah says Ms. Karmi. How fair is that? Poor Hamas. A pariah.

Brought to you by Brian Hanrahanrahan of the Britain-Palestine let’s all have a party Broadcasting Corporation.

Craig’s bias coefficient analysis thingy:

Ghada Karmi (pro-Barghouti): 2 minutes 9 seconds

Devorah Chan (anti-Barghouti): 42 seconds

Alistair Crooke (pro-Barghouti): 17 seconds

Richard Burden (pro-Barghouti): 1 minutes 3 seconds


Pro-Barghouti: 3 minutes 29 seconds
Anti-Barghouti: 42 seconds

Our Man in the West Bank

Deegee highlights numerous signs in Jeremy Bowen’s article that indicate he’s not really BBC Middle East editor at all, but a correspondent representing the Palestinians. Like Alan Johnston, Bowen obviously wants to assure his friends that “I’m telling your story.”
The article is riddled with clues as to Bowen’s personal feelings, and is dumbed down by lazy over-simplifications of the sort that invariably get repeated over and over till they become set in stone.
“President Mahmoud Abbas, America’s current Palestinian partner, is so fed up with the lack of progress towards independence that he has threatened to leave his job.

“Is so fed up!” Is that Bowen’s summing up of Abbas’s political strategy?

Deegee says: “Abbas’s period as president has expired. He would be resigning from a position he no longer legally holds.”
The BBC’s own website publishes a variety of interpretations, which show that Abbas’s threat to stand down is a little more complex than Bowen’s misleading brief – that he is “Fed up”

Having established that Jewish settlements are the obstacle to peace, and that they are illegal, Bowen somehow manages to erase the Palestinians’ refusal to recognise Israel or renounce violence from the equation altogether as though it isn’t an impediment of any significance whatsoever.
Melanie Phillips says, “Let us not forget that it is the ‘moderate’ Abbas and the forces he leads whom America and the west say are ‘entitled’ to a state of their own, to which Israel is unreasonably providing obstacles”

That has now become received wisdom. Bowen ups the ante by calling them “little fortresses.” He then rearranges history by reiterating another myth that has established itself in the narrative. He implies that Rabin’s assassination by a Jewish extremist was responsible for ending the peace process.
In a critique of one of Seth freedman’s Guardian articles, which is similarly economical with the actuality, Israelinurse dispels this myth.

“Freedman descends into the realms of fantasy, stating that “with three bullets, assassin Yigal Amir managed to irreversibly derail the peace process” and claims that the entire region’s political journey abruptly changed course as a result of that tragic event.
In actual fact, the Oslo Accords continued to be implemented. On January 20th 1996 agreements were made regarding the IDF redeployment from areas to be passed over to PA control, the election of the Palestinian Council and the head of the Palestinian Authority. The 23rd October 1998 saw the signing of the Wye River Memorandum and on September 4th 1999 the Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum was agreed.
Just as the peace treaty with Jordan, signed just over a year before Rabin’s murder, did not fall apart, so the agreements with the Palestinians went ahead. But on July 11th 2000, the Camp David negotiations fell through and just over two months later the second Intifada began, shaking Israel to its core.”

Deegee says; “It could easily be said the peace agreement had already failed by the time of Rabin’s death and it was far from certain he would have been re-elected.

So however sad it is that there is as yet no peace agreement, the Jewish extremist’s act of murder was not the reason.
Bowen even refers to the notorious handshake on the lawn as a kind of ‘finest hour’. Anyone who has read about Arafat’s scurrilous behaviour during and after that and the Camp David fiasco would have to laugh.

Bowen makes no attempt to conceal his contempt for Binyamin Netanyahu, who he depicts as an arrogant bully causing poor Bill Clinton to use the F word No mention of what poor Bill thought of evil old Yassir after he effectively scuppered Clinton’s last attempts at peacemaking by instigating another Palestinian intefada.

In “My Life” written by president Clinton, he wrote that Arafat once complimented Clinton by telling him, “You are a great man.” Clinton responded; “I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you made me one.”

Throughout the article Bowen continually refers to what “the Palestinians want” for their state. He completely ignores one thing. They do not just want a small amount of territory in Jerusalem, because they do not want Israel to have any territory at all. For the Palestinians, one inch would be too much, because there is an inherent and virulent hatred for Jews at the heart of their religion. Bowen and his ilk will never tackle that, maybe because it’s unpalatable, or perhaps it’s because they feel the same.