Keeping Watch

I’m forever guarding the BBC’s output, day and night. I watch all channels simultaneously, whilst listening to radios one two three four five six and seven, and the BBC World Service.

Only Joking. I’m bemused if anyone has that impression, and quite flattered.

From the bits I do watch, I recognise many of the biases mentioned on this blog, but I find the anti Israel bias the most painful, and somehow the most insidious, because it leads to things like the incident at the Prom.

Palestinian Solidarity Campaigners committed a profoundly self-defeating affront when they disrupted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Music lovers regard Zubin Mehta and Gil Shaham as the crème de la crème. The audience at the Albert Hall eventually got to enjoy the treat they were waiting for. First they had to sit by and watch while a bunch of nobodies who presumed they had the right to caterwaul and chant and drown out the finest musicians in the world, gave an embarrassing display of their insensitivity and ignorance.

The radio 3 audience missed out altogether. The BBC made an unfortunate decision to abandon the live transmission. However, when the fools were finally ejected, the performance went ahead triumphantly, to prolonged, tumultuous, joyous, applause.

The incident has generated thousands of comments on the internet.

There are four hundred and forty four on the BBC News website, and forty nine on the BBC Proms website, several hundred below other articles, such as Brendan O’Neill’s piece in the Telegraph.(689 and counting)

The ignorance displayed by some of the contributors is mind-boggling.

The Palestinian Sympathy Orchestra, let’s call them, is equipped with clichéd, half-understood gossip, myths and distortions. Helpfully, they nearly always set them out in full before launching off into the tirade proper. “Stolen land, illegal settlements, ethnic cleansing, diverted water supplies, bulldozed houses, white phosphorous, apartheid, UN resolutions, illegal this that and the other” they excrete, indignantly. Particularly common is: “Israelis are killing innocent Palestinians everyday.”

They *know* these things, and they use them to justify their largely predetermined hatred of Israel. Where do they get these ideas?

Comments also appear on Norman Lebrecht’s ‘Slipped Disc” webpages. Today there’s a contribution by famous tousle-haired cellist Steven Isserlis. It was submitted to the Guardian, and for some reason they chose not to publish. He begins: “The protesters who disrupted the Prom by the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta are not only guilty of cultural hooliganism, but are deeply misguided.” and ends: “To wreck their very rare and special concert over here gives a terrible impression of us all – haven’t the rioters done that already?

You may as well read the middle as well.