We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Lord Patten as Chairman of the BBC Trust? Part of a Pattern of Anti-Israel Prejudice at Al Beeb

In exchange for its unique and privileged status as a licence-payer funded broadcaster – an anachronism from the 1930s that is decades past its use-by date – the BBC is obligated by the terms of its Charter (and its Producers’ Guidelines) to be impartial in its presentation of news. It is a requirement which this arrogant, bloated, incorrigibly left-leaning institution breaches with impunity again and again.

As the lawyers Trevor Asserson and Elisheva Mironi stated in an analysis of the BBC’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2001:

“Some breaches are minor and would not be worthy of note in isolation. Taken together, however ... even these subtler or more minor breaches reveal a clear and significant trend of bias. Some of the breaches are ... quite glaring. At times, by mere selection or omission of facts, the BBC report is misleading. At times, it appears to invent material to suit its own bias. “
Several further Asserson reports later, and the BBC remains as biased as ever. In 2009, following public complaints, the BBC Trust rapped Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen (pictured below, right, and again left) over the knuckles for several instances of bias, an action that merely left Bowen petulant and defiant.

And he had his champions. “You don’t have to search far on the web to find Zionist publications, lobby groups and bloggers all over the world using distorted versions of the report to justify their ill-founded prejudice that the BBC has a deep-seated and long-standing bias against the state of Israel,” inveiged  the pro-Palestinian broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby, scion of one of those familial dynasties the BBC (despite its disdain for the hereditary principle in monarchy and House of Lords) is not averse to creating, and author of a book on the PLO.  “Conversely, millions of Palestinians, other Arabs and Muslims will by now have been confirmed in their – equally false – belief that the BBC is yet again running scared of Israeli propaganda.” (As satirical magazine Private Eye might add: “Shome mishtake shurely?”)
See http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2009/05/dimbleby-fearful-bbc-risks-losing-its-way/http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/may/13/jonathan-dimbleby-jeremy-bowen-bbc-middle-east

Dollars to doughnuts Bowen’s getting ready to uncork the bubbly now that former Hong Kong Governor and EU Commissioner Chris Patten (Lord Patten of Barnes) has been recommended by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to David Cameron as the person to fill the £110,000 p.a. post of Chairman of the BBC Trust. For barring an unforeseen hiccup, Patten will be a shoe-in.

He’s a terrible choice, given his own highly demonstrable track record of pro-Palestinian partisanship.  Not only is he President of Medical Aid for Palestinians, no doubt a worthy cause in and of itself, but he has publicly excoriated Israel on several occasions, demanding, for example, that Israel opens talks with Hamas and declaring that Israel’s easing of the siege on Gaza is insufficient.

Here’s a video that gives a brief glimpse into his stance on the issue (the announcer mistakenly calls the Guardian by its old and no longer appropriate locational title, the Manchester Guardian, by the way):


And see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article5804266.ece
See also http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/11/eu-show-courage-on-middle-east

An “analysis” on the BBC News website by Professor Fawaz Gerges, director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics, entitled “Arab unrest: Winners and losers,” is so outrageously propagandistic that it should be formally protested by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Zionist Federation. In a passage sub-headed “Fortress Israel” it says:

“Regionally, Israel is the biggest loser. It has put all its eggs into the basket of Arab dictators and autocrats, like Egypt's deposed Hosni Mubarak. Israel fought tooth and nail to support Mr Mubarak, who played a key role in tightening the siege of Gaza and the noose around Hamas's neck.
Time and again, the Israeli political class has proven to be its own worst enemy. Israel lost Iran 40 years ago because it put all its eggs in the Shah's basket. It has just lost Turkey over the killing of nine activists on board a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship.
And now Israel is likely to lose Egypt, a critical and pivotal neighbour whose Camp David peace agreement in the late 1970s consolidated Israel's superiority in the region and undermined the official Arab state system.
Regardless of what governments emerge out of the rubble of political authoritarianism in the Arab world, they will have assertive foreign policies that challenge Israel's hegemony and further colonisation of Palestinian lands.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has lost all credibility in the eyes of the people there. The leaked negotiation documents obtained by al-Jazeera - offering wide-ranging concessions to the Israeli side - were the final nail in the PA's coffin.
Resistance-based movements like Hamas and Hezbollah have gained more popularity at the expense of Abbas's Palestinian Authority; they will emerge as major winners of the social turmoil unless Israel takes concrete steps to sign a peace settlement and withdraw from occupied Arab territories.
So Israel has become a military fortress. The best way for Israel to address its security dilemma is to accept a two-state solution as suggested by the international community - including its long-time ally, the US.” [My emphasis]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12599515
This goes beyond political commentary into subjective prescription – by what it claims and what it omits it tells us as much about the writer’s prejudices as the Middle East situation that he is meant to be describing.

And notice, incidentally, how this BBC video report on Britain's relations, historically, with the Arab world implies the Arab nature of "Palestine" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12616565

It is that piece I've quoted above, by Gerges, that might fittingly provide the first test of Patten’s mettle and show whether he can rise above his own pattern of prejudice against the Jewish State.

That is, if Anglo-Jewry’s infamously supine leadership (there are exceptions to the malaise) is willing to stir itself and rise to the challenge of confronting Al Beeb over the issue.

2 comments:

  1. Good post Daphne. Today the BBC is bringing on people whingeing about the BSkyB takeover and Rupert Murdoch's political influence like support for the Iraq War while it has a monopoly itself.
    The word is Hypocrisy capital H.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can think of plenty of other words, Miranda, none of them polite!

    ReplyDelete