Keeping Watch

I’m forever guarding the BBC’s output, day and night. I watch all channels simultaneously, whilst listening to radios one two three four five six and seven, and the BBC World Service.

Only Joking. I’m bemused if anyone has that impression, and quite flattered.

From the bits I do watch, I recognise many of the biases mentioned on this blog, but I find the anti Israel bias the most painful, and somehow the most insidious, because it leads to things like the incident at the Prom.

Palestinian Solidarity Campaigners committed a profoundly self-defeating affront when they disrupted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Music lovers regard Zubin Mehta and Gil Shaham as the crème de la crème. The audience at the Albert Hall eventually got to enjoy the treat they were waiting for. First they had to sit by and watch while a bunch of nobodies who presumed they had the right to caterwaul and chant and drown out the finest musicians in the world, gave an embarrassing display of their insensitivity and ignorance.

The radio 3 audience missed out altogether. The BBC made an unfortunate decision to abandon the live transmission. However, when the fools were finally ejected, the performance went ahead triumphantly, to prolonged, tumultuous, joyous, applause.

The incident has generated thousands of comments on the internet.

There are four hundred and forty four on the BBC News website, and forty nine on the BBC Proms website, several hundred below other articles, such as Brendan O’Neill’s piece in the Telegraph.(689 and counting)

The ignorance displayed by some of the contributors is mind-boggling.

The Palestinian Sympathy Orchestra, let’s call them, is equipped with clichéd, half-understood gossip, myths and distortions. Helpfully, they nearly always set them out in full before launching off into the tirade proper. “Stolen land, illegal settlements, ethnic cleansing, diverted water supplies, bulldozed houses, white phosphorous, apartheid, UN resolutions, illegal this that and the other” they excrete, indignantly. Particularly common is: “Israelis are killing innocent Palestinians everyday.”

They *know* these things, and they use them to justify their largely predetermined hatred of Israel. Where do they get these ideas?

Comments also appear on Norman Lebrecht’s ‘Slipped Disc” webpages. Today there’s a contribution by famous tousle-haired cellist Steven Isserlis. It was submitted to the Guardian, and for some reason they chose not to publish. He begins: “The protesters who disrupted the Prom by the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta are not only guilty of cultural hooliganism, but are deeply misguided.” and ends: “To wreck their very rare and special concert over here gives a terrible impression of us all – haven’t the rioters done that already?

You may as well read the middle as well.

Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Keeping Watch

  1. matthew rowe says:

    I have to admit to feeling a nice glow of warmth at the total balls up this protest has turned out to be for the free [of any brains ] pally whatevers !


    • Deborah says:

      I was there and firstly I have to say that the orchestra and the soloist were fantastic and Zubin Maita was a magnificent calming influence.

      But being there was a chilling experience.  Hearing the protestors singing ‘Free Palestine’ to ‘Ode to Joy’ made me feel as though I was experiencing the start of Nazism in the UK (although I assume the protestors were thinking they were accusing the Israelis of being like Nazis).  My father used to attend Kulturbund concerts in Germany in the 30s that is concerts for Jews by Jews.  Is that what the protestors want in the UK?

      The audience – probably 2/3rds not Jewish were so supportive of the orchestra and so horrified at the protestors – much appreciated.

      But the first protestors had prime positition seats for demonstrators.  How did they get them?  When logging on for tickets at 9.a.m on the opening day for booking I was 3000th in the queue on line.  It seems to me that someone who knew what was happening let them have the seats in the choir.

      I just hope these demonstrations by 30 (I am not sure there were as many as that) are not an excuse for the BBC to not invite the Israeli Phil again.


  2. Reed says:

    Thank you for this post. As someone who is sick and tired of the never ending parade of hectoring, po-faced activists and professional protesters that seem to be ubiquitous in this country, it is heartening to know that there are others that share my antipathy to this kind of rude, ignorant and self-righteous thuggery. It seems impossible to turn on the TV or radio these days and not be confronted by yet another group of superior grandstanders lecturing others on their world view.    
    “To wreck their very rare and special concert over here gives a terrible impression of us all – haven’t the rioters done that already?”    
    Exactly. I dread to think what people from overseas must think of us when they hear of this kind of uncivilised behaviour. We need a way to get across that these self-serving idiots don’t represent us all. Reporting the prolonged, tumultuous, joyous applause is a start. Far better would have been for the BBC to continue broadcasting so that everyone could hear for themselves the selfish antics of the so-called protesters and the support that was given to the orchestra by the audience once the baying morons had been ejected. Once again, the BBC let the decent majority down, as they did with their coverage of the riots. Yet again we have to question their motives and ask ourselves where their sympathies lie.


  3. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Full credit to the Proms team for inviting the Israel Phil. in the first place.  Considering the general Israel = South Africa + Nazi Germany attitude so prevalent at thee BBC, I’d say it was a brave stance for the Proms team to take.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was a serious internal fight to include them, especially since ths was probably planned and booked a couple of years ago, and was not cancelled due to the infamous flotilla debacle.

