This is an excellent ‘long read’. (H/T BBC Watch) “The Left and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The path to righteous hatred” by Jamie Palmer
It’s quite densely written, but well worth the effort if, like me, you’re concerned about the BBC’s Bias against Israel.
You might need to be familiar with the past 300 years’ history to properly appreciate the references. Oh, and if you’re familiar with the BBC’s selective reporting, that too, would help.
“Israelis are subject to a disinformation campaign of incomparable viciousness, some of which is antisemitic.”
That alone leaps out as pertinent to this blog. Personally, being a bit deficient in the vocabulary department, I had to make sure I properly understood the language. It took me a little time to digest the following:
“What makes antisemitism distinct from other kinds of racism is the degree of explanatory power it arrogates to itself.”
“take or claim (something) without justification. eg: ”they arrogate to themselves the ability to divine the nation's true interests”
“the ability of a hypothesis or theory to effectively explain the subject matter it pertains to. The opposite of explanatory power is explanatory impotence.”)
The anti-Israel brigade start from their conclusion. If they don’t know much about the subject, they sure ‘know what they like’. According to the ‘no smoke without fire’ principle, they are easily persuaded of the existence of some kind of sinister Jewish malevolence and, combined with empathy for the (Palestinian) underdog, that is enough to settle the matter; from there the inevitable tendentious rationalisation follows.
“Motivated reasoning has led to the construction of conflict narratives designed to protect the Palestinians’ preordained status as righteous victims.”
Violence and terrorism, though abhorred, is necessarily filed away by Israel-bashers in a compartment marked ‘understandable’.
“The occupation seemed to be a self-evident injustice, and many mistakenly assumed that it was the cause and not a consequence of the conflict.”
Everything that has transpired henceforth has been funnelled into the category: “Israel’s fault”
“The Sunday Times’s 1986 report on Israel’s (officially unacknowledged) nuclear weapons programme appeared to confirm the view that Israel had now forfeited any claim to underdog status. So, when the First Intifada began a year later, Western leftists tended to understand it as a romantic struggle. […]Various international bodies had already declared the occupation of Palestinian land illegal. Ergo, until such time as Israel agreed to return these territories and allow a Palestinian state to be created, Palestinians retained an absolute moral right to resist their occupiers.”
“The Second Intifada brought together the two confounding issues of terrorism and the refusal of Israel and her allies to recognise the self-evident righteousness of the Palestinian cause, and then added a third: Why had the Palestinians answered an offer of peace and statehood by throwing themselves into a futile and ruinous war?”
This new question was again resolved to Israel’s disadvantage. As the more powerful party to the conflict and the perpetrator of the injustice under discussion, it was Israel’s responsibility to make concessions and the Palestinians’ responsibility simply to accept them. That the Palestinians had refused to do so, and resorted instead to an unrelenting campaign of murderous violence, could only mean that the peace terms Israel had offered were so paltry as to constitute a humiliation. Why else would a colonised people turn down the opportunity of independence and self-determination?”
Forgive the random excerpts. I'd love to reproduce the whole thing, but I haven't sought permission.
I wish the BBC would read the article, and go away and think. Do some serious reflection.
Palmer’s words are relevant to the whole ‘left,’ the intellectual left, the righteous left, the leftie occupants of the moral high ground, not just Corbynistas and those so far at the extreme end of the spectrum that they’ve actually emerged on the other side.