Wishful thinking: a BBC view of ‘global sentiment’

The BBC News website’s Middle East page had a ditsy little headline on its homepage of December 3rd: 

Turning Tide

UN vote offers snapshot of global sentiment on peace process

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The link leads to an article by the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Kevin Connolly entitled “UN vote gives Palestinians new diplomatic powers”. But before getting to that, readers may ponder exactly which “tide” the BBC thinks is turning and what sort of universal “sentiment” on the peace process it believes can be concluded from the UN GA vote of November 29th

Of the 138 countries which voted in favour of the resolution, no fewer than 53 are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The vast majority of states comprising that body do not have diplomatic relations with Israel and do not seek peace with Israel. In some cases they actively seek Israel’s destruction. Some of them finance and/or supply the terror organisations which up to only a week before the UN vote were committing hundreds of war crimes a day by deliberately targeting Israeli civilians with military-grade missiles. 

One of the OIC’s aims, according to its founding charter is:

“To support and empower the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and establish their sovereign State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, while safeguarding its historic and Islamic character as well as the Holy places therein”

Another of the OIC’s aims is expressed thus:

“The Headquarters of the General Secretariat shall be in the city of Jeddah until the liberation of the city of Al-Quds so that it will become the permanent Headquarters of the Organisation.”

The OIC is of course the same organization which claims to have been the initiator of the Goldstone Report, which is famous for its serial sponsorship of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, which rejects internationally-accepted standards of universal human rights and demands Shari’ah-based “human rights” instead and which has been pressuring the UN to adopt “global blasphemy laws“. 

“Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said the international community should ‘come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression’, a reference to Western arguments against a universal blasphemy law that the OIC has sought for over a decade.”

Fifty one of the additional voters at the UN GA in favour of the Palestinian bid are members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which – despite its title – operates as another voting bloc within the UN system. Some members of the OIC are also part of the NAM, which is currently led by Iran and will be for the next three years. In August this year members of the NAM met in Tehran and the UN Secretary General caused controversy by attending that meeting. 

Unsurprisingly, the recent NAM summit produced no fewer than two documents relating to the Palestinian issue. One was a “Declaration on Palestine Political Prisoners” – which of course completely ignores the existence of terrorism – and the other was a “Solidarity Declaration on Palestine“, which is replete with all the usual one-sided rhetoric one would expect to see from such a source, including the following clause: 

“The Heads of State or Government  welcomed in this regard the application submitted, on 23 September 2011, by Palestine to be admitted as a Member State of the United Nations, consistent with the right of the Palestinian people to self- determination and independence, convinced that realization of this objective will be a major step towards securing freedom, dignity, stability and peace for the Palestinian people.  They also welcomed the admission of Palestine as a Member State of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.”

It is therefore completely unsurprising to see both members of the OIC and the NAM – many of them of course not exactly paragons of democracy and human rights – voting in favour of the resolution en masse. In fact, the outcome of the vote was never in doubt because for years now the UN has only ever produced the inevitable when it comes to Israel. 

Why that should inspire the BBC to categorise the vote as a “turning tide” is a mystery: if anything, the tide stood still and continued its brackish ways. Neither do the results of the OIC and NAM dominated vote have anything to do with “sentiment” or with anything which can be reasonably described as a ‘peace process’. 

Kevin Connolly’s interpretation of the results of the UN GA vote includes the following:

“The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza would have boosted the standing of the Palestinian militant organisation in the eyes of the Arab world.

It is the more moderate PA based in the West Bank which has invested in the diplomatic strategy through the UN.

So some of the countries which abstained on the vote or voted for the Palestinians may have intended to boost the more moderate secularists of the PA against the Islamists of Hamas rather than the Palestinians in general against the Israelis.”

But by accepting Abbas’ motion, the UN has not only killed off the Oslo Accords once and for all (with apparently no regard for the fact that at over 1,500 Israelis were murdered because of the rejection of those accords by factions within Palestinian society), but has ironically also sounded the death knell for the main product of Oslo; the Palestinian Authority itself.

“Global sentiment on the peace process” has (with very few exceptions) two main strains: those who have no wish to see such a process ever come to fruition and those who have no understanding of the factors currently preventing that process from progressing. Like the 34 additional nations which voted in favour at the UN GA last week, the BBC shows that it falls into the latter category.  

59 comments on “Wishful thinking: a BBC view of ‘global sentiment’

  1. I feel sorry for the BBC , and the UN , and the anti-semites , and all who come up against Israel . According to the Holy Bible , they will all perish . So their future is looking decidedly dodgy . The Nations will come up against tiny Israel , but that is when they will cry out to the LORD and the Supreme Lord Jesus will appear when HE splits the Mt of Olives in 2 and rescues them from their enemies . Hallelujah . Praying for you Israel , love you .

