Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

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)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday, 31 January 2011

In a “Mindset” Lustily – Al Beeb and “Inconvenient Truths”

“How do we put the war between the Jews and the Arabs into context? It takes far too long and with shorthand we risk leaving something out, so we don’t bother. And that’s what causes problems.” The writer is former BBC journalist Bernie Choudhury, suddenly raising that subject in a blog of his that’s been reposted for the benefit of students  – or should I say liberal left-propagandists-in-training?  – at Al Beeb’s College of Journalism (CoJo) headed “Inconvenient Truths”.

The main thrust of the blog concerns what Mr Choudhury considers an out-of-context report in The Times which showed that of 86 men convicted of grooming young British girls for sex, 83 were Muslims. What context he wants – whether he’d like to see more slanted truths from Al Beeb’s very own Jeremy Bowen – such as Jezza’s prejudice-flawed documentary “The Birth of Israel”  (the one that earned Jezza a ticking off from the BBC Trust, over which Jezza remains sore and defiant: "As Middle East editor for the BBC, I'm under pressure from lobbyists. I am recognised by my peers as also being able to stick to my guns”, is not enlarged upon.

It’s interesting, incidentally, that Mr Choudhury mentions that when, some years ago, he “reported on racial divisions in Oldham and how mainly Pakistani young men were trying to create no-go zones for white people,” he “was condemned by some BBC colleagues for playing into the hands of the BNP – and called other names too – even though in every conversation I put in the caveats that it was a minority and possible bravado.”

Rather underlines what Peter Sissons recently revealed in the Daily Mail – that Al Beeb has a built-in liberal-leftie “mindset” – doesn’t it?

I thought of the “mindset” so well-delineated by Mr Sissons , and the BBC’s reliance for news analysis on the Guardian newpaper that he confirmed, when – as soon as Al Grauniad announced it was posting the “Palestine Papers” Al Beeb was slavering over Al Grauniad’s Middle East editor, Ian Black, for all the dirt.  (Al Beeb and Al Grauniad hand-in-glove?  You betcha!)

And in his BBC blog (25 January) on what the "Palestine Papers" reveal about the "refugee" issue, another of Al Beeb’s correspondents, Mark Urban, chose to quote Al Grauniad’s Jonathan Freedland regarding the Israeli government: "they didn't know how to take 'yes' for an answer".

The “mindset” is apparent in a blog (24 January) by BBC Radio 4 The World Tonight presenter Robin Lustig (pictured) suggesting how we might view the leaked “Palestine Papers”. That’s the same Radio 4, incidentally, which as that fine website Biased BBC has very recently demonstrated, shows in its religious programming a marked and quite outrageous preference for Muslim issues and for Muslim participants over any other creed or set of believers.

Anyway, Mr Lustig, on his BBC blog of 24 January (Sissons criticised this blogging mania on the part of Al Beeb’s staff, since it intrudes partisan commentary into what should be strictly objective reportage) he itemises ways in which we might view the “Palestine Papers” :

‘1. The Negotiators as Traitors: what right did the Palestinian negotiators have to offer so much to Israel in return for so little? Nearly all of east Jerusalem? Joint control of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, the third holiest place in Islam? No right to defend their own territory with their own armed forces? No right of return for Palestinian refugees? That's not negotiating ... that's surrendering.
2. The Negotiators as Statesmen: Look how far they were prepared to go. Look at the painful concessions they were prepared to make. How can the Israelis claim they have no "partner" to negotiate with when these papers show the exact opposite to be the case? How can anyone argue now that it's the Palestinians who are being unreasonable?
3. The Negotiations as Charade: Doesn't this just prove what a waste of time this whole so-called "peace process" is? Who do these negotiators represent, other than themselves? If their Fatah party were to be tested in elections, they'd be wiped out - and they know it. Besides, they don't even control the Gaza Strip, so nothing they supposedly "offer" will matter a damn. In any case, they still don't get it. Israel will give up not an inch of Jerusalem, and will never agree to anything that might threaten its existence.’
Well, there’s a fourth option that evidently didn’t penetrate the “mindset” that seems intent on exerting mind control – the option so well articulated by another Robin, the admirable Mr Shepherd, whose stalwart defence of Israel cost him his job at Chatham House:

