That Sinking Feeling

That old familiar sinking feeling, courtesy of BBC morning headlines concerning Rowan Williams’s forthcoming Easter address.

According to the BBC, he was going to say: ‘Although the persecution of the Jews justifies the existence of Israel,  harassment of the Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints must stop.’

Updated wording reversed the order. Now harassment of the Palestinians headed the announcement, while Israel’s existence trailed at the tail end.
Later still, Israel was wiped off the face of the announcement and the Archbish’s retirement address was to be all about easing the everyday lives of the Palestinians.

Anyone would think he was about to deliver a sermon on behalf of the PSC. But was he? The press releases hardly mention the Middle East. The Telegraph, for example only says: “The religious leader will touch on the conflict in the Middle East.”, and even in the BBC’s own web article any reference to the topic is buried, and the tenor of that is completely different, more a plea fro God to bring peace to the region than a potpourri of anti-Israel innuendo as per those  headlines.

Who, I wonder chose to give such prominence to this segment of an otherwise, if I may say so, somewhat dull-sounding sermon, in the Easter Sunday  headlines?

Rowan Williams is well known for making foot in mouth announcements, which might pass unremarked if it weren’t for the BBC’s mischievous habit of cherry-picking misguided molehills and making them into populist mountains.
I haven’t heard his speech. But if it’s anything like what’s predicted in the written press, i.e. about Christianity and young people, well, why must the BBC gratuitously stir up more anti-Israel feelings?

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39 Responses to That Sinking Feeling

  1. james says:

    I have never heard Rowan Williams going on about the ‘humiliation’ of the British people going through passport control trying to get into their own country after going abroad on holiday!


  2. Leodian says:

    “Harrasment of the Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints”, well lets just let them walk in unfetted, resplendent in suicide vests driving car bombs. What does he think the security checks and security wall are there for, how did he think they evolved. Thousands of Israeli citizens of all faiths have been murdered if cafes, markets and buses by these Palestinian terrorists. My grandparents used to live in fear in Eastern Europe/ Tsarist Russia at easter time. Williams should know this but he chooses the same ancient anti-semitic slur.


    • The General says:

      Thank God he is going !!! He is an embarrassment. He looks like a vagrant and as far as the ‘highly intellectual’ tag


      • hippiepooter says:

        Highly intellectual but not very intelligent, like so many intellectuals.


      • The General says:

        Sorry…. to continue…..” as far as the ‘highly intellectual’ tag is concerned…that surely is a joke. I have hardly heard a reasoned statement from him. His politically correct ajenda always over rules common sense as we hear with this latest evaluation of the middle east senario.


        • ltwf 1964 says:

          as someone once said about the ubiquitous Stephen Fry

          “he’s a stupid man’s idea of what a clever man is”


  3. hippiepooter says:

    As of 10:14am here is what BBC Online is currently running with, near the end of its report:-

    He said: “A visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, will convince you why the state of Israel exists and must go on existing.

    The piece above seems pretty straight reporting. I didn’t follow the BBC trailing his sermon but I’ll take your word for it they gave prominence to the Israel-Palestine mention before relegating it after the event.

    So His Grace believes that the State of Israel should exist as long as they give the Palestinians improved odds on slaughtering its civilians on a daily basis?

    It’s difficult to imagine that his replacement could be any worse.

    “A visit to any border checkpoint will convince you that the daily harassment and humiliation of Palestinians of all ages and backgrounds cannot be a justifiable or even sustainable price to pay for security.”


      • hippiepooter says:

        Pity we dont have delete any more. I cut His Grace’s comments in half!


        • Jim Dandy says:

          I couldn’t quite see what the issue was with the bbc’s coverage. They didn’t focus on the ME element, which was bog standard centrist stuff.

          The real issue of course is that the BBC gave prominence to both the Pope and the AofC’s views. Who gives a damn frankly,.


          • Sue says:

            For goodness sake. I wasn’t referring to the BBC’s “coverage”. Please, everyone, learn to read. I was referring to the BBC News headlines. I heard them about a million times this morning. If you didn’t hear them, lucky old you.


            • Jim Dandy says:

              The only headline I heard (R4i think) was something about the A ofC criticising the co-option of Christian morality on secular issues, while dropping tricky stuff such as the resurrection (cf lewis’s point). Hilariously he said it didn’t make sense without the fairy stories!


