With regard to Israel, the BBC has abandoned all pretence of impartiality.
After the UN symbolically approved the Palestinian bid for non-member observer status, the BBC seems to believe it has a mandate to unleash the gates of broadcasting hell upon Israel and its supporters. The Israeli government’s announcement of planning permission for 3,000 “homes for Jews’ on land which an emboldened BBC now calls ‘Palestine’, has provided the longed-for hook upon which to hang its in-your-face no-holds-barred denigration and ostrasization of Israel.
As if it wasn’t already poised and straining to pounce, the vilifiCATion has been well and truly set amongst the pigeons. Never mind that the Palestinian Authority unilaterally subverted the stagnant peace process that they themselves had already thwarted by issuing preconditions before even deigning to come to the table, thereby deliberately prolonging the stalemate of a status quo, which elicits animosity towards Israel from the rest of the world, not to mention copious amounts of aid and sympathy. The prevarication is intended to mask the fact that neither Hamas nor the PA have any intention of making peace with Israel, and never will. What’s more, the whole charade is unnecessary because, even though the genocidal aspirations of both Hamas and Fatah have been openly proclaimed by them again and again, and despite the rise of Islamism and turmoil throughout the Arab world, the BBC refuses to acknowledge the truth, and as long as nothing cataclysmic happens, they never will.
All Israel’s spokespersons and supporters are now automatically treated to an openly adversarial interviewing style, much more interrogation than interview. Anchorpersons interrupt, goad and sneer, and producers deliberately pitch multiple anti-Israel advocates against solo pro-Israel spokespersons. They misleadingly introduce anti-Israel activists as ‘Middle East experts’ which carries the implication that their opinions are impartial.
A few years ago Eddie Mair left us in no doubt as to where his sympathies lie when he ran an ongoing story-of-outrage about a Palestinian student who was unable to leave Gaza to resume his UK business-studies course. (oh! the injustice) On December 3rd Mair was openly rude to Israel’s Ambassador to the EU, David Walzer. Now confident that at last the zeitgeist confers permission upon him, on behalf of the BBC, to dump context, reason and logic altogether, and he conducted what passed as an interview in full-on, emotional, total outrage mode.
From its initiation, the website BBC Watch has meticulously explained the other side of the story. If one were naive enough to rely on the BBC one wouldn’t even realise that there was such a thing as another side.
Now the BBC has evidently decided to distance itself from the Western world’s categorisation of Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organisations. They now say “Israel, the US and the EU consider Hamas a terrorist organisation” and “Hezbollah is a powerful political and military Shia Muslim organisation in Lebanon. Regarded by some in the West as a terrorist organisation, it is currently part of Lebanon's government.”
In using that particular turn of phrase the BBC seems quite happy to unilaterally absolve Hamas and Hezbolla from a categorisation which is widely accepted everywhere but the ‘Islamic World’, something that is also apparent in their officially sanctioned refusal to use the word terrorist to describe a terrorist, unless it can be used to describe an Israeli settler. Terry Waite has forgiven Hezbollah. Assuming he speaks for the BBC as well as himself, it is still extremely presumptuous of him.
The recent so-called victory celebrations in Gaza were reported by the BBC with Arab-Spring-like rapture. Khaled Masha’al’s genocidal proclamations were conspicuously glossed over or ignored. Yolande Knell used the inclusive ‘we’ in her description of the joyous occasion. In this toxic atmosphere, Melanie Phillips writes:
“This disgusting and surreal state of affairs has arisen from what can only be described as the madness that has all but consumed the British intelligentsia and media, which portray Israel - the target and victim of Jew-hating extermination - in the deranged propaganda terms set out by its Arab and Muslim attackers. The result is rampant Israel-hatred, Judeophobia and Jew-baiting which is either tolerated or actively promulgated by a so-called educated class - including broadcasters and many mainstream politicians -- which on this issue is in fact totally impervious to evidence or reason.”
One can only wonder what has to happen before the BBC sees the error of its ways?
There is an awful parallel with the story of nurse Saldanha, whose humiliation was prolonged, relished and savoured by the media until her suicide prompted a sanctimonious and hypocritical about-turn - (now they’re doing just about the same thing to the hapless presenters who are in danger of harming themselves in a never ending cycle of ‘then-you’ll-be-sorries’ ) Does the world really have to wait for the Islamist beast to do its worst before bringing about the mother of all sanctimonious, hypocritical about-turns?