Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Reply from Sky News about anti-Israel complaint

On 29 Dec I posted a letter I sent to Sky News about a particularly nasty anti-Israel news bulletin. Peter Lowe (Assistant Editor) sent me a detailed response (which I appreciate because more often than not I either get no response or a standard response). But the problem is that the response confirms that there really is an ingrained anti-Israel bias among the newer editorial staff at Sky News. This is very worrying given Sky News's previous balanced approach. It is a strong indication of something we have been worrying about for a while now. That the new generation of opinion formers (those who graduated in the last few years) have become so conditioned by the "Israel = oppressor, bad, military state blah blah / Palestinians = victims" equation that they, like the Palestinians, now see every Israeli as a valid military target. Anyway, here is my self-explanatory response (if anybody expresses an interest I will scan the Sky letter).

Peter Lowe
Assistant Editor, Sky News
British Sky Broadcasting
Grant Way
Middlesex TW7 5QD

18 Jan 2006

Dear Mr Lowe,

Misleading anti-Israel reporting on Sky News (29 Dec 05)
Your ref: PL/KA

Thank you for taking the trouble to reply in depth to my letter. I do not agree with many of the points that you made in your response to my letter and there is one in particular that is seriously flawed. Specifically, in response to my complaint about the news item not mentioning the suicide bombing in Israel you said: “I assume you mean the one against a military target on the West Bank, which I can assure you we DID report…”

I watched the entire main bulletin from 09.00 until 09.30 and I can confirm that the suicide attack was NOT mentioned despite it having occurred just 3 hours earlier and despite its most obvious relevance to the lead story you ran. Sky may well at some other time have mentioned the suicide bombing but this is irrelevant to the point I was making.

But of far more concern is your factual error concerning the suicide attack itself. The attack was intended to be a double suicide bombing at a Chanukah celebration party in Tel Aviv. The heroic actions of a soldier, Uri Binamo who stopped the bombers at a checkpoint, averted a massacre but cost him his own life. The reputable Haaretz newspaper website provides the following details (

A suicide bombing that killed an Israel Defense Forces officer and three
Palestinians south of Tul Karm on December 29 had been planned as a double suicide bombing in a city in the center of the country, security forces said Tuesday.
The IDF said Tuesday that officials realized only in retrospect the scope of the thwarted terror attack: The Islamic Jihad bombings were supposed to take place simultaneously, during Hanukkah vacation.
IDF officials had at first thought that only one suicide bomber was in the taxi, but security forces discovered in the course of their investigation that one of the Palestinians killed in the blast had also intended to carry out a suicide bombing.
Neither the third passenger killed in the explosion nor the taxi driver was involved in the attack, security forces said, but the Shin Bet security service captured a fourth Palestinian passenger who was meant to guide the two bombers.

To describe this as “against a military target on the West Bank” is offensive and betrays the exact anti-Israel perspective I complaind about.

Yours sincerely,

Edgar Davidson

Friday, January 13, 2006

Curious reaction to Haj disaster

There was very little coverage in the media of the disaster at the Haj in Mecca yesterday when 345 pilgrims were crushed to death during the traditional stoning ceremony. I would have thought this would be a mega-news item, but I guess it's not, partly because such disasters happen with frightening regularity at the Haj (1500 killed in a similar stampede a few years ago and 65 already killed last week when one of the hostels collapsed). You would have thought that the media would be interested in the Saudi authorities' perennial incompetence in handling the crowds - it's not as if they are not expected. It is interesting to compare it with the media's hyterical reaction to American incompetence in handling the natural disaster at New Orleans. It's not as if Saudi is a poor country is it? And can you imagine the villification that Israel would receive if a single Chrisitian or Muslim pilgrim died in Jerusalem as a result of negligent crowd control and infrastructure?

But what is even more curious than all of that is the Muslim reaction to the disaster. I heard an interview on LBC News with a Muslim cleric from a London mosque (did not catch the details) and what he was saying was that it was actually a wonderful way for these people to die because they were performing Haj and they were martyrs. He was positively beaming about the whole thing. This reminded me of seeing senior Muslims being interviewed after previous Haj disasters and they too were beaming about it making the same comments about martyrdom. No doubt somebody like Al Qaradawi will soon be pronouncing that the only form of martyrdom greater than being crushed to death at the Haj is that of a suicide bomber killing Israeli civilians.

