A strange, superficial kind of balance was in evidence on the Today programme this morning. I suspect the producers, or the editors or whomsoever is responsible for selecting the morning menu are the thirteen-year-olds that Jeremy Paxman was complaining about the other day.
On the face of it they could claim they were pitching an item about antisemitism against a few about Gaza. But that would be facile.
An item presented by Caroline Wyatt about antisemitism in France preceded the usual Israel-bashing items. I hadn’t realised that Ms. Wyatt is now the BBC’s religious affairs (instead of defence) correspondent. She was an excellent defence correspondent. I mean it as a compliment when I say that she reported on military matters with, dare I say it, distinctly masculine authority. She’s highly articulate, and I’d venture, accurate, thorough and truthful, though I’d hardly know if she weren’t. At any rate she always sounded knowledgeable to a trusting, military-matters ignoramus like me.
I realise I have just alienated feminists, the people’s resistance against gender specific generalisation, supporters of the BBC, enemies of Julie Burchill, my own opponents and all posters of cryptic one-liners on defunct threads on this blog. Now I’m going to compound the offence and say that religious affairs doesn’t strike me as a topic that presents the same challenges for Caroline as defence did. Religion is a slippery subject; like ..... like.... as feminine a topic as defence is masculine.
Okay, now that’s over, I have to say that Caroline Wyatt had her other hat on as well during the Today programme. Some sort of overlap, maybe. Anyway she was talking about the Yazidi refugees stranded on a mountain after fleeing from the murdering savages of Islamic State, and others who are stuck in villages, surrounded by ‘militants’.
I may be mistaken, but I thought I heard something about Libya, another place that Islamists have managed to turn into a hell-hole.
The only way to deal with the Islamic State, a death cult, is to help the Sunnis and the Kurds defeat them says Richard Dannatt. Air strikes and so on. To make sure the Islamic State is not allowed to commit a genocide, he says. Of course we might accidentally kill some civilians, but it’s the right thing to do.
So a large number of French Jews have moved to Israel, or made aliyah, because of the intimidating atmosphere, largely caused by Muslim immigrants from North Africa. Immigration is a delicate subject, the negative aspects of which the BBC normally steers clear of.
Caroline interviewed some French Jews who live with a sense of threat. A rabbi said there is freedom for Jews in Britain, unlike in France. A man from a French radio station implied that tensions are exacerbated by something called the Jewish Defence League. It’s all a little exaggerated said he. Not sure if he means it’s the Jews’ fault.
However, there were several items about the wounded in Gaza, particularly the children. Rachel Craven, a volunteer doctor from Bristol, and another doctor described the injuries in heartrending detail.
But, and it’s a bloody great but, as long as the BBC continues to wallow in this stuff, which the thirteen-year-old editors would doubtless defend on the basis that it’s ‘in the public interest’, they are ensuring that injuries to children and more deaths keep on coming. By making a show of it they, the media, perpetuate it. That is why corpses are dragged from one place to another and paraded in front of your cameras.
Why does Mrs Heartless say this? Well, I’m not being heartless. The opposite. Hamas regards the airtime that the media eagerly devotes to the maimed and wounded as a bonus. They use it as a deliberate strategy. They need to do it to solicit sympathy, and sway public opinion to gain support for their cause. Without it the public might just see them as a Islamist Jew-hating outfit that worships death. By dwelling on the injuries of babies and children you are making a success of Hamas’s Modus Operandi and making certain there will be more of the same.
By all means publicise these horrific injuries. But do so with honesty. Put it in context. If Hamas wanted to protect civilians it would have done so. They haven’t. They could have. Get it? No?
It’s much easier to just repeat the mindless mantra that “Israel are the killers.” If they didn’t kill them, they simply wouldn’t be killed.” That’s it. Or else they say: “You’re blaming the victim.” No. Not the victim. The people who hide behind them.
They believe Israelis should live their lives in a permanent state of fear. Always on alert. Fifteen seconds to drop everything and run. Not just in exceptional circumstances, in a state of emergency or in a state of war, but on a war footing forever. In normal time. Ad infinitum. Why? because of a 66 year-long war of attrition, and all because of Arab rejectionist, Judeophobic politics and a death cult.
And if Israelis refuse to submit? If they retaliate? Hamas will simply sacrifice more babies, more children, more women, more disabled. They will put them in harm’s way and parade what’s left of them in front of the cameras.
Unbelievably, we then heard Clifford Longley’s TFTD. He said that Islam was the religion of Peace, that Muslims are well-known for living peacefully with other religions and that for some reason the real Muslims wouldn’t like the name “Islamic State”.
It’s as if we’ve decided that we have to kill the death-cult ‘Islamic State’ to protect the Yazidis, but the thirteen year olds at the BBC think: “Jews. You had it coming.”