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.



Those Oh So Sensitive BBC Editors…..

It’s a tough job, trundling through BBC’s Editors Blog (did Goebbels have something similar at his Propaganda Ministry?) but two items are worthy of note.

Firstly a tear stained piece from Jeremy Hillman, editor of the BBC News business and economics unit. Jeremy was soooooo upset about George Osborne suggesting

the BBC’s approach to reporting the economy was relentlessly to focus on the bad news and the most gloomy statistics.

Hillman went on to produce a fistful of examples in an attempt to derail Osborne’s case, par for the course for any BBC suit when faced with accusations of bias. Then he sits back smugly thinking he has proved his point.

Actually Sarah Montague, despite Hillman’s spin about consciously downplaying Padoan, did indeed home in on the Padoan remarks so obviously she didn’t get the memo.

But we all know what Osborne was really getting at – not that they ignored positive items about the economy from third parties but the whole question of tone and emphasis which is why he used the word “relentlessly”. Ever since the Coalition took office the BBC’s overarching leitmotif has been CUTS rather than savings and one only has to watch any QT audience to see how successful that campaign has been.

However the good news is that Osborne’s comment touched a nerve. I guess that this issue has been raised at several North London dinner parties recently because Hillman and his pals realise that Charter Renewal is beginning to appear on the horizon and they cannot afford to upset a senior cabinet figure. Let’s hope that other government big cheeses start getting under sensitive BBC skins on a regular basis.

Then this abject apology re the Israeli Dog Stoning story from Nathalie Malinarich, world editor of the BBC News website

We failed to make the right checks. We should never have written the article and apologise for any offence caused.

Don’t worry, luv – we know why you failed to make the right checks…..while you were all busy filling in your expenses forms a breathless young graduate trainee rushed in and blurted out “those crazy religious bigoted Jews – as well as murdering helpless innocent Palestinians they are now going after helpless dogs…”

It fitted into the BBC’s anti Israeli narrative so perfectly you just couldn’t resist it…c’mon, Nathalie…is the Pope catholic? Those Jews aren’t they evil?

Accentuate the Negative, Eliminate the Positive. (Don’t mess with Mister In- Between)

I wrote the following article last week, but events prevented me from finishing it. Now I see that E.O.Z. has written on a similar theme, and has come to similar conclusions. So here’s mine.

I’ve touched previously on the fate of refugees from the Horn of Africa after their perilous journey to Israel. Many of those that survived had been subjected to rape and abuse along the way. Strange that they took the trouble to make for such an evil, brutal, racist country.

The BBC obliquely criticises Israel for putting a limit on the numbers to whom it can provide sanctuary. They utter nary a peep over the reasons they seek refuge, nor a squeek of condemnation of the people-traffikers murderers and rapists who foment their harrowing predicament, because they’re too busy implying that Israel should accept unlimited illegal immigration.
The BBC is fixated solely upon the measures the Israeli government has taken to stem the flow, because a wall is being constructed to secure Israel’s pourous border with Egypt, a wall which the BBC impliedly deems to be a racist apartheid separation barrier.

Meanwhile, back at the UK, we proudly boast about our reputation for tolerance. Some would say the reckless pursuit of this ideal might be about to turn round and slap us in the face. Some may wonder, what if those we have bent over backwards to accommodate don’t reciprocate? Some might speculate that there’s little sign that they will.

Could we, ourselves, one day, be outsiders wondering where to seek refuge? Some might think that in our haste to embrace diversity and multiculturalism, we’ve embraced our own extinction, and little baby tolerance has been thrown out with the bathwater.

Israel was envisaged as a homeland and sanctuary for Jews. An insurance policy which history tells us is a must-have. Nevertheless, Israel is diverse and multicultural, and refugees from far and wide already squeeze in, but Israel must prioritise the preservation of its Jewish identity, or it will cease to be fit for purpose.

Not that the BBC will understand this need. Having backed the total abandonment of our own national identity, the BBC rigidly perceives Israel as racist, that it has no business trying to retain its Jewish identity, and it must do the decent thing and abandon it. before it can be seen as a decent country like Britain.

