Sunday, March 16, 2008

UK Government hypocrisy over who it allows in

I've posted the following self-explanatory letter to the Home Secretary:

Jacqui Smith MP
The Secretary of State for the Home Department
Home Office
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

16 March 2008

Dear Ms Smith,

Excluding the wrong people from the UK

When the government introduced its legislation (following the Islamist terrorist bombings of London) to bar from the UK anybody responsible for fomenting or justifying terrorist violence, most sensible people assumed that the target of this ban would be the many Islamic fundamentalists who preach hatred of the West, work for the destruction of the State of Israel, and glorify suicide bombings.

But in fact it turns out that you have used the legislation to ban the very victims of terrorist incitement rather than those doing the incitement. I refer to your banning of an Israeli politician (Moshe Feiglin) who had not even applied to enter the UK, at the same time as Islamic fundamentalists are allowed in to preach their hatred and justify terrorism. In case you are not aware of it, the Israelis have been and continue to be the number one victims of Islamic terrorism, so the irony here is somewhat tragic.

In fact in the same week that you made your bizarre unilateral decision to exclude Mr Feiglin a spokesman (Ibrahim Mousawi) for the proscribed terrorist organisation Hezbollah was allowed in to the UK for a speaking tour. This is the organisation whose leader has vowed to kill every Jew in the world. Perhaps you can explain how Ibrahim Mousawi’s entry into the UK (even Ireland had banned him) was likely to do anything other than foment and justify terrorist violence?

But it certainly does not stop with Ibrahim Mousawi. The UK hosts many notorious Islamists who foment and justify terrorist violence in the furtherance of world-wide Islamic domination. I understand, for example, that the UK has hosted many visits by Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, vice president of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, a Dublin-based organisation of Muslim Brotherhood clerics. He issued a fatwa that legitimises and encourages the killing of any and all civilians in Israel. Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi's teachings go well beyond those of Feiglin. Moreover, he is a cleric who, unlike Feiglin, is specifically targeting his rulings at Muslims living in Europe. The argument for banning him, and every other member of the European Council of Fatwa and Research is surely compelling.

Then we have Abd al-Bari Atwan, the editor of the London based Al-Quds Al-Arabi. I note, for example, in his lead article last Sunday, he glorified the terrorist killing of eight teenage students in Israel, and said the celebrations in Gaza that followed symbolized the "courage of the Palestinian nation." He added that the recent violence in Gaza might "mark the countdown to Israel's destruction." Atwan has already been banned from Australia as a result of his declaration, last year, on Lebanese TV that "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.” I trust, therefore that you will never give him the opportunity to go to Trafalgar Square again by deporting him.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

BBC's Jeremy Bowen - beyond the pale

Following on from my complaint to LBC this morning I have now sent one to the BBC:

The BBC's anti-Israel bias in the reporting of the massacre of young Israeli students is simply beyond the pale. In particular I refer to the following quote in the article which comes under the bizarre subheading "Settler stronghold"

"The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen says that the school was no ordinary seminary. It was the ideological cradle of the settler movement in the West Bank, which could be the reason it was targeted."

This statement by Bowen is not only inflamatory and irrelevant, but is completely nonsensical. Has Bowen looked at a map of Jerusalem to see where the seminary is? It is in West Jerusalem in an area that was never part of the "occupied territories" and with no connection to "settlers" or the "West Bank". According to Bowen's twisted logic any Israeli is a valid target for massacre.
I expect to see a full apology for this appalling rubbish.

Friday, March 07, 2008

How LBC reported the massacre in Jerusalem

This is how LBC Radio this morning presented the news of the
massacre of Jewish students by a Palestinian terrorist.

“8 people have been killed in a religious school in Jerusalem when a gunman opened fire. It came days after Israel fired rockets into Gaza.”

In a later broadcast the newsreader added the comment

“It was the first militant attack in Jerusalem for 4 years.”

I have made a complaint to LBC about their reporting. Here is what I said to them:

If you knew little of the details of the Israel Palestine Situation (like 99% of the public) you would have assumed from the report that the 8 dead were probably Palestinians and that they were killed as a direct result of some rocket attack by the Israelis. For those who found out from other sources that the dead were Jews and the killer was a Palestinian terrorist then the later broadcast would have assured them that this kind of thing has not happened for a long time.

As a news channel LBC ought to report the news in a clear and understandable way, not in a way that is deliberately misleading and biased. LBC also ought to be aware that it is the Palestinians who have been firing rockets into Israel not the other way round as stated. In fact over 8,000 have been fired against civilian targets in southern Israel since Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005. Of course, LBC has never once reported on these attacks, nor on the suffering in Israeli cities like Sderot that are attacked every single day. Nor of course did it report on last night’s scenes of wild celebrations by thousands of Palestinians when they heard of the massacre in Jerusalem. And of course they did not report on the Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri declaring it as a ‘heroic attack’.

What LBC has reported of course many times are the previous Israeli responses to rocket attacks. Israel’s responses have, in the main, been pinpointed and accurate strikes against the rocket crews and other terrorists. By focusing only on Israeli responses to Palestinian terrorism rather than on the terrorism itself, LBC in common with other news media are becoming part of the problem. The terrorists are comforted to know that their actions will never be properly condemned and that instead the condemnation is reserved for the very victims of their terrorism. This in turn encourages more terrorism.

And as for the comment about this being the first ‘militant’ attack in Jerusalem for 4 years, this is complete nonsense. As recently as 25 Jan 2008 a Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem result in Israeli killed and six injured in Jerusalem. There were also deadly attacks in Jerusalem on 6 Nov 2006, 8 Oct 2006 and 25 Aug 2005. Moreover, during this period Israeli security forces have stopped dozens of major attacks in Jerusalem.


I received the following response (very fast I must say):

----- Original Message ----
From: LBC Complaints LBC Complaints
To: Davidson Edgar
Sent: Friday, 7 March, 2008 5:20:02 PM
Subject: Re: Write Your Complaint or Feedback Here ENTRY

Dear Mr Edgar

I'm sorry you were unhappy with our news coverage. We always strive to be fair and balanced, obviously you feel we failed in this case. It's a shame you also didn't hear James O'Brien this morning between 10 and 1 who presented an excellent hour on the conflict in which both sides put across constructive words about the terrible situation with the aim of discovering if there could be a solution. I found that debate refreshing because it offered hope.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Richards
Programme Director
LBC 97.3


And here is my follow-up reply:


Thanks for replying.

I did not hear the James O'Brien show, but even if I had that hardly excuses the appallingly misleading, inaccurate and blatantly anti-Israel presentation of your main morning news (which I assume is the part of the programme the vast majority of your listeners would have heard). There is no doubt that whoever was responsible for the text provided to your newsreaders this morning spent considerable time massaging the words to ensure that listeners were not aware that:

a) the victims were Jews
b) the attacker was a Muslim Arab terrorist
c) the attack took place inside Israel
d) the attack was supported (and indeed later claimed) by the Hamas government of Gaza
e) the attack sparked scenes of wild celebration by many thousands of Palestinians.

All of these facts are crucial to the story and all were provided by other news agencies as long as 10 hours earlier (even the notoriously anti-Israel BBC managed to give relevant information). Yet somebody at LBC made the very deliberate and conscious decision not only to doctor the story, but to introduce the false and irrelevant point about Israel firing rockets into Gaza. In other words somebody at LBC has a very clear and spiteful anti-Israel agenda and I find that unacceptable.

Edgar Davidson