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June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

Analysis: Trump Giving Israel a Bad Name with ‘Profiling’ Comment

Monday, June 20th, 2016

“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, using Israel as an example for a place where this method is flourishing and yielding results. “You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully. And you know, I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense,” he said.

Sadly, as Israel is being drawn with increasing frequency into the US presidential elections, with the Democrats using the Israeli-Arab conflict as a battle field between the Sanders and Clinton proxies, bits of prejudice and misinformation about the life and politics of the Jewish State are coming to the fore and, more often than not, spreading more ignorance than knowledge about it.

Donald Trump’s cartoon depiction of Israel’s security forces’ strategies is a case in point. A few years ago, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected on a promise to do away with police racial profiling, because it perpetuated decades of abuse when African-Americans and Latinos would be routinely stopped and frisked by police. But predictive profiling, which takes into account multiple elements in an individual’s manner and appearance, is a crucial component of law enforcement work, and it’s much more complex than just skin color and religion.

Not according to the BBC, which informed its listeners on Sunday: “Profiling uses ethnicity, race and religion to determine whether a person has or is likely to commit crimes.”

And, sadly, this is probably what Trump meant when he shared with Face the Nation what he had taken from Israel’s security strategies. In a sense, Trump’s and the BBC’s notions of profiling come down to the store detective who spots a black person coming in and sticks to them expecting that they are more likely than others to shoplift.

If Israel’s security forces had used this yardstick in their approach to predictive profiling it would have choked not just its international airports, but traffic on the streets in many cities, too. If all you need to be in order to trigger security response is dark-skinned or Muslim, three-quarters of Israelis would spend their days and nights in police stations.

Chris Weller, who last year reported in Business Insider about his experience as a foreign, non-Jewish traveler at Ben Gurion airport, noted that “no flight leaving Ben Gurion has ever been hijacked, and the airline servicing Israel, El Al, hasn’t seen an attack in more than 30 years.” And yet, dozens of El Al and other flights leave Ben Gurion every day, and passenger traffic is brisk and efficient.

Israel employs, on the streets of its cities as well as in its airports, an intelligence driven system that relies on good communication, alert operatives, and multi-layered screening. Daniel Wagner, co-author of the book “Global Risk Agility and Decision Making,” cites Raphael Ron, a former director of security at Ben Gurion for 5 years, who said the passenger-oriented security system there is focused on the “human factor,” and is “based on the assumption that terrorist attacks are carried out by people who can be found and have been stopped through the use of this simple but effective security methodology.”

Unlike all US airports, departing passengers in Ben Gurion are not asked to take off their shoes during physical screening processes. Instead, passengers are interviewed by trained agents before they get to the check-in counter. So that the area in front of the check-in is not conceded to potential terrorists, as was the case recently in the Brussels airport attack. The interviews last one or two minutes for the most part, so that the line of passengers is moving quickly, and when the agents (they work in pairs) do suspect someone, based on factors such as vocabulary, general behavior, dress, age, race, religion and destination—they may be detained and questioned for as long as it takes.

But the scrutiny at Ben Gurion begins well ahead of the passenger’s arrival at the terminal itself. Every vehicle first passes through a security checkpoint where armed agents examine it, have a brief exchange with the driver, and assess their risk level. Meanwhile, the vehicle is gauged by a weight sensor, and an undercarriage scan. Then, outside and inside the terminal building agents are always mingling with the crowd pouring in, aided by hidden surveillance cameras that are monitored around the clock. Suspicious people would be challenged without waiting for them to reach a counter or a metal detector. An agent would approach them and strike a conversation to assess their mental state and risk level.

All of that well coordinated system relies on a broader intelligence infrastructure that uses informants, social network scrutiny and surveillance — traditional police methods which Israel’s security forces have been using and improving over the past decade and a half both in green line Israel and in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Chris Weller offered an excellent example for the way Israel combines computer technology with the human factor, to create a smooth, reliable, fast and effective communication system regarding predictive profiling. “I learned that before any passenger ever gives up his luggage to the fine folks at Ben Gurion International, an employee places a neon yellow sticker on the back of your passport. On it is a 10-digit number. The first number, ranging from one to six, indicates your perceived threat level to whomever else you’re passed along. I got a five.”

