BBC puts US media to shame on E. Jerusalem

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 10 Comments

The BBC puts U.S. corporate and public media to shame, violating taboos on Israel.  On “BBC World News America” last night, host Matt Frei asked Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen point-blank about the Israeli government’s announcement yesterday (news ignored by other outlets) of “another settlement in the heart of East Jerusalem.”  Frei even emphasized the gall of the new grab as Netanyahu met privately with President Obama: “Talk about timing, there was news today”–of Israel’s new seizures of Palestinian land.

Bowen confirmed: just as Netanyahu rode “in his official limousine heading for the White House for his long-sought-after meeting with President Obama,” Israel pronounced final approval for more Jewish-only apartments in Sheikh Jarrah, which Frei called “the heart of” the old city of East Jerusalem.  “Jewish-only”; when do we hear such a refrain  in the U.S. about the aim of Israeli encroachment onto areas belonging to Palestinians?

Bowen posited that though the new building is “small”–20 flats–, its location “not in the big Jewish settlements,” but in the “built-up, old [Palestinian] part” makes the announcement “potentially very sensitive indeed.”  [“Haaretz” confirms the BBC report on the new Israeli expropriation of Palestinian land.] 

“The theme that runs through” the twin stories about Israel today, said Frei, “is that the Israelis have a law unto themselves–or think they do–when it comes to certain issues.”

Bowen agreed: “They have a “feeling of impunity about certain issues… because of diplomatic cover” given them by the U.S.

Frei asked whether that cover might have been weakened by Israel’s recent actions.

Bowen answered that “When you look at Mr. Netanyahu’s diplomatic agenda, he’s presiding over deteriorating relations with two very important allies, the Americans and the British.” And Bowen picked up General David Petraeus’s testimony that Israeli intransigence endangers U.S. interests. 

Netanyahu is merely repeating offenses committed last time he was P.M. Recent diplomatic crises must feel like “deja vu” for Netanyahu, Bowen said–or, rather, for us– because Netanyahu then, too, angered the US by building in East Jerusalem and caused a scandal with an assassination attempt carried out using forged Canadian passports.  The diplomatic uproar eventually led to Netanyahu’s massive electoral defeat.

BBC coverage betters that of the dominant U.S. news sources.  But why does no one even raise an eyebrow over Netanyahu’s pretext for Israeli theft–that Jews were “building 3,000 years ago in Jerusalem”? 

The millennial excuse–called into question by Shlomo Sand, who has demonstrated that Netanyahu’s ancestors were most likely in Eastern Europe–is a new claim for the Israeli government to shovel. For decades, Israeli governments fostered the Western delusion that after a peace deal, Israel would return their ’67 booty  to the Palestinians.

Owen Bennett-Jones did at least confront West Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat yesterday on “The BBC Newshour” over Barkat’s assertion that 2000 years of Jewish longing for Jerusalem justifies turning out the current Palestinian owners.  Bennett-Jones incredulously asked: “If everyone went back to where we were 2000 years ago, it would be a crazy world, there would be wars everywhere.”  Barkat evaded.  

Bennett-Jones asked Barkat how many countries recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by lodging their embassies there. Barkat fudged, saying “it was a bit of an insulting question,” before repeating his contention that Biblical identification of Jews with Jerusalem justifies modern possession.  

But “International Law doesn’t agree with” Israeli ownership of East Jerusalem, Bennett-Jones persisted. Barkat begged the question by changing all the terms, announcing that even “settlements”–the former euphemism for “illegal colonies”–is now a proscribed term.  No, stolen areas are simply “Jewish neighborhoods.” 

Israeli “annexation” and “occupation” are out: Israel is “re-uniting Jerusalem.”  Orwell’s prophecies live.

10 Responses

  1. Les
    March 24, 2010, 3:32 pm

    The US media is the real Israel Lobby in the US that people need to comprehend. It is what creates public opinion. The hidden lobby’s disinformation campaign, called “news,” deliberately misleads the public. The campaign secondarily enables, if not encourages, politicians, especially Congressional Democrats, to take money from AIPAC and its ilk to do the Lobby’s bidding. It is the owners and operators ensconced in the upper levels of our media who we need to recognize as the real directors of the Israel Lobby. For example, this includes the New York Times and the paper’s paid propagandists such as Ethan Bronner that work full time to create the public opinion the Lobby wants and to keep our politicians in line. This secret lobby, not anything so public as AIPAC, needs to be understood so it can be disempowered and dissolved. The Israel Lobby is a subversive conspiracy that is not afraid to risk US security as General Petraeus has recently made public. Seeing it for what it is, is the first step to taking away its frightening power

