And the winner is…

Over at Honest Reporting, they have announced this year’s award for Dishonest Reporter of the Year.

Go here to see their award announcement if you do not already know, and want to avoid the spoiler.

For present purposes, I will simply say two things:

  • The award is fully deserved.
  • The people involved at the BBC, and their management, should take this is a(nother) wake up call. They won’t.




Compare and Contrast

I have a recent post (here) about Fatah celebrating the killing of Jews.

Compare and contrast to this, from the Times of Israel:

PM blasts ‘shocking’ tape of wedding-goers feting Duma murders

Joining politicians from right and left condemning clip, Netanyahu says video shows ‘true face’ of far-right group, which poses ‘threat’ to Israel

e Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night denounced a “shocking” video clip showing far-right extremists celebrating the killings of the Dawabsha family, joining dozens of other politicians and public figures coming out against the taped incident.

Politicians from both sides of the political aisle strongly condemned the clip, aired by Channel 10, which shows revelers at the Jerusalem celebration waving knives, rifles, pistols and a Molotov cocktail during the wedding.

Amid the festivities, a photo of baby Ali Dawabsha, who was burned to death in the July 31 firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma, is shown being repeatedly stabbed.

“The shocking images broadcast tonight show the true face of a group that constitutes a threat to Israeli society and Israel’s security,” said Netanyahu. “We will not accept people who violate the state’s laws and do not see themselves as bound by them.”

The video “proves how important it is to have a strong Shin Bet for the sake of all of our security,” the prime minister added, referring to recent allegations of torture against the national security agency.

The report includes lots of condemnation from all parts of the Israeli political spectrum. You can read it for yourself here.

But compare and contrast with the Fatah incitement.

Does the Fatah incitement appear in the western media? No.

Will the Guardian cover it? No.

Will the BBC cover it. No?

Will CNN cover it? No

It will be ignored.

Will the western media cover the dreadful wedding celebration – the dance of death? Yes.

For example, it is already up at the Guardian.

There is no doubt; the western media are part of the problem.


In Fatah-Land, Murdering Jews Still Popular

The Elder of Ziyon has this:

Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah celebrates Wednesday’s murderous terror attack

From the official Fatah Facebook page comes the message saying the two people who murdered Ofer Ben Ari and Rabbi Reuven Biermacher are “heroes” and “martyrs” who engaged in a “heroic operation” and who they say are now immortalized and filled with glory.

And here’s the graphic:


The Elder continues:

“The party led by Mahmoud Abbas is very excited that they managed to kill a couple of Jews.

I want to stress that yet again, I cannot find a single Arabic-language voice under PA rule – not one op-ed, not one article – that finds murdering Jews to be anything less than heroic.”

In Fatah-Land – the country into which billions of dollars of western aid flows, with minimal oversight as to its expenditure – killing Jews is still popular; something to be celebrated, something heroic, something to be proud of. And the west sticks its collective head in the sand and sees no problem – except with Israel.

This is one reason alone, one significant reason for sure, that when western politicians or armchair experts, critics or whatever, tell Israel what to do, they are not speaking from a position of strength. Instead, by continuing to ignore the hatred, they are speaking from a position of being terror supporters and enablers. In this case, he who pays the piper seems to have no interest in the tune being played. Such people have no standing in our eyes.

The media plays its part. It is a scandal – a total dereliction of professional standards and integrity – for western media like the BBC, Guardian, CNN, and so on, that they do not report the facts about the situation. There is no excuse. They are facilitating the ongoing incitement.


Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

Centrist politician Yair Lapid has been attracting a considerable degree of heat and criticism from those on the left of the Israeli political spectrum, because of his explicit remarks denouncing the NGO, Breaking the Silence.

Ynet has an op-ed, from Ben-Dror Yemini on the matter:

Yair Lapid, the Israeli Left’s new enemy

Op-ed: The Yesh Atid leader dared to say what Herzog and Livni are afraid to say: That Breaking the Silence are spewing poison against Israel in the world. What exactly is wrong or inappropriate here?

Do read it all (here) but at least note the main thrust:

One should listen to what Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni have been saying in recent days. They are so kind as to utter a weak word of condemnation against Breaking the Silence, but immediately jump up to defend freedom of expression. As if that’s the point.

