On Seder night, the orthodox tradition includes mention of the many plagues beyond the ten plagues that most have heard of. One of these extra plagues is described as “messengers of evil.”
When we did this part of the Haggadah at our seder night, I replaced “messengers of evil” with “the BBC.” I didn’t plan it; it just came out. I said it out loud. And after I said it, I realized how appropriate it was, and was comfortable with that modern intrusion into one of our ancient traditions.
Having returned to normal life – ha! – after Pesach, it was somewhat ironical that I then read the BBC Watch story – BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ mainstreams anti-Israel delegitimisation – because it was a clear example of the BBC performing exactly according to my description: messengers of evil.
The story covers the appearance of Raja Shehadeh in a Zeinab Badawi hosted broadcast of the March 16th 2015 edition of ‘Hardtalk’ shown on the BBC World News channel. As BBC Watch puts it:
“Audiences hear mostly unchallenged references to Israelis as ‘colonisers’, promotion of the ‘apartheid’ trope and comparison to South Africa, the claim that “Israel never left Gaza” along with description of the Gaza Strip as a ‘large prison’ and the claim that the Arab-Israeli conflict is “the most important issue in the world today” and “at the core of the problems of the Middle East”. Shehadeh distorts history both actively and by omission with viewers hearing, for example, an account of his father’s post-1967 proposals which is devoid of any mention of the Khartoum Declaration and a euphemistic representation of the 2013/14 round of negotiations which eliminates the Palestinian Authority’s decision to run those talks aground by means of its reconciliation deal with Hamas.”
Shehadeh no doubt has a story to tell – one which in the past has included the nasty, unfounded, and wicked allegation that Israel is ethnically cleansing the Arab-Palestinian population – but it’s not a story of peace and reconciliation. So, the BBC gave him a platform, and left him to it. Messengers of evil, indeed.
Read the whole piece, here, and then tell me if you can come up with a better, more accurate (and printable!) label. What a disgrace they are.