Prime Example Of Media Lies About Israel


Is it any wonder that so many people dislike Israel, when they are bombarded with false information about the Jewish state?

The story below, courtesy of Honest Reporting Canada, is a prime example of the strange…let’s call it carelessness which seems to permeate so much of the new coverage about Israel.

More often than not, the errors and lies are allowed to stand – below is a rare instance of one such ‘mistake’ being corrected:


CBC National Corrects Gaza Infant Mortality Rate Error
June 16, 2010

By: Mike Fegelman, Executive Director


Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber,

Did CBC falsely imply that Israel was responsible for the death of Gaza babies?

Respected Mideast professor and director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center (GLORIA) asked this very question regarding a June 1 CBC National report which saw Chief Correspondent, Peter Mansbridge, erroneously refer to the Gaza Strip as having “an infant mortality rate among the highest in the world.”


Writing on his blog “Rubin Reports,” Professor Rubin expounded on this misstatement:

“Here’s an example of the insanity and profound anti-Israel bias currently gripping mass media.

On June 1, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) anchorman Peter Mansbridge stated that the Gaza Strip “has one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates” The obvious implication: it is Israel’s fault because of its sanctions.

In fact, the Gaza Strip has a lower infant mortality rate than Turkey, which has been a modern republic with full independence for about 80 years, and Iran, which enjoys the “benefits” of the kind of Islamist government which Hamas and the current Turkish government applaud.


According to the CIA World Factbook, regarded as a definitive source, the Infant Mortality Rate in the Gaza Strip is 17.71 deaths per 1000 births, about the same as Mexico and below that of Brazil, Romania, and many other countries. In neighboring Egypt, the number is 26.2, in Turkey, 24.8, and Iran, 34.7.


The kind of coverage given to living standards in the Gaza Strip seems an example of what sometimes seems a principle of Western journalism: Third World suffering is only of interest if it can be blamed on the West. Third World suffering is the world’s lead news story only if it can be blamed on Israel.”


HonestReporting Canada (HRC) communicated our concerns to senior editors at the CBC requesting that a review be conducted and that an on-air correction be issued promptly to remedy this error.


In a written response that was sent to HRC by the CBC, a senior editor said that the mistake was more than just problematic: “In an effort to give viewers a clearer picture of the Gaza Strip, the introduction to the report that night from Washington included statistics about Gaza’s area, population, unemployment and infant mortality rates. However, in one instance, we inadvertently included inaccurate information. In fact – and as Mr. Rubin pointed out – according to the CIA World Factbook, a highly regarded source for such information, Gaza is about half way in a ranking of over 200 countries or regions, (109 out of 224) with an infant mortality rate of almost 18 per thousand live births, a little over four times Israel’s. We regret the error. The Friday night (June 11) editions of The National included an on-air note offering viewers correct information.”



Ms. Hiscox stated the following: “Earlier this month we reported the Gaza Strip has an infant mortality rate among the highest in the world, but according to the CIA World Factbook, Gaza ranks 109 out of 224 regions in the world, with an infant mortality rate of almost 18 deaths per thousand live births.”


While we appreciate and commend the fact that the CBC was quick to investigate this matter and to take the appropriate action in correcting this mistake, with that said, there was no indication given about how this error had occurred and how it had gotten past the trained eyes of the CBC’s most veteran editors. Many questions still remain unanswered such as: What was the source of this original erroneous information? It certainly wasn’t the CIA World Factbook, was it Amnesty International’s (AI) error, as this CBC report attributed various statistics as being derived from AI?

Was this just gross incompetence or intentional subterfuge? And finally, since when did the Palestinians achieve statehood? Why is it that this CBC report included a graphic which referred to the West Bank and Gaza as “Palestine” instead of the Palestinian territories?


We trust that this intervention will serve as a teachable moment for the CBC’s reporters and editors who are keenly aware that their Mideast reporting is being vigilantly watched and scrutinized.

Flotilla Farce Redux

As I write this,  the British media is falling over itself to condemn Israel anew. Yesterday a boat bearing terrorists attempted to reach Israeli shores; Israel managed to reach them first and opened fire. As would the defence forces of any sane, democratic nation on our planet.