Why when it comes to a racist organization like Lehava, they will issue blatant condemnations, and rightfully so, without going on about freedom of expression. But when it comes to an organization cooperating with the BDS movement, which seeks to destroy Israel, they stand up to support freedom of expression. They fail to realize that by doing so, they are associating themselves with the radical left. Just like that, they are scaring off the one-third which returns to the Likud..

Lapid has decided that he’s had enough. He won’t recite Herzog and Livni’s clichés. When someone spits on him, on us, he won’t call it rain just because “journalists don’t like the center,” as Abramovich wrote. So what if they don’t like it? Is that what’s important? Only spineless people recite what the commissars in the media demand that they say.

Lapid hasn’t changed his political views by one iota. He is in favor of any peace initiative which has been rejected by the Palestinians in the past few decades. And a person who speaks in favor of the Saudi initiative isn’t fawning over anyone.

But, alas, he dared to say what Herzog and Livni are afraid to say: That Breaking the Silence are spewing poison against Israel in the world. And yes, it’s time to initiate a legislative move which will prevent funding from elements that are oiling the BDS campaign. What exactly is wrong or inappropriate here?

Following the recent elections, almost everyone in the Zionist Left, including politicians and journalists, declared on every stage that “there is a need for self-examination.” There were endless declarations, but no self-examination. But when one of the camp’s members really starts conducting a self-examination, they attack him.

Lapid was right to speak out, and the op-ed fairly represents my views on the matter. I don’t agree with everything Lapid or Yesh Atid so or say, but on this point I back his stance completely. Unfortunately, unless the moderate left wake up and realize what is happening, they will facilitate the return to power of Bibi and Likud. The moderate left have lost their way.


Time for Turkey?

Recent media reports suggest the rift between Israel and Turkey is on the way to being mended.

Israel Hayom has this:

Turkey says agreement with Israel not finalized yet

“We are working on a draft. There is no doubt that the Israeli state and its people are friends of Turkey. The criticism we have made so far has been about Israel’s extreme behaviors that we don’t deem as legitimate,” says ruling party spokesman.

A spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said on Sunday that a deal to normalize relations with Israel, including the return of ambassadors to both countries, has not been finalized yet.

Speaking at news conference in the capital Ankara, AKP spokesman Omer Celik said both sides were working on a draft document to reach a final deal.

According to the report:

Israel and Turkey have reached a preliminary agreement to normalize relations, including the return of ambassadors to both countries, officials from both countries said earlier this week.

So far, so good.

“Turkey has three precise conditions for normalizing ties: an apology, compensation and the lifting of an embargo on Gaza,” Celik said.

“Our first condition is fulfilled, but the remaining two have not been met yet. Therefore, our people should know we have no doubt that this draft will be shaped within these parameters.

“A deal has not been signed yet. Talks will continue until an agreement is finalized. During this period, we will observe whether these three conditions are met or not. This will be our requirement.”

As proof that I would have been a poor diplomat, I don’t agree with the need to apologize. It seems to me that Turkey is the one that should be apologizing, for joining in the incitement against Israel. And, I would be telling them to take their compensation claim to a place where the sun doesn’t shine.

But the real puzzler for me is this:

“…the lifting of an embargo on Gaza…”

Israel cannot agree to this – not as matters stand. Perhaps it depends how you define embargo. Perhaps what Israel has in mind is putting Fatah forces in charge on the other side. Perhaps this is all empty talk. But, if Turkey is truly going to insist on an end to the embargo, there surely cannot be any hope for restoring diplomatic relations with Turkey.


Christmas. Time to demonize.

And among the many perpetrators, the Financial Times, and Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the PLO.

UK Media Watch notes the behavior of the FT with:

Financial Times amplifies Palestinians’ exploitation of Christamas*

In brief:

So, for three years in a row the Financial Times has amplified Palestinian efforts to misleadingly suggest that Israel is oppressing Christians in the city believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

Presumably it’s intentional. Explanations of other reasons for this shoddy behavior gratefully received.

Meantime, the Elder of Ziyon spots Saeb Eerekat up to his old tricks. At the PLO’s Christmas Dinner, Erekat said:

“The first thing we need to do to defeat ISIS is to end this occupation.”

