Radio 4 Today has taken pro Palestinian advocacy to new heights. Their loathing for Israel trumped their love for for Obama, because having dismissed his speech as pandering to the Jewish lobby, they’ve ignored it altogether.
Jeremy Bowen spoke on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, protesting his innocent self righteousness, which he expects us to take at face value, as he does himself.

We heard an emotive item about a Palestinian student debate, (“Did they pick the most unpopular kid to represent Israel?”) topped off with Sir Jeremy Greenstock, notorious Arabist, making ludicrous statements about Israel provoking surrounding Arab states, including Iran. Which I suppose is true, as Iran does find Israel’s existence an unacceptable provocation.
Wyre Davies found some understanding Israelis to put the case for the Palestinians.

Later James Naughtie did talk to Daniel Taub, Israel’s new ambassador, putting a barrage of loaded accusations about illegal settlements, and smothering the life out of what might have been an illuminating interview for both Israel-bashers and Israel admirers.

Here are some of the things Sir Jeremy said:

“It’s not the only option, but what they’re pointing to is the unreasonableness of the sham that negotiations under Oslo Madrid, in 1993… it’s brought them absolutely nothing, and the settlements have gone on stealing their land. […] You’re right. It is a sign of desperation. […] they just want to continue negotiations in a court that will listen to them and not ignore them”.

Naughtie emotes about Obama’s ‘electoral difficulties’.

[…] Israel and America are missing the point. Palestine is not a threat to Israel […] What is much more of a threat to Israel is setting fire to their relationships in the region. With Turkey, with Egypt. Already terribly bad with Iran, with the rest of the world. With the Arab street, opinion coming out of the new Arab awakening, is much more threatening for Israel than anything that Palestine can say[…]the Palestinians are desperate, they don’t like the sham of the quartet and the Oslo Madrid process, they’re asking to be heard in a different court.”

I won’t go into the outrageous nightmarish bias that oozed from that interview. Feel free to ask, if there any doubts.

Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Nightmare

  1. Deborah says:

    The bias against Israel shown by both the BBC and Channel 4 over the past few weeks has been like nothing I have witnessed before.  It has been similar to when the press got their teeth into one of Mrs Thatcher’s cabinet or indeed Mrs Thatcher herself when nothing short of their downfall would satisfy. 

    What this anti-Israel sentiment by the press has provided is the latent anti-Semitism in the general population to rise to the top.  Something I had never before encountered. 

    Michael Gove has said that he will fight for Israel’s right to exist up to the last breath in his body.  A brave man.  I expect his civil servants right now are planning where the knife goes.


  2. Umbongo says:

    Forgive me, but my earlier post (below) is more appropriate here I think:

    While I’m on – and I’m sure sue will deal with this more comprehensively than me – why do the Israelis persist in using emollient diplomats and official spokesmen to present their case re the Palestinian imbroglio?  In respect of the Palestinian quest for statehood, this morning Today interviewed Jeremy Greenstock for an “informed” (ie highly predictable FO version) opinion re the Pally state recognition effort (this after an interview with three Palestinian youth figures earlier in the programme).    
    Then, in the Today “dead zone” (post-08:30) the Israeli ambassador was interviewed (of which I, admittedly, only heard the first 5 minutes).  In response to Naughtie’s nagging (which resolved into asking why doesn’t Israel just give the Pals everything they want), the ambassador gave the usual stock, boring (if largely accurate) and diplomatic answers.    
    A word of advice to Israel: there’s no point in being Mr Nice Guy in such interviews.  Someone supporting the Israeli cause should take the assertive high road and not seek to defend the IMHO indefensible (ie the West Bank settlements) by appeal to the small amount of land actually “settled”.  On the contrary, the Israelis should never tire of quoting the Hamas charter, mentioning the Palestinian conduct post the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza (both of which the ambassador did – mildly – bring up), that – if we’re talking “legalities” – the West Bank is no more “Palestinian” than it is Israeli, that the Palestinians seek a state which is judenfrei, that no Palestinian administration (state or otherwise) would survive an agreement with Israel which omitted a “right of return” for all Palestinians and expulsion of Jews from (at minimum) East Jerusalem and, particularly, the Temple Mount etc etc.  Today might also be reminded that negotiations are just that – negotiations: a deal means that neither the Pals or the Israelis will get all they want so why are the Israelis always pictured as the intransigent ones, never the Pals?  
    I could go on but while Israel is patently losing the propaganda war it could at least try to win the odd skirmish on Today.


