Bigotry on the Beeb

19 November 2012

I have only just caught up on the latest episode of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’. In that programme, from All Saints Church in Somerset, a Mr Stephen Bedford asked the panel this question:

‘Despite all the foreign aid and support Israel has spectacularly failed to get on with its neighbours.  Does Israel deserve a future?’

More people have been killed in Syria in the last twelve months than have died in the whole of the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians over recent decades. In addition, the Assads have spent recent decades destabilising the Lebanon, assassinating leading politicians there and much more. Yet who would even think of going onto the BBC and asking whether, having so conspicuously failed to get on with its neighbours, Syria should ‘deserve a future’.

The same could be said of absolutely any and every country in the region. But I doubt that the Mr Bedfords of this world would ask whether these countries ‘deserve to have a future.’ And this isn’t a despotism we are speaking about, but an ally and a democracy. How does hatred like this become so mainstream?


Well, one reason is that so many British politicians, including Britain’s favourite idiot granny Shirley Williams, tell them lies about Israel which the BBC allows to go out uncorrected. Here is Shirley Williams in reply to the bigoted question with which (unlike the excellent two conservative voices on the panel) she had absolutely no problem.

Shirley Williams told the audience that Gaza is ‘a slum’ and then went on to say the following:

‘It’s crowded out to the gills. It’s full of people struggling to find a box in which to live. It’s full of people who see their land slowly eaten up by more and more Israeli settlements.’

What settlements? What ‘slow eating up’? Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005. There is not a Jew in Gaza. Not a Jewish family, not a Jewish settlement, not a Jewish house, not a Jew. The place is – as the Palestinians have said they would like the West Bank to be if it comes under their full control – wholly and absolutely Judenrein. The last Jew in Gaza was Gilad Shalit. Does Shirley Williams think he was there building settlements for five years, rather than holed up in captivity as a hostage of Hamas?

Is it any surprise that members of the British public can come out with bigoted sentiments like those expressed in Somerset when the BBC gives airtime to politicians who spread lies with impunity?

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  • J Smith

    Abolish the license fee, see how many people are prepared to pay for the rotten left wing biased BBC then:-

  • rndtechnologies786

    Good thought.

  • Joanne Gerber

    ‘Despite all the foreign aid and support Israel has spectacularly
    failed to get on with its neighbours. Does Israel deserve a future?’

    What a daft question!! As if Israel and its neighbors were a bunch of children in a schoolyard. Mind you, Israel has had some dodgy policies, but how do you “get along” with enemies who, for ideological and religious reasons, are determined to wipe you out? I cannot believe that they could have posed this question with a straight face.

  • Jonesxxx

    Wow!!! And reading the comments and their contempt for Palestinians and blind unquestioning adherence to the fundamentalist Zionist line makes me realise what a right wing magazine the spectator must be.

  • Jonesxxx

    Yet when anyone questions whether Palestinians should have a state nobody shouts bigot? The truth is that the hollocaust has given us a knee jerk reaction to shout bigot when anyone discusses Israel. Pity Nobody defends palestinians so well.

  • John

    It does not seem to occur to anyone to point out that the entire Byzantine Empire was invaded and permanently occupied by the Muslims, (much against the wishes of the inhabitants and the Byzantine Greeks), thus the Muslims throughout the Near East and North Africa are occupying someone else’s land – including all of Ottoman Palestine, except for Israel.

  • Lithlad

    Pope is Catholic; bear visits the woods. You get the idea.

  • Andyj

    +240,00 cripples created by the Israeli’s. The taking of Palestine and calling it “Israel”. Constant killing. Over 10 million killed, Destruction of olive groves and their identity. Renaming stolen towns and cities. Stopping the UN from allowing their own state to exist. In the words of the law:-

    “Genocide is “the deliberate extermination of a people or nation”. This involves the destruction of a peoples culture, the theft of their land, and ultimately the physical elimination of those people.”