Of course, the BBC and the Daily Mail, among others, are horrified at this event – what, Jews, defending themselves against terrorism? Whatever next?!

The Mail suggests that this latest terror threat doesn’t actually exist, while the BBC persists in referring to the Islamic militants on board the flotilla as ‘aid workers’.


The British media should be anti terrorism – and as a result should have the decency to at least put forward Israeli responses. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that Brits themselves were being slaughtered by the same terrorists who this week are so cheerfully running rings about both Israel and the court of world opinion.

Here is Melanie Phillips – do note the edits at the end of her article, both of which are significant.

Peace convoy’? This was an Islamist terror ambush




As the international community rushes to condemn Israel for the violence on board one of the ships in the Gaza flotilla, which left a reported 10 people dead and dozens injured, it is now obvious that the real purpose of this ‘armada of hate’ was not merely the further delegitimisation of Israel but something far worse.


Gaza’s markets are full of produce, thousands of tons of supplies are travelling into Gaza every week through the Israeli-controlled border crossings, and there is no starvation or humanitarian crisis.

It was always obvious that the flotilla was not the humanitarian exercise it was said to be. Here is footage of the IDF offering to dock the Marmara — the main flotilla ship — at Ashdod and transfer its supplies and being told ‘Negative, negative, our destination is Gaza’.


And now we can see that the real purpose of this invasion — backed by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a radical Islamic organization outlawed by Israel in 2008 for allegedly serving as a major component in Hamas’s global fund-raising machine — was to incite a violent uprising in the Middle East and across the Islamic world. As I write, reports are coming in of Arab rioting in Jerusalem.


The notion – uncritically swallowed by the lazy, ignorant and bigoted BBC and other western media – that the flotilla organisers are ‘peace activists’ is simply ludicrous. This research by the Danish Institute for International Studies details the part played by the IHH in Islamist terror in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya.

According to the French magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere testifying at the Seattle trial of would-be al Qaeda Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressamin, the IHH had played ‘[a]n important role’ in the al Qaeda Millenium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles airport. It was also involved in weapons trafficking, and played in addition a key role in galvanizing anti-Western sentiment among Turkish Muslims in the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq. ‘Peace activists’ these people most certainly are not.


And this flotilla was but the latest jihadi attack, deploying the Islamists’ signature strategy of violence and media manipulation.

Here from MEMRI (via Just Journalism) is a clip showing the hysteria against Israel being whipped up on board before the ships set sail, with the chanting of intifada songs about ‘Khaybar’ – the iconic slaughter of Jews by Muslims in the 7th century which is used as a rallying cry to kill the Jews today — and threats of ‘martyrdom’. This was not merely a propaganda stunt, but a terrorist attack.


This is what the Jerusalem Post reported earlier today about what happened last night:

According to the IDF, the international activists ‘prepared a lynch’ for the soldiers who boarded the ships at about 2 a.m. Monday morning after calling on them to stop, or follow them to the Ashdod Port several hours earlier.

… Upon boarding the ships, the soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passengers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes. The soldiers used non-lethal measures to disperse the crowd. The activists, according to an IDF report, succeeded in stealing two handguns from soldiers and opened fire, leading to an escalation in violence.


Also in the Jerusalem Post, David Horowitz wrote:


Benayahu said soldiers, who had been dispatched to block the flotilla because of fears that it was carrying weaponry and other highly dangerous cargo into the Hamas-controlled Strip, were attacked with knives and bars and sharpened metal implements.

Benayahu said two pistols that had been fired were subsequently found aboard the one ship, the Marmara, on which the violence erupted. And, most dramatically, he said that one IDF soldier had his weapon snatched away by one of the ‘peace activists’ on board, that this weapon was then turned against the IDF soldiers, who came under fire, and that they had no choice but to shoot back in self-defense.

