I think I’ve heard just about the most biased edition of the Today Programme in a long time. First, the news headlines, which I described in my earlier post.
Next, we heard Yolande (pronounced Roland but with a Y) Knell’s breathless account of the affair. Then we were treated to the bizarre opinion of Professor Marandi, whom I assume is the author of a piece explaining why ”US President Donald Trump has a problem with 'Death to America' slogans” if such a thing requires an explanation. The professor signed off with a reminder of the so-called ‘open mic” incident which caught “Pres. Obama and his French counterpart complaining about Israel's leader."
Sarkozy was heard to say “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar” to which Obama replied: “You’re fed up with him but I have to deal with him even more often than you!” So, there you have it! The killer blow!
Following this, we were treated to another beauty. Tom Bateman visiting a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon to commemorate the Palestinian Nakba. (Their catastrophe.) I haven't got time this morning to go into detail about the omissions and emoting that poured out of poor Tom Bateman's mouth. Maybe someone will transcribe it somewhere. I'm sure many listeners were reduced to tears. Not to mention the increasing hostility to Jews and Israel, which this report undoubtedly exacerbated.
The real catastrophe, of course, was the Arabs’ refusal to accept a tiny Jewish majority state in their midst and their disastrous decision to try to eradicate it, motivated purely by their virulently antisemitic religious beliefs. Bateman’s report amounted to unadulterated, one-sided antisemitic propaganda with zero counterbalancing content. Therefore I am forced to supply it myself.
A history lesson. People will argue that this is a one-sided account. That’s as may be. I include it here because it’s the side that you’ll never hear on the BBC.
"Israel at 70. Time to Retire the False Palestinian Narrative" by Aviv Ezra.
I shouldn't reproduce this piece here in full without obtaining prior permission, so I have abridged it slightly. Please follow the link and read it all.
“In November 1947 the United Nations voted to approve a partition plan that would have created a Jewish-majority state and an Arab-majority state in historic Palestine, and shared Jerusalem between the two parties. The Jews accepted the partition plan, and the results of the UN vote, though it provided insecure borders in a fragmented new state. [...] The Arabs had never accepted the idea of a Jewish-majority state in any part of historic Palestine, and began a campaign of violence against the Zionists the very night the resolution was passed.
[...] In essence, the Arabs had fought Zionism for half a century, and were determined to deal t he Jewish state a knockout blow as soon the British left in May 1948.
“Five Arab nations attacked Israel the day it became a new nation, assisting the Arabs in Palestine in their effort to destroy Israel. Despite enormous advantages in armed men, planes, tanks, and other weaponry, the Arabs were unsuccessful. Israel survived the onslaught, and defeated the Arab armies , creating new borders for the Jewish state, as well as for Jordan and Egypt. At the end of the war, Jordan held Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank) and the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the old city, and expelled Jews who had lived there for thousands of years. Egypt captured Gaza in the war. At no point did Egypt and Jordan attempt to create a new Arab state of Palestine with the territories they had picked up in the war. Instead Jordan annexed the West Bank, a seizure recognized by only two nations, and Egypt held Gaza as a territory.
During the war, there were many people displaced on both sides. More than half a million Arabs became refugees. Most of them had left their towns as instructed by invading Arab armies to get out of the way of the coming planned slaughter of the Jews. Tens of thousands had left even before the UN partition resolution. Some fled a war zone, where there was very close fighting, a sensible thing to do. In some cases, the Israeli forces consolidated territorial corridors, particularly to Jerusalem. The Arabs also spread stories of civilian killings, which frightened many Arab residents to leave their towns, even though the stories were false or greatly exaggerated.
After the war, the Arabs demanded that the partition borders be restored, and all the refugees be allowed to return. [...]
The Syrian Prime Minister during the war of 1948-1949, Haled Al Azm, wrote in his memoirs in 1973:
“Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave. Only a few months separated our call for them to leave and our appeal to the United Nations to resolve on their return.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wrote in 1976:
“The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettoes in which the Jews used to live.”
