January 26, 2009

Silencing the Gaza appeal: It was the ghost of Ariel Sharon wot dunnit

It was. It's true. Alright it's only half true, Ariel Sharon still hasn't quite given up the ghost yet but his influence lives on in from Palestine to the BBC and now to Sky television.

I've mentioned Sam Kiley lots of times. He's actually quite a friend of Israel these days but once upon a time he wrote this about Rupert Murdoch and Ariel Sharon:
But in the war of words, no newspaper has been so happy to hand the keys of the armoury over to one side than The Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International. Murdoch is a close friend of Ariel Sharon, Israel’s prime minister.
Rupert Murdoch also owns Sky Television so that would explain Sky's refusal to host the DEC's Gaza appeal. But what about Murdoch's counterpart at the BBC? Surely the Director General of this guardian of Britain's sense of fair play couldn't be got at by the racist war criminals of the State of Israel.

But what's this we find in a 2005 gossip column in the Independent?
The BBC is often accused of an anti-Israeli bias in its coverage of the Middle East, and recently censured reporter Barbara Plett for saying she "started to cry" when Yasser Arafat left Palestine shortly before his death.

Fascinating, then, to learn that its director general, Mark Thompson, has recently returned from Jerusalem, where he held a face-to-face meeting with the hardine Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Although the diplomatic visit was not publicised on these shores, it has been seized upon in Israel as evidence that Thompson, who took office in 2004, intends to build bridges with the country's political class.

Sources at the Beeb also suspect that it heralds a "softening" to the corporation's unofficial editorial line on the Middle East.

"This was the first visit of its kind by any serving director general, so it's clearly a significant development," I'm told.

"Not many people know this, but Mark is actually a deeply religious man. He's a Catholic, but his wife is Jewish, and he has a far greater regard for the Israeli cause than some of his predecessors."

Understandably, an official BBC spokesman was anxious to downplay talk of an exclusively pro-Israeli charm offensive.

Apopros this month's previously undocumented trip, he stressed that Thompson had also held talks with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas.
But the Palestinian sellout-in-chief seems not have made the same impression on Thompson. Or maybe he did.

Clearly the BBC and Sky have crossed a line here. They are not simply siding with Israel, they are aiding and abetting a long-standing on-going war crime. We mustn't let this blind us to the fact that the mainstream media bias in favour of Israel in the UK and throughout the west is more pronounced and its dishonesty is more outrageous in favour of zionism than on any other subject. It's a bit like Israel committing its eye catching atrocities, they distract attention from the on-going war crime represented by the State of Israel's core existence. The BBC and Sky have effectively committed an eye-catching atrocity. That doesn't make the rest of the media ok.

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