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)

Sunday 31 August 2014

Shan't Learn, Can't Learn: The BBC's Jon Donnison

Yesterday: another biased Donnison tweet; more in similar vein today
He really is a piece of work, the BBC's Jon Donnison.

One of the most perceptibly and persistently biased of all the BBC's Middle East correspondents, he has countless times been shown up for the egregiously prejudiced and under-informed reporter that he is by the incisive and knowledgeable Hadar Sela of BBC Watch.

But instead of taking Ms Sela's well-founded criticisms to heart and attempting to rectify his prejudiced reportage so that it reflects the objective approach incumbent upon him and his colleagues by the BBC Charter, he has chosen not to learn from his mistakes and instead has taken to making childish jibes about his tenacious Israeli critic that says far more about him than about her:

Indeed, Al Beeb's former Gaza correspondent, who was sent back there from Sydney to cover Operation Protective Edge, seems never to have quite come to terms with his new billet here in Australia.

Among his numerous tweets (some of them of puerile schoolboy standard that not only let him down, but also, I should have thought, the BBC) are many regarding Gaza  and Israel; no prizes for guessing the comparative twists.  Indeed, a sticky post on his Twitter page big-notes the photos he took when last there; you can guess their thrust.

Too many of his reports from and comments about Australia are flippant and shallow.

Yesterday he tweeted this, which I suspect reveals as much about Donnison's attitude as the Somali man's:

Donnison seems to have made little effort to delve deeply into Australia's history and politics, preferring, it would appear, to rely on gleanings from left-wing sources including leftists with Twitter accounts.

His latest piece is a typically superficial and partisan one about Australia's "stop the boats" policy, by which illegal mainly economic migrants wanting to jump the established immigration queue fall victim to international people traffickers, and which in typical leftist style he interprets as the unconscionable response of a heartless government backed by racist people.  (I wonder whether he realises that the long defunct "White Australia Policy" to which he refers in the article originated less in racism than in the fear that uncurbed migration from South-East Asia was inexorably driving down workingmen's wages.) And, true to form, he manages to make Gaza and the Gazans a feature of the piece.

Twitter, indeed, appears to encourage lazy journalism, and lazy journalism is what many of Donnison's critics consider a failing of his: witness, for instance, this.

It seems a given that BBC staff scan and cite the Guardian and Ha'aretz for news of Israel, to the virtual exclusion of centrist and (perish the thought!) rightwing media (except to disdain or mock the latter's content).  Preferring leftist sources, which in Australia's case means the Fairfax Press and not Murdoch 's News Corp is, evidently in almost every Beeboid's DNA.

Donnison's recent dismissive tweet about the article in Ha'aretz on antisemitism in Australia by former Australian Jewish News editor Dan Goldberg  which originally appeared in the latter paper is a probable example of Donnison's mindset. 

Goldberg had opened the article thus
"Australia is not afflicted by the same degree of anti-Semitism reportedly sweeping Europe, but there is a “palpable level of concern” among Jews here following a spike in anti-Semitic incidents since the Gaza war broke out seven weeks ago, some Australian academics warn...."
and it took care not to accentuate the problem.

It did, though, observe, inter alia:
'There have also been several physical assaults on Jews here, but the torrent of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic abuse has come from the sewers of social media.
 “There has been a seismic shift,” said Prof. Mark Baker, director of the Jewish center at Melbourne’s Monash University. “It’s as though the images that we once viewed on television have popped out of the computer screen and landed in our bedrooms.
“People feel as though they are living inside the experience of ISIS beheadings, anti-Israel demonstrations and the Gaza Israel war,” he told Haaretz.
“Everyone is talking about this incessantly, fearing that the world is no longer recognizable, and living in fear of an impending catastrophe. The community is in a tailspin and looking for answers.”
Prof. Danny Ben-Moshe, another Melbourne-based academic who analyzes anti-Semitism, agreed there had been a shift within Australian Jewry but stopped short of describing it as “seismic.”'
 “The collective well-being of Australian Jewry has been adversely affected,” Ben-Moshe told Haaretz. “Jews are neither as free nor as safe as they were prior to this war.” ....'
And it concluded:
'Zeddy Lawrence, the editor of the Australian Jewish News, agreed there was a “palpable sense of concern” within the Jewish community, but did not go as far to suggest the community is in a tailspin.
“There have only been a few isolated anti-Semitic incidents,” he said. “But seeing what has happened in Europe obviously heightens fears of a backlash against the community here.”
In the wake of the incident on Jewish pupils on a school bus in Sydney, Dr. Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, wrote earlier this month: “There are alarming developments and chilling signs that are making the Jewish community here less comfortable, less confident and very worried that the flames of anti-Semitism are burning more furiously at home.” '
 I suspect the mention of the media, which invoked memories of the disgraceful Mike Carlton article in the Fairfax Press and its accompanying odious cartoon (above, right) prompted Donnison's dismissive attitude, because it wouldn't do for a Beeboid to concede antisemitism on the part of fellow journalistic leftists indulging in a spot of Israel-bashing, now, would it?

Chuck the chutzpah, Jonno!
Indeed, I seem to recall that Carlton or someone of his ilk gleefully retweeted this example (right) of what passes for Donnisonian wisdom.

And  I've a hunch that a piece by a Muslim editor on his community's concern about increasing "Islamophobia" in Australia would not have been so cavalierly treated.

That's no alibi for you, Jonno
Still, knowing how fond Donnison and his fellow lefties are of the Fairfax Press, I trust they will tweet the link to this article that appears in today's Sydney Morning Herald, by an Israeli living in Australia, Dana Amir:
'....Two weeks ago in this paper, an anonymous Israeli declared shame in her citizenship. I'm proud that she has the right to do this, and can do so safely, both here and in Israel. However, her anonymity was insulting. Australia and Israel is not Gaza or Nazi Germany. Israelis and Australian Jews can, and do, criticise Israel.
Although I'm sad that it has been forced to do so, I'm really proud that Israel has invested billions of dollars on bomb shelters and air-raid sirens and radars to detect incoming rockets and missiles to shoot down those rockets, all in the name of protecting its people.
I'm proud that I could do my small part in protecting other Israelis by serving in the army. The army consists of people just like you and me; people who would prefer to start their adult life  earlier, but understand the importance of defending their country. That said, I hated the idea of fighting Palestinians.
For, whether we like it or not – or they like it or not – Israelis and Palestinians share a homeland. We could fight each other for another few generations, or we could divide the land so both sides have a state. I'm proud that successive Israeli governments, buoyed by majority opinion, have been willing to do just that. We have engaged in peace talks, we have made offers. I  know there are Palestinians who also want to stop fighting. I don't know how many, because their media remain full of calls for Israel's destruction, many of their politicians describe Jews as sub-human and their leaders keep turning down Israeli peace offers.
But I know peaceful Palestinians exist, and exist in significant numbers....
What I also know is that Hamas hates me – not because I'm an Israeli, but because I'm a Jew. I know  that Hamas sees itself as being in an inter-generational war with my people. That is why it launches rockets and digs tunnels to provoke fighting with Israel. Not because it thinks it will win, but because it thinks that, after another 10, hundred, thousand such rounds of conflict, the Jews will find somewhere else to live.
Well, we won't. And while I'm proud that the Israeli army does what it must to protect Israelis, it breaks my heart when innocent Palestinians die. I believe that their deaths are the result of Hamas's unbelievably cynical tactics, and I'm proud of the lengths to which Israel goes to prevent Palestinian casualties...."
Read Dana Amir's entire article here


  1. There's one time when Jonny Boy's balanced - when he's on his cycle!


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