Sunday 7 August 2016

Wall-to-wall Olympics

I’m not a fan of competitive sport - or any other type of competitive pursuit, so watching the Olympics is not my thing, but I couldn’t help noticing these Olympics-related stories. 

Obviously, there’s the bus war
Proud to be Lebanese. No normalization with Israel in any form!

The Lebanese contingent refused to let the Israeli contingent board ‘their’ bus. (Or perhaps it was just a bus that the organisers had laid on for -  you know - athletes)

Well, the BBC did at least report this incident , and what’s more they gave it a reasonably fair headline.
It’s better than “Israeli athletes invade Lebanese bus” or some such. After all, aren’t Israelis renowned for Jewifying everything? “Judaisation”, Yolande Knell calls it.

The main body of the article dives straight into a kind of justification for the Lebanese contingent’s appalling behaviour:
 “Lebanon and Israel are officially at war and have no diplomatic relations.”
So that’s okay then?
The BBC didn’t include any of the Lebanese team leader’s gloating:
“Lebanese Minister of Youth and Sport Abdel Motaleb Hannawi told a Lebanese news site that this was not the first time Israel has attempted to embarrass a Lebanese delegation in this kind of circumstance. He praised the delegation’s behavior, Nakoula’s specifically. “His stance was principled and patriotic,” he said. 
Nakoula became the hero of the day in Lebanon after the incident was publicized. The Al Mayadeen and Al-Manar news networks, both associated with Hezbollah, gave Nakoula praise, with the latter also interviewing him. Hezbollah supporters and officials praised him on social media, with one Al-Manar broadcaster tweeting, “The Israelis were sent away from the bus because normalization (with Israel) is not to be had in any  form, and because the Lebanese identity (is that of) resistance. Be proud to be Lebanese.”

 …… and left the impression that Israelis should, once again, be regarded as interlopers on ‘other people’s’ buses. 

Another story caught my eye, this time about problems concerning swimming pools
" The Palestinian Olympic Swimming Pool-Sized Lie."
“Introducing the Palestinian swimmer Mary al-Atrash, media outlets were quick to note that the young athlete was challenged not only by the rigors of training for the Olympics but also by the fact that the occupation had cut off her access to a proper 50-meter-long pool, the standard Olympic size. Such stately facilities, the media informed its outraged viewers, were simply not available in Palestine.”

According to ‘Tablet’, this wasn’t quite the case, as she could have had access to a number of suitable pools. But Palestinians never miss an opportunity to blame Israel for all their woes, especially when there’s a sympathetic ear to hear it and a willing voice to spread it around. 

Oddly though, certain women in Luton, yes, that’s Luton UK., are denied access to their Olympic size pool  (for cultural reasons) but not to worry. It’s only on Fridays.

It seems that the IOC has reprimanded the head of the Lebanese delegation, Al-Haj Nakoula, who apparently responded that the whole incident was the result of a misunderstanding.

Doesn’t say precisely what the nature of the misunderstanding was, but a separate source said that Lebanese athletes are "committed to the national position in refusing to be in the same place as the Israelis." He added that Lebanon will remain part of the resistance against Israel. 
I fail to see where a misunderstanding comes into the picture. Am I missing something?


  1. The saddest part of this is that the BBC has in the past pushed the lie that Israel invaded Lebanon only for conquest and expansion, and still portray Hezbollah as a legitimate defense force against future invasions. They never, ever point out that the PLO started it in 1980 through to 1981, and Hezbollah formed to fight against Israel defending itself.

    The conflict of a few years back was similarly framed as starting when Israel hit back. So BBC audiences - and staff - will have been prepared to accept Lebanon itself and the Lebanese people being only victims of Israeli aggression, without the background.

  2. Interesting question - do you think people on the right accept more "bias" before complaining than on the left? I find this when arguing with people.

    Problem is this then would effect the BBC complaints from all sides argument, and maybe even explain the current problems.

    1. I don’t know, but to bring up the now boringly familiar subject of the QT audience yet again, the left certainly shout louder.

    2. ….not to mention the AQ audience. (I listened to it last week because my local MP (con) was on. Almost felt sorry for him.)

    3. That's an interesting observation. There's certainly plenty of evidence these days of people on the Left being unable to tolerate even simple disagreement.

      It would also be interesting (although surely impossible) to figure out what percentage of complaints of bias on either are side are simply times when the BBC reports something they don't like, as opposed to actual bias. That was the a standard refutation from defenders of the indefensible for many complaints in the old days on B-BBC.


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