Tuesday, September 20, 2005

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.


BBC Information

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.



At 2:00 AM, Anonymous rachel ann said...

Whooo! Girl you rock! Great stuff! Thanks for writing and posting.

At 3:09 AM, Blogger Rory said...

Way to go, Esther. Frankly, I'd had it up to here with the BBC years ago, but if they consider the settlements to be an "obstacle to peace" then I wonder what the hell they think the goddamned suicide bombers are. And, as far as I'm concerned, Britain is treading on some really thin ice lately when it comes to anything having to do with Israel. Between their crackpot politicians, their so-called academics and their Jew-baiting media, they're hardly in a position to be critical of the Israelis. Also, let's not forget it was Tony Blair's bright idea to shove the road map down Israel's throat as a quid pro quo for supporting Bush in the war against Iraq. Maybe that's why I've been suffering from a major case of Anglophobia these days.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Thanks Rachel Ann. :)

Rory -- their reasoning is pretty dispicable. The scary part is how a lot of the world gets their info from them! And we wonder why anti-Israel sentiment is raging.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

Write On!, Sista'!

At 8:30 AM, Blogger birdwoman said...

It's not just the beeb - it's all of the main stream media.

Back in the early 60's - I'd like a time machine - was it just the opposite? Like it was on college campuses? I'm wondering if we're on the cusp of a pendulum swing? We're already seeing "radica" talk radio become more and more main, and big, liberal cities like New York and Philly now have successful conservative papers.

If i were a Brit, the thing that would peeve me most is that in order to have a TV, I have to pay a license which pays for this tripe.


At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came here from another site...excellent reasoning and you were right on target! A lot of common folk in the world are so sick of the news media we refuse to listen to TV anymore...unless over the internet in some cases, such as hubby listens every day to Israeli TV. Any sane person would find it incredible to even consider that those settlements were in any way infringing on anyone at all...after all, it was barren wasteland until Israel went in and began growing things, correct? And if a country attacks another, then what follows ought not to be the concern of any organization that did nothing to stop the attack in the first place. In what way has the UN contributed anything positive to any place? I fail to see it. Know you are not alone! We wish Israel was large enough to hold the sane people in the world...and let the rest of the crazies stay everywhere else! It is becoming the only country we know of with any reason to it! We are very sad to see them pull out of Gaza etc. But prophecy will come to pass...not much we can do about that either!

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Haha, thanks Sarge!

BW, that would peeve me beyond words too!

Elizabeth, thank you so much for visiting, reading and commenting! Thanks for the kind words -- and agreeing. You made excellent points. :)

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

"Many governments also hold that Israeli settlements contravene the Fourth Geneva Convention,"

Many governments hold that a dictatorship is the best form of government. Many governments say and do a lot of things.

"In United Nations Security Council Resolution 465 (1980), the Security Council demanded that Israel "dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, ......"

So what? The same anti-Semitic UN, wish the BBC seems to worship at the alter of, says that a defensive barrier to save lives is illegal (only Israels, noone elses), the same UN that can't define terrorism, the same UN that equated Zionism with rascism.

"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."

Stole from who? The Jordanians and Egypts that were preparing to wipe Jews off the map with an attack on Israel. Those two countries lost the land in an aggressive war to wipe out Jews from the middle east. (I am reading your response now and you are saying the same thing).

At 5:38 PM, Blogger drummaster2001 said...

the BBC sucks and should be wiped off the face of the earth. need i say more? you pretty much killed them, esther. nice work.

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

They disgust me (BBC).
Thank you for this.

At 6:43 AM, Blogger rockmother said...

Esther! Well done, girl. But it's useless, I'm afraid with the BBC (Better Be Careful).

As for Orla Guerin - why Israel does not expel this unspeakable BITCH is beyond me.

We have written many letters to the BBC. Nothing avails.

And here we go with "International Law" (ref. British Foreign Office) again! WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL LAW? WHO ELECTED THE "LAWMAKERS"? Or is it just the usual sickening UN cabal of anti-semites and arabists who get together in their little covens and make it up as they go along?

Rory - please be assured that the British people are not their government and we have plenty of reservations about all sorts of things they do. Though I can well understand your feelings, mate!

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Rory said...


I'm glad you understood because I'm really very fond of the British people and maybe it's because, at one time, I had several close British friends that perhaps I was holding them to a higher standard. The problem is there had been a constant stream of anti-Israel or anti-Semitic incidents, culminating with the proposal to change Holocaust Remembrance which, while it was turned down, never should have been considered in the first place, and it went on and on. At that point, I guess Esther's BBC post just about pushed me over the edge. But thanks for understanding. I do appreciate it.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger rockmother said...

Rory, thanks for your lovely comment. Of course I understand. There are times I get anglophobic myself, though I am constantly pleasantly surprised at how resistant the ordinary Brit is to so much of this rubbish. There's an awful lot of, "they're not going to tell me what to think!"

As for George Galloway - I once had the very great pleasure of seeing him in the street with the rest of his coven and calling him a "filthy racist" straight to his ugly face. No reply from His Holiness, though his coven replied, "You're the racist!" (They were all white, and I am white, so not very original or effective as a rejoinder, I feel...)

Most people cannot stand Galloway. Livingstone is the more dangerous because his comments are always carefully equivocal. Another nasty piece of work nonetheless!

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Rory said...


It's quite reassuring to know that that the average person in Britain hasn't fallen prey to the sort of mindset (BBC/Guardian/Independent) that some of us find so disturbing. As for your encounter with George Galloway, I can only imagine that it was very cathartic to tell the miserable SOB what you thought of him to his face. But how interesting that a man who can never seem to stop running his mouth, needed an entourage of flunkies to answer for him.

At 3:47 AM, Blogger Luz the Magpie said...

The BBC stinks and, as birdwoman so rightly pointed out, we actually have to pay them money to own a tv set regardless of what we watch. I grew up with them and listened to the World Service when I was homesick working abroad but after watching their coverage of Kosovo I realised how despicable they are. I'm Russian Orthodox and one night their premier current affairs programme showed us "a Bosnian Muslim woman sobbing at the grave of her family", the inference being the Serbs murdered them but the characters on the gravestone were Cyrillic... but in Kosovo, like Israel, they had chosen to be on the Muslim side regardless of what the facts might be. And because I want to watch the NHL I help pay Orla Guerin's salary... mea culpa :-(

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Very interesting take on the situation, luz! Thanks for dropping by and definitely for commenting. I didn't know about a lot of that. And you're totally right about what side they always choose. Sigh...


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