Saturday 8 November 2014

Kate Adie throws fireworks at Israel

Before listening to reports about Israel on From Our Own Correspondent I will admit to sometimes experiencing a tightening feeling in my stomach. I had that feeling this morning on hearing that today's FOOC was leading with a piece prompted by the recent troubles in Jerusalem. 

I expected the worst and got it from Kate Adie's introduction:
These have been days of mounting tension in Jerusalem, most of it connected with the Temple Mount or Haram esh-Sharif, a site sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians alike. Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel earlier in the week after police used grenades, teargas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of stone-throwing Palestinians who'd barricaded themselves inside the site. Muslim worshippers had been angered by a campaign by far-right Jewish nationalists who want to be allowed to pray there. Kevin Connolly says there's no where in the Middle East, or elsewhere, quite as sensitive as this spot in the heart of Jerusalem. 
This, as you can see, placed all the blame on Israel. According to Kate Adie, it was Israeli police who provoked the Palestinian crowd and enraged the Jordanians. According to Kate Adie, it was "far-right Jewish nationalists" who angered the Muslim worshippers. No mention of the incitements to violence from the Palestinian Authority. No mention of the assassination attempt on Rabbi Yehuda Glick. No mention of the two recent murderous attacks by Palestinian terrorists in Jerusalem. No, it's all Israel's fault.

When Kevin Connolly's report finally came it felt like something of a relief after this highly-biased prelude. I'm curious to see what Hadar at BBC Watch makes of it though. 

I did smile, however, at Kevin's gentle mockery of one element of Christian sacred history (Constantine the Great's mother finding a piece of the true cross in Jerusalem), which contrasted with his complete absence of irony when mentioning Mohammed's horse. He didn't even mention its wings. He could have slipped in a little joke about it, couldn't he? - something along the lines of "Islam is very lucky to have a winged horse at the centre of its founding prophet's life. Judaism and Christianity don't have winged horses which, of course, makes them far less credible" perhaps? 


  1. So she parroted the Guardian line. The BBC editor who directed her to report from that angle is also to blame. Groupthink? What groupthink?

    As for Kevin "Teabagger" Connolly, it's best to assume that he's going to say something blatantly biased like that and just ignore him.

  2. While I'm adding comments from other blogs to this one (for the sake of being able to have them at hand for future reference), here's our old friend, David - TrueToo:

    Last night World Have Your Say made its usual effort to pretend to be impartial re the Israeli-Arab conflict, this time in a programme on Jerusalem. And as usual it didn’t fool anyone who didn’t want to be fooled. The programme, hosted by Chloe Tilley, kicked off with former Middle East correspondent Paul Adams, who could be trusted to sound reasonable and balanced while giving a distorted, pro-Arab slant to the conflict. He made it seem as if Jews had had no connection with East Jerusalem before it was in Jordanian hands, omitting to mention that when the Jordanians overran East Jerusalem in 1948, they killed or expelled all Jews in that part of the city, destroyed all the synagogues and even used headstones of Jewish graves to pave roads and build latrines.

    I recall Adams’ biased reporting on UN personnel accidentally killed in 2006 in Lebanon by Israeli shelling. He said when UN spokespeople referred to Israel, “they could scarcely conceal their contempt.” In fact, Adams is the one who is contemptuous of Israel and he would never look at that period of history since he would then be obliged to acknowledge the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem before the establishment of Israel.

    Adams is allowed to pump out his propaganda for 7 minutes, setting the tone for what is to come. Chloe Tilley then introduces Ruala, “An activist and a mother who lives in East Jerusalem.” She is given 5 or 6 minutes to whinge on about how terrible everything allegedly is for Arabs in East Jerusalem, with the occasional sympathetic prompt from Chloe Tilley. So we’re half way into the programme before there’s the introduction of a Jew, Avi, “Who works for an organisation promoting links between Jews around the world and Israel.” He’s given just over 2 minutes to talk about insecurity over the light rail attacks before the mike is handed to Talal, an Arab film producer, who is given 3 minutes for his own brand of anti-Israel propaganda.

    Then there’s Daniel, a left-wing Jewish lawyer who frequently visits East Jerusalem and is given 2 minutes to make it clear that he believes the innocent Palestinians are being hard done by and the Israeli authorities are causing the problems. Chloe Tilley brings Avi back in for 40 seconds to rebut Daniel’s argument and point out that Netanyahu has called for calm. Next comes the Arab Affairs correspondent for Channel 9 TV, a Russian immigrant who talks for 4 minutes about insecurity and how she frequently visits the Arab areas in East Jerusalem where she has Arab friends.

    And that’s it – 28 minutes with about 3 minutes allowed for a Jew to talk about Israeli concerns in a positive light. The title of the programme, What’s life like in Jerusalem, provides some comic relief – as if the BBC would be able to clear its anti-Israel bias out of its eyes long enough to be able to see it:


  3. Except that it wasn’t quite it. That was the edited Internet version, which chopped off the last 15 minutes or so. I only know about it because I was listening to it last night on an old-fashioned thing with an aerial and taping it on a cell phone. Here’s what was edited out:

    David, introduced by Chloe as a foreign affairs correspondent, but actually the Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post, is given less than 2 minutes to talk about whether or not the violence in Jerusalem is the start of a 3rd Intifada. Then the actual foreign correspondent, Matthew, picks up on that theme for a minute before a freelance journalist living in East Jerusalem (code for Arab) talks about, “The Israeli occupation army,” and employs a bit of terrorist agitation about people thinking that if now is not the time to fight, when will the time be right.

    Then David Horowitz, Editor of the Times of Israel and a staunch supporter of Israel, rejects the idea of the occupation army and points out that Ehud Olmert was ready to relinquish Israeli control in the Old City but the Palestinians walked away from that proposal.

    Chloe lets him talk for under two minutes before bringing the freelance activist back in to object to Horowitz mentioning the religious conflict and go off again about anger and so on. That takes a minute and then Chloe brings David Horowitz back in for another minute to point out that Israel is prepared to accept a Palestinian state but not at the expense of Israel.

    Then Chloe brings Daniel, the left-wing lawyer, back in for two minutes and then there’s a bit of back and forth for a minute between him and Avi.

    Then David Horowitz is asked back in and is interrupted by Daniel, who objects to the statement that Arabs in East Jerusalem can get Israeli citizenship and accuses Horowitz of misleading the public. Horowitz points out that he didn’t interrupt Daniel and ends by mentioning the Palestinian leadership fanning religious violence.

    And that really is it. Just when the Israelis are beginning to Have their Say, BBC website ‘Editors’ pull the plug. Alternatively, Chloe
    Tilley knew they were going to pull the plug and so made sure the Israelis would have their say too late.

    World Have Your Say used to accept comments from the great unwashed public but those days are long gone. And since they are insistent on mostly pumping out the propaganda they agree with, it’s past time for them to rename the programme. World Hear Our Say should do fine.

    1. And in this way, the BBC continues to foment the hatred of Jews everywhere. Their self-righteousness convinces them that they're on the side of the angels, so they'll continue to do it.

  4. Islam and irony: never knowingly found to co-exist.

    Mock all,or mock none.

    Dan Read


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