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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Auntie explains

'Since the start of the current violence in Lebanon, the United States' position has remained consistent: it is only sensible to have an Israeli ceasefire when it can be a sustainable one.

'In other words, when Hezbollah has been sufficiently weakened to no longer pose a threat.

'That is a view that has been at odds with many European nations, who have argued for an immediate Israeli ceasefire.

'The reasons for that difference in emphasis are complex but many people point to the power of the Israel lobby in the United States as a key factor.'

- a perfect encapsulation of the BBC mindset (no, I won't use the 'b' word) from a piece by the Nick Miles on Friday.

For a start, it's mildly amusing that this appeared a matter of hours before John Bolton joined the rest of the Security Council in voting for, er, a ceasefire resolution - in a situation where Hezbollah had not exactly ceased to pose a threat.

The last sentence sets the tone for the rest of the article. Note Mr Miles' evasive 'many people point ...', not explicitly associating himself with the many people but not actually distancing himself from them either. It is a fact that a significant subset of the many people go further and point to this as evidence for the authenticity of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, but naturally it is not the impartial Beeb's job to pass judgment on such views.

What I find most revealing is that, having established the difference between American and European attitudes, Mr Miles makes the reflex assumption that what stands in need of an explanation is America's bizarre, irrational and inhuman support for Israel. And the rest of the article then provides that explanation, focussing, surprise, surprise, on (Jewish) ethnic egotism and (evangelical) religious fanaticism.

Some people - perhaps even many people - might be wondering why, when a pro-Western democracy fights back against aggression from a fundamentalist and racist terrorist organization committed to wiping it off the map, so many Europeans react with outrage rather than solidarity. But no explanation is on offer from Mr Miles. Evidently such people are not his, or the Beeb's, kind of many people.


Anonymous said...

"Back in 2000, the Jewish vote in Florida was a key factor in the Republican victory there, and by extension nationwide."

In 2000 approx 80% of jews voted for the Democrats and that swung it for the Republicans! Did I read that right?

Anonymous said...


The BBC report, to the say the least, played fast and loose with facts. And, you picked up a good example.