Kites for Peace

In the last couple of days there has been an extraordinary mish-mash of television on the subject of Islam and Israel. All but one sanitising Islam and denigrating Israel.
For example, yesterday’s hostile portrait of Geert Wilders BBC2 seen through thick-lensed left-wing specs. The filmmaker’s agenda was showing – almost embarrassingly – so hopefully no-one will have been persuaded to change their minds on the issue from watching it. One thing that stood out was the way the filmmaker saw Israel. He assumed that just a slight association with it was enough to turn Wilders into a villain. And the bit where he approached Wilders with his furry microphone, feebly bleating something unintelligible while Wilders and entourage swept past, then “See! He wouldn’t speak to me!” I found that hilarious.
Straight away, most people will have switched on to Dispatches Channel 4 for the Islamic Schools programme. I thought they were trying to stretch a tiny bit of material too far – they kept repeating bits of it – they should have concentrated more on the Ofsted inspectors, and asked why nobody seemed to suspect anything or care. Melanie Phillips has this.
Nevertheless, these contrasting items provide a good example of the art of television, showing how it can make you think one thing one minute, and another, the next.
Which brings me to the major four-parter on Channel 4, The Promise. The director has a left wing agenda, and he tries to pretend he hasn’t. Take a look at the website, see Lindsay Hilsum’s potted history which leaves out the important bits, read some of the tweets and comments, and weep. The audience thinks they’re being educated.

Then for desert, last night’s Newsnight with Michael Morpurgo. He’s been to Gaza, and he’s got it into his head that Israelis target children. It’s so firmly embedded in his brain that even though Paxman says “the Israelis don’t go in to deliberately target children” , and he admits that “It’s not that they they’re targeted”, it still pops back in a few seconds later, when he says “You can’t achieve peace by targeting children.”
Call me cynical, but I think I know whose side he’s on. Even Paxo had a tiny go at him, reminding him of the traumas suffered by Sderot children. Louise Ellman did well, but she missed a few opportunities. Of the malnutrition he witnessed – not caused by the blockade of course – she should have pointed out the lorryloads of goods that go into Gaza every day, not to mention the international aid that pours in. Where is it all? She should have mentioned the hate that is taught to the children, not in Israel, but in Gaza.

I wondered why the donkey cart with the allegedly injured child rushed past at the exact moment they were filming. But Pallywood makes you cynical. I’d also like to know exactly what the Israelis had to say about targeting children. Of course, as Jeremy Bowen would say, they’d be partial, so we shouldn’t believe them, which makes rather a mockery out of all reporting. The BBC could just get ‘impartial’ people to speculate, and stop bothering to verify or investigate anything. That’s what they already do on the telly, some broadcasters more than others.

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15 Responses to Kites for Peace

  1. dave s says:

    This Morpugo is supposed to understand the meaning of words. To target by definition implies a deliberate act or the word is meaningless.


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    At least Paxman made a tiny effort to stop the lie about targeting children.  How many times was it let through, though?


    • sue says:

      Yes he did. You could have knocked me down with a feather. But the way he dealt with this item, especially near the end, showed he really hasn’t a clue.


  3. familyjaffa says:

    I noticed the Murprgo comments in the Radio Times. His statements beg clarification. e.g. “.. I witnessed the shooting of a Palestinian boy, who had strayed too close to the great wall that surrounds Gaza”.
    1. Did he REALLY witness the shooting?
    2. Which great wall is that exactly?
    3. Why was the boy there?What was he doing in the buffer zone?
    “He was with his donkey and cart, …doing his work, gathering rubble to be recycled”
    4. Recycled for peaceful purposes? Or not? How does Murpurgo know for sure?
    ” I heard the shots fired, his screams of agony, saw the blood on his trousers, as the cart carrying him came rushing past taking him to hospital”
    5. So Murpurgo DIDN’T  witness the shooting then.That was a lie.
    6. Why no ambulance?
    ” Here was a child, imprisoned  and under siege, being deliberately targeted….”

    Drip, drip, drip, the poison is unending. And the ordinary man in the street absorbs it without even knowing it’s happening.

    The very same Radio Times has a half page spread (Pick of the Day- according to who, is my question) called True Stories:War child. showing on More 4. Documentary of the week, a follow up to a previous programme. A big almost half page picture showing “Nine-year -old Amal in what remains of her home after an Israeli attack”
    I have no idea if the programme is balanced or not, but the man in the street doesn’t even have to watch the programme to find the story. It’s all there in technicolor in the Radio Times. No context as to why the house was targeted, no statement to explain why the Israelis attacked a seemingly inocuous house. No need. The Radio Times reader has absorbed more of the poison.

    Drip, drip, drip. 


    • NotaSheep says:

      It is the drip, drip, drip that is the most evil part of the BBC bias. They know it works, most people absorb the narrative and so a country is turned to hate Israel and by extension Jews who do not vocally attack Israel themselves.


      • Andrew says:

        This is exactly it.  They are absolute masters of this and it goes hand in glove where their bias by omission, full in the knowledge that most people treat the Beeb as their principal news source in the UK.