  2. Nearly all West European governments voted to recognize the state of Palestine. They;re hardly members of the OIC.

    ‘BBC Watch’ does not represent the views of israelis. It only reflects the opinion of a tiny minority of people who support the settlement policy.

    • Warning to readers”


      ‘BBC Watch’ does NOT represent the views of Israelis.

      Israel is a democracy, and its people is committed to peace and to democratic principles, including freedom of the press.

      ‘BBC Watch’ only reflects the views of a minority of people who support the settlement policy.

      • Re the settlements, JC editor Stephen Pollard’s take on the current situation is interesting. He observes at one stage:
        “… even those in Israel who are unhappy about their government’s settlement policy feel that the entire nation is being punished by the international community — over breaches of agreements perpetrated by the Palestinians. And, they say, it is not the first time: Palestinian suicide bombers, during the second intifada, were eventually stopped by the construction of Israel’s wall. Yet the wall, which saved Israeli lives when nothing else did, was greeted with international outrage and condemnation. ”
        The article is worth a read.

        • Daphne, over 75% of Israelis have never set foot in a settlement and never will. Settlers are quite marginalized. Remember Gaza: no one in Israel cared when settlers were rapatriated back to Israel.

    • Exactly what “state of Palestine”, Nat?
      There is no state of Palestine regardless of what you might believe or are told by the silly mainstream media?

      “Observer status” is not the same as statehood, you idiot! Palestinians will not get their state until they stop sacrificing their young and trying to kill Israelis.

        • Well, if I can be allowed to be an observer at a committee meeting (ie without any voting rights which might influence its decisions) then why cannot an utter liability of a non-state be given observer status at the United Idiots Association?

          Does it not occur to you that the Palestinians were given this can of scotch mist for a similar reason that one gives a pacifier to a squealing baby, ie to shut them up?

  3. Meanwhile, back on topic….this story is a fascinating insight into bbc confirmation bias.
    They desperately *want* the tide to turn so they report the tide is turning. They desperately *want** pressure to mount on Israel so they report that ” there is increasing pressure on Israel to blah blah blah.” It’s a
    neverending media circle and one of the oldest tricks in the BBC’s toolbag of mendacity. They report that pressure is mounting / the tide is turning / commentators are saying that….and lo and behold if you watch the BBB it does feel as pressure is mounting / the tide is turning / commentators are saying that blah blah blah.

    It’s a game the BBC never tires of.

    • Interesting that Hague said a trade boycott of Israel is not, at this time, on the table. Think about that. What only three days ago had never entered anyones head, that was unthinkable, is now being thought about. Next stop where ?

      Well done Bibi !!!! I wanna be in your lifeboat !!!!.

      • Might be a good idea to pop off and listen to your Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, ‘RZ’. Could put a bit of perspective on the subject for you.

          • But you find Hague and/or his comments ‘interesting’ and, if I am understanding you correctly, worth thinking about?

            Is Bibi also interesting or do you not listen to him either?

      • No one wants to be in Bibi’s lifeboat.

        Because of several years of Bibi’s policies, many friends are asking me how they could get a European or American passport for their children.

        • Let me get this straight:
          Are now claiming you’re Israeli?
          Previously, you averred that you were, first Swedish, then French, and finally American.
          If you’re ever going to reach some zenith in your trolling, “Nat”, you’d need to keep up with your own foul lies.
          Getting ever closer to being expelled, “Nat”… Keep it up.

          • rz,
            Careful now. There is a record of you and “Nat” debating Commentary101, and neither you nor “Nat” have come off well in those exchanges.

          • Jeff, thanks.
            We’ve already established that “rz”/Rich A/leonidas/richard armbach/ is extremely disturbed, and highly noxious.(“Jewlie Burchill(sic)” comes to mind).
            “Nat”, is simply a troll, borrowing from a cache of hyperbolic phrases, to be copied-and-pasted.
            So there really is no room for any sort of “Debate” with “Nat”.
            “rz” is a PSC plant. I wouldn’t worry about him. He has at least learned to restrain himself, after being ejected from many fora.

      • A report along the lines of , say, “We will not (insert action) “, does not tell you whether a statement has been made or whether the comment is in response to a question.

        And what Hadar said. Look at the economics.

        • pennylan the economics are as follows…..Israel is a de facto member of the European Union. In fact it is the most privileged of all the members, in that it has all the benefits and none of the downsides, such as making budget contributions. The effect of taking that away would be immense. The reality is that Israel is THE most dependent nation on earth. It gets to push Europe around because Europe lets it. If Europe says no, which it is indicating it is going to do from now on, Israel is screwed.

          • You can’t simply state a nation is ‘dependent’ or, ‘the most dependent’ without defining your terms.

          • “The reality is that Israel is THE most dependent nation on earth.”

            Thanks for at least admitting that Palestine is not a state.

          • “Israel is a de facto member of the European Union. In fact it is the most privileged of all the members, in that it has all the benefits and none of the downsides, such as making budget contributions.”

