View Full Version : BBC to guard against 'pro-Arab bias'
12th Nov 2003, 03:13
Telegraph story (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/11/11/nbbc11.xml&sSheet=/portal/2003/11/11/ixportal.html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=79375)
That well known 'oppositionist' organisation, the feted BBC, appear to have had some sort of change of heart.
Of course they arn't admitting to anti-sem...erm...cpro-Arab bias, merely guarding against it should it (inconceivably) happen in the future.
What does the panel think?
12th Nov 2003, 03:23
I should not be surprised by your inability to recognise balanced journalism as shown by the BBC. As for the Telegraph well it is hardly a shock for them to put in such an article as this. Their stance in the Middle East is well known.
12th Nov 2003, 03:34
The BBC is meant to be impartial and objective in its reporting. This can sometimes be construed as bias to one side or another. I have seen plenty of news broadcasts by the BBC during the recent war in Iraq and the intifada in Israel. Not once have I had reason to think that the BBC has been biased towards either side. If the Israelis dont like the fact that the BBC, unlike many other news organisations, shows things from the Palestinian point of view, then tough luck. There are three sides to every story, your side, my side and the truth.
Of course the BBC has to be seen to be impartial and if the appointment of this gentlemen helps them to achieve this, then it can only be a good thing.
12th Nov 2003, 03:41
I agree with you. The company I work for has had the misfortune to be on the receiving end of some bad press in the print media and I was able to see that the BBC both locally and nationally dealt with both sides of the issue fairly.
12th Nov 2003, 09:15
um, go to www.honestreporting.com or www.camera.org if you are interested in the extreme bias shown by the BBC toward the Arabs. With your tax dollars!
12th Nov 2003, 09:25
Well, as someone who does regard the stance taken by the BBC in its reporting of Arab/Israeli issues as being overly biased against Israel, I welcome the appointment of Malcom Balen. As far as I have seen, the reporting by some correspondents for the BBC has definitely been unbalanced. I make that observation from having a little bit of inside information and knowing the sources for some of the misinformation.
I am the first to admit my bias as a pro Israeli but I am also able to see points of view from the other side and have aired them in the past. To have our 'papal' view as expressed by BHR in a naive comparison to the company he works for and the events in the Middle East, once again makes me wonder as to his maturity.
I have no problem with the BBC presenting things from the Palestinian point of view, in fact I appreciate it very much as it does show up some of the faults of the Israeli governments policy and certainly gives food for thought. However, I do find that the BBC (and most other media organisations) do not balance their 'Arab' perspective with anywhere near the same amount from the Israeli side.
Have a read of this report (http://www.bbcwatch.com/current2.html) and you can see some of the research that has gone into the 'balanced' reporting... NOT, of the BBC with regard to the Middle East, in particular the Israel/Palestinian issue. Of course, some of you are bound to criticise me for providing that link as it would appear to be obviously from a pro-Israel biased point of view. :rolleyes:
Here is just the summary of the report:We have analysed the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East in main news programmes on UK television and radio and on the BBC’s main website over a 9-week period from the end of May to the end of July 2002.
The content was assessed for compliance with the BBC’s legal obligations of accuracy and impartiality. We found numerous significant breaches of these obligations. These breaches_ included an inaccurate and one-sided profile of Yasser Arafat; unjustified discrimination in the use of language; omissions of material events, facts and viewpoints; misleading use of pictures; and the improper inclusion of journalists’ personal comments hostile to Israel and the Israeli government.
We noted that some complaints raised in an earlier report published in March 2002 had been addressed. However most had not.
The BBC’s reporting of the Middle East remains partial, inaccurate and in frequent breach of BBC guidelines. There is an apparent widespread antipathy towards Israel within the BBC which emerges in its news reporting of the Middle East. The British public is obliged to pay for the BBC through the licence fee. In return the BBC is obliged to provide a fair, impartial and accurate news service. The BBC is failing to keep to its side of the bargain.Anyone notice that Oerla Guerin has been banished to Baghdad? Oooh Er!:suspect:
12th Nov 2003, 15:32
I don't think the BBC is biased against Israel or pro Palestinian.
When we have personal knowledge of events, it must be very rarely that we can read or listen to news reports without noticing factual errors. We roll our eyes and groan at yet another example of slipshod, or downright incompetent, journalism.
However, if we hold strong views about an issue, don't we all have a tendency to assume that factual errors are deliberate, that news reports which show 'our' side in a bad light are inaccurate or the product of selective reporting, and that any criticism of 'our' side by commentators is bias in favour of the other side?
The more passionate our views in support of one side, the more likely we are to claim 'bias' in favour of the other.
Did anyone see 'Correspondent', an investigative documentary about Arafat by Jeremy Bowen, last Sunday on BBC 2? I've no doubt it irritated passionate supporters on each side - it was straight down the middle.
Bowen's conclusion was that Arafat is part of the problem but also part of the solution; that isolating him is a mistake because, like it or not, Palestinians see him as the father of the nation whether or not they agree with his views.
The programme criticised Arafat's support of the suicide bombers, and dispelled any notion that he's not in control of what's going on, but it also showed how Israel's actions or reactions (depending upon your point of view) is hardening 'ordinary' Palestinians.
I also thought Channel 4's documentary (Monday) about Palestinain suicide bombers was interesting and unbiased.
Does anyone know of any reliable source of statistics showing Israeli and Palestinian deaths/injuries in the conflict - during the past three years, or longer?
12th Nov 2003, 18:12
I must say I am surprised at your stooping to comment on my “maturity”. It does not seem like your usual style. I have on many occasions disagreed with you however I have always been able to respect your point of view. It is my hope that this slight on my character is a momentary lapse on your part J
As to the points you make, I do not understand your reference to “papal”, please excuse my ignorance.
I was in no way equating the importance of the Middle East with my employer’s press difficulties beyond stating that I had had the opportunity to witness first hand the BBC in action along with several other press organisations.
For a company with no significant ties to big business I find it surprising that the BBC is subject to such treatment when the actions and reporting of some of the commercial broadcasters such as Sky and Fox are so violently skewed to the views of their owners.
p.s. Flying Lawyer, Well put my friend.
12th Nov 2003, 23:17
Flying Lawyer You obviously have never read a BBC website or seen a BBC broadcast if you think they are not biased. They rebroadcast the words of terrorists verbatim and never question their accuracy for starters.
12th Nov 2003, 23:32
Interesting what one person thinks of as "bias".
From those websites that Bubbette quoted:-The media affects public opinion, which affects American foreign policy, which in turn directly impacts on Israel's "ability" to defend itself against terror. This can mean the difference between life and death for Israeli Jews. ... Israel is fighting an uphill battle and needs all the help it can get. Much has been achieved, yet there is much more yet to do. To help Israel win the media war, join tens of thousands of others at HonestReporting.com.This is unbiased? :confused: Frequently inaccurate and skewed characterizations of Israel and of events in the Middle East may fuel anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice. ... Increasingly, campuses have been the scene of propagandistic assaults on Israel. Distorted literature, extreme speakers and false, inflammatory images are all too common, creating harmful misperceptions of Israel.You note that they are not worried about the possibility of fuelling anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim prejudice, or about "harmful misperceptions" of Palestine - maybe it never, ever happens? :rolleyes: What sort of a word is "propagandistic"? :yuk:
12th Nov 2003, 23:58
Hugmonster The website is supported by those who care about Israel for whatever reason. Are you disputing the fact that press reports directly affect violence against Jews and Israelis? And what mainstream press reports are supporting violence against Muslims? Find me one. And why do these facts, and HonestReporting.com's fundraising efforts mean that HonestReporting is unbiased? Please explain. I do believe HonestReporting is unbiased-- Here is what they said about the BBC:
"In May 2001, BBC fabricated a film clip in an attempt to show Israeli brutality. When Israelis struck a Palestinian base in Gaza, there were no pictures of victims -- since Israel struck at empty buildings. But BBC editors inserted a film clip of Israeli victims of Palestinian terror arriving at an Israeli hospital, to suggest that these were victims of Israeli attack. The correspondent in London ended the segment with "These are the pictures from Gaza."
How can you dispute this fact?
13th Nov 2003, 00:09
You call it a "fact". I call it an allegation.
And those websites you posted are clearly not unbiased. It takes only the meanest intelligence with a little analytical thinking to be able to work that out. See if you can find someone with those attributes to explain it to you.
13th Nov 2003, 00:18
you may be interested to know that the BBC during the troubles in Northern Ireland quoted IRA and Unionist terrorists verbartim. If they are quoting people verbartim without adding comment how can this be considered to be biased?
Many organsiations/ countries have acussed the BBC of bias in the past, they were accused of being biased to the Argentinians during the Falklands war and Margaret Thatcher used to claim that they were biased towards the Labour party.
You are quite right that it is my money that is being used to fund the BBC. As such I want a news organisation which reports objectively because I want to know what is happening in the world, not what is happening according to the US government, the British government, the Israeli government or indeed the Palestinian authority.
13th Nov 2003, 00:35
You call it a "fact". I call it an allegation.
Um, it's in black and white the BBC website. That's an allegation? And I'm not sure what on www.honestreporting.com's website is biased. Are you saying a website funded by supporters of truth as it applies to mid-east reporting is not factual? Why do you say that? Although I guess coming from someone who refuses to admit that Wahhabi Islam teaches hate, intolerance, and murder of infidels I should understand that.
Lance Murdoch i didn't see the IRA coverage, but I saw when the BBC broadcast an interview, it was about the time of the Jenin-non-massacre, when they said Israel had caused XYZ destruction--all of which was not true--and later admitted even by the PA that it wasn't true. At the time, the BBC did not put on anyone else to refute it. That's what the BBC does all the time. If the IRA says the British forces have slaughtered 2000 people, and they didn't--does that make it a fact?
13th Nov 2003, 00:40
I do believe HonestReporting is unbiased Hmmm. I can see why you wouldn't like the BBC, then.;)
Living in the UK as I do, Bubbette, I know something about the BBC that you clearly either don't know or would prefer not to know.
As Lance Murdoch has mentioned, the BBC has consistently been criticised by:
the Conservative Party (for being pro-Labour);
the Labour Party (for being pro-Conservative);
the Liberal Democrats (for being biased towards the 2 main parties):
the Ulster Unionists (for being pro-Republican);
Irish Republicans (for being pro-Unionist);
the Confederation of British Industry (for being anti-business);
the Trades Union Congress (for being pro-business);
Manchester United fans (for being pro-Arsenal);
Arsenal fans (for being pro-Man United).
There are many other examples in a similar vein.
In my experience, when both sides of a conflict criticise your bias then you're just about in the middle.
Which is where the BBC is supposed to be, in fact.
On a final note - why is it, do you think, that people the world over have for decades regarded the BBC, especially the BBC World Service, as a fair and reliable source of impartial news and information?
Perhaps you think they're all part of the conspiracy too........
13th Nov 2003, 01:19
Caslance , since when does the rest of the world like the Jews? No wonder they love the BBC!
13th Nov 2003, 01:51
I take it from your tangential reply that you cannot comment on my substantive point then, Bubbette?
13th Nov 2003, 03:27
I've been wondering.
Does 'Bubbette' really exist? Or, is 'she' a ficticious character created by the Pprune owners to wind people up and generate more traffic on the site?
I'm told it's an old discussion forum trick that never fails. Apparently, the more extreme you make the character, the greater the volume of posts because people keep trying to reason with them - even when they know deep down there's no point.
I wonder if we're falling for an old trick?
13th Nov 2003, 03:40
Has the BBC appointed monitors from all those differing groups you mention? They seem to think enough credibility of the reports of bias that despite your claims otherwise that they want to be monitored.
