Defending Israel is not the same as preaching *Israel right or wrong.*
We have a tough time making our case especially when Israel does things we find hard to defend. But facing what Israel faces, we accept that it generally behaves with considerable restraint. As yet, we in the UK are not up against what Israel is up against, and who knows what we would do if we were.
What we “apologists” can do is point out the unfair way Israel is portrayed by the BBC. The recent hoohah about the ‘ white flag killings’ that are the subject of a report by Human Rights Watch is typical of one-sided reporting by the BBC. One-sided reporting of a one-sided report.
Even though near the end of the BBC article they allow: “an Israeli spokesman said the report lacked credibility because it was based on evidence from an area under Hamas control,” the general impression one gets is that the BBC does give the Human Rights Watch report considerable credibility.
Is this fair, thorough, or impartial, considering that it seems HRW did capitalise on their reputation for anti-Israel bias when currying favour with Saudi Arabia in a funding bid.
Not to mention the reputation of a certain Joe Stork a virulent Israel hater.
Even if that was not relevant, the evidence used in the report largely consists of eyewitness accounts extracted from interviews with interested parties and comprises little more than emotive tales of individual tragedies. Shocking, yes, but it can hardly be considered definitive data.
Does Human Rights Watch detail human rights violations perpetrated by Hamas in this emotive way? Do they forensically probe Hamas’s ploy of hiding behind the white flag to exploit the IDF’s tendency to obey the rules? If they did, their report might have some credibility. Even if all eleven ‘white flag’ incidents were cavalier war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers, and it could be proved that none were due to accidents, misunderstandings, exaggerations or embellishments in the reporting, does the perfunctory paragraph that pays lip-servivce to Human Rights Watch’s accusation that Hamas committed war crimes as well, constitute “proportionate” counterbalancing information?
If the BBC examined HRW’s reputation and scrutinised their methodology, it might add a little something to its claims of impartiality. What about a little interest in the paper from the Israel Ministry of foreign Affairs “The Operation in Gaza – Factual and Legal Aspects
Maybe even go the whole hog and give it similar prominence to that given to the Human Rights Watch report?