Pathos in Gaza

Who commissioned Katya Adler’s pathos extravaganza that BBC News24 has aired several times today?
What news value does it have, apart from being a gratuitous reminder of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians, just in case we forget about all that for a second?
Now that there aren’t any juicy war crimes to salivate over, did the BBC’s Middle East Editor brief Katya to seek out a cute enormous-eyed child to tug at the heartstrings merely to rekindle dying embers of indignation over Israel’s brutality, fearing the public might be beginning to lose interest?

If the BBC ever commissioned a proper and a thorough examination of how the Palestinians’ suffering came about, and who is responsible for prolonging it, the BBC might begin to claim some credibility.

Or if they stopped implying that children governed by ‘democratically elected’ Islamist Hamas would have a normal childhood if only Israel would stop preventing it. But they insinuate that Israeli oppression is the only thing stopping Gazan children from having a normal childhood when they must know very well indeed that indoctrinating them with hatred of Jews, glorifying child martyrdom and engulfing them in a repressive Islamist medieval straightjacket is a million miles away from any Western perception of normality.

So Katya and Jeremy, you’re pretending. You’re selecting. You’re projecting. You’re using sentimentality and half-truths to twist and poison. For what? Do you think it will bring peace? I don’t even think you do.


Breaking my Christmas silence because of this BBC item. “Six Palestinians killed in West Bank, Gaza attacks” Oh really? Just killed as they walked about their daily business, eh? You have to read down to discover that those killed were “militants” or, to be more accurate, murderous Palestinian terrorists. The BBC does mention in passing that the IDF had responded following the “killing” of an Israeli father of seven by Palestinian “militants” but lest we start to feel even slightly sympathetic towards Israel it finishes with a flourish reminding us that the violence comes a day before the anniversary of the Gaza war that killed some 1400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Dont’cha love the way that BBC deliberately conflates the number of Hamas Jihadists with genuinely innocent civilians to get to their magical Hamas approved 1400. Always good to bash the Jews at Christmastime, right? Revolting.

Free Marwan Mandela!

Is the release of one thousand Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one young Israeli soldier kidnapped in 2006 a good deal?
Under the circumstances, and in the long run, maybe. Superficially though, one would have thought it looked a leedle, – how you say? – disproportionate. Never mind. We’ll soon be hearing the outcry about that from the BBC. Or not.

So the imminent swap – Gilad Shalit for Marwan Barghouti and nine hundred and ninety nine others– is good news. We want Shalit to be safe more than we mind returning one thousand criminals who are hell-bent on harming Israel.

The World This Weekend (hat tip Craig) featured a rather splendid profile of Barghouti, straight out of the school of journalism that regards certain terrorist atrocities as audacious, and euphamises certain terrorists as militants. So, to establish some weird sort of moral equivalence, three of Barghouti’s admirers were brought in to sing his praises; Ghada Karmi from the University of Exeter with its Saudi-funded Islamic studies dept., BBC’s useful Arabist Alistair Crooke, and Richard Burden M.P. Britain-Palestine all-Party group. Oh yes, and for balance, Devorah Chen chief prosecutor in Barghouti’s trial.

I forgot to mention that Barghouti was convicted of murdering several Israelis. –But that’s a mere detail of no consequence; in fact it’s quite an asset.

The man’s a hero, clean, honest and a patriot, some say he’s a bit like Nelson Mandela, and an ideal replacement for Mahmoud Abbas. He might unify quarreling Palestinian factions.
All Hamas wants is a little stake in power, yet it is treated as a pariah says Ms. Karmi. How fair is that? Poor Hamas. A pariah.

Brought to you by Brian Hanrahanrahan of the Britain-Palestine let’s all have a party Broadcasting Corporation.

Craig’s bias coefficient analysis thingy:

Ghada Karmi (pro-Barghouti): 2 minutes 9 seconds

Devorah Chan (anti-Barghouti): 42 seconds

Alistair Crooke (pro-Barghouti): 17 seconds

Richard Burden (pro-Barghouti): 1 minutes 3 seconds


Pro-Barghouti: 3 minutes 29 seconds
Anti-Barghouti: 42 seconds

Our Man in the West Bank

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.


