A Message of Hope From The BBC’s Own Middle Eastern Shepherd





Yes, in this season of good will to all men the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen extends the hand of friendship towards the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.    (0810)

Many people doubt their democratic intentions…Bowen tells us that some people go so far as to suggest their actions are a ‘blow against Democracy‘….but he thinks not….this is merely the birth pains of any new state…the Egyptians are merely ‘learning how to be democratic’.

Much in the same way the Germans learnt how to be democratic in the 1930’s.

No free speech, no free judiciary, the media being locked up, no separation of government from religion, no Christians or Liberals on the Assembly……..obviously the Muslim Brotherhood has a lot to learn about Democracy…on the other hand you could say they have learnt only too well….as Turkey’s Erdogan said about democracy….democracy was like a bus: “You ride it until you arrive at your destination, then you step off.”

End of the line….All change…into Burkas!

A bit of a paradox really…the BBC has put a lot of effort into issuing ‘warnings from history’ about ‘Austerity’  being a harbinger of a new Fascism rising in Europe….but let’s face it, the likelihood of another Htler and everything that entailed in Europe is zero…..and yet the very real likelihood of  similar regimes taking power in the Middle East is played down…..and you have to ask what would be the consequences for Jews in the Middle East if the Muslim Brotherhood do finally take over completely and the peace treaty is scrapped.


On that cheery note  I  (and Jeremy) wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy new year.


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40 Responses to A Message of Hope From The BBC’s Own Middle Eastern Shepherd

  1. Guest Who says:

    ‘Much in the same way the Germans learnt how to be democratic in the 1930′s.’
    But at least the trains ran on time:)
    (OK, that was Benito & co).
    Lord Patten certainly has a grip on the control of the media aspects.
    Mind you, it will be ironic if Lord Hall Hall issues the blitzkrieg order from the new R4 studio and no one actually knows to stage the putsch.


  2. Paul Williamson says:

    Do we know if the BBC has tested if real democracy has come about? Or we now in a world where if the ruling elite assert there is democracy, then QED it is there?


  3. johnnythefish says:

    Very much in the vein of Leftists who make excuses for Islam by saying it’s a ‘young religion’, as if it’s some toddler displaying temper tantrums.

    By my reckoning Islam arrived circa 1100 years before Mormonism, and we all know what the Left think of that particular religion.


    • Graham Snow says:

      If the leftists want to delude themselves about Islam and several other fashionable leftist views that’s fine by me.
      What really annoys me is that the enormously powerful BBC takes up these fashionable leftist views and rams them down our throats and undermines any contrary view. The degree to which they do this is increasing year on year. So rather than reflecting what British attitudes are, the BBC is causing the change in attitudes to ones which are increasingly liberal/left in outlook.
      You would think the Tories would be trying to ‘do something’ about this entrenched liberal/left bias at the BBC but they seem to timid to even say boo to the over mighty BBC.


  4. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Bowen’s contribution was nothing more than empty phrases, not even remotely informative. At least he didn’t try to say the Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate group again. El Baradei, on the other hand, was in full opposition mode, got his points across pretty clearly.

    What I find amusing is that El Baradei got more uninterrupted air time to speak out critically against his political opponents than any Republican has had to lay out criticisms of The Obamessiah (Before any defenders of the indefensible try it: being on Today and getting a grilling about one’s own positions isn’t the same thing as being allowed to speak at length like El Baradei was).

    Davis did rightly suggest that the MB had the support of the majority of Egyptians, but curiously he didn’t go so far as to say to El Baradei what Mark Mardell and others do about how Republicans need to suck it up and roll over for the President and His renewed mandate. El Baradei’s party must work together with the MB now, support Morsi fully, I’d have thought. Very strange seeing as how the MB have a lot more of a mandate based on vote percentage than the US President. Yet the opposition is treated differently. I wonder why?


  5. Leha says:

    frying pan/fire

    by the way, how IS the Egyptian tourist industry?


    • John Anderson says:

      How is Egypt’s tourism industry doing ?

      Pretty badly. When I visited the Pyramids last Easter there were precious few tourists – and no queue to go inside the Great Pyramid. The awesome Cairo Museum of Antiquities was empty too. Hoteliers down the Nile in Luxor and Aswan told me business was appalling. Nearly all the large cruise ships were moored – I saw only four in use on the Nile in the 10 days I travelled around the river.

      Trade is less affected in the Red Sea resorts, I believe – but mainly because there has been heavy discounting of prices.

      And I see that Easyjet is not flying to Luxor (Valley of the Kings etc) after mid-July.

      This article sums it up :



    • Guest Who says:

      ‘how IS the Egyptian tourist industry?’
      As well as can be expected for any service that depends on customer good will and actual trust (as opposed to the Boaden H. (c) 2012 delusional variety).
      Maybe what President Morsi needs to get ‘unique’ on the UK’s ass and declare that even if no one from here visits the place the UK government needs to force all UK public to fork out £142.50 (no refunds) to keep him and his mates to the standard to which they have become accustomed.
      Especially if he decides this whole voting thing is just too troublesome and perpetuity is the way to go.
      It’s the right thing to do.