And so, with a simple bar-coded sticker, the first agent who meets the passenger communicates his impressions to the next agent down the line without having to exchange one word or even a gesture. Leftwing writer Lia Tarachansky complained a few years ago about the same system:

“So I enter the line … My Israeli-Palestinian roommate tells me he’ll wait while I answer the security lady’s questions. She sees I speak Hebrew, she asks if I packed my own bags and she gives me a ‘1’ as expected. I’m white and I’m an Israeli, therefore I’m probably a Zionist. High from excitement and privilege I ask if my friend can come with me to the check-in. She says of course and asks for his ID. Her face changes.

“Where it says the Jewish birth date the line in his ID is blank. i.e. not Jewish. i.e. Palestinian.

– you know this man?

– yes

– how?

– he’s my roommate

– where?

– Jaffa

– wait here.

“She looks at his last name. It’s Christian, i.e. Arab. She disappears with our passports. The roommate looks at me and we both know what’s going to happen. When she comes back her smile is gone. She tears the ‘1’ off my bags and angrily puts on a ‘3’ as though to say ‘you didn’t tell me you have an Arab friend!’ Her face says ‘don’t you see you’re [expletive] it all up for us?!’”

Tarachansky described in her vivid style just how unhappy she was with the Israeli security system, but the fact is that even in her anti-Israeli narrative one can see that no one was hurt in the encounter she described, no one was manhandled, no one even missed their flight. But the system quickly spotted and responded to the potential threat, and the response was to replace a passport sticker. This hostile depiction of the Israeli method is, in fact, a song of praise to a rational, sophisticated and effective security system.

One wonders whether Donald Trump, or the media, understand the full depth of this system when he describes Israel’s success in police work and security as “profiling.”

JNi.Media

Patchy and Selective BBC News Reporting of Gaza Border Incidents

Monday, May 9th, 2016
{Originally posted to BBC Watch website}

On May 3rd terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired shots across the border at an Israeli military vehicle. The next day cross-border incidents continued with five separate mortar attacks on Israeli troops which were claimed by both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In the evening the Israeli airforce responded with strikes on Hamas installations in the Gaza Strip.  On May 5th an additional mortar attack raised the number of cross border incidents to seven in less than 48 hours and further incidents which took place later in the day brought the number of attacks into double figures. On the same day the IDF announced that it had discovered a cross border attack tunnel – the second to be detected in less than a month.

None of the above was reported at the time on the BBC News website.

As the mortar attacks against IDF soldiers dealing with the newly discovered tunnel continued, the IDF retaliated with artillery fire and according to Palestinian media reports, a woman was killed near Khan Yunis.

In the early hours of May 6th the BBC News website published a report with the context-free headline “Israel tank fire kills Gaza woman, medics say.

Readers of the report found the background story presented in qualified terms, using the BBC’s standard ‘Israel says’ formula.

“Israel said it was responding to mortar rounds fired by Hamas fighters.”

“The army said attacks by the militants were targeting Israeli forces searching for tunnels in the border area.”

Only in the tenth paragraph did the BBC get round to describing the context to the headlined incident in its own words – but its portrayal inaccurately described the cross-border attacks as having begun a day later than is actually the case and failed to adequately clarify to readers that the violence was initiated by Palestinian terrorists.

“Since Wednesday, Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups have fired guns and mortar rounds across the border, and the Israeli air force has carried out bombing raids.

The exchange of attacks continued on Friday.”

BBC reporting of the discovery of the latest cross-border attack tunnel is limited to 35 words in two paragraphs:

“The clashes came after Israel said it had discovered a new tunnel reaching into Israel from Gaza.

Israeli army spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner said the tunnel was about 30 metres (100ft) below the surface.”

