Wednesday 2 May 2018


Mahmoud Abbas, Israel’s so-called partner for peace has made a grossly offensive speech at the opening the 23rd session of the Palestinian National Council. It must have been pretty bad because even the BBC has reported it, and so has the Independent, though they don’t seem quite so sure whether to be offended or not. 

They did report, however, that Emily Thornberry was in attendance, and that she condemned his comments, adding:
"I hope President Abbas will immediately apologise for them," 
They didn’t report, however, that the UK's shadow Foreign Secretary was somewhat late in the day with those remarks, as according to Guido, her first response was:
“While we of course want to see the resumption of meaningful peace talks, I said President Abbas had been quite right to argue that the Trump administration cannot act as a mediator for peace when they themselves are sowing the seeds of discord, and making a negotiated peace ever harder to achieve…”
and only later put out the following statement:
“It is deeply regrettable that, during a lengthy speech whose main and successful purpose was to urge the Palestinian National Council to remain committed to the Middle East peace process and the objective of a two-state solution, President Abbas made these anti-Semitic remarks about the history of the Jewish community in Europe which were not just grossly offensive, but utterly ignorant. His comments were out of keeping with the tone of the Council as a whole, and of my discussions with other delegates, and I hope President Abbas will immediately apologise for them, so that the message to come out of this important Council meeting can remain positive and progressive, and focused on re-establishing peaceful and constructive dialogue.”

The BBC did not mention Emily Thornberry at all in the report linked to above. 


  1. Monkey Brains2 May 2018 at 23:22

    The BBC were unusually quick in getting that story out I thought, judging by previous performance/omissions (don't think for instance I've ever seen a BBC item on the jihadi suicide bomber bunny the PLA put in one of theiur children's programmes).

    Think they were determined not to be caught out, in these times of heightened awareness of anti-semitism being on the rise (even though no one at the BBC or in the MSM generally will link it with the rise of Sharia in the West).

    But I did think it was odd that they were presenting it as an Israel v Palestine issue. Surely lots of politicians will condemn Abbas's remarks, not just Israeli politicians...but then - where is the condemnation from May? Has she said anything?


      The EU has made a statement which falls short of condemning Abbas, and the BBC confines its reporting of critics of Abbas’s speech to soundbites and tweets from Jews or Israelis - ‘they would’.

      The BBC often describes Israel and Iran as ‘enemies’, implying equal hatreds. But which country has sworn to obliterate the other? And if Iran decided to lay down its rhetorical arms, there would be peace… and you probably know the rest.

      Of course Abbas and his cohorts continually make antisemitic and holocaust-denying speeches, which the media chooses to ignore with an indulgence that verges on the racism of low expectations.

    2. Monkey Brains3 May 2018 at 17:34

      The BBC hardly ever mentions the fact that the Iranian government still organises weekly Death to America/Death to Israel hate sessions at which the death slogans are chanted. Still! Ceasing those sessions wasn't part of the so called "nuclear" deal (actually a "billions to Iran" deal). Can you imagine how often they would be reporting it if the Israeli government ever organised "Death to Iran" and "Death to Russia" weekly hate sessions? At least weekly!!!

  2. Monkey Brains3 May 2018 at 23:46

    OFF TOPIC: I think the site will die if you don't keep an Open Thread in the current month.

    1. Yes, once the open thread is three or four stories down, it doesn't attract many comments. It's good to have the open thread first or second in the running order. Keep up the good work Craig and Sue - this site is like a breath of fresh air.

    2. I think I’ve of the issues is that only a few, probably no more than 10 regularly comment. I’m sure lots of others read the blog.

  3. Monkey Brains4 May 2018 at 02:09

    BBC loving the UKIP collapse in local elections. :)

    My view - politics is about reality not perception. Go back to the 1930s: all the parties were trying to avoid the reality. Labour were strongly pacifist and anti-rearmanent. The Tories were appeasers and wanted to avoid confrontation. The Liberals were holding on to the idea that "great men" (ie Lloyd George) were able to make peace with other great men.

    In the end all three parties had to face reality.

    The same is true now.


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