    • sue says:

      I was going to suggest you posted it over here, too.
      The settlement issue is a difficult one. There are several aspects to it.
      1) The legality
      2) The  acceptance that Settlement building is *The* obstacle to          peace, when the real obstacle is the Palestinians’ hatred for Jews.
      3) The perception that settlements are stealing new ‘Palestinian’ territory, which I understand disregards certain previously negotiated land swaps. In  other words, the building that they’re getting so het up about is within previously agreed perimeters, not expanding into new ‘stolen’ territory.
      I know it’s hard to defend settlements, now that the idea that they’re merely a belligerent expansionist manoeuvre has become embedded in the narrative, but their indefensibility is all part of the goal post-moving endeavour.
      The only reason I’d oppose new settlement building is that it now looks like defiance for the sake of it, which of course is not what we want.

      I agree with you about the ambassador. He hasn’t got the charm of Ron Prosor, and he hasn’t got a handle on the hostility to Israel in the UK yet. Or on the BBC. (Chicken /egg)


      • Umbongo says:

        I oppose settlements on the strictly practical bases that 1. pre a stable modus vivendi between Israel and the Palestinians, setting up settlements on conquered land – especially for the crazies who tend to live in those settlements – is and was plainly asking for trouble and 2. (although I brought up the “legalities” in my original comment) as I’ve written before, international non-private “law” is a crock except for that subsisting between more or less civilised states.  Accordingly, appealing to international law to legitimise the settlements is a negative-sum game for Israel.  If some international court ruled definitively that establishing settlements was legal, the verdict would be rejected by, at least, all those nations currently prepared to vote for Palestinian nationhood at the UN.  If such a court found against the Israelis, any claim by Israel to the territories involved would be cut off at the knees.  
        Again, as I’ve written before, Israel’s continued possession of the conquered territories – indeed Israel’s right to exist – does not depend on the application of law.  Both depend on the determination of Israelis to defend Israel and Israeli interests and the lack of any state or group of people with the ambition, capability and preparedness to crush Israel.  
        Coming to the purpose of this site, I had the misfortune about a half-hour ago to see Mr Taub interviewed on BBC News 24.  The BBC had just reported on the convenient (although as yet, I believe, unconfirmed outside BBC circles) death of a Palestinian at the hands of Israelis in Nablus.  Once again the BBC interviewer put the Palestinian/Arab case and once again Mr Taub answered fluently, emolliently and ineffectively.  As you say, maybe “he hasn’t got a handle on the hostility to Israel in the UK yet”.  Well today’s experiences at the BBC should apprise him of that fairly quickly.


        • sue says:

          “the crazies who tend to live in those settlements”

          Umbongo, don’t tell me you’ve been watching the BBC!

          “Settlers” in particular are not a homogeneous group. Neither are settlements. The media knowingly and unknowingly distort the image of settlers. Hard-line settlers with American origins make the most “interesting” interview candidates for foreign TV. This may, in part, drive perceptions of settlers. A news crew is not going to interview a mother of Yemeni descent who speaks no English at all if there is an American who speaks perfect English in the room, especially if he “looks the part” of a settler…..”

          Only joking. I know what you mean, but still…..but still.
          Did you see those videos a while ago, a series of interviews with settler families? No, it wasn’t on the BBC, but they certainly didn’t look crazy to me.


    • hippiepooter says:

      I agree Umbungo, Israeli spokesmen do routinely underplay there hand, but then often, the whole premise of a BBC interviewer is to play the Arab hand as dishonest croupier.


    • Andrew says:

      I was always under the impression that the settlements issue formed part of the agreement of the Oslo Accords in that decisions about their future and their legality was to be taken forward in future negotiations.  In other words the suggestion that they are illegal is flawed because the parties haven’t got together to discuss this.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        If it makes them feel bad, it must be illegal.  That’s the way of the emotion-driven Left.


  3. Rebel Saint says:

    I watched an interesting exchange on twitter a couple of days ago (I RT’d them to you B-BBC, but you didn’t respond).

    I watched as a BBC world service jouno asked an extreme anti-Israel tweeter if they would like to comment on a BBC prog. They then “followed” each other so they could message each privately.

    Looking at the twitter feed of the jouno in question, it appears that this is not that unusual.  What was unusual is that there were no pro-Israel people that she was following.

    Since I flagged this up with her & included B-BBC in the twitter, she suddenly seems to have found some journalistic balance and contacted some Israeli twitterers.

    I’m not optiistic


  4. TooTrue says:

    Bias? They could broadcast that entire clip in Arabic and nobody would miss a beat in Ramallah.

