Happy Birthday!

Over at CiFWatch they’ve been comparing two reports about Hamas’s 23rd Birthday celebrations and wondering why there was nothing in the Guardian to mark the happy event.

Al-Jazeera, not particularly known for its pro-Israel bias, generously shares the information that “the tight Israeli siege has made Hamas increasingly unpopular.” Yes, unpopular.

The BBC, on the other hand, hasn’t noticed this at all.

CiFWatch has:

“But the BBC? Hamas is unpopular? Perish the thought. Dear old Auntie instead stresses the “tens of thousands”, the “throngs” of supporters who – of their own free will of course – “filled the streets of Gaza” to watch the festive green balloons and listen to the tinny martial music and hear how, “Hamas leader Ismail Haniya says the Islamist movement is committed to Palestinian national reconciliation in order to fight the Israeli occupation”. How noble! But, any thoughts instead of making peace with Israel for the good of all? Thought not.”

Back at the BBC website, Jon Donnison describes the scene.

“But on the whole, the atmosphere was festive – a day out or a big picnic, participants said. Many were bussed in by Hamas organisers from across the Gaza Strip. Occasionally, I saw an Israeli flag being burned.

He probably supplied the matches.

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18 Responses to Happy Birthday!

  1. Pounce says:

    I mentioned this angle on Tuesday, but come on this is the bBC why should they feel they are doing something wrong when reporting on their  ideological masters. I mean have you ever seen them bitch about:
    Saudi Arabia

    But anybody who stands up against their masters :
    Current Egyptian government
    UK border agency 
    This blog

    Us deemed evil incarnate and must be destroyed. Which is why they are currently doing their bit as the mouth piece of Hezb-allah in which to try and legitimize their existence. in light of that UN report.


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Unpopular?  Not strengthening their hand?  That’s the second time this month we’ve learned that the BBC’s reporting about an enemy of Israel is the exact opposite of reality.


  3. Craig says:

    Jon Donnison was on The World Tonight last night.

    Robin Lustig introduced his piece like this:

    “There can’t be many places that are less congenial to an Olympic athlete than the Gaza Strip, that narrow sliver of land between Israel and Egypt that’s often called by its Palestinian residents “the world’s biggest open air prison”. But as our correspondent Jon Donnison reports even in Gaza there’s at least one runner who’s determined to make it to London.”

    Donnison’s report told us that Nader al-Masri is not only running for himself but also “for Palestine”. He quote al-Masri saying that he finished last in his heat in Beijing “because of the lack of training facilities in Gaza.” And the reason for that? Because “Gaza is under blockade”.



    • sue says:

      Reminds me of the campaign for this fellow. Eddie Mair took it up, and we heard about it relentlessly on PM.
      The poor chap couldn’t complete his business studies course at Bradford Uni because he had gone home to Gaza to get married and was stranded there by the blockade.
      Never mind, he seems to have mede a career out of it since.


      • RGH says:

        You don’t mean the ‘NUS Black Student of the Year 2008’ who looks, being an Arab, remarkably pale . But black isn’t black but white is definitly hideous in those circles unless you are black.

        Oh, I give up!


    • TrueToo says:

      Craig, I heard that on the World Service. But the report I heard was by Tim Franks, unless they made a mistake and named Donnison as Franks. I thought, oh hell Franks is back.

      Donnison or Franks or whoever, it was typical BBC fare – if it were not for the miserable conditions in Gaza, Palestinian athletes would be world class. Right.


      • Craig says:

        Yes, Tim Franks is back! That piece you heard is now on the BBC Sports website. The one on the World Tonight was definitely by Jon Donnison (his voice is very different to Tim Franks).

        So that means that two BBC journalists have covered the same minor story on the same day, both pushing precisely the same anti-Israeli angle.


        • TrueToo says:

          Thanks for that. Yes their voices are very different. Glad I wasn’t dreaming.

          It really is manufactured news. This poor, downtrodden Gazan runs the 5000 metres two minutes slower than the top guys. And we are expected to believe that if only conditions were better he would be a top contender.


    • deegee says:

      And the reason Israeli athletes don’t compete in the top ranks of distance runners is …?
      And the reason Ethiopian, Kenyan and Moroccan athletes do so well in the same sports is …?
      And the reason Nader al-Masri is called al-Masri (literally the Egyptian) is …? Oh, I can answer that one. Towards the end of the 19th century and early 20th the Ottoman Turkish rulers encouraged emigration to the area now described as Palestine but then divided into three administrative units controlled from Beirut, Hijaz and Jerusalem. The concurrent Jewish emigration in the same period also brought work which further encouraged emigration. In the South the emigrants mostly came from Egypt.


  4. RGH says:

    This is what it is like on the ground. Israel really has very little to do with ‘Palestinian’ specifically Gazan athletes training issues.

    “Sports sends a message to the world that we are a civilized people,” says coach Majid Abu Maraheel, the first Palestinian athlete to compete in the Olympics, as young trainees sprinted past him at Gaza’s Al-Yarmouk stadium. “Both Fatah and Hamas leaders must realize that we want sports to represent Palestine – not to represent the factions.”

    The runners once practiced free of charge on this track field. Now Hamas charges the team a fee, and they can’t always afford it. So the Olympic trainees sometimes run on Gaza’s streets, pockmarked by war. When they do meet at Al-Yarmouk stadium, they run under an enormous portrait of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.


  5. Pounce says:

    RGH writes:
    ” When they do meet at Al-Yarmouk stadium, they run under an enormous portrait of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.” 

    Having lived in the Middle East it never fails to amaze me how that Islamic tenet which forbids pictures of human faces goes out of the window when it comes to leaders for life. I’m surprised the bBC have never got round to mentioning this?


  6. Pounce says:

    Ah they have turned up, now if only I can get my new copy of webroot spy-sweeper to load.


  7. Phil says:

    Hamas is not popular at the BBC.

    The huge army of well paid drones mass manufacturing the BBC’s vast output of dross like Eastenders, Casualty and the corporation’s huge amount of teeny-bopper radio probably don’t even know who Hamas are or that it exists.

    A tiny portion of the BBC thinks it knows about Hamas. Given the rubbish the rest of the corporation produces only an idiot would take any notice of them.  


  8. sue says:

    Did anyone else notice, when they were discussing crowd control and kettling on Saturday Live with Professor Keith Still, they suddenly brought in ‘Gaza, the world’s largest prison’.
     The children’s writer Michael Morpurgo recounted an incident in which four Palestinian children were “shot by Israelis in those turrets.” They all tutted knowingly, before returning to the more relevant aspects of the topic, such as the Hajj and the student protests.

    If anyone tenacious ever attempts to collate the number of references per day that are casually bandied about on the BBC which compound this sort of selective half-understood Israel bashing, I’d love to see the result.


    • Craig says:

      That would be a tall order Sue!

      A recent report on The World Tonight about tunnels used by Mexican drug smugglers to smuggle drugs into the U.S. began by suggesting that the tunnels used to get unspecified things into Gaza might have been their inspiration (though a comparison to Mexican drug smugglers is hardly flattering to the Palestinians!)