    Then there is the wholesale slaughter of Syrian supporters by the terrorists who are supplied illegally by our Fascist and Nazi leaders. These murderers failed abysmally in the Syrian elections. They have no lawful mandate.

    This author really needs his sanity looking at.

    • Baron

      Two things, AndyJ, first, learn English, second, don’t post when you’re dreaming.

      • Sarah


    • Daniel Maris

      Sounds to me like you’ve got a Jinn in your bonnet.

      • Occasional Clown

        Or perhaps a Jinn in his kuffiyeh!

  • Andy Gill

    The LibDems have form when it comes to Israel. That other old twat Jenny Tonge and the oily Paddy Ashdown spring to mind . At least Charlie Kennedy had the decency to sack Tonge.

  • NaMoNai

    We’re past the point of distortions in propaganda — we’re now in the phase of outright fantasy.

  • Augustus

    “More people have been killed in Syria in the last twelve months than have died in the whole of the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians over recent decades.”

    So why haven’t the Palestinians ever accepted a negotiated path to peace with Israel? Basically it’s because there is no present-day Palestine, and there never was. The name was imposed by a Roman emperor in retribution for the resistance of Jews against Rome’s control of their land. The name was adopted by Yassir Arafat as the self-proclaimed leader of the Arabs left behind by the wars and living in mythical ‘occupied territories’ as a kind of retribution against Israel for those Arabs living in the area and left behind by the wars they lost. And these ‘Palestinians’ do not want peace. Whatever peace exists between their nations is tenuous at best and the citizens of many of those nations have been in full revolt against the dictators that ran them from Tunisia to Libya to Egypt to Syria to Yemen. The only thing that “unites” them is their irrational hatred of Israel, a hatred shared by many European Union nations and, of course, the United Nations. Until recently, the Palestinian Liberation Authority and Hamas were in a state of war with one another. Hamas is the wholly owned creation of Iran, as is Hezbollah. They exist for no other purpose than the annihilation of Israel.


    She’s the British Helen Thomas.

  • Daniel Maris

    For a slum, Gaza seems to have a very well appointed hospital and all the people look healthy and well fed, which is surprising given Gazans virtually nothing of value to the outside world and have little land to grow food.

    Are they in fact world leaders in the grievance industry?

  • Sarah

    Well you know, when you create a country on other people’s land, on the basis of iron age propaganda and move in 100s of 1000s of colonists you can expect a bit of upset, even as much as 66 years later.

    PS. I don’t think Mr Bedford or Shirley Williams actually work for the BBC, I think their opinions are probably their own. The reason the BBC appears to have a left wing bias is because the right wing are too cowardly to pipe up on Question Time and Any Questions. Isn’t it. You’re the only one who’s willing to, Douglas. Nobody is actually preventing the commenters here from going on the telly and putting their names and faces to their opinions.

    • Sarah Williams

      “Well you know, when you create a country on other people’s land” Total false premise–or propagandizing. It was never “other people’s land” — it was Turkish land ceded to the Allies after losing WWI; the partition of 1923 severed Mandatory Palestine from Mandatory Syria, and then Palestine-in-Cis-Jordan from Mandatory Palestine,creating an Arab state and a Jewish state. The Jews had been there for centuries, like all the other minorities,and fought with the British forces in exchange for promises for a state. The Palestinian leadership sided with Hitler against Britain. Ottoman realty law required (and still requires in Jordan and Israel and the West Bank) that land belongs to the state (the Crown previously) unless it is registered, taxed and used. Fail any of these three conditions and it reverts to the state. Jews registered their lands, and paid taxes on them. All unregistered, untaxed lands were awarded to the two states at the time of the 1948 Partition–this was the majority of land on both sides. Israel registered and taxed and developed its land; the Palestinians went to war and were occupied by Jordan,who didn’t bother registering, taxing or improving the land so it remained ownerless. So, Israeli was created on land that was lawfully partitioned for the benefit of a minority population in the ME which had built state institutions, allied itself with British war interests twice, and EARNED the right to statehood albeit on a much smaller patch than originally promised. Your hypocrisy stinks of bigotry — it’s apparently okay with you that the Arabs claim Israel as part of “their land” so you ally yourself with misogynistic warlords who want to build their state on “other people’s land.”