… What seems urgent now is to make publicly available footage that shows exactly what did unfold. In early afternoon, video footage screened on Israel’s Channel 2 appeared to show one of those aboard the Marmara stabbing an IDF soldier. Any such footage should have been made available hours earlier. Critically, if footage showing a soldier’s weapon being snatched and turned on the IDF troops exists, it should be broadcast, and the sooner the better.


Some of this footage is now available on the web but much of it is hard to follow: as ever, the Israelis have been far too slow in making the most telling images and information available in comprehensible form (including in English rather than in Hebrew, for heaven’s sake!).

This clip appears to show masked and armed flotilla activists beating Israeli soldiers (although here is the BBC report accompanying that footage, in which the voiceover appears to be claiming, perversely, that the people in masks were Israeli soldiers. That said, the report on Radio Four’s World at One was fair and balanced).


This clip shows an Israeli soldier being stabbed. This IDF clip and this one show attacks on the commandoes including throwing one off the deck, attacking others with a metal pole and a firebomb and an attempted kidnap of another.


It is also becoming clearer as the day wears on that, far from storming the boats in order to attack those on board, the Israelis were hopelessly ill-prepared for the violence they encountered. Israel’s Channel 10 and IDF radio have reported that the Israeli naval commandos were equipped with paint ball rifles to ensure minimum casualties among the flotilla terrorists, with their hand guns to be used only as a last resort.

The terrorists tried connecting the steel cables from the overhead helicopters to the boat’s antenna, in order to cause the helicopters to crash. Only when the terrorists beat the soldiers with iron rods, stabbed them with knives and tried to lynch them did the soldiers respond. The Israeli commandoes were pushed down stairs, thrown overboard, and shot at.


Here is a report by an Israel army radio reporter on board:

‘The activists had many things ready for an attack on the soldiers,’ Lev-Rom said, ‘including, for instance, a box of 20-30 slingshots with metal balls; these can kill. There were also all sorts of knives and many similar things. These are what they call “cold” weapons, as opposed to live fire.  It was quite clear that a lynch had been prepared.’


Lev-Rom said, however, that it appears the army, ‘even though it prepared for many different scenarios, was not ready for this one. The army seems not to have known what type of people were there and what type of weapons they had. It was hard for Israel to conceive that the ship, sponsored by the country of Turkey, would have such weapons. Israel was prepared to deal with anarchists, and instead had to deal with terrorists – that’s the feeling here.’


Here** is an even more vivid account showing how unprepared the Israeli soldiers were:

Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.

However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.

One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other ‘don’t shoot, don’t shoot,’ even though they sustained numerous blows.

The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street fighters. The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs. They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances.

The planned rush towards the vessel’s bridge became impossible, even when a second chopper was brought in with another crew of soldiers. ‘Throw stun grenades,’ shouted Flotilla 13’s commander who monitored the operation. The Navy chief was not too far, on board a speedboat belonging to Flotilla 13, along with forces who attempted to climb into the back of the ship.

The forces hurled stun grenades, yet the rioters on the top deck, whose number swelled up to 30 by that time, kept on beating up about 30 commandoes who kept gliding their way one by one from the helicopter. At one point, the attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. The soldier sustained a serious head wound and lost his consciousness.

Only after this injury did Flotilla 13 troops ask for permission to use live fire. The commander approved it: You can go ahead and fire. The soldiers pulled out their handguns and started shooting at the rioters’ legs, a move that ultimately neutralized them. Meanwhile, the rioters started to fire back at the commandoes.


It is becoming ever more clear that Islamist terror attacks like this are fiendishly staged theatrical events in which the western media – and beyond them, western governments — play an absolutely essential role in the drama.

If those media and governments refused to swallow the lies and instead called operations like this and the players behind it for what they actually are, such terrorist operations would not happen. The Islamist strategy of war against Israel is carefully calibrated to deploy the most effective weapon in its armoury in the cause of jihadi violence – the western media.

Right on cue, western governments accordingly deliver their own script in condemning the victims of terror for defending themselves. And so, courtesy of the west’s fifth columnists, yet another nail is driven into the west’s own coffin.


Let’s see whether this time the western elites show any signs of waking from their lethal trance.


