Them and Us

The way the recent upheavals in the Middle East have been reported by the BBC show clearly that it’s beyond their collective imagination to wonder whether the Arab/Islamic population is really and truly full of ordinary people just like us.

Even though Jon Donnison and Jeremy Bowen have spent considerable time in the Arab world, they still can’t grasp the concept that there is a “them and us” and that *their* worldview is antithetical to *ours* . Would Jeremy Bowen send his young relatives off to prosecute holy jihad wearing a suicide belt? Would Jon Donnison support the stoning of an adulteress or the limb amputation of a thief? Would he expect to enter Paradise if he copped it in the fog of struggle? Probably not. But they must know that these beliefs exist and can’t be shrugged off with a casual “I’m sure they don’t really mean it.”
The BBC’s reporting on the escalation of attacks from Gaza is an example of this moral equivalence. Towards the end, the BBC’s report demonstrates how the writer identifies with Hamas, “Last month saw some of the worst violence since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December 2008, says the BBC’s Jon Donnison in Gaza.” reminding us as usual, of Cast Lead.
“In one week in March, at least 10 Palestinians – including several civilians and children – were killed by Israeli attacks” Donnison begins, adding:
“In the same period, militants in Gaza fired more than 80 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel.”
This implies that Israel killed “several” (how many?) innocents, then Hamas responded, pitifully, killing no-one.
“Hamas had pledged to try to restore a ceasefire that ended on 16 March when an Israeli air strike killed two of its militants in the Palestinian territory.”
This makes no sense. Would or could Hamas ‘try to restore’ a ceasefire that was allegedly broken by Israel?
“However, Israel said it had suffered “bouts of terror and rocket attacks.”
Israel said? Hamas has pledged? Which is more reliable, a *say* or a *pledge*?
“Despite recent calls for calm, neither side seems to be able to stop firing, our correspondent says. Both say the other started it. Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for all attacks coming out of Palestinian territory, even if it is other militant groups carrying them out”
Read Melanie Phillips and Honest Reporting on that kind of remark.

While I’m at it – “Attack on Bus” Why does Hamas attack just *a bus?* Is ‘damaging a bus’ their intention? When rockets land without killing any Israelis, is that intentional?
Also, when is a teenaged boy a child? When he’s a Palestinian, of course. Israeli children are ‘people’ or teenagers, young Palestinian resistance fighters are counted as children till they get the key of the door.
The invariable chronological inversion of attack and retaliation and the habitual emphasis on the retaliation and downplaying of the provocation is automatic for the BBC. Not many people used to know that, but thankfully more and more people are starting to notice.
Even Sky has:
“The violence began when Gazan militants launched an anti tank-missile at a school bus in an apparently deliberate escalation.”

The BBC prefers to begin their article by concentrating on Israel’s military might, emoting a disproportionate response to a damaged bus.
“Israeli tanks, helicopters and planes have struck Gaza after an anti-tank missile fired from the Palestinian territory hit a bus in southern Israel.”
If the BBC understood what is happening it could have speculated that the escalation in hostilities might be related to the “Arab Spring.” It might have occurred to someone that Hamas has been emboldened by the the Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood’s prospective rise to prominence throughout the Arab world.
Here’s a quote from a thought-provoking article everyone should read.

And, as in much other coverage of the Middle East, the journalists – take a bow, BBC – did not bother to exercise the elementary functions of their craft: to be inquisitive, to question assumptions, to look beyond the overheated excitement. Having written the script, they were determined to stick to it in breathless, eye-moistening interviews – “live and direct from Tahrir Square” – with self-selecting, highly educated, English-speaking protesters.

And just as the media made their bizarre extrapolations and re-wrote the script, they also changed their language. In less than a month, Mubarak had made the seamless transition from “moderate, pro-Western Egyptian president” to “corrupt, tyrannical dictator”.

I blogged something like this myself not so long ago.

