Aiding or Abetting

The BBC’s approach to the I/P conflict is to assume there’s a unanimous consensus amongst its viewers and listeners that Israel is guilty on all counts.

Dissenters like myself take the view that the BBC taints the news it brings us by using a combination of devices.
A distancing, dehumanising approach to Israeli individuals, the exaggerated human interest treatment of Palestinian victimhood, the omission of vital context and historical background, and undue prominence given to unverified statements from Palestinian spokespersons; to name but a few.

All this reinforces the perception of Israel’s unreasonable conduct, and rationalises the guilty verdict.

There has been a lot of news about the merits or otherwise of giving large amounts of aid to needy countries. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, say some, and aid inevitably gets into the wrong hands, causes corruption, and creates dependency and hampers self determination and enterprise.

One group, however, is so needy and so deserving, that the urgency of their predicament supersedes such considerations, causing all doubts to melt away. Which brings us to..

The Flotilla.
When the flotilla approaches Gaza, people wonder what will happen. What will Israel do?

What will the BBC do?

The Other Half

While we have been occupied with election business, the BBC’s delegitimisation of Israel carries on relentlessly. But they disguise the bias as best they can, because they know they’re being watched.
There have been several seemingly trivial examples over the last few weeks.

On the open thread, Pounce and David Preiser mention the BBC’s initial silence over Hamas’s bulldozing of Palestinian homes. (They weren’t the only ones who didn’t like the story) Then, when it came, at last, to the BBC’s attention, Pounce noted the contrasting treatment given to similar stories – where the guilty party are Palestinians, and where the villains were Israelis.

The report that deals with Israel’s ‘transgression’ is presented through the words of notoriously anti-Israel campaigners Human Rights Watch. By repeating HRW’s allegations appended by “the report said,” the BBC are able to cram in all the emotive language they want, including, for good measure, our old friend the tally of deaths in Operation Cast Lead.

In subtle but significant contrast, ill-concealed sympathy for Hamas seeps into the belated report that they couldn’t ignore any longer. Mitigating statements from Hamas are included, as well as gratuitous mentions of Israel’s misdemeanours and incursions into Gaza.

Later, on the same open thread, Deegee draws our attention to this BBC story about commemorating the ‘Nakba’ which the BBC is usually keen to elaborate on. (You rarely see or hear anything on the BBC about the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands that occurred at the time.)

The emotive language in the opening paragraph gives Mills and Boon a run for their money. The article continues in that vein, till the last sentence of the paragraph headed ‘Both right’ jolts you out of your somnambulence. “When the war broke out ….”

You know, as wars do. All by themselves.

These seemingly insignificant examples are part of a very much bigger whole. Added together, such things, and there are more than fifty years’ worth, amount to the delegitimisation that we have now.

In universities, in trade unions, at dinner parties, in the broadcasting fraternity, everyone has been educated by the BBC, and everyone agrees that Israel is beyond the pale, and everyone is outraged.

For half a story, you can rely on the BBC. But you won’t necessarily know that it’s only half.

Partly it’s a result of dumbing down. For the missing bits you have to read things like this fascinating article and the comments below it, about antisemitism, the creation of Israel, and the grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, cross posted on CiF Watch. Without this quality of information, how can anyone get anywhere near making a balanced judgement?

We don’t get anything of such depth from the BBC, on either side of the divide. But even something superficial and glib, BBC style, would be a start; if it was just, purely and simply, even-handed and unbiased.


A biased bbc reader writes…

“Mosab Hassan Yousef is the eldest son of a senior Hamascommander. He was arrested by Shin Bet and beaten by three of their agents. Hepoints out that this is not Shin Bet or Israeli policy, but the actions ofindividual agents who hate Palestinians. He has converted to Christianity andnow works to save lives – Israeli or Palestinian. If that means informing onHamas or Fatah operations he will do it. He blames the war not of Israelis orPalestinians but on ideology – specifically the Koran.

He was presumably asked onto Hardtalk on account of abook he has written. Zeinab Badawi persistently interrupted him, and tried todivert him from points he wanted to make to issues which she considered moreimportant. Badawi is from a Muslim background, though whether she is apractising Muslim is not known to me. It was obvious that Yousef’s criticism ofPalestinians and Islam were getting under her skin. That Yousef should hold upa Koran at the end and blame it for the whole Israel/Palestine conflict musthave shot a dagger through her multicultural spleen. Watch for yourself.”

Righteousness and Wrongteousness

Recently some of us linked to a comprehensive study of the BBC’s institutional hostility to Israel and its biased reporting of the I/P conflict. It mentions much of what we’ve been highlighting here for yonks, and includes a systematic analysis of emotive partisan terms and references. They submitted it to the BBC, and awaited a response. So far all that has materialised is a rejection, conveyed indirectly, via the Jewish Chronicle.

The BBC is impartial, so it ignores pressure groups.

“It’s not uncommon to hear these sorts of findings from pressure groups but our role is to provide independent reporting and analysis of all perspectives of a story, so our audiences can make sense of what’s going on themselves.
The independent panel set up by our board of governors found no deliberate or systematic bias in the BBC coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.”

By labelling every individual and organisation that supports Israel a pressure group, the BBC absolves itself from having to look into any complaints about its reporting, or anything at all that happens to be brought up in Israel’s defence.

It doesn’t, however, consider the pro Palestinian, anti-Israel NGOs that shelter under the protection of Human Rights or charitable status pressure groups, no matter how partisan they obviously are.
If audiences are to be expected to make sense of anything, they must be given the whole story. But the BBC thinks of one side as independent reporting and the other as propaganda.

A response to another separate complaint contained the following:

“We’re committed to honest, unbiased reporting and are determined to remain free from influence by outside parties, whether political or lobbyists. Our Corporation’s Charter and Agreement allows us independence from political pressure and the licence fee gives us independence from advertising, shareholder or other commercial interests. Impartiality forms the cornerstone of BBC News and Current Affairs and we’ve nothing to gain by weighting our coverage in political terms or by allowing influence from any other outside body.”

…but maybe much to lose from not allowing influence from other outside bodies?

I suspect they really believe all of the above. If they don’t, they really really want to. They believe in their own righteousness, even when it means turning reason on its head.

From the BBC’s perspective, Israel has been delegitimised, (mainly by the BBC itself), till it’s a given that it’s just plain wrong.

Heinz meanz beanz, and Impartiality meanz Israel is wrong.

A Non Event and A Non Report

The BBC has remained silent over the frightening behaviour of Manchester Students from Action Palestine who attacked the deputy Israeli Ambassador Talya Lador-Fresher the other day as she tried to leave the university after giving a political science lecture.

Students are renowned for their passionate advocacy of of democracy, and they regard it as their democratic right to violently attack a speaker from a democratic country in alleged support of a regime in which free speech is non existent.

The BBC has spent decades whipping up the public into the sort of righteous indignation against Israel that could only have been achieved by withholding half the story, and continually suppressing the notion that there IS another half.

This display of ignorance and immaturity may only be a small part of the bigger story that is being ignored by the BBC, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Gestalt.

The BBC has been announcing this non-event several times today. So it can’t be Manchester itself that isn’t newsworthy.

Inconvenient Tale

Please put the pressing issue of UK politics to one side for a moment to read the latest post on Robin Shepherd’s blog. It’s aimed at the BBC because of something they’re currently ignoring.
Robin says he has reason to believe that BBC editors sometimes read his blog, and I sincerely hope they do. Whether they still read this one I know not. In case they do, I’ll reiterate here that Robin poses a challenge to the BBC. It’s a pigs will fly sort of a challenge, but never mind.

The story involves rape, a television series, Palestinian prisoners, and the IDF.
All subjects that would normally be of great interest to the BBC. So why isn’t this one? Read on….

Ooops. BBC Retracts Misleading Report

It seems some people DO have success when it comes to having their complaints upheld by the BBC. As long as they belong to the anti-Israel brigade.

Should a report that shows anti Israel campaigners in a poor light accidentally slip through the net, the BBC Editorial department will leap into action.

Nobody can interrupt a meeting or performance and come out smelling of roses.
Certainly Tony Greenstein and Deborah Fink’s display of exhibitionism that ruined the Jerusalem Quartet’s performance at the Wigmore Hall was counterproductive in the extreme. I hope their ‘cause’ suffered a setback of disproportionately greater magnitude than the distress their disruptive outbursts caused to the musicians and the audience that had hoped to enjoy the performance.

