“By Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight if the Iranian missile hits Israel.”
So bragged Abdel Bari Atwan, the most frequently invited panellist on BBC Dateline London.
This video of a conversation about the media’s bias against Israel between “Elder” (from EoZ) and Adam Levick (from UK Media Watch) reminded me of Atwan’s infamous statement - which should surely be regarded by any genuinely anti-racist organisation as a damning, career-undermining boast - yet there he often is on our Saturday morning BBC TV screens chatting away animatedly with his trademark flailing arms and bulging eyes while Carrie Gracie or Shaun Lay look on benevolently.
I suppose we must make allowances for the fact that the Trafalgar Square pledge dates back to 2010 and his dancing days may be over.
Another topic that came up in the EoZ video was a fanciful headline in a recent edition of the Mail online. Prince Harry Faces Backlash ….
It seems that Prince Harry invited injured IDF soldiers to participate in the Invictus Games, and when ‘Bari’, as the BBC affectionately calls him, raised an objection on the basis of his deeply antisemitic sensibilities, the Mail online chose to upgrade this solitary, one-man ‘objection’ to the status of ‘backlash’.
This is uncharacteristic of the Mail, but I’m not sure if it’s primarily motivated by Harry-bashing or Israel-bashing.
I found the technically challenged EoZ video in question worth watching because both speakers are equally ‘well aware of’ and ‘baffled by’ the inexplicable blindspot that persists in much of the western media; a tacit refusal to acknowledge the antisemitic pandemic that is rife in the Arab world, particularly within Palestinian culture. No matter how many studies reveal staggeringly high percentages of unadulterated, religiously rooted Jew-hate (not Zionist-hate) - shocking figures are consistently found in survey after survey - the largely atheist western media will obstinately insist that their much venerated Palestinians are ‘just like us’.
A question that still troubles me is who on earth put that shelf up?