Sunday, July 16, 2006

What hope of understanding with reporting like this?

This morning I saw Andrew Marr the supposedly intelligent political analyst on BBC1 interview the Palestinian 'spokeswoman' Hanan Ashrawi. He allowed her to state a string of complete lies like "Israel still occupies part of Lebanon" without challenging her once. I'd like to think it was through timidity, but I think it was more ignorance and bias; he probably agreed with everything she said. Wherever you turn to in the media in this country there is no respite in the ignorance and ingrained anti-Israel agenda. Especially worrying is today's Sunday Telegraph (one of the only papers supposedly sympathetic to Israel's position . The following is a letter I've just written to them that is self-explanatory.

"Having got fed up with the Sunday Times's ill-informed coverage of the Middle East I decided to try the Sunday Telegraph today. I was disappointed to find that the newspaper, while more balanced in its reporting, still contained several blatant factual errors whose impact is to try to create the impression that Israel had overreacted in launching its attacks in Lebanon. The article by Con Coughlin (the "Defence and Security Editor") contains some quite stunning errors. For example, he talks about the "abduction of their soldiers in Gaza and Southern Lebanon" whereas the abductions both took place inside Israel and in both cases several other Israeli soldiers were killed. In the case of the unprovoked attack by Hezbullah last week the invasion by Hezbullah was also preceeded by an unprecedented barrage of rockets fired into Israeli towns as a diversionary tactic. This is what Coughlin refers to as a 'minor incident'. He also talks about the Israelis "destroying the country's international airport" whereas in fact they only destroyed the runways to stop further supplies of Iranian missiles coming in and to stop the hostages being transported to Iran.

The article by Niall Ferguson is simply ridiculous on many levels. It states that "Hezbollah responded firing yet more of its home-made rockets into Israel." I am not sure if the reference to home-made is supposed to infer that they are harmless. The fact that most are neither home-made (being made in Iran) nor harmless (as the example of the rocket which killed 8 people in Haifa this morning as well as those that killed 5 Israelis in the previous three days) should warrent an apology. But I guess I should have expected nothing different in Ferguson's article; his bizarre explanation for the fact that across the world we are witnessing unprecedented terrorism is simply that, in the countries where it is happening the weather is very hot and the mostly young male population is poor and unemployed. It seems to have escaped his attention that politically motivated Islamic fundamantalism is a slightly more significant common factor among the perpetrators of these atrocities."

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