Tuesday 15 September 2015

Baling out

The BBC showed a notable lack of interest in the Israeli PM’s whistle-stop visit to the UK. Blink and you missed it. Apparently he pulled out of the Andrew Marr show, and Marr quipped that baling out of the show was the one thing Corbyn and Netanyahu had in common. 
I thought I’d tear myself away from wall-to-wall Corbyn for a minute to mention a discussion on Thursday’s Daily Politics inspired by Netanyahu’s visit

Jo Coburn in the chair.

Participating: James Sorene of the British Israel Communications and Research Centre, MP Richard Burden of Labour Friends of Palestine and Toby Young, in situ following the preceding discussion.

Media people seem to find the Israeli PM’s name difficult to pronounce. They lunge at it awkwardly and splutter: “Bin...yamin Net..un.... ha ..ya..hu”. This visibly irritates them and makes them more hostile to Israel (than is strictly necessary.)

An ominous presence that looms silently over this kind of discussion, let’s call it the elephant in the discussion, is the lack of acknowledgement - explicit or implicit -  of Islam’s malignant effect upon the politics of the whole of the Middle East.

As usual both the spokesperson for the Palestinian cause and the supposedly neutral chairperson completely ignored this factor and spoke as if the Israel-Palestinian conflict is a straightforward squabble between two parties of similar moral integrity and rationality.

All debates and discussions between people who refuse to acknowledge that Israel’s enemies are driven by religious fervour are destined to be futile; this one was pretty typical. It illustrated the pro-Palestinian politicians' wilful blindness to the antisemitism that motivates Israel’s enemies. I’d like to call the illogical blindness of the covert antisemite racist-driven ignorance. “What, me? How very dare you!” they cry indignantly.

Jo Coburn began by citing the Iran deal. She said: 
“The Iranian supreme leader is reported to have said just yesterday: ”You will not see Israel within twenty five years. God willing there will be nothing of the Zionist regime in the next twenty five years.” 

As Obama’s deal only commits Iran to interrupt its bomb-making activities for about ten years, the supreme leader’s  statement is tantamount to a boast that as soon as they’ve benefited from sanctions-lifting they’ll resume making the bomb to obliterate Israel.

Richard Burden MP said: 
“What Iran does is put in place a number of steps that will ensure that Iran does not have..military.. nuclear weapons... Interestingly Israel has already got those weapons, and that’s - I wouldn’t say - a nuclear free Middle East... they’ve not admitted it but it’s an open secret (giggling) that they have got those weapons and I think it would be a real step forward for peace in the Middle East and beyond if Israel itself started leading by example and said it was going to get rid of its nuclear weapons” 

This whataboutery might have some relevance if it weren’t for the Islam factor. As it is, it’s nonsense. Richard “interestingly” Burden wants us to believe that he actually trusts Iran and has faith in the deal’s longevity. Despite the breast-beating Ayatollahs, he’d like us to think he sincerely believes in the Iranians’ noble intentions. Why would someone genuinely believe something that contradicts all the evidence to the contrary?  I very much doubt he actually does. He feigns belief in Iran’s charade because it suits his prejudice against Israel.
He suggests that Israel should ‘set an example‘ by ridding itself of nuclear weapons. This is as insane as a farmer removing the fences protecting the chickens to set an example to Mr. Fox whose sense of decency and fair play, he’s sure, will prevail.
Richard Burden MP and his ilk find themselves making illogical demands of Israel just because they can get away with it. The media lets them get away with glossing over the most obvious signs that the people they’re championing are not the reasonable, conscience-burdened souls that they pretend they are, because that’s what the media do themselves. They must know that Israel’s enemies are not going to be shamed into laying down their arms the minute Israel decides to ‘set an example’ by laying down theirs. The opposite is the case; they know it but they don’t care..
“Israel needs to understand” 
opines Burden with breathtaking arrogance and presumptuousness
 “that if it wants to be part of the family of the Middle East it needs to be able to learn to live in peace with its neighbours, and that’s why, if we’re looking at the Gaza conflict last year, I mean we must remember fifteen hundred Palestinian civilians killed, five hundred of them children, the United Nations has come out with an inquiry there that’s required everybody with human rights abuses, both Israel and yes and indeed the Palestinian militant groups as well should cooperate in holding those responsible to account, and cooperating with the international criminal court in their enquiries. i think that Benjamin Netan ya ha hu would do Israel a lot of credit if he said clearly he was going to cooperate with that. Sadly the messages that have been coming out of his office have been going in the other direction.”

Can you imagine how he’d react if any foreign politician said “Britain needs to understand” etc?  

