Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BBC's notion of even handedness

Travelling a long distance in a car with an old radio when you are outside of London (which I had to do today) is not much fun because essentially it means that there are just two channels where you can get a reasonably consistent quality signal. Those two stations happen to be BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live (so much for consumer choice). Even when they are not talking about Israel, listening to those channels is as close as you can get to aural torture - a bit like being lectured at by a stream of posh academic versions of Ken Livingstone or George Galloway for hour after hour talking about 'social justice'.

But, sadly today they were also giving their spin about the failure of the Middle East  'peace process' as their second news item every 15 minutes. Here is their 'balanced' analysis of the reasons for the failure (and given the number of times I heard this repeated on Radio 5 Live this is pretty much verbatim***):
 "Both sides are being blamed for the failure. Israel refused to release Palestinian prisoners and there was Palestinian anger at Israel's continued settlement building in the occupied territories"
Now there was I thinking before hearing this that the failure might be due to that fact that the Palestinian Authority had
  • broken their commitment to recognise the Jewish State
  • broken all of their other previous commitments, such as agreeing not to go to UN bodies
  • decided to sign a pact with Hamas who are committed not just to Israel's total destruction but to killing every Jew in the world
  • decided to sign a pact with Islamic Jihad who actually make the Hamas murderers look moderate
  • continued with its antisemitic incitement at all levels of Palestinian society
  • continued to glorify - and pay - child murderers for their 'heroic acts' in killing Jews
  • etc
But silly me - because apparently the failure of the 'peace process' had nothing to do with any of that. And don't you just love the balance: whereas ONLY Israel has had to make tangible and genuine concessions (already releasing over a thousand convicted terrorists and halting all building in the settlements) the fact that they have
  1. not released enough terrorists and 
  2. issued a few planning permits for areas like Jerusalem (which were NEVER part of any agreed 'settlement freeze')
are used as the ONLY reasons for the failure. And since the BBC could not think of a single failure by the Palestinians they decided to classify "Palestinian anger" at 2 above as the the only thing the Palestinians can be blamed for.  Just imagine if the creative brain at the BBC who came up with this analysis had been asked to apportion blame for the holocaust. We might then have been told that
"Both the Nazis and the Jews were to blame for the holocaust. The Jews refused to accept legally binding Nazi race laws which declared them as 'subhmans', and there was Nazi anger that Jews continued to want to live"

Sadly the British public is fed the BBC nonsense and not the the kind of excellent analysis like here, here and here about the failure of the 'peace process'.

*** The BBC website says something similar:
Talks between the two sides were already troubled after repeated disagreements over settlement building and the release of prisoners.

8 May 2014 Update: The BBC responds to my formal complaint.