Israeli readers of the headline to a June 14th report by the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Yolande Knell, which appeared on the Middle East page of the BBC News website, might logically have assumed that it referred to disgruntled Jerusalemites upset about two days of traffic restrictions in their city last week due to the Formula One event held there.
But they would have been wrong. Upon further reading we learn that Knell’s “controversy” predictably involves the usual one-trick phoney outrage from “Palestinian officials” and is in fact no more than a journalistic hook upon which to hang yet another BBC advancement of the PA’s political narrative.
“Tens of thousands of spectators have turned out to watch Formula 1 racing teams roar around the edge of Jerusalem’s Old City.
A showcase event over the past two days featured the Ferrari and Marussia teams.
The mayor said the idea was to promote peace and bring together people of different faiths.
However Palestinian officials saw it as an Israeli attempt to show sovereignty over the disputed city.
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.”
Knell of course neglects to clarify for her readers that Israel does have sovereignty over the city, which – despite recurrent BBC claims to the contrary – is Israel’s capital.
“However Palestinian officials did not share that enthusiasm.
“The Israelis are trying all different ways to project their own agenda, including through sport,” said the Palestinian Authority Governor of Jerusalem district, Adnan Husseini.
“They are trying to show the issue of Jerusalem is resolved and that there is peace and stability. Actually it isn’t true. It’s not the fact.” “
So, “Palestinian officials” are in fact one person bearing a fairly meaningless title – Adnan Husseini – who was described by Knell in the original version of the article as being the “Governor of Jerusalem”. That bizarre error was quietly amended several hours later.
In the interests of context, transparency, impartiality and accuracy, it would have been appropriate for Knell to inform her audiences that Adnan Husseini (yes, he is a descendent of the notorious former Mufti) has quite a history of denying Jewish and Israeli connections to Jerusalem.
“It’s not a simple matter. The excavations are being carried out [by Israel] in accordance with an entire political program of Judaization, falsification of history, exploitation of this falsification for Zionist propaganda in the West and throughout the world, to prove that they have some connection to Jerusalem.” (June 12, 2012, Palestinian TV)
“The Jerusalem district [administration] published an announcement yesterday under the heading ‘Jerusalem’s Archaeological Landmarks, Ancient History, and Israel’s Ongoing Assault’, to inform people about some of the many archaeological, religious and historical landmarks in Jerusalem. Jerusalem District Governor, Engineer Adnan Husseini, said that the announcement comes as the city is subject to an Israeli campaign of forgery, aimed at erasing its Islamic and Christian landmarks, and highlighting its Jewish character. Husseini declared that some of the active national institutions, including the Jerusalem District, the National Committee, and the like, bear the burden of focusing attention on feverish attempts at Judaization to which these landmarks are subject.” (September 18th, 2012, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
“It cannot be that Jerusalem will someday be part of the State of Israel. Every inch of Jerusalem is always speaking the Arabic-Palestinian-Islamic-Christian language. The resolve of the residents of Jerusalem and their struggle against all the oppressive, settling and colonizing acts, prove this… The invasions of Al-Aqsa, for example, what do they prove? In other words, why do they want to drag us into a religious war?” (October 19th, 2012, Palestinian TV) [emphasis added]
Oh dear! It seems that Mr Husseini is not even content to limit himself to demanding “East” Jerusalem alone as the capital of a Palestinian state. Perhaps that explains why he is so outraged by a sporting event which in actual fact took place in areas of the city he and his PA colleagues are not supposed to find remotely controversial – at least according to the narrative as it is understood by their Western donors.
How very revealing it is that Yolande Knell chose to politicise what could have been a factual and impartial report on a sporting event by showcasing Husseini’s baseless histrionics and that in doing so, she opted as a volunteer mouthpiece for the amplification of the opinions of a man who promotes the offensive racist trope of the ‘Juadization’ of Jerusalem.