You said something to the effect that the BBC's views on the middle East were well known. Since when should a media outlet have views on a given issue? News reported with respect to ones views is dangerously void of objectivity and laced with bias.
13th Nov 2003, 03:56
West Coast: there's nothing wrong with being careful and checking your sources, etc. That's nothing more than good journalism - it's a shame there isn't more of it.
None of this detracts from my main point, which is that the very fact that the BBC is consistently accused of bias by both sides in a conflict or issue is in itself a strong indicator of impartiality.
Just out of interest, how come so many of our US contributors seem to be so familiar with the BBC? Is there a US cable offshoot, or something?
Regarding the "Daily Telegraph" story itself, I would be more than a little suspicious of any Middle-East related story printed in that particular paper. :rolleyes:
BBC and BBC America are carried on my cable (actually its from the phone company digital tv but you get the idea) system here. They are roughly analagous to BBC 1 and 2 that I received in the UK.
BBC is exactly the same and BBC America has about 75 percent common programming with BBC2 (mainly driven by the different formats for commercials I think)
My take on the BBC from personal experience at what I witnessed is that they are in the very least extremely lazy, if not biased in their reporting. I hate to keep reporting the same incident over and over but when you cover an event that is composed of snipers hiding behind children throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers and set up your cameras so that the only thing you see is Israeli soldiers shooting at children and no mention is made of the men with Ak47s behind them, then it looks biased to me...
The story ran as Israeli's shoot at children... Which was most certainly NOT the case... But it had an interesting effect on my. It galavanized my support for Israel... Those that remember pprune and Avsig in much earlier times will remember that it wasn't always the case...
13th Nov 2003, 04:21
Thanks for that information, Wino.
I suspect that the news coverage that you're seeing is from "BBC News 24": a commercial subsidiary - also broadcast on digital cable and satellite here in the UK - which is, frankly, a p:mad: ss-poor attempt to reproduce the CNN formula with predictable results.
There are exceptions, but the "mainstream" BBC TV news is produced to a higher standard, and the radio news and current affairs coverage is produced to a higher standard again.
Having said that, condemning the whole of the BBC's news and current affairs output on the basis of a single badly-produced news item does seem somewhat unfair, you know.
The Beeb isn't perfect, but it could be a damn site worse. It could be the Fox Network, for example!:ooh:
13th Nov 2003, 04:34
Cas I did comment--the *rest* of the world is hardly a fair judge of anything, as it is characterized by tyrannical dictators, isn't it, if you , say , count the UN members!
Um, I'm flattered Flying Lawyer, that you don't think I'm real, since apparently you are shocked by my truths, but as I"ve posted, I do host an internet radio show once month, and I'll do shout outs if you want (www.smartwomen.org click on radio personalities and scroll down to "your financial future") or you can go to www.tommywhitetie.com and see my posts and photos under Bubbette. And I will try to show at the next pprune new york meet up, as I was finishing my masters during the last one.
13th Nov 2003, 04:47
Bubbette - that may be your view of the rest of the world.........:rolleyes:
BTW - speaking, as you were earlier, of "BBC anti-Israeli" bias you may find a quick search on "Dame Ruth Deech" illuminating!:ok:
Dame Ruth is a very highly-respected academic and a prominent member of the Jewish community in the UK. She is also a member of the BBC Board of Governors.
"shocked by my truths"............:ooh:
13th Nov 2003, 04:58
It's interesting talking to knowledgable friends from overseas who are able to view a wider variety of sources. Their opinion of the BBC appears to have changed greatly over the years. Whilst it is undoutably true that the Beeb once represented the gold standard in reporting it is hardly the case anymore.
It still amazes me that some little Englanders think that the natives wait with bated breath for the one true news report from good old Auntie. They're at least 20 years behind the times.
Some of the organisational culture of the Beeb has come to light of late. The dodgy dossier left a worrying taste in the mouth; that the Beeb thought itself to be in the business of forming opinion, rather than on reporting events; that the Beeb has a sovereign right to exist; that the Beeb had a moral duty to stamp out wrong-headed thinking. Hardly the tenets of an impartial reporting service. :rolleyes:
However we have been here before. Caslance is quite right to explain that all sides criticize the BBC for bias, however to jump to the illogical conclusions that he has is worrying, for this is the primary argument in response to claims of bias by the BBC. After a while you don't even need the sheepdog, just a whistle or two.
I couldn't disagree that the Beeb is rather good at marketting itself. It even produces adverts on a regular basis telling all of us how wonderful it is, how unbiassed they are and how we get great value for money out of the licence fee. One would think that as this was unnecessary in the past, and as those same adverts are being paid for from our own pockets, that maybe they are taking the piss a little.
Then again I'm sure some would see nothing wrong in the government of the day raising a new tax in order to promote the values they happen to espouse. It amounts to the same thing. Indeed it is interesting to note the instant disdain accorded the media of whichever country we happen to be bombing at the time as being state controlled. Well the state controls 40% of terrestrial and 50% of radio media in this country. That too is state controlled.
When the majority of the modern media are more interested in Jade's titwank revelations or Beckham's follicular tendencies it would be nice to think that the Beeb was indeed irreplaceable and the envy of the world. I believe the truth to be closer to that of another crown jewel, also hailed, in its day, as the envy of the world. I speak of the NHS........
Nevermind, its is afterall only one more brick in the wall.
13th Nov 2003, 05:00
however to jump to the illogical conclusions that he has is worrying Your knee-jerk dislike of the BBC and NHS is well-documented in these fora, Chaffers, but in what way is my conclusion "illogical" and why does this worry you so?
13th Nov 2003, 05:01
I am sorry that you misread my post or I did not make it clear enough. I was saying that the Daily Telegraph's views of the Middle East were clear enough.
You cannot be serious about this HonestReporting site.
You have several times stated that it gets all its money from supporters of Israel. Here is an example:
"The website is supported by those who care about Israel for whatever reason"
So a site that is funded by people with an agenda. My that is going to be impartial. NOT!!
13th Nov 2003, 07:42
Having, at your suggestion, looked at one of the other websites where you post, I withdraw my suggestion that you might be a character created by the Pprune owners to provoke controversy and generate posts. I'm now convinced you really do exist. Amazed, but nonetheless convinced. People on the site I read seem to think you have extreme right-wing views. Odd that. Perhaps they too misunderstand you?
Dame Ruth Deech
I took up Caslance's suggestion of doing a quick search on Dame Ruth Deech. My quick search was indeed illuminating.
I found that Dame Ruth Deech is a distinguished academic lawyer/ researcher and that the Oxford College of which she is Principal was sorry to learn (last month) that she was retiring. She was described in glowing terms in a news item on one of the university websites - Cherwell online. The article begins: Shock Deech resignation
by Eleanor Jupp
17 October 2003
Dame Ruth Deech, Principal of St Anne’s College, announced her retirement in an open letter to staff and students at the College last Sunday.
Dame Ruth has never shirked controversy, and she has been described as “never afraid to challenge or to act” by a member of St Anne’s JCR.
She has attracted media attention for her active role in the Jewish community and as a prominent supporter of the state of Israel and critic of British media coverage of the country.
She remarked, “one cannot separate anti-Israel from anti-Semitism.”
Now there's someone whose views on media coverage of Israel can safely be relied upon as objective and independent.
And she's one of the governors of the "pro-Palestinian" BBC. :D
BBCnews 24 shares a channel with CNN International in my old cable service (it really was cable instead of through the phone company) and that was not what I was referring to.
I think my parents have it as a standalone (They have Direct TV a satelite service similar to the sky digital service I used to have in Manchester/stansted)
I think that the problems that the BBC are having are analagous to what happened with the US press in the 60s and 70s. They went from reporting the news to attempting to tell us what to think. (This all happened during the vietnam war as the news services were abosutely sure we were doing the wrong thing, and entered the political battlefield determined to stop it)
This continued after vietnam. The press swung further and further left. During Clinton's first election a poll of accredited reporters and news readers conducted by the NY Times revealed that 80 percent voted for clinton (well under 50 percent did in the general population) Well, after a while of having siht shoved down your throat eventually you puke, and that was pretty much what happened in the USA giving rise to FOX and what not... The left wing bias of the media just became too much to swallow, they pushed too far and created a market for a right wing press outlet.
The interesting phenomena has been talk radio. There has been no liberal answer to Rush and the other talk radio personallity (Sean hannity etc...) As near as I can figure, the average liberal voter is watching Oprah and lifetime tellivision. If they suddenly start actuallying thinking about politics, then they become a conservative....:)
13th Nov 2003, 12:09
There of course is nothing wrong with quality control. Raises an eyebrow however when the beeb agrees it needs an outside agency to do what should be done inhouse by editors. I find it suspicious that a news organization that claims to have no bias should need such a review. If they are as pure as you have made them out, principle would dictate that they stick to their guns and continue reporting the way they do, because as you say they haven't anything to hide. At the very minimum, it shows they react to outside criticism. Again, something you don't really want your news source doing.
13th Nov 2003, 12:20
BHR What about the facts that I posted are biased?
13th Nov 2003, 20:04
I would suggest that all the British press is very biased in one way or another.
A few years ago I remember reading this Report (http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/media/greenslade.htm) by Roy Greenslade on how the British Press in general reported events in Northern Ireland
His views seemed to be confirmed to me when I moved to another continent and watched various national news channels as well as the beeb News 24. Whilst it was not events in Northern Ireland that were being reported I had to watch other news channels for what I thought was a balanced view.
In short over the last 10 years or so BBC have been involved in a 'ratings' war (hence the continual movement of the time for the main news) and as such will broadcast whatever they think will boost the viewing figures.
Just my tuppence worth
13th Nov 2003, 22:04
Let me explain it in such simple terms that even a tax lawyer from New York with a chip on her shoulder the size of the Empire State Building can understand.
HonestReporting.com needs money to exist. Money provided by those whose support for Israel and the Israeli government is biased. Therefore HonestReporting.com is biased.
This is true since it is necessary to ensure a continued supply of money that HonestReporting.com does not annoy their sponsors.
Lets compare this with the BBC which gets its money from everyone who owns a TV in the UK so therefore it is beholden to those same people. This duty it executes by providing the sort of programming that deserves to be made without having to check with some money man or advertiser.
As Lance has stated the fact that the sheer number of diametrically opposed groups and organisations which have all claimed that the BBC is biased to the other side, at the same time as the other side claim the BBC is biased against them is testament to the impartiality of the BBC.
Do they make mistakes? Yes I am sure they do. After all people are fallible. Is there a conspiracy to make Israel look bad? Get real. Israel does a good enough job of that on its own. It needs no help. Furthermore what would the BBC stand to gain from such a stance? It is harldy likely to sell more copies of “Only Fools and Horses” in the West Bank or Damascus, it is not going to get more people watching Eastenders and it is not going to get anymore money. So why do it?
For those outside the UK it is difficult for you to know the sheer volume of work the BBC presents in a single day. Every region is covered on Radio, TV and the internet 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The BBC has been and still is the world leader.
The fact that it reports things about Israel that you would rather the world did not hear puts you in the same category as Robert Mugabe. The BBC’s reporters lay their lives on the line on a daily basis to ensure that the British public and the world know what is going on in every corner of the world.
Before you hit auto-“anti-semite” button on your keyboard, I could not care less the religions on either side of any dispute. I am an empiricist and think that all religions are nuts!! ( that is a joke incase any of you take offence)
I know there is a lot of talk of ratings wars for news but I do not see the logic of it (Chaffers, do not say it).
The BBC gets its money no matter how many people actually watch their programs. So why would the actually care if they had 10million viewers at 9pm and 13 million at 10pm . ITV and Sky actually do need numbers since they get paid by advertisers based on viewing figures and therefore need to entice viewers. All this means that the BBC News need not worry about sensationalism and can concentrate on journalism.
