I see that our resident contrarians spent the best part of a day trying to persuade readers that the BBC is entirely innocent of any anti-Israeli spin in its preferred choice of questions for a Gallup poll.
I think a more informed, impartial and rational look at the information tells the true story.
The excellent BBC Watch has come to the same conclusion that Biased BBC did when it looked at David Cowling’s, the BBC’s Head of Political Research, comments about which question was his favourite in the Gallup world poll….that he was , of course, referring to Israel….
DC: “Yes, I think it would be “Which country do you believe to be the greatest threat to world peace today?”. I suspect that – working with journalists – I know colleagues who would be quite excited by what might be coming out of…”
“That’s certainly true, but isn’t it a bit narrow? Because there aren’t many…although you could say of course the United States because it’s the most powerful, or you could say China because it’s whatever, or you could say North Korea because it’s bonkers, or you know….
DC: “What I’d be interested in, John, is the variations. So for example there are going to be questions asked in Lebanon, in the West Bank and Gaza. I suspect different answers there if it was asked..”
So, with Cowling having already done his bit as far as trying to influence BBC audiences into selecting a specific question is concerned, all that remains is to place bets on the phrasing of upcoming BBC headlines to be written by those “quite excited” journalists – and it might not be outlandish to assume that there is a fairly strong possibility that the words “Israel” and “threat” will be in there somewhere.’
Nothing clearer than that…no doubt that Cowling was referring to Israel.
The real question that the BBC might like to ask is why is it that people view Israel in such a negative light?
Could it possibly be that it is inherent in the thinking of the BBC staff such as Cowling who ably illustrated the problem in that interview…his first thought was of Israel as a ‘threat to world peace‘….could it be that years of BBC negative reporting, amongst other’s, on Israel has led to….
In 2003 the EU conducted a similar poll and guess what the result was….
Senior Israeli figures have voiced anger at a European survey labelling their country the greatest threat to world peace.
“We are not only said but outraged. Not at European citizens but at those who are responsible for forming public opinion,” Israel’s mission to the EU said in a statement.
The Israeli Minister for the Diaspora affairs, Natan Sharansky, said the results showed the EU engaged in “rampant brainwashing”.
European Commission President Romano Prodi expressed his concern about the findings, saying that they “point to the continued existence of a bias that must be condemned out of hand”.
“To the extent that this may indicate a deeper, more general prejudice against the Jewish world, our repugnance is even more radical,” Mr Prodi said in a statement.
“The European Union, which shows sensitivity on human rights issues, would do well to stop the… demonising of Israel before Europe deteriorates once again to dark sections of its past,” Mr Sharansky said.
Could such polls have an effect on how the EU conducts its policies?
‘Earlier, an EU spokesman played down the importance of the survey.
The spokesman, Gerassimos Thomas, said the poll results would not affect European policy-making in the short term……But the BBC’s Tim Franks in Brussels says the findings may reduce European diplomats’ effectiveness in dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict by heightening Israeli distrust of the EU.’
Despite the EU’s half hearted denial it is obvious these polls are used to influence policy as Gallup tells us:
In 2007 the BBC conducted its own poll…..Thanks to George R for providing this link to the article about that BBC poll which managed to finger Israel as the world’s most dangerous nation.
It seems that the BBC has learnt nothing.
This is what the 2007 survey asked:
According to the BBC, the survey “gave respondents a list of 12 countries and asked whether they had a mostly positive or mostly negative influence in the world. “The country with the highest number of mostly negative responses overall is Israel (56% negative, 17% positive).
This is the reason for the negative outlook:
“It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the use or pursuit of military power,” said pollster Steven Kull, who directed the survey.
So Israel is a dangerous country because of the use of military power?
No questions as to why it might be forced to use that military power?
What do Hamas and Hezbollah use then? Of course, as the BBC’s Mishal Husain says they are only ‘home made contraptions‘.
The evil Israelis defending themselves against the peace loving Palestinians…..appalling warmongers those Joows.