Eh? Apart from a much needed debate about “occupation,” the suggestion that solving the issue of the Palestinians will solve the issue of ISIS is totally disconnected from reality. If the Palestinians were the front and center of the issue, there wouldn’t be the dreadful bloodshed in Syria and Iraq that is currently ongoing.

I do wish we could see these people subjected to proper interviews and a modicum of cross examination.

“Two-thousand sixteen will mark how this region will go for the next part of the 84 years remaining in this century,” he said in conclusion. “Do we enter in the vehicles of democracy and peace or do we enter it in the vehicles of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi” — the head of the Islamic State — “and Benjamin Netanyahu?”

As the Elder points out, there’s more than an element of outrageous chutzpah for Erekat to suggest he is better placed to judge a democratic perspective:

And it is funny that Erekat is calling Israel undemocratic, since he has not been elected to his current position and his boss is entering the 11th year of his four year term leading a government that lost its last election.

The festive season is, for some, just another season to demonize Israel. No break from the hate, eh?

(*I think they mean Christmas…)


The Paris attacks and the exploitation of fear

Bruce Schneier has an excellent blog piece entitled Policy Repercussions of the Paris Terrorist Attacks (which I have only just come across) that is the usual breath of fresh air about terrorism, security, and surveillance.

For example:

The politics of surveillance are the politics of fear. As long as the people are afraid of terrorism — regardless of how realistic their fears are — they will demand that the government keep them safe. And if the government can convince them that it needs this or that power in order to keep the people safe, the people will willingly grant them those powers.

In short, governments use fear as a justification to acquire more intrusive powers.

It doesn’t matter that mass surveillance isn’t an effective anti-terrorist tool: a scared populace wants to be reassured.

That point is worth emphasizing, too. For example, there already was surveillance operating before the Paris terror attacks. Increasing it wouldn’t have increased the chances of preventing the attacks. Mass surveillance does not work in this arena. It does work in terms of keeping tabs on your political opponents…

So far as the opportunities and politicians are concerned, Schenier writes:

And politicians want to reassure. It’s smart politics to exaggerate the threat. It’s smart politics to do something, even if that something isn’t effective at mitigating the threat. The surveillance apparatus has the ear of the politicians, and the primary tool in its box is more surveillance. There’s minimal political will to push back on those ideas, especially when people are scared…

…Terrorism is singularly designed to push our fear buttons in ways completely out of proportion to the actual threat. And as long as people are scared of terrorism, they’ll give their governments all sorts of new powers of surveillance, arrest, detention, and so on, regardless of whether those powers actually combat the threat. This means that those who want those powers need a steady stream of terrorist attacks to enact their agenda. It’s not that these people are actively rooting for the terrorists, but they know a good opportunity when they see it.

So, even though it does not work, the politicians are going to keep trying to secure more surveillance and other intrusive powers.

Do read the whole post (which includes some excellent links to other material on the same issues) here.


Elder wisdom

It’s difficult, sometimes, to avoid being in awe of the Elder of Ziyon. Here he is, in a post about a daft BDS resolution being overturned, hitting the nail firmly on the head:

“Israel’s enemies are fixated on symbolic victories, like voting for a resolution that is meaningless or refusing to be in the same building as an Israeli flag. Meanwhile, Israel quietly works on real things like scientific and medical breakthroughs.

So let’s recognize the symbolic state of Palestine, which takes up no land and has only symbolic citizens. It can have a symbolic Olympic team and symbolic currency and symbolic passports.

The plan would work, too, if this symbolic people weren’t so supportive of killing real Jews.”

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


Haaretz and its conference

I’m talking about the HaaretzQ Conference, complete with Rivlin, New Israel Fund, the Israeli flag, and Saeb (I see no lies) Erekat.

The following is from today’s print edition of Haaretz*:


Shame about the second “it’s,”** but Mr Bowman does not miss the target with his closing sentence.

“…delusional, arrogant and extreme views…”

And it is good to know there are people like him.

(*No. I did not buy it. Honest, guv.)

(**This post is partially sponsored by the Apostrophe Protection Society.)