This is the real tragedy of the Palestinian Arabs. Those who left their homes wound up not far from home, in Arab countries which had supported their cause during the war. They were among other Arabs, who spoke the same language, had the same culture, and the same religion. No refugee population should have had it easier, given that Arabs wound up among their own people. But the Arab countries refused to allow normal resettlement, as usually occurs with refugees, instead relegating many refugees to squalid camps, in which their families have lived now for 3 or 4 generations. Many Palestinians have chosen to remain in these camps dreaming of a return to Israel, clanging old keys from 70 years back, or been threatened if they wanted to leave. But how can you “return” to a place where you have never lived or even visited? The truth of the matter is that there may be no more than 25,000 refugees remaining alive from the 1948 war. The rest are descendants -- children, grandchildren even great-grandchildren of original refugees, none of whom have been in Israel or left it.
All the refugee populations in the world come under the jurisdiction of a single UN agency, except for the Palestinians. All other refugees do not pass refugee status on to descendants, only the refugees themselves are counted as such. Only the Palestinians are allowed to count all descendants as refugees, and many have chosen to live off their collective grievance, rather than move on with their lives.
Sephardic Jews, more than 800,000 of whom were expelled or encouraged to leave Arab countries in the years after the creation of Israel, provide a far better and more humane approach for dealing with refugees. Israel absorbed more than 70 percent of these refugees (France and the United States took many others) and within a few short years, had moved them out of temporary housing and allowed them to start new lives in Israel. I know because my father and his 4 brothers and parents left all of their lives and assets behind when they fled from Iraq and they made themselves a new life in Israel.
Today there are 6.6 million Jews in Israel, and 1.8 million Arabs, more than 11 times as many Arabs as resided within the borders of Israel at the end of the fighting in 1949. So much for the absurd notion of ethnic cleansing. [...]
The demand for a right of return for millions of Palestinians, including all the descendants of refugees, signals one enduring Palestinian goal -- to destroy the state of Israel, by overwhelming it with Arabs from abroad. The Palestinians still do not accept a two-state solution, just as they refused the partition in 1948, but demand a single state they can dominate.
Israel will not commit national suicide to endorse a false narrative of what happened 70 years back.
While we’re hidden over the fold, I’m including this piece, too. (Because you won’t hear anything like it on the BBC.)
Britain’s approach to the Iran deal is completely baffling to me. The government’s, the opposition’s and the media’s. They are all cowering before the Ayatollahs. Is that what this country has come to? Feel free to disagree with me, and, if you do, please play nicely and explain why.
Obama Killed His Own Iran Deal by Sohrab Ahmari
President Trump announced America’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, triggering a paroxysm of fury among liberals, Never Trumpers, and the keepers of conventional foreign-policy wisdom. Yet it wasn’t the 45th president who set the stage for the deal’s collapse. Blame for that belongs to his predecessor.
Beginning in his first term, President Obama set his sights on a nuclear accord with the mullahs, one which he hoped would allow Washington to extricate itself from the Middle East. It was an ill-conceived idea that failed to take sufficient account of the nature of the regime in Tehran, its long record of terror and nuclear deception, and the anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism that form its ideological DNA.
Set all that aside for now. Even if such a deal were desirable, Obama went about pursuing it in the worst possible way. He dealt with crucial foreign and domestic stakeholders—America’s traditional Mideast allies and congressional Republicans—as nonentities and fools, who just couldn’t see that rapprochement with Iran was in their best interests.
He tried to circumvent the Israelis by keeping them in the dark about secret negotiations with the Islamic Republic. For Obama, Arab fears of Iranian expansionism were a tertiary concern, and he was surprised when the most important Sunni powers didn’t show up for a 2015 summit that was supposed to sell them on the deal. He likewise pooh-poohed Iran’s eliminationist anti-Israel rhetoric (“at the margins, where the costs are low, they may pursue policies based on [Jew] hatred as opposed to self-interest,” he told The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg). His aides described a sitting Israeli prime minister as a “chickens—t” (on background, naturally).
He lectured and condescended, and then lectured some more.
Meanwhile, Obama’s Ben Rhodes-operated media echo chamber swarmed and shouted down journalists and experts who raised concerns about the terms of the accord, not least the fact that it permitted the Iranians to inspect their own military sites and left unaddressed the question of ballistic missiles. The Obama administration never satisfactorily answered critics’ questions about Iran’s refusal to come clean about its prior weaponization activity—the glaring flaw in the deal’s architecture that contributed the most to its undoing this week.
And here we are. The deal’s demise, then, was written into it by its primary author.That's all. I haven't had time to write a shorter piece (to quote Mark Twain)