Forgive me for revisiting a story I posted a few days ago, but as often happens, BBC Watch has now supplied the details that I did not. (And there’s a second part due on that website tomorrow)
In the old days, when I first began blogging about the BBC’s unfair reporting on Israel and Jewish matters in general, I would spend hours researching the facts before setting them out to the best of my ability. These days I don’t bother, for the simple reason that I’ve realised that facts definitely have nothing to do with it. They’re irrelevant in the post-factual age.
However, for old times’ sake, I hope you’ll accept the following recap, if only as a reminder of how the BBC implements its anti-Israel activism. Here’s the gist of it.
In my post, I explained that I had missed the middle section of an emotive Today Programme report - but I’d heard just enough to feel the abject nastiness in the tone of Mishal Husain’s interview. There didn’t appear to be any particular reason or relevance for the timing of this particular story on this particular morning, but it’s possible that I might have missed it.
A lengthy, uninterrupted speech - can I call it a diatribe? - from a Labour MP called Dr Rosena Allin-Khan was aired, followed by one of Husain’s distinctly adversarial interviews with deputy Israeli ambassador Sharon Bar-Li. No doubt Hadar Sela will address this in more detail in tomorrow’s follow-up post on BBC Watch.
You will remember Mishal Husain’s infamous interview with Gil Hoffman - I’ve cited it many times - in which she referred to Hamas’s rockets as Home-made contraptions, and in true “Jeremy Paxman style” repeated the question concerning the tally of murdered Israelis. “How many Israelis?” she nagged, knowing full well that the answer was ‘none’. (None so far because we take pains to protect them) Husain obviously thought that ‘not enough Israelis’ had been murdered to justify Israel’s decision to retaliate to barrages of rockets.
In this recent case, Husain repeatedly demanded to know the number of medical tubes that had exploded, with the certainty that the answer would probably be ‘none’, which would show listeners that Israel had no right to stop patients travelling back and forth to Gaza willy-nilly and that the Israeli authorities were preventing ‘free movement’ out of pure malevolence, (or perhaps Islamophobia.)
Now, according to BBC Watch, who still scrupulously research the facts before supplying them to the handful of curious people to whom the truth still matters, the actualité is quite different from the impression Husain and Dr Allin-Khan left us with. Apart from the fact that Dr Khan is hardly an impartial spokesperson .....
“Allin-Khan did indeed visit the region between April 4th and 8th this year on a trip paid for by the political NGO ‘Medical Aid for Palestinians’ (MAP) as she went on to state. However, listeners heard nothing from her or from Mishal Husain about that NGO’s political agenda and its history of anti-Israel campaigning.”
...the denial of permits seems not to be the fault of the Israelis at all. If you follow the link, you get (Google translate is your assistant)
“Throughout these months, when Shedd's (sic) condition deteriorated, the hospital repeatedly turned to the Palestinian Authority to file a request to the Coordinator of Military Activities in the Territories to allow the mother or father to enter Israel and reunite with their daughter. "We tried again and again and they refused," Elian testified.
Now, who to believe?
I know which testimony I’d believe, but that’s not my main point. It’s the BBC’s pure nastiness and hostility that I find so disgusting and so inappropriate. Mishal Husain’s overt and truly spiteful anti-Israel hectoring interviewing approach is a disgrace. She shouldn’t be let loose on any BBC broadcasts connected with Israel or antisemitism. She would be better suited to Al-Jazeera. I understand that’s where retired BBC hacks are often put out to grass.