            Fact? This is your opinion.
            “In fact it is the most privileged of all the members…,” but it’s not a member. Maybe you want to say it has more privileges than actual members. Of course, being admitted member of the EU is at the discretion of the EU. Saying so, would turn your power relationship fantasy on its head.
            Israel’s trade relationship with Europe is certainly beneficial to Israel. You left out that it’s also beneficial to Europe. It’s not a charity program, like all that money down the drain to the PA, but saying so, again would tend to undermine your position.
            “It gets to push Europe around because Europe lets it.” Nothing like a little sadomasochistic race baiting, is there?

        • Pennylan dependent on another country for its very existence. No other state is in that position. Perilous would you not say ?

          • Nope – you’re still not defining your terms. You have just added a few words to the notion of Israel being ‘the most dependant country’. The matter at hand – if I understand your comment at 12.03 pm (i.e. pennylan, the economics are as follows…” ) is economics. But what specific aspect of economics makes Israel ‘the most dependent country in the world’

          • No that isn’t the entire matter at hand. Israel is dependent upon another state for its very existence. I can’t think of another such state

      • Pennylan what I find interesting is that Bibi has got the the world thinking in a way that that would have been unimaginable just three short days ago. Sanctions may not be on the table but VBibi has put them on the agenda. What a complete dope.

          • RZ, to be perfectly frank, I haven’t seen you actually do much by way of countering facts on this site.

            As far as I can tell your average contribution is to either pop up with one-liners or make claims – sometimes on behalf of the world.

          • ‘Tis a device often employed by the half-baked, the deluded, the disaffected and the generally unsound, who refer to what “the world” thinks (when they really mean themselves and the few friends they might have and which, after all, may actually constitute their “world”), but has nothing to do with world opinion.

          • As is unqualified nonsense like ‘the most dependent nation on earth’, SarahLeah.

            Dependent on what? British exports of Tetley’s tea bags and Cadbury’s Caramel?
            Plastic rain hoods? Bus shelter seats? I mean, without qualification the list of possibilities is endless and demonstrates the facile nature of such a comment.

          • Penny what other country is entirely dependent on another for its very existence ? How long would Israel last if the US policy became one of indifference ? No need for anti just indifference. I am not asking for precision. Let us just say to the nearest five minutes.

          • And I’ll ask you once again: define your economic terms. And, if you’d be so kind, your nation(s) of interest. You now appear to be switching your goal-posts from Europe and the EU to America. Perhaps you’d tell me why.

    • The same lunacy obtained in respect of the so-called “Arab spring”

      I doubt that al-Beeb is aware any more of the distinction between reality-based fact and the fiction it peddles as specious “fact”

  4. I’m inclined to believe the tide is turning against Israel.

    Not because of the YES votes although they include France, Ireland. Italy, Austria,Japan and Portugal, none of whom are OIC or Non aligned.. This vote shows that is now acceptable to support moves that Israel rationally believes will severely damage it (and the Palestinians openly agree that is their aim) without any threat of retribution by America, peer pressure from the unofficial, loose group of good countries .or for that matter Israel.

    The realkiller is the 41 ABSTAINS. After 64 years it is impossible to believe there is even one state that hasn’t made up its mind on this issue. Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”.


  5. This isn’t an anti Israel rant. Would a real zionist indulge in anti Israel rants ? It is a plea for Israel to quit bullshitting itself. NOBODY needs Israel. Israel behaves like it has the west by the balls. Maybe it does but only to the extent that, AND FOR SO LONG AS the west is a volunteer. Israel is not needed it is INDULGED. Should that indulgence be withdrawn….

  6. “… But before getting to that, readers may ponder exactly which “tide” the BBC thinks is turning and what sort of universal “sentiment” on the peace process it believes can be concluded from the UN GA vote of November 29th. …”

    Probably the same sort of cloying sentiment as that of the “Arab spring” which it fell for, hook, line and sinker.

  7. Commentary you are an example of a breed of onliners that I have never quite figured. You are in the persuasion game. You think if you can manage this little sliver of cyber space you have made a difference. It is just a freaking blog spot amigo.

    So you cry and whinge and whine and you have an orgasm when someone gets banned from a blog spot. Israel is saved.

    So what ? For me it’s just…..Oh look theres a comment box. I am gonna put something in it. There I got it of my chest. I feel better now. So I get banned from that particular comment box. Well nut job blog spots are like buses. Theres another one coming along in a minute or two.

    Get a life before it is too late.

  8. Does the BBC have any analysis of what “global sentiment” might be about 83-year-old former BBC TV presenter Stuart Hall being charged fifteen minutes ago with sex offences against children? Is the “tide turning” against the BBC for its decades-long silence on the subject?


  9. Pingback: BBC ignores UN HRC report’s political agenda – and worse | BBC Watch

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