Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BBC's Hypocritical Reporting

Wyre Davies’ historically incorrect reporting upgraded by BBC to ‘analysis’

It was reported in the BBC Middle East News that Wyre Davies’ grossly historically incorrect claim  of rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians are a result of the partial blockade on the Gaza Strip – rather than the other way round.

Has that error since been corrected? No: in fact the report concerned was expanded and upgraded to the category of ‘analysis’.

Davies’ expanded article  is, if anything, even more egregious than  the original report and is far more occupied with promoting a narrative than with anything which could be remotely described as fact-based analysis.

“You can feel the palpable lifting of that burden among Gazan colleagues. This is such a small densely populated stretch of land that few areas have escaped the impact – direct or indirect – of Israeli bombing in recent days.

In the BBC Gaza office, that feeling was most tangibly felt on the first day of this conflict when Omar, the 11-month-old son of our cameraman Jihad Misharawi, was killed when a missile hit his home. It was a pointless, terrible tragedy that deeply affected Jihad’s colleagues who live and work here in these testing conditions.

What has shocked me most over the last eight days – during which I have reported exclusively from Gaza, with BBC colleagues complementing in Israel – is the appallingly high number of children killed and injured.”

In fact, according to figures released by the IDF, of a total of 165 people killed in Gaza during the operation, 93 belonged to one of seven different terrorist groups. 68 civilians died, of those 25 children and 9 youths. That civilian to combatant ratio is one of the lowest known, reflecting the considerable efforts made to avoid civilian casualties wherever possible.

[The above article, the full text of which can be read via the link above, indicates the attitude of the BBC reporters who are working in the Middle East.

We wonder how these reporters would have reacted to the British response to Arab terror at the time of the mandate]

How the British responded to Palestinian terrorists


11/27/2012 21:39

Some Israelis today are left wondering which makes more sense – England’s current advice, or the positions taken by British leaders when they themselves had to deal with the forerunners of Hamas.

In the midst of Israel’s recent action against Hamas, British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned that the Jewish State would “lose a lot of international support and sympathy” if it sent in ground troops. Hague’s assertion was widely understood as an attempt to pressure Jerusalem to refrain from going all-out against the terrorists.

Israelis have heard this before – as a matter of fact, they heard it from another senior British foreign affairs official, William Waldegrave, the minister of state in the Foreign Office, when he visited Gaza in March 1989. At a press conference, Waldegrave dramatically brandished four rubber bullets, which he accused Israel of firing “indiscriminately” at Arab rioters.

Afterwards, Waldegrave met with the mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. Since Kollek was a longtime Labor Party figure and well known political dove, Waldegrave probably thought they were kindred spirits.

The British official was in for quite a surprise.

Kollek told Waldegrave – and told reporters afterwards – that “the British have no right to preach morals to Israel” on fighting terrorists, considering how the British themselves treated Palestinian Arab terrorists in the 1930s. The mayor pointed out that recently-released British government documents described “British army atrocities against the Arabs in Palestine” during those years.

The documents recounted the British authorities’ response to the assassination of a British district commissioner in Jenin in 1938. The killer was captured, jailed, and then shot to death “while trying to escape.” But the Mandate government decided that was not enough, and that “a large portion of the town should be blown up.”

Other anti-terror tactics employed by the British against the Palestinian Arabs in the 1930s included shooting handcuffed prisoners, blowing up civilians’ homes and forcing Arabs to drive “mine-sweeping taxis” in front of British soldiers searching areas where they suspected mines were planted.

Naomi Shepherd, in her book Ploughing Sand (about British rule in Palestine) describes how eight Palestinian Arabs in Halhul died of heat exposure when, “on a scorching day,” British soldiers “rounded up a group of men during a search for arms and kept them standing without water for hours.” After an attack on a British patrol in the village of Kawkab Abu Haija, the British army “destroyed the entire village.” When a British army vehicle ran over a mine near Kafr Yasif, soldiers burned down 70 houses and machine-gunned nine villagers.

HUGH FOOT, a district commissioner in 1930s Palestine who narrowly escaped assassination by Arab terrorists, later recalled the arbitrary nature of house demolitions: “When we thought that a village was harboring rebels, we’d go there and mark one of the large houses. Then, if an incident was traced to that village, we’d blow up the house we’d marked.” The tactic was “drastic,” High Commissioner Harold MacMichael conceded, “but the situation has demanded drastic powers.”

An Associated Press correspondent permitted to travel with a British anti-terror unit in October 1938 reported how he watched them “blow up with dynamite about a dozen houses in an Arab village from which shots twice were fired at the troops... [W]hen the troops left there was little else remaining of the once busy village except a pile of mangled masonry.”

In another Arab town, Miar, the British troops “dynamited about forty stone houses” and arrested hundreds of villagers. Sometimes Arab detainees were “put to to work building roads.”