13th Nov 2003, 22:52
BHR Israel is defending itself against terrorism and a war against 20 Arab countries, so I'm not sure why that makes it "look bad." Let's try again: What about HonestReporting.com's facts makes it biased? We agree from where it gets it's funding--try to focus on the facts--or are you saying that the truth about Israel, from those who care about Israel, can not be true? What about its comments on the BBC"s portrayal of Arafat and other terrorists---how can you say the BBC"s one sided view is not biased?
FL what was your question on Dame Ruth? I never heard of her, so it wasn't I that suggested looking her up.
13th Nov 2003, 23:31
Can you list those 20 Arab countries, please?
13th Nov 2003, 23:58
I suppose this is this same logic Radio 1 has applied when they keep changing their presenters as they are not worried about the 10 million listeners they have lost in the last year
14th Nov 2003, 00:26
Radio 1 wishes to appear "cool" and "hip" and whatever other words the kids are using these days.
U should know about the BBC's service provision requirements as well as I do. I do not speak Gaelic. I do not know anyone who speaks Gaelic yet there is several hours every week for those who do. Do u want further examples? BBC coverage of sports like golf, snooker and darts where there is no terrestrial "competition" yet there are hundreds of hours of these sports every year.
The BBC is a service provider. It does just that.
HonestReporting.com is a propaganda outlet as much as al-Jazeera or any other special interest media outlet. Wishing it was not will not make it so.
14th Nov 2003, 00:48
West Coast: If they are as pure as you have made them out, principle would dictate that they stick to their guns and continue reporting the way they do
The Beeb isn't perfect, but it could be a damn site worse. Does this phrase ring any bells, West Coast? No need to put words in my mouth, old chap, that's just not cricket.
I'm under no illusions that the BBC is perfect - no one who has had to endure "Eastenders" could possibly be of that opinion.
There are plenty of examples of the BBC sticking to it's guns in the face of some pretty heavy pressure from pressure groups and UK Governments (of either flavour).
So what's wrong with a news or media organisation critically examining itself and taking steps to ensure lack of prejudice, anyway? Better that than an ill-founded dogmatic insistence of one's own infallibility, surely?
As I said earlier, it would be wise to take any story with a Middle-Eastern flavour that appears in the "Daily Telegraph" with a substantial pinch of salt.
Flying Lawyer: I'm afraid I must spring to Bubbette's defence and point out that it was I that recommended a search on Dame Ruth Deech, and not she.
Having said that, I can readily understand the discomfort she would feel on finding that a woman of the Jewish faith, with views very similar to her own, occupies such a powerful and influential position within the "anti-semitic" BBC.
The flaw in this whole arguement is that you assume that peoples motivations are pure simply because the funding trail is clean.
Let me ask you something. Does BBC pay the highest among news outlets? Do reporters and editors make the same money as doctors and Lawyers and even pilots for that matter? Yet a fair amount of schooling is still required.
So the question I have, is do you think that you really get the best and the brightest at the BBC? Or since its basically a government agency, maybe even a lazy slovenly civil service mindset? Either way, its hardly a route to a cushy lifestyle...
If not the best and the brightest, could it be populated with people with an axe to grind? There are two ways to shape public policy. One is to go into politics. The other is to go into the reporting of politics. It was the complete domination of the press by liberal left wingers attempting to push LBJ's great society while at the same time ending the Vietnam war that lead to the huge liberal bias of the press, eventually leading to Rush/FOX etc... Not everything on FOX is a crock and they have caught CBS/NBC/ABC/CNN in Lies much to their embarrassment. If Sky is making similar inroads it is probably for the same reason.
All of you should know its not what you say that is important, but HOW you say it. You don't think that its possible that something similar is going on the BBC?
14th Nov 2003, 01:31
The honest answer is "I don't know", Wino. The BBC does have a very good reputation as an employer here in the UK, if that's any help to you.
But is any media organisation comprised solely of the "best and brightest"?
You cite a "civil service" mindset - I could say that the lack of commercial pressure to "shift units" or sell advertising allows the BBC to ignore the agendas of proprietors or prospective sponsors.
We may both be right - we may both be wrong.
Dunno, it is an interesting question.
I don't recall hearing any praise for their covering of events with aviation though...
I suspect if they were perfect, sky wouldn't be doing so well... (No I don't think sky is perfect either...)
14th Nov 2003, 02:16
I think that, by and large, the BBC does reasonably OK where aviation is concerned. Mostly "gosh - lookee here" programmes for general consumption, but anything that raises awareness without being sensationalist or patronising is generally OK with me.
Sky's success in the UK market is due largely to an exclusive deal to show live Premier League soccer (that's football everywhere else in the world) and a small number of "high profile" shows and movies.
The vast bulk of their output is dross. And as for their news coverage......:zzz:
14th Nov 2003, 04:15
And don't forget Iran, Malaysia and Greece, whose PM said that Greece will defeat the Jews!
The 20 countries are all Arab countries except Jordan and Egypt. Any mid-east map will show them.
14th Nov 2003, 07:32
Theres certainly a left wing bias in the BBC Wino. The organisation as a whle has admitted as much. As you pointed out there are many who enter education or the media out of some desperate attempt to change the world, which over the last generation has led to both becomming either left leaning or, worse, run by glib liberals.
The BBC however only advertises its jobs in the left wing broadsheet, complaining that they do not get a sufficient response from other papers....
The BBC does occasionally pay top dollar, though as soon as you can mention the word celebrity by your name the likelihood is that one of the commercial stations will offer a nice fat contract. The news personnel are hardly celebrities though judging by the number of them living in Richmond I would imagine they do rather well, if not out of book deals etc. Generally lifers I'd say though, anyone after the money would sod off pretty quickly.
Money dosn't make an organisation biassed, though the need to justify further donations can do, which in turn would be down to a lack of money. I doubt any of the organisations we are talking about is particularly impecunious.
Surely if the BBC were as thoroughly unbiassed as has been purported by some then we should have at least one of the usual suspects complaining about their deeply entrenched bias against glib liberals or loony lefties.
Ahhh, silence. :p
14th Nov 2003, 09:59
If by left wing bias you mean, bias towards New Labour and against the Conservatives, I agree.
I don't think it affects news items, but most of the top interviewers are New Labour supporters and their support for the government/dislike of the Tories shows where domestic issues are concerned.
Thanks for the correction.
Apologies for my mistake. I'll edit my earlier posts.
14th Nov 2003, 11:48
To equate the "best and the brightest" with impartiality is just stupidity.
14th Nov 2003, 20:03
As for those countries that are supposed to be at war with Israel, I've looked at the map, and can only see 4 (or possibly 5) that border Israel.
They are Lebanon and Syria to the north, Jordan to the east and Eqypt to the southwest. Include Saudi Arabia if you reckon the Gulf of Aqqaba counts as a border.
On Israel's longest borders, both Jordan and Eqypt have signed peace treaties with Israel, so I doubt you could argue that there's a war going on there.
As for the remainder of all Arab countries, if they wanted to attack Israel they would have to go over or through one of the above, which would be a serious breach of the relevant peace treaties, and the rest of the world would probably quite like to get involved fairly rapidly.
I haven't heard of any acts of aggression recently on the part of anyone not bordering Israel, so I think it's down to Lebanon and Syria. GWB has got his beady little eye on Syria right now, so I think that's taken care of, which leaves Lebanon.
If there is a war going on, I think we'd also have to consider the possibility of incidences of Israel attacking units or installations in those countries, and I haven't heard much of that lately, either.
Of course by that logic huggy, Afghanistan had nothing to worry about when they wouldn't hand over Osama either...
Not having border doesn't mean they don't have to worry.
See the many Oranization of American states cases before the International tribunal...
Or Cubans in Africa for that matter...
14th Nov 2003, 22:06
Your logic is severely lacking, Wino.
Afghanistan refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden. The US (and allies) went to war.
Bubbette stated that Israel is already at war with 20 countries. That's rather different. I was pointing out what a total nonsense her statement is.
14th Nov 2003, 22:13
The war startedin 1948 and has continued since. If you people refuse to pick up a history book, and *still* believe there are "Palestinian refugees" from 1948(!), I fail to see why you have trouble accepting the fact that the war is still on. Let me remind you of the players: 5m Israelis vs 284m Arabs.
14th Nov 2003, 22:28
So which countries is Israel at war with, Bubbette? The question has been asked several times and still you refuse to give a direct answer to a direct question.
14th Nov 2003, 23:13
OH, I made a mistake. Israel is at war with no countries. Sorry.
15th Nov 2003, 01:43
Bubbette...an admission of error....an apology.....a straight answer????
I can't cope with this, I must be ill.....I am going to lie down in a dark room until I am sure reality is actually real.
15th Nov 2003, 02:07
OMG you guys don't get sarcasm? More importantly, 22 Arab countries declared war on Israel in 1948 and only two have signed "peace" (more like non-agression, as relations are not normal) treaties?
For you lazy people who can't do a yahoo search for an Arab map:
"Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen." And don't forget Iran! And who knows what will be in the future, as the 53 heads of state who supported the head of the Islamic States' statement that the final solution must be imposed on the Jews!
15th Nov 2003, 06:10
You are a passer of falsehoods.
You know fine well that there has been no formal declarations of war between Israel and any of the countries mentioned.
You have made a statement many pages back as a throw away line and have spent the last several days hoping that everyone would forget it and move on. That has backfired on you on a massive scale. Rather than admit your mistake like a grown up you have persisted with the line that a state of open warfare exists between Israel and, what started as 20 but then grew to 22 and as of your last post has grown to 53 seperate countries.
You have two problems with this statement.
1) To get the 53 states to agree on anything as complex as the colour of the carpet at a meeting would be a herculean feat
2) If you were right and the 22 ( although you only named 21 so who did you miss out) were to be at war with Israel as opposed to simply hating Israel, then I am sure that some news about it would have leaked out. If only on the BBC to say "that the glorious forces of Islam had dealt a blow to the State of Israel" ( before you or Danny get your knickers in a twist that was satire)
So here is what I propose.
1) You post the following :-
"I retract the statement about 22 Arab countries being at war with Israel"
2) Everyone else lets leave this subject and move on as it is boring, pointless and not going anywhere useful
That is hopefully the last I will have to say on the matter.
Take care of yourself Bubette
15th Nov 2003, 06:57
I have opted out of debating on here for a while, and a certain member is on my ignore list anyway so I don't get to read what ******** says anyway anymore!
Call it self-inflicted censorship if you like, but it's better for my blood pressure.
I don't intend to get roped into this one either. :}
15th Nov 2003, 07:26
How good of you to tell us, by posting on the thread, that you are not going to post on the thread... :rolleyes:
Flaunting the contents of one's kill file is a tactic I havn't seen since my undergrad days. Even then it seemed remarkably childish.
As I recall, and I could be wrong here, the reason there was never a formal declaration of war was simply down to the fact that none of the Arab League recognised Israel's right to exist, and therefore her statehood...
Anyway formal declarations are somewhat oldhat and only apply to all out conflict. There is a multitude of scenaria short of all out war which, linguistically at least, supports Bubbette's assertions. If someone were to mention the Falkland's war then it would be a mighty pedant who pointed out that war was never declared in that particular conflict.
Pedantries aside, it is a fact that a state of open hostility, antagonism and contention has existed between Israel and the Arab states listed, which was the crux of the point rather than the semantics.
15th Nov 2003, 08:23
So even when I say nothing, I get criticised for saying nothing. Or at least saying that I am saying nothing. There was actually a point to the post which you would have realised if you had thought about it, you are not stupid. I shouldn't comment on the fact that you are accusing me of childish tactics so I won't.
