Posts Tagged ‘BBC’
United States First Lady Michelle Obama
offered her thoughts, prayers and support in the wake of the unconscionable terrorist kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls. The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, May 10, 2014. [White House Press Office]
Her argument against what the Islamist terrorists of Boko Haram did, and have been doing for years to their fellow Nigerians with sickening brutality, is summarized this way:
This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education – grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls… In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”
From the official text of her speech, it’s hard not to notice that she uses the word “terrorist” three times in describing the Islamists of Boko Haram who have openly taken credit for the kidnappings.
But not once does she use the words Boko Haram or Islam or Islamist.
There’s a flip-side to this. Although Michelle Obama herself (or her speech-writers, if one were to be coldly pedantic about this) calls them terrorists, the ever-delicate – and hugely influential – BBC does not use the word even once in its coverage of her speech. (Here and here are some background notes on the BBC’s obnoxious “use of terrorism” guidelines. And here is the policy itself.) Oddly, they have no problem inserting Boko Haram and Islamist into their report, though Mrs Obama’s speech does not mention either term. She does call them terrorists, but to the oh-so-doctrinaire BBC, they’re militants.
As for Mrs Obama’s perfectly justifiable outrage at grown men “determined to keep these girls from getting an education,” we wonder if she is aware of the other unconscionable atrocities for which this group has taken responsibility. Tragically, it’s not only about education or girls. A very partial list:
• Boko Haram terrorists bombed a Catholic church, filled with worshipers, in January 2014, and killed 45 of them [source]. • Boko Haram terrorists carried out two roadside attacks on unsuspecting travelers in September 2013 and murdered no fewer than 159 of them, all fellow Nigerians [“22-Sep-13: A quiet weekend“] A week later they attacked the College of Agriculture in Yobe state and shot students as they slept, killing some forty of the young men. [“29-Sep-13: Sunday, bloody, bloody Sunday“]
• Boko Haram executed three human bomb attacks on Christian churches in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna in June 2012. At least 50 people were killed, according to the Red Cross. 131 were injured. This was “the third weekend in a row in which Boko Haram has carried out bombings on churches” [BBC] The report points out that “Kaduna lies on the dividing line between Nigeria’s largely Christian south and mainly Muslim north… Since 2009, it has targeted police stations and other government buildings, churches and schools. Hundreds of people have died in the attacks, and analysts suggest the group is trying to trigger clashes between Christians and Muslims.”
• Boko Haram gunmen launched a terror attack on a Christian church in Gombe in January 2012, and managed to kill 6 and wound 10 of the Christian worshipers [source] (A UN agency has a detailed and much fuller timeline of Boko Haram atrocities and body counts here. It’s a truly ghastly tally.)
I think it was Benjamin D’Israeli who replied to a taunt by Irish political leader Daniel O’Connell: “Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.”
So, Jews have been picking on the British for ages…
I don’t like the BBC and I don’t like BBC News shows in particular. I prefer our own NPR, where the style is loose and no one is trying to build up a story. They may lie like any other media outlet, but they don’t fake. So, watch Naftali doing war with Stephen Sackur from HARDtalk. The question that troubles Sackur is totally made up and intended to create the impression that there’s a tear in Israel’s right, with one side eager to give back ancestral land and the other, the fanatical, extreme-right wing, neo-terrorists, who object.
Because it so often bravely challenges the Zionist narrative (read, for example, about Melanie Philips’ most recent experience) I never miss an episode of BBC’s Question Time. I ended up listening to it (as opposed to watching it) on 30 January and I have to say it was especially exhilarating because there was completely uniform acceptance (by the panel and the audience) of our leftist narrative on every single issue (although sadly, for once the Zionist entity was not mentioned). Given that the panel always includes one ‘Conservative’ you might think I am exaggerating – until I tell you that the ‘Conservative’ was Ken Clarke MP (who I think may have disagreed with some of the more heroic views expressed but was too laid back to bother saying so). I understand the other panelists were shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry MP, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott, comedian and feminist activist Kate Smurthwaite, and director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs Mark Littlewood.Bravo to them!!
