I happened to have the television tuned to BBC News 24 in the afternoon when some breaking news came through. I think the presenter was Nicholas Owen. He did look a little perplexed while announcing that Hamas had executed eighteen suspected collaborators.
I thought that news was very important. Evidently the BBC thinks otherwise, because it hasn’t made many headlines.
It’s important because it clearly puts Hamas alongside IS. You know, ruthless and barbaric with no moral equivocation. No human shields to be seen. No sacrificial lambs. No input from Israel. Just violent and reckless, like Islamic State, the Islamists that everyone agrees represent evil incarnate.
Despite the BBC happily describing both Hamas and Islamic State as “Islamist” groups, the way they approach them clearly differs. Let’s not pretend that we can’t tell whose side the BBC is on. Every sentence, every bit of news has a subject and an object, a passive and an active, a protagonist and a villain.
A thin veneer of objectivity is applied to most news and current affairs, not just the Middle East. It’s not hard to figure out which perspective the news comes from, and it’s quite plain what harm can be done beaming bias into all those millions of living rooms.
The people at that demonstration are convinced that Gaza is experiencing a holocaust comparable to Hitler’s industrial extermination of the Jews. They think Israel is ‘worse than the Nazis’. They advise Hamas not to give up! Why? Why do we think they believe these outrageous myths? They must have got it from somewhere.
People seem to believe that while Hamas and IS are both islamists, Hamas are benign and IS are malignant. We’re told that Islamism is nothing to do with Islam.
Benjamin Netanyahu and other members of Israel’s government have tried in vain to point out the similarities between Hamas and IS, but the BBC isn’t having it. At least one person’s Twitter feed attempts to mitigate the case against Hamas by claiming that there was some kind of judicial procedure before these executions. Must have been speedy. The fact that collaborating with Israel is a crime deserving of summary execution was taken as read.
Douglas Murray set it out in his Express piece but the BBC is at pains to promote the alternative view. Even though everyone is horrified at the widely disseminated and disturbingly graphic beheading video, (and for some inexplicable reason doubly so because the man in black is speaking in Ali G-ese, which means he’s one of ours) the execution of some of their pet Palestinians at the hands of some of their other pet Palestinians, bothers them not one jot. Perhaps if Hamas had sawn off eighteen heads with a rusty penknife it might have made a headline. Pun accidental.
The BBC has invested so much effort into pleading the case for Hamas that it would be considered rude to draw attention to the similarities between a barbaric Islamist outfit that sacrifices children because of their openly stated aim of ridding the region of Jews and infidels and habitually executes suspected traitors on the slightest whim, and another barbaric Islamist outfit that beheads, crucifies, executes and slaughters anything that moves. Mustn’t say it. Terrible slur on Hamas. Off-message.
|It might have been Nicholas Owen|
Even though the obvious is looming as large as a heard of elephants rampaging through Broadcasting House and trump trump trumping into the open-plan newsroom behind Nicholas Owen live on air as he announces that Hamas has just demonstrated their similarity to Islamic State, we’re supposed to just say goodbye to the circus and downplay, dodge and deny all comparisons between Hamas and IS.
Forget the semantics over Islamism and Islam proper. Who cares? If the Jihadis continually screech Allah Ackbar all day long, who’s going to bother to dance on the heads of pins any more? They do this in the name of Allah and I think that means they are Muslims.
Who actually cares whether the true identity of the man in black is ever resolved. It’s obvious that he’s one of many. We know what they’ve been up to. We’re at war with them, surely. Hamas is to Israel as IS is to us.
News of the executions of possible collaborators should have been a game changer, but it was buried in an impersonal report about the death of the little Israeli four-year-old boy who was not even named by the BBC.