Presumably you thought my post was directed at you, which it wasn't. Nor is it a 'tactic', and why you interpret it as such I do not know.
Chaffers, there are some people who either can't or won't listen to reason. I have given up trying to reason with such people. I continue to find it somewhat incredible that in this case such a person purports to have a 'legal' mind - ie a mind which understands that in any conflict there are always two sides to the argument, and that both will have at least some reasonable supporting evidence.
Given this person's record and reputation here, your claim that there is evidence to support their assertions is not likely to convince your audience.
15th Nov 2003, 09:37
Wedgey I didn't assume that your post was about me, didn't even cross my mind that Chaffers had 8 letters. I couldn't see any point to the post other than insinuating ill feeling towards a regular poster though.
Just because you don't like a person's views it does not mean they have nothing worth listening to. Picking up on minutae and fulminating against their will isn't a particularly illuminating form of debate.
There was, as far as I can see, no point whatsoever to your earlier post. None which helped the argument at hand anyway. Not that I normally take umbrage to such things, unless such a post is likely to refocus, i.e. hijack, my own bloody thread! It's not often that I start one....
Strange that arguments which you cannot see are unconvincing to you. If your blood pressure is affected then maybe you are doing something wrong. It strikes me that often the message is clear, if unyielding, yet the only target for the feeding frenzy of the indignant is the phraseology used. Thrombose debate ensues and the insults fly, though generally in just the one direction.
Bubbette is no fool, the same cannot be said of all those who argue against her. The adversarial system is apparently somewhat misunderstood, though should you ever end up with defence counsel who is happy to compromise then I trust you may have plenty of time to ponder on the issue.
Personally I'd rather have Bubbette defending my corner, though I personally doubt she would have much joy defending against claims of bias in the BBC.
15th Nov 2003, 20:10
With great respect, the "adversarial system is apparently somewhat misunderstood ........" by you.
Counsel never prepared to compromise a point consistently lose. It's a mistake sometimes made by the newly qualified who, being inexperienced, confuse fighting their corner with stubborn intransigence. They haven't yet learned that compromising a point when appropriate, or even conceding it entirely when it's a bad point, gives the advocate greater credibility when making good points. Stubbornly refusing ever to do so rarely impresses anyone, except for some of the less intelligent clients who think their counsel is wonderful - well, until the verdict anyway. ;)
Ignoring or sidestepping opponents' good points only works if they let you get away with it; if they don't, you have to answer or lose credibility. Similarly, effective advocates don't stubbornly refuse to ackowledge any flaws/weaknesses in their own arguments. Compromising or conceding points when appropriate doesn't mean compromising or conceding one's entire case.
Above all, the art of the advocate is to persuade, and that isn't achieved by alienating the audience. You've probably noticed that even Danny and Wino, who are active contributors on Bubbette's side of the argument, occasionally find it necessary to dissociate themselves from her arguments.
I agree Bubbette is no fool, and no doubt she's very successful in her chosen speciality. However, if her contributions to discussions on Ppune are typical of her style, a good advocate she most definitely is not. I've taught advocacy to young barristers for many years and I'd be very happy to use Bubbette's style as a classic illustration of how not to do it.
Concession: Although, like Wedge, I've never once see the slightest sign that Bubbette has a legally trained mind (in this context, an ability to look at an issue objectively), I concede it's possible she might be an effective advocate if she's not emotionally involved. As she only participates in discussions on the one topic dear to her heart, I've not had an opportunity to form an opinion.
I don't wish to hijack your thread. My intention was only to correct your misunderstanding of advocacy in the adversarial system.
Isn't Pprune a wonderful place? We come from different walks of life and can learn so much from each other's expertise. Please don't be offended - I know nothing about computer programming. :)
Back to your topic .............
15th Nov 2003, 21:22
Well of course FL has put it far better than I have, but he makes my point for me.
I was not insinuating ill feeling towards Bubbette, but towards her views, and perhaps moreover the way in which she presents them. When she refuses to concede even the most inconsequential point, she is rather like the hard-line Israeli who believe conceding one square inch of the State of Israel would be blasphemy. Or (in the interests of balance) the hard-line Palestinian for whom the State of Israel is a satanic abomination and must be destroyed at all costs.
In order to persuade your audience (and I speak as someone with only a very basic understanding of the art of advocacy), your arguments must appear, above all, reasonable. In other words, open to question, open to scrutiny, but reasonable under such question and scrutiny. Bubbette's arguments never appear reasonable to me. I have read them over and over, and tried very hard to reason with her, and every time I have failed. So I have given up trying to reason with her. And as a result I don't see why I should be subjected to her offensive posts.
Bubbette's postings do not persuade me, they alienate me. As FL said once, like him, they 'push' me into a more pro-Palestine position. They make me want to get on a plane to Tel-Aviv, go to the West Bank and stand in front of IDF tanks waving a Palestinian flag.
Apologies for the diversion.
My opinion on the question FWIW, is this:
The BBC, notwithstanding certain elements with it which Danny has alluded to, tries as hard as it can to be even-handed in the coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. However, in a conflict as intractable, and heart-rending as this, I think it would be almost impossible to be entirely even handed at all times. And in general, in a conflict, the casual observer will more often than not tend towards the underdog. This is why I believe that for the casual observer, in this country at least, the 'default position' on Israel/Palestine is to side with the underdog, the Palestinians. This was the position that I took until I took the time to look into the arguments, the history and the politics more deeply.
This being the case, even ostensibly 'even handed' coverage in the UK will appear to be pro-Palestine at times. No doubt there are those in the BBC who are staunch pro-Palestinian and this will filter through in the coverage at times. In terms of the wider British media, I accept the argument that there is an anti-Israel bias, and again I think this is more the result of the observer tending to side with the underdog, the 'oppressed' rather than the 'oppressor'. While I don't believe it is underpinned by anti-Semitism, there may be such sentiments still present.
As a result of the educational qualities of this (admittedly Israel-biased) website, I now take a much more understanding view of the Israeli case, and defend the Israeli case when presented as one so often is with rabid anti-Israel sentiment, I am similarly 'pushed' into a more pro-Israeli stance by these people, but I have yet to come across one as stubborn as Bubbette. But then, I don't know any Palestinians.
16th Nov 2003, 02:45
Wedge, I do see Chaffers point, not withstanding the side order lecture on advocacy by FL, which in itself was most interesting.
You stated: "I have opted out of debating on here for a while, and a certain member is on my ignore list anyway so I don't get to read what ******** says anyway anymore! Call it self-inflicted censorship if you like, but it's better for my blood pressure. I don't intend to get roped into this one either." My point is, if you are going to opt out, why not just opt out? I regularly make a post and then sit back and watch how a thread develops before replying, assuming I do reply. It is most infuriating watching some people treat these forums and threads, such as this one in particular, as though they are a live chat room!
I and many of the other debaters are quite able to make a point knowing full well that those on the other side of the debate are never going to change their views. What we don't feel the need to do is to argue a point back and forth in some macabre attempt to force the other person to agree or else make them go away. You are abel to make very valid points from time to time and you tend not to get into the totally miserable head banging that a few of the posters indulge in... that is until you replied to Chaffers valid point that you didn't have to announce to all and sundry that you were not going to partake in this thread! What would happen if everyone who has registered on PPRuNe but wasn't partaking in this debate decided to announce their non-participation?
If you don't like what Bubbette has to say then either counter it with something or else, better still, just ignore it. We all know that she has a tendency to make wild statements that have not been carefully thought through. In my opinion, Bubbette does herself and her argument no favours by painting her cause with such a wide brush. Worse still, she manages to diverge a thread almost instantly by associating things that are totally irrelevant to the topic. Occasionally though, she does come in with some valid points. It's just a pity, as FL pointed out, that she gets too passionate at times and doesn't display the qualities that one would expect from someone trained in the law and how to use and defend it.
Now, see what you've managed to do? You've made me diverge from the topic of this thread too. You and Bubbette are just as bad as each other sometimes. Well, You, Bubbette, Huggy, Cas, Pater, OW22(?), Chaffers, West Coast, Wino and even me... sometimes. It would be much better if everyone were able to make their point with the understanding that you will never convince your opponent to change their fundamental view. Occasionally, if we're lucky, a few of us, even you by your own admission, will get a slightly different viewpoint that we may not have considered and will agree to concede on a point or two. Well, everyone except Bubbette! We can still hope though!
For someone who 'opted out', you certainly did get roped into this one! Now... back to the topic... or else! :rolleyes:
16th Nov 2003, 07:12
Personally I'm just happy that I managed to use the word fulminating correctly whilst pissed at 2am. :)
FL has a valid point about the adversarial system, however most of the contentious points wrt Bubbette seem to come down to moral issues rather than the facts. I was clearly remiss in generalising on a point or order.
Do you also consider that a competent lawyer would compromise on such issues? Surely if advocating the stance and actions taken by an individual, reading the jury aside, you must be able to propose their actions as being reasonable with regards to the situation, or perceived situation faced.
I put it to you that such issues cannot be compromised or conceded. As has been shown in recent threads your moral stance is dependant upon your perspective. Whilst it is one's morals which show themselves as indignation towards the Israeli state's actions, so it is the plight and security concerns of the Israelis which dictate their actions.
You may consider the morality that extends from particular religious beliefs to be skewed or not in keeping with your own, however Bubbette is the only regular contributor who holds such values. I still find the personal abuse which she receives, due to her lone stance, to be more akin to bullying than debate.
Then again I doubt, and hope, that it bothers her not one bit.
16th Nov 2003, 08:40
Points taken Danny. I did just 'opt out' for a while and for some reason I decided to make a point of it last night on this thread. Sorry to Chaffers for diverting his interesting thread.
And you are quite right Danny.....I did get roped in!........I find it very hard....if not impossible not to, having made the first post!
See, even I can concede a point from time to time... :rolleyes:
16th Nov 2003, 08:47
The BBC routinely accepts the statements of terrorists as facts, and never questions them. This is a fact, not a moral statement.
16th Nov 2003, 09:28
A fact indeed.
Generally, whatever pretence at impartiality is attempted, the opposing faction will be given a chance to put their view.
Now media luvvies have many techniques by which they can put their own views across. The most usual method being to plaster ones face with a look of distain and qustion whether their extreme views are really coherent.
Noticeable that the IDF is rarely even accorded such pleasantries. Rumour reported as fact and eye witness accounts accepted as gospel even when the 'witness' is almost certainly a beligerant themselves.
Reminds me of the poor innocent civilian soul calously blown up by the evil Americans in defiance of yada yada whilst merely trying to bring his humble yak and worldly possessions to market in his small satchel. Only later did sharp eyed observers note the miltary uniform under the hospital sheets...
16th Nov 2003, 10:27
*Note to self - you have got roped into the debate*
I don't accept that it's a fact that the BBC unquestioningly accepts the statements of Terrorists as 'facts'. It is one of the first rules of journalism to check and double-check your sources and wherever possible corroborate your story with third party witnesses.
The BBC reports the statements of Palestinian terror groups as the statements of Palestinian terror groups. In the same way it reports the statements of the Israeli government and the IDF.
I would suggest in contradiction to Chaffers' point that the IDF is given the opportunity to put their view - for example the BBC documentary last week about the killing of cameraman James Miller. The IDF were given ample opportunity to put their side of the story.
16th Nov 2003, 22:32
Documentaries are one thig Wedgey, three minute news reports are quite another. Think about the other side of the coin, what would happen if a western journalist was shot by the terrorists? It must have happened, though I don't remember any documentaries or investigations. More likely to be passed off merely as the perils of reporting from a conflict zone.
Anyone remember the Jenin massacre? Hundreds of civilians deliberately targetted by the IDF with executions and war crimes aplenty? Well, no actually. Plenty of eye-witness reports and conjecture, all favouring the Palestinian tale. I clearly remember the news reports about the allegations, must have totalled hours of airtime.