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13 Responses to Them and Us

  1. pounce_uk says:

    I’ve been saying for a while now that all of these Gaza based attacks is but an attempt by Islamic terrorists in which to get Israel to hit back hard and inflame the Islamic world. Just think if Israel were to hit a school bus with an anti-tank missile of how much time and effort the bBC would spend in informing the world of how evil the Jews are.  
    Yes you know those Jews who drink the blood of children, who have no problem attacking poor Palestinians in Gaza after somebody there has launched a home -made rocket which usually causes no damage in Israel. I quote from the bBC insert on the above article:  
    “Israel, where casualties are rare, is under pressure from its border communities to punish militants in Gaza for any attacks.” 
    Now while the idiots and the ill informed will see the above as an example of how nasty the Jews are, it doesn’t tell the story of how the reason why causalities are rare is because Israel spends money on protecting its own. Be it First Aid, Shelters, Attack drills or even handing out gas masks. (FFS why is nobody mentioning why a country in this day and age hands out gas masks to the population?)  
    The whole ethos of Israel is in protecting its own. I mean look at Trophy, Iron dome and Arrow. All these systems are defensive and so are designed to save lives 
    Hamas under the funding of Iran and the sponsorship of the bBC tries to find new ways in which to kill, not only the Jews but its own by launching attacks from and near centres of population. (Schools, hospitals and homes)   
    Of course the sole aim of Islamic terrorism getting the likes of the bBC on their side is to ostracize Israel from the worlds communities. This they have done very well with their one-sided reporting. Which is why anti-Semitism is on the rise in the UK (Yup the same liberal and left idiots who proclaim that the actions of one Muslims cannot be used to condemn all Muslims have no problem saying otherwise when it comes to Jews) and why it is fashionable to attack Israel. In a day and age when the plebs in Islamic lands are fighting and dying in which to be free from tyrannical regimes more time and effort is devoted in which to highlight Israel as more of an issue for the worlds Muslims, than how more of the worlds Muslims are oppressed by the teachings of Islam. (Israel: total population 7 million, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. Libya over 140 million)

    Then there’s the little matter of intolerances; you know such as human rights, the death penalty, gay rights, freedom of religion and of course woman’s rights. Not one Islamic country no matter how liberal folks say it is has got rid of the death penalty, not one Islamic country no matter what the liberals say affords equality to Women or Gays. Israel does yet in the warped mindset of the luvies at the bBC only Israel out of the entire region can be held accountable for human rights abuses. Hey, I’m not saying Israel is completely innocent, but after 60 years of attacks from all angles its little surprise to see some folks starting to say f—k it and treat others as they themselves have been treated since time began.
    Funny that, Jews who have been walking around with a target on their backs since the time of the Pharaohs, are coincided to be evil for standing up to the local bullies. Those bullies on the otherhand who have used violence in which to get their way from Medina to France in the West, India in the East, Kenya to the south and Chechnya to the North in a little over 60 years and stayed is considered to not only be a victim but a relgion of peace.


  2. Davieboy says:

    “Israel, where casualties are rare….both sides seem unable to see the other’s perspective” – a couple of the most depicable comments ever on the BBC, and that says a lot. What’s to see when an anti-tank missile is lobbed at a school-bus with the explicit aim to maim & murder Israeli kids? Of course to the bBC it’s just a bus, not a brightly painted yellow school-bus.


    • Umbongo says:

      “Of course to the bBC it’s just a bus”

      If only: to the BBC it’s an Israeli bus carrying Israelis.  To the BBC, the Israelis are the untermenschen in this conflict (reference intended).  In every BBC report and analysis an Israeli life, an Israeli child, an Israeli casualty is weighed against a Palestinian life/child/terrorist/casualty and found wanting.


  3. joseph sanderson says:

    Amazing, Hamas declares it wants a ceasefire straight after attempting to murder school children. even more amazing they claim they wanted the ceasefire to stop Israeli attacks!!.

    When you google exactly what happened, it is clear that the BBC narrative is misleading, the BBC have also failed to mention how the terrorists managed to get hold of advanced rocket systems (hint:Syria).

    After a few days of the BBC and its incestous partner the Guardian getting into a bit tizzy due to Goldstone amending his report, it seems that both terrorist apologists have decided to bury this outrage by Hamas, I can only imagine the furore if it had been the IDF firing rockets at innocent school children.


  4. Biodegradable says:

    Hamas says it wants a ceasefire now for two reasons:

    a) When Israel continues to take out its leaders, its rocket launchers, its weapon smuggling tunnels, and it’s stores of weapons, Hamas can claim Israel is breaking the “ceasefire” and gain sympathy – the “international community” is already calling for Israel to stop defending itself while barely condemning what is clearly a(nother) war crime perpetrated by Hamas.

    b) Hamas wants a ceasefire because its taking a beating. Its like the school bully who slaps you but when you respond with a large stick to the back of his head he suggests we stop fighting.

