Tuesday 23 May 2017

Veiled threat

Over at Elder of Ziyon, there’s an image of Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas standing side-by-side in front of twin lecterns.

The gist of the article, titled:  “Trump's jab to Abbas too subtle after Abbas' veiled threats and demands in Bethlehem”  amounted to Trump telling Abbas to “stop funding terrorists and their families”.

“President Trump, in his statement following his meeting with PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, said a very important thing that the Arab media ignored: 

Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded.  We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice.  

Unfortunately, Trump extemporized a comment about the Manchester bombing immediately beforehand, so the Palestinians can pretend that this statement was not directed towards them and their policy of tolerating, funding and rewarding terror.”

Perhaps that was why Mahmoud Abbas looked like a toad. He was pretending not to get the message. 

If you thought that was wishful thinking and that EoZ was projecting his own feelings onto Trump’s words, think again. Your actual BBC has also picked up the hint.
"Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded," he added, apparently referring to payments made by the PA to the families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed in the conflict with Israel.”
That particular online article includes an analysis from The BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen. It’s headed:  ”No simple deal"
Jeremy Bowen sees the Israel Palestine scenario entirely from the Palestinian point of view. This is fair enough, or it would be if the BBC took pains to offer the other side of the story too, so the audience could get a truer picture. For balance you know.
Here’s just one example of how Bowen sees the world.
“The reality is that the Israelis and Palestinians are way apart on the main issues - the future of east Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the borders of an independent Palestine.”
Jeremy Bowen’s main issues are not Israel’s main issues. They’re not even the Palestinians’ main issues. They are window-dressing ‘obstacles’, selected by the Palestinian leadership purely to to appeal to to the outside world and appear reasonable to those who don’t know the history. 
The Palestinians say they want east Jerusalem for their future capital, but how many people are aware that when Jordan was in control no-one but Muslims were allowed to visit the holy sites?

I’ve lifted the following from a comment by Charlie in NY on BBC Watch: 
“during its 19 year illegal occupation, Jordan directly violated its obligations under the 1949 Armistice Agreement and barred Jews (not just Israelis which would have been violation enough) from the Western Wall, destroyed historic synagogues in the Jewish Quarter, desecrated the Mount of Olives cemetery and sought to eradicate evidence of Jewish inhabitation in the Old City.”
Only under Israeli control has Jerusalem been open to all religious groups. These are things you need to know before you judge.

Bowen’s other main issues have been an integral part of peace negotiations for years, always scuppered by the Palestinians just as things seemed to be getting somewhere.
The real issue is more fundamental.  Arab hatred of Jews. That’s it. Once that is confronted and dissipated, problem solved. Only then could there be 'two states side-by-side'.

A couple of paragraphs later Bowen turns the situation topsy turvy by portraying the Israelis as the religious fanatics, “Some of the most influential members of the Israeli government believe the land is a Jewish possession, given by God.” 

He does manage to describe Hamas as ‘Islamists’ but casts doubt on whether they really deserve to be deemed terrorists: “Hamas, who have been condemned by President Trump in the last few days as terrorists” as if it’s only Trump who says so, and then only in the last few days.

Episode 6 ‘Crossing the Divide’. Jeremy Bowen’s early afternoon “Our man in the Middle East” slot on Radio 4, threw up a number of questionable Bowenisms. I hope BBC Watch picks them up soon. Watch this space.

P.S. I didn’t watch much of the BBC’s coverage of Manchester. I chose Sky. Anything rather than watching Victoria Derbyshire pitched 300 yards away from the Manchester Arena desperately trying to find something interesting to say. 

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