    No doubt there’s plenty of recrimination going around now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone lost their job over this.  It would be fascinating to learn what went on behind the scenes at the BBC when this was planned, and shocking if the Israel Phil. was ever invited back.

    Haing said all that, it’s funny how people who say that sanctions against Iraq, Iran etc. are always wrong will be the first ones to demand a worldwide boycott of Israel.


  4. ltwf1964 says:

    for those of you who have never seen this before…..

    OK. So I understand that you are ticked off at Israel, and in love with the Palestinians.

    That’s fine with me, as long as you have truly weighed up all the facts.
    So, you want to boycott Israel?
    I’ll be sorry to miss you, but if you are doing it – do it properly.
    Let me help you.
    Make sure that you do not have tablets, drops, lotions, etc., made by Abic or Teva.
    It may mean that you will suffer from colds and flu this winter but, hey, that’s a small price for you to pay in your campaign against Israel, isn’t it?
    While we are on the subject of your Israeli boycott, and the medical contributions to the world made by Israeli doctors and scientists, how about telling your pals to boycott the following….
    An Israeli company has developed a simple blood test that distinguishes between mild and more severe cases of Multiple Sclerosis.
    So, if you know anyone suffering from MS, tell them to ignore the Israeli patent that may, more accurately, diagnose their symptoms.
    An Israeli-made device helps restore the use of paralysed hands. This device electrically stimulates the hand muscles, providing hope to millions of stroke sufferers and victims of spinal injuries.
    If you wish to remove this hope of a better quality of life to these people, go ahead and boycott Israel.
    Young children with breathing problems will soon be sleeping more soundly, thanks to a new Israeli device called the Child Hood.
    This innovation replaces the inhalation mask with an improved drug delivery system that provides relief for child and parent.
    Please tell anxious mothers that they shouldn’t use this device because of your passionate cause.
    These are just a few examples of how people have benefitted medically from the Israeli know-how you wish to block.


    • ltwf1964 says:

      Boycotts often affect research.
      A new research center in Israel hopes to throw light on brain disorders such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
      The Joseph Sangol Neuroscience Center in the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer Hospital aims to bring thousands of scientists and doctors to focus on brain research.
      A researcher at Israel’s Ben Gurion University has succeeded in creating human monoclonal antibodies which can neutralise the highly contageous smallpox virus without inducing the dangerous side effects of the exisiting vaccine.
      Two Israelis received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Doctors Ciechanover and Hershko’s research and discovery of one of the human cells most important cyclical processes will lead the way to DNA repair, control of newly produced proteins, and immune defense systems.
      The Movement Disorder Surgery program at Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center has successfully eliminated the physical manifestations of Parkinson’s disease in a select group of patients with a deep brain stimulation technique.


      • ltwf1964 says:

        For women who undergo hysterectomies each year for the treatment of uterine fibroids, the development in Israel of the ExAblate 2000 System is a welcome breakthrough, offering a non-invasive alternative to surgery.
        Israel is developing a nose drop that will provide a five year flu vaccine.
        These are just a few of the projects that you can help stop with your Israeli boycott.
        But let’s not get too obsessed with medical research, there are other ways you can make a personal sacrifice with your anti-Israel boycott.
        Most of Windows operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.
        So, set a personal example. Throw away your computer!
        The Pentium NMX Chip technology was designed at Intel in Israel.
        Both the Pentium 4 microprocessor and the Centrium processor were entirely designed, developed, and produced in Israel.
        Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
        The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 in Israel by four young Israeli whiz kids.
        Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R.& D facilities outside the US in Israel.
        So, due to your complete boycott of anything Israeli, you now have poor health and no computer.
        But your bad news does not end there. Get rid of your cellular phone!
        Cell phone technology was also developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its biggest development center in Israel.
        Most of the latest technology in your mobile phone was developed by Israeli scientists.
        Feeling unsettled? You should be. Part of your personal security rests with Israeli inventiveness, borne out of our urgent neccesity to protect and defend our lives from the terrorists you support.
        A phone can remotely activate a bomb, or be used for tactical communications by terrorists, bank robbers, or hostage-takers.
        It is vital that official security and law enforcement authorities have access to celluar jamming and detection solutions.
        Enter Israel’s Netline Communications Technologies with their security expertise to help the fight against terror.

        I also want you to know that Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
        Israel produces more scientific papers per capita – 109 per 10,000 – than any other nation.
        Israel has the highest number of start-up companies per rata. In absolute terms, the highest number, except the US.
        Israel has the highest ratio of patents filed. Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies outside of Silicon Valley.
        Israel is ranked 2 in the world for venture capital funds, behind the USA.

        Relative to population, Israel is the largest immigrant absorbing nation on earth.
        These immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom or expression, economic opportunity, and quality of life.


        • Biodegradable says:

          Plenty more here:

          Constantly updated.


        • My Site (click to edit) says:

          ROBERT BROWN; Thank you 1964, an astonishing list of achievements by Israel. Now post it in the Guardian somewhere and rub their ignorant noses in it, unless like me, you have been banned from commenting for telling them the truth. I would just love to be able to do that.


