Friday 11 October 2013

Fergal Keane: Terror Through Time

Fergal Keane's Radio 4 history Terror Through Time arrived at WWI today, specifically Britain's wartime promises in the Middle East. 

Much as might be expected from Fergal Keane, it was a tale of wicked Western imperialism, British duplicity, unlucky Arabs, well-connected Zionists, and hard-done-by Palestinians. 

There were three 'talking heads':

James Barr, historian, author of A Line in the Sand and an expert on Anglo-French rivalry in the Middle East.

Avi Shlaim, anti-Zionist historian at Oxford University and regular writer for the Guardian's Comment Is Free.

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, and critic of Israel. 

So, besides Mr Barr (who concentrated on the Anglo-French rivalry aspects of the story), the expert guidance sought by Fergal Keane for this episode of the series consisted of a left-wing, anti-Zionist Israeli historian and an Edward Said-influenced American professor with Palestinian roots...

...which are just the kind of experts you would expect Fergal Keane to seek out, if you suspected him of having an anti-Israel bias.

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