On the evening of May 6th the attacks from the Gaza Strip escalated when terrorists fired missiles at Israeli civilian communities in the Eshkol region near the border. The BBC’s article was not updated to include that information and no additional report on that incident was published.

Since the beginning of the year the BBC News website has failed to report on any of the missile attacks on Israeli civilian communities by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Hadar Sela

Saed Erekat: Dead Terrorists Are ‘Men Who Lost Hope’

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

What do you call an Arab who stabs Jews to death?

If you are PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat, who was the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority when it talked as if there were “negotiations,” the answer is: “They are dead men who have lost hope.”

That is what Erekat told BBC’s HARDtalk in an interview aired Wednesday. He also maintained that “violence is not the answer,” but when the interviewer asked him about the stabbings, some of them in the backs of children and elderly men and women, Erekat could not say a bad word.

Instead, Arabs murder Jews because they have lost hope, all because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not “negotiated” non-negotiable demands presented by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Erekat insisted in the interview that there will be a Palestinian Authority country, sooner or later. He said:

For Palestinians and Israelis there is only one option, if not this year, next year, or 10 years’ time is to live and to let live, it’s a two state solution. It’s Palestine to live side by side with the State of Israel in peace and security on the 1967 lines. That’s the only option.

I couldn’t do it through the Security Council; I couldn’t do it through negotiations, not because I failed, because I was foiled by the likes of Benjamin Netanyahu.

However, he said he is thinking about leaving his post at the helm of the PLO.

 

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

The Last of the Flotillas

Monday, June 29th, 2015

The flotilla stunt has sunk.

This morning’s end to the latest maritime Vaudeville act by a motley collection of anarchists, anti-Israel activists including an Arab Knesset Member, leftists and bored people looking for adventure may be the last attempt to break the Israel blockade to prevent terrorists and weapons from reaching Gaza by sea.

International media have not been able to whip up much anti-Israel rhetoric in their news dispatches of the peaceful takeover of the Marianne and the apparent U-turn by three other boats in the flotilla.

The voyage of the Marianne may have been the best thing for Israel since earlier this month when Hamas fired a Kassam rocket at Israeli civilians but saw it fall short of its mark and explode on a house in Gaza.

The only real success of Hamas, and the entire Palestinian Authority, has been to turn self-defeat into a principle.

Pro-Hamas activists have been trying to break the maritime blockade for more than six years, but their main aim has been to fuel the anti-Israeli media with stories about how the Israeli army is stopping good Samaritans from trying to save Gazans caught in a humanitarian crisis caused by the presumably heartless land blockade by Israel.

The establishment media finally has broken under the weight of the lies in claims by anti-Zionists.

Israel’s land “blockade” on Gaza barely exists anymore, except from Egypt, which has punished Hamas over and over by shutting down the Rafah crossing.

The maritime blockade has been upheld by none other than the United Nations, which investigated the clash on the May 2010 Mavi Mamara ship that was organized and led by Turkish-based terrorists of the IHH organization.

The U.N. report managed to criticize the IDF for using excessive force but upheld the maritime embargo as legal.

Flotilla activists have known ever since then that attacking Israeli soldiers, as the terrorist did with iron clubs on the Mavi Mamara, is going to be met with necessary force.

The crew and passengers on the Marianne did not raise a hand. The Navy commandeered the boat and took it to the port of Ashdod, where the foreigners will be deported and the Israelis will return home, with or without being arrested.

Passengers on the other boats deported themselves by choice when they decided not to follow the example of the Marianne, whose activists have set a precedent not resort to violence.

That will make it more difficult for future flotilla activists to start up with the Navy, which under any circumstances is going to win the battle.

The activists’ hope that the media would treat them as little Davids fighting a monstrous Goliath disappeared like a ship in the middle of the night.

Hamas’ open corruption and barbaric force against anyone who opposes it have torn the sails out of lies that the miserable lives of Arabs in Gaza are due to anyone or anything except Hamas.

Reuters reported the takeover of the Marianne factually and dryly, except for referring to Gaza as “the blockaded Palestinian territory,” unless it meant blockaded by Egypt.

