Being Partial

Attacking Israel with malice aforethought is one of this country’s favourite pastimes. From grave political misrepresentation emanating from MPs and broadcasters, to gossip and urban myth perpetuated by press, television, journalists and chatterati.

For example, a misdiagnosis of the PaliLeaks revelations is firmly embedded in public consciousness.

Despite being filtered through sources with infamously anti-Israel agendas – the Guardian and Al-Jazeera – the consensus is that the Palestinian negotiators were weak, cravenly offering everything to the swaggering intransigent Israelis.
This interpretation sabotages the PA, the peace process and damages Israel’s image even further, if that is conceivable. Without taking the trouble to ask themselves cui bono, who benefits, they adopt this theory and stick with it. Go Figga.

Swallowing this interpretation has a prerequisite., which boils down to believing that Israel is simply wrong. Wrong to defend itself, wrong to be Jewish and wrong to be in Muslim Lands.

Imagine, if you will, that Israel’s deputy foreign minister was a nice chap. Imagine that he applauded what the Egyptian people have been striving for. Imagine, as if your imagination was huge and boundless, that this man was Danny Ayalon, and you saw that he was good, and fair, and personable, and without a nasty foreign accent. Then suspend your disbelief, and with a gigantic effort imagine that John Humphrys didn’t interrupt this, this, this…silver-tongued trickster. This is getting too much.
Snap! You’re back in the room.

Here comes Jeremy Bowen. He couldn’t believe it either. “Of course you’re getting a partial view” he spluttered, because he hadn’t got a leg to stand on.

Imagine! Jeremy Bowen accusing someone of having a partial view!
No, not really. Jeremy Bowen simply believes Israel is wrong. Wrong to defend itself, wrong to be Jewish and wrong to exist.

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43 Responses to Being Partial

  1. ltwf1964 says:

    the sound of ahmed ali bowen spluttering……

    what nicer way to begin the day

    wouldn’t it be great if he was like that all the time?


    • john in cheshire says:

      I look forward to the day when he’s been replaced by someone else. Hopefully someone who actually reports on situations and refrains from giving his biased and partisan views.


  2. Demon1001 says:

    It seemed to me as if the dirty duo were trying to talk up the prospect of war.  Wouldn’t they be there cheerign as Israel was attacked from all sides.

    I can imagine the two scenarios:

    1) Israel attacked but rediscovers its old brilliance and holds off the Arab armies – Bowen “This is a totally disproportionate response by Israel, totally unprovoked.”  He would be crying into his cornflakes on that one.


    2) Israel can no longer keep the Islamic conquerers at bay – Bowen “Well, Israel should have negotiated.  This was always on the cards if they continued with the policy they adopted.  They have no one to blame but themselves.”  He would not be able to keep the look of triumph out of his eyes and that ridiculous smirk of his.


  3. hippiepooter says:

    Humphrys’ interview with Ayalon I found faultless till 5 mins in the Guardian Palilieaks meme kicked in, and even then, compared to how he can fairly often be, it was quite mild.  
    Bowen had to kick off with what might be considered as – if only because it comes from him – an anti-Israel barb.  “An Israel partial view”?  What could that be supposed to mean?  ‘Ayalon sounded nice and reasonable but dont be fooled’?, as Sue seems to be suggesting, or something else?  What followed, by Bowen’s standards in my view, didn’t give much to object to.  
    The BBC I feel, have had far worse days in covering Israel.  
    This and this I would submit are far better examples of ‘look no hands’ virulent anti-Semitism at its finest.


    • sue says:

      I’d say the 5 minute faultlessness on Humphry’s part was solely due to the fact that he didn’t interrupt.
      The examples you linked to were indeed egregious, but Jeremy Bowen is the BBC’s impartial Middle East Editor, and he had the impudence to accuse the deputy foreign minister of Israel of partiality!
      I find that outrageous on many levels.
      1. Of course Danny Ayalon was partial! He was speaking for his country! (But in fact he was more objective than any call of duty might deem necessary.)
      2. Bowen was speaking for the BBC.  You know, the ones with the impartial genes.
      3. Have you ever heard him say of any Palestinian spokesperson “Of course, that was partial?” I haven’t.