    Greenstock maintained, “Palestine is a cause, not a power.” He obviously turned a blind eye to the Second Intifada and didn’t notice well over a thousand Israelis, mostly civilians, slaughtered on buses and in restaurants by the power of the suicide bomb and the bullet. 

    If there were a real journalist interviewing him, he would have probed him on that, at least.  

    I was amazed at how easily and speedily the names of the Palestinian youngsters rolled off Kevin Connoly’s tongue: Jalal, Aleem, Walid and Dalal. Almost as if he was trying to impress somebody. Perhaps he was. On the other hand, I have detected much awkwardness from the BBC when it deals with Hebrew names and Hebrew is no more or less difficult than Arabic for the unitiated.


    • deegee says:

      Generally speaking Israelis go nameless and Palestinians are named. It ‘humanises’ the Palestinians.


  5. George R says:

    Talking of the ARAB LOBBY, which Islam Not BBC (INBBC) doesn’t:

    there’s this interview with author of ‘The Arab Lobby’ by Mitchell Bard

    For more from M. Bard’s book:

    “The Arab Lobby: the Invisible Alliance that undermines America’s interests in the Middle East”

    –  look inside at excepts from book-


    • George R says:

      Of course, INBBC, is, in intention and effect, part of the ARAB LOBBY, along with  the Organisation of  Islamic Cooperation, Saudi Arabia, Hamas, Al Jazeera, etc, etc.


  6. hippiepooter says:

    “they just want to continue negotiations in a court that will listen to them and not ignore them”

    I’m glad you put that in print from Sir Jeremy, having heard it I think it would have slipped me by otherwise.

    Negotiations aren’t conducted in courts.  I think this is Freudian slip of Sir Jeremy’s that the real reason for any talks with Israel is to manouvre them into the dock and seek the death sentence.

    Palestinians have always met Israeli concessiona as a sign of weakness that means terrorism will work.  For some reason James Naughtie didn’t bring up this historic fact with Sir Jeremy, but did keep pressing the former Israeli Ambassador over settlements as if they’re the villians of the peace not the victims of decades of terrorism and hate.

    This is one Naughtie bias that I’m sure Peter Oborne is more than happy with.


    • hippiepooter says:

      Oh, and how Naughtie didn’t take Sir Jeremy up on Israel’s “terribly bad” relations with Iran is dereliction of the highest order.  Any journalist with the faintest objectivity would have asked something on the lines of “How can Israel have good relations with a state like Iran that is led by someone like Amadinejad who doesn’t want a two state solution but wishes to see Israel destroyed at all costs?”

      A regular little taqqiyah two step Naughtie danced with Sir Jeremy there.


  7. cjhartnett says:

    No doubt Beenstock and Nightie are facing Mecca right now( Shepherds Bush Empire of old!) with bottoms up and in full obeisance to Yasser Arafats old keffiyah with a PLO flag beside it!
    I cant` thank you enough Sue…how much more of this ooze do you feel up to taking so the rest of us don`t need to listen to the Beebs perpetual wish to force Israel into the sea.
    I too find the Israeli response woolly and weak. It would not take too long for their Embassy to log what the BBc are slopping up to us and attacking any BBC hack daring to presume that the PLO are just the IRA with a falafel mix.
    I despise the smarm and sneers about Israel…when Irans top secular mullah says 9/11 was ” a mystery” then we get no analysis ,news or talking heads as far as I know…but Israel just locks itself into the ducking stool at the BBC and lets the moral pigmies in curerent affairs say and do as they like.
    Israel is going nowhere…the BBC will soon be a rather sick memory…but I only wish the Israelis would blast a few BBC Mullah Lites at the BBC out of the water for me first…give me a bit of snap to my celery as it were!


    • TooTrue says:

      To my astonishment, the BBC did write a scornful article on Iamonajihad and Iran, backIran, back in 2006:

      Iran has been severely criticised for hosting a conference questioning the Holocaust. Delegates included not only some of the world’s best-known Holocaust deniers, but also white supremacists and anti-Semites.

      In the BBC there’s a lot of talk about impartial broadcasting. I’ve always wondered how that would work if you were the BBC correspondent in Nazi Germany reporting on Hitler.

      Would you not have to take sides? Well I got closer than ever before to this problem reporting on Iran’s Holocaust conference.

      That was Frances Harrison. She was BBC Teheran Bureau Chief and she eventualy left Iran, summing her experiences up here:

      Then she left the BBC altogether. I wondered if she was edged out. Certainly she is far too outspoken and un-PeeCee for the anal-retentive BBC.