Six months later the UN report, which Israel didn't even contribute to fearing bias, barely got a mention. I imagine that most Beeb watchers still think of Jenin as being a massacre, which I think is just the way they want it.
I'm not usually one for posting links but .this article (http://www.barnettimes.co.uk/features/newsfeatures/display.var.427956.0.uk_media_blasted_over_israel.php) seems to be rather good. I'd never thought about the Israeli's PR effort
18th Nov 2003, 18:00
Ref BBC & Israel, I see pictures of Israeli soldiers beating the cr^p out of Palestinians and shooting cowering civilians (accidentally?). I also see pictures of the torn and burnt bodies resulting from Palestinian bombs.
Seems even handed reporting to me but then, I'm not involved.
On the UK front I perceive reporting biased towards the Labour government but then, as a sometime right winger, I would, wouldn't I?
18th Nov 2003, 21:21
I sometimes wonder whether those who allege bias realise the BBC and the rest of the British media report deaths on both sides of the divide.
Do they imagine we don't see reports in gory technicolour of the terrible carnage and human misery caused by the Palestinian suicide bombers?
I followed your link to a report of the debate held in a North London synagogue but found nothing startling, or even new, in the comments made. Poor Israeli PR is the explanation now commonly advanced by Sharon supporters for the increasing criticism of Israel's actions, the rationale being that the critics don't understand why the harsh policies are necessary. The suggestion is akin to what is often asserted in Prune discussions - 'You obviously don't understand or you'd agree with my opinion.'
The fact that the Israeli PR machine fails to convince all neutral obervers that all Israeli actions against Palestinians are justified doesn't necessarily mean it is ineffective. The alternative explanation, which may be unpalatable to some, is that independent obervers take into account all the Israeli PR and arguments, but still think Israel is now going too far. I've always been sympathetic to Israel's need to defend itself against extremists who resent its very existence and wish to destroy it, and I remain so, but that doesn't mean I approve of all recent Israeli actions against Palestinians.
As for Jenin, I have no sympathy whatsover with Israeli complaints about the media reporting of events. If Israel hadn't refused to allow international observers and journalists to witness what was happening, the problem wouldn't have occurred. There were atrocities, but thankfully not on the scale alleged by some Palestinians whose allegations were reported.
Its the moral equivelence that the BBC and everyone else seams to do between the suicide bomber and its victims that drives us all nuts.
I have seen far more stories about the suicide bomber, "oh what a tradgedy that this young woman would strap on a bomb and take her life..." vs the people she killed. Stony silence. Sorry, the one person who gets what she deserves in a suicide bombing is the bomber.
I have seen that countless times. Full reporting of all the alledged potential of the bomber. Not even a cursory glance at the victims. And complete moral equivlence between the death of the bomber and his vicitms.
Sorry, you won't convince me that it is fair and balanced.
As for Jenin, everyone complains when they use a missle in a TARGETED attack on a militant, insisting that they go in and grab them in person instead. When the Israelis try that and lose DOZENS of troops in the process, you are still crucifying them. That they didn't bring press with them doesn't bother me at all. Their losses were high enough just acting on their own.
18th Nov 2003, 21:50
A TRC is a great idea but those in positions of power in the Middle East are not interested in it. At the moment both the PA and the Israeli govt are happy to let the situation continue at the expense of their citizens. Those in power on both sides are afraid of peace.
Now I am sure I will get blasted by the usual suspects for having simplified a situation they would have you believe is too complex to be resolved and therefore we should all step back and not even try.
“Think about the other side of the coin, what would happen if a western journalist was shot by the terrorists? It must have happened, though I don't remember any documentaries or investigations. More likely to be passed off merely as the perils of reporting from a conflict zone.”
As usual Chaffers you tenuous grasp of logic or reality has let you down. A journalist is killed by a rifle shot aimed at them while going about their job has been murdered. It is hardly news or surprising if it is by someone already operating outside the law. When it is by the forces of law and order then it is newsworthy no matter what country it happens in. This is not unique to Israel.
18th Nov 2003, 21:58
You miss the point FL. Its not a case of poor PR, its complete lack of PR, or spin.
Theres nothing in life lazier than a journalist, they clearly prefer being handed a press release whilst sipping a few G+T's and rarely question whatever is within. This is a self evident to anyone with specialist knowledge who has picked up a newspaper.
If anything this mitigates the bias, though to argue that the coverage given Jenin was reasonable is pure guff. It may be unpalatable to you but the UN report roundly condemned the Palestinians for depositing fighters within the civilian population.
18th Nov 2003, 22:24
There is nothing more lazy than the continual tarring of every single journalist as a 'media luvvie', and the predictable, boring and innaccurate references to the way that they all go about their job.
Of course there are cr@<hidden> and unscrupulous journos (on both sides of this particular debate), as there are cr@<hidden> and unscrupulous lawyers, teachers, doctors, IT professionals and probably every other profession!
I know media bashing is a favourite past-time of some on here, and sometimes it is justified. To label all journalists as lazy, is quite frankly, very lazy.
18th Nov 2003, 23:04
I'm working at the BBC at this moment Wedgey. :)
If you want some sources for journalists being lazy I'll be happy to supply them. I'm sure your rant will be appreciated by all of the non-lazy journalists out there, somewhere.
Public relations is effective mainly due to the laziness of journalists, effectively being given news in an easily digestable format to suit the image of the giver. Pretty basic stuff.
The Israelis tend not to get involved, partly due to apathy that the media are biassed. It partly mitigates some of the coverage, but dosn't in any way excuse it.
19th Nov 2003, 04:12
"You miss the point FL." :D Of course I do, Chaffers. After all, if I understood the point I'd agree with you, wouldn't I. :rolleyes:
There are, however, some points in your latest posts I confess I don't understand:
I don't doubt you see lazy journalists whilst 'working at the BBC at this moment', but I don't understand how that makes you feel competent to judge the quality and ability of war correspondents out in the field.
I agree UN inspectors condemn where condemnation is deserved, but I don't understand why you think the UN's condemnation of Palestinian conduct in Jenin may be unpalatable to me. The UN was critical of both sides, and rightly so.
As to your later post, I agree PR can be very effective for the reasons you give, but are you suggesting reporters covering events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict simply file their stories from Press Releases?
20th Nov 2003, 02:37
back to the thread..
Chaffers had it right about the BBC once being the gold standard; alas, no more.
Going back over thirty years, my personal recollection is that the Beeb, in the form or World Service radio broadcasting, was the least biased and most accurate news source- in Africa, PNG, Europe or wherever.
Until very recently I used to enjoy a BBC thirty minute news show carried by my local cable service provider. I gradually (during the Iraq war, and after), forced myself to watch it in the interest of 'balance'. I no longer bother. The anchor(s) and reporters were becoming increasingly guilty of editorialising, selective use of commentators etcetera... all of the stuff in accusations about lack of balanced coverage. At one time , immediately preceding the Beeb programming, was a similar news programme produced by ITN, also in international format. This was yanked many months ago, but even then it's product was superior to that of (this production source) of the BBC.
24th Nov 2003, 08:22
Good points all FL, though easily refuted I feel. Thank you for the chance to clarify my points.
Once one becomes used to receiving PR handouts, one becomes somewhat dependant upon them. This is the role, and the stated objective, of PR. It is not merely in the realm of international reporting that standards have slipped, I could find many articles, by veteran journalists of unimpeachable quality, bemoaning the state of the profession and the decline in investigative reporting in particular. Any clever boys in the audience who think the two might be related?
The BBC does not claim to achieve objectivity, merely balance. To achieve balance requires that both sides of the story be given, however as the Israeli state refrains from almost all forms of spin it is necessary to seek out an official opinion when filing a report. It would appear that this is not always possible, or at the very best weak, probably deliberately, and turgid when it is.
It is possible that journalistic laziness and tight dealines could possibly account for some of this. Only some though, at some point a reliable and creditworthy news agency should seek out the other side's view.
Reporters do not hang around the West Bank hoping to report on acts of generosity on the part of the Israelis. Nor do they hang around market squares hoping to catch the instant that a suicide bombers decides to take as many Israeli lives as possible.
Maybe they form some strange sect of the Merkava spotter's club or perhaps they hope to film something newsworthy? The only newsworthy thing of course is IDF forces shooting at rioters, which will be played endlessly. That there is justification for these acts is brushed over, maybe partly, but only partly and in the short term, for the reasons given above.
Reporters need news, it is, I think you will find, their job. Same old shit is not news, state brutality is. We are supposed to believe that Palestine could become an internationally respected actor, yet all we ever see from this small enclave is barbarism.
That this barbarism is reported in such meek terms and the resultant action vilified gives me the distinct impression that balance is merely a weak excuse for a complete, and deliberate, lack of objectivity....
*Edited to say that I feel this thread stands on its own merits without the usual suspects diverting it along entirely predictable routes.*
25th Nov 2003, 02:56
Did anyone else catch the statement from Ariel Sharon today?
It was reported on two national radio stations here in the UK yet I can find no coverage of it online.
Did I dream it?
25th Nov 2003, 03:25
These comments? Try the jpost.com website and also haaretzdaily.com
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday told Likud MKs that there would be no additional concessions to the Palestinians before high-level meetings.
Sharon added he would not make any concessions or ease restrictions on the Palestinians in order to get Israeli-Palestinian meetings to start. "If they want to meet then we'll meet, if they don't want to meet then we wont meet," the Prime Minister said Monday afternoon at the Likud faction meeting.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia told the Dubai-based Al Arabiya satellite channel Monday that he hopes reports on Sharon's willingness to dismantle settlements and ease the Palestinians' suffering were not "a propaganda stunt."
He called on Sharon to take "serious steps" to pave the way for a resumption of talks between the two sides.
Among other things, Qureia demanded that Israel stop the building of a barrier separating it from the West Bank, halt settlements expansion, ease the suffering of the Palestinians and lift the travel ban imposed on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, for his part, said that the government's decision on the route of the fence "wont be changed. Period," Sharon said in an answer to a question from MK Gideon Saar.
Sharon strongly denied reports in Ha'aretz that said he would open the discussion of the route of the fence at a later date.
"Don't be impressed by press reports," he told Likud members. "We will not wait for them forever; nor will we wait for repeated cabinet changes. If there is no progress, we will take unilateral steps, " Sharon said.
"The best path in making progress with the Palestinians is via the road map. That is the best way to achieve a ceasefire and the dismantlement of the terror infrastructure. If the Palestinians cooperate the will be on their way to an independent Palestinian state," Sharon said.
He said the "painful concessions" that he was willing to make now might not be on the table in the future. "What they didn't receive today, they won't necessarily receive tomorrow. Unilateral steps means non-negotiable steps; and these won't always be to their benefit," he said.
"I have told the Palestinians that their time is not unlimited. I am against drawing timetables but there is a limit to our patience. Time is not unlimited; our patience is. There is no way we will continue to suppress our reaction to continuing acts of terror," the Prime Minister added.
25th Nov 2003, 03:25
According to today's Jerusalem Post 'Latest News': Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in an interview published Monday that anti-Semitism in Europe was behind criticism of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians and accused European governments of not doing enough to counter it.
Asked about a recent poll that found that found 59 percent of Europeans saw Israel as a threat to world peace, Sharon told the EUpolitix.com Web site that criticism of Israeli policies was linked to anti-Semitism.
"Today there is no separation. The state of Israel is the Jewish state and the attitude toward Israel runs accordingly."
He said the rising Muslim population in Europe was "certainly endangering the life of Jewish people."
Full report here. (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1069566497464&p=1008596981749)
25th Nov 2003, 03:28
That was the one.