      • Sarah

        Integrity not a big thing with you then?

      • Daniel Maris

        Yes, a number of fair points. I’ve always wondered why some think it permissible for the descendants of Turks who invaded the area to remain but not for Jews who came into the area, by and large peacefully.

        Having said that, the whole idea of planting a tiny Jewish state in the middle of a sea of hostile Muslims was a daft one. It will only become a less daft one with the defeat of the Sharia mindset – but that could be a race between historical forces and the acquisition of murderous technology by the hate-filled Jihadists.

  • Alice111

    Such rubbish! That woman needs a reality check.

  • Mackie

    What an incredible barrage of lies, there are no Jewish settlements in or even near the Gaza Strip, Gaza is not crowded and they have plenty of resources in the way housing,food, etc. Even as this battle goes on trucks are still delivering food and needed supplies into Gaza that are approved by Israel.

  • John

    Just after the Great War Greece launched an unannounced attack on Turkey, (though not an entirely unprovoked one as the Turks had been busily murdering the Greek Christians as well as hundreds of thousands of Armenian Christians and were continuing to do so). Woefully undermanned and ill-equipped the Greeks were soundly beaten and the Turks then proceeded to expel all the Greeks from Eastern Thrace and annex it as Turkish territory, which it remains to this this day. Muslim countries after launching yet another unprovoked attack on Israel were again soundly beaten by Israel and the West Bank was occupied, as a result, by Israel. What’s Turkish sauce for the Greek goose is also Israeli sauce for the Muslim gander. Israel has every right to formally annex the whole of the West Bank and expel all the Muslims therefrom – “Palestinian” is a misleading term. The only real “Palestinians” are the Jordanians who were awarded the greater part of Ottoman Palestine, (which had been promised to the Jews by the British), after the Great War.

  • David Levi

    Makes me wonder if decent Brits – yes there are some left – are even slightly ashamed to timidly hand over their annual jizya payments under the cloak of a Beeb License Fee.

  • Gerry Boy

    The only thing I agree with here is that the Any Questions question was ill-advised and bigoted.

    But what a predictable, myopic, nasty, bigoted bunch of responses below – many of them far worse than that question.

    Just the usual stuff: the BBC as jihadist (just think what that sounds like outside Specyland), that israeli settlements are fine, that land seizures by settlers are legal, Palestinian land rights illegal, jumped up or false, etc.

    Just wearisome, ill-informed claptrap from right wing pub bores; and it does nothing to aid anyone anywhere. All it does is make the tinpot little dictators saying it a bit more important. I sometimes wonder when reading such comments – do Specy bigots – speak the same way in public? Does the bigot calling the BBC a jihadist body not notice people whince and walk away or the nervous silence and staring at feet?

    The Middle East and Israel/Palestine issue isnt a simple one aided by moronic comments such as on here or simplistic leftist drivel. It will be aided by people recognising both sides have responsibilities and have to acknowledge how they deny the other in their histories. And talking about the 45 year Israeli occupation of Palestinian land: an occupation that is legal and which Israel has had no sanctions inflicted on it for.

    • June

      the BBC as jihadist (just think what that sounds like outside Specyland)

      It sounds just as accurate outside as does inside. Let me reiterate just in case you’ve missed it, BBC is an Islamist propaganda machine and will do everything in its power to bring about an Islamist rule in the UK – and I have said this to all my friends and family, many of whom agree with me.

  • Malfleur

    Isn’t it time Shirley Williams was put out to grass? Oh, wait a mo’, she has been – she grazes in the House of Lords

  • AY

    oh don’t worry about Israel mr Bedford.

    all hostile countries around are already turned or turning into bloody wastelands, and Israel is much better of.
    and you know why? – enemis of Israel live by lie and hate, which only brings degradation and demise (and that is to the question of what does BBC deserve, too).