              • David Preiser (USA) says:

                Does this mean the ArchBeard was criticizing, inter alia, the BBC’s co-opting of Christian morality on things like Giles Fraser’s pushing of Christianity-cum-Socialism views?

                I can dream, can’t I?


              • Craig says:

                Having recorded the News Channel this morning, Jim, you might be intrigued to know that at 9.00 the headline (read from the autocue by the usually sound Tim Willcox) said “The Archbishop of Canterbury will use his last Easter sermon to call for improvements to the daily lives of Palestinians.”

                And that’s all the headline said.

                Sue’s ears were (as ever) finely tuned!


              • Craig says:

                Just to further confirm Sue’s point, they were still at it on the News Channel at midday: “The Archbishop of Canterbury is delivering his last Easter sermon in which he calls for an improvement in the daily lives of Palestinians.”

                Then things changed.

                At 1.00pm, the headline read out by Maxine M was: “The Archbishop of Canterbury delivered his last Easter sermon warning against the downgrading of Religious Education in secondary schools.”

                The same headline, now sinking down the pecking order, was read out at 3.00pm and, just now, again at 5.00pm.

                That was the angle being pursued by the ‘Daily Telegraph’ (to name the only one I looked at!) from the very start.

                As Sue so fairly says, “why must the BBC gratuitously stir up more anti-Israel feelings?”


            • The General says:

              JD only hears what he wants to hear and spins it accordingly.


              • John Anderson says:

                Like Sue – I heard repeatedly the mention of the Midd;le East on Radio 4 today. Droning on every bloody hour.

                Maybe Mr dandy is a touch deaf ?


              • Jim Dandy says:

                No, I hear what I hear; but I ‘m happy to be advised otherwise.


          • Craig says:

            They did foreground it though, Jim. For example, ‘Broadcasting House’ on Radio 4 headlined the speech as “The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, will use his final Easter message to call for peace in the Middle East.”

            As Sue says, the Middle East element in Rowan Williams’s Easter message turned out to be almost incidental, so why was it foregrounded? By BBC staff with a particular interest in this aspect of the message rather than its main message – the factual truth (as the Archbishop sees it) of Christ’s Resurrection and the importance of RE?


          • hippiepooter says:

            Jim, perhaps I might be of assistance?

            It’s Easter.


          • hippiepooter says:

            JD wrote:-

            “They didn’t focus on the ME element, which was bog standard centrist stuff”

            Basically stating that Israel only had the right to exist if they gave the Palestinians a sporting chance to murder its citizens on a daily basis might be a ‘centrist’ position on Planet Gramsci BBC, but for anyone with a shred of moral integrity, its an obscenity on legs.

            If it is true, as Craig states, that His Grace said the bodily Ressurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is true, boy, THAT IS NEWS! (Coming from the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury that is).


            • Craig says:

              Well, as you’d expect, it’s a bit vague but the Archbishop went quite some way towards dismissing the ‘it’s only a poetic truth’ line:

              “We are not told that Jesus ‘survived death’; we are not told that the story of the empty tomb is a beautiful imaginative creation that offers inspiration to all sorts of people; we are not told that the message of Jesus lives on. We are told that God did something…”

              The Lambeth House press release stresses where it thinks the focus of the Easter message lies – and it ain’t on the Middle East:

              “The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams says that the ultimate test of the Christian religion is not whether it is useful, beneficial or helpful to the human race but whether or not its central claim – the resurrection of Jesus Christ – actually happened.”


    • Sue says:

      On BBC Radio 4 from 6:00 am onwards, and on BBC News 24, headlines regarding Rowan Williams’s forthcoming Easter address consisted entirely of the announcements I describe above. Nothing more, nothing less.
      As I said, the BBC web article was completely different in tenor, and the Telegraph, Huffington Post and several other online articles hardly mentioned his comparatively insignificant platitudinous Middle East-based comments.
      Let me say again, in case it’s unclear. I’m not complaining about Rowan Williams’s speech. I’m complaining about the BBC’s attempt at sensationalising it.
      My only criticism of the Archbishop is that after his ‘Sharia law is inevitable’ remark, he should have known what to expect, and maybe steered clear of the topic altogether. Never mind, he’s about to retire.


