Don’t Mention the War

“Six months ago nine Turkish activists were killed attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The wave of international condemnation which followed led Israel to announce an easing of the blockade, but this week 22 Aid agencies issued a report saying it had made little difference on the ground. “

That’s from the programme information from the Sunday Programme’s website. It immediately reveals where the writer’s sympathy lies. Why? Because despite all the evidence that has emerged since the Mavi Marmara incident, they still present the nine who died as righteous and wronged, and gratuitously mention ‘international condemnation of Israel’ to endorse their own condemnation, and to remind us of Israel’s universal unpopularity.
Hanan Elmasu from Christian Aid said matters haven’t improved for Palestinians in the five months since the blockade was eased. She said the blockade is not necessary as you can ‘lift the blockade and meet Israel’s security needs’. Somehow or other. She was concerned that Palestinian children see their parents standing in line for food vouchers, adding erroneously, by accident or design, that ‘Gaza remains under occupation’.
Mark Regev was given the opportunity to respond, on a bad line because of the fires raging in Northern Israel. He began by thanking us for sending two helicopters. Understandably he sounded tired and distracted. He explained that Hamas is Israel’s enemy, not the Palestinian people. They are the victims of that extreme regime.
It must be tiresome to have to repeat time after time, to people who aren’t listening, that Israel is under constant threat. The BBC’s starting point is the problem. It hinges on their sentimental attachment to Palestinians, whom they naively picture as gentle folk with donkeys and olive-groves; somehow they are completely unwilling to recognise the Palestinian leaders’ visceral hatred for Jews and their unshakeable determination to eliminate Israel.
That, combined with the deliberate suppression of abundant substantive evidence of Hamas’s and Hezbollah’s genocidal intentions.

The BBC is content to approach the situation in Gaza as though a state of war did not exist. They continually push the idea that the blockade is wrong. Although we encourage the use of sanctions against our own enemies before resorting to the use of force, they have decided that Israel must use neither force nor sanctions.

The Sunday programme ended with two items on its favourite religion. A celebration of the East London Mosque. ‘A cultural centre and an integral part of community life’. We are told that the Mosque educates the community and brings it together. Hosting radical Anwar al-Awlaki who supported the Fort Hood shooting was an ‘administrative oversight,’ a spokesperson assures us. There has been some criticism of the strain of conservative Islam perpetuated by this mosque, but Islam is an ideological matter. They decide whether you should have photos in your home, and whether Muslim children should be protected from ‘UnIslamic’ matters such as music, art and school trips. How sweet.

Immediately after this generous portrayal of the East London Mosque, we hear that a hard-line muslim cleric in Pakistan, during Friday prayers, has offered a reward to anyone who will kill a Christian woman who is already facing death for blasphemy.

These three items are, apparently, unconnected.

I caught Yvette Cooper telling Andrew Marr that she had been to the Middle East, as shadow foreign secretaries are wont to do.
Did you learn anything new?” asked Marr.
What is important,” she replied sweetly, “are the personal stories. The Palestinian families separated from their olive trees by The Wall. and the children deprived of their football pitch.
“I don’t know why they must build these beastly walls, “ she seemed to imply, “it’s so spiteful”
“Oh, yes, and I talked to the parents of a Jewish soldier who was kidnapped by Hamas.” she added, remembering balance. A Jewish soldier, kidnapped? Was she implying that as a combatant, he was asking for it? And was she assuming that the audience had not heard of Gilad Shalit’s four year incarceration by evil terrorists Hamas? Perhaps she herself had not.

Fires are raging in Northern Israel, and Israel’s enemies rejoice.

“, owned and operated by Aljazeera Publishing, published a series of posts about the fire raging through Northern Israel which can only be described as a celebration of the death, carnage, and misery caused by the blaze. “
Should the BBC report this?

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10 Responses to Don’t Mention the War

  1. deegee says:

    they are completely unwilling to recognise the Palestinian leaders’ visceral hatred for Jews and their unshakeable determination to eliminate Israel.

    The hatred and determination is not restricted to the leadership.


    • sue says:

      As a rabid propagandist and inhabitant of Sue-world, that was an attempt at being circumspect. I have to watch out.
      I always try and modify my words, believe it or not, in order not to antagonise people unnecessarily.
      I’m sure many Palestinians feel as strongly as their leaders, possibly more so, but if they don’t, do they have much choice in expressing that?  If I err, I do so on the side of caution.

      All pro-Israel blogs accept the BBC’s anti-Israel agenda as a given, and most contributors seem to feel  it’s a lost cause.  They’ve given up on the conventional complaints procedures.

