Wednesday 4 May 2016


This is deja vu all over again. Jeremy Bowen is back in Jerusalem trying to reignite the BBC’s war against Israel.
The media had lost interest recently, and as Jeremy himself says, his colleagues have asked him
Why now, when it* has been going on since last October?” 
(*stabbing and car-ramming intifada)    Why indeed.

There are two new contributions from the BBC’s Middle East editor. The audio version was more overtly anti-Israel than the web version, but it’s interesting to compare the two. 

The Today Programme.  Sarah Montague’s introduction set the tone.
“Tension is rising once again between Israelis and Palestinians. Seemingly random attacks by Palestinians on Israelis continue. Israel continues to expand settlements for Jooos in the occupied territories that contravene international law. There are no peace talks, and no attempt is being made to revive them.”

As far as I could tell, there was no reference whatsoever, either in Bowen’s written or in his audio report, to Israel ‘expanding settlements for Jews in the occupied territories nor that they contravene international law”
The scriptwriters must have inserted that. Perhaps they did that at 4am, when they were still half asleep. If the necessity for inserting that were challenged, I imagine they would say, “for context”. 
The way Sarah enunciated the word “Jews” was weird too. That’s why I spelled it Jooos.

There is a marked difference between the audio and web reports. It seems that the web editor wishes to appear even handed. The audio report didn’t bother to try.
It began with the tearful words of a young Palestinian claiming she had not intended to stab an Israeli “in a Jewish settlement” and had been wrongly imprisoned for 74 days. The family also protested her innocence.

The above visit was not included in the web report, but the next section, (in Israel) was prominently featured on the website and included a photo of the injured girl’s mother.

Back to the audio version of the above, where Jeremy Bowen visits the young Israeli girl in hospital. She has been badly burned in the recent bus bombing. He speaks to her mother and sister Shiran. 

Bowen asks Shiran what she thinks “when she sees a Palestinian walking down the street” 

She replies:
 "I think: why are they so evil? Why are they so bad? Why can't we live in peace… these are wars that we have been living with for years and we'll never find a resolution to them because they hate us. 
We hate them; It’s mutual, but the difference between us is they’re the ones who come to attack.”
This particular quote implants the idea that Israelis and Palestinians share an equal hatred for each other, and the question was undoubtedly posed - using the phrase “when she sees a Palestinian walking down the street  - to reinforce ‘mutuality’.  This is an example of distortion of a fact extracted from a grain of truth. 

In other words, Israelis have learned to be wary of Palestinians ‘walking down the street‘,  whereas Palestinian Muslims have been brought up with hatred of Jews, which is why they will never accept Israel as a Jewish state. The mutuality, if there is any, is a recent, reactive phenomenon, but equating the two hatreds by sleight of hand is pure antisemitic propaganda.   

The audio version moves to another location, a Palestinian village near Jerusalem. 
“Most of the Palestinians who live here can’t travel to Jerusalem - to the holy city - because of Israel’s security regulations.” 
Bowen describes the mourners of a 16 year old boy and a 23 year old girl,  siblings who were shot at a checkpoint. The girl ‘allegedly’ threw a knife at the police. 
“The family say they were both innocent, shot in cold blood by trigger-happy guards..... They didn’t have a chance....”
A family member says: (voiced by a translator) 
“They’re used to this. It’s normal for them. They kill us. They kill innocent children in cold blood. Our martyrs are in heaven. That’s enough for us. They’re used to this. It’s in their blood. They want to get rid of us in any way. They have a law. Whenever they see an Arab their policy is to kill them. Killing is their policy. Even old people and kids.”

“Her uncle, Abdullah, joined in” says Bowen. He interprets:
“If you scratch your head they’ll kill you, if you just pick something off the ground, they’ll kill you. If you pick your phone out of your pocket, they’ll kill you” 

“The Israeli government says that’s untrue” continued Jeremy. “That Palestinians attack Israelis because they’ve been - short pause indicating imaginary quote marks - “taught to hate them from childhood” 

Giving a ‘platform’ to such demonstrably false accusations, even with the inclusion of “Our martyrs are in heaven” sends out a mixed message. 

To me it merely says “I’m brainwashed.” But to you, goodness only knows what. 

Some might believe Israelis really do have a law or a policy to kill an Arab whenever they see one. After all, a similar command crops up in their religion. (Something to do with the gharqad tree)


Bowen consults a spokesperson from “Breaking the Silence”, a group of former IDF soldiers who believe the occupation is morally indefensible. The spokesman sets out all the reasons why the group campaigns against the occupation. 
He is not asked what the group thinks would happen if Israel did withdraw from the occupied territories. 