Update: I am told that the Jewish Chronicle website was taken down earlier (now restored) by a massive denial of service, apparently to shut down its balanced coverage of the Ashdod flotilla incident. The JC’s teccies, and the server hosts, say this hasn’t been caused by just one or tw908o people — it’s clearly now co-ordinated and growing.


**Update 2: The journalist who wrote this account, Ron Ben-Yishai, cannot be accused of being an Israel government stooge: it was Ben-Yishai who in 1982 was first into the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila in Beirut and blew the whistle on the massacre there that had been perpetrated by the Phalangists while Ariel Sharon looked the other way.

Since When Do ‘innocent aid workers’ STAB people?

Let’s be crystal clear on this: what happened was not a conflict between ‘innocent aid workers’ and Israeli soldiers. It was between armed, violent, gagging-to-fight Hamas supporters and the Israeli army.

Here, posted by the always vigilant Elder Of Ziyon, is footage of one of these ‘aid workers’ STABBING an Israeli:

Jewish Blood Doesn’t Sell Newspapers

Let’s say it like it is: Jewish blood doesn’t make good headlines.


Nobody gives a damn when young Israeli soldiers are attacked and all but killed by ‘aid workers’ and ‘peace activists’. The only story that sells is when Jews fight – or to be accurate, fight back.


Thus the world media is revelling in the latest clash between Israel and Hamas – and yes, it is between these two factions. Every single person present on that flotilla supported Hamas and its openly stated aim of destroying Israel.


For more detailed and accurate reporting than you’ll get anywhere else, here’s a briefing from the excellent  Honest Reporting:


Connected to Terror: Who is Behind the Flotilla?


The organizations and passengers behind the Gaza flotilla have been variously described as “peace activists” and “humanitarian organizations”. This could not be further from the truth. The primary objective of this flotilla was not to deliver aid packages to Gaza but to spread anti-Israel propaganda in cooperation with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Playing a central role in the flotilla is the Turkish IHH organization, which besides its legitimate philanthropic activities is also, according to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, a supporter of radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements.

See here and here for detailed information on the IHH.

Amongst the other organizations involved in the flotilla is the International Solidarity Movement. The ISM has a shameful record of placing foreign nationals in danger through encouraging ‘direct action’, which resulted in the death of American citizen Rachel Corrie. In 2003, ISM’s extreme ideology was underscored when terrorists, originating from the UK, used ISM as a cover to attack Mike’s Place, while an ISM activist has been jailed in the US, charged with “giving about $20,000 to a group he knew supported Hamas.”

An Al-Jazeera report from May 28, translated below by PMW, shows activists on board before departing for Gaza, chanting Intifada songs aimed at Jews and praising martyrdom. Chants include “Intifada, intifada, intifada! Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!” relating to a seventh century massacre of Jews in Khaybar by early Muslims.


“Peace” Activists Used Deadly Violence


Despite claims that the activists on board were only prepared to resist the IDF peacefully, the reality was quite the opposite. Upon boarding the Marmara, owned and operated by the extremist IHH, Israeli naval personnel were attacked by activists who had prepared themselves with weapons including knives and clubs. This, despite the following statement from a Free Gaza spokesperson:

We were not going to pose any violent resistance. The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn’t get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance.

Is the clip below showing an IDF soldier being attacked with a crowbar “symbolic resistance”?

In addition,  IDF forces apprehended two activists holding pistols. The activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines. This goes  some way to explaining the number of casualties as live fire was exchanged as IDF forces found themselves under severe threat as evidenced by the number of injured Israeli soldiers and the types of injuries.

One soldier suffered a serious head injury, two others were injured by gunshots and one more was stabbed. A total of seven soldiers were wounded – four soldiers were moderately wounded, of which two were initially in critical condition, as well as an additional three soldiers who were lightly wounded.

A First-Hand Account

Israeli journalist Ron Ben-Yishai gives a first-hand account of the incident:

Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.

However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.

One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other “don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” even though they sustained numerous blows….

During the commotion, another commando was stabbed with a knife. In a later search aboard the Marmara, soldiers found caches of bats, clubs, knives, and slingshots used by the rioters ahead of the IDF takeover. It appeared the activists were well prepared for a fight.

