SUE - Col Richard Kemp’s authoritative views on military matters - notably other than I/P - are occasionally sought by the BBC. He is a staunch supporter of Israel and a huge admirer of the moral integrity of the Israeli Defence Force. His military expertise and intimate knowledge of the IDF is unique.
As well as through Twitter - it wouldn’t surprise me if he is Twitter-cancelled anytime soon - his insights appear regularly on Gatestone Institute:
During an operation in Gaza last week, the Israel Defence Forces attacked a Hamas tunnel complex with 12 squadrons of 160 combat planes striking over 150 targets with hundreds of bunker-busting JDAMs [Joint Direct Attack Munitions] in less than an hour. Although the battle damage assessment is still underway, the raid destroyed perhaps the most critical element of Hamas infrastructure, wiping out vast stocks of munitions and likely killing dozens if not hundreds of fighters. This was a hammer blow to Hamas and may prove to be a turning point in the conflict. It also sent a powerful message to Iran and Hizballah, foretelling the consequences of an assault on Israel with their arsenal of tens of thousands of missiles in southern Lebanon.The IDF operation was a carefully coordinated combination of intelligence, surveillance, knowledge of enemy tactics, deception, surprise, and precisely targeted, overwhelming force. Of all these, deception and surprise were key. Surprise is a principle of war in the American, British and many other forces, defined in the US Army Field Manual as "striking the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared." The manual goes on to say: "Deception can aid the probability of achieving surprise". Throughout the history of warfare, surprise achieved through deception has led to many stunning military victories — often against the odds.
The usual crowd is up in arms about this, proclaiming “Assault on press freedom! “ and “No evidence of Hamas’s presence in the media centre’s tower block!”
If one can access viral videos from heaven above, Fred Dibnah must be looking down at the surgical precision of the demolition with awe.
To be honest, I couldn’t care less whether Hamas personnel were there or not.
Propaganda is known to be as dangerous a weapon of war as Mishal Husain’s infamous arsenal of ‘homemade contraptions’. The left-leaning mainstream media also known as The Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda is terrified of angering the ‘already angry’ Muslim community and collectively furious that the IDF exploited their very own left-wing journalistic anti-Israel zeal, knowing that they would be eager to disseminate one particular piece of fake news - namely that the IDF were on stand-by to invade Gaza. This they duly did so effectively that the brave warriors of Hamas scuttled underground to take shelter and hopefully eliminated in one fell swoop. (Echoes of a certain Iranian strategy for ridding the world of Jews).
As Nasrallah famously boasted “if they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”
More notable areas of one-sided reporting include the media’s tedious parroting of Hamas’s special death-toll figures, which conflate casualties from their own ‘shortfall’ accidents with the unfortunate ‘collateral damage’ that occurs as a result of Hamas’s ‘human shield ‘practices, which they know they can get away with due to the Western media’s ideological hostility to Israel.
Why the UK’s media is so mealy-mouthed in their condemnation of Hamas, Iran, Hezbollah, Islamism is understandable, but will be viewed - retrospectively - as a betrayal. Short-term gain, maybe, considering ‘demographics’ (the rise in antisemitism, civil unrest, BLM, the Labour Party etc etc) but long-term pain. Looking back, will future generations regret the West’s capitulation to Islam?
When I see an Israel-related article in the “non-left-wing press’ such as the Times or the Spectator, I am usually appalled by the politically correct editorial reins and restraints that abound. Nowadays I feel I have to skip straight to below the line for remedial reassurance that not everyone is taken in by it. Some of the ‘tell it like it is’ contributions are spot on. It still chills one to see the overtly antisemitic contributions from certain regulars amongst it all.
One exception is the Australian version of Sky. They have some Fox News-like pundits on their staff. Although subtlety doesn’t seem to be their strong point, it’s comforting to know that not everyone on this planet is out to crush you. Mind you, in view of America’s terrifying political about-turn, the UN’s and the ICC’s staggeringly unhinged anti-Israel animus, it looks like a gathering storm, all too reminiscent of the 1930s.
