Search Results for: yolande knell


Excellent article by Robin Shepherd here! He exposes some more visceral anti-Israel bias from the State Broadcaster.

“It was another one of those do-I-laugh-or-do-I-cry moments as I came across the latest piece of flagrant anti-Israeli propagandaon the BBC‘s website.

It started off badly enough with the headline — UN “appalled“ by Israel treatment of hunger strikers. Sorry, that’s just not a story. The UN is always “appalled“ by something to do with the Jewish state, and that’s because its members are overwhelmingly in thrall to an obsessive anti-Zionist bigotry which appears to know no bounds.

So, it was clear from the outset that this was going to be something of a gratuitous hatchet job. Then again this is the BBC, so no surprises there. But even I have to admit to having been surprised about just how gratuitous it was going to be. Here are the first two paragraphs from Yolande Knell’s story:

“A UN expert has said he is appalled by the “continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons”, as Palestinian inmates continue a mass hunger strike.

“Special Rapporteur Robert [sic] Falk said Israel had to treat hunger strikers in line with international standards.“

Do visit The Commentator and read the whole article, excellent work, from Robin.

Mistaken Identity

Honest reporting alerted me to this Yolande Knell report. Anyone familiar with the UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk and Yolande Knell would not be not surprised to see that the shoogly peg upon which Ms. Knell hung her article was yet another of Falk’s condemnations of Israel. Falk has featured on this website more than once.

Before the article was stealth edited  the BBC got his name wrong, such was its haste to spread Falk’s word. Knell’s piece provided Robin Shepherd with ‘another of those do-I-laugh-or-do-I-cry moments’. He calls it ‘flagrant anti-Israel propaganda.’

The BBC frequently cites Falk on the Middle East, but it persistently fails to define him as the anti Israel fanatic he obviously is. Calling him Robert was a silly mistake, but why bother with the details when you’ve got some anti-Israel material to publicise?

The best ‘Rob to Rich’  joke wins.

Slap in the Face

Blogger Restoring Britain commented yesterday on Monday’s Open thread about the BBC’s treatment of yet another story which seizes on the Israeli retaliation while ignoring the build-up that led to it.

Here is our old friend Yolande Knell, who might have picked up some of her material from this AP report, which also contains the usual emotive anti-Israel language. For example :

“Israel has branded the activists “provocateurs” who posed a security threat to the country. Calling itself the Middle East’s only democracy, it says the protesters have their priorities wrong and should instead focus on rampant human rights violations in neighboring Arab countries.”

With the Mavi Marmara incident in mind, these activists are undoubtedly provocateurs, it’s not really necessary to use the sneering: “Israel has branded” they ARE provocateurs. End of, as they say in Eastenders. Same goes for “Calling itself”. It IS the Middle East’s only democracy. Get over it, as they say elsewhere.

“In the video, Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner is seen smashing a Danish activist in the face with his M-16 rifle.”

To me that looks distinctly over the top. “Smashing” indicates something is broken. I think the poor fellow had stitches in his lip. Painful, but not exactly smashing.

However the AP article does go into more detail, so sneering aside, we are told:

 “The officer, through his confidantes, claimed the activist had previously struck him with a stick, breaking two of his fingers, Israeli media reported. One newspaper ran a photo of him with a bandage on his hand.”

Yolande Knell has:

“After an exchange, the video shows Lt Col Eisner suddenly slamming his M-16 rifle into a demonstrator’s face in an apparently unprovoked attack.”


In her defence, the video does appear to show an unprovoked attack. Probably because that’s the bit they filmed.

This isn’t the first time the press has seized upon such a thing and presented it as though pro Palestinian activists are angels of mercy, and the IDF are brutes. It isn’t the first time Israeli governments have condemned an errant Israeli before the facts have been fully examined. Remember Mohammad Al Dura.

In conclusion, this isn’t the first time the BBC has shown little or no interest in the background to a provocative pantomime by Israel-bashers and useful idiots, but expressed indignation the moment Israel responds.

This blogger has written a series of detailed articles exploiting this incident. He seems particularly upset that several Israelis have been praising Col Eisner, but check out the tenor of the comments to see what sort of attitude they reveal.


If Col Eisner’s bad-tempered face-butt was really representative of IDF behaviour and the shy Dane who was afraid to give his name – (“don’t tell ‘em, Andreas Ias”) – was really an innocent bicycle rider and songsmith, I’ll take it all back and apologise.

