BBC’s Bowen promotes BDS and apartheid analogy on main TV news programme

An interview with the BBC’s Middle East Editor which was broadcast on one of the main BBC television news programmes on the evening of April 25th also appeared on the same date on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Jeremy Bowen on US bid to broker Mid-East peace deal“.

Bowen News at 10 interview

Presenter: “What is America’s plan B then?”

Bowen: “You know I don’t think they have one particularly. Eh…Mr Obama’s in his second term and he’s running out of time to try and make the big changes which, as a candidate, he really wanted to make in the Middle East and he’s said that he doesn’t think they’d be able to make the hard choices necessary for a deal within six months. Now; more than six months: they’ve been talking about this – about trying to build a Palestinian state alongside Israel – for more than twenty years and they haven’t got anywhere. It’s a long record of failure.”

Bowen makes no attempt to clarify to viewers why previous attempts to bring about a peaceful conclusion to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have failed. He refrains from mentioning the wave of Palestinian terror which followed the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority’s decision to scupper those agreements by initiating the second Intifada, its failure to even reply to the deal proposed by Ehud Olmert in 2008 and much more. Bowen continues:  

“Now that is one reason I think why Fatah went for that unity deal with Hamas, because they’re not getting what they want out of talks and also because there’s a current within the PLO that says they need to try a different strategy…ah…building internal unity and also what they call non-violent resistance, which includes the movement for ….ah….for the boycott, disvestment… disvestment [sic] and sanctions; in other words, trying to isolate Israel in the way that South Africa was isolated in the 1980s.”

Here Bowen fails to clarify to viewers why any PLO claim of adoption of a policy of “non-violent resistance” is patently at odds with its latest initiative to join forces with Hamas; a group which is recognised internationally as a terrorist organisation and which repeatedly makes abundantly clear in both words and action its unwavering commitment to the annihilation of a UN member state through violent means.

Although incapable of pronouncing it correctly, Bowen gives context-free promotion and amplification to the BDS movement, failing to clarify to viewers what the end-game of that political campaign actually is and providing it with back wind through his context-free analogy which inaccurately – yet deliberately – herds audiences towards linkage between Israel and the apartheid era in South Africa. He continues:

“Now as for the Israelis, Mr Netanyahu seems pretty happy with the status quo; keeping a lid on things, expanding settlements, Israelis are making good money. But he’s also been warned that long-term, if there’s no Palestinian state, he might well be forced to…ah…ultimately Israelis might be forced….ah….to give Palestinians who live under their control the vote and since most likely Palestinians would be in the majority, that would open up a whole new range of electoral possibilities….ah….which many Israelis would certainly fear.” [all emphasis added]

Bowen’s reference to the finances of Israeli citizens of course has absolutely nothing to do with this topic, but it certainly reveals much about his own mindset and the depths to which he is prepared to go in order to try to convince audiences that Israel is the party not interested in a peace deal. That framing continues with his failure to inform audiences of the dramatic rise in Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians since this latest round of negotiations began and his predictable insertion of a context-free reference to “expanding settlements”. Bowen then goes on to introduce the familiar ‘demographic threat’ argument, but fails to inform viewers that the vast majority of Palestinians live not under the “control” of Israel, but under the Palestinian Authority or Hamas and that they have voting rights within their own society.

The rationale behind the creation of the role of Middle East Editor in 2005 has been described in the following terms by the BBC:

“Jeremy Bowen’s new role is, effectively, to take a bird’s eye view of developments in the Middle East, providing analysis that might make a complex story more comprehensive or comprehensible for the audience, without the constraints of acting as a daily news correspondent. His remit is not just to add an extra layer of analysis to our reporting, but also to find stories away from the main agenda.”

As this interview demonstrates once again, instead of “analysis”, BBC audiences are actually being fed context-free selected slivers of information which in fact hinder their comprehension of the region’s events, but serve to advance the framing of the issue according to a specific political agenda.  

When the person ultimately responsible for the BBC’s Middle East content allows himself to exploit his platform for the promotion and amplification of one-sided political messaging in such a blatant manner, it can hardly be surprising that much of the rest of the BBC’s Middle East coverage looks the way it does.  

27 comments on “BBC’s Bowen promotes BDS and apartheid analogy on main TV news programme

  1. And of course lets not forget that Bowen’s reference to Israelis making money is that old Jew hate trope of the rich Jews who rule the world. He just can’t get away from it!