  6. The Highland Rebel says:

    Try as I may I cannot wish peace and goodwill towards all men when it comes to Bowen.

    So rot in hell along with the other liars and supporters of terrorism.


    • Span Ows says:

      sounds harsh but I agree, some people simply do not deserve compassion or any other ‘nice feeling’. I find it extremely hard to hate anyone but Gordon Brown, Bowen and others are exceptions.


      • Deborah says:

        Funny Span Owls that you put GB next to Bowen in a sentence – caught site of Bowen in the Strictly audience and felt exactly the same as when Brown appeared on the BBC – a feeling of loathing at the sight of both of them.


        • Demon says:

          I saw himthere too. I wondered what he was doing there as there was nothing he could blame the Israelis for.


          • NotaSheep says:

            Don’t be ridiculous, there is nothing that Jeremy Bowen couldn’t blame the Israelis for.


  7. George R says:


    “BBC’s Connolly reports on ME Christians: omits the one place they thrive”



  8. George R says:

    INBBC’s Muslim Brotherhood bureau staffers do adopt an Islamic political position.

    They do presume that the Middle East is owned by Islam.

    Their cursory interest in the plight of Christians in the region (often confined to Christmas time), is inclined to not indentify Islamic forces as the persecutors of Christians.

    In contrast, ‘Jihadwatch’ has this, relating to ‘Telegraph’ analysis:

    “Christianity ‘close to extinction’ in Middle East because of Muslim persecution which media and politicians ignore for fear of ‘racism charges”



  9. George R says:

    Here is a sensible recent piece by Mr Robin Shepherd on BBC’s ‘shepherd’:-

    “More absurd anti-Israel bias from BBC MidEast editor”

    By Robin Shepherd.



    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      As usual with the BBC, it all started when Israel hit back. Defenders of the indefensible remain silent as usual.


  10. George R says:

    “Raymond Ibrahim: Why Christian Persecution Is Islam’s Achilles’ Heel”



  11. George R says:

    Note how INBBC manages to turn a ‘Human Rights Watch’ critique of Hamas, into a Hamas critique of Israel, by second half of INBBC propaganda piece!

    “Gaza attacks on Israel ‘violation of laws of war'”



    “Even Human Rights Watch admits that Hamas rockets targeted Israeli civilians, violating laws of war”



    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Sometimes the BBC does provide “balance” in their reports. When it suits them.

      They’re so paranoid of being accused of pro-Israel bias that they have to do this, unlike most articles about Israel getting accused of war crimes. Timidity plus bias = quality journalism.


  12. George R says:

    It is significant that in his comments on political developments on Egypt, Bowen is very vague, and is uncritical of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Bowen seems to have a presumption in favour of some vague ‘good sense’ of the collective outcome of ‘democratic’ Egyptian Muslims in their voting.

    Bowen ignores the Morsi-Muslim Brotherhood commitment to a Sharia constitution as a prevention of human freedom. This reflects Bowen’s ‘leftist’ disinclination to criticise Islamic interests with which his ilk still want to form political alliances, even at the price of being politically biased.


  13. moonrakin says:

    An interesting link that – to the growing Christian population in Israel.

    While I am not happy about the way that Israel treats it’s Arab / Muslim inhabitants – the treatment of other religions by Muslims across the “Islamic” countries which I have first hand experience of (me atheist btw) in almost every country in the area has plummeted. The BBC’s craven policy of overt omission, feigning surprise and dignifying first rank brutishness by unquestioningly echoing perpetrator issued press handouts concerning more outrageous episodes is far beyond shameful, past criminal – that they seek to frame the debate about the area in their own politically skewed terms is just not on.

    We pay them for reportage and we get partisan activist agitprop.


    • Teddy Bear says:

      ‘While I am not happy about the way that Israel treats it’s Arab / Muslim inhabitants’

      In what way?
      Why then do so many Muslims/Palestinians want to live in Israel then?


      • moonrakin says:

        re: Treatment of Arabs in Israel.

        If you saw the shite Arabs have to put up with from their own people – Israel’s grass certainly looks greener… it doesn’t surprise me – Ben Gurion’s 1937 letter to his son still seems relevant today.

        My comment was aimed at the whole thing about a possibly mythical Israel where every citizen (an administrative resident – regardless of religious affinity or ethnicity) has an equal vote – my understanding is that this isn’t the case.

        Both sides have their zealous nutters who are working at achieving (impossible) hegemony – but the majority want to get on with their lives… and the struggling nutters are pissing on everybody else’s parade.

        Ben Gurion letter to son Amos 1937


        • Teddy Bear says:

          I’ll do my best to make it clearer for you Moon, but bear in mind it’s a very complex subject, with little or no examples from history to illustrate it.

          There’s a couple of relevant quotes by Golda Meir that might help make the real dynamics more understandable:
          Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.
          When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.

          Consider first that like every Western society, all kinds of levels of beings comprise the nation – high and low.
          Add to this that no time in the nation’s history has there ever been a period of peace and stability, just times of more or less. This is coming after half the total population of Jews in the world were eradicated, and before this were pogroms and persecution.

