Mishal Husain must have banked a mountain of footage while she was in Gaza. It must be piling up in the bowels of the BBC, waiting to be suitably edited and slowly drip-fed to viewers, lest we are distracted by Brexit and forget how awful Israel is. (“sorry this episode is not currently available”)
So Gaza’s hospitals are suffering from terrible shortages. No money. No medicine. No electricity. No water. No medical equipment. And all because of Israel’s blockade or siege. Admittedly there was a fleeting reference to squabbles between Hamas and the PA, but the overriding message is that the architect of all this misery is the State of Israel.
Why would this comparatively narrow field of interest occupy a British team of reporters (when, for example, there’s so much else going on in our own “any chess”) while conspicuously failing to explore the vexed question of what has happened to the shedloads of aid that the rest of the world has been pouring into the place?
Any tuppenny ha'penny media outfit could string together a mawkish, misery-memoir documentary that merely serves to inflame and incite; but how lazy, how incurious and one-sided does it have to be before it’s seen as blatantly partisan agitprop?
Pushing the agenda further, they drag it out again next day on the Today Programme. After hearing from UNWRA director Matthias Schmale, who has been experiencing some local difficulties of his own recently, Mishal Husain adopted her scornful schoolmarm voice to interrogate Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev.
Obviously, all deaths and injuries are tragic and regrettable, and maybe the IDF has (understandably) got too used to defending itself (and Israel’s civilian citizens) preemptively. But needs must.
Mishal was pursuing the point that people were being shot at “inside the fence” and using the example of a fourteen-year-old boy who was shot and killed by the IDF. Why is Israel shooting innocent fourteen-year-old children who are peacefully protesting? (or words to that effect) fires Mishal at Mr Regev. The child only “put his hand on the top to the fence”, and bingo, a trigger-happy IDF soldier shot him dead. (Why would anybody put their hand ‘on the top’ of the fence’ if not to climb over it? Must peaceful protesters only be repelled once they have successfully broken into Israeli territory and stabbed a Jew or two?) Are their intentions not explicit enough?
Of course, the Hamas-orchestrated protests were deliberately constructed to make Israel look ‘bad’ at the expense of sacrificial fourteen-year-old boy martyrs. In taking her stance, Mishal Husain only encourages Hamas to dream up more such stunts, as they obviously bear fruit, exactly as intended.
“I’ve been there” she bragged. “So have I” retorted Regev. “I was on one side and you were on the other” she replied.