      BBC followers and lefties reflexively block out everything pro-Israel as though they’re afraid of catching something nasty if they listen. I fancifully thought there was a possibility of catching people unaware, here, on a non specialised blog, where someone might read something before they had a chance to dismiss it as Zionist propaganda.  However, this site has already managed to acquire a pro-Israel label, so it looks as though my efforts are in vain. I attract hostility. Boo Hoo.


  2. Craig says:

    Excellent piece Sue.    
    I see Nick Cohen is strongly criticising the Sunday Programme’s take on the East London Mosque, calling it “one of the most cowardly pieces of journalism in years”.


  3. DP111 says:


    <b>The Secret Halal Meat Scandal</b>

    This is the sort of news that the BBC should be telling us – the vast majority of non-Muslims in the UK. If we were selling non-halal meat to Muslims though, the BBC would have never stopped screaming about it.

    Make your own protest by simply choosing where you buy from.

    ALL New Zealand lamb is halal.

    Sainsbury, Tesco, ASDA, COOP, Waitrose, are NO GO for me from now for meat.

    MORRISONS is the only one that does not have the Muslim shahada said over it.


    • Natsman says:

      I have to be honest, even though I’m no fan of Islam (or any other religion for that matter), to me lamb is lamb, and very tasty it is too.  I really don’t give a stuff about its religious provenance. Same with pork, beef, fowl, burgers, sausages…


  4. deegee says:

    Christian Aid is an interesting group whose website seems to lack any connection to Christianity. No crosses, no Christ, no scriptural quotes, no recommendations by well-known church people on the homepage.

    There is a link to Churches (7th from the left on the top menu) which seems to show how little priority is given to it. Nor is any aid specifically targeted at Christians in need or distributed by local Christians, even in Gaza. The ‘M’ word is conspicuously missing.


    • NotaSheep says:

      I refuse to give money to Chritsian Aid because of their position on Israel. I blogged about this last year –

      Take a look at Christian Aid’s “Policy Reports” section of their website. It’s split into 10 areas: “Poverty over, Tax, Climate change, Trade, Middle East, HIV/AIDS, Private sector and development, Disaster preparedness, Rights and justice and Occasional Paper Series”. That’s odd just one geographical area gets its own section – The Middle East. Let’s investigate further.

      How many reports are their in each policy area?

      Poverty over – One report comprising two “policy papers”

      Tax – 10 reports including one on Latin America, one on Africa’s mineral wealth, one on Sierra Leone and several on taxation

      Climate change – 11 reports on this touchstone of the “concerned left”

      Trade – 12 reports on this area

      Middle East – Eight reports of which seven relate to Israel & the Palestinians and one to Iraq – I will return to this area at the bottom of this list

      HIV/AIDS – Seven reports

      Private sector and development – Three reports

      Disaster preparedness – One report

      Rights and justice – Three reports

      Occasional Paper Series – Three reports

      So Christian Aid reference 58 reports on their website. Only one area of the world gets its own section – The Middle East and within that section one conflict gets seven of the eight reports. How peculiar…

      Let’s take a look at Christian Aid’s descriptions of these eight reports:

      1. The Middle East Quartet: A Progress Report (2008)

      The Middle East Quartet (the EU, Russia, the UN, and the US) is failing to make adequate progress towards improving the lives of Palestinians or improving the prospects for peace in the region. That’s according to a new report by a coalition of 21 aid agencies and human rights organisations including Christian Aid.

      2. The Gaza Strip: A humanitarian implosion (2008)

      The situation for 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is worse now than it has ever been since the start of the Israeli military occupation in 1967. The current situation in Gaza is man-made, completely avoidable and, with the necessary political will, can also be reversed.

      3. Israel and Palestine: a question of viability (2007)

      Our policy report goes beyond the rhetoric to outline the essential elements we feel are necessary for a truly viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      4. Lifelines (2007)

      Case studies and campaign ideas to mark the start of the 40-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip in 1967.

      5. Facts on the ground: the end of the two-state solution (2004)

      The report details the strangulation of the Palestinian economy, as more land is taken from the West Bank for settler roads and settlements.

      6. Losing ground: Israel, poverty and the Palestinians (2003)

      Based on Christian Aid’s work with local organisations in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories over the last five decades, this report looks at how and why ordinary Palestinians find themselves in conditions of deepening poverty.

      7. Iraq: the missing billions – transition and transparency in post-war Iraq (2003)

      Our hard-hitting report exposed that the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority had not properly accounted for what it had done with some $20 billion of Iraq’s own money.

      8. One land and many voices: Strands of Christian thought about who lives in the Holy Land

      A brief overview of theological approaches to understanding the situation in the Holy Land.

      Seven reports on Israel and the Palestinians and all with a definite anti-Israel slant.


  5. Guest Who says:

    Blooming right wing rags…

    Oh, Jeremeeeeee…..