The BBC’s Hostility toward Israel Will Be Hard to Root Out

Oct. 23 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently made clear that he intends to shake things up at the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), which has come under intense scrutiny for its systemic left-wing bias. Nowhere is the network’s lack of objectivity, and lack of truthfulness, more evident than when it comes to its reporting on the Jewish state and its conflict with the Palestinians. Using a program aired just two weeks ago to illustrate the point, Melanie Phillips writes:

The most recent example of this BBC mindset concerns a Jordanian-born Palestinian terrorist, Ahlam Tamimi. In August 2001, she handed a guitar case filled with explosives to an accomplice who detonated it in the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, murdering fifteen people, seven of them children, and wounding more than 130. Tamimi has repeatedly gloated over what she did. She was given sixteen life sentences, but was released in a prisoner swap after only ten years. Since then, she has lived in Jordan, where she hosts a talk show on the Hamas-affiliated al-Quds TV.

Last week, BBC Arabic TV broadcast an item which sympathetically presented the story Tamimi wanted to tell about herself. This six-minute item, titled: “Ahlam Tamimi, your voice is loud and clear,” was framed as a sentimental human-interest story which whitewashed the murderous activities by both Tamimi and her husband, [who murdered an Israeli civilian in 1993], and presented them as victims of censorship and the Americans. . . . This is hardly an isolated example.

The BBC is regarded around the world as a byword for objectivity and accuracy. That’s why its departure from those ideals is so pernicious. . . . But [its executives] are simply unable to process the fact that they view Israel, among other issues, through a profoundly distorting ideological prism. And that’s because they believe implacably that the positions they hold are unarguably objective and fair, that they do represent the middle ground, and that therefore by definition those who claim the BBC is biased are themselves extremists and can be safely disregarded.

Which is why, if whoever takes over at the top wants to restore the once-iconic BBC to elementary standards of objectivity, fairness, and decency, they will have their work cut out for them.

Read more at JNS

More about: BBC, Boris Johnson, Media, Palestinian terror, United Kingdom

In Prospective Negotiations with Iran, the U.S. Has the Upper Hand. President-Elect Biden Is Determined Not to Use It

In a recent interview with a writer for the New York Times, Joe Biden expressed his willingness to reenter the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran (formally known as the JCPOA) without new preconditions. Noah Rothman comments:

[S]ome observers believe Biden has provided himself with an escape hatch. Biden reiterated his insistence that there could only be a new deal so long as “Iran returns to strict compliance.” [But if] Iranian compliance were a real sticking point, Biden might have dwelled on—or even mentioned in passing—the kind of inspections regime that would verify such a thing. But he did not.

[Under the terms of the deal], Iran provided inspectors access to declared nuclear sites but not military sites where illicit activities were likeliest to occur. A subsequent agreement allowed inspectors to access suspected sites but only with at least 24-days-notice—enough to dispose of the evidence of small-scale work on components related to a bomb. But functionally, that 24-day timeline could be reset by Iran, which could stretch the delays out for weeks—ample time to deceive inspectors.

The JCPOA was never designed to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear-nation status. It was only aimed at dragging that process out while reshuffling the region’s geopolitical deck in Iran’s favor and ultimately providing a patina of legitimacy to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Any talk about exhuming and reanimating this agreement that glosses over its weak verification regime suggests that the Biden administration, like the Obama administration, will settle for any deal—even a bad one.

Such an approach seems particularly shortsighted when the Islamic Republic has been pushed onto the defensive, reeling from economic woes, the devastating effects of the coronavirus, and a series of assassinations. Rather than press America’s advantage, when “Iran is on the ropes,” writes Rothman, Biden “is committed to negotiating from a position of weakness.”

Read more at Commentary

More about: Iran, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy