Deegee highlights numerous signs in Jeremy Bowen’s article that indicate he’s not really BBC Middle East editor at all, but a correspondent representing the Palestinians. Like Alan Johnston, Bowen obviously wants to assure his friends that “I’m telling your story.”
The article is riddled with clues as to Bowen’s personal feelings, and is dumbed down by lazy over-simplifications of the sort that invariably get repeated over and over till they become set in stone.
“President Mahmoud Abbas, America’s current Palestinian partner, is so fed up with the lack of progress towards independence that he has threatened to leave his job.“
“Is so fed up!” Is that Bowen’s summing up of Abbas’s political strategy?
Deegee says: “Abbas’s period as president has expired. He would be resigning from a position he no longer legally holds.”
The BBC’s own website publishes a variety of interpretations, which show that Abbas’s threat to stand down is a little more complex than Bowen’s misleading brief – that he is “Fed up”
Having established that Jewish settlements are the obstacle to peace, and that they are illegal, Bowen somehow manages to erase the Palestinians’ refusal to recognise Israel or renounce violence from the equation altogether as though it isn’t an impediment of any significance whatsoever.
Melanie Phillips says, “Let us not forget that it is the ‘moderate’ Abbas and the forces he leads whom America and the west say are ‘entitled’ to a state of their own, to which Israel is unreasonably providing obstacles”
That has now become received wisdom. Bowen ups the ante by calling them “little fortresses.” He then rearranges history by reiterating another myth that has established itself in the narrative. He implies that Rabin’s assassination by a Jewish extremist was responsible for ending the peace process.
In a critique of one of Seth freedman’s Guardian articles, which is similarly economical with the actuality, Israelinurse dispels this myth.
“Freedman descends into the realms of fantasy, stating that “with three bullets, assassin Yigal Amir managed to irreversibly derail the peace process” and claims that the entire region’s political journey abruptly changed course as a result of that tragic event.
In actual fact, the Oslo Accords continued to be implemented. On January 20th 1996 agreements were made regarding the IDF redeployment from areas to be passed over to PA control, the election of the Palestinian Council and the head of the Palestinian Authority. The 23rd October 1998 saw the signing of the Wye River Memorandum and on September 4th 1999 the Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum was agreed.
Just as the peace treaty with Jordan, signed just over a year before Rabin’s murder, did not fall apart, so the agreements with the Palestinians went ahead. But on July 11th 2000, the Camp David negotiations fell through and just over two months later the second Intifada began, shaking Israel to its core.”
Deegee says; “It could easily be said the peace agreement had already failed by the time of Rabin’s death and it was far from certain he would have been re-elected.”
So however sad it is that there is as yet no peace agreement, the Jewish extremist’s act of murder was not the reason.
Bowen even refers to the notorious handshake on the lawn as a kind of ‘finest hour’. Anyone who has read about Arafat’s scurrilous behaviour during and after that and the Camp David fiasco would have to laugh.
Bowen makes no attempt to conceal his contempt for Binyamin Netanyahu, who he depicts as an arrogant bully causing poor Bill Clinton to use the F word No mention of what poor Bill thought of evil old Yassir after he effectively scuppered Clinton’s last attempts at peacemaking by instigating another Palestinian intefada.
In “My Life” written by president Clinton, he wrote that Arafat once complimented Clinton by telling him, “You are a great man.” Clinton responded; “I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you made me one.”
Throughout the article Bowen continually refers to what “the Palestinians want” for their state. He completely ignores one thing. They do not just want a small amount of territory in Jerusalem, because they do not want Israel to have any territory at all. For the Palestinians, one inch would be too much, because there is an inherent and virulent hatred for Jews at the heart of their religion. Bowen and his ilk will never tackle that, maybe because it’s unpalatable, or perhaps it’s because they feel the same.