Read the full account here.

See the IDF video footage taken from above the boarded vessel, showing Israeli soldiers under attack by clicking on the image below.

See more at the IDF’s YouTube channel.

Propaganda Not Humanitarianism

If there was any doubt that these organizations were unconcerned with universal human rights, this was confirmed by the rejection of a request from the family of Gilad Shalit for activists to pressure Hamas to allow international organizations to bring letters and food packages to the kidnapped soldier in exchange for the family’s support for the international expedition’s attempt to dock in Gaza.

In fact, Israel offered to transfer the supplies on the flotilla to Gaza from Ashdod port through official channels, an offer that was rejected in favor of confrontation on the part of the anti-Israel activists. As flotilla organizer Greta Berlin stated: “this mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it’s about breaking Israel’s siege.”

The flotilla was clearly warned by the Israeli Navy in advance of the boarding and the offer repeated by the IDF.

A Legitimate and Legal Operation

IMRA asked Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel about the legality of the IDF action in international waters.

Dr. Sabel explained that a state, in a time of conflict, can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters.

Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention then that force has every right to act in self defense.

Dr. Sabel noted that there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters.

Indeed, according to the San Remo Manual that governs international humanitarian law, it is permissible under rule 67(a) to attack neutral vessels on the high seas when the vessels “are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.”

Shame On You, Panorama…

Some of you will, like me, have watched in horror as the BBC’s Panorama show recently twisted the history of Jerusalem to obscure any Jewish connection to the city.

Indeed, the bias was so blatant it’s a wonder that the BBC wasn’t embarassed to air this pitiful excuse of a programme.

Here’s just one of many articles that has been written on this appalling piece of ‘journalism’.

Via Isrelate:

BBC’s Inaccurate Panorama

AuthorDavid Soakell

The BBC’s Panorama programme this week once again proved just how biased the British Broadcasting Corporation have become.

The documentary clearly distorted the Jewish history and rights to Jerusalem while promoting a one-sided and biased agenda.

Many groups have been ‘up-in-arms’ this week over the Panorama programme, which focused on tensions in the area of eastern Jerusalem adjacent to the Old City.  One report by HonestReporting stated:

“Any pretence at balance is thrown out of the window as reporter Jane Corbin makes it clear that, under the BBC’s own interpretation of ‘international law’, anything that Israel does in that part of the city is illegal, setting the tone for the entire 30 minute program.”

Thus, Israelis are presented as usurpers of Palestinian rights and property in eastern Jerusalem in a one-sided piece of agitprop. As analyst Robin Shepherd writes: “Rarely will you get a clearer insight into the flagrant institutional bias inside the world’s most powerful media outlet than this. The slipperiness of the tactics employed, the unabashed censorship of vital historical context, and the blatant pursuit of a political agenda constituted a lesson in the techniques of modern day propaganda. It was something to behold.”

In the HonestReporting article, they state, “The BBC’s institutional anti-Israel bias often manifests itself not in what is broadcast but what is left out. Panorama is no different. The BBC reports events as though Jewish history in Jerusalem begins in 1948, thus omitting thousands of years of Jewish attachment to the city, including those areas of eastern Jerusalem that are the subject of Panorama’s investigation.

“The only time that the eastern part of Jerusalem was exclusively Arab was between 1949 and 1967, and that was because Jordan occupied the area and forcibly expelled all the Jews.  As Mitchell Bard makes clear, before 1865, the entire population of Jerusalem lived behind the Old City walls (what today would be considered part of the eastern part of the city).

Later, the city began to expand beyond the walls because of population growth, and both Jews and Arabs began to build in new areas of the city.  By the time of partition, a thriving Jewish community was living in the eastern part of Jerusalem, an area that included the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. This area of the city also contains many sites of importance to the Jewish religion, including the City of David, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. In addition, major institutions like Hebrew University and the original Hadassah Hospital are on Mount Scopus — in eastern Jerusalem.”