    • sue says:

      But they wouldn’t have read that of course, because they’d have had to ditch their computers.


      • sue says:

        I know a particularly staunch Israel-bashing leftie who’d have a heart attack if she knew that the coronary stent in her artery (to prevent a heart attack) was developed in Israel.


        • david hanson says:

          And Palestinian/Arab scientists have brought us what?  Apart from the suicide bomb vest, that is. Kilroy-Silk wasn’t far wrong was he?


  5. Paul Marks says:

    “Where do they get these [anti Israeli] ideas from?”

    As the writer knows, the leftists attacking the musical event got their ideas from the BBC iteelf – from its news and current affairs output, and even from its “comedy” shows (which are normally one or more Marxists with fake “working class” accents, attacking various things – with attacks upon Israel becomming increasingly important). The anti Israeli bias of the BBC has turned round and led to an attack upon one of the BBC’s own cultural productions.

    However, the BBC is not the only source of anti Israeli bias and disinformation – the education system (at both school and university level) is now basically a playpen of leftist ideas – and, presently, being “antizionist” is fashionable on the left (as part of a general “thirdworldism” in favour of “social justice” and against “oppression”).

    BBC people like to think of themselves as “rebels” but actually they are people who believed the stuff their teachers and college lecturers fed them. “Teacher’s Pets” in fact.

    The same could be said of Guardian newspaper readers – indeed BBC people and Guardian people are, basically, the same group of leftists.


  6. Joe Geary says:

    Tee hee

    The BDSers have not so much shot themsleves in the foot here as blown the whole thing off 🙂

    Those classical music buffs are the people who run the country. They’re types you don’t wanna hack off.

    Great piece, Sue.


  7. cjhartnett says:

    Riots at the end of the month and this disgraceful attack on people playing music for the world who happened to be Jewish.
    Nazi Germany began in such conditions-political atrophy and irrelevance, cultural fascism and a cringing/self loathing legal system that wished to curl up and die.
    The world will have been noting this-and the BBC/left projectile vomiting of the political elite is all too apparent.


  8. George R says:

    Wittingly or unwittingly, the saboteurs of the Proms, and their enablers, are acting for the Islamic jihadist, Hamas.


  9. TooTrue says:

    “I’m forever guarding the BBC’s output, day and night. I watch all channels simultaneously, whilst listening to radios one two three four five six and seven, and the BBC World Service.”

    If that’s a bit too much of a load, I’ll take care of the World Service for you sue.


    • sue says:

      Well, in that case, what did you think of the item on BBC W.S. trailed as:

      “What it means to be a Moslem in America today”
      Did we ever find out?
      We certainly found out a lot about Islamophobia.

      I really would like to know what it means to be a Moslem in America.
      I mean which aspects of Islam are meaningful to Moslems in the land of the free?
      They leave Pakistan and other Islamic countries, seeking prosperity and freedom, apparently. In this programme nobody explained what it is in Islam, that, having found freedom and prosperity, Moslems in America pledge such loyalty to?

      One interviewee, a doctor,  said he had been warmly accepted into a largely republican-voting non-multicultural Christian  area. His proudest boast, and biggest achievement, seemed to be that he had got together with some other Moslems and built a bloody great mosque. Is that the sum total of what they aspire to?
      So if they don’t want a worldwide Caliphate, they don’t endorse terrorism or fanaticism, what, exactly,  does it mean to be a Moslem in the West?


      • Biodegradable says:

        Here’s another BBC pro-Islam piece that doesn’t contain what it says on the tin:

        Smartphones make religion mobile

        The blurb says:

        Bible quotes, Torah chants and Buddhist prayer wheels can all be accessed on the go following an increase in faith-based phone apps.
        Carmen Roberts examines how app developers in Singapore are creating software designed to help people make the most out of religion.

        I must have missed the singing rabbi, or indeed any mention of Jews and the Torah.


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Funny how the blurb mentions Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist apps, but more than 45% of the report itself features Islam (including shots of Islamic apps in used later in the piece).  Islam isn’t even in the top three religions in Singapore: it’s #5.  Yet Islam was listed third, and got the lion’s share of coverage. What’s the deal, there?  It’s this kind of thing that constitutes the drip, drip, drip which gives people the impression that the BBC sucks up to Islamists too much.  Perhaps it’s unintentional, but it reveals a biased mindset.

          I suppose defenders of the indefensible will say that this is a case of the BBC being damned if they do, and damned if they don’t, as there are practically no Jews in Singapore, yet the never-happy Chosen People still got a mention in the blurb.  Balance, innit.  Although, I’d have to say that if the BBC had actually asked a religious Jew, they would have frowned at using the term Torah “chants”.

          This whole thing smells like the product of someone who came up through one of those media studies programs at certain colleges, and/or BBC Journalism College, on how to put together colorful interest pieces.

          Still, it was amusing to see an actual BBC employee outside of Songs of Praise smiling while suggesting that young people might be encouraged toward religion.  That must have caused a few groans back in London.  I suppose that’s why the statement was immediately followed by a Buddhist minister rubbishing the whole idea.