The way the BBC reports the trouble and strife in the Middle East has its most pernicious affect on the casual observer. Anyone with more than a general interest in current affairs will go to their own preferred specialist websites, newspapers and TV stations for news and views, but the opinion of the casual observer is a litmus test indicative of the BBC’s political inclinations.
So although some people have detected a slight shift in the general atmosphere, starting from a low base of outright hostility to Israel where the actual word Zionist is a pejorative, through ‘a plague on both their houses’ - to a gradual recognition that what Israel has been up against since 1948 is related to the problems we’re presently hearing about every day, namely world-wide Islam-related turmoil, death and destruction.
I’m sure my ears weren’t deceiving me, but I think I heard a report on the BBC this morning that concerned Gazans who had decided to flee with their families from imminent danger, following warnings from the IDF. And you know what? as people are wont to say for dramatic effect - they actually said that Hamas was urging them to stay put; that’s what.
If that revelation isn’t long overdue I don’t know what is.
Here’s a couple of examples of quotes from persons I’d file in the category of the casual observer. The opinionated casual observer.
Ruth Wishart, talking as a guest and newspaper reviewer on the Andrew Marr show.
“You know what? There are just paedophiles and there are paedophiles ...”
Sorry, wrong subject.
Marr: “We must mention very briefly what’s going on in Palestine, in Israel, because it looks like we’re on the edge of another huge civil war in effect.” (Palestine? ....We’re on the edge?)
“It’s quite appalling and I know that it’s complex and I know that there are wrongs on both sides..... but I have to say - (no you really don’t) - Israel has consistently said this week that they make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. If this is what happens making every effort, heaven help the people in Gaza if they make no effort at all. We’ve got a story ...the Independent on Sunday has an eye-witness account of this disabled home being hit, I mean it’s outrageous, there are well over a hundred deaths, numerous casualties, and the idea that you’re hiding terrorists inside places like disabled hospitals is ludicrous. Gaza is such a small place, with such a big population, they’re jammed cheek by jowl - there is nowhere to hide in Gaza.”
Thus spake the voice of the casual observer, informed and educated by the BBC.
David Mellor, who has already stated that he is/was the father of two young boys, (so he is uniquely qualified to speak out about the paedophile question and Israel) was prompted by Andrew Marr to recount a pet anecdote about Israel.
“I went to Gaza in 1988. It’s a horrible place for people to live. You cannot imagine the bitterness. And after that I saw Mr. Shamir and I mean 30 years ago and I said to him, as a young father of two young boys living in London, if I were a young Israeli father with two young boys growing up in Israel, what hope do your policies have of allowing them ever to live in peace with their neighbours, and he said .....(leaning forward to emphasize the profound nature of Mr. Shamir’s response)....”They are all terrorists.”
I assume that story was brought to you to illustrate David Mellor’s ‘inside out, upside-down’ grasp of the infamous ‘taught to hate’ situation. He evidently blames Israel for ‘hating’ and sees the conflict as the fault of Arab-hating Jews.
No wonder he’s unaware (I presume) of the Hamas / PA style education system, because the BBC so far hasn’t brought it to our attention at all.
So these ... let’s call them senior citizens, whose minds were made up for them over the last six decades of BBC endorsed anti-Israel rhetoric are not likely to open their minds to the possibility that what seems ludicrous to us is not at all ludicrous to Hamas.