The BBC’s Little White Lie For Palestinians

On the heels of Turkish PM Erdogan’s remark that Zionism is a crime against humanity, the BBC felt the need to briefly explain what Zionism is.

Zionism is an ideology or movement that asserts that the Jewish people have a right to a national home or state in what was the Biblical “Land of Israel”. There is no consensus among Zionists where the borders of the state should be. For Palestinians, the success of Zionism has meant the frustration of their national aspirations and life under occupation.

Except for one thing: there was no such thing as Palestinians or their national aspirations until after the Arabs failed twice to destroy Israel. Only then was there any movement to create the concept of Palestinians and a national identity, leading to the founding of the PLO in 1964. Only after Israel occupied territory ceded by Jordan and Egypt after yet another failed war to destroy the Jews was there even a concept of Palestinian territory. Until then, Israel’s enemies saw them as Jewish usurpers in Muslim Arab land, full stop. There was no such thing as Palestinian nationalism. Rather, the identity group was encouraged as a buffer and cannon fodder for the Arabs’ continued war against the Jews. As always, the BBC rewrites history so that 1967 is Year Zero. There was no “occupation” before that, unless one feels that the entire State of Israel has been an occupying force since 1948. That’s the impression given by this BBC article, though.

For other examples of this kind of BBC revisionism, see here, here, and here.

There was no movement for a Palestinian homeland when it was part of Jordan, or under the British Mandate, or under the Ottoman Empire or anything else. It’s a modern concept, created long after the creation of Israel. Of course, by “the success of Zionism”, one assumes that the BBC journalist who wrote this means that Israel hasn’t been destroyed yet. After all, the Palestinians’ true goal is not self-governance in Gaza and the West Bank (which they already have), but the removal of the Zionist Entity entirely. Every once and a while, the BBC admits this, but for some reason fail to mention it here. Nor do they ever mention that a Palestinian State will be Judenrein. If, hypothetically, there was a sort-of contiguous Palestinian State existing side-by-side with the Jewish State, does anyone seriously believe the Palestinians and the Arabs (and Iranians) would accept that the occupation of Arab/Muslim land had ended? Of course not. The very existence of Israel is the “success of Zionism”. That’s what the Beeboid meant here. The only logical conclusion is that, so long as Israel exists, Palestinian national aspirations will remain stunted.

(UPDATE: On further reflection, I’m now wondering if perhaps by “the success of Zionism”, the Beeboid meant not merely maintaining Israel’s existence but the conquest/occupation of Arab land. That’s more Palestinian/anti-Israel propaganda, as if 1967 was all about Israeli conquest and precious little to do with the attempts to destroy it. Can someone else find a better explanation? Or is this code for the evil Settlements?)

Whatever one thinks about the right of people who now call themselves Palestinians to their own self-governed territory, or the Jews’ right for same, the BBC is spreading a false version of history. This goes beyond mere criticism of Israel and strays into demonization territory. It’s impossible to have an honest discussion of the situation when the BBC taints the scene in this way.

Please don’t anyone try to start arguing about whether or not Israel is right or wrong, or give me any BS about how I think Israel can do no wrong or any other nonsense. This is about the BBC distorting reality in way that favors one side and demonizes the other.



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25 Responses to The BBC’s Little White Lie For Palestinians

  1. NotaSheep says:

    Until the late 1980s, Jordan’s Hashemite rulers did not deny that their country was Palestine. They said so on numerous occasions. In 1965, King Hussein said: “Those organisations which seek to differentiate between Palestinians and Jordanians are traitors.” As late as 1981, Hussein repeated “Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.”

    In March 1971, The Palestine National Council, too, stated that “what links Jordan to Palestine is a national bond […] formed, since time immemorial, by history and culture. The establishment of one political entity in Transjordan and another in Palestine is illegal.”

    More here.


    • ltwf1964 says:

      March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. Here’s what he said:

      The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.

      For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

      on the same day Arafat signed the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn in 1993, he explained his actions on Jordan TV. Here’s what he said: “Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish a sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.”


    • Span Ows says:

      Very good piece…10 pages long in Word!


  2. noggin says:

    “Relations etween Israel and Turkey have deteriorated since May 2010 when nine Turkish activists aboard a flotilla of aid ships trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza were killed in clashes with Israeli troops”

    “activists” ? oh … try to intimate delivering medicine i suppose? – (at least they didn t make themselves look even more biased by punting “peace” in front) – or something else like jihad mass murder . well lets see


    • noggin says:


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Yeah, I noticed that but left it alone because the BBC was actually pretty fair for a change in their coverage of that fiasco. It must have been very difficult for them to approach it honestly. And it wasn’t really relative to my main point.


    • NotaSheep says:

      Have the BBC ever shown that piece of video? Why not? Because it would ruin their carefully fabricated narrative?


