Spinning For Syria

Typical BBC spinning history to make Israel look like the villain in this Q&A article about the recent Israeli airstrike on Hezbollah weapons and a related facility in Syria. The only real background context to the conflict you get is this:

Syria and Israel have been technically in a state of war since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The main grievance is over Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights in 1967. Syria has been demanding the area back as part of any peace deal. But the border area has been quiet and Damascus has never retaliated to Israeli attacks.

Let’s just break this propaganda down line by line.

Syria and Israel have been technically in a state of war since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

Well, that’s “accurate”, anyway. Any reason why Syria would be at war with Israel since then, BBC?

The main grievance is over Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights in 1967.

Oh. So let’s just forget about why Syria would be at war with Israel since 1948. As always, the BBC rewrites history so that 1967 is Year Zero. And Israel now becomes the villain of the piece over its “occupation”. Why is Israel there, BBC? Why did it happen, BBC? Without this important bit of background info, Israel is made to look like the aggressor. It’s a main grievance now, sure. But it’s “a” main grievance, not “the” main grievance, which is key. I’m pretty sure an astute News Online editor carefully chose the indefinite article there, which is nice. But it doesn’t make up for the lack of context.

Syria has been demanding the area back as part of any peace deal.

Has it now? That’s nice, but pretty pointless in the face of Syria’s real goal of eliminating Israel, which has been censored here. Since you aren’t told why Israel is “occupying” the Golan, this line lends support to making Israel appear as the villain, full stop. Oh, if only those vile Jews would hand back land they stole, all would be well, eh? That sounds familiar, somehow. Yes, the article itself makes no bones about Syria arming Hezbollah, but at no point are we told why or given any other context in which to view this. Of course, even that bit of honesty is watered down a bit by it all being qualified as “Israel believes”, etc. No other authority we can appeal to has an opinion, BBC? I guess we can’t go to the US for confirmation because, as Katty Kay told us, they’re under pressure from the Jewish Lobby.

But the border area has been quiet and Damascus has never retaliated to Israeli attacks.

Other than arming Hezbollah in a couple of different wars against Israel – and obviously continuing to arm them now – and trying to control Lebanon and doing everything it possibly can to aid violence against Israel, yeah, Syria has never retaliated. Sure, the Syrian military has never officially done anything overtly, but please, let’s not pretend that Syria is always doing the good Christian thing of turning the other cheek. Even something as simple as “Damascus has never officially retaliated” would have helped immensely. Plus, anyone already sympathetic to Syria – or just already anti-Israel – will read the bits about Syria being unable to deal with Israel directly due to their own internal problems will see only Israeli aggression, adding fuel to what any observer of comments on BBC output will know is an already raging fire of anti-Jewish sentiment in their readers.

We’re also told further down that Hezbollah and Israel both expect another war between them, only adding to the long-term BBC Narrative that Hezbollah is a legitimate defense force against Israeli aggression. The takeaway impression is that Israel is the villain, full stop. This goes beyond criticizing Israel and strays into demonization.



SHOCKER: Mark Mardell Spins Romney, Then Plays An Obamessiah Campaign Video

This is why I call Mardell the BBC’s US President editor instead of his official title, BBC North America editor. Mardell’s report about Romney’s trip to Israel leaves out the most important thing he said, and the second half of it is devoted to defending the President on the domestic economy issue.

Mitt Romney: US will stand with Israel

In the accompanying blurb, the BBC mentions that Romney said that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Yet Mardell strangely left that out. Why? He instead says that Romney’s show of support for Israel and strong stance against Iran is less about appeasing US Jews and more about portraying him as being stronger on foreign policy than the President. This is actually correct, and I’m left wondering why Mardell strayed off the BBC reservation here. He’s previously fretted over the Jewish Lobby, so it’s interesting that he doesn’t see them as the main factor here.