      And I did blog about both of the other examples you mention as you know, so  if you’re implying that by virtue of being more virulent they somehow make this one less worthy of criticism, I completely and totally disagree. (But I defend your right to say so.)


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        It seems gratuitous for Bowen to point out to the audience that Ayalon was giving a partisan viewpoint.  Of course he’s there to give Israel’s side of the story.  But Bowen felt it was necessary to undermine it by making sure everyone knew it was merely an opinion and not to be taken as fact.

        Rhetorical question: Would Bowen – or any Beeboid – dare do the same thing for a guest from an Arab government discussing Israel?


      • hippiepooter says:

        Yeah, as indicated above, I wasn’t too sure what Bowen was trying to say by his ‘partial’ comment, but yeah, in the context you put it which seems the most likely, an extremely partial comment.  ‘Bowen down’ to the anti-Semitic narrative, as always.  I guess he was pretty frustrated that Ayalon didn’t leave him with any ‘low-hanging’ fruit to attack, so just said what he had lined up to say instead without being able to justify it.


  4. Abandon Ship! says:

    Bowen was recently made illegal under international law


  5. sue says:

    I’ve just watched Tony Blair on Sky being interviewed by another sage analyst of the Palileaks revelations. Hasn’t the Peace process been irrevocably damaged now? Mustn’t the Israelis at least make some concessions?
    The misconception that the Israelis have been stubborn, land grabbing, intransigent, inflexible is almost a total inversion of the actualité, but because it has well and truly become embedded in our brains, Tony Blair cannot refute it without losing credibility, so he has to deflect it with a clever sideways manoeuvre. “A definite offer was not on the table,” he said, “It never got that far”
    I think he knew very well what was and is going on, but our prejudices and biases have gagged him. The truth dare not speak its name.


  6. Umbongo says:


    Call me naive, but this particular comment – to the effect that the remarks of the deputy foreign minister of Israel can be ignored because they were “partial” to Israel – left even me stunned.  His follow up remark, that he’d chatted to a few people in Cairo (presumably either through an interpreter or because his chattees were all fluent English speakers – Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East editor I emphasise, does not apparently do Arabic) and could reassure us that the Moslem Brotherhood will have little influence in the future of Egyptian politics.  After all, as the great analyser informed us, religious extremism is foreign to Egypt.  Tell that to the Copts and, more to the point, the ancient Egyptian-Jewish community whose members were largely murdered or expelled post the establishment of Israel (particularly post 1956).

    On a wider point, although this site is dedicated to highlighting BBC bias, just as obvious is the failure of the BBC correspondents to do the basics of journalism: telling us what’s happening on the basis of either some understanding of the subject matter or just telling us who said what and the background of those trying to tell us things.  As I’ve commented before, Bowen knows as little or as much about what’s happening in Egypt as a well-informed literate individual sitting in North London.  Certainly, Bowen’s analyses are so blindingly vacuous and biased as to be not just risible but useless.  Peston has no idea how banks – or the City or regulation – work (or don’t work).  The reporters on climate change either have no idea (or, more likely, prefer to ignore) how “science” operates.  As David Prieser constantly reveals, BBC correspondents in the US have no idea how that great democracy actually functions.

    However, ignorance doesn’t stop BBC correspondents opining as if they had an arcane or substantial in-depth knowledge of their subjects hidden from the little people.  Of course, the opinions aired are set in stone before the correspondent gets near a microphone (or even gets a job) and any investigation undertaken by BBC journalists is dedicated not to seeking a possibly unwelcome truth but to provide the underpinning (no matter how shaky) to pre-conceived opinion.

    “Dedicated to broadcasting bias based on wilful ignorance” is a far more appropriate motto for the BBC than “Nation shall speak peace unto nation”.


    • John Anderson says:

      Umbongo – superb


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Peston knows how banking works, as far as the gory details of transactions and networks and financing.  You just don’t want him making policy, because it would be a Brownian disaster.


  7. sue says:

    Nail on the head again. I hate the “like” button, but I’ll make a special exception for this post.