  3. deegee says:

    The BBC is unlikely to mention it but the creation of a Palestinian state is irrelevant to those Palestinians who support Islamism (Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and others) usually conveniently numbered as 50% of the population. Their aim is to recreate the Caliphate and in the process abolish all existing Muslim states or at least those in the area the Caliphate once controlled.


  4. deegee says:

    Those who support Jordan is Palestine should ask themselves what they prefer the Hashemites or Hamas in control.


  5. Alex Feltham says:

    And what about the aspirations of our Muslim community?

    Don’t they deserve a homeland in their areas?

    There’s a great take on the resurrection of the relevance of treason in Britain with the Birmingham bomb plot in: Humpty and his Numpties” at:


  6. Ian Hills says:

    We never hear anything about occupied territories like Bradford, Brixton, etc.


  7. Teddy Bear says:

    Excellent post David.

    …There is no consensus among Zionists where the borders of the state should be…

    I would like the BBC to give a credible explanation as to how they arrived at this statement.

    The Jews accepted the land allocated to them by the UN. It was the Arabs that didn’t accept the international recognition that those borders would give the Jews, and tried to wipe them out. They have tried on successive occasions to do the same, and thankfully so far without success.

    Whenever an Arab nation has made a sincere peace with Israel, then any lands lost by them in their aggressive wars was returned to them, and what was first allocated as the borders were upheld.

    In the absence of any peace agreement with Syria and the Palestinians, Israel is under no obligation to uphold borders that the Arabs themselves have not honoured.

    Only militant Islamists and the likes of the BBC could see it any other way.


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘I would like the BBC to give a credible explanation as to how they arrived at this statement.’
      You could ask.
      But that would be a question of them and, well, you know…


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Teddy, it’s a very clear reference to the hated Settlements.


    • johnnythefish says:

      Excellent, TB. The BBC never mention the background to the formation of the state of Israel, and the Arab rejection of a proposed two-state solution (UN Resolution 181).

      ‘The United States, the Soviet Union and most other member states of the United Nations immediately recognized Israel after it declared independence on May 14, 1948, and indicted the Arabs for their aggression. The United States urged a resolution charging the Arabs with breach of the peace. Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko told the Security Council, May 29, 1948:
      This is not the first time that the Arab states, which organized the invasion of Palestine, have ignored a decision of the Security Council or of the General Assembly. The USSR delegation deems it essential that the council should state its opinion more clearly and more firmly with regard to this attitude of the Arab states toward decisions of the Security Council.

      Although UN Resolution 181 is still sometimes cited when it is advantageous to the pro-Arab Palestinian position, the State of Israel has consistently maintained that the Partition Resolution became null and void when it was rejected by the Arab side in 1947’.


  8. Paul Weston says:

    The BBC has no interest in the rights of Palestinians per se. They are more interested in ensuring that a people made up mainly of European, white and Jewish stock have no rights, no legal country and no real existence. The BBC is now on a par with the Nazi Party circa 1935.


    • deegee says:

      For the record. The majority of Israelis originated from the Mid East and North Africa not Europe. As vague as ‘white’ as a label is, Arabs are usually considered ‘white’.


  9. Bob says:

    Seems a perfectly reasonable definition to me. I find you tend to interpret sentences with all kinds of permutations that simply don’t exist in the sentence.

    Of course the articel leads with the condemnation of the statement, which in other circumstances you would argue is biased.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      No, I would not argue in another circumstance that this method was biased. Others here may, but not me. I’d look at the overall balance of the piece, or lack thereof. I think I tend to look at how Beeboids end these pieces more.

      The first part of the definition is reasonable, but the BBC undermines the concept entirely in the next sentence. How do you interpret “the success of Zionism” bit? I notice you have no comment on that or my main point.


      • Bob says:

        ‘How do you interpret “the success of Zionism” bit?

        ‘Zionism is an ideology or movement that asserts that the Jewish people have a right to a national home or state ‘

        ie. the state of Israel.


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Bob, that’s the definition of Zionism, not the definition of its “success”. Otherwise, you do realize you’ve just confirmed what you previously dismissed as my interpretation of something that doesn’t exist, don’t you? I.E. “the success of Zionism” = the continued existence of Israel = the obstacle to a Palestinian State = Erdogan is correct that it’s a crime against humanity.


  10. deegee says:

    Success of Zionism? If creating a modern, democratic, industrial state in less than a century; successfully absorbing millions of immigrants; high press freedom; major and game changing technology advances; Nobel Prizes; European level literacy; beating off the efforts of her neighbours to destroy her; reintroduction of the Hebrew language into everyday use, etc. are not signs of success and causes of Arab jealousy, what is?


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Anyone who says that the “success of Zionism” is an obstacle to Palestinian Statehood is saying that the democratic State of Israel should not exist.