First, though, let me whine for a moment about Mardell’s offensive use of the term “Wailing Wall”. While I don’t expect him or any Beeboid to use the Hebrew, ha Kotel (literally, “the Wall”), as showing that much respect is reserved for Muslim holy sites, I do expect him to use the correct English term, “Western Wall”. The “Wailing Wall” is an outmoded stereotype, which comes from non-Jews observing the orthodox Jews’ style of praying. To the uninformed, it was said to sound like wailing. Plus, there’s the historical emotional connotation of this being the only part left standing of the Holy Temple, the only actual holy site in all of Judaism. This is also the only part of the Temple Mount at which Jews are allowed to pray, or even wear religious garb. Mardell should show more respect, and the BBC ought to educate it’s staff better, the way they do for Muslim issues. To many Jews today, the term “Wailing Wall” is offensive. The New York Times (admittedly with more concern for its Jewish audience than the BBC ever could have) uses the term “Western Wall”, and Mardell has no problem taking a page from their playbook when he refers to Bibi Netanyahu as Romeny’s “old friend”, so one would have thought he’d at least get that right as well. But no, he uses an outmoded stereotype temr instead. Whine ends.

It’s especially curious because he fails to mention Romney’s statement about Jerusalem, which is meant to speak to Jews everywhere, and specifically US Jews who are worried about the President’s increasing betrayal of our ally on this issue. Did I say “betrayal”? Yes I did. Has the BBC reported this? Of course not.

We all know by know that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not approved by the BBC’s editorial policy. Several people here have shown how they refuse to show it on, for example, the Olympics page for Israel. Yes, everyone knows it’s “controversial” because the Palestinians don’t accept it, and that the Muslim World hates it and wants Jerusalem to be Judenrein, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Knesset is in Jerusalem and it’s the functioning capital of the country. Outside factors do not decide the capital for any country. The BBC, of course, bows to the Muslim position here, and decides not to acknowledge Israel’s sovereignty on the matter.

Fortunately, the BBC has reported elsewhere that Romney said that about Jerusalem, and used the dodge of reporting other press reports about it as a means of showing how awful it was without having to make any messy editorial decisions themselves. Yes, the Muslim press is all about anger at appeasing the Jewish Lobby. So why does Mardell omit what many see as the most important statement Romney made? Could it be because he knows this will highlight the President’s increasing betrayal of a US ally on this issue?

I say betrayal because that’s exactly what it is. In 2008, when running for President, Candidate Obamessiah said Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Now, He’s been distancing Himself increasingly from that position. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that His press secretary (personal friend of BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News Ameirca, Katty Kay, and husband of her friend and business partner) refused to answer reporters questions about it. Watch the video below:

Yes, you saw that bit at the end right: the President now says that Jerusalem is up for grabs, going back on His word. No wonder the BBC’s US President editor didn’t want to admit what Romney said. If any defenders of the indefensible want to say that doesn’t matter because it’s in the blurb or on that other website page featuring Muslim anger about it, remember that most people will see only Mardell’s video report and not the website text, and so most will remain blissfully unaware of it. And for those wishing to play the source and not the ball, attempting to dismiss this because of who made that video, dispute this quote if you can, and dispute the video evidence above of the President’s original statements and Carney’s sad display.

In reality, Romney’s trip to Israel was meant to show everyone in the US who cares – remember, we hear about how evil Evangelical Christians are equally concerned about Israel’s safety just like the nasty old dual-loyalty Jews are – that he will not betray Israel like the President has been doing. Regardless of which side of the issue one is on, the facts of both candidates’ positions and behavior are there. Mardell spun all that away very nicely.

But that was only a fraction more than half of Mardell’s report. The rest was spent defending the President against the charges that He can’t handle the economy. In fact, Mardell merely states a few words of Romney’s criticism – the only acknowledgment by the BBC anywhere of that “You didn’t build that” gaffe!!! – then plays about ten seconds of the President’s own campaign video rebuttal, complete with the President Himself smiling and speaking to the camera. This is the BBC’s tacit admission that it was a big deal after all. Mardell then closes his report by saying what he thinks Romney’s stop in Poland will cover.

Basically, the President gets a chance to speak for Himself in a report about Romney, while Romney’s campaign gets only Mardell uttering one sentence from their side. In the end, Mardell spins away Romney’s trip to Israel, refusing to mention the most important issue from it.

UPDATE: Oh, dear, it seems I’m 100% wrong on this one. As we know, the standard line on things like this from defenders of the indefensible is that the BBC can’t be biased because other media outlets are reporting the same way. The killer line:

Instead of sending political reporters who report on politics, the foreign affairs reporters might have given us serious reporting on the international issues raised when the Republican nominee for president traveled abroad.