  • John Welsh

    The BBC wheels out Shirley on QT a lot; she’s there to repeat lazy received wisdom of the left. My favourite was her old trope of the government wasting public money protecting Salman Rushdie – Christopher Hitchens was there to administer a memorable ‘Hitchslap':

    • Malfleur

      But still: “Williams also has appeared more than any other panellist on the BBC political talk show Question Time; most recently on 8 November 2012 in Bexhill”. (Wikipedia)

      Perhaps it’s her perfume that attracts.

  • Iain Hill

    It is despotism, and Israel is not a worthy ally. This man is bigoted to the point of hysteria

  • victor67

    Their land is the West Bank too. Despite Sharon and Israel’s best efforts to split Gaza and the West Bank. They are and will be Palestine.

    • Malfleur

      “They are and will be Palestine.”

      May be; names from the classical European civilization sacked in the name of their false prophet by the barbarous hordes out of Arabia in the 7th century linger on, although sometimes, like Palestine, they are given temporary new names such as “Jordan”. And names from earlier inhabitants who are reclaiming sovereignty after two thousand years are also not forgotten – like Judaea and Samaria.

      • victor67

        Whatever you call the West Bank are you for full democratic rights for all its citizens or only jews. How Liberal a democracy is Israel?

  • anotherjoeblogs

    all together now – The jinn’ll fix it for you and you and you……

    • salieri

      You mean, like legendermain?

      • anotherjoeblogs

        it was a mere reminder that al-beeb covered up abuse of children and the wizard of oz ( call him the lengendmain ) has been exposed. i agree the issue of israel is not a subject of levity but one of gravitas. i have supported israel ( albeit in my humble way ) ever since i first went there in the early 80s. i hope my contributions have not offended anyone through bigotry.

        • salieri

          Certainly not me, but they offended Sarah – though perhaps that’s easily done. On the other hand you have made Eddie feel terribly happy, which is quite an achievement.

  • salieri

    Before they sign in again (hugely enjoyable as their contributions were to the preceding debate) may I please appeal to someone, maninnina and anotherjoeblogs to behave himself in this one? Israel is not a subject for levity.
    On the other hand, bigotry is…

  • T. Botham

    “Does Israel deserve a future?”
    Let us recall a recent formulation of the same question.
    It was the question posed by Hitler – the “Jewish Question”, in fact. What must be done with the Jewish race? An eternal question, needing a final solution. Let’s get a panel to Wannsee.

    • Daniel Maris

      Yes – it had nasty echoes, given we are talking about a UN member state specifically sanctioned by the UN as a Jewish state.

  • Sher

    I’m not bothered by Shirley’s reply, I am well used to the rubbish that comes out of her mouth, I did not expect anything different. What shocks me to the core is the audacity
    of Mr. Bedford to ask such an outrages questions. If I had any doubt about him
    before, I now know that he is an anti-Semite and a Jew hater! So tell me Mr.
    Bedford – Where will the Jews go if Israel does not deserve a future? Will YOU
    welcome them here? Or will you call for another holocaust to ‘solve the Jewish
    problem’? People like you make me sick!

  • William Haworth

    Look at Gaza on Google Earth. There’s more free space there than in London. Most of it is divided up into ever-smaller parcels, probably due to how Palestinians inherit land. Compare that to the land use patterns just the other side of the border; big, commercial farms. If the land were green rather than brown, from the air you’d think it was a garden suburb. Maybe if Hamas would treat their neighbours like human beings, instead of killing them for fun, they’d be able to build a working city.

  • edlancey

    I listened to the first 2 minutes of AQ – I couldn’t believe that they had trundled out that senile old witch yet again and switched off. I can’t say I’m surprised though.

  • zakisbak

    Isn’t the whole point of such Q&As that dangerous and erroneous lines of thought can be exposed and flushed out?-
    Name another country that the question would be asked of?

