I was alerted to this lavish article that appeared on 7th April in the BBC’s online travel section. It’s chock-a-block with emotive Israel-bashing insinuations and inaccuracies. As one-sided as could be.
It comes under the auspices of a BBC Travel series described thus:
“Comeback Cities is a BBC Travel series that showcases under-the-radar capitals, champions the urban underdogs and revels in the success stories of cities that have turned their fortunes around.
I will highlight just one of the outrageously emotive quotations and strange allegations the writer gets away with.
“The first thing the Israeli occupation would want is the end of our art and culture,” said Baha’ AbuShanab, a mop-haired manager at Singer. “That is how you sterilise a society.”
The affectionate way this person is described puts the tone of the whole piece in a nutshell. “mop-haired”? - how cute! - and it makes those bizarre allegations even more absurd!
If there is one thing the “Israeli occupation”(!) would certainly not want, it’s “the end” of any art and culture, nor would “it” want to sterilise anyone’s society. Au contraire, Israel might want to introduce genuine art and culture to replace the childish anti-Israel nonsense that’s filling this mophead's deluded thought-processes.
Anyway, please refer to BBC Watch to see the whole article forensically deconstructed.
My concern is that the BBC is violating its commitment to fore-warn readers or listeners of contributors’ specific interests. If they have ‘skin in the game’ so to speak.
In other words, when a contribution requires some sort of a health warning to enable the reader to see where the author is ‘coming from’, thus allowing him, her or it to take whatever it is into account in order to assess the veracity or objectivity of the contents.
Let’s just call it the Mandy Rice-Davies clause. In the name of clarity and openness.
A cursory Google reveals that this BBC author has a mixed background, typically from dual ‘either-end’ strands of anti-Jewish sentiment. He has both Islamic and Irish/Christian heritage.
I don't wish to come across as the antithesis of one of those "Who's a Jew" type of racists, outing people or damning them for their ethnicity but with a misleadingly Welsh-sounding name like Richard Morgan, it would be helpful if the BBC had noted that their business correspondent from BBC radio Ulster has also authored an article that includes this information:
“For centuries my ancestors in Bethlehem had been servants of the Franciscan monks—in Arabic, the name of the clan to which they belonged, the Tarjameh, means “the translators.”
“But the reality of Bethlehem today, of course, is much different. Surrounded by a 26-foot-tall concrete wall with barbed wire running atop, the city is part of Arabia’s Rubble Belt.
“For more on Richard Morgan's Bethlehem ancestry, read his Kindle single, Born in Bedlam.”
If it weren't for the depth and breadth of the one-sidedness in the piece I wouldn’t be so mean as to scrutinise a travel article so critically. But this one is truly biased and inflammatory.