While Romney was in Israel, for example, he proposed a U.S. policy fundamentally different from the one President Obama has given us. Most of the political reporters on the trip missed the significance of the announcement.

Missed, or censored? So either Mardell is a useless tool who just follows along with what his DC Beltway colleagues say, he deliberately censored the key bit out to protect the President, or he’s just a poor political analyst and doesn’t deserve his job. But the BBC expects you to trust him anyway.


I’ve been waiting to see how the BBC would cover the recent missile terror attacks on Israel from Hamastan and finally, this morning, the BBC Today programme deigned to cover it @ 8.21am Naturally, Humphrys instantly suggested that Israel was to blame by impertinently striking against the Islamic terrorists that operate freely within Gaza. Then we had an interview, if you can it that, with Dr Aryeh Kontorovich who lives in Beersheva in southern Israel and Dr Mona El-Farra, vice president of the Red Crescent in Gaza. Basically Dr Mona was allowed to ramble on and on, without interruption. One wonders how the BBC can dare to suggest that the Red Crescent is some sort of neutral charity providing organisation after the semi coherent propaganda spouted by El-Farra. It doesn’t matter what the situation is – when it comes to the BBC, Israel is ALWAYS to blame. Now, why might that be, do you think?


A Biased BBC reader notes; 

“There has been a small and rather unedifying incident in the Knesset – the Parliament of Israel. Basically, an Israeli MK name of Anastasia Michaeli has thrown a plastic beaker of water over another Israeli MK called Raleb Majadele. She storms out. A security guard gets to his feet rather slowly, and does precisely nothing. Other MKs shout the Hebrew equivalent of “hey, that’s not on!”

Why is this story of any interest? Why would the BBC report it, somewhere on its website, it’s not a long story, a few lines and a link to the video, they’ve got plenty of room for it. ITN News has it.

The argument erupted after MK Danny Danon (Likud) called for the dismissal of the principal of a school in the Negev town of Arara, who took students on a human rights march held in Tel Aviv last month. The Knesset discussion was held following a Haaretz report that the Education Ministry reprimanded the Israeli-Arab high school. “You are marching against the state,” Michaeli shouted at Majadele, who answered back, “Shut up.” He then added, “She won’t shut me up.

The real interest is the different ethnic origin of these MKs. Anastasia – as her name reveals – is from Russia, a member of Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel our home) party. Anastasia was born a Christian in St Petersburg, married a Jew, they emigrated to Israel where she subsequently converted to Judaism. Mr Majadele is a Muslim Arab who used to be Minister of Culture and Sport, a member of the Labour party. As they bicker and argue in the Knesset, around them are seated a whole range of MK’s, men and women, Orthodox and secular. Arabs watching this on the BBC website, from Egypt, Tunisia and Syria, yearning for elections and democracy, would be gobsmacked – this is democracy, this is freedom, this is different people of different religions from different parties genuinely arguing, losing your temper??? No secret police rush in and drag you away to be tortured. The BBC could never afford to show ordinary Arabs this, or to explain it fully, their Arab advertisers on BBC Arabic TV would never stand for it.

The BBC would be terrified to reveal that Israel is ethnically mixed, it’s not all Jewish, that many Arabs and Muslims are MKs, members of 18 different political parties and, good gracious, even Ministers. Wouldn’t suit the BBC’s leftwing anti-Israel agenda at all, the only news fit to show from Israel is Israeli “soldiers”, ie school-leavers doing compulsory military service, against “Palestinians” ie people who happen to live on the West Bank. Forget any other news from Israel, far too educational. Uhhhh…. isn’t part of the BBC’s Charter something about “educate”??

They would also be revealing that Mr Majadele took his drenching with very good grace, didn’t seem to get annoyed at all. And now the Speaker of the Knesset has suspended Ms Michaeli for one month. And she has apologised. And personally, I would tend to agree with Mr Majadele’s point of view. But the great thing is they’re all free to argue about it, not like in Arab countries.”