‘Game over. No way back. An entire edifice of anti-Israeli demonisation definitively consigned to the scrap heap, never to be recycled again. This is the uncompromising message that comes out of yesterday’s revelations on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. To the horror of a European political intelligentsia which has been steadfast to the point of fanatical in its opposition to Israeli “settlements” in east Jerusalem, the Palestinian leadership itself, we now know, has long accepted that the vast majority of Israeli settlements can be considered legitimate and would become part of Israel under any reasonable peace agreement.
This is utterly devastating since it simultaneously shows that everyone from the British Foreign Office and the BBC to the European Commission and the continent’s passionately anti-Israeli NGO community have been adopting a position which was significantly more uncompromising on “settlements” than the Palestinian leadership itself, and also that that same Palestinian leadership had accepted that the so called 1967 “borders” – the gold standard for practically every anti-Israeli polemic around – are irrelevant to the prospects of a lasting peace….
Privately and morally, senior Palestinians can see that there is nothing illegitimate or even especially problematic about most of the “settlements”, (as reasonable observers of the MidEast have been saying for years). This we know from the leaks themselves. But publicly and politically they cannot sell such concessions to their own people. This we know because they are currently trying to distance themselves from the leaks, and because they educate their own people in an implacable rejectionism which extends to the “moderate” Palestinian authority glorifying suicide bombers and other terrorists by naming streets and squares after them.
Logically and reasonably, the Israeli response is to see such “concessions” for what they are: well intentioned in so far as they go, but impossible to implement in practice. Quite apart from the question of Hamas-run Gaza, the Palestinians have been playing the same old game of saying one thing to one audience and something else to another. They are not a credible partner for peace, and the Israelis do not look remotely “churlish” for understanding this.
It will be interesting to see how this whole affair now plays out. But never again can the anti-Israel community play the settlement card and at the same time retain a single ounce of credibility.'
Robin Shepherd blasts the Guardian in this whole Palileaks affair as being “more hardline against Israel than the Palestinian leadership itself” and reminds us that the Palestinian Authority’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has denied the Holocaust. “The only conceivable way out of this for the anti-Israel community,” Shepherd goes on,
“ is to turn this all upside down and argue – as analysts, reporters (anyone they can get their hands on) have been doing on the BBC all day –  that what this really shows is the extent of Israeli “intransigence”: the Palestinians offer all these concessions, and still the Israelis say no! This was the line adopted by Paul Danahar, the BBC’s MidEast bureau chief, who quite casually averred that, “The Israelis look churlish for turning down major concessions”.’


  1. Brilliant observations from Robin Shepherd. He nails it as usual.

    As for Lustig.....simply risible: ''Joint control of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, the third holiest place in Islam?''....he doesn't mention that this is because of a silly Harry Potteresque story of a flying horse to the unnamed'farthest mosque'which was probably Damascus anyway and Mohammed ascending to heaven for a chat with Moses and Jesus. Absurd nonsense. So no real claim there. He also fails to mention that it is the FIRST holiest place to the Jews because that is where Solomon built the first temple, 1500 years before Islam appeared on the scene to plagiarise Judaism.

    Lustig also whines: ''Israel will give up not an inch of Jerusalem, and will never agree to anything that might threaten its existence.’'

    So he got something right then. ;-)

  2. Thanks, Roger.
    I believe Jerusalem is not even mentioned once in the Koran.
    Perhaps Lustig follows the line of James Watt, Britain's ambassador to Jordan, who has denied on his own blog the Jews' ancient historical connection with Jerusalem! Watt evidently thinks biblical history is bunk.

  3. I'm sure you will enjoy this Daphne.

  4. I've heard about this legendary interview but never got around to seeing it until now, Roger.
    I'll try to work it into a blog sometime...

  5. Great link, Roger!

  6. Professor Barry Rubin argues that the Palestine Papers have killed the peace process:


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