  8. Jock McKnock says:

    I see the ‘Egyptian Revolution’ is already producing incredible new freedoms:-

     ‘Egypt’s military says it plans to ban strikes’

    Why has the execrable BBC been allowed to gush utter rubbish over what was clearly an orchestrated military coup, not a revolution.

    Unchallenged on 5 live reporters were describing the event as ‘more important than the fall of the Berlin wall’

    Unsurprisingly Bowen was one of the worst offenders, closely followed by the pompous self regarding windbag Simpson. 


  9. deegee says:

    One thing we know for sure about Palileaks: The Palistinians totally deny they made those offers. As seen by this link the BBC is quite aware of the denial. It does not however note that the press statement of Jan 24 from the PLO Negotiation Affairs Department is still online as the ‘official position’.

    In the past few hours, a number of reports have surfaced regarding our positions in our negotiations with Israel, many of which have misrepresented our positions, taking statements and facts out of context. Other allegations circulated in the media have been patently false. But any accurate representation of our positions will show that we have consistently stood by our people’s basic rights and international legal principles.

    That can be interpreted in different ways.
    1) They are telling the truth and there is no one realistic enough to know that negotiation requires genuine concessions
    2) They are lying when they deny them because they don’t trust their own people. In other words the offers have no value if Palestinian side can’t or won’t deliver on promises or worse will mean a death sentence for the negotiators.
    3) They were lying to the Israelis and had no intention of ever delivering on them.


  10. Charlie says:

    At least Danny Ayalon was allowed to speak uninterrupted, which makes a change. If, however, he had been invited to a British University to discuss Middle East politics he would have been howled down. 

    “Call me naive, but this particular comment – to the effect that the remarks of the deputy foreign minister of Israel can be ignored because they were “partial” to Israel – left even me stunned.”

    Me too.


  11. NotaSheep says:

    I have complained to the BBC – – but I doubt it will be any more worthwhile than my previous complaints.


  12. Dr A says:

    Bowen is a fool. He cannot string a sentence together. I have come to rather enjoy his live spots  purtely for comic value – a sort of “spot the grammatical suicide bomb” game. I mean, he is so stupid that he actually criticises the Israeli deputy foreign minister for being …. “partial”. Can you get much stupider than that?

    But his – and the BBC’s – Israel hatred is not at all funny. IMHO the BBC should simply ban the BBC. Allow every other news organisation in the world – from Al Jazeera to Hamastan Times – but kick the stinking BBC out.

    Yup, all 6556975322 of them. 


  13. Demon1001 says:

    Dr A,

    I think you meant Israel ought to ban the BBC, but if the BBC would ban themselves I wouldn’t object either.


  14. cjhartnett says:

    I too heard this and was appalled-not surprised though!
    It being “our BBC” , the likes of Bowen are grotesquely paid to spout their “partiality” and have it unchallenged as “opinion”.

    Ayalon could not have been more reasonable, yet  his words are twisted into a sword for the Umma by Jim Bowen!( Bullseye!)

    Why on earth do we put up with this-hope that the Israeli Embassy get an apology, given that the Mexicans got one for far worse abuse. In fact, Clarkson or Hammond are probably better informed on the Middle East that Bowen and his wannabe Arafats!

    Question Time/Any Questions/World at One/ Womans Hour/Libby bloody Purvis(does that fatuous harpie EVER take a break?)…and of course the ludicrous gummy bear that is the Toady Show…time for Dignitas to rise to the nations call to put us all out of our misery by culling poor old shows on life(actually licence)-support


  15. RCE says:

    I got this courtesy of the excellent (warning – it will make you very angry!)

    What is there to say?


  16. deegee says:

    Have just heard that Steven Sugar who first challenged the BBC to release the Balen Report under FoI has died at age 60. R.I.P.


  17. AndyUk06 says:

    I believe that ever since the death of his Arab driver friend in an unfortunate incident, Jeremy Bowen has had a bee in his bonnet ever since, and this has largely contributed to his stance. I sincerely think he is not up to the job of analysing the Middle East situation, a role for which he is handsomely paid.  He is nowhere near as clever as he seems to think he is: he merely has a knack for dispensing pious platitudes and personal opinons as though they were pearls of wisdom. 