    Disproportionate response? You bet – bring it on IDF!


  5. pounce_uk says:

    I see the bBC continues with its disinformation campaign against Israel with the following write up:
    Gaza: Israeli strikes ‘kill six’ despite Hamas truce
    At least six Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza, including two women, doctors say. The Israeli strikes come hours after Islamist group Hamas said it had brokered a deal for Gaza’s militant groups to stop firing on Israel.On Thursday, members of its military wing hit an Israeli school bus with an anti-tank shell, injuring two people.Friday’s deaths raise to 10 the number of Palestinians killed since Thursday, amid the worst fighting since 2009.

    So according to the bBC, the Jews are waging war while, Hamas are all for peace and they  show a picture of a poor man trying to become one with the floor while rockets rain down. So how many people read the caption under the photo? No serious how many people read it and realised that the man on the floor is…Jewish. That the rockets impacting around him have been launched from peaceful Gaza?  My first and second impression of the photo under that headline was the person was in Gaza trying to live through those Israeli strikes. Then I noticed the man’s rubber gloves and wondered why he was wearing them. Apparently he works on a chicken farm.
    Then there’s how the bBC are down playing the seriousness of that Anti-tank missile attack by rebranding it as a Shell. Really? Have Hamas got hold of a load of PIATs. Because that is the impression I get from how they say it was a shell and not a missile was targeted against a school bus.
    It is subtle language like this which needs to be exposed in which to inform everybody about how the bBC lies in which to promote the cause of terrorism for their Islamic masters. Of course those very same Islamic masters would think nothing of slitting the throats of a Gay bBC reporter while uttering the worlds..’God is great’ but in the eyes of the left that is all the fault of our own foreign policy.


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Would Jeremy Bowen send his young relatives off to prosecute holy jihad wearing a suicide belt?

    Perhaps not, but he has immense respect for those who do.  It’s more than sympathy for the underdog.  He and the rest of the BBC genuinely understand and approve of their goals.  The Beeboids know it’s not pretty, but they truly believe that the cause behind sending youngsters to blow themselves up along with other children is just.  There is no other explanation for the editorial policy.

    Saying that “Hamas had pledged to try” to go work on a peace deal reveals the twisted moral standards of the BBC when it comes to Israel.  This equates a hypothetical with a real event.  They hadn’t done anything, but said they’d think about talking about doing something.  Yet the BBC puts this on the same level as real action.  Madness, and bias.


  7. Biodegradable says:

    Jon Donnison still pimping for Hamas:

    Last night, Hamas – which governs the Gaza Strip – met with other militant factions and agreed to enforce a ceasefire if Israel also stopped firing.

    However neither side seems to have stopped for long, says the BBC’s Jon Donnison in Gaza City.

    Right, Hamas declares a ceasefire but Israel continues its agression…

    Israeli artillery fire and air strikes have been heard across Gaza throughout much of the day, our correspondent says, and at least six rockets were fired into Israel, hitting an area north of the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli police.

    Who fired those rockets? Is Israel now firing rockets at itself?

    It is not clear whether the fresh violence signals an end to the truce, or whether the firing of rockets was carried out by a Palestinian splinter group that had not signed up to the ceasefire.

    Not clear that “at least six rockets were fired into Israel” means that Hamas has broken its self-declared truce?

    Israel says it is responding to the school bus attack on Thursday near the Nahal Oz kibbutz. A 16-year-old boy suffered a serious head wound and was taken to hospital for surgery.

    “Israel says”… according to most reports from Israel the kid is only 13 and he wasn’t just “taken to hospital for surgery”. He’s still in hospital, in a critical condition which probably means on life support. Not just “taken to hospital for surgery”, like having a broken arm put in plaster!


  8. The Omega Man says:

    Not about the missile attack aimed at a school bus, but in the Jerusalem Post, Nick Cohen has exposed the Jermey Bowen pretence for journalistic ability.

    They missed the story.

    why Jeremy Bowen is blinking at his cameraman in Tripoli like some startled, uncomprehending mammal who has been shaken by the convulsions around him from a hibernation that has lasted for most of his career.

    The BBC’s Middle East editor is not the only expert whose expertise now looks spurious. The Arab uprising is annihilating the assumptions of foreign ministries, academia and human-rights groups with true revolutionary élan.