"The atmosphere is more combustable than it’s been" says Bowen. 

Now look at the webpageAt first glance this looks more impartial, but it does include a different scene (not included in the audio version) to portray the Palestinian viewpoint. 

It’s the view of the mother of the bus bomber, in fact. Bowen attempts to dissociate this act from Islam. We’re told that although Hamas claimed Abdul’s attack, Abdul's family supports ‘a secular left-wing Palestinian faction’.
 "He was angry for everything that happened in Palestine. He was watching what happened everyday. Killings, arrests, destroying homes, everything. Of course he was angry."
Then there’s a section headed  “The core of the conflict”
“The Israeli prime minister's spokesman told me that "teaching Palestinian children to hate is one of the primary causes of the terror attacks against Israeli civilians today… their impressionable minds should not be poisoned with hatred by the Palestinian Authority." 
Hate-filled Palestinian rhetoric against Israel is not hard to find. It cuts the other way too.Fans of one of Jerusalem's professional football clubs, which has roots in a right-wing Zionist youth movement, are notorious for chanting "Death to Arabs" during games.”

Is Bowen equating the every-day hatred for Jews that is exposed by PMW, and spewed out by Hamas T.V., which he admits is not hard to find.........with a football chant?  “Death to Arabs during games?” He must be getting desperate. 

Here is the most misleading part, which shows how ill-informed he is about ‘the core of the conflict'.
“Two peoples have been fighting for generations about one piece of land. That is still the core of the conflict.”
No. That is not the core of the conflict at all. The BBC has no business allowing such an ill-informed statement to pass unchallenged. It would be misleading enough if it was said by anyone at all, but from the BBC's Middle east Editor it's unforgivable. 

I have never pretended to be an expert on religion - neither Judaism nor Islam. I don’t wish to go into the details of whose holy site is the holiest. But I do know that the core of the conflict stems from the hatred of Jews that is inherent in the Muslim religion. That is why the Palestinians have rejected every offer of their own state as long as Israel remains in what they see as “Muslim” land.

Jeremy Bowen is rather like Jeremy Corbyn. They are both ill-informed and biased, and they both count Hamas and Hezbollah amongst their friends. Mutuality all round.


  1. Why now? Because of Labour's problem. You must be reminded of the goodthink, that Israel is bad so criticizing Israel is never anti-Semitism. Putting the Israel/Palestinian conflict back in the news with the BBC's special emphasis on things helps Corbyn and Khan and Labour.

    Bowen is, of course, a liar and propagandist, which is why he is a titled BBC editor.

  2. I think it is a land dispute, but it is turbo-charged by Islamic ideology primarily (although the Greater Israel Zionists haven't helped along the way). The BBC seems reluctant to accept that the existence of the Jewish state was part of a UN settlement. Israel has a better claim to be a legitimate state under international law, than just about any other state on the planet, except perhaps East Timor.

  3. OFF TOPIC -

    Nicholas Watt currently appearing on Newsnight seems such a lightweight. Talking about bringing in alleged "unaccompanied child migrants".

    Heidi Allen on now. Sympathetic questioning from Evan Davis. No suggestion that as Denmark found 71% claiming to be children are making bogus claims.

    Stephen Wolfe of UKIP given a fairly easy ride, but he is playing it by the PC rules. Doesn't mention the overwhelming bogus nature. In my view probably 90% are either not children or are children who are accompanied (but the adults accompanying them are pretending they aren't).

    1. Also, what's the gender ratio and age spread of these 'children'? Funny we don't get this information.

    2. Strange thing about Newsnight is it seems to operate a colour bar, unlike national and local news. It's "hideously white", to borrow a phrase!

  4. OFF TOPIC -

    Just a brief note on "From Our Home Correspondent"... (Radio 4 - 3rd May)

    Whilst my predictions didn't exactly come true, I think I was in the right ball park. This was from "From Our Politically Correct Correspondents".

    I have to say what surprised me most was just how p*ss poor it was, from a purely professional point of view.

    What exactly is the point of FOHC? It's not as though we are short of "personal view" programmes on Radio 4 (Will Self is hardly ever not on), or (allegedly) interesting vignetters about life in the UK (Women's Hour, Laurie Taylor's thing, the Richard Coles thing, and all the rest)or opinonated "colour" pieces in the regular news and current affairs output (BBC reporters will give your their opinions at a drop of a hat)!

    So, if it was going to have any impact, FOHC would have to somehow carve out a separate identity. But as the terminally dull Mishal Husain assured us, no novelty was to be expected - this was simply going to be the FOOC format grafted on to the UK.