    An example of Bowen’s ignorance would be:

    “The country’s only properly organised mass political movement outside the ruling party is the Muslim Brotherhood, and it would do very well in any free election.  Unlike the jihadis, it does not believe it is at war with the West. It is conservative, moderate and non-violent.”

    The Muslim Brotherhood is as far away from what the Egyptian people want as you can imagine.  They are outlawed in Egypt, and cannot legally participate in elections. In the past they circumvented the law by running under the guise of Independents and then voting as one block in parliament. They have no regard for fair play and always look for ways of bypassing laws.

    The founder of the Muslim brotherhood (Hassan Banna) in 1928 was a lover of Hitler, and even went to Germany to meet him and organized Muslim Arabs (SS) to exterminate the Jews. (

    The Muslim Brotherhood organized the assassination of Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha and the assassination of Al-Banna. They have a violent history.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      I have sympathy for Bowen’s personal feelings over the death of a friend like that.  I really do.  But the incident and his own admission of his feelings should have gotten him removed from the region right then.  It’s an editorial failure and failure of integrity at the BBC that they let him stay on and tell you to trust him as the editor for the region.


    • deegee says:

      Bowen surrounds himself with fixers who are either directly employed by the most radical Arabs, as probably was the driver because of his Hizbullah connections, or Israelis, who fall politically completely outside the Israeli concensus, and seek to use the BBC to damage it.  


  18. Shay says:

    In the BBC2 programme this evening “Geert Wilders: Europe’s Most Dangerous Man?” the makers seem unsure as to which is the more evil, Wilders or the Joos – well “Zionists” as the left like to call them in their non-racial way. The programme spends much time on Wilders links with Israel & his support for that state. Is he an Israeli spy they quietly ask. Perhaps being a Zionist is the only possible motive for being concerned about the growing influence of Islam in Europe.


    • deegee says:

      Is he an Israeli spy they quietly ask?
      Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see this programme until someone uploads it to Youtube. Did they literally ask that?


  19. Michael J says:

    Yes the programme about Wilders was extraordinary. I think what the leftist film-makers (natch) were trying to prove was that the evil joooos are behind it all.

    You know, sometimes I actually hope the islamists take over – at least they’ll hang a few stinking Beeboids.


    • John Horne Tooke says:

      Yes it must be difficult for the BBC to understand why some Europeans do not want to go back to the Dark Ages. Why have Christianity when we can have full blown Islam.

      “On Christmas Eve, 38 Christians were killed in Nigeria (2,000 were murdered earlier in the year); on Christmas Day, a Catholic chapel was bombed in the Philippines by an al-Qaida funded group; on Dec. 30, there were 11 bomb attacks on Christians in Iraq (58 were murdered on Oct. 31 at a Catholic cathedral); during the Christmas season, Iran arrested dozens of Christians who were former Muslims; and on New Year’s Day, at least 23 Catholics were killed during Mass in Egypt (the killings were justified by clerics in Mauritania, and Iran’s official TV organ blamed Jews). Moreover, Saudi Arabia makes it illegal to practice Christianity; Yemen is threatening to expel Christian workers; Christians who feed starving Somalis are targeted for murder; churches in Indonesia have been ravaged; and two million Christians have been murdered by Sudanese Muslims over the past two decades (many were crucified).”

      As Sandy Tostig once said “I fear the Christian right”.


    • hippiepooter says:

      Beeboids will be their pet dhimmis – especially the homosexual ones!


  20. TrueToo says:

    Found something OK about BBC output. Reminds me of the old joke, adapted to fit the organisation: If you can see light at the end of the BBC tunnel, you’re facing the wrong way.Ros Atkins of World Have Your Say hosted an interesting programme on the Muslim Brotherhood, putting questions from listeners around the world to two senior members of the MB. The questions were tough and Ros pulled no punches and would not let his guests get away with their evasive answers. Ros got it right, unlike the awful Choe Tilly, who basically just stood aside and let the comrades of the revolution take over the programmes she hosted.

    Credit where it’s due.

    Your questions to the Muslim Brotherhood

    Programme will be available to download for a week.