This article is typical.
The first paragraph sets out the plight of the African migrants in bold type. The emphasis is on Israel’s efforts to limit overwhelming mass illegal immigration. It concentrates on personal ‘human interest’ stories, leaving Israel looking hard-hearted and racist for putting ‘full up’ on the door. Someone from an organisation called Hotline for Migrant Workers is wheeled in to criticise the Israeli governent without a trace of sympathy or understanding of a dilemma which has not been taken into consideration at all.

Some would say this is the usual fare, e.g. reporting from Israel which ignores historical context, disregards Israel’s omnipresent existential stuggle and fails to acknowledge that its citizens are under constant threat from hostile duplicitous and violent neighbours who are hell bent on exterminating them.
In other words it treats Israel as though it was a London suburb.

The BBC must get real and grasp the fact that Israel isn’t London. They should also get into their heads, if it isn’t too late, that as things stand, even London isn’t London.

No Brainer

US given one-month deadline to rescue Mid-East talks.

Arab League ministers, that reasonable, even-handed body of sages has spoken. They must have carefully weighed up all the pros and cons, deliberated, cogitated and anguished over their decision before arriving at the conclusion that Abbas should stand firm and walk out of the peace talks. More time must be given and more pressure applied to Israel by Obama. The world shall greet this announcement with joy, wonderment and feigned surprise.

Name one factor in this farcical chess game of manipulation that would favour the Arab League advising Abbas to return to the table and overlook the end of the freeze on settlement building? Can’t think of one? Nor can I.

The world has swallowed, hook line and sinker, the theory that settlements are the obstacle to peace.

The world has swallowed, h l & s the contention that the occupied territories are illegal under international law.

The world has swallowed the contention that all settlement building amounts to Jews stealing Palestinian land.

The world unquestioningly accepts the Arab demands for ‘preconditions.’

So the long awaited decision by the Arab league was a bit of what they call a no-brainer. A bit of a foregone conclusion.

So now Obama has to demand that Israel brushes aside the Palestinians’ refusal to renounce violence, recognise Israel’s right to exist, budge on the right of return and all the rest of it, because the whole wide world and your BBC has conspired to delegitimise Israel, and instil the notion that Arab intransigence and pride are quaint traits of their culture. Innit.

ROCKET (like an Egyptian)

BBC seemed more perturbed this morning that one rocket fired by peace-loving Islamic “militants” from the Sinai landed in Jordan than the several fired at Eilat in Israel. There is an almost blase approach to the BBC method of reporting terrorist attacks on Israel almost suggesting that the Israelis have invited such attacks. But since the BBC is neutral on all these matters, that can’t be the case, can it?

Inflammatory Matters

The TUC conference in Liverpool is to vote on yet another call to boycott Israel. As Sarah Jane put it on another thread “My opinion of Afghanistan is derived entirely from the news I receive about it.”
I suspect this also applies to members of the Fire Brigade union, Unite and Unison vis-à-vis the Middle East.
Today’s interview between James Naughtie and Israeli Deputy Ambassador Talya Lador-Fresher did little to enlighten the listener. The BBC’s theory that the settlements are the only obstacle to peace was put forward to justify the boycott using the “What else could they do?” argument, as in Cherie Blair’s empathetic defence of suicide bombers. Talya Lador-Fresher was only able to squeeze in, just at the end, a reference to the forgotten obligation, the other side of the requirement for peace- ‘some sort of gesture from the Arab world.’

The logic of boycotting Israel escapes me, but coming from people who are continually accusing Israel of collective punishment it is hypocritical in the extreme. Naughtie suggested boycotts are justifiable if you decide a government has failed, or “failed to convince people that its policy is reasonable.” (By that token we should be boycotting….never mind)
Whose fault is it that Israel has failed to convince people anything about its policies? For years the BBC has done its utmost to unconvince them.