The Associated Press was even briefer in its report.

BBC and NBC also were factual and objective in their dispatches.

The flotilla has wasted more tens for thousands of dollars. There always will be other do-good haters willing to shell out more money for another failure.

Let’em go for broke.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

UK Drops Probe of BBC Reporter’s Anti-Semitism at Paris Unity March

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has condemned a decision by ‘Ofcom’ not to uphold complaints made against BBC reporter Tim Willcox over remarks he made to a French Jewish woman in Paris.

Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the communications industries in Britain.

The incident took place at the unity march in Paris, held in solidarity with the victims of radical Islamist terror attacks in the city the previous week. The woman was expressing her fears about the rise of anti-Semitism throughout Europe and particularly in France. While speaking with Willcox during his interview at the event, the BBC reporter told the woman, “Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”

Ofcom ruled the reporter’s remarks were “justified by the context in which they were presented.”

However, noted UK Board of Deputies of British Jews’ vice president Jonathan Arkush, “The objection to Willcox’s interview was his suggestion that French Jews could expect to be targeted by terrorists because of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Ofcom seem to have missed the point entirely. Ofcom also seem to have forgotten that Willcox himself admitted he had got it wrong and apologised.”

But a bigger problem was the fact that the complaints were dropped altogether, as noted in a statement on its Facebook page by Campaign Against Anti-Semitism UK, and the regulator refused to explain why the anti-Semitism was not investigated. This does not reflect a vow by UK Communications Secretary Eric Pickles to “censure” anti-Semitism in government institutions.

“Ofcom quietly dropped the 22 complaints you submitted… in a table listing complaints that had been assessed and then not investigated at the bottom of page 58 of Ofcom Bulletin 272, the regulator confirmed that it would not be looking into 22 complaints against a breach of “Generally accepted standards” by BBC News in a broadcast on 11th January. We contacted Ofcom and they confirmed that this relates to the Willcox interview but they refused to explain why they had decided not to investigate the complaints.”

The BBC, to its credit, is conducting its own investigation into the reporter’s comments and is expected to reach a conclusion by February 23.

An Ofcom spokesperson responded to this JewishPress.com report with the following statement:

“Ofcom carefully assessed complaints about alleged anti-Semitic comments made by Tim Willcox at a Paris rally and decided not to take the issue forward for further investigation.

“While the comments clearly had the potential to cause offence, Ofcom considered a range of factors, including the live nature of this coverage and the need for an appropriate degree of freedom of expression, especially in news coverage of such a significant event.”

Hana Levi Julian

BBC’s Holocaust Tweet Shocker

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Originally published at Honest Reporting.

January 27 is International Holocaust Memorial Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. With this in mind and the aftermath of the Paris terror attack on a kosher supermarket, there has been a great deal of discussion and commemoration in the media.

But could the BBC have asked a more crass, insensitive and downright offensive question on Twitter?

— The Big Questions (@bbcbigquestions) January 25, 2015

This was the question asked on The Big Questions, a BBC debate show on moral, ethical and religious issues. However, irrespective of the quality of the debate on the show itself, the tweet needs to be seen in isolation because many of those who saw it on Twitter would not have seen it in a larger context.

And how inappropriate for the BBC to even be debating the topic with such a question precisely during the buildup to events commemorating the biggest crime in modern history.

Perhaps the question may have related to a poll that found that some 58 percent of Germans say the past should be consigned to history in reference to the Holocaust. This, however, does nothing to excuse the BBC from raising the issue in such a format that lacks any relevant context to such a sensitive topic.

In addition, a TV debate or discussion is a controlled environment with a moderator as is the case on The Big Questions. Twitter, in comparison, is a virtual jungle where the only moderating influences are those of other tweeters.

The BBC has proudly publicized its comprehensive coverage of Holocaust Memorial Day, drawing attention to a wide range of programming. This included The Big Questions on the BBC’s media release which stated:

A one-hour special Big Questions on BBC One will look at the anniversary and the issues involved from never forgetting, to man’s inhumanity. It will also ask: could something like this happen again? 