    • BBC Watch makes no comprehensive attempt to clarify to readers why previous attempts to bring about a peaceful conclusion to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have failed. They refrain from mentioning the wave of construction of illegal settlements in the Palestinian territory in violation of international law, and the ongoing military occupation of the Palestinian territory by the Israeli army since 1967.

      • Perhaps Fritz you should read Edwin Black’s The Farhud and you’ll realise why what you say about settlements is tosh – hence BBcwach has no need to write about it!

        “.. This is required reading to understand the roots of Arab hatred for Israel and Jews, in an age where the Jews of the Middle East are threatened with another Holocaust today, and the ideologies of the mufti, the Farhud and the Arab-Nazi alliance are the ideologies that drive Hamas, Hezbollah, the Islamic Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime in Iran.”

      • wunderstrumpf :the treaties of SAN REMO and SEVRES of which you do not seem to be aware of and article 80 of the un chart stating that a new state in Palestine is prohibited means Historical Palestine’s soverignty belongs to Jews let alone Western Palestine. Therefore israeli settlements are NOT illegal,arabs’ are. Arab presence in Palestine is not only illegal but an IMPERIALIST fact wheteher communists like you kike it or not. We demand from netanyahou he declares Israel’s soverezignty over Western Palestine once and for all so that people like you shut up once and for all.

  2. what the hell has Israelis making good money (most do not) got to do with anything? and we pay for Bowen!

    • Bowen is a great, senior foreign correspondent, who is considered a role model for all correspondents in the UK. I very much doubt he cares about bloggers criticising him in such a biased manner.

      • wunderstrumpf : whether bowen cares or not is all one to us,it must be blamed for this but not for making our DETERMINATION bigger by the day! See why I call you a…strumpf?

      • And Fritz Wunderbar is a great wind-up artist. He’s just another poor sap who’s bought into the ‘poor wee Palestinian’ propaganda and lacks the ability and/or desire to establish the true facts before shooting off his mouth.

        Bowen on the other hand is certainly not ignorant. He knows the facts. He simply refuses to acknowledge or broadcast those which might conflict with his demonstrable hatred of Israel.

  3. When trying to justify his phrase “Zionism’s innate instinct to push out the frontier” in response to a complaint that I made a few years ago, Jeremy Bowen said:

    ““If Zionism didn’t have ‘an innate instinct to push out the frontier’ it’s hard to make sense of how the yishuv (the pre-state Jewish community in Palestine) grew from a handful of immigrants on a few patches of land into the powerful and rich regional superpower Israel has become.”

    It is difficult to see why Mr Bowen referred to Israel becoming “rich” as a result of Zionism’s innate instinct to push out the frontier, if not out of antisemitic prejudice. Israel’s economic success in recent years has been largely based on its high-tech industries which cover a very small part of the country.

    Bowen’s thought process seems to be that Jews could only become rich by taking other people’s land. This appears to be of a piece with a recurrent motif of classic anti-Semitism, namely to observe that Jews are rich (disregarding the fact that some are not); to reject any notion that their success might be due to their talent, energy or education; and to conclude that they must have got rich by nefarious means.

    • You have put your finger on the very point I have felt for a long time.

      Jews, despite very difficult circumstances throughout history, have nevertheless managed to survive and even thrive (and make contributions to society well above their percentages). This goes against all the “rules” of how marginalized and disadvantaged people are “supposed” to do. Since Jews are more successful than the rules say they should be, it’s obvious that they’ve broken the rules and used trickery/sorcery/alliances with the devil [depending on the worldview] in order to do so well–that’s the only explanation that makes sense to the haters.

    • Jeremy Bowen says “its hard to make sense of how the Yishuv grew from a handful of immigrants on a few patches of land into the powerful and rich regional superpower Israel has become.”

      When my friend Jean who was Bowen’s RE teacher at school says she failed him, she is so right. Bowen needs to know that there were Jews in Judea and Samaria for more than two thousand years before Mohammed founded his religion based on a distorted form of Judaism. Secondly he needs to know that most of the Arabs migrated from the he east into that region of the Ottoman Empire seeking jobs as the Jews who lived there were industrious and provided work in a region peopled by nomadic goat herders who raped the land and created nothing but desert and swamps. It is well known that June region was sorely neglected by the Ottomans.