On the other hand, a meeting that took place at the School of Oriental and African Studies last year in which the guest speaker was Bongani Masuku, “a man condemned as an inciter of hatred against Jews by the South African Human Rights Commission,” was ‘disrupted’ by a question from Jonathan Hoffman about the morality of hosting such an event and inviting such a speaker, a hullaballoo ensued, which, unlike the one at the Wigmore Hall, was reported on the BBC website.

In the confusion it is alleged that racist taunts were hurled at Mr. Hoffman. “Jew-ish” and some such. Whatever they were, the threatening atmosphere that was engendered simply because of a question that went against the grain, was undeniable. If you can bear to look at the video, you’ll see that when Mr Hoffman asks “Why do you interrupt me?” The woman behind him can clearly be seen wagging a finger and saying “Because you’re a Jew!”

Some furious lobbying by organisations such as “JustPeaceUK” were instigated, in order to get the BBC report amended to what they considered was a TRUE representation of what had taken place, and to omit the bit about the racist taunts.

They succeeded; not only was the web report amended, but the original reporter was reprimanded, and the editor wrote:

“After publication it quickly became clear that there was more to what had happened in the meeting than was apparent from the video and Mr Hoffman’s allegations. As soon as that became clear the story was amended to reflect the differing views of those who had been at the meeting.
It is regrettable that the original story did not reflect a wider range of views and the journalist concerned has been made well aware of the requirement to do so in the future.
Yours Sincerely
Hugh Berlyn
News and Sport Interactive
BBC England “

Concert disrupter and anti-Zionist campaigner Tony Greenstein proudly declares the success of their lobbying on his website under the heading
“ BBC – Hoffman Lied When Claiming He was a Victim of anti-Semitism.”

Not only that, but the Head of editorial complaints, Fraser Steel has written apologising profusely and promising to take further action. We must wait with bated breath to see what that will be..

I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Cleudo

The BBC is not alone in its certainty over who killed the honourable Hamas Commander. While it is still by no means a foregone conclusion, other MSM have also known from the outset, and have had no problem telling the world, that Israel is the guilty party.
As it stands there are many unanswered questions, inconsistencies, and suspects with a motive.
Even if it turns out the culprit was actually an elderly BBC presenter, with a pillow, in the conservatory, the BBC will still believe it was Mossad, and continue to insinuate such by innuendo and snide remarks from people like Jeremy Hardy “It’s a matter of give and take; or in Israel’s case, take.” Ba boom The News Quiz.

‘Must be time for another reminder of how awful Israel is’, thought the producers of Today, (scroll to 0:43:44) so they got someone to go to Nablus to find out what has happened to the generous gift of olive trees a charity has sent along. But alas and alack, the land had been stolen by a nearby settlement, illegal under international law, and the poor farmer was very sad. The Olive Tree is a symbol of Arab nobility, and Settlements embody Israeli oppression, so this was a gift in more than one sense.

Anyway all that is by the by. Back to the assassination. There has been a spate of assassinations, or as some people like to call them, mercy killings, recently. A Saudi Prince has done one in a hotel, apparently. Some have our approval, some not.

The press and blogosphere are going mad. All hell has been unleashed in the rush to condemn Israel and implicate Jews in a worldwide conspiracy in which they’re all traitors and would-be assassins on standby. I myself always carry a pillow with me just in case.

Gonna Start a Riot

The treacherous MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, George Galloway has been away from his constituency lately. He’s been sparking off riots in Egypt. His recent publicity-seeking escapade, getting a convoy of aid to the Palestinians who are currently perceived to be imprisoned in Gaza and starving, has even antagonised the Egyptians.
“ The Egyptian foreign ministry launched a scathing attack on convoy leader British Respect MP George Galloway, claiming that his comments regarding the hold up of the convoy defied “honesty and facts.”
“Being aware that Mr. Galloway loves media exposure, for various reasons, the ministry refrains from engaging in media arguments with someone who deliberately changes facts for personal objectives and masters the promotion of false championships that are based on wrong impressions leading to wrong conclusions,” it said.”

The convoy, organized by Viva Palestina, was unable to get to Gaza in time for the celebrations.
The BBC doesn’t tell us this because they’re more concerned with interviewing the poor activists who have been beaten up. They’re also keen to tell us part of what Gorgeous George said.
“It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza.”
They didn’t bother to report the end of that statement, which was blatantly slanderous and far-fetched: “because nothing that goes to Israel ever arrives in Gaza.”