    If only it had been. But it was dishwater grey in tone when not actually hamfisted and amateurish. The first segment - Alan Little droning on about Scottish statues was actually unlistenable to, I found. Just another Caledonian whinge, it sounded like and I had no wish to inquire further.

    There was a piece by a PC icon (Adnan Sawar) - that rare creature, a British Muslim soldier, but (no doubt making him acceptable to the BBC) one who goes on protests in support of Bradley Manning. And yet, oddly, the theme of his amateurish (sounded like something that an intelligent, but not very knowledgeable, 15 year old might produce, meant to sound "clever" but not really engaging with anything)appeared to be, as far as one could make it out, an argument for the futility of protest.

    The Laura Kuessenberg section was perhaps the raison d'etre of this new "monthly" series (two progs before the EU Referendum). An excuse to smuggle in some pro-Remain propaganda. LK referred to George having launched an "economic exocet" against the Leave campaign. Not, note, "what he hoped would be an economic exocet" - she states it as a matter of fact. However, most Leavers don't think there is any such thing: they think the economic progress we are supposed to be making in the EU is a mirage built on ever-increasing debt, dodgy accounting, asset stripping (of government assets), mass immigration (and associated population growth) and effectively turning London into a playground for money-laundering oligarchs from around the world. The proof is to be found in the inability of most young people (especially in southern England) to find decent accommodation to rent or buy and the fact that in London for instance, average disposable income has not increased in 10 years.

    LK went on to make some pathetic analogy between 70s "game shows" and the campaign presentations. This didn't work at all. What was the point of it? Possibly to suggest that it is all about presentation (the old "boring" meme) and not about real and fundamental constitutional issues (because to admit that is to play to the Leave side). She made some more tendentious comments suggesting sympathy with Osborne's view that the Leave option would result in dire economic impacts and Cameron's view that this was a matter of head and heart (without referencing the PM's speech earlier this year she identified "head" with Remain and "Heart" with Leave - a completely biased view).

    (Continued below)

  5. (continued from above) She made it sound as though Leave were all about razamatazz and no substance, whereas Remain were about sober economic judgement. In fact, towards the end it almost sounded like a complaint - "Come on Remain - can't you spice up your campaign a're in danger of losing some votes to the Leave side".

    Another odd thing about LK's piece was that it included sound clips so it wasn't really that different from a news report. It was the only one that had that. Perhaps they thought it would have more authority that way.

    Husain managed to bolster the "boring" meme by commenting wryly that LK faced another 7 weeks of wobbly plywood - yeah, that's her job and this just happens to be a seminal moment in British history, one that will determine our fate for decades, probably centuries, to come. It could hardly be more exciting, but the media elite are determined to make it sound as boring as wading through 300 pages of EU Agricultural Produce Regs.

    The last piece was something incredibly boring about a campaign to have a Shakespeare-focussed theatre (Shakespeare North) start up in Lancashire (Merseyside), based on some tenuous connection he had with the area (possibly). This was by a rather fey-sounding Andrew Dickson (a Guardian writer - well there's a surprise). I suppose this was ticking some boxes: provincial, state support for the arts, cuts in local funding resulting in poor educational outcomes, and bringing Shakespeare to the masses. Dickson did some Guardian-angst about creating a "middle class ghetto" in lumpenproletarian Knowsley. Dickson by the way claimed to be from oop north, whilst sounding like he's never been anywhere north of the Thames not covered by the tube system.

    Mishal tells us (in a puff piece in the Telegraph) that she has decreed FOHC should be pronounced "folk". Well, in that case, on the basis of this luke warm first serving of politically correct slop, may I suggest all concerned with the programme "Folk off" as us Brits say.

  6. The arab interviewee who said if you do this and that, "they will kill you" used the word yahud (it was clearly audible). Yahud means jew. So the BBC appears to have deliberately mistranslated the interview inorder to sanitise it and make it more appealing to audiences. What the arab fellow was actually saying in his rant was if you do this or that, the Jews will kill you. But a palestinian arab making racist anti semitic comments doesn't fit with the BBC narrative about the muslim arabs being the nice, reasonable, good guys and the Jews the hate filled demons. Dishonest reporting, blatant bias.
    Why now? Because there have been a number of recent stories about anti semitism in Labour and the left. So let's broadcast some biased anti Jewish rubbish to remind everyone why we don't like Jews.

    1. Good catch. The BBC has form on this, including a recent incident, which I'll search for shortly.

    2. Yes, I too recall a similar incident in the last year or two.

    3. 'Children of the Gaza War.' Lyse Doucet.


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