Then James Sorene explained that no sooner had Israel withdrawn from Gaza in 2005 (as if Burden didn’t know this) than Hamas started firing rockets indiscriminately at Israel from populated areas and digging tunnels beneath Israel. 
“There’s a very important point about Gaza that we need to look at. If we look back in 2005  is that Israel was in Gaza and it left Gaza as a concession for peace. Israel was not occupying Gaza any more. It handed it over to the Palestinian authorities and said, right, you’re in charge - let’s have peace and coexistence. What happened? Two years later Hamas took over in a coup and they started firing rockets into Israel. No rockets? - there wouldn’t have been a blockade. You’ve got to be careful about inverting this. There is only a blockade because there were rockets.

“Actually, the historical narrative doesn’t actually bear that out” 
interjects Burden.

“Hang on. You said the facts don’t add up, but which bit doesn’t it bear out?” 
asks Jo.
 “Which bit of James’s recounting of what happened doesn’t add up? Rockets were being fired, weren’t they, and Hamas does want the destruction of Israel. That is true, isn’t it?

“That, that’s absolutely true, but..

“How would you deal with Hamas in that situation?”

“Where I would disagree with what James has said is that I don’t think it’s as sequential as that. You can’t say that it all started with Hamas firing rockets, then Israel responded. It’s much much more complicated than that, but ultimately we need to have a peace deal. What that means is a parity of the rights of both sides absolutely that involves Israel’s right to live in peace and security, but it also means the Palestinians should have no fewer rights on that. That means the people of Gaza should be able to live, to be able to trade to be able to have the blockade lifted and it also means the Palestinians’ government should be recognised. It means that Palestine should be recognised as a state, not as a matter of privilege but as a matter of right, as Israel claims that right for itself.”

That nonsensical proposal further illustrates that Burden is pretending he believes that Hamas is an honourable player. 
Firstly, it is as “sequential as that”. In fact if you go back to the very beginning, the rejectionist policy of the Arabs is at the heart of the problem. They hate Jews. Please admit that. 

How are you going to achieve this fantasy of Israel’s ‘right’ to live in peace and security while Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and the entire ‘Ummah” is openly opposed to the existence of the ‘Zionist entity’? Even when Israel’s presence is obviously to their material advantage, they still pray to Allah for its destruction.  The Palestinians have forfeited their moral rights by their constant aggression and the inhuman acts they perpetrate upon Israeli civilians whenever the opportunity arises, and upon each other on the slightest whim.
 What is the Palestinian government? Where are the essentials of a state? What would happen if the blockade was lifted? What happens already? Why hasn’t the reconstruction of Gaza been completed? Why hasn’t it even started? Why isn’t the media explaining the real reason to us and to each other? 

Here’s the point. The reason the public is so hostile to Israel and so willing to swallow the senseless spiel by organisations like the Labour Friends of Palestine is because they aren’t given the truth. They’re kept in the dark. I think Jo Coburn made an effort, but the verdict is: please try harder.

The BBC has a duty to present the the viewers with facts and let the viewers interpret them. The case for the prosecution, the case for the defence and ideally a scrupulous summing up. Not one-sided, partial and biased. Not judged while half the evidence is withheld from the jury.
Sanitising Islam is dishonest, deceptive and cruel. It’s not even productive in terms of social cohesion. 
As BBC Watch, UK MediaWatch, Daphne Anson, Harry’s Place,  NotaSheepMaybeaGoat, Elder of Ziyon and many other pro Israel blogs detail, day in, day out, the BBC determinedly under-reports the malevolence and deviousness of Israel’s enemies and gives too many platforms, unchallenged, to their activists and propagandists. 
As news of the activities of ISIS feature more and more prominently in the news, and the similarities between the beliefs of all radical Islamists become more apparent, the tide has to turn. 

No wonder Binyamin Nitunyahahahhu baled out.


  1. A brief observation: the 10 year term on the Iran nuclear "deal" (I don't actually believe it is any such thing) reflects well established Sharia law that allows Islamic states to enter into peace treaties with Kaffir states for only up to a maximum of 10 years.

  2. So Jo Coburn actually tried to correct Burden's Palestinian propaganda, something that is usually considered gospel at the BBC? A minor miracle. The only worry is whether or not she will be attacked internally for such blasphemy or if some of her die-hard anti-Israel types will open their eyes just a little because of it.

  3. Isn't it funny (not "ha, ha") that the BBC takes politically correct pains with getting the pronunciation of foreign names just right, even to the point of pedantry, except in the case of Netanyahu and perhaps one or two others deemed unworthy of such care and respect...

    1. I have noticed that as well, many times. I'm sure there's some Style Guide excuse or dodge.

  4. A bit OT, but I’m always struck by the way Yolande Knell has gone native with her pronunciations. I wrote this in 2013:


    “Has anyone else noticed the way Yolande Knell now pronounces “Ramallah”?  It’s now “Ruh’muh’lluh” - full-on, throaty and guttural,”

    1. And yet they never say Roma or Paree or Moskva...wonder why?


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.