      Still, she is cast in the typical BBC mold. Her new job? Head of news at Amnesty International:!/francesharris0n

      God, I hate Twitter. There seems to be about a ten-word limit on each Twit, or Tweet or whatever you call it.

      Could be part of the reason the BBC loves it so much. Critcs of the BBC don’t even have the space to start to construct their criticism on that dumb, chirping little venue.


      • George R says:

        INBBC’s first sentence on Ahmadinejad:

        “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he believes – as an engineer – the World Trade Center towers could not have been brought down by aircraft.”

        That should read:

        ‘Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he believes – as an Islamic engineer of the truth- the World Trade Center towers could not have been brought down by aircraft.’

        INBBC report:

        ‘Iran president makes 9/11 claims after UN walkout’


  8. George R says:

    This is what INBBC denies, but really wants:

    “Former FBI Agent: Arab Spring Made Muslim Brotherhood Stronger in the Middle East & America”

    (inc videos)


  9. George R says:

    INBBC: pandering to saboteurs of Proms music.

    INBBC ‘tried’ to put on a Proms concert by Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, but this was sabotaged by leftists, and Hamas supporters.

    Today, INBBC decides to dedicate a whole news webpage to putting the political propaganda case of its like-minded saboteurs of music, on (without irony), its ‘ENTERTAINMENT’ page…


    • deegee says:

      I wonder if the BBC would be so tolerant if four members of the LPO had used the orchestra’s name to support a petition for the BNP or EDL?


  10. john says:

    Thank-you Sue for the post.
    A very warm welome to the new Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Mr. Daniel Taub.
    The State Broadcaster didn’t waste any time in demonstating their impartiality when it comes to anything Palestine.
    A piece of advice Daniel, beware very aware that the BBC hate Israel, the religion and the right to exist.
    We are still awaiting a positive news story about Zionism from Aunty’s hate brigade and I doubt you will experience one either during your posting.
    I just hope you learn quickly to take the gloves off and give it back to the BBC.
    Unfortunaltely most Conservatives are lightweights in the BBC ring.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The BBC doesn’t hate Judaism.  They mostly do hate Israel, though, and do accept that Jews everywhere deserve to suffer scorn and the occasional bit of vandalism and violence if they support Israel.  At the same time, the BBC believes that Muslims everywhere should never, ever face any criticism over support for Islamic jihad, or accusations that they might support it.


  11. Charlie says:

    Benjamin  Netanyahu making a absolutely brilliant speech at the United Nations, based on truths and facts, and yes the truth hurts.


  12. TooTrue says:

    Yes, I’ve just heard it. He’s quite a speaker. And he brought up all the pertinent points, like shaming the assembled representatives for not all walking out when Ahmedinejad spoke, pointing out the relentless nature of Islamic terror and how Israel suffered an increase in that terror when it did what the world wanted and applauded – ie withdrew totally from Gaza and how the withdrawal from Lebanon resulted in thousands of rockets from Hezbollah. He spoke about how narrow the section of Israel is adjacent to the West Bank and spoke of concerns that rockets would be smuggled into a future Palestinian state to be fired on Israel from the West Bank mountains above so that the time to make peace and resove these issues is now, not after the establishment of a state.

    He shamed Abbas by pointing out that Palestinian leaders called for a Jew-free, Judenrein, Palestine and hammered the point home by saying that Israel is not telling the Palestinians how their state should be constituted but Israel does require that they should recognise Israel as a Jewish state. He spoke of all the compromise and overtures Israel has made for peace and how Abbas walked away from all of them – eg the dismantling of checkpoints and freezing of settlement construction.

    One of the most telling points he made was that Abbas said the Palestinians have been under occupation since 1948 and not since 1967 – in other words the settlements are not the problem since they were not there before ’67. Reading between the lines (or listening between the words, rather) he was of course indicating that for the Palestinians Israel in its entirety is the problem and that, of course, has to change.

    He said in two and a half years Abbas has only met him in Jerusalem once but that he is prepared to go to Ramallah to meet with Abbas and discuss peace. Then he said he has a better idea. They are both in New York now so why not meet now and start peace negotiations. He said he extended the hand of Israel in peace and hoped Abbas would grasp it.

    That certainly put Abbas on the spot. Now the ball is in his court. And compared to Abbas’ speech, which came across as a petulant blame fest, from what I heard of the translation, Netanyahu came across as a statesman, putting the case for Israel in a bold, imaginative and quite briliant fashion.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      So far, the BBC has censored news of this.  As of now, all you’re told is that Abbas received an ovation.