    I would argue that questions like this one,the false photo of a child in Gaza,(actually from Syria) being tweeted by the BBC Gaza correspondent,(see Harrys Place),suggest “Institutionalized Anti-Israelism” at the BBC.

    the BBC, which is the best news and discussion platform in the world. –
    In your opinion.
    Only trusted by 44%.(YouGov)

    Do my points suggest a lack of “rigorous credibility in [your] thinking at the moment”?

  • Laurence

    Perhaps Shirley has been swayed by the altogether more odious Jenny Tonge? The latter’s diminished cognitive resources generate far more profound and repellent absurdities than Williams can muster but the offer the same crass moral Manichaeism: Palestinians ‘good'; Israel, ‘bad’. They will contort themselves and position themselves outwith the bounds of credulity to sustain this prejudice, even when the facts suggest otherwise.

    • Laurence

      Oops. Should be; The latter’s diminished cognitive resources generate far more profound
      and repellent absurdities than Williams can muster. Both, however, offer the
      same crass moral Manichaeism: Palestinians ‘good'; Israel, ‘bad’.

      • Austin Barry

        I had hoped that Christopher Hitchens had stuffed the fatuous harridan back in her own rancid box a few years ago on Question Time, when he described her ambivalence towards Rushdie’s knighthood and her simpering appeasement of murderous Islam as shameful. But here she is, booing and hissing the Left’s pantomime villain as she slips into her dotage.

  • BenMo

    Any Questions is a forum for open discussion. Not a single panelist answered in the affirmative, that Israel did not deserve a future. Isn’t the whole point of such Q&As that dangerous and erroneous lines of thought can be exposed and flushed out? Isn’t that exactly what happened? And were there not already two “excellent” conservatives on the panel anyway? Shirley Williams was clearly not referring only to Gaza but to the whole question of a Palestinian homeland when she referred to Jewish settlements, and the two things are of course totally connected.

    Can you really be suggesting that the questioner should have been censored? How would that be commensurate with public service broadcasting?

    I thank my lucky stars for the BBC, which is the best news and discussion platform in the world.

    Niggly little articles like this one with its gratuitous insults – ‘idiot granny’ – and flagrant embodiment of the bigotry it claims to resist – only serve to reinforce that opinion, and I am afraid make a very poor case indeed for any sort of rigorous credibility in right wing thinking at the moment.

    • Kevin

      Do you deserve a future?

      • Benmo

        Your point being?

        • T.Botham

          I think Kevin’s point is clear. He has flushed out and exposed a niggly little post.
          And in the same, rich vein offered by Kevin:
          Does the BBC deserve a future?
          Do the Palestinians deserve a future?

          • Benmo

            Oh dear.

    • Augustus

      “Niggly little articles like this one with its gratuitous insults…”

      Here’s another niggly little articulation: ““Our Fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world”
      – Grand Mufti of Palestine, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini.

      And Hamas still make the Nazi salute.

  • andrew taylor

    If it weren’t so obviously stupid, the casual bigotry with which defenders of Israeli expansion elide anti-Zionism into anti-Semitism would be extremely offensive. Large numbers of people are viscerally opposed to anti-Jewish or any other form of racial or cultural prejudice, but can’t see why such a stance means that they should not support the Palestinians who have been driven out of their homes to make room for illegal settlements. Or do these illegal settlements, built on stolen land, not exist?

    • edlancey

      “extremely offensive” to whom, exactly ? Your sixth form college ?

      • andrew taylor

        Well to me, I guess. And probably most people who don’t like racism. Not sure what your point is, but I presume you’re trying to sound patronising. If I were in a sixth form college, what possible relevance could that have to anything?

    • T. Botham

      The statement “Palestinians who have been driven out of the homes to make room for illegal settlements…built on stolen land” are obviously false and stupid. What explains this? Could it be some form of cultural prejudice agains the Jewish collective?

      That sort of casual lying the latest in a long history of libels against Jews. Libels against Jews were a virulent form of racial prejudice, and the incitement to expulsion and murder.

