Saturday 22 February 2020

Absence makes the heart grow hostile

“From Our Own Correspondent is a weekly BBC radio programme in which a number of BBC foreign correspondents deliver a sequence of short talks reflecting on current events and topical themes in the countries outside the UK in which they are based.[1] The programme offers the BBC's correspondents around the world a chance to give a personal account of events from the epoch-making to the inconsequential.” (Wikipedia.) 
"Insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world. (FOOC website.)

"Agenda-driven propaganda laced with ill-informed, prejudiced and unoriginal platitudes.
(Is the BBC Biased?)
D’you think the BBC can claim that this series is protected by the FOI exclusion clause “for the purpose of journalism, art and stuff like that”? If so, we can never accuse it of bias because they’ll insist it’s just someone’s personal opinion. One man’s feelings are another man’s facts; something like that.
"President Trump’s plan for peace in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories would allow Israel to apply its sovereignty to all the Jewish settlements as well as swathes of strategic land in the West Bank. The Palestinian leadership has rejected the plan outright saying it would create a "Swiss cheese state". Our Middle East Correspondent Tom Bateman spent time on two sides of a fence that separates an Israeli settlement from a Palestinian family with its own checkpoint. (FOOC website)
 Kate Adie’s intro was roughly the same as the above blurb: A Family Fenced in.

Tom Bateman’s insight, wit and analysis were absent from his contribution to today’s FOOC.  We’ve seen it all before and here it is again. The BBC can’t get enough of Bateman’s personal account of Israel’s malevolence and the Palestinians’ 'love-heart-strewn’ daily suffering. It has already been featured on the BBC, and BBC Watch covered it earlier, supplying the historical information that would have put the whole thing into its proper perspective. The BBC’s deliberate failure to include in Bateman's story essential facts surrounding this unusual situation effectively amounts to gross misinformation.

Here’s the Youtube version.  As BBC Watch writes, the comments below this video illustrate the effect this kind of thing has on public opinion. No wonder antisemitism is on the up and up.
The BBC’s motive for repeatedly airing this kind of thing? You tell me.


  1. There are some vile comments beneath that video. Wonder if the BBC reads them?

    The FOOC report struck me as being even worse. The video at least went through the motions of giving 'both sides' but the woman from the Israeli settlement got only a very small part in the FOOC version (unlike the Palestinian man who's sorry story was the piece's focus). Tom Bateman cut out all the stuff she said about Jews and Palestinians needing to live together safely and just quoted the bits that made her sound hard.

  2. Looking at his twitter feed, it's clear Bateman doesn't like "The Deal of the Century". Neither do I, but I'm not a BBC reporter claiming to be impartial.

    Like virtually all BBC reporters, Bateman is a "player" not just an observer. He seeks to influence events through his status as a BBC reporter. This is done in various ways but one of the most obvious is by not referencing the murderous, genocidal belief system that motivates Hamas, and which is set out in their constitution. Another is by not referencing Abbas's horrific anti-semitism and holocaust denial.

    By omitting those things from the narrative, the BBC effectively promotes the Palestinian victimhood narrative. Palestinian Arabs could have had a great deal 70 years ago but they decided to pursue a zero sum game. Had they been sensible at the time, they could have had a nation state for the last 7 decades. Had they decided on peace with Israel they could be living in a hugely prosperous society now (not that they are in poverty - they've made a career out of living off subventions from all and sundry) and there would be no "refugee" camps.

    Sometimes you can't help people if they are intent on making the wrong decisions.

    1. What don’t you like about the "deal of the century"? It may be imperfect and flawed, but surely it’s a starting point. After all, the Palestinian in the street (probably) hopes, deep down, for peace and prosperity, even if the leadership refuses to settle for anything less than the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. They’ve rejected generous offers in the past.

      The Palestinian populace is intimidated and threatened by the leadership at any sign of ‘normalisation’ with the enemy. Each new generation is forcibly immersed in hate for Jews throughout the education process. The deadlock has to be broken, one way or another.

      The Palestinians rejected it in principle even before they saw what was in it.
      The portrayal of the deal is unreliable, since it’s provided to us by people with serious TDS (which shouldn’t surprise anyone here.)

    2. I think if it was a question of two civilised democracies making peace, then no one would even entertain the "Deal of the Century". The only reason it is structured in such a way is because one side is enthralled by the prospect of genocide. But the fact that one side wants to completely wipe out the other makes a nonsense of the idea that one could achieve a lasting deal while that impulse is still in play. So it is in all respects a Fake Deal: Palestinian Arabs will never accept it and in reality Israel doesn't want it (they only accept it because they know the Palestinian Arabs won't).

      I think the original UN Partition proposal of 1948 was fair and reasonable, especially as it allowed for an internationalised Jerusalem (similar to the successful international status of Vienna for some 10 years).

      Something similar to that would be my favoured solution but accepting the realities of where we are now (so the borders would be different). Any lasting agreement would involve a close economic union between the two states. But no such agreement can come into being until Palestinian Arabs give up on their desire to kick out the Jewish people from this region.

      The "Deal of the Century" will likely encourage the theocratic movements in Israel. I like the secular Israel of Tel Aviv, scientific advance and cultural achievement, not the obscurantist, backward looking Israel of the West Bank settlements. The creation of the West Bank settlements were always a big policy mistake in my view, undercutting Israel's ethical claims and encouraging a religious conception of Israel's future. I am never going to support that.

      I think the idea that the mass of Palestinian Arabs want "normalisation" is fantasy. Most of them simply want to win, and kick out all Jews from Palestine, accept a few tame ones, on the Iranian model. They have no incentive to change their approach because of the huge financial inducements to remain "refugees", provided by the USA (until recently at least), the EU, the UN, Arab states and Iran.

      If there was goodwill on both sides a lot of the most difficult issues could be resolved.
      A common limit on Palestininan Arabs living in Israel and Jews living in Arab Palestine could
      be agreed. Compensation could be paid for people who could demonstrate some loss to their families back in the late 40s, due to displacement. The Arab states should contribute to that since their invasion created the conditions for the Arab exodus. Jews living in Palestine would remain Israeli citizens and Arabs living in Israel would remain or become Palestinian citizens.

      You can see solutions once you remove religion from the scene.

      The Deal of the Century is dead in the water. It ain't going anywhere.

    3. Thanks for expanding. Good points, which I don’t disagree with, but ultimately (and understandably) defeatist. Did you mean ‘in thrall to’ or ‘enthralled with’ or perhaps a bit of both?

      The ‘ifs’ remind me of the legendary Irishman’s good advice, “if I were you I wouldn’t start from here.” So what you’re saying is (to coin a phrase)….the only answer is to wait for religious reform / enlightenment?

      You’re probably right. :-(

    4. “if I were you I wouldn’t start from here.” Indeed! But we are here. Starting from here I think it would be better to put down a fully equitable deal but attach stringent conditions prior to implementation and give it a long implementation timeline, maybe over 50 years. In line with that, there should be a halt to further creation of settlements on the West Bank.

      Maybe "mesmerised by" would be better. Not many people in the UK know about the Hadiths (holy sayings) relevant to this. But of course all Palestinian Muslims will have heard them recited in their Mosques.

      There was also an "accept" for an "except".


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