    • Chu
      March 24, 2010, 4:41 pm

      The media of the US is often the mouthpiece of the Lobby. They are quiet on Israeli occupation and anything that relates to the Israeli violation of Int’l law. Unfortunately, Israel creates much of the danger with their ever expanding occupation, that is supported by the US, via AIPAC.
      The US is going to have to take a stand after Netanyahu’s snub toward the White House since he acted as if the US works for Israel – as did the congressional speakers. It doesn’t help that a new president looks like he being dragged around by a racist Jewish state that can’t follow a international laws and protocols. If we drop our support, who is going to help them? I could give a [email protected] and many feel the same way.
      Netanyahu can milk antisemitism, for all the [email protected] it’s worth, but in the end Israel has no strategic value to us. All that is left in this country is to stop the Zionists and their decades of inertia in defending and supporting Israel. We have other [email protected] to think about, like developing new energy technologies and ending the Federal Reserve (which made 45 billion in profits last year).

      • Psychopathic god
        March 24, 2010, 5:10 pm

        The media, controlled, as Les wrote, by ‘the hidden lobby,’ extends to entertainment as well.

        Couple days ago a CSI episode centered on an Iranian family in distress — audience was informed the ‘bad guy’ was Iranian because and incriminating letter was written in Farsi.

        That episode was subtle (not to mention absurd: a woman who was tracked down based on the slender profile of her Italian high-heels, was wearing those high heels when she put the 200-pound victim inside a shoulder-high stack of rubber tires and set it ablaze).
        Several months ago, another of the Bruckheimer string of crime programs featured an Iranian businessman who was, eventually, massacred, whereupon the legal authorities investigating the crime commented on the greed and viciousness and all-around badness that characterizes ALL Iranians.

        Jewish characters in these crime dramas are occasionally the victim, sometimes the do-gooder clue-giver, but NEVER the criminal. Hasbara goes to the movies.

        btw, was AIPAC playing the soundtrack from Exodus at its confab? Music was gawdawful; haven’t heard anything that bad since I broke my addiction to cheap movies in the ’50s.

      • Chu
        March 24, 2010, 6:32 pm

        Law & Order recently had a show with the focus on Muslim (or black) terrorists regarding the Riverdale Synagogue, Bronx. I kept it on long enough to lose interest.
        I know Law & Order pulls headlines from the NY area, but it is propaganda nonetheless. There should be a short list on the right side of the blog to note recent Hollywood propaganda via television.
        AIPAC sucks. They make it out to be a week at the Oscar’s, but all the oscar’s go to Israel and its’ political performers. Best supporting actor goes to Lindsey Graham, etc. If I were a Congressmen I would vote against Israel everytime so I wouldn’t have to attend.

      • sherbrsi
        March 25, 2010, 2:23 pm

        Jewish characters in these crime dramas are occasionally the victim, sometimes the do-gooder clue-giver, but NEVER the criminal.

        Psychopathic god,

        Marlon Brando made the same observation in an interview. Of course subsequent to these statements, he was flooded with calls of anti-semitism, to which he conceded by affirming the niceties of the Jewish people and their achievements.

        You are very correct in examining this bias, which is deeply embedded in the US media, from late-night shows to movies, often against countries which the US and Israel are hostile against (namely Iran and Syria).

      • Les
        March 24, 2010, 9:14 pm

        It is impossible to ignore that white racists who support Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians are given all the time and space they desire in the US media by the Israel Lobby but nothing of the kind for the likes of Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein.

  2. potsherd
    March 24, 2010, 4:36 pm

    Juan Cole addressed BYahoo’s lies yesterday.

    link to

  3. eGuard
    March 24, 2010, 7:51 pm

    Well, great you have some BBC overthere. Good for USA. Reads like you receive some new news.
    Clearly some “BBC World News America” exists. Hmm. They didn’t tell me. Overhere they call themselves “BBC World Service”. Hope it’s the same BBC. And the same world.
    But anyway, BBC-Londen has shown her true colors a year ago, after the Gaza-war: by not transmitting a humanitarian relief-action for Gaza. “The help would not arrive anyway” (read: Israel promised that), and BBC head Mark Thompson said: “the broadcast of the appeal might be seen as evidence of bias on a highly sensitive political issue.” Know what you wish for.

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