Friday 18 June 2021

This individual no longer works for the BBC.

Early reports of Tala Hawala’s departure from the BBC didn’t say she was sacked (this headline seems to have been added as an afterthought) but we can assume that she has been. Or perhaps she fell on her sword; who knows.

Don’t let’s compare historic Tweets.  I didn’t bother to find out what Ollie Robinson’s offensive Tweets actually were. For all I know, he too Tweeted “Hitler was right”, perish the thought,  and even if he did, it probably wouldn't have affected his cricketing expertise, whereas Ms. Hawala’s Hitler Tweets directly compromised her ability to report on Palestine/Israel affairs with due impartiality in accord with her employers' charter obligations. 

 I don’t think Naz Shah needs to be impartial - in fact, the opposite - her role is to represent her constituency. The media has shown little interest in the disingenuousness that has dogged her political career, but I guess that’s up to them. I watched her speaking in an HoC select committee debate. It seems it was one of those online ‘e-petitions’ that MPs are obliged to debate when a certain number of signatures have been reached. Is it 1,000? 10,000? 100,000? 

Shah’s speech was so selective with the actualité that she became a one-man select committee all on her ownsome. This link takes you to Hansard but watching it might help you understand why l found it utterly repugnant. 


As Melanie Phillips noted, 

During a debate on “Israel-Palestine” on Monday, Labour MPs called for a boycott of Israel.[…] Bradford MP Naz Shah, who has a history of anti-Jewish remarks, described Israel’s understanding of the right to self-defence as “perverted” and said if any more “Palestinian blood” was “unjustly spilled” she would push for Israel to be tried for war crimes in the International Criminal Court.

I think as many as two whole MPs stood up for Israel. One was Cornish MP Steve Double. Good for him! This disproportionality (to coin a phrase) largely stems from the media’s (Not only the BBC - Sky is as bad if not worse) one-sided reporting, which often amounts to rabble-rousing. I truly believe that this accounts for and has emboldened an increasingly overt resurgence of antisemitism.

Steve Baker was disappointing; Afzal Khan was predictable and Rushanara Ali was lazy enough to do little more than articulate how sorry she was that not enough Jews were killed by Hamas but one must assume that’s exactly what their constituents ask of them.

While I should be pleased that the BBC’s Tala has been cancelled I find her martyrdom curiously uncomfortable. Maybe she should have been given a chance to repent, just like Naz Shah pretended to do after being called out for her own embarrassing Tweet. Perhaps Shah’s short-lived repentance was short-lived and disingenuous enough to discredit the entire concept of repentance. 

As for the heavily anti-Israeli weighting and the dearth of opposing viewpoints throughout that grim HoC debate, I blame the BBC.  Several generations of viewers have been swayed by over 60 years of biased, borderline antisemitic news coverage. 

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