How did the original question, “could something like this happen again?” and the stated emphasis of the program change so drastically? That it has indicates something insidious within the BBC.

Undoubtedly, had the BBC’s media release published in October 2014 included the question that ultimately was asked, those figures involved in Holocaust remembrance would have raised the alarm.

In light of this and Tim Willcox’s appalling questions to the child of a Holocaust survivor, it seems that insensitivity is something that the BBC is getting rather good at.

HR Managing Editor Simon Plosker adds:

What or who exactly does the BBC want to lay to rest? Holocaust survivors? The memory of six million Jewish victims of Nazi genocide? The BBC evidently has no moral compass when it comes to Jews or Israel. Why should this even be up for debate and why is it only issues of immense importance to Jews that the BBC is prepared to ride roughshod over?

The BBC originally asked could something like the Holocaust happen again. Asking whether people should forget about the Holocaust could very well increase the possibility of it happening again.

Honest Reporting

BBC Reporter Needles French Jewish Woman at Unity Rally

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Outrage has begun to make its way around the Internet in the wake of a nasty interview by a BBC correspondent who was unable to keep his personal bias out of his coverage of Sunday’s mega-million unity rally in France.

The heads of 40 different nations attended the event; nearly four million demonstrators came to march with them and hear them speak.

But apparently BBC reporter Tim Willcox just couldn’t resist needling a French Jewish woman during his interview with her there.

The woman, a member of the badly traumatized French Jewish community, expressed her fear that Jews are being targeted in Europe – only to be interrupted by Willcox contradicting her. Here’s how the dialogue went:

French Woman: The situation is going back to the days of 1930 in Europe.

Tim Willcox: Do you think that could be resolved, though, now, before it’s too late?

FW: Yes, of course… we have to, not to be afraid to say, that Jews are, that they are the target now. It’s not only the…

TW: Many critics, though, of Israel’s policy would suggest the Palestinians suffered hugely at Jewish hands as well.

FW: We cannot do amalgam… yes?

TW: But, but, but, you understand, everything is seen from different perspectives.”

FW: Of course, but this is not my …

TW: No, I understand.”

Quite apart from the obvious point that anti-Semitism has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of Israel’s policy vis a vis the Palestinian Authority,  — and that the subject of Israel and the PA was a complete disconnect from that of the rally — the question is whether the interview really was meant to be part of a BBC special report on the rally at all.

(This writer wonders: Does one feel more powerful making insinuations and bullying a woman who has already been traumatized and clearly fears for her life?)

The rally itself was intended to show solidarity with the surviving victims of last week’s radical Islamist terror attacks and to honor the memories of those who were murdered. It was also intended to send a clear, unambiguous message that France will not tolerate radical Islamist terror. And world leaders won’t either.

Perhaps they will even call it what it is, now.

For the terrorists yelled “Allahu Akbar!” at the start of their murderous rampage at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine last Wednesday. Methodically going from one target to the next, they slaughtered their way through a hit list, killing everyone at an editorial meeting in addition to a maintenance worker, two police officers and an additional employee.

A day later, another member of the terror cell shot and killed a policewoman. It later turned out that he and his common law wife had bungled the job: their real target was a Chabad-Lubavitch elementary school, but they got into a car accident and when police arrived, they opened fire and ran instead.

The next day, Friday, Hayat Boumedienne allegedly dropped her husband, Amedy Coulibaly off near the Hyper Cacher grocery store for his next and last terror attack. He held more than a dozen people hostage and killed four before French police finally stormed the site in coordination with a parallel operation at the other end of the city.

By that time, Boumedienne had caught a plane to Turkey. From there she made her way to Syria, according to various media reports.

Cherif and Said Koachi, who together with Hamid Mourad had attacked Charlie Hebdo, had taken a hostage at a Paris printing factory on the edge of the capital. But their time was brief as French police finally stormed their site.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bbc-reporter-needles-french-jewish-woman-at-unity-rally/2015/01/12/

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