25th Nov 2003, 03:31
Guess this kind of jives with the EU's suppression of a report on anti-Semitism that says Palestinians and Islamists are behind the rising incidents:
EU body shelves report on anti-semitism
By Bertrand Benoit in Berlin
Published: November 21 2003 21:10 | Last Updated: November 21 2003 21:10
The European Union's racism watchdog has shelved a report on anti-semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents it examined.
25th Nov 2003, 03:46
Regulars on this forum won't be surprised to learn that you-know-who's summary of the EU report and the reasons it wasn't published "kind of jives with" her usual standard of accuracy and honesty.
I also agree with it, The new fashionable antisemitism in Europe is called Anti-zionism, but its the same thing... In 1939 the refrain was Jews to Palestine. Now the refrain is Jews out of palestine, but the net result is the same, Jews nowhere at all...
The moral equivelence granted by the European Newsmedia between the homicide bombers and the troops trying to prevent terrorism is akin to calling the arsonist and the firefighter equally to blame.
There was a very good article about antisemitism in Europe in a recent article in USnews and world report. I will see if I can find an online link for you. Summed it up quite nicely. Painted a very bad view of the UN as an antisemetic bully club.
the link is here, but you have to pay.
Its worth while and goes very much into the differnt views of Israel and jews in America as opposed to Europe.
PS I found a reprint here that is free
25th Nov 2003, 04:26
Regulars on this forum won't be surprised to learn that you-know-who's summary of the EU report and the reasons it wasn't published "kind of jives with" her usual standard of accuracy and honesty. Flying Lawyer, it'snot my summary, it's the Financial Times' summary. But are you saying that there is no rise in the number of anti-Semitic acts in Europe? Or that there is not more Palestinian and Islamic hate against Jews in Europe? Do you ever pick up a European newspaper?
25th Nov 2003, 05:43
but the net result is the same, Jews nowhere at all...
A rather extraordinary claim. You should be well aware, as an American, that there are very well assimilated Jewish communities all over the Western world and beyond. I have a feeling that you and Bubbette might be Jews living in America, but you will correct me if I am wrong of course.
I am not convinced of the necessity for a Jewish homeland, but I also believe that in the light of the events of the 20th century Israel has a right to exist. So I'm not an anti-Zionist, but to suggest anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism is an insidious lie.
Sharon can go on about criticism of Israel being by definition anti-Semitic, but he is wrong, and he is falling back as always on the convenient and repugnant lie that all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism. I am hugely critical of the Likud administration, and so are a large number of Jews. They must be anti-Semitic too, I suppose.
The UN is not an anti-Semitic bully club. There are of course anti-Israeli elements within it.
25th Nov 2003, 06:13
We know what Sharon thinks.
At the other hand a recent poll (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=466568) showed that revealed that 55.6 per cent of Palestinians and 53 per cent of Israelis backed the principles of the Geneva Accords.
The new fashionable antisemitism in Europe is called Anti-zionism, but its the same thing... In 1939 the refrain was Jews to Palestine. Now the refrain is Jews out of palestine, but the net result is the same, Jews nowhere at all...wino, your comparison with 1939 is complete and utter bull. I have never seen any article in European newspapers or other media which denies the right for Israel to exist. Perhaps you can provide us a link to back your statement?
25th Nov 2003, 06:27
The UN is not an anti-Semitic bully club. There are of course anti-Israeli elements within it.
hahahahahaah hahahaha ahahahah, no, that's why Israel is not allowed to be a full member. . . hahahah
Oh, that speaks for itself! But so does the Daily Telegraph:
The topic in Conference Room 1 of the U.N. was human rights in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — a part of the world where human rights are fulfilled by simply waking up alive and where democratic republics are anything but.
The U.N. special rapporteur found no improvement in Burundi. Children were still being recruited as soldiers ; mass rape had increased and now was aimed at young boys as well as girls. The latter was “a new phenomenon,” said the rapporteur, Ms. Keita-Bocoum.
In the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, where 3 million people have died in the past five years of fighting, another U.N. special rapporteur described it as the “worst human rights situation in the world.” She footnoted a special concern for the unlucky children named as “sorcerers ” who were maimed or killed for their witchcraft.
It was business as usual. Before the early break for Ramadan, Burkina Faso, the Congo, and Zimbabwe cosponsored human rights resolutions. Sudan introduced one. The atmosphere remained clubby and cordial as the ambassador of Israel came to the microphone to present a resolution on behalf of Israeli children.
Ambassadors don’t normally present resolutions at the committee level, but since Israel had not presented one since 1978 (and that was withdrawn after the Syrians tied its future to negotiations with the PLO), it was a bit of a first. The Israeli resolution was a mirror copy of one sponsored by Egypt and passed (88-4 with 58 abstentions) in the General Assembly, three weeks earlier, underlining the need to protect the rights of Palestinian children.
That resolution was a bit of a first, too: No other group of children had been singled out for protection by the U.N. — neither the child soldiers in Burundi, nor the raped and mutilated girls and boys of the Congo, nor children in any other of the world’s impoverished or warring nations. By tacit agreement, children have always been considered universally at the U.N.
The delegates were polite as the ambassador, Dan Gillerman, spoke. He asked for security for Israeli, Palestinian, and all children of the world. He spoke of a “false reality” that pretends one side has a monopoly on victim status. He wished, he said, to prevent the blatant exercise of a double standard in the U.N.
He mentioned the deliberate bombing of discos, pizza parlors and school buses, almost exclusively used by children. When he finished, the session chairman did not ask the names of co-sponsors for the Israeli resolution because there were none. A discussion followed.. . . . .
The Syrian delegate strenuously opposed assistance of Israeli children and said that the resolution was procedurally wrong. . . . .
Unesco, Unicef, and Unrwa spend much of their time visiting Israel and condemning it. The General Assembly, unable to pass a single resolution condemning Palestinian terrorism, routinely condemns Israel and calls emergency sessions especially for the purpose.
How sad, Wedge. do you never pick up a newspaper and read about the UN?
25th Nov 2003, 06:28
Wino, you'll win no friends here by lumping all Europeans under the heading "anti-semite" and comparing us to the Nazis, however obliquely. Don't forget that our forefathers learned about the iniquities of Nazism at first-hand, often terminally.
If I thought that was what you were saying then I, for one, would be thoroughly disgusted.
Are there no anti-semites in the USA?:E
25th Nov 2003, 06:31
wino, your comparison with 1939 is complete and utter bull. I have never seen any article in European newspapers or other media which denies the right for Israel to exist. Perhaps you can provide us a link to back your statement? Kaos, All those who criticize Israel's defense of itself, are calling for Israel to self destruct, as would any other country. When the Jews didn't have a state, they were hated. Now that the Jews have a state, they are hated--what is with the gentile world?
25th Nov 2003, 06:49
Thanks for the link - I actually read the article last week. Of course it paints "a very bad view of the UN as an antisemetic bully club" but, given the writer, that's hardly surprising is it? Surely you don't put Mortimer B. Zuckerman forward as a neutral or objective commentator?
A recent example of Zuckerman's thinking is his description of the anti-war marchers in London last week as "anti-American Saddamites." Hardly the sign of a neutral and objective commentator.
He's a regular contributor to the Jewish World Review, a publication/website which vociferously supports Israeli policy and encourages its subscribers to e-mail pro-Israel articles to others.
Barbara Amiel, wife of Conrad Black owner of (amongst numerous other organs) the Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post is another. You may not be familiar with Amiel's writing, but I don't think she would claim to be a balanced, neutral commentator. Black is notorious here for his strict editorial control of what his journalists and columnists say. I don't think even the evil crackpot would find much, if anything, to complain about in the DT's coverage of Middle East topics. ;)
I'm sure you know Zuckerman is also editor-in-chief and publisher of U.S. News and World Report which always takes a strongly pro-Israel line and (I think) Chairman or publisher of the New York Daily News which I believe also espouses a pro-Israel line.
Zuckerman is a prolific writer many of many articles which are militantly pro-Israel, and anti-Palestinian in the extreme.
He's a clever man who cleverly tries to make Americans believe that supporting Israel against the Palestinian cause is part of the worldwide WoT and, since 9/11, has ruthlessly capitalised on Americans' understandable fears arguing that they must support Israeli actions if they are to protect themselves from further terrorist atrocities. For example:
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no longer an argument over land. It is nothing less than a front line in the West's battle with terrorism. ..... The terrorists that took over the Palestinian Authority - terrorists in Arafat's Fatah - are now plainly indistinguishable from the fanatics in Hamas whose goal has always been the eradication of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. .America shares these concerns because these terrorists are the enemies of humanity. Today they arouse the Arab street. Tomorrow they will cause this street to send new disciples practicing this ritual of human slaughter to the West, to Europe and the United States."
I don't automatically reject what publications supporting one side or the other say, but a degree of scepticism is wise if the site is partisan.
I find B'Tselem (http://www.btselem.org/) very balanced, and respect the views expressed on Rabbis for Human Rights (http://www.rhr.israel.net/statement.shtml)
Going back to the topic of the thread, and bearing in mind comments which have been made about the alleged shortcomings of official Israeli PR:
Would you agree that the Israeli government has a rather good network of supporters in influential positions in publishing/media worldwide?
NB: For the avoidance of doubt, when I use the term 'pro-Israel' in this context, I mean pro-Israeli government policies. (I'm pro-Israel in the broader sense although, as you know, not pro all the Sharon government's policies and actions in recent times.
25th Nov 2003, 08:16
Well I'm not Jewish, nor do I live in America. I don't have any connections to Conrad Black or any of the other Jews who oh so clearly control the press, world finances, and indirectly the American government. I can't even say that I know many Jewish dudes, though I can still smell the stink of deep bias a long way off.
Yes there are publications which have some semblance of balance, though clearly they are merely labelled as pro-Israeli and ignored in favour of publications which are friendlier to the attitudes of certain readers. How dare anyone oppose the party line, without being an obvious extremist. How dare someone with a Jewish name write in support of the Israeli's plight?
How could a war on terrorism not include the Palestinian terrorists, and how can a writer be pro-Israeli and not be perceived to be anti-Palestinian? Sounds as though you could be writing press releases for a living FL.
Interesting that merely days after Gibraltar voting overwhelmingly to remain British (which was rather embarrassing for the government of the day) there appeared several news stories about the peninsula being used for drug smuggling, money laundering and other such nasties. PR isn't merely about supporting one side, implanting any form of negative image in the minds of men, especialy feeble men, is enough to promote negative attitudes towards the target.
I doubt even the most rabid would describe the DT's coverage as propagandist, though taking count of the negative stories and connotations continually associated with Israel in other sources would be a lifetime's work.
Insinuating that bias is acceptable in the mainstream media due to Jewish influence over certain publications makes you sound like a Nazi spokesman FL. That you raise the issue with regards to certain publications, whilst, in the same post, decrying their content for being irrelevant due to their origins, beggars belief.
The article was first carried in USnews and world report to the best of my knowledge. They are not a pro Israel magazine, and on the whole are left leaning and somewhat balanced I guess. That the JWR website picked it up is not suprising considering the content, as they do scan and reprint articles for their agenda. But remember where it appeared FIRST...
Many of the points raised in the article really are indesputiable, especially the refugees and the UN actions under the 4th geneva convention which were so rediculous as to make a case by themselves for the UN disbandment.
His point about Jews being their own most prolific critics is worth remembering as well. That a Jew would criticize isreal should not be suprising or shocking or necesarily be a strike against Israel. On the other hand if a muslim wrote something about Islam that is in the remotest bit unflattering you can expect a fatwah against you. (ask Salomon Rushdie...) Hell, half the Jews in the world don't even think the state of ISrael should exist untill the Messiah comes...