Losing Battle

In defending Israel I’ve come to realise that preconceived ideas and gut feelings override all reasonable argument. That is to say however well argued, very few are willing to engage, or even listen to any case you may make.

Even those who see themselves as profoundly logical abandon all reason when it comes to this particular topic. The so-called open-minded can’t literally be so, unless they’ve suffered catastrophic memory loss.
It’s a big ask. Why would anyone cast aside a lifetime of negative input the media has subjected them to, and suddenly agree to re-evaluate, reconsider or unlearn material that they’ve digested and misunderstood? It is firmly embedded, and it’s staying that way, thanks all the same.
Defenders of Israel face a fiercely stubborn resistance, impenetrably and formidably fortified and reinforced on a daily basis by the BBC.

Abandoning reason is not the BBC’s exclusive prerogative. We can all do it. Fruitlessly citing individual examples of unfairness, and still, despite past performance, hoping for a breakthrough in some kind of imaginary BBC future, has to involve blind faith. Where is the logic in believing that One Day someone important at the BBC might have that crucial, eureka-damascene-moment?
Silly me. It’s all water off a duck’s back to the Beeb, but here’s one anyway.
Yolande Knell has noticed that an Israeli hacker has retaliated. She noticed, in the best BBC tradition, the retaliation only. The provocation, no.

Here’s another one, and I’m using today’s examples but I could just as easily have picked any other random BBC day.

Israel is banning Palestinians who marry Israelis from gaining Israeli citizenship. How awful! Newsworthy because it fits a pattern perhaps. Less newsworthy because it does not, is the way the rest of the Arab World treats Palestinians. And the rest of the Arab World, unlike Israel, hasn’t even been threatened with holy Jihad with the intended goal of annihilation. They can be racist, discriminatory and evil to their hearts’ content, and no-one at the BBC bats an eyelid. But the BBC and their sibling, the Guardian, with hostility in their hearts send forth reporters just to put despised Israel under a microscope. The mission is to seek out whatever might conceivably add to their systematic vilification, egging each other on like a couple of gossips revelling in the character assassination of another.

I wrote the above yesterday, but despondency prevented me from posting then. That, and the fact the article did stick more or less to the facts and didn’t contain the BBC’s usual ‘Palestinians-as-victims’ emoting.
However, last night the BBC world Service spurred me into action by broadcasting a self-piying interview with a married couple who had been inconvenienced by this ruling. No, they were not actually inconvenienced yet, but they might be in the future.

Racist, apartheid, discriminatory, nationalistic and any other evil insinuations can be made by the media about ‘Jewish Israelis’ or ‘Israeli Jews’ for ever and a day, but never can the same be made about the people in the places where such things are a reality. We rarely hear from the BBC the openly-stated Palestinian boast that any future Palestinian state will be “Jew-free”.

The BBC will not engage with this simply because it doesn’t choose to. Sixty years of insidious, slippery, stealthy demonisation can’t be undone overnight, and rational argument will have no impact unless the BBC changes its mind.

Fings Aint Wot They Used To Be

The BBC is fond of the familiar. It favours the tried and tested, nay, the formulaic, all year round. But tradition and ritual are an extra special feature at Christmas. It’s what the audience wants, is it not? , “Give them more of what they liked last time round!” those innovative creative commissioning editors must have squealed as they sat round the table in the BBC’s department of inspiration and left of centre thinking.
“Eureka!” They might have cried, “Here’s what we’ll do for Christmas!” “Morecambe and Wise!” “Shrek!” “And don’t forget to go up to the attic and see if you can find the one about the shepherds. I know we put it somewhere. They love that one. What we need is another good old ‘fings aint wot they used to be’ special.”
Israel-bashers unite, far and wide, and the BBC is not averse to a bit of sentimentality at Christmas time, even if it means following the herd. Literally.
“Ring up Carlos Sarras, our go-to Palestinian shepherd, and if he’s available again get Jon Donnison on the case. Yolande Knell can find another old geezer wistfully reminiscing about his goat, his olive tree and his donkey and she can finish with an interview with George Saadah, deputy mayor of Bethlehem, whose message of peace and goodwill to all men we’ll put under the heading “The Wise Man.” Jon Donnison gave him a lengthy spot on BBC News 24 the other day, so the audience will be liking him already.”
“Bring the story up to date with some fresh 2011 references to the apartheid wall, and round it up thus: “Forty years ago, there were just a few thousand settlers living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
(That would be the1967 war of intended annihilation against Israel instigated by her surrounding neighbours, I think you’ll find, Mr D., a simple fact that might have significant bearing on the situation.)

