BBC’s Science Editor’s preconceived ideas of the Middle East

Here’s a strange little story.  

The BBC’s Science Editor David Shukman has an article in the BBC News website’s ‘Science and Environment’ section entitled “Inside the world’s most ‘impossible’ science project“.

Ostensibly, the piece is about a joint science initiative going on in Jordan, with participants from all over the Middle East. Practically, it is yet another of those BBC items in which the journalist becomes the focus rather than the subject itself.  The article tells us very little about the actual science project, but much about the writer’s preconceived stereotypical ideas of the Middle East.

Take this, for example: [emphasis added]

“Given the hostility felt towards Israel, for instance, would any Arabs or Iranians ever consent to being pictured in the same room as Israeli scientists? If we were seen talking to one, would others boycott us? And, worst of all, would our filming put anyone in danger back home? Not everyone in Iran or Israel or the Arab countries likes the idea of their people fraternising with the other side.”

Really? Perhaps David Shukman would like to tell us about the last time he heard of an Israeli scientist being “in danger” because he or she collaborated with colleagues from an unfriendly country? 

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31 comments on “BBC’s Science Editor’s preconceived ideas of the Middle East

  1. BBC Watch talks, talk, talks…

    Meanwhile Palestine became a state and got a standing ovation at the UN, with the support of nearly all Western democracies in the world.

    • Meanwhile Palestine became a state…
      Not exactly. It won a non-member observer status.
      …got a standing ovation at the UN,…
      Yes it got from all dysfunctional third world countries plus Iran, Syria, Libya, Pakistan and similar pearls of democracy and progress.
      …with the support of nearly all Western democracies in the world
      Exactly so like China and Russia for example or some of the bankrupt European countries with two thousand years of experience in Jew-hate.

      This is what they won. An they lost (for the umpteenth time) the potential to became a real state in the foreseeable future, their permanent victim status and the last illusions of the Israelis that there is a reliable partner to negotiate with.
      Congratulations for this huge victory!

      • Peter, yesterday Palestine became a non-member STATE of the United Nations.

        It was officially recognized as a state by the biggest Western democracies in the world: France, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Greece, Austria, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain… they were all standing and applauding yesterday night, when the new state got a standing ovation.

        Micronesia and the Marshall islands sided with Israel though.

          • And you can’t define the borders without a treaty with the relevant neighbours, i.e. the whole thing was a stunt that undermines trust in the Arabs and therefore sets back the prospect of statehood for a collective of people who are unable to govern their passions never mind the affairs of “state”. Has anyone actually *asked* the supposed Palestinian people what they actually want? Have either ruling entity in either territory held an election never mind a referendum recently? Who knows, perhaps they may prefer the hell of Israel to the heaven of the PA gangsters and the pseudo-religious fascists.

          • “You can’t have a state without defining its borders”

            Nicole, are you telling us that Israel is not a state??

        • The great Western democracies you said:
          France, Italy, Austria, Greece: They murdered or participated in the mass killing of every Jews on their territory less than seventy years ago
          Switzerland, Belgium: They gave back to the German authorities the Jews trying to escape to their territory
          Switzerland: Stole or tried to steal the bank accounts of the persecuted Jews
          Norway, Spain, Ireland, Sweden: the most anti-Semitic countries in Europe today
          Maybe you should ask about the democratic values of Sweden from the Jews of Malmo…
          Greece, Portugal: the huge success stories of the European project who would collapse as independent entities in five minutes without getting bailed out by the European taxpayers

          Pretty clear that they were applauding nothing surprising in that. Those great Western democracies…

          BTW Regarding Norway, its leaders and its leading party

          Aspiring Norwegian politician Khalid Haji Ahmed said he was only joking when he wished “best of luck eight times over” to activists who wrote on Facebook that they wished Adolf Hitler could kill more Jews.

          Screen shots made by Hamar Arbeiderblad, a local newspaper, show Ahmed responding on Facebook to a post that read “Damn Jew whores, wish Hitler could come back and shower you some more.”

          The Facebook conversation took place last week between members of the Workers’ Youth League, Norway’s largest youth movement, which is affiliated with the country’s ruling Labor Party.

          Why shouldn’t the Norwegians applauding something they perceive bad for the Jews?

    • Once again, Ms Sela signed her name in the smallest font size she could find.

      Does she want to make sure no one knows she write this story? Is it because she is ashamed?

      • “Once again, Ms Sela signed her name in the smallest font size she could find.”

        And you, “Voice of reason,” the biggest font available to you. If you could make it bigger, you would, but no matter how large a font you use, you’re not a voice for reason. I’ve seen your idiotic posts elsewhere, and the fact that you chose this name for yourself is just… Orwellian. I’m surprised you don’t call yourself “People’s Republic of Voice of Reason” or “Total Maximum Voice of reason.”

  2. BBC ‘Sciency-stuff’ Editors appear as reliant domestically for translation of on-the-ground events from carefully-selected intermediaries as do the entire ME desk on location, so at least there is consistency in ‘reporting’ methods.

  3. I keep reading that this was really a defeat for the Palestinians. Si I can’t figure why Israel voted against it.

    • Two reasons Rich
      1. The goal of the Israelis is not a victory on the Palestinians but to live with them in peace
      2. Because it was a defeat of Israel too due to reason #1.

  4. BBC journalists sign their stories with their names.

    ‘BBC Watch’ bloggers do not want to disclose their identities.

    Are they ashamed of working at ‘BBC Watch’, rather than at the BBC?

      • @BBC Watch: Because I resent being forced to pay to facilitate the BBC’s insidious, pervasive, institutional bias against Israel@.

      • btw, ever noticed how many nepotistic broadcasting dynasties there are at the BBC? How many BBC journalists had a daddy who worked there? A surprising number (some cases less well-known than others) for an organisation which surely opposes the hereditary principle for the House of Lords!

      • Some people work as foreign correspondents at BBC.

        Some people post comments on ‘BBC Watch’.

        That’s life, pal.

  5. Another near ‘lifer’ at the BBC. Perhaps some journalistic experience outside the Beeb Bubble might be of benefit.

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