But the side notes about the self image of America and the self image of Israel (up by the bootstraps hardscrabble immigrant achievers) are important in understanding the US psyche towards Israel. It has less to do with terrorism and more to do with a common founding type, instead of just millenias of French/Germanic/Anglo people have lived in x, y and z and therefore our country exists... Two countries of people made to feel unwelcome else where pulling themselves up by their bootstraps...
25th Nov 2003, 09:06
US News and World Report is owned by a certain Mr. Mortimer B. Zuckerman.
25th Nov 2003, 16:44
Bubbette pls don't divert the subject a usual. There's no state in Europe which denies Israel the right to defend it's soil and the great majority of the European people believe that too.
I was adressing wino's ridiculous and tendentious comparison with the situation 1939. The fact that because there´s more attention for the Palestinian side than in the US, where I haven´t seen hardly any attention in the national press that direction at all, doesn´t mean that there´s automatically anti-semitism on the rise. Criticism should not be explained as anti-semitism, unless it serves to prevent an open discussion. Fact is , that I´ve hardly seen any of these discussions before Y2K....
25th Nov 2003, 17:32
I appreciate the article appeared in US News first, and agree the reason JWR would pick it up. I obviously haven't read every article Zuckerman's ever written about the Israel/Palestinian issue, but I've read quite a few - enough to form the view that he's very extreme and militant in his pro-Israel and his anti-Palestinian views. I underline 'and' because the two don't necessarily go together, and accept 'extreme' is subjective. You may be right that Jews generally are their own most prolific critics, but Zuckerman isn't one of them. ;)
I don't automatically reject everything partisan commentators on either side say but, as you've said many times with great force, their selection of facts, spin put on the facts and conclusions they seek to draw from them tend to be very biased. Nor do I reject all Zuckerman's 'facts.' Some are indeed facts; I disagree with the conclusions he says can be drawn from them.
eg There have been anti-Semitic attacks in Europe, but I don't agree with his conclusiuon that Europe is being swept by a growing wave of anti-Semitism. I accept many Europeans are less sympathetic to Israel now than they have been for decades, and it worries me for Israel, but I believe the chain of causation is reaction against what is widely considered to be Israel's over-reaction against Palestinians generally in response to the actions of Palestinian terrorists. Defensive/offensive, freedom fighter/terrorist - all inevitably subjective opinions.
There have been numerous attacks on Muslims in recent years. There was certainly a wave of anti-Islamic feeling in the UK following 9/11 and, although it seems to have calmed a little now, it still exists. Some people put forward reasoned arguments re the threat posed by Islam; others openly say 'I hate Muslims', without the slightest embarrassment.
The Europe Zuckerman describes (and you've described previously in similar terms) is not the Europe I see round about me in the UK. Like you, I'm keenly interested in politics and world issues and, having lived closely with a Jewish family (my in-laws) for many years, probably have a greater than average interest in Israel and matters which affect Jews, and a greater than average sensitivity to any form of anti-Semitism. Through the family, and independent friendships over many years with legal colleagues who are Jewish, my impression is that most Jews have an understandable loyalty to Israel, by no means all support the Sharon approach and none agree there's a wave of anti-Semitism.
Unfortunately (IMHO), people like yourself who hold what I think you'd agree are rather strong views on the Israel-Palestinian conflict are inclined to claim that any criticism of the current Israeli government policies or actions, whether in the media or expressed by individuals, is a symptom of anti-Semitism. In some instances it may be, but I don't believe it's true generally.
For some reason, you can't or won't accept there are people who (like me) have never had an ant-Semitic thought in their lives, who (like me) support the State of Israel and are opposed to those who'd deny it's right to exist in safety and peace, but who (like me) think Israel is currently going too far in it's response to Palestinian terrorists. You're entitled to think we're misguided or naive, but it's simply unfair to suggest we're anti-Semitic. Not all Jews support the Sharon line; there's a substantial minority of Israeli Jews living in Israel who don't.
You're alternative argument is that we're being duped by an anti-Israel/anti-Semitic press. I don't agree with your assessment of the press in this context but, in any event, credit us with some intelligence to sort out the wheat from the chaff and to think for ourselves.
I argued in my previous post that Zuckerman is one of those people who plays on the understandable post 9/11 fears of Americans to try to create a common (and IMHO artificial) cause. It's nothing new - within two days of 9/11, I got one of those 'pass it on' e-mails from a friend in California entitled 'We're all Jewish now.' I'd make a similar criticism of Zuckerman's side notes. He's again attempting to make Americans assume a common identity with Israel (up by the bootstraps hardscrabble immigrant achievers etc). It's a clever argument, and no doubt persuades some because there are superficial similarities, but I don't think it's a valid argument in support of Sharon's policies/recent actions against Palestinans - which are the only aspects I criticise in relation to Israel.
We've discussed the UN many times, so there's no point in going over old ground. We're agreed it has many shortcomings; we don't agree on the conclusions which can be drawn from those shortcomings.
Leaving aside it's approach to human rights (of Palestinians) for another thread, it's beyond argument that Israel is a democratic country where people are free to express their views. I don't think you'd expect me to defend the Islamic extremists' approach which is indefensible and evil.
Good discussion. :ok:
I don't respond to personally offensive posts. I've ignored your previous puerile personal comments, but enough is enough. You've demonstrated on a number of different threads that you're incapable of debating without resorting to personal attacks upon those with whom you disagree. That's your problem; I'm not prepared to make it mine.
I won't respond in kind. I reserve my comments of a personal nature for the only person on these forums for whom I genuinely have utter contempt because of the racist views she habitually expresses.
25th Nov 2003, 19:50
Insinuating that bias is acceptable in the mainstream media due to Jewish influence over certain publications makes you sound like a Nazi spokesman FL.
FL is not insinuating that bias is acceptable. What he is doing is drawing attention, quite reasonably to the owners of publications like US News and World report, and their fervent pro-Zionist view. I was not aware of Zuckerman's view and the way in which he has tried to link the Palestinian problem to the War on Terror, in so doing convincing some Americans that the Palestinians are the enemy of America - or even humanity, in the odious portrayal of the Palestinians that FL has posted above.
It is an incontrovertible fact that the political bias and views of the owner(s) of a medium of any kind will filter through into its reporting. Whether this is Rupert Murdoch's strong anti-Euro stance in The Times or Zuckerman's extreme Zionist view in US News and World Report, it is an unavoidable fact. Completely objective coverage is impossible. If I owned a newspaper, I would not want it to continuously portray the facts with a bias strongly against my own view. Nor, I suggest, would you Chaffers.
I don't have any connections to Conrad Black or any of the other Jews who oh so clearly control the press, world finances, and indirectly the American government.
To point out that the owners of DT and USNWP are Jewish, and exercise a strong pro-Israel stance over the editors of their publication, is not to suggest that there is a 'Jewish conspiracy' to take over the world as your above comment clearly implies. Your comments also imply that it is taboo and unmentionable to even talk about Jewish pro-Israel influence in the media. To many people it is, because of the fear of being labelled anti-Semitic. Rather like the way you (rightly) complain that to be opposed to the asylum policy is to risk being called a racist.
Your comments suggest that it is not allowed to talk about such topics, that Israel has a 'moral exemption' to its policies being subject to outside scrutiny, as Israeli novelist Amos Oz summed up in his 1982 book The Slopes of Lebanon:
"Our sufferings have granted us immunity papers, as it were, a moral carte blanche. After what all those dirty goyim have done to us, none of them is entitled to preach morality to us. We, on the other hand, have a carte blanche, because we were victims and have suffered so much. Once a victim, always a victim, and victimhood entitles its owners to a moral exemption".
The point being that Israel, because of its people's past, can do whatever it likes to the Palestinians. If you don't like it you are anti-Semitic. Unless you are Jewish, where the argument falls over, and is exposed for the lie that it is.
Your 'Nazi spokesman' comment is an outrageous slur - it is PC bully-boy tactics of the worst kind - and very hypocritical since on every other issue you claim to find such tactics so offensive.
A retraction and apology are in order, Chaffers
25th Nov 2003, 22:10
I can't see why FL is getting into such a Flap Wedgey, he knows fine well that his judicious editing of his previous post changed the tone considerably, whilst I was composing my reply. Then again if unwarranted offence was caused then I'm happy to hold out the olive branch.
Certainly this made the whole thing look far more reasonable. Indeed he evidently saw his original in a similar way to myself, in order to change it when he did. Quite right too, we all phrase things badly and leave an unintentional message in our posts on occasion.
I believe the chain of causation is reaction against what is widely considered to be Israel's over-reaction against Palestinians generally in response to the actions of Palestinian terrorists.
Poor grammar aside, you evidently see the decreasing sympathy for the Israelis as being well deserved. However by voicing this opinion you give large scale legitimacy to the terrorist acts which garnered the response. If you were aware that the role of terrorism is party to bring about a response out of all proportion to the original act, and therefore to show up the injustice in the system, then I doubt you would treat the suicide bombings so glibly and take the Palestinian centred moralistic approach that you do.
I very much agree that the harsher methods used by the IDF have been regrettable, though well shy of the level required to shift my sympathies. You appear to accept that the IDF actions are in response to terrorism, yet still show sympathy for the terrorists, and even their houses of all things. Israel has a security dilemma, after fighting for years to establish the new facts I think a greater understanding is required, rather than truffle hunting for snippets of moral turpitude.
In my view this is entirely unjustified, and the moralising from the realm of a pink fluffy cloud which emanates, truly sickening.
Surely it is obvious that in the War on Terrorism in general, and in the Middle East in particular, we cannot allow terrorist actions to be seen to gain political ground. By applying legitimacy to terrorist actions, by conceding to them or by symathising without roundly condemning, we indirectly affect the security of every state. The message from 911 couldn't have been clearer, 'bout time the media, and those they influence, listened.
25th Nov 2003, 23:16
Thanks very much for your effort, but it's really not worth bothering on my account.
Contrary to what's just been asserted, my edits made no change whatsoever to either the tone or meaning of my post. They were simpy grammatical changes, and the addition of a quote from an article by Mr Zuckerman which I couldn't find when I first posted so paraphrased from memory. The paraphrase and direct quotation both remain.
If he smells 'the stink of deep bias' in my posts, chooses to distort what I say or compare me with a Nazi spokesman, that's up to him. It would bother me if some people made such comments but, in this instance, I'm content to treat such comments with the contempt they deserve.
In contrast, Wino and I have managed to spar with each other on this and related topics for a long time without descending to personal attacks - although I'm sure we've each irritated the other from time to time. :)
I also posted the links to B'Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights when editing.
26th Nov 2003, 00:26
Bubette/Chaffers et al,
I would like to commend FL on the quote below.
“For some reason, you can't or won't accept there are people who (like me) have never had an ant-Semitic thought in their lives, who (like me) support the State of Israel and are opposed to those who'd deny it's right to exist in safety and peace, but who (like me) think Israel is currently going too far in it's response to Palestinian terrorists. You're entitled to think we're misguided or naive, but it's simply unfair to suggest we're anti-Semitic. Not all Jews support the Sharon line; there's a substantial minority of Israeli Jews living in Israel who don't.
You're alternative argument is that we're being duped by an anti-Israel/anti-Semitic press. I don't agree with your assessment of the press in this context but, in any event, credit us with some intelligence to sort out the wheat from the chaff and to think for ourselves”
I had spent sometime creating a similar post but feel to post anything other than a repeat of this would be to detract from what I feel is a fantastic piece of writing.
My problems with many of the people who criticize Israel is that they often offer no solution other than to simply absorb the killings and hope that they stop. History has proven quite the opposit to be the case.
As to the ability to seperate the wheat from the chaff is possible if you read A LOT. (As a lawyer I am quite sure that you do).
