The BBC’s muddy ‘Moral Maze’

Some discussions on the subject of the Arab-Israeli conflict actually reveal more about the speakers and the climate of the society in  which they function than about the subject itself. The latest edition of BBC Radio 4′s ‘Moral Maze’ on the subject of “Morality and Ethics in the Gaza Conflict” (available here or here) is one of them.

Why is the subject matter never referred to as “the Southern Israel Conflict”, by the way? After all, the real bottom line is the refusal by Hamas to accept the presence of Israelis in the region at all, as they are not shy to admit.

Nevertheless, in this programme you can hear one British academic describe Israel’s taking of action against rocket attacks on civilians as “revenge” and a “base form of behaviour” which “provokes the enemy”. He also gets rocket statistics drastically wrong, saying that 300 missiles were fired during Operation Pillar of Cloud when the total number was actually 1,506. 

You can also hear another British academic argue that “Zionism has failed” and “there is no future for Israel”, whilst choosing to use the politically loaded term “Bantustans” (designed to equate Israel with the South African apartheid regime) and to claim that Israelis “live in terror of their Palestinian minority” – meaning Israeli Arabs.

Another contributor declares a belief that “Israel should behave with moral generosity”, whilst it is admitted that the lack of democracy in Gaza means “I don’t expect so much from Hamas”. That seems like a win-win situation for repressive dictators everywhere. 

And of course the usual irrelevant Northern Ireland analogies are brought up, as happens so frequently when British contributors are involved.

Thankfully, some of the other contributions were better, but the one question I have for the BBC’s distinguished cadre of moral debaters is this: which country are they going to discuss next in terms of its “right to exist” and potential dismantling?

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15 comments on “The BBC’s muddy ‘Moral Maze’

  1. I won’t defend the BBC. I merely point out that most of the media in the USA and abroad are as bad. Indeed, in print and TV, almost the entire non Murdoch MSM (there are some others, but few) share the BBC’s anti-Zionist/anti-semitic B.S.!

  2. Somehow it is always those people that openly sympathise with the Palestinian “cause” are the ones to make (wishful) dire predictions about the future of Israel.
    It’s been going like this even before Israel’s independence which it got from the UN over 64 years ago…

  3. Why is the subject matter never referred to as “the Southern Israel Conflict”, by the way?

    Hadar, I’m not sure that would do either. I’d settle for the “Israel-Hamas conflict” but it always becomes “Israel’s assault on Gaza” and Hamas is conveniently forgotten.

    • As at 22 November, an estimated 103 Palestinian civilians, including 33 children and 13 women have been killed. Over 1269 Palestinians are reported injured, the majority civilians.

      As at 22 November, four Israeli civilians have been killed and 224 are reported injured, the vast majority civilians.

      http://www.ochaopt.org/gazaesc.aspx

      • Nat. I’ll remind you that after Cast Lead, Hamas and ‘humanitarian’ organisations talked about 170 Hamas operatives killed and the rest, out of 1400 casualties, were of course women and children with the figure of 600 children being bandied about. More than a years later Hamas admitted publicly that 700 odd of the dead were Hamas operatives.

        In short, we will have to wait quite a while to get accurate truthful figures. More than that, the figure of 700 Hamas operatives killed was the figure that Israel claimed at the cessation of fighting in Cast Lead. Israel has been shown time and time again to give general accuracy in its reporting of dead and injured while Palestinian/Hamas/Arab/Muslim figures have always been highly inflated to garner sympathy from pro Palestinian ‘useful idiots’ and to justify enraged Muslims throughout the world.

        Unless, of course, the killed and wounded are caused by Muslim killing Muslim whereupon, Muslims are strangely silent.

  4. The first idiot witness twitters on about Zionism is doomed. doomed, nowhere to go.
    Odd. It strikes me that israel has survived Imperialism, communism, pan-Arabism, Arab nationalism. Healthier than ever I’d say.
    I expect it will survive the intra-Islam civil war which is the main agenda of the Middle east to day.

  5. ‘The Moral Maze’ is a regular programme that features commentators who question the moral stances of ‘experts’ on a particular issue. Melanie Philips, the ultra-Zionist, was on the commentator panel for some time. In the nature of such a programme you will hear views expressed with which you strongly disagree but they will be balanced by contrary opinions. It is clearly ridiculous to take any part of the programme as representative of the ‘BBC position’. It is a form of debate for goodness sake.

    • Silly question. There is clearly a wide range of Zionist opinion as to the limits of territorial and demographic ambition. At one end somethimg close to the Green Line and full equality for Israeli Arabs is an acceptable position. At the other extreme (the ultras, if you like) territorial aims go far beyond the currently occupied lands and Palestinians/Israeli Arabs are to be kept as second class citizens ot encouraged to emigrate.

      • Rubbish sencar – whereas all Jews are treated as rubbish in Arab countries – I’m sure you’re fine with that though.

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