Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pathologies about Israel

The BBC has a story about an Israeli admiral who was sighted in a den of iniquity. Not admirable, indeed, but is it newsworthy? Personally, I doubt this needs to be in the Israeli press. But the BBC? I mean, if it were the British Deputy Undersecretary of Fisheries and Salt-Mining from the Tory party, I can see why it would get into the Sun. If it were the very top American General, it would perhaps get into the National Enquirer. But the BBC? Can you see them reporting on the sexual escapades of, say, the French Minister of Finance, assuming they know his name? The top admiral in the Russian Navy? What's going on?

Then we've got this one, also at the BBC today, on the traumatized children of Gaza. I asked the BBC's search engine of it could tell me about anyone traumatized in Israel, and it had to go all the way back to August 2001, where it quoted a British woman whose Israeli grandson was traumatized - says the grandmother, mind you, not the reporter - after both his parents and some of his siblings were shot, and I quote:
It is not yet known why they were attacked but Israeli radio were reporting they were the victims of a "terrorist cell".
So I asked for trauma in Somalia, and got a story from 2005 about Somali refugees in the UK who are having a hard time. Trauma in Sri Lanka (there's this real brutal war going on there, with lots of civilians in the middle): to be fair to the BBC, they did have a recent story on that. Trauma in Georgia? One item which just barely makes the grade.


Anonymous said...

What's going on is that the BBC mideast dept. (at least the web site) has a very strong tendency to select only certain stories about Israel:

* military/security related stories
* stories involving Palestinians or Israeli Arabs or Muslims
* stories about scandals
* stories about Israeli national politics

The stories are nearly always either negative in tone, or neutral (usually the former). They are nearly always mixed heavily with BBC's official narrative. Reports on rocket attacks and the like, when they appear at all, seem to be written based on standard outlines.

It is only very occasionally that you see a BBC story about the rest of Israel, or a story that is positive in tone and does not attempt to drag Palestinians into everything. Attacks on Israel receive only a fraction of the coverage that Israeli responses receive. Human interest stories about Israel, or stories of reform in Israel, receive virtually no coverage. Examples of Israeli philanthropy and heroism receive so little that I can only think of one story in the last 5 years.

Other BBC departments (sports, medicine, business, science) very occasionally run stories about Israel. These rarely get tangled up with the official BBC narrative. I am not sure if these are written by different reporters, whether they are edited by different editors, or what.

Back to the story in question: this story meets a number of the apparent criteria for inclusion:

* It is related to military/security matters.
* It is a story about a scandal and/or crime.
* It is a story that involves politics (high level defense official involvement)
(* It is negative in tone.)

Perhaps it was a slow news day for one of the reporters in Israel, given that they didn't feel like including a piece about civil marriage, Iran's threat to hit Israeli nuclear sites, Egypt standing by its contract to sell gas to Israel, rockets fired at Israeli towns, the pope's plans to visit Israel, Israel's refutation of claims regarding settlement activity and the like...?


joseph said...

Dr. Lozowick,

A den of inequity is usually defined as a house of prostitution. It appears that the admiral was in a strip club. Whatever one thinks about strip clubs and naked young women, a strip club is not a house of prostitution. Even more reason to question the BBC since just about every hereosexual male over 35 has been to a strip club while most have not been to whorehouses.


Anonymous said...


You heard about the Magnes Zionist, Jerry Haber? Or the owner of Tikkun Hamas, Richard Silverstein?

Maybe instead of Juan Cole, you can focus on these 2 putzes instead.

Of course, there are also schmucks like Norman Finkelstein and Seth Freedman.

Figured you might want to consider focusing on 1 or 2 of these self-hating Jews.

joseph said...

I saw a documentary on Holocaust survivors which featured Finkelstein and his mother in prominent roles. I became convinced, after watching the documentary, that Finkelstein has some very (and I mean VERY in the severely neurotic category) mommy issues. I think those issues explain a good many of his views.


amicus said...

Can anyone recommend works on anti-semitism among the so called "intellectual" classes in England? I have read works by Wistrisch, Julius, Lappin and Berman, but feel they are incomplete.


Yaakov: Thank you for your posts(reader from Portland, Oregon)