Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Sugaring the pill

Compare the BBC’s report of the newly elected Hamas leader (Yehiya) Yahya Sinwar (what a name!) with other press reports available online.
The BBC’s avoidance of the ‘value-judgement’ is so painfully obvious that it has the opposite effect to the one intended, i.e., it ends up looking like unadulterated bias.

The BBC does mention that Sinwar represents the most radical and extreme line of Hamas, and does not believe in any sort of cooperation with Israel, but much of the BBC’s report is couched in obfuscating language, for example, rather than explain that Sinwar was jailed for murdering Palestinians who collaborated with Israel, they say: 
“Yehiya Sinwar was jailed for four life terms by Israel in 1989 for a series of offences, including murder and kidnapping.”

 “Jailed by Israel” almost casts doubt on the validity of the charge, and let’s face it, if you’re not even going to mention his attitude to Isis it almost looks like a cover-up. 
  The Times’s Israel-based correspondent Gregg Carlstrom is not known for his pro-Israel stancebut his report about Yahya Sinwar is even headed “ New Hamas leader will court Isis”

So, why not tell it like it is?


  1. Mentioning that would give permission for prejudice, and bring a load of complaints about the BBC being a Zionist shill.

  2. The Today programme a few days ago did at least mention that he had been sentenced to three life terms for murder, but as you say very little detail or context was added. The report also went on to say hat many people in Israel believe he should still be in prison - not simply many people, but specifically many people in Israel. Make of that what you will. But what struck me the most was the use of the term “armed struggle”, thus elevating his murderous actions to heroic status. I suppose we can only be grateful that he wasn’t described as a freedom fighter.

  3. My A Level history teacher was like that, although I never really realised at the time.

    Learning British history from a Welsh socialist who hated the English in an English mining town, was certainly a twisted experience.