A Biased BBC reader notes;

“Has anyone noticed the following on the BBC website – it is linked to from the homepage: 


It refers to certain cities as being in Palestine – which does not currently exist. Even for supporter of the Two State solution, surely this is erroneous? Perhaps the areas could be called “occupied” or “disputed” territories in the article. Even the British government does not currently recognize Palestine as a state, and will probably not support the UN vote in a few weeks from now. Please note that the link from the BBC homepage (one of the options under “Travel” towards the bottom of the page) includes the following: “The markets of Israel and Palestine will lead to bargains, unique souvenirs and some of the best local food.”

No, the BBC thinks Palestine DOES exist, but it would prefer Israel didn’t. This is then translated into all sorts of daily output.


A frustrated B-BBC reader writes;

“Is the BBC making no mention of some important protests by large numbers of people all round a country, proof of bias? 24 hours ago, Saturday evening, in Israel 150,000 people protested in at least five cities about the cost of living – food, housing, childcare, baby and child necessities and others. it’s a major happening in Israel, the PM cancelled a trip to Poland and there is talk about the summer recess for the Knesset being postponed or cancelled. Netanyahu is setting up committees to urgently look at the problems. Israelis are talking about the relatively few rich Israeli families who apparently own many commercial and industrial companies. There is a lack of competition and many prices are far too high for people’s salaries, people just can’t manage

What does the BBC have on its website about this groundbreaking story? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. WHY? Because the BBC would have to show Israelis as ordinary humans rather than Palestinian-bashing monsters. Because the BBC seems to have an aversion to economics generally? Because they’re lazy and it’s easier to keep hacking on about the Palestinians? Who to my mind are increasingly irrelevant.

The BBC has always had a strange reluctance to show film of Israelis doing ordinary things, shopping, walking along Israeli streets, in ordinary homes. Showing this would reveal that Israel is a busy, bustling, vibrant and especially peaceful country. Anathema for al Beeb.”


One of the most loathsome aspects of the BBC is how it advances an anti-Israeli agenda by leaving out information which might make at least some people question the “independence” of what it reports. A Biased BBC reader notes…

“The lazy journalismof the BBC ensures that anti-Israeli voices are not challenged even when theyuse deception to spread their lies: The words of Tom MacMaster, an American student in Edinburgh who posed as a gaygirl in Syria in order to propagate his anti_Israeli views. This is what he has posted on the pro Palestinian ‘Media Watch’ website:

‘The truth is that there is no more violent society than the Israeli society.Since its establishment, Israel launched six major wars against its Arabneighbors. These were in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1978, 1982, and the present warwhich has continued since March 29, 2002 against the Palestinian people. Nosociety on Earth is as armed to teeth as the Israeli society. Israel is theonly country in the Middle East with stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction:nuclear, biological, and chemical. No matter what means the Israeli propaganda machine may use, it won’t be ableto hide the fact that Israelis are aggressors, occupiers, and land grappers(grippers). The settlements they have built in the Palestinian territoriessince 1967 are symbols of greed.’

His posts as the gay girl in Syria are little different when it comes todescribing Israeli actions and history….he is a well known anti-Israeliactivist but you wouldn’t know this from the BBC.

But you won’t here any of this from the BBC…just that he was using his’deception’ to get across the truth that otherwise would be overlooked….theBBC does not look into his ‘truth’ and examine either his own history and viewsnor his intentions…nor indeed those of his wife, Britta Froelicher, whopromotes the idea of a one nation state…that is, no more Israeli state,merely a state within which Jews live (in peace and harmony) with Palestinians.

MacMasters studies at St Andrews University where his wife works in theirCentre for Syrian Studies, as an Associate Fellow, partially funded to the tuneof £105,000 (just over $170,000) by the Syrian government…yes, the Syriangovernment.

Further regarding funding of Universities the Centre for Social Cohesion published this report on foreign donations and influence: 

 A Degree of Influence: The funding of strategically important subjects in UKuniversities highlights the foreign money that is being injected into thosesubjects that are designated of ‘strategic importance’ by the UK government,and the ways in which the cash is being converted into influence at universities on a range of levels. The report discovers that universities have insufficient safeguards in place to prevent donations affecting the way universities are run. There is clearevidence that, at some universities, the choice of teaching materials, the subjectareas, the degrees offered, the recruitment of staff, the composition of advisoryboards and even the selection of students are now subject to influence from donors. These problems are heightened by the undemocratic nature of certain donor governments.’

Just WHY do so many academics want to boycott Israel? The BBC has no interest in such questions…