We see on a daily basis how the Palestinian Authority [PA] continues to revise the history of Jerusalem. For example, Dr. Al-Tamimi, Chief Justice of the PA’s religious court, said, Jerusalem is the religious, political and spiritual capital of Palestine – Jews have no right to it. Statements like this, and programmes like the BBC’s Panorama back up the Palestinians propaganda which attempts to erase 3,000 years of Jewish history, enabling them to present Jerusalem as an exclusively Muslim city.

If the EU, UN, and UK, along with US President Obama insists on saying areas of Jerusalem are occupied territory, it will be disastrous for us all.

Jerusalem is Israel’s sovereign capital, and as the Jerusalem mayor, Nir Barkat, declared:

“Israeli law does not discriminate between Jews and Arabs and between east and west Jerusalem. The demand to specifically halt construction for Jews is not legal in the US or in any other enlightened country… The attempt to demand this of Jerusalem constitutes a double standard and is unacceptable.”

Breaking News! Barack Obama To Receive Psychiatric Help

 

 

White House sources have this morning confirmed that Barack Obama is receiving psychiatric care. The problems apparently started a week ago, after the President’s closest aides observed his behaviour becoming increasingly erratic. 

 

But it was after Obama became delusional that alarm grew among his staff. Specifically, one aide has confirmed: ‘It’s all rather embarrassing, actually. The President clearly believed himself to be in charge of, well, planning permission –  in Jerusalem.’

 

It was then that White House staff had to face the fact that Obama was seriously ill.

 

‘At first I thought he was just stressed,’ states one source who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, ‘But then he got on to the phone to the Israeli Ambassador to America and began issuing bizarre instructions’.

Specifically, confirms the aide, Obama ordered the Israeli government to halt work on an apartment building near Sheikh Jarrah.

 

‘It was embarrassing, to say the least’, confides another aide, ‘There we are with people being killed on the streets of Iran, and there’s Obama marching around the Oval office, screaming down the phone to Tel Aviv about this new block of flats and demanding that it not go ahead!

 

And the aide continues: ‘It was apparent to everyone there that Obama was delusional. We had no choice but to organise the appropriate help for him.’

 

Rumours suggest that Obama has been assessed by a consultant psychiatrist, at the White House, and that a medication regime is being set up. Although details of the diagnosis remain under wraps, it’s rumoured that Obama is experiencing some form of  obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 

Specifically, his staff are hoping that the treatment will help to reduce the American President’s apparent fixation on Israel. 

 

 ‘His behaviour is troubling, no doubt about it, ‘ stated a member of the secret service, ‘Sometimes,  in the early hours of the morning, our boys will come across the President wandering around, muttering and mumbling about ‘that bloody Bibi’. We sure hope he gets better soon.’

 

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has conveyed his ‘heartfelt wishes for Obama’s speedy recovery’ during a phone call with the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.

He is reported to have said: ‘I am truly sorry to hear of Obama’s difficulties. We will of course disregard his irrational demands over what Israelis can and can’t do in the Israeli capital, Jerusalem. As far as I am concerned, it never happened and I won’t mention it ever again.  Our thoughts are with Obama and his family at this time.’

 

We will update this news story as soon as we get more details – watch this space!

 

 ***********************************************************************************************************************

 Jeff Jacoby, writing in the Boston Globe, offers some historical context:

 

Late last week, the Obama Administration demanded that the Israeli government pull the plug on a planned housing development near the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem.

 

The project, a 20-unit apartment complex, is indisputably legal. The property to be developed – a defunct hotel – was purchased in 1985 and the developer has obtained all the necessary municipal permits.

 

Why, then, does the administration want the development killed? Because Sheikh Jarrah is in a largely Arab section of Jerusalem and the developers of the planned apartments are Jews. Think about that for a moment. Six months after Barack Obama became the first Black man to move into the previously all-White residential facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, he is fighting to prevent integration in Jerusalem.

 

It is impossible to imagine the opposite scenario. The administration would never demand that Israel prevent Arabs from moving into a Jewish neighborhood. And the Obama Justice Department would unleash seven kinds of hell on anyone who tried to impose racial, ethnic or religious redlining in an American city. In the 21st century, segregation is unthinkable – except, it seems, when it comes to housing Jews in Jerusalem.