I then heard today that senior Imams in Mecca were actually telling pilgrims (against their Government's advice because they feared an inevitable crush) that they all had to attend the stoning at a particular time. The fact that within less than an hour of the disaster the stoning carried on as normal also seems to confirm just what an incredible death cult Islam is. And when you couple it with things like this it is truly chilling that the West still doesn't take the Islamic jihad threat seriously.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Palestinians - corrupt murderous fascists

Of all the stories of corruption, lawlessness and violence coming out of the Palestinian Authority the one below (reported from the Jerusalem Post) is particularly depressing because it confirms that there is simply no hope of ever living in peace with these thugs. Basically, the mainstream Fatah movement is threatening to close down an Arab TV station in Gaza and the West Bank because it dared to screen a programme about female suicide bombers that did not glorify them 100%.

Fatah gunmen on Saturday threatened to shut the offices of the pan-Arab Al-Arabiyah satellite TV station in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after accusing it of "defaming" Palestinian female suicide bombers and their families.

Leaflets distributed by Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, demanded that the Dubai-based station apologize to the families in particular and the Palestinians in general within 24 hours or else its offices would be closed.

"At a time when the Muslims and Islam are facing a political, intellectual, economic and social offensive by all the forces of evil in the world, Al-Arabiya has aired a scandalous and despicable film that is completely biased in favor of the executioner at the expense of the victims of occupation," the leaflets charged.

"This film depicts female suicide bombers as a group of women suffering from psychological problems and who are under pressure from males. It claims that in order to rid themselves of these problems, these women are prepared to kill themselves. They also claimed that these women were ill- behaved."

The group hailed female suicide bombers for their role in "defending the people and the land," saying they had brought honor to Islam and Muslims worldwide.

The Aksa Martyrs Brigades strongly condemned the documentary and demanded an investigation to find out who had financed it and who was behind it. "If Al-Arabiya does not apologize within 24 hours, we will have to close down their offices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," the group warned.

Journalists working for Al-Arabiya expressed deep concern over the threats made by the Aksa Martyrs Brigades. "We were not involved in the film," one of them told The Jerusalem Post. "The film was produced by a foreign company and purchased by Al-Arabiya."

Saif Eddin Shaheen, a correspondent in the Gaza Strip for Al- Arabiya, was attacked in 2004 by Fatah gunmen for reporting on the power struggle in Fatah.

Five masked gunmen attacked Shaheen as he was driving to his Gaza City office. During the attack, which lasted about 10 minutes, he was beaten and his assailants fired shots in the air. One of his attackers, who identified himself as a Fatah member, said he would "teach him a lesson in journalism."

Four months earlier, on September 13, 2003 a group of armed men ransacked the offices of the same television station in Ramallah. The Palestinian Authority publicly condemned the incidents and announced the opening of an investigation, but no one was arrested.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Demo at Iranian Embassy

Attended the demonstration last night protesting against Iranian Holocaust denial and existential threats against Israel. It was freezing cold and there were about 120 people there. Didn't see anybody from the Embassy so it's not obvious that they even got the message, but I guess we might have informed some of the people in the passing cars.

With hindsight I think it would have been much better if all the people at the demo had gone instead to stand outside the Big Brother studios to make our feeling aginst scumbag George Galloway known when he entered the 'house'. After his recent appearances in Damascus I still do not understand why he has not been arrested under the anti-terrorist legislation. Instead he has been turned into a national hero by the collection of useful idiots in the media. The frightening thing is that most people do not know what he really stands for. For some of his recent performances check out this, this and this.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Another story you wont hear about in the British media

On Jan 4 Palestinian 'militants' bulldozed through the Egyptian-Palestinian border then shot and killed two Egyptian security guards and wounded 30 others in a shoot out. They also fired another barrage of missiles into Israel. What a wonderful set of peace-loving people they are, these Palestinians who get the sympathy of the whole world.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Useful idiots

Idiot Kate Burton and her idiotic family sum up everything that is wrong with the British attitude to Israel. She seems to be have been genuinely happy to be kidnapped by terrorists with whom she identifies completely, and is no doubt delighted that the media coverage of her release presented the usual opportunity for unfounded Israel-bashing. No doubt also that some kind of ransom was paid to the terrorists and no doubt also that there will be dead Israelis at some time in the near future as a direct result of this. Melanie Philips and Media backspin present more on this story.