When I say that BBC insiders seem to be the only sentient beings who are unaware that the BBC’s influence is wielded irresponsibly, in the willy-nilly manner of those who don’t know their own strength, I immediately think of the way that your man in the street regards Israel. (sigh)
The recent news concerning Scarlett Johansson and the SodaStream factory, together with the Bethlehem Unwrapped debacle highlighted the magnitude of wrong assumptions that are generally held about Israel. Both these newsworthy occurrences showed how widespread is the reach of the BBC, with the inextricable Guardianista, left-wing affiliation that they steadfastly deny. Between them, no doubt boosted by the Islam factor, the BBC/Guardian umbrella has succeeded in vilifying Israel over decades, so that the word ‘Zion’ is now more or less analogous to ‘Nazi’, not just because of those spikey Zs and Ns, but because of the inverted ‘holocaust survivors turned oppressors’ meme that one casually encounters when least expecting it.
Incidentally, I have noticed a slight shift in BTL comments on Telegraph and Guardian blogs, especially since Daniel Birnbaum came on the scene, i.e. Newsnight. People are beginning to think.
“The settlements impoverish the Palestinians” Said Mr. Oxfam determinedly. Paxo tried to force Mr. Oxfam to admit it wants to shut SodaStream down and put 500 Palestinians out of work. He did it in a manner reminiscent of that infamous and hugely childish Paxo/Michael Howard stunt. But Oxfam wouldn’t. It merely repeated, in an almost equally repetitious fashion that the objection was “to settlements”. Despite the fact that Birnbaum trounced Mr. Oxfam, Paxo of the BBC still failed to grapple with the fundamentals such as why there is “an occupation” what are “settlements” and what is the biggest cause of Palestinians’ hardship.
Elder of Ziyon wished Paxo had asked: "In the case of a peace agreement where the Sodastream factory ends up in Israel, would you want it to employ Palestinians?"
(The factory is in an area that has been virtually allocated to Israel under the terms of land swaps already agreed by both sides.)
"How about in case of a peace agreement and it ends up in Palestine, would you allow an Israeli company like Sodastream to invest in the Pal areas?"
"Then how does it make sense to insist they close today if it would remain in operation and employing Arabs no matter which side of the border it ends up on?"
Birnbaum allowed several defamatory and spurious accusations about settlements and illegality to pass, a necessary sacrifice in view of time constrains and the need to focus on the SodaStream issue. Nevertheless by concentrating on the benefits SodaStream brings to the Palestinian workers and the detrimental effect on them should Oxfam have their wish and the factory be removed, Birnbaum won the argument. I think and hope that any ‘undecideds‘ out there would have seen through Oxfam’s anti-Israel bluster.
As for as the Bethlehem Unwrapped fiasco, I saw a video of the cringemaking closing ceremony. I spotted our old friend Zeinab Badawi amongst the attendees. Nigel Kennedy bounced up and down with his Kaffiyeh-clad mates and some Palestinian “dancers” cavorted around amateurishly. Justin Butcher thanked Lucy Winkett, and gave her a “certificate”, and Lucy Winkett hugged Justin Butcher and thanked him for organising such a successful event. They both beamed with pleasure at their accomplishment (stirring up Jew-bashing.) The finale consisted of dancers streaming symbolically through the section of symbolic torn-down wall, accompanied by chants of “Free, Free, Palestine”.
If that wasn’t agenda-driven outright Jew-bashing I don’t know what is.
I’d also like to mention something in a piece by Ed West, in which he is broadly sympathetic to Israel over some of these issues. It’s just this bit:
“Still, many of the internet supporters of Israel are not exactly nuanced either, refusing to see fault in anything it does;.”
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