 

It is not easy for Israel’s government to refuse any demand from the United States, which is the Jewish State’s foremost ally. To their credit, Israeli leaders spoke truth to power, and said “no”.

 

“Jerusalem residents can purchase apartments anywhere in the city,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. “This has been the policy of all Israeli governments. There is no ban on Arabs buying apartments in the west of the city, and there is no ban on Jews building or buying in the city’s east. This is the policy of an open city.”

 

There was a time not so long ago when Jerusalem was anything but an open city. During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion invaded eastern Jerusalem, occupied the Old City, and expelled all its Jews – many from families that had lived in the city for centuries.

 

“As they left,” the acclaimed historian Sir Martin Gilbert later wrote in his 1998 book, Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century, “they could see columns of smoke rising from the quarter behind them. The Hadassah welfare station had been set on fire and… the looting and burning of Jewish property was in full swing.”

 

For the next 19 years, eastern Jerusalem was barred to Jews, brutally divided from the western part of the city with barbed wire and military fortifications. Dozens of Jewish holy places, including synagogues hundreds of years old, were desecrated or destroyed. Gravestones from the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery were uprooted by the Jordanian army and used to pave latrines. Jerusalem’s most sacred Jewish shrine, the Western Wall, became a slum.

 

It wasn’t until 1967, after Jordan was routed in the Six-Day War, that Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli sovereignty and religious freedom restored to all. Israelis have vowed ever since that Jerusalem would never again be divided.

 

And not only Israelis. US policy, laid out in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, recognizes Jerusalem as “a united city administered by Israel” and formally declares that “Jerusalem must remain an undivided city.” 
 
US presidents, Republican and Democratic alike, have agreed.
In former President Bill Clinton’s words, “Jerusalem should be an open and undivided city, with assured freedom of access and worship for all.”

 

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said much the same thing. To a 2008 candidate questionnaire that asked about “the likely final status Jerusalem,” Obama replied: “The United States cannot dictate the terms of a final status agreement…. Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital, and no one should want or expect it to be re-divided.”

 

In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Council, he repeated the point: “Let me be clear… Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”

 

Palestinian irredentists claim that eastern Jerusalem is historically Arab territory and should be the capital of a future Palestinian state. In reality, Jews have always lived in eastern Jerusalem – it is the location of the Old City and its famous Jewish Quarter, after all, not to mention Hebrew University, which was founded in 1918.

 

The apartment complex that Obama opposes is going up in what was once Shimon Hatzadik, a Jewish neighborhood established in 1891. Only from 1948 to 1967 – during the Jordanian occupation – was the eastern part of Israel’s capital “Arab territory”. Palestinians have no more claim to sovereignty there than Russia does in formerly occupied eastern Berlin.

 

The great obstacle to Middle East peace is not that Jews insist on living among Arabs. It is that Arabs insist that Jews not live among them. If Obama doesn’t yet grasp that, then he has a lot to learn.

This article first appeared in the Boston Globe on July 22, 2009.

BBC BIAS ROW

I’m not sure this is even news – given that most of us are painfully aware of the BBC bias towards leftist lunacy.

A senior BBC executive is being accused of political bias after calling for the corporation to promote ‘left of centre’ thinking. Ben Stephenson, controller of drama commissioning, made the comment on a blog for a left-wing newspaper.

The Conservatives have called for him to apologise and to retract the remarks.  Trying desperately to neutralise his remarks, Stephenson has claimed he was just calling for more diverse opinions and out-of-the-box ideas: ‘We need to foster peculiarity, idiosyncrasy, stubborn-mindedness, left-of-centre thinking.’

Sure.  Oh my G-d – what was that big pink creature that just went diving past my window??? It was a kosher pig.

And Stephenson’s pitiful wriggling is fooling nobody. Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has stated that the comments were a ‘clear breach’ of the BBC’s impartiality obligations.

The BBC being impartial?  Can anyone remember when this last happened…?