      Having learned some shame at overt Anti-Semitism, a large segment of the British public are happy to use the Palestinians as their proxy demonizers and ethnic cleansers of Jews. The first “Palestinian” militants were Hitler’s agents – and rewarded for their virulent Jew hatred by being given power by the British, who were reverting to form, deeply regretting their promise to those trouble-making, stiff-necked people, the Jews.

      • andrew taylor

        “Palestinians who have been driven out of their homes to make room for illegal settlements…built on stolen land” False? Stupid? Libel? I think you must have slept through most of the movie. And those shameful little inverted commas around the word Palestinian – what are they all about, then?

        • T. Botham

          Not a movie. Not a narrative. Reality. Facts. Inverted commas – standard size – designate that “Palestinian” is a label, in use but of questionable propriety. Standard usage of the marks. What is shameful is the pretense that a population of Arabs – stateless by deliberate policy of the Arab states – has national claims of equal or superior validity to the Jews’ national claims to any part of the Mandate territory ( reluctantly, excluding Jordan.) And that those specious rights entitle the shameful little Hitlers who lead and abuse that population to wage constant war on Jews in the name of “resistance to occupation.” The Jews are not occupying sovereign lands of any Arab nation. They are living in their country, legally acquired, and fought for and defended in war.

        • Sarah Williams

          “”Palestinians who have been driven out of their homes to make room for
          illegal settlements…built on stolen land” False? Stupid? Libel?” Yes to all of the above–false, stupid and libelous. Every “settlement” is built on land which was purchased from Arab owners, OR built on former Jordanian and Egyptian military bases OR built on unregistered (state) land which belonged to no one. The majority of these regions with the greatest population lie hard against the armistice line and do not protrude into what wants to be “Palestine” and Olmert’s offer included equal land swaps and a land bridge to Gaza…

  • andagain

    ‘It’s crowded out to the gills. It’s full of people struggling to find a box in which to live. It’s full of people who see their land slowly eaten up by more and more Israeli settlements.’

    The second sentence is not true of Gaza specifically, but it is true of Palestine as a whole.

    • HarryG

      No it’s not true of Palestine as a whole. There has been no expansion of the boundaries of Israeli ‘settlements’ (as opposed to building within existing boundaries) for at least a dozen years. Glib media commentaries about ‘settlement expansion’ usually deliberately obscure this fact.
      Furthermore, these ‘settlements’ (often built on land from which Jews were expelled in 1948) cover no more than 3% of Palestinian territory. In any final peace deal, Israel has always envisaged that any of these areas that become part of Israel will be compensated by equivalent territory taken from pre-1967 Israel.
      Of course, one obstacle to the latter has been that the Arab inhabitants of the relevant ‘compensating’ aeas have protested that they don’t want to be part of a Palestinian state. Instead they wish to retain their Israeli citizenship, and regard any move to force them to be ‘Palestinians’ instead to be a racist abrogation of their rights as Israelis. I wonder why that is? Perhaps they realise they have far more rights in Israel than they would in an independent Palestine.

      • andagain

        There has been no expansion of the boundaries of Israeli ‘settlements’
        (as opposed to building within existing boundaries) for at least a dozen

        So the number of settlers has in fact been going up? People have in fact been kicked off what was their property to make way for them?

        To quote one settler: “we aim to expand the existing Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, and create new ones. This is not — as it is often portrayed — a theological adventure but is rather a combination of inalienable rights and realpolitik. Even now, and despite the severe constraints imposed by international pressure, more than 350,000 Israelis live in Judea and Samaria. With an annual growth rate of 5 percent, we can expect to reach 400,000 by 2014 —and that excludes the almost 200,000 Israelis living in Jerusalem’s newer neighborhoods.”

