If you follow matters Israeli you will probably be aware of the wide range of political opinions within that unique Middle Eastern democracy. You'll probably also be aware that some positions are less popular with the Israeli public than others.
Knowing what you do of Israeli politics, what would you make of a BBC programme about Mossad that only featured:
- (a) an Israeli journalist who is deeply resentful of Israeli "right-wing" criticisms of his reporting,
- (b) a retired Palestinian terrorist and "victim" of Mossad,
- (c) a former Mossad chief who fears that the "haughtiness...arrogance...and messianic thinking" of the Israeli "right-wing" will provoke the entire Muslim world,
- (d) a former Mossad chief who wants talks with Hamas, and
- (e) a Palestinian academic ("Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies") who is no great friend of Israel?
Knowing what you do of where the bulk of Israeli public opinion lies, would you say that was representative?
Well, I certainly wouldn't.
That, however, was precisely the cast-list of today's episode of Fergal Keane's Terror Through Time: Mossad, the Wrath of God - a short potted history of the Israeli security agency.
The result was, by and large, fairly predictable: a portrait of Mossad as a ruthless, sometimes cruelly fallible organisation, complete with unfavourable takes from a pair of Palestinians, a modicum of hand-wringing from the three liberal-minded Israelis and an largely disapproving overarching take on the organisation courtesy of Fergal Keane...
...much as might have been feared in advance.