          Yet we have a people who know they contribute to humanity, know they increase the quality of life, and genuinely want no more complications in life than you do yourself.

          As far as equality goes, Israel citizenship, whether Jew, Muslim, or Christian grants the same rights to each. The exception is that Muslims are not required to serve in the army, though some elect to do so. Muslims can vote, which is why there are some in the Israeli government, even though some at least operate as a negative force within, but that’s democracy.

          If you would believe that there is mistrust by Jews to Muslims, you would not be wrong, but not without good reason. But there are plenty of good intra-personal relationships between both, where both can recognise the agenda of the nutters and abhor them.

          The unfortunate fact is there are non-Israeli Palestinians who hate the militant agenda and what it does to their lives, and they can not even speak out for fear of being branded an Israeli collaborator and executed.

          To be sure the situation in Israel is far from perfect, but given all that has gone on, and continues to go on, it does a pretty good job by our standards.


          • Teddy Bear says:

            Ben Gurion’s letter is good.
            Israelis know and live in hope that “the Arabs will realize that it is better for them to become our allies”.


          • moonrakin says:


            I see all that – and it’s not straightforward.

            going to try this to see another angle


            • Teddy Bear says:

              Not familiar with the book you linked to.

              Another way of looking at it – what do you think you’d do differently if you were the Israeli leader?


              • moonrakin says:

                Israeli leader? Not exactly a stroll in the park that job. I take on board what you say about citizens and I think that the democracy angle could still be exploited better.

                Just at the moment though, there’s an astonishing amount of deranged utterly wacko anti Israel stuff doing the rounds – a lot apparently emanating from odd US sources.

                I do wonder if Barry O’Blimey’s crew are cueing Israel up as a distraction from domestic woes… there’s ‘summit wonky going on. There is apparently a certain hostility between Bibi and Bazza.


        • deegee says:

          I was very dubious about the letter and even more so when I saw the source: Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut, so I did some digging.

          The problem was that in the original handwritten copy of the letter deposited in the IDF Archive, which I consulted after my quote was criticized, there were several words crossed out in the middle of the relevant sentence, rendering what remained as “We must expel the Arabs …” But Ben-Gurion rarely made corrections to anything he had written, and this passage was not consonant with the spirit of the paragraph in which it was embedded. It was suggested that the crossing out was done by some other hand, later — and that the sentence, when the words that were crossed out were restored, was meant by Ben-Gurion to say and said exactly the opposite (“We must not expel the Arabs … ”).

          In my subsequent works, I either omitted the quotation altogether or used the version allowed by the restoration of the crossed-out words.
          Benny Morris himself quoted in
          Quoting Ben Gurion: An Exchange


        • deegee says:

          I’m not sure how a possibly fraudulently altered letter from 1937 is evidence for anything in 2012. Even if the disputed section said what the Arabs claim it says (BTW how did they obtain a Hebrew copy to translate? Why did they bother to translate into English when other historians have already provided a translation?) the contents say nothing about the current treatment of the Arab minority of Israel.

          Point of information for moonrakin. An Arab vote is worth exactly the same as a Jewish vote. There are less Arab representatives in the Knesset than their share of the population for a number of clear reasons:
          1) Voting is not compulsary. A substantial part of the Arab population refuse to vote because voting means they accept the State of Israel. A much higher percentage of the Jewish population use their vote;
          2) Many Arabs vote for Rakah, the former Communist Party which as a matter of principle maintains a mixed list of Jews and Arabs although its Jewish vote is tiny. This guarantees that Jewish MKs are elected on Arab votes;
          3) A significant number of Arabs vote for mainstream Zionist parties that while they do have Arab candidates not in proportion to the Arab vote they receive;
          4) Infighting between the Arabs means they they consistently fail to maximise the vote they do receive. This means that instead of a unified front the present many small groups whose vote is lost if they don’t pass the threshold for a seat. This infighting is so bad that frequently they fail to make the legal vote-sharing arrangements for surplus votes and this also limits the number of seats they win.


          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            Interesting stuff.


          • deegee says:

            5) I should add that the age structure of the Jewish and Arab populations currently works against them in Knesset voting.

            Jews Up to 14 years: 25.5%
            Arabs Up to 14 years: 37.5%

            I don’t have figures for 0-18 (the voting age) but it is a reasonable assumption that as the Arab population grows up more (as a percentage) will vote.


          • moonrakin says:



  14. chrisH says:

    Credit where credit is due.
    Excellent two-part series by David Suchet who followed St Paul on his journeys…was on early on 23rd and 24th December.
    I actually learned new things, as Suchet was engaging and thoughtful.
    Well done BBC…only taken 358 days this year for me to utter that sentence.


  15. Lynette says:

    Sorry to disallusion you but this documentary as a “history” was seriously flawed and not based on facts that are now known. There is clear evidence that Paul was not a Jew. This was the usual reinforcement of myths in the guise of real history and is something that the BBC is good at doing.