        I was looking for something to blog about this morning and saw two stories in the JP that won’t make it to the BBC about Hamas blockading Israeli goods flowing into Gaza as well as exporting fuel through the tunnels into Sinai. That’s right this impoverished settlement can afford to blockade goods and export fuel that apparently they don’t have enough of.  Now wouldn’t that screw up the narrative if ever it got out:

        And before the Beeb could dismiss the stories and Israeli propaganda – ooh look! there are arab and Hamas sources backing up the stories.


        • Andrew says:

          Correction – I’m getting my facts slightly mixed up.  Hamas aren’t exporting fuel into Sinai, they’re exporting goods.  What they are doing is blockading Israeli fuel into Gaza.  Their alternate approach is to take fuel through a pipe in the tunnel network which is much more lucrative for them financially than the Israeli supply.  This is in response to the fact that the easing of restrictions by the Israelis means more goods flowing into Gaza, reduces reliance on the tunnel network which in turn means less money to Hamas.

          And we can’t have that now can we?


          • familyjaffa says:

            Robin Shepherd has noticed the same story.


            He ends with this comment:-

            “NB: So far, the only word about Gaza on the MidEast section of the BBC website is on something I wrote about in the last posting but one — the BBC’s celebration of a Gaza “war crimes” photo exhibition by a photographer whose work has compared Israel to Nazi Germany. But let’s just see what happens….”

            Well, nothing so far……………….


    • sue says:

      I thought Morpurgo was a well-meaning fool. Or a useful idiot. He did wonder whether his kite-flying therapy was naive, but somehow concluded that it was not.
      Obviously he had his agenda, based on a sentimental naivety about Gaza, but these people always pretend they’re supporters of Israel too, or perhaps they really believe they are. How can they be, without making any effort to understand what Israel faces? They can’t grasp the Islam-fueled hatred that underlies their hostility towards Jews, absorbed from the cradle to the grave.

      No matter what evidence there is, they refuse to see it. Reminds me of a certain member of my household looking for something. (It’s right in front of his face, obviously.)

      I thought I detected a nifty edit in the interview with the Gaza schoolchildren.
      When Morpurgo asked them if they could ‘get along with’ Israeli children, instead of giving an answer, the girl said she hoped maybe the Israeli children would grow up to be in the government and feel sorry for Gazan children. It seemed such an unlikely answer to that question. Maybe just something to do with the translation, but I suspect she said something a little less tolerant, and which the editors thought ‘unsuitable for purpose’.
      The other odd answer that didn’t exactly fit the question was when Paxo said the BBC had asked the Israelis if they shoot at children; the answer was slightly oblique. We were left with the impression that they confirmed it, but were trying to justify it. I find that hard to believe.


      • The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

        It’s an age old trick.  You wind up a load of kids and point them at the police or preferably soldiers.  If the police/soldiers don’t open fire you get one of ‘the lads’ to fire from behind the crowd at the police/soldiers and then count the dead martyrs when the smoke has cleared. (oh, and if they don’t open fire then the guy that fired the first shot will often chose an urchin or two for martyrdom).

        So, yes the Israelis do ‘target’ children.  If by ‘target’ you mean defend themselves and others from stone throwing proto-martyrs.  Just remember that a well aimed half-brick can kill you just as dead as a bullet.

        As for this idiots film, I take it we are all supposed to have forgotten Mohammed Al-Dura by now?


  4. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Don’t look now, but Morpurgo is going to have a full 50 minutes of uninterrupted air time tonight to put forth his views that, among other things, Israel deliberately targets children, brought to you by the BBC’s Richard Dimbleby Lecture series.

    So Paxman’s effort to correct him will go to waste.


  5. George R says:

    Mardell won’t like this, especially as it’s valid critique of Obama’s Egypt ‘policies’; with other references to Muslim Brotherhood and Israel by Prof Niall Ferguson:

    “How Obama blew it on Egypt” (5 min video)


  6. cjhartnett says:

    Luckily old Paxman is a bored old gummy bear of a presenter who really could do with a new challenge. Regent Centre last bus home from Salford maybe?

    Thia well-meaning old author is yet another useful idiot from central casting. He writes kiddies books,so it stands to reason that he will be an expert on Israel and the middle east does it not?

    Paxman also had a piece on “ejukayshun” too featuring some wannebe gangsta from the hood. He has a pop record out and is about all the man from the PRU provides ( joke here-but our Oxbidge chums won`t have a clue about this!) by way of pension these days. Still we get old Adonis on as ever to wipe Blairs hands after his ” thirteen years of investment and superb educational results”…look at Marcus Brigstocke and Russell Brand for example!


  7. familyjaffa says:

    “Honest reporting” has the same questions about Morpurgo’s “witnessing” the shooting of the Palestinian boy. In an interview in the Saunday Times, he states the same “facts” that were quoted in the Radio Times.

    It seems that ” Morpurgo certainly did not see the shooting itself but rather the aftermath.”

    As I said.


  8. Guest Who says:

    At least with the ‘sources say’ of a Robinson or Crick, you can immediately treat the account with the respect it deserves.

    But to spin things from conjecture into factual witnessing in this manner really is corrupting the profession’s credibility even more than the gutter level it already inhabits.