A whitewash here, a smear there and half truths everywhere. It seems that the necessity to sustain cordial relations with oil-rich countries is reaching the the point of no return, and the BBC grooms us with its unrelenting campaign to sanitise Islam, vilify Israel, and erode the British identity in a seemingly unstoppable multi pronged onslaught.

Something slipped through the net on BBC World Service.

“Our reporter Mat Heywood has visited the site of a new biocluster that’s being built in Israel. This is a specially designed massive science park, where institutions like universities and hospitals stand alongside small start up companies and even investment banks. The idea is that they can then talk and do business with each other.”

A report so effusively admiring that you had to wonder how it escaped.

“Claire Skentelbery from the Council of European BioRegions joins us on the programme to explain why this set up is vital for the biotechnology industry.”

She was so enthusiastic about bioclusters in general it begged the question – whether, in the long term, Israel’s cutting edge science would not be even more valuable to this country than the Arab oil we’re bending over backwards to be allowed to acquire.

And if we don’t want Israel’s expertise, or if the brains in UK academia do plump for their academic boycotts, I’m sure plenty of other countries will be only too glad to take advantage. So go on Liverpool, boycott everything from Israel and shoot yourself in the foot.

Back to Abnormal

That predictably biased UN report that criticises Israel and calls for war crimes investigations, and generally condemns Israel for existing, has stirred up relatively dormant Middle East issues again.

Laura Trevelyan’s reports on News 24 even sounded balanced in comparison. She pointed out that Israel has said the UN report was hugely biased and didn’t represent the evidence that was given to them, but merely reflected Hamas’s account of events in Gaza.
From her report alone, one might almost think anti-Israel bias was easing up at the Beeb. This was a momentary blip.

The report on the web reverts back to normal, and a few moments ago News 24 interviewed Ehud Barak, after a short emotive film clip from Katya Adler, and a subliminal flash of Ban Ki Moon.

The Beeboid made no attempt to conceal his contempt for Mr Barak and his Broken-English attempts to explain Israel’s situation. Something made Beeboid believe it was his job, as interrogator, to pass judgment on Israel’s morality, rather the immorality of fighting a terrorist organisation that had been sending rockets into Israel for eight years, then continued doing so from behind civilians the moment Israel decided it had had enough and retaliated.

Balen Out?

We may well be one step closer to seeing what’s inside the notorious Balen report, but the appeal process may succeed in dragging it out forever and a day. Whatever happens, the fact that they’ve gone to such lengths to keep it quiet speaks volumes, probably far more than actually revealing what’s in there. It’s been concealed for long enough to have gathered mythical status.

Some say it’s not all that damning of the BBC in any case, and even if it is, people will discredit it as they always do. There are already several outfits monitoring anti-Israel bias such as Honest Reporting, Just Journalism and so on, and they are routinely dismissed as biased by those who don’t like their findings.

Everyone is bound to wonder what’s in a report that has been kept so secret. Protestations that it contains inner workings of BBC procedure and is none of our business just make one think ever more suspicious thoughts. What is going on in this mysterious BBC? It’s not the flipping Magic Circle, is it? Are there secrets that, if let out into the open, will destroy some vital mystique forever and ever? And then, abracadabra, the BBC will wither and die. That’s ridiculous, surely.

Too much water has gone under the bridge now since the Balen report was first prepared. There has been another onslaught of bias since then, so we need another Balen report.

Anyone who has ever been personally involved in an event that gets into the newspapers will know that as soon as it goes into print it appears distorted and acquires handfuls of errors.
Anyone who reads a wonderful book and then sees the film is usually hugely disappointed. Or they may find it okay, but not in the same way as the original. Someone else’s interpretation can’t be anything but someone else’s interpretation.

Jeremy Bowen can make as many Panoramas as he likes. He is a man with a partisan view, and that’s his business. But the BBC must provide balance. It must counteract the damage done by biased reporting by people with a grievance. Because the ‘wrong-is-right’ acceptance of Islamist alien cultural norms together with ever increasing waves of antisemitism are a tinderbox, and like a bush fire, we mustn’t say we didn’t see it coming.