        • T. Botham

          Where’s the beef? Outspoken expansion plans by Jews is not an admission that they are stealing land. Every settlement’s legal title to the land my be judicially examined. The Palestinians use a fraudulent national claim over territory falsely to claim legal ownership of actual tracts of land. They have – acting illegally against fundamental property rights – forbidden Arabs to sell to Jews. Any land which they claim which is built on or lived on by Jews then becomes “stolen” land. The entire territory of Israel is on this theory “stolen” land. But acknowledging that such a national claim is made and countenanced by Israel and the world, any new national jurisdiction, the new State of Palestine, takes its territory as is, with the existing inhabitants and existing land-ownership. Certainly, a State of Palestine might pass laws to confiscate land from Jews, and send the Jews packing, and redistribute the land to chosen Arabs, but the world would recognize that for what it is. Why – and on what theory of government power – should Israel undertake the ethnic cleansing of its own people, on behalf of a tyranny trying to steal a state? (And then one recalls Gaza, the forced evacuations, land for peace… and grinds one’s teeth.) If the world wants a Jew-free Palestine, and a Jewish State, then it must once again sponsor forced mass population movements – as it did in the Partition of India, Sudetenland…

          • andagain

            Outspoken expansion plans by Jews is not an admission that they are stealing land.

            It is an admission that they are expanding.

            Every settlement’s legal title to the land my be judicially examined.

            Not everyone in Israel seems to be convinced of the rectitude of this:

            But even if it were true that the settlement program was perfectly justifiable legally, it would still be the case that they weaken Israels political position disasterously. If it was not for them Palestine would be less of a problem for Israel than, say, Syria.

            • T. Botham

              Btselem does its bit to destroy Israel on behalf of Arab thugs. There have been far worse betrayals of Israel by its High Court, various governments both Labour and Likud (the Israelis brought back the PLO from exile, unilaterally left Gaza).
              I have no idea what your last paragraph means. There is no political solution on the horizon. Israel’s prime concern is security. It can defend its borders for the time being – against Syria too, thanks to holding the Golan Heights.

              • andagain

                Btselem does its bit to destroy Israel on behalf of Arab thugs.

                What a curious occupation for a group of Israelis livingin Israel.

                • T. Botham

                  Oh do take your finger out of your mouth. You are not Alice in Wonderland.

                • Sarah Williams

                  LOL! You ARE aware that B’Tselem is largely staffed by Palestinians? They do all the field work and reports? They take Arab statements as truth and never bother to investigate countervailing Jewish statements? They are staffed by a fig-leaf board of Leftist Jews to give them cover so they can claim to be “Israeli.”

            • Baron

              andagain, sir, you naive beyond belief, if the settlements didn’t happen, Hamas, their ME backers, their Western arselickers would find another stick to hit Israel with. That’s what it’s all about, hit the only democracy, suck up to the thugs.

        • Malfleur

          “we aim to expand the existing Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria” — Excellent idea,andagain! The word “settlements” should of course be “residential areas” and it would also be a good idea to call for such areas to be introduced into the larger part of Palestine, presently called Jordan, where I am sure the Jewish residents would be welcomed as in all the other countries of the Middle East.

          • andagain

            Presumably then you feel it would be a good idea to allow Palestinians – including those in “Jordan” – the right to freely migrate into Israel,and be granted all the usual rights of Israeli citizenship. Including the right to vote.

            Personally I think the Israelis would be insane to agree to this, but then, I think they were stupid to try to settle the West Bank.

            • Malfleur

              “Presumably then you feel it would be a good idea to allow Palestinians –
              including those in “Jordan” – the right to freely migrate into Israel.”


              • andagain

                Then perhaps you should be more careful about demanding the reverse.

                • Malfleur

                  Why? There are Arabs in Israel. Why not some Jews in Palestine, by which I mean Jordan? Are there any? How many?

                • andagain

                  So you think that the Palestinians are obligated to allow Israelis to migrate into Palestine, and that the Israelis should stop Palestinians from migrating into Israel.

                  Perhaps you would like to accuse me of hypocracy next?

                • Malfleur

                  Only when you learn to spell it properly.

                • andagain

                  Thanks. I take that to be an admission of defeat.