To give an example of their sharp thinking, one of the questions was about the recent decision by the UK Government to give another £600million for Syrian aid and to allow the immediate entry of Syrian refugees to the UK. The panel were in total agreement that not only was all of this obviously the right thing to do, but that it was a scandal that the UK was not doing much more. But one fool in the audience had the audacity to say something like “why are we giving all this massive support to Syrians when there are millions of old people suffering hardship in the UK and many affected by the floods who are getting no government support”. The answer (I think from Emily Thornberry) to thunderous and sustained applause was: “Because, unlike the people in the UK, the Syrians did not choose to be the victims of a terrible civil war”. Analysing the brilliance of that statement deserves a blog posting all of its own (at some point in the future I will write one about it).
There was much more brilliance along those lines, but both of the women on the panel (I was listening but not watching) sounded exactly like my marvellous best friend Camilla with every utterance more incisive than the previous way and each being greeted by even louder applause. The men on the panel simply agreed with everything they said. In fact, based on what I heard I am delighted to report that there is NO alternative voice allowed. So, based only on comments from one program, I think it is safe to assume that if you want to appear on Question Time – either as a panel member or audience member it is mandatory for you to believe all of the following:
- Global warming/Climate change is by far and away the most important problem mankind has ever confronted and all the world’s wealthy countries must use all their money to combat it. The floods in Somerset are proof that climate change is now about to completely destroy the world – and it is all entirely man made. Not a single scientist disagrees, but a tiny number of insane climate deniers are in control of things and stopping any progress.
- Second in importance to climate change is the need to allow unlimited millions of refugees – especially from troubled Muslim nations – into the UK and they must be given unlimited funds forever and we must under no circumstances attempt any kind of background check on any one of them as this is Islamaphobic. Doing this will be fantastic for the UK economy because all Muslims are peace loving with an incredible work ethic.
- Third in importance to combating climate change and solving all the world’s refugee problems by ourselves is how to confront the evil fascists of UKIP.
- It is a crime to be rich, but fortunately taxing the rich will solve every economic problem.
- Giving unlimited money to people on the doll, immigrants etc will lead to massive economic growth for the UK as it will give them spending power.
- Foreign freedom fighters convicted in the UK must never be deported
- The world is so interconnected and everybody is really so similar that we have an obligation to help every country in the world where there is conflict and poverty because doing so will lead to an improvement in the world economy. In fact, the British economy can only improve by giving all our money to poor nations because that will make them richer and they will then spend their money boosting our economy. In any case all that poverty and conflict is the fault of the rich Western nations and that is why it is our responsibility to solve it.
And, of course, you will be very pleased to known that one of next week’s guests is none other than my former employee George Galloway; so to get on the program you will also need to add the obligatory beliefs about the Middle East and Israel (see full list here and here).
If all that was not uplifting enough, following Question Time was the Andrew Neil programme where he and his guests essentially repeated everything that was agreed on Question Time (and Andrew Neil is also supposed to be a ‘conservative’). There was, however, one dissenting voice: a Syrian woman interviewed by Andrew Neil who said the Syrian refugees should go to Arab countries not the UK because their culture and language was the same whereas it was completely alien to the UK. Fortunately Andrew Neil literally laughed at her saying, correctly, that we must not allow the Syrians to go to Arab countries because they would be repressed. He said that wealthy Arab countries like Saudi Arabia were out of the question because ‘the women would be forced to cover up’ (and ‘we’ in the UK must not allow that to happen), while the ‘other Arab countries are too poor or overcrowded’. And luckily for all of us, there are no such countries called UAE, Qatar, Bahrein etc.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu beamed his anti-Rohani message to the Iranian people through BBC’s Persian Channel Thursday, telling them that a nuclear Iran would enslave them.
Iranians “will never get rid of the tyranny” if the regime obtains nuclear weapons, he said.