The BBC has a touching eulogy to “man of peace” and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas here. No mention of this holocaust denier’s support for genocidal terrorism against Israel, of course. The sanitisation of Abbas is, of course, not just restricted to the BBC, but it needs to be exposed wherever it is found and, of course, the BBC has a duty to provide a balanced portrait of this godfather of Palestinian terrorism. Naturally, it won’t just as it constantly drooled over Arafat.


On the back of a series about the difficulties some children must overcome to receive any education, Katya Adler’s report on the lengths to which Gazan children must go for ‘learning’ was one of the most egregious examples of biased reporting ever.

Repeated all day on BBC news 24, the project involves twinning British schools with schools situated in areas of conflict. As a project, it’s an updated version of the penpals everyone became immediately bored with after one compulsory exchange of stilted letters. With the interweb they don’t have the burden of writing anything, but can see each other’s cringemaking awkwardness in technicolour.

In passing Katya casually mentioned Palestinian gunmen and militants with a blasé: “Gaza is run by men who think Israel shouldn’t exist.” What she was referring to in that strangely infantilised language was Hamas’s genocidal aspirations towards Israel and their refusal ever to recognise it or renounce violence, enshrined in its charter and not up for modification.

When the BBC was created it begat twins too. Conjoined obligations. Its first duty was to report events fully and impartially; its twin was to be mindful that whatever was said, or unsaid, would influence public opinion.
The BBC’s obligation to inform is inseparable from its ability to inflame, then reflect opinion in a kind of never-ending circular continuum.

As well as creating and feeding an insatiable appetite for prurience, the BBC has awakened/created an addictive hunger for hearing bad things about Israel. This project fits the bill perfectly.


Mr Mitchell has prolonged his trip to the Middle East for several days as he works for a deal on freezing Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.”

No. It is NOT the “occupied West Bank”. This is the repetition of Palestinian propaganda. They are the “disputed territories” and the fact that the BBC refuses to embrace such a neutral term tells you all you need to know. The idea that Israel “occupies” Palestinian territory is essential to the anti-Israel meme that lies at the heart of BBC thought but every time we let this pass we accept their bias.


Wouldn’t the BBC be better off if it changed it’s name to the Palestianian Broadcasting Corporation such is the stream of relentless anti-Israeli propaganda disguised as “news” that it produces. It’s not just the irksome but repeated use of the biased “occupied West Bank” term but linked headings such as “Israeli troops “ill treat kids”, and “Breaking silence on Gaza abuse” (and yip, the abusers are Israelis, natch) and then there is “Fatah, a new beginning”? (They called for the use of terrorism as a legitimate form of struggle)

The Holocaust Tool

This is not straightforward bias, but an example of painfully elaborate impartiality. AKA tolerance of the intolerant, or the other one: ‘there is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of unequals’.
The BBC has been announcing in its hourly news bulletins, that Hamas has “slammed” its friend and supporter UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) for having the audacity to suggest the Jewish Holocaust might be included in the curriculum of the schools they run in Gaza.

The BBC reports this in the simplified manner they deem appropriate for their simpleminded readers. But although they have omitted to add the usual scare quotes or indeed “Israel says” to the penultimate paragraph,
‘During the Holocaust, Nazi Germany murdered some six million Jews’
the last paragraph goes some way to counterbalance the omission.

“However, the event’s significance is often disputed in parts of the Middle East where Israel is seen as the enemy and the Holocaust is seen as a tool used by Israel to justify its actions.”

Contrast this with the other report, from a Chinese news agency.
This report, written for adults, includes some rather revealing quotes from one Husam Ahmed, including this one about the material in question:

“”…..was formed in a way that shows sympathy with the Jews.” He warned of having an attitude “to construct a generation that supports the Jews and the Holocaust” in the Palestinian territories.

The article takes care to show that the thing Hamas fears most about teaching the Holocaust is that it might spark sympathetic feelings in the children, and they might stop hating Jews and striving to eliminate the Zionist entity.
Less danger of that sentiment coming through in the BBC’s report; they must at all times be careful to avoid any traces of partiality.