                • Sarah Williams

                  There is no Palestine. There is a proto-state trying to be Palestine which has no defined boundaries because the aging warlords do not wish to define a border, because that would mean surrendering their dream of destroying Israel and claiming it for their own.

                • andagain

                  What do you want to do with the actual, living non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, Sarah? What do the settlers want to do with them? Turn them into Israeli citizens, with all the usual rights, including the right to vote? You’d have to be crazy to do that.

                  So you must want to do one of three things.

                  1) Genocide. Exterminate thePalestinians.
                  2) Ethhic cleansing. Drive them all out of the country under threat of death, as used to happen in Yugoslavia.
                  3) Rule over the Palestinains like some South African bantustan.

                  Whichever option you (or the settlers) prefer, you look a little bit silly complaining that the Palestinians don’t like you. If you were a Palestinian, you would hate Israel too.

                  Which is why I said that the settlements weaken Israels political position.

        • Sarah Williams

          “People have in fact been kicked off what was their property to make way for them?” No. The settlement boundaries were established decades ago, and people build within those boundaries on empty lots, or “expand” by building a second and third story onto a house for a multifamily dwelling.

          • Sarah

            Phew, lucky they’re empty.

  • Augustus

    Despite the fact that human rights are being violated left, right and centre in Syria, the international media remains focused on showing what annoying people the Israelis are. Because for centuries Jews have done nothing else than irritate people. It must be part of their nature to do that. Right-wing anti-Semites blamed the Jews for starting the Bolshevik revolution, and there were indeed quite a few Jews involved in that. The anti-Semites on the Left accused the Jews for being capitalists, and there have indeed been quite a few Jewish capitalists. But it is understandable that faith, culture, and revolutionary ideals on the one hand, and purses and safeboxes on the other, are about the only values that a people without a country can carry with them. But now that they have a country the flame of anti-Semitism rose again out of the ashes, only now it became anti-Zionism, and not against individual Jews but against their country. And those that now assail them speak Arabic. And when they disguise the crescent moon as a sickle it’s to gain as much sympathy from the Leftist world as possible. And not without success.

    • Billy Saunders

      I’m going to use this if you don’t mind. Great passage.

    • Sarah

      That’s certainly one way of looking at it.

      A bit of a spoiled teenager with no self-awareness or sense of personal responsibility way, but a way none the less.

  • ReefKnot

    The BBC are well known as the broadcast arm of the Guardian. As such, their appalling bias against Israel is only to be expected. They really do loathe and detest Israel in the same way that they loathe and detest Tories. However the BBC continue to refuse to publish the Balen report which investigated their middle-east bias, presumably on the basis it confirmed the overwhelming evidence of anti-Israeli bias in their news reporting.
    Whilst the BBC may be entitled to their bigoted views, we should not be forced to pay for it via the Licence Fee.

  • C Cole

    And that’s without even mentioning the Corporation’s suppression of the Balen Report…

  • C Cole

    Owing to its pervasive leftist bias, I try not to watch BBC news if I can avoid it. When it comes to Israel, the double standards are even more sickening. As Douglas rightly notes, no other country on earth has its right to exist questioned in such terms, if at all. How can doing so be anything other than anti-semitic?

    • AY

      I watch BBC occasionally not more than 2-3 times a year.
      it is even funny.
      every time I notice that my BS translation skills need updating, they twist language very fast.
      just bunch of jihadist evil clowns – and payed by taxpayers money. but this is unfortunate reality of modern dhimmi Britain becoming more and more enslaved by islamic invaders.

    • Daniel Maris

      Try Sky then – just as biased, I would say. Both organisations fail to explain what is in the Hamas charter and what is preached from the pulpits and on TV in Gaza. When it comes to inserting their own opinions they never say: “On can imagine what an hysterical and aggressive response would follow such rockets falling on London and Birmingham or Washington and Los Angeles. ” Why not? It’s just as valid an opinion as “Israel will face much condemnation if they proceed with these attacks.”

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