“Put it in context,” they’ll be reminding each other.“Now there are around 500,000 settlers.”
“and finish, as ever, with the perennial: “Settlements are illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.” and Bob’s yer uncle!”

Same old addendum each time, but hardly innovative. Here’s an idea for the creatives at the BBC Left Field Think Tank. Think outside the box! Why stick to that tired old taint as your sole contribution to what you scurrilously call ‘context?’
For a change, why not put some different context, for example: “Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip receive one of the highest levels of aid in the world.” That’s context, is it not? How about a straightforward: “Palestinians receive more aid per capita than any other people on the planet.” Or why not inform the public thusly: “Hamas, who rule Gaza have Israel’s destruction immutably written within their charter!” Or, from the charter itself: “[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement.”
Well, why not? It’s context. It would make a change. Make progress. You love complaining that fings aint wot they used to be, but it’s no use complaining. Fings just aint.

Or, why not go for refreshing honesty? Come out! No more closet. Why not just put “The BBC pledges everlasting allegiance with the Palestinians, and will continue to act as their mouthpiece while promising never to waste an opportunity to denigrate Israel.”

Moving Tale

Our friend Yolande Knell addresses the Bedouin question. I think it is fair to say that she sees it solely from the Bedouin perspective. So much so that her article comes across as another bit of pure Israel-bashing.
The fundamental issue concerns the human rights of a people who wish to hang on to their traditional way of life, when it clearly conflicts with the interests of certain other people who wish to abide by the law-and-order to which they’ve become accustomed.
In an ideal world, live and let live is a fine principle. But the reality is less than ideal. Compromises must eventually be reached and accepted all round.

Yolande Knell’s piece suggests Israel has pushed the noble Bedouin community from pillar to post, deliberately depriving them of their traditional way of life, forcibly relocating them to a static enclosure situated beside a rubbish dump. There are complex facts surrounding the legality of Bedouin rights to land, but Knell dismisses these in a cursory way and skews them till they seem discriminatory and racist:

“They mostly live in areas that Israel declared as state land or on private land leased from Palestinians. Some have deeds showing they bought territory when Jordan was in control of the area between 1948 and 1967.
Many of the nomadic communities settled there after leaving their ancestral land in the Negev desert. The Bedouin that remained became Israeli citizens but still have a tense relationship with the state.”

When Jordan was in control” she says. Or would it be more accurate to say: “when Jordan invaded and occupied it in 1948 and annexed it in 1950”

Knell uses emotive language, sub-headings and pictures throughout.
It’s ‘Dalé jâ vu Farm’ all over again; and as with gypsy and traveller sites that perplex our own communities, these disputes are highly political.
I don’t claim particular expertise on this problem, but from what I’ve read it seems that many people feel that the Bedouin have indeed been treated harshly by successive Israeli governments. Equally their uncooperative behaviour has made things more difficult for everybody including themselves. The anomalies in their demands parallel our own Gypsies’ and travellers’ contradictory demands for the right to proper housing while insisting that they need to travel. Many people ask why should the nomadic gypsy lifestyle be romanticised to such an extent that it trumps the rights of the rest of society? Similarly, the question of enforcing the law in respect of illegal building. Consider the outcry if a traveller’s illegally erected shack is demolished, and its occupants evicted, in other words if it’s treated in exactly the same way as if it had it been constructed by a member of the settled community without proper planning permission, a scenario in which enforcement of the law goes without saying.

There are generally two sides to such tales of woe, and to understand the situation you’d need to know much more than you could learn from Yolande Knell’s one-sided polemic. Actually I suspect that anyone reading it wouldn’t realise that there is an alternative perspective.
One aspect she ignores is:

“The Israeli government has made numerous attempts over the years to solve the disputes with the 40% of the Negev Bedouin population which does not currently live in one of the seven purpose-built towns. Additional new towns are planned, with offers of free land, a waiver on infrastructure development costs and financial relocation packages for those moving there from illegally constructed encampments. No other sector of Israeli society is eligible for these benefits.”

So agree with it or not, if balance of any sort is to be achieved the BBC should be telling us that the Israeli government is at least trying hard to solve this difficult conundrum in as much detail as they tell us about the woes of the Bedouin. I don’t see what is to be gained from incessantly pushing a pro Palestinian agenda by publishing endless Israel-bashing articles and emotive images.