    In journalistic language, it is showing they had committed the greatest blunder a reporter can commit: They missed the story. They thought the problems of the Middle East were at root the fault of democratic Israel, or more broadly the democratic West. They did not see, and did not want to see, that while Israelis are certainly the Palestinians’ problem – and vice versa – the problem of the Arab world was the tyranny, cruelty, corruption and inequality Arab dictators enforced.


  9. Biodegradable says:

    More nonsense from Jon Donnison. The “escalation” is Israel’s fault, only the Palestinians are suffering…

    Gazans count cost of escalating violence

    Civilians killed
    On Wednesday, hours before the Jerusalem bombing, thousands of Palestinians attended the funerals of eight people killed in Israeli attacks.

    Militants fired guns in the air as the bodies were carried from the main mosque in Gaza City.
    Four of those who died were militants from the Islamic Jihad group. Israel says they had been involved in firing rockets across the border.
    The other four were civilians killed by stray Israeli shelling on Tuesday evening.
    They included an 11-year-old and a 16-year-old boy who had been playing football outside their home east of Gaza City when they died.
    At least 12 others were injured in the attack, including eight children.

    “Stray Israeli shelling”? Like the IDF is just bombarding Gaza willy-nilly!

    This week, Abu Mohammed Dahlul showed me around what used to be his metal workshop in the Shaijayiah neighbourhood of Gaza City.
    Mr Dahlul walked me around the 3m (10ft) deep crater that now dominates his workplace. There was twisted metal everywhere and the remains of what used to be the roof.

    He told me it was the third time the street which houses a number of factories had been hit in less than a year.

    He said he was finished now and that the 30 people who worked for him would lose their jobs.

    Mr Dahlul’s workshop housed metal cutting equipment. I suggested to him that this could have been used to make weapons for Palestinian militants.

    He denied this and said he has no connection with militant groups.

    “If I ever see them come here in their tinted-windowed cars, I send them away,” he tells me.

    I have no way of knowing if Mr Dahlul is telling the truth. But if he is not, then he is a convincing liar.

    You, Mr Donnison, are a gullible excuse for an investigative journalist, and not even a convincing liar.


  10. NotaSheep says:

    The BBC report ‘Gaza: Israeli strikes ‘kill six’ despite Hamas truce’ and link the story to the main news front page, coverage that the Fogel family murder did not receive.

    More interesting is what recent attacks are deemed worthy of reporting:
    ‘On Thursday, members of its (Hamas) military wing hit an Israeli school bus with an anti-tank shell, injuring two people.

    Friday’s deaths raise to 10 the number of Palestinians killed since Thursday, amid the worst fighting since 2009.

    Israeli artillery fire and air strikes have been heard across Gaza throughout much of the day, our correspondent says, and at least six rockets were fired into Israel, hitting an area north of the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli police.

    Israel says it is responding to the school bus attack on Thursday near the Nahal Oz kibbutz. A 16-year-old boy suffered a serious head wound and was taken to hospital for surgery.

    Militants from the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, hit the bus with an anti-tank shell. They said it was in response to the killing of Hamas leaders last week.

    At least 10 Palestinians have been killed since Thursday and more than 40 have been injured.

    Several of those killed were civilians, including a mother and her 21-year-old daughter, as well as a 55-year-old man in the southern city of Khan Younis, Palestinian medics say.

    Another 50-year-old civilian who had been sitting outside his home died when he was hit by tank fire on Thursday, an official in Gaza said.

    Four others were identified as leaders of the Qassam Brigades and two of Friday’s victims had been members of the group, Hamas said.

    Last month saw some of the worst violence since Israel launched a major offensive in Gaza in December 2008.

    In one week in March, at least 10 Palestinians – including several civilians and children – were killed by Israeli attacks.

    In the same period, militants in Gaza fired more than 80 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel.’No mention of the murdered Fogel family or even of the British citizen killed by a Palestinian terrorist bomb in Jerusalem. Why do the BBC consider only the deaths of Palestinian civilians worthy of comment not Israeli ones? I have made a complaint, no doubt the BBC will have a non-answer just ready for me.


  11. deegee says:

    I’ve blogged about it at Five Minutes for Israel here and here and Niv Calderon has a step-by-step guide Connect QassamCount to your Facebook.

    The BBC will not keep you informed on the war that Hamas is conducting against Israel and even when they do will hide the attacks behind Israel’s response and boilerplate semantics. QassamCount keeps you up to date.