  4. johnyork says:

    Unrelated :
    When it comes to the X-FACTOR style coverage on the BBC this Easter , was it a case of ?
    BBC Sub-editor musing.
    Pope – Yes has potential , but is German and White.
    Or :
    Bearded C&E Druid – being one of us and an atheist yet being sent to the knackers-yard soon.
    Or :
    Oh look ! a passing Muslim – Guess what ? – Tell him he’s won !
    Related :
    I trust that was politically and religiously correct.

    Organic Easter Eggs all round !


  5. john in cheshire says:

    It’s Easter and we have to talk about effing muslims. They weren’t even invented when Jesus was crucified and resurrected. The whole world should be rejoicing on that fact, not pontificating about satan worshippers.


  6. thespecialone says:

    Off topic but as the BBC go after anybody who dares even hints at a racist comment, especially if a police officer, I wonder if they will go after dear Sophie:


  7. alan says:

    The BBC do tend to slip into any report a quick dig at Israel….reference this very short story on Hamas executions that ends on a sly intimation of Israeli wrong doing …… ‘informers’, ‘collaborators’…betrayal…maybe they deserved to die?

    Despite secret court hearings, no official approval, no evidence provided and no specific charges cited Hamas get off lightly in this BBC snippet of a report.

    If it had been Israel there would have been a long list of its past misdemeanours and a disapproving tone.

    However I think I can provide some for Hamas. Its methods of execution leave a lot to be desired…but I suppose Israeli restrictions make humane execution impossible in the circumstances.

    Be aware these are very graphic and involve real deaths.
    Hamas mob abusing the body of Fatah thug Samih al-Madhoun after his lynching / execution in Gaza.
    Fatah members lined up on ground and shot.
    Fatah members thrown off building


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Blaming Israeli meanness for Hamas’ lack of humane methods of punishment? Don’t give the BBC any ideas.


    • johnnythefish says:

      ‘The BBC’s Middle East correspondent Kevin Connolly says it is impossible to assess the quality of the evidence presented against the three men who have been executed…’


      ‘Israel’s intelligence services recruit informers to gather information about possible targets for militants and help block attacks.’

      Jury’s out on horrific, barbaric executions then, BBC (but looking like it’s all Israel’s fault).

      Unbelievable, hideous bias.


  8. chrisH says:

    Rowan ought to know how the game is played with the media, so is without excuse.
    Only the BBC could see Yad Vashem as being on a par with harrassment and petty humiliations at checkpoints for the Palestinians.
    Clear too which of the above the BBC would puff up as a story.
    As for Rowan saying that RE in schools is not a problem-when the children actually receive it-that ought to be Rowans major concern.
    I think it was intended to be, but he is far too polite( or gutless if you like) to say so.
    Sentamu can`t do any worse can he?…and it`s not too late surely to beg Nazir-Ali to come out of semi-retirement to save the C of E.
    Heck-I`d even settle for Capello or the mighty Sacks as better Archbishops than the useful libleft cipher that is Dr Williams.


  9. Ian says:

    I think the BBC-Archbishop of Canterbury nexus may well burn in hell for not caring about the plight of West Bank and Gaza Christians. And the devil will be laughing “Allah Akhbar” at them too.


  10. Bannerman says:

    6:45approx. BBC news and a story about a cruise for 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking. They couldn’t resist it could they “because of global warming the threat of icebergs has diminished” Good luck to those on the cruise just keep those life-jackets handy!


    • Leftie-Loather says:

      Oh well, at least they only said “diminished” and not vanished. lol
      Beats me why they didn’t rather more accurately say “because of state-of-the-art navigational aids” though.
      BBC – BritishBrainwashingComedians.

      Oh and long live Israel!
      No point saying long live the Palestinians when the terrorist-Hamas loving planks have all starved to death! – haven’t they?


  11. john in cheshire says:

    In a similar vein, someone called Ashley Charles, who appears to be black, has (apparently) murdered a white man, Mr Phillip Sherriff. I don’t suppose that the ethnic loving bbc will see a pattern in this latest case.


  12. Span Ows says:

    Rowan would have been far better off throughout his whole ‘career’ if he showed a little more concern about Christians, unfortunately he hasn’t but spent most time attacking Conservatives and bigging-up Muslims (whose intention is the end of Christianity)…now he wonders why RE etc isn’t a priority. Williams has left the CoE in tatters and for this he WILL burn in hell.


  13. George R says:

    “Where are the Demonstrations, Flotillas, and Calls for Boycotts by Artists and Intellectuals?”