      • TooTrue says:

        I watched both speeches in their entirety. Abbas used all the old standard rabble-rousing cries to garner supprt – “Aparthed state, occupation, stealing Palestinian land.” But the article is a little overstated. The applause was not “rapturous” and as far as “standing ovations” go at one point I saw one guy stand and urge others to get up, which some of them did but apparently without great enthusiasm. He certainly got more enthusiastic applause than Netanyahu but there is no mention at all of the applause that Netanyahu did get.


    • Charlie says:

      I especially liked the reference to Judea where the Jews actually got their name. Ancient Judea covered a large part of Jordan and Jerusalem was in in the middle. Just shows how much land the Jews have lost to the Arabs?


  13. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Why Obama has turned towards Israel

    The all-powerful Joooooos.  Or just nutty conservative Christians acting out of silly religious beliefs.  According to the BBC, there can be no valid reason not to support a Judenrein new front on the Muslim war against the Jewish State.


    • deegee says:

      It would seem that Obama hasn’t turned towards Israel as much as the Republicans are using his record as a cudgel against Obama. 


    • TooTrue says:

      Yes, I read that as well, by the reprehesnsible Paul Adams – the very same ‘journalist’ who insisted that UN staff “could barely conceal their contempt” for Israel when discussing Israel’s shelling of the UN post in Lebanon.


  14. TooTrue says:

    Ros Atkins of World Have Your Say covered both speeches and reaction from people in Ramallah and London, mostly praising Abbas and condemning Netanyahu. However, he did make a concerted effort to keep things as balanced as he could. For example, he played a few minutes of Netanyahu’s speech, including the bit about “militant Islam” being “a malignancy cloaked in the great faith of Islam,” and when, typically a Muslim guest misinterpreted that as an attack on Islam itself, he corrected her most emphatically. He also tried to find out whether Netanyahu’s speech would be screened on the giant screen in Ramallah, which had just displayed Abbas’s speech, and when he was told it wouldn’t he questioned the attitude of people who didn’t want to hear what both sides were saying.

    That’s in the second half of the programme, where it gets interesting:

    Bit of a voice in the wilderness is Mr. Atkins. I’ll try not to praise him too much because if word gets out that he is not a radical-Islam loving appeasement artist the BBC could well fire him.  


  15. George R says:

    INBBC is the AL JAZEERA of Britain, with powers to tax us for political propaganda.

    We British people are forcibly taxed to pay for INBBC’s campaign for the Islamisation  of Israel, Europe and Britain.


    • TooTrue says:

      Well, you know the old joke – that I probably heard here first:

      It’s the more MODERATE BBC people who moved to Al Jazeera.


  16. John Anderson says:

    Highlight of the Israeli PM’s UN speech :

    Daniel in the lion’s den ?


  17. Biodegradable says:

    Jeremy Bowen begins his “analysis” (emphasis on the “anal”) thus:

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly that it was a theatre of the absurd.

    Essential – or absurd – it’s certainly theatrical.

    What Netanyahu actually said was this:

    … And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn’t praised; it was denounced! And it’s here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel — the one true democracy in the Middle East.
    Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It’s the — the theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.

    You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.

    You couldn’t make this thing up.

    So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide — they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory. Bowen continues bigging up Abbas and ridiculing the US:Most of the assembled delegates, normally polite but rarely animated, stood up to cheer and clap when the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas came to the podium to declare his application for membership. The American delegation, grim-faced, sat on their hands.

    No mention anywhere of Netanyahu’s speech, he received a lot of applause too, you can hear and read it here, you won’t find any of it at the BBC:


  18. sue says:

    Jeremy Bowen: “President Obama made a speech that was so pro-Israeli it even shocked the Israelis” is the quote singled out on the BBC Today website. He continues:

    “The main reason for that is probably next year’s elections. President Obama and the Democrats need the votes of Israel’s many friends in his country.”

    Israel’s many friends?  Even if Bowen believes  President Obama wouldn’t have made a pro Israeli speech if he wasn’t being held to ransom by the “Jewish lobby”, is it legitimate to include such a speculation in a report?
    I don’t hear speculation about the “Arab lobby” in reports or opinion pieces from any of the pro Palestinian propagandists who disseminate the default pro Palestinian position in the spin we’re fed by the BBC.

    Was the speech “pro Israeli?” It included a passage explaining Israel’s side of the story, something which many people would regard as long overdue. Many ordinary people, not just the “Jewish lobby”.