Reports in The New York Times that month offered similar descriptions of British “clean-up” operations, as the Timescalled them. In Lydda (today known as Lod), “twenty-one Arabs’ homes were destroyed by British troops because of recent attacks on military police.” In Nablus, “severe measures by British troops resulted in about six casualties.”

While some British officials privately expressed unease at the harsh counter-terror methods, most voices in the Colonial Office apparently supported the crackdown. “I do not feel we have the right to interfere,” Lord Dufferin asserted. “British lives are being lost and I don’t think that we, from the security of Whitehall, can protest squeamishly about measures taken by the men in the frontline.”

His colleague Sir John Shuckburgh emphasized that the British authorities in Palestine were faced “not with a chivalrous opponent playing the game according to the rules, but with gangsters and murderers.”

All of which may leave some Israelis today wondering which makes more sense – England’s current advice, or the positions taken by British leaders when they themselves had to deal with the forerunners of Hamas.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The BBC's pro-Palestinian propaganda machine has swung into action

The Telegraph by Peter Mullen World November 19th, 2012

The Rev Dr Peter Mullen is a priest of the Church of England and former Rector of St Michael, Cornhill and St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in the City of London. He has written for many publications including the Wall Street Journal  

The BBC has been slipping up recently. No – I don’t mean to refer to unpleasant recollections of Savilegate and McAlpinegate. Let us just leave them conveniently on the Corporation’s CV. Instead I am wondering why it took the BBC so long to get into its full propaganda mode in its reporting of the war between Israel and Hamas. I don’t say there was ever anything distantly approaching even-handedness. You never get that with an ideological pressure group as committed to its own unassailable self-righteousness as the BBC. But at least for the first few days of the war there was the pretence of objectivity.

But true colours will inevitably show themselves and, sure enough, over the weekend the Corporation began to screen its horrific and heart-breaking accounts (with pictures, of course) of the Gazan children slaughtered by the nasty Israelis. What is never explained – because propaganda aims not to explain but to seduce – is the fact that Hamas stores its rockets and high explosives in schools and hospitals, and those leaders who are not so far up the pay scale that they are allotted their personal bunkers are obliged to live in their own houses with their families. And even the most meticulously targeted airstrike cannot distinguish between a terrorist and his three-year-old son when they are sitting in the same front room.

The BBC loves to announce the casualty figures which invariably show that Palestinians have suffered many more deaths and injuries than the Israelis. This is entirely a matter of chance – but a distinction needs to be made. The Israeli forces do not target non-combatants or children. In fact they go to great pains to avoid killing innocent bystanders. By contrast, Hamas deliberately targets innocent women and children in Israel. That is the sole purpose of their rocket attacks. Let me spell it out: what terrorists do is propagate terror. It is simply a matter of good fortune, aided by the Iron Dome defence system, that more Israeli civilians have not been killed. More than 750 rockets have been fired into Israel over the last six days, including long-distance projectiles made in Iran.

Now the conflict is entering a new and much more dangerous phase. The attacks from Gaza may be subdued, but other threats are rapidly emerging. To the east, Jordan is unstable, the crowds demonstrating for the sacking of the government and their own version of the Arab Spring. To the west, post-Mubarak Egypt is not the steadying influence on the region that it was for so long. But the most terrifying scenario is the prospect from the north, from the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon who are even now waiting eagerly for the ragbag rebel Syrian army to take possession of Assad’s copious stores of chemical weapons. There is an extreme likelihood that these would be used against the civilian population in Israel.

I learned of this real and present danger from Sky, by the way, not from the BBC.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Arab View

by Khaled Abu Toameh
November 19, 2012

This hostility is the direct result of years of anti-Israel and anti-Western incitement in the Arab and Muslim world -- not only toward Israel but also toward the United States. In today's world of the Palestinians, anyone who talks about peace with Israel is a traitor and a collaborator; but anyone who calls for the destruction of Israel and fires rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is a hero.

There is nothing more nauseating than watching people celebrate as rockets are being fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip.

This is what happened last week when Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

As soon as the sirens went off, many Palestinians took to the streets and rooftops, especially in Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods, to cheer Hamas. Sometimes they responded to the Hamas rockets by launching fireworks into the air as a sign of joy, and chanting, "We are all Hamas!" and, "O Jews, the army of Mohammed is coming after you!"

Scenes of jubilation over the rocket attacks on Israel were also reported in several Palestinian cities in the West Bank, including Ramallah, the center of Palestinian "pragmatism and moderation."

Later, upon learning that Hamas's rockets had failed to kill Israelis in the two cities, the Palestinians voiced disappointment.

Never mind that the rockets could have fallen on their heads. As far as these Palestinians are concerned, there is no problem if a number of Arabs are killed on the way to destroying Israel.