For those who watch TV, especially in Europe, it is not so easy however. From my own perspective (admittedly somewhat limited) I saw a clearly biased account of an incident I personally witnessed in Israel, with no counter or correct coverage of the incident ANYWHERE. (Even having sky digitial satalite TV) When Israeli soldiers RETURNING fire at snipers is portrayed on the BBC as Israeli's shooting at children simply because the children are throwing ricks, and then it is run with by the US networks without further comment, it is hard to see where someone could get a more balanced account, and therein lies most of Israel's problems.
Those that get their info from TV are hopeless, and unfortunately they are in the majority.
26th Nov 2003, 00:51
I have to agree with BHR on this - FL has accurately and precisely stated my personal position on this matter.
26th Nov 2003, 00:53
The issue is, as wino put it, the ridiculous criticism of Israel when absolutely none is applied to other countries, as well as the insistence that Israel not defend itself by applying methods it sees fit to crush terrorism. You are not interested in world justice; you are interesting in bashing Israel and the Jews. This is evident by your post. There is no reason to thinkthat you don't stray from the recent EU poll that Israel is on of the greatest threats to world peace.--which is ludicrous.
26th Nov 2003, 01:38
The Israel/Palestine conflict is one of the greatest threats to world peace, not one or other side on their own. I'm sure you consider Palestine to be 'one of the greatest threats to world peace' Bubbette, a claim as 'ludicrous' as to suggest that Israel is.
Hopefully I am not partisan in either direction, I try to look at the problems as impartially as possible. My response to Wino is that those who criticise Israel are not saying that Israel should put up with or 'absorb' suicide bombings, quite the reverse in fact; that to continue to respond in such a heavy handed manner only serves to perpetuate the cycle of violence. It would be a brave Israeli PM who refused to strike back every time the suicide bombers struck, but it would also be a wise Israeli PM, who understood that the solution to the problems lies in negotiation and compromise, not in war. George Bush himself has criticised the building of the security fence, quite rightly stating that it is an obstacle to the road map.
Poor grammar aside, you evidently see the decreasing sympathy for the Israelis as being well deserved. However by voicing this opinion you give large scale legitimacy to the terrorist acts which garnered the response.
Decreasing sympathy for the Likud administration is certainly well deserved, but don't for one moment assume I have any more sympathy for Arafat. I have not voiced anywhere that I have decreasing sympathy for the Israelis - you are making the flawed assumption that Israel = Likud. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For this reason, your 'large scale legitimacy' comment is utter nonsense and has no basis in logic. I am not, and have never, attempted to legitimise Palestinian terrorism, or even implied legitimacy, however obliquely.
If you were aware that the role of terrorism is party to bring about a response out of all proportion to the original act, and therefore to show up the injustice in the system, then I doubt you would treat the suicide bombings so glibly and take the Palestinian centred moralistic approach that you do.
Rather patronising here, Chaffers, and I can assure you I am well aware of the roles and aims of terrorism. To suggest I treat suicide bombings 'glibly' is not only mistaken, it is a bare faced lie.
26th Nov 2003, 03:35
The EU poll said Israel was the greatest thread--not "Palestine."
26th Nov 2003, 03:41
Of course it is not possible that the people polled made that decision based on Israel's actions. They had to have made it because they are Jewish. I mean if Israel was Buddhist and did what it now does then we Europeans would have no problem with it. (For those of a twitchy disposition the preceding passage is meant to be ironic)
26th Nov 2003, 03:50
My problems with many of the people who criticize Israel is that they often offer no solution other than to simply absorb the killings and hope that they stop. History has proven quite the opposit to be the case. The Roadmap was a combined effort by the US, Europe and Russia to solve the situation. Furthermore there's the Geneva Accord which, as I mentioned in above poll, is backed by a majority of both groups. Solutions are at hand but it seems the Sharon government is not interested. Many times the before 1967 situation is referred to as a solution.
as well as the insistence that Israel not defend itself by applying methods it sees fit to crush terrorism History shows that Israels strategy over the last 50 years did not solve the terrorist problem, in fact it only increased the last 3 years.
PS: well said FL:ok:
26th Nov 2003, 04:10
And what *was* the situation before the 1967 war--surely you don' t think it was peaceful!
26th Nov 2003, 04:20
Not directed at you per se Wedgey, though arguing against my point about legitimacy proves the point. The Israelis have tried to negotiate, the response was an attempt to bleed them dry.
Israel will not sit still while their enemies bomb them, we are merely debating the manner in which they persue those responsible, which to some appears to be a greater sin than the acts of terrorism themselves. I cannot but see this as wrong.
FL's original post ridiculed a great proportion of the press who he sees as pro Israeli. The only reasons given were the ownership of the media itself, or the ethnic background of the individual writers and theirs views. He immediately followed this by suggesting that the Israeli cause is adequately represented, through sources which he apparently contempts.
There is a serious dichotomy here, which I made reference to. To ignore news sources as being biased whilst arguing that their views are represented in these sources, though ignored, leaves a great deal to be desired.
The tone was certainly changed, with an attempt to justify his observations, but the dichotomy remains.
The Israeli security dilemma is complicated by the internal politics within Israel. Whingeing, and cherry picking, acts which you find repulsive, whilst tacitly ignoring the acts perpetrated against the Jewish state, which are more repulsive, shows up the flaws of logic inherent in this liberalist logic. The Sharon government, and the resultant actions, are responses to the acts of terror against the Israeli nation.
Indeed that same cherrypicking is the root source of the lack of objectivity represented by the mainstream media.
I don't accept the argument that as a nation state Israel should be above such retaliation either, let he who has lived in a state repeatedly suffering at the hands of terrorist suicide bombers throw the first stone. Easy to sit in a serenic cathedral of relative certainty and decry those who are denied the same right, of life.
The whole causality issue is repeatedly muddled, deliberately, in order to portray the Israelis in a poor light. Arguing that the methods employed are unreasonable, and focussing purely on this issue, is a clearly illogical in the face of the terror inflicted. The cause is terrorism, the effect is to clamp down on security and target those responsible. To me this is done in a responsible way, though reprehensible that any mature society should need to resort to such tactics.
Equally illogical is to argue that the Israeli / Palestinian situation is a threat to world peace, never mind a great threat to world peace. This is especially true when there happens to be a global effort against terrorism at the time. It is after all a policing action where the intrisic security of a state is involved. They are entitled to protect their people and borders.
To sympathise with the Palestinians despite their obvious wrongs, is to give hope and agenda to any other terrorist who seeks to inflict change through the use of repellant means.
26th Nov 2003, 04:47
Israel/Palestine is not a threat to world peace? Come off it. Whether it is honestly cited by Al-Quaeda, or cynically hijacked in their attempts to justify their actions, to argue that it is not one of the most serious threats to global security, directly or indirectly, is naive in the extreme.
To sympathise with the Palestinians despite their obvious wrongs, is to give hope and agenda to any other terrorist who seeks to inflict change through the use of repellant means.
Absolute nonsense, which is symptomatic of your hugely simplistic and naive claim that Palestinian terrorism = Palestinians. Just like your equally naive claim that Israel = Likud. You should be aware that the Palestinians are not afforded the means to fight a war by conventional means. Terrorism is the only method of war open to them. This is not for a moment to suggest I approve of it. Your argument suggests that violence is the only means of resolving this problem, that the Israelis must by definition respond with air strikes in the occupied territories every time there is a suicide bomb. The Palestinian terror groups are committing these acts, so to blame all Palestinians for them is just like saying all Israelis are responsible for Sharon's actions. Which you know is nonsense.
I would admit that Arafat knows exactly what he is doing by sending in suicide bombs, he knows that he is keeping the Palestinians' plight in the world headlines, as well as inviting the violent response from the Israelis. I condemn them unequivocally, but I urge the Israeli government to reconsider their current policy of response, for the sake of the chance, however slim it may seem, of a negotiated settlement.
You also point out that the Israelis have shown a willingness to negotiate. Well, so did Arafat in Oslo, he gave significant concessions in the search for a settlement.
As one newspaper said recently, the man who shot Rabin achieved everything he wanted with one bullet. To derail the peace process and to ensure at least another decade of bloodshed; in the pursuit of an extreme Zionist agenda that could only bring more violence. He must be sitting in his prison cell very happy with his work.
Its not about occupying anymore. As was rightly pointed out in that article I suggested that you read, the Palestinians were offered 97 percent of the 67 borders PLUS Jerusulem as their captitol. Virtually everything they wanted, and what wasn't there could have easily been tweaked at a later date.
Arafat responded to that by calling for the 2nd intefada proving that his position is there will be no settlement that includes a state of Israel.
The problem is that you reward this intransigence with your attitiude and encourage more, as well as more killing.
As to Israel being a threat to world peace. I don't really buy that one either. You can't be of the position that 9/11 should have been handled as a POLICE matter rather than a war matter, and then say terrorism will endanger world peace. IF you are of the opinion that there is no war on terror and that we shouldn't be in Afghanistan/Iraq, then ANY terrorism would simply mean more police work, not a state of war.
Edited to add (as we can't post anymore)
Wedge, Not all of the above was meant for you. I am sorry.
As to the Assasin ending everything with a single bullet when he shot Rabin. That flat out is not true. That is a nice scapegoating, but Rabin was followed by PERES who was even more of a Dove. It is Unlikely that Rabin would have tolerated ARAFAT's shennanigans as long as Peres did...
26th Nov 2003, 05:09
I didn't say any of those things Wino - certainly I did not say Israel was a threat to world peace. Read my posts again if you don't believe me.
The problem is that you reward this intransigence with your attitiude and encourage more, as well as more killing.
This comment, as you probably know, is deeply offensive, and an outrageous misrepresentation of my argument (probably borne out of the fact that you didn't bother to read what I was saying), but I'm used to that by now, and I'm not going to bother answering it.
Edit....Apology accepted with good grace Wino.
26th Nov 2003, 05:25
You say: "FL's original post ridiculed a great proportion of the press who he sees as pro Israeli. The only reasons given were the ownership of the media itself, or the ethnic background of the individual writers and theirs views."
I repeat - I did not mention any other owner, writer or newspaper other than those which still appear in my post. My comments about Mortimer Zuckerman, Conrad Black and Barbara Amiel are still there for all to see.
Is it possible you're confusing my comments about the press on this thread with similar, but more detailed, comments I made on a different thread a few days ago? On that occasion, again in response to Wino, I said:
"It may help you understand (NB not necessarily agree with) the scepticism many people have about Israel/Palestine items in the Daily Telegraph if you take into account the Telegraph Group is owned by Conrad Black's Chicago-based Hollinger Group which also owns (amongst other publications) the Jerusalem Post.
Black is a right-wing Zionist and is notorious for exercising very strong editorial control over what appears in the Telegraph.
Add to that, the fact the Telegraph story was provided by 'Memri' (see above), and that HonestReporting.com (another of B's favourite 'non-partisan' websites) gave him their "Monthly Award for Honest Reporting" not long ago and you'll get the picture.
It doesn't follow that nothing in the DT is to be believed, but you might understand a healthy degree of caution about its coverage of the Middle East."
I offer this suggestion simply because I'd prefer to believe you're making an innocent mistake rather than deliberately making dishonest allegations.
26th Nov 2003, 05:34
"Right-wing Zionists" print the truth far more often than the left wing, racist socialist drivels such as the Guardian and the NYTimes. Why would you think otherwise, Flying Lawyer?
26th Nov 2003, 07:14
""Right-wing Zionists" print the truth far more often than the left wing, racist socialist drivels such as the Guardian and the NYTimes"
Prove it. Show me two different stories then show me how two papers from either side of the political divide covered them. Then show me the proof of what happened. The proof has to come from a reputable source such video or photographic evidence.