Yesterday’s treatment of ‘The Deal’ by BBC News 24 wasn’t too bad.
That is, taking into consideration that the deal brokered by Kerry and Mother Theresa Ashton is perceived as a life-changing stride towards World Peace and Apple Pie, at least there was a lengthy interview with Daniel Taub on BBC News 24, which granted him ample space to put Israel’s case. It’s true that despite Andrew Neil’s attempts to have Saudi Arabia added to the meagre list of party poopers, Israel is still seen, by the BBC at least, as the lone spoilsport.
“The western media concentrates on the fact that the Israelis and Mr Netanyau are not happy about this, an understatement; what they don’t often mention is that the Arab Gulf States are also very apprehensive about this deal.”
As it happens, I heard Mark Mardell this morning - or was it a dream? - setting out quite clearly some of the reasons why Israel was not nearly as euphoric over the deal as the rest of the world seems to be.
While I find it astonishing that the BBC and many politicians seem willing to overlook all the reasons not to be cheerful as set out so succinctly in Netanyahu’s wolf in sheep’s clothing speech
I understand that there are many matters of global significance and ramifications over which I am unable to trouble my pretty little head to do with economics, balances of power and realpolitik, which are beyond my pay grade.
However, and it’s a big however, who could argue with some glaringly obvious facts, such as:
It was the sanctions that brought Iran to the table, not ideological capitulation.
Sanctions were imposed for a reason, and ‘curbing’ their nuclear programme in - their own words - an ‘easily reversible’ fashion is hardly reassuring. Would supernanny give in at the first whimper from the naughty chair? (I hate supernanny)
Why would the West suddenly trust a regime that has a record of being wholly untrustworthy? Could wishful thinking really triumph over common sense under the gaze of a worldwide audience? King’s new clothes I suppose.
There are so many reasons why this deal is bad that one must hope there’s some mysterious ‘good’ in there that we’re not being told about.
But it’s early days. The BBC has been behaving oddly recently. After ignoring Israel’s humanitarian efforts in Haiti and the Philippines, and the ongoing medical treatment of Palestinians in Israeli hospitals, we’re suddenly given a generous report by Kevin Connolly of all people, on Israel’s compassionate response to sick and injured Syrians.
I nearly fell out of bed this morning when I heard it, and here is the web article to prove that I wasn’t dreaming.
I understand that some of Israel’s supporters will be expressing their gratitude to the BBC for this small mercy, but you can bet that masses of Israel’s detractors will be firing off furious letters about the Israel lobby and its hold over the Zionist BBC.