“The issue is this regime’s control of Iran, its aggressive designs, its brutalization of its own people,” the Prime Minister continued. “We don’t forget. I saw Neda on the sidewalk,” he said, referring to a protester whose murder in the anti-regime protests in 2009 was show all over the world. “I saw her choking in her own blood. I saw the desire of the Iranian people to have real freedom, a real life. I know that. It’s there.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu tossed in a couple of Persian words, saying that Israelis are not “suckers” for a fake effort by the Iranian regime to stop its nuclear weapons program.
His media blitz has reached almost every major American outlet, with a common warning to Americans that the United States, and not just Israel, will be threatened by a nuclear Iran.
He also held a private meeting with leaders of AIPAC, the Jewish Federations and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization.
Prime Minister Netanyahu will stay in the United States one day more than planned in order to continue on the airwaves and fighting for prime time in the midst of the U.S. debt ceiling crisis.
The BBC has backed down from its characterization of Syria and Egypt’s 1973 attack against Israel as being “preemptive.”
The adjective appeared on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s Learning Zone, a platform designed to offer historical information to students, and was removed Tuesday following questions by JTA.
“During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria acted preemptively against Israel at the Suez Canal,” the website read.
BBC’s ethics guide defines a preemptive strike as “military action taken by a country in response to a threat from another country — the purpose of it is to stop the threatening country from carrying out its threat.”
Asked by JTA whether BBC had indications that Israel had threatened or planned to attack its Arab neighbors 40 years ago, BBC’s head of communications, Claire Rainford, wrote in an email on Monday that the producers of Learning Zone “have reviewed the copy and decided to remove the word preemptive.”
The false characterization was featured in an article by the critical website BBC Watch.
According to Learning Zone, the information on the website was provided by the Israeli historian Benny Morris, who has written extensively about Israel’s culpability in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, as well as British journalist Robert Fisk and linguist Noam Chomsky — both harsh critics of Israel who have likened the country’s practices to apartheid in South Africa.
The text on Learning Zone now reads: “During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria acted against Israel at the Suez Canal.”
Rainford did not reply to JTA’s question on whether the BBC had indications that Syria, which mounted a surprise attack in the Golan timed to coincide with the Egyptian advance, also acted against Israel at the Suez.
For the record, following is a very short section of a much longer account of events leading up to the war, as published by Wikipedia:
“In an interview published in Newsweek (April 9, 1973), President Sadat…threatened war with Israel. Several times during 1973, Arab forces conducted large-scale exercises that put the Israeli military on the highest level of alert, only to be recalled a few days later. The Israeli leadership already believed that if an attack took place, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) could repel it.
“Almost a full year before the war, in an October 24, 1972, meeting with his Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Sadat declared his intention to go to war with Israel even without proper Soviet support. Planning had begun in 1971 and was conducted in absolute secrecy—even the upper-echelon commanders were not told of war plans until less than a week prior to the attack, and the soldiers were not told until a few hours beforehand. The plan to attack Israel in concert with Syria was code-named Operation Badr (Arabic for “full moon”), after the Battle of Badr, in which Muslims under Muhammad defeated the Quraish tribe of Mecca.”
British rocker Roger Waters published an open letter calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel.
“I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” Waters wrote in the letter dated Aug. 18. The letter was previously drafted in July.
The former Pink Floyd front man said he was inspired to release the letter after British violinist Nigel Kennedy at a recent promenade concert at the Albert Hall in London called Israel an apartheid state. The BBC said it would remove his remarks in rebroadcasts of the concert.
Waters, who has been active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement for at least seven years, referred to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, saying that first a trickle of artists refused to play there, leading to a “flood.”
He singled out Stevie Wonder’s canceling of a performance for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces as a recent success story. Wonder quit his participation in the December fundraiser at the last minute under pressure from many corners.
“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights,” Waters wrote.
Waters recently came under fire for using at in his concerts a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar with a prominently visible Star of David, as well as a hammer and sickle, crosses and a dollar sign, among other symbols. It is a gimmick he has used for several years.