The celebrations reflect the strong hostility that many Palestinians continue to feel toward Israel despite 20 years of a peace process, and billions of dollars of Western aid. This hostility is the direct result of years of anti-Israel and anti-Western incitement in the Arab and Islamic world.

The hostility is directed not only toward Israel, but also its friends -- above all, the United States.

Similar outbursts of joy had erupted in many parts of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem immediately after Palestinians heard of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US.

And this was not the first time that Palestinians had expressed joy over the targeting of Israeli cities.

During the 2006 war in Lebanon, Palestinians and some Arab citizens of Israel took to rooftops to cheer Hizbullah's rocket attacks on northern cities in Israel.

During the second intifada, many Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, used to take to the streets to sing and dance and hand out candies after hearing about another suicide bombing inside Israel.

And when Saddam Hussein fired rockets at Israel in the early 1990's, Palestinians also took to the streets and rooftops, chanting, "O beloved Saddam, strike strike at Tel Aviv!"

Last week, by the way, many Palestinians in Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron were chanting: "O beloved Qassam [Hamas's armed wing], destroy, destroy Tel Aviv!" and "The people want the destruction of Israel!"

No one is expecting the Palestinians to express solidarity or sympathy with Israel in its confrontation with Hamas.

But when many Palestinians express their joy in public over the firing of rockets and missiles at Israeli cities, one is entitled to wonder whether there is a majority of Palestinians who would ever agree to any form of compromise with Israel.

In today's world of the Palestinians, anyone who talks about peace with Israel is a traitor and a collaborator; but anyone who calls for the destruction of Israel and fires rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is a hero.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

BIG - Briefing "Pillar of Cloud"


For the third time in a month, the civilians of southern Israel are under rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.

The current attacks began on Saturday night (Nov.10) when an anti-tank missile was fired at an army jeep traveling on the Israeli side of the border fence. Four IDF soldiers were injured. Since then, over 120 rockets have been fired at Israeli civilians.

The lives of 1million Israeli civilians are being threatened and daily life in southern Israel has been totally disrupted.

The residents of communities near the Gaza border suffer constantly from rocket and mortar shell attacks. These attacks occur almost on a routine basis, as do escalations of other types of terrorist activities carried out by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations that operate under Hamas’ protection.

The pauses between the waves of rocket attacks are shortening. In the past month, Israel has been subjected to three separate periods of escalation. Since the beginning of the year, more than 800 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel, a record amount since the end of Operation Cast Lead (January 2009). This peak is similar to the attacks that occurred in 2007-8.

Main Messages:

• The goal of Israel’s operation is clearly defined and is aimed at removing a strategic threat to Israeli citizens. Israel is not interested in a deterioration of the situation.

• Israel has demonstrated great restrain for a long period but cannot stand for the recurring attacks on its citizens. No other state would accept a similar reality.

• Israel is acting in self-defense and out of its duty to protect its civilians from terrorist attacks.

• Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and is responsible for all that occurs in Gaza and all that is launched from there.

• It must be noted that Israel disengaged completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The result of Israel’s disengagement is that Gaza has become a giant ammunition dump. In addition, it provides a breeding ground for terrorist groups to organize and to operate, including groups associated with al-Qaeda and Global Jihad. All this under the rule, responsibility and sponsorship of Hamas.

• Weapons smuggled from Libya, Iran and Sudan accelerated the process of Gaza turning into a terror base. These weapons also increased the danger posed to the Israeli population.

• Hamas and the other terrorist organizations hide among the civilian population of Gaza. They also deliberately direct their fire at the civilian population of Israel. These acts constitute a double war crime.

• The targets of the Israeli operation are all military. Israel will make every effort to prevent harm to the civilian population of Gaza, and regrets any injury to civilians.

• The border crossings from Israel to the Gaza Strip remain open, allowing for the routine passage of goods and humanitarian aid.

• The international community must act to stop the attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and should not wait for an Israeli reaction to act. Time and again, Israel has warned that it would not tolerate these attacks.

What has happened today November 14th?

• Following several days of Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza at Israeli towns, on 14 November Israel launched a military operation called 'Pillar of Cloud,' beginning with a series of targeted airstrikes against senior militant leaders and weapons facilities in the Gaza Strip. The first targeted was a top Hamas commander Ahmed al-Jabari.

• Other key Hamas militant leaders have also been targeted, reportedly including al-Jabari's number two, Raed al-Atar, as well as Hamas's longer range Fajr rockets.

• Key stats for November 10-13:

o Rockets and mortars fired at Israel: 112 (causing 8 injuries)

o Israeli airstrikes into Gaza: 14 (causing 7 deaths and 26 injuries according to Palestinian reports)

o Iron Dome rocket interceptions: 6