My Fight with the BBC
Here was my first subtle note to them:
Your coverage of the Palestinians setting fire to the temples in Gaza was vile. You justified it? You have been accused for a while now of being morally bankrupt in your coverage of the Middle East. You're obviously very comfortable with that. I'd like to see how you'd cover it if that happened in Northern Ireland or something like that. You get hit by suicide bombs and have learned NOTHING about terrorism. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.
They responded with this charmer:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding a report on our News Website from our Middle East Correspondent, Orla Guerin, on the Palestinian return to the Gaza settlements.
Orla Guerin was in no way trying to "justify" the actions of Palestinian mobs in this report. Her reference to the Palestinians' sense of having time stolen from them was an attempt to give context to their actions - not to justify them.
As I am sure you are aware, the UN believes that settlements - to which Orla Guerin was referring to in this report when she used the word "stole" - have no legal validity and obstruct the peace process (e.g. Security Council Resolution 446, 22 March 1979). Many governments also hold that Israeli settlements contravene the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that 'The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. '
The British Foreign Office gives this statement on its website:
"Our policy on settlements is clear: settlements are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace ... continuing illegal Israeli settlement activity threatens the prospects for a two-state solution and is an obstacle to peace."
In United Nations Security Council Resolution 465 (1980), the Security Council demanded that Israel "dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction or planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem."
Accordingly, we do not agree with the assertion that this report sought to "rationalize the Palestinian mob violence". The use of the word "stole" was a reference to Israel's occupation of this land for the previous thirty-eight years following the 1967 war.
So I decided to write them back, but it bounced, saying I needed to resubmit in a form. I say screw that at this point and figured I'd just post it here for you guys:
You are still appearing to me to be morally bankrupt. How did Israel "steal" the territory? Who had it before? The Palestinians? Nope. Egypt had Gaza. How did they lose it? THEY attacked Israel and then LOST. I don't see YOUR country giving back any land. By expecting Israel to do so (which they frankly are willing to do if they ever were promised to be left alone and not killed on a daily basis), you are showing a penchant for anti-Semitism. You are holding Israel to a standard even your own country isn't willing to live up to.
As for this...
"As I am sure you are aware, the UN believes that settlements - to which Orla Guerin was referring to in this report when she used the word "stole" - have no legal validity and obstruct the peace process"
Where to begin on this jibberish. They are not an obstacle to peace. What is, you ask? The fact that Palestinians refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to be in that part of the world, period. Even more surprising, you're going to use the UN's actions to justify something? Are you on crack? The UN also doesn't think the deaths of hundreds of thousands (or is it up to millions?) in Darfur is genocide. They're a toothless lion and even more useless. Next thing you know, you'll be quoting your dangerous misfit twins, George Galloway and Ken Livingstone, as paragons of right thinking. If you do that, you'll simply be proving yourself a joke and dangerously ignorant.