CRAIG - Col Kemp is a rare voice of informed reason these days.
Mishal Husain's infamous conflated, comparative body count is back.
Jeremy Bowen used it on From Our Own Correspondent yesterday while lecturing about 'proportionality'.
His whole piece was geared towards making one main point: that Israel is acting disproportionately (as if he'd ever come to any other conclusion).
Well, that's his view.
In the past you might have expected that prominent BBC journalists would have either (a) kept their opinions to themselves or (b) expressed an opinion that sided with democracy against terrorists and their supporters, but not now. It's op-eds all the way from the BBC's Middle East Editor.
Here, as so often, he does the 'moral equivalence' thing first, then blames Israel.
SUE - For the integrity of this blog we’ve been focussing on the media’s bias rather than opining on the actual issues.
After all, what do I know? All I can do is digest as much available information and analysis as I can stomach and inject a little empirical evidence into it.
An HoL speech from 2009 by Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale (Labour) sticks in my mind. Perhaps because this baroness was a Labour Peer (not a ghastly Tory) it seemed extra significant and worth bearing in mind.
I first visited Gaza in August 1967, when Israel had taken control only a few weeks before. As I have said before in this House, I found Gaza an absolute hellhole. It is not easy to understand, and it is even more difficult to forgive, how prosperous Arab countries allowed their Palestinian brethren to live in such wretched conditions from 1948 to 1967.
[Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale Labour 10:51 am, 6th February 2009].
The implications here are profound. I probably don’t need to spell it out. Suffice it to say that when Israel did occupy Gaza after the six-day war (1967) the inhabitants’ conditions improved dramatically, most notably average life expectancy. However, Israel decided to make a disastrous but well-intentioned concession “for peace’! They evicted the Jewish residents and pulled out of Gaza in 2005 and You Know The Rest. As the well-worn Israel-bashing innuendo goes, “lessons should have been learned.” But they never seem to be.
The ease with which lazy and inaccurate memes are parroted is another pincer-prong with which the anti-Israel movement encircles its enemy. Naz Shah has taken full advantage of it, as Craig set out in part 1.
For Naz and her fan base, Tweeting about Palestinians ‘being kicked out of their homes’ was enough. And adding: Jews ‘celebrating the burning of a place of worship’ as if that needed no further examination. We await a sincere apology for the error and the humble pledge not to do it again. With bated breath.
One of the most egregious and ongoing omissions from Western media as a whole is the non-reporting of the vicious incitement that pours from the Islamic world. No story, no analysis, no curiosity. It has to be more than simple respect for other religions that’s preventing our renowned investigative journalists from ‘investigating’ this phenomenon. For example, the PA’s so-called Pay-For-Slay. This policy must be a drain on the PA’s GDP, and the monies would obviously be far better spent on bomb shelters or health care; surely that issue is worth exploring in one of the BBC’s hard-hitting documentaries (!). Mahmoud Abbas must be so confident of the media’s silence on the matter that he doesn’t even make an effort to keep it secret.
What about the unadulterated par-for-the-course anti-Jew racism entrenched in Palestinian culture? Racism is the most taboo of all ‘isms’ these days, yet there’s a collective silence over the racism that is part and parcel of the Arab psyche. I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but this looks like a conspiracy of silence.
Some of the excuses dredged up to justify Palestinian aggression crumble under cursory scrutiny. The ‘evictions’ of those Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah is one such. The inflammatory story has been debunked - in purely legal terms by law-orientated websites and in more nuanced non-professional terms by Uri Pilichowski who uses the handle ‘rational settler’. Yet it’s still used as a blunt weapon by the haters.
The UN Security Council is having an emergency meeting at the time of writing, I watched some of it on Sky. The Palestinian rep has appropriated all the arguments for the defence from Israel. He has regurgitated a litany of upside-down facts that are almost laughable. How anyone could be taken in by this nonsense I do not know. But no doubt they’ll swallow it.
This is going on in the UK.
There’s one glimmer at the end of the tunnel - at least Aussie Sky stands with Israel.