      At the end of the Ottomoman Empire rule of the region there were roughly equal amounts of Jewish and Arab Palestinians – the name Palestinian was not the sole prerogative of the Arabs – all people who lived there were called by that name – the Palestine Salt Works was created by a Jew in 1934, the Palestine Philiharmonic Orchestra was a Jewish orchestra, now the world famous Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, it was a Jewish engineer who designed and constructed the bridge over the Euphrates during WWll to allow the Austrian allies to enter Mandatory Palestine and save it from to he Nazis and it was the Jew Dayan who saved France ceding Syria to the Nazis. The British war front in North Africa and the Middle East included amongst its numbers some 40,000 Palestinian Jews, most of whom lost their lives as the British used them as scouts and in the fore-guard as they spoke both Arabic and German.

      Bowen must learn that it was only 1964 that the Arabs in Israel started to call themselves Palestinian, hijacking that name for themselves, for the he sole purpose to serve was human weapons in the PLO drive to exterminate the Jewish people in the region. Of course their leader Yasser Arafat was an Egyptian and those Arabs like mrs Hoseini emanated from families that allied with the Nazis. He needs to read ‘The forgotten ally’ by Pierre van Paassen to get a perspective of the region and who the natural inhabitants were – he shouldn’t just take my word for it!

      Its time Jeremy Bowen stopped making a fool of himself by aligning himself with Arab propaganda to use as his tool to disseminate his obvious innate Jew hatred. He better get used to the fact that Jews don’t lie down and die – they carry their baggage in their brains and that’s how Israel has grown in a few short years into one of the most powerful countries in the world, both economically and militarily. He must remember that millennia of expulsions has allowed the Jews to develop the ability to survive and prosper by using their grey matter that travels lightly, but punches above its weight in every respect.

      If he continues to carry on spreading propaganda he will have failed in his life’s work and the BBC placing this tainted soul in such a position, is a willing participant in the spread of this propaganda.

      • bowen is already a failure,cannot be more…I am glad you mentioned the nameof the author of “the forgotten ally” I read it many years ago and lost the book,I xanted to buy it so as to read it again. If you have a clue where I could buy it from,I would thank you for it! As to people like that dumb bowen,don’t worry they are leaving History and Israel is entering it! In a few years england (and europe)will be a desert and Israel far more powerful!Maybe that’s what is eating them…

      • I suspect that Bowen does know all of this. He’s a well-educated man. But he’s not interested in anything that gets in the way of his hatred for Israel and, I suspect, Jews.

    • Turner : bowen’s mind works like all of his sick antisemit clones ie that whatever jews have it is always …too much! A thousand banks make money on markets but they will blame only 1 or 2 jewish banks! Likewise for territories or anything else. They simply hate seeing jews become strong and have their word to say in world politics!

  4. “…Here Bowen fails to clarify to viewers why any PLO claim of adoption of a policy of “non-violent resistance” is patently at odds with its latest initiative to join forces with Hamas; a group which is recognised internationally as a terrorist organisation…”

    For an infinitely better analysis of the PLO’s latest initiative to join forces with Hamas, and this time by someone who speaks Arabic and does not need to employ a PLO fixer at licence fee-payers’ expence, see this piece by Khaled Abu Toameh at The Gatestone Institute.

  5. From his photo bowen looks like a perfect IDIOT,a nit wit! I am not surprised by his opinions : how can a perfect idiot understand intelligent people?he is another strumpf!

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  7. Bowen’s typical anti-Semitic hostility towards “rich” Israelis reminds me of another BBC hack, Rupert Wingfield Hayes, who tries to disguise his typical bigotry by pretending to be concerned about a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

    This alleged journalist figured he’d do his bit for the cause so he set out to portray the Israelis as wealthy, lazy slobs, indifferent to peace and the Palestinians as honourable and committed to an end to “occupation.” I guess even he realised he would have to disguise the propaganda as news so he made a feeble attempt at it by couching his poison in terms of the peace process.

    Once he’d set his agenda, all that remained was to film Israelis sprawled on a beach, making and buying gold jewellery, talking about the normality of their lives, and the Palestinians as earnestly and righteously seeking a solution to the conflict.

    And there you have it – yet another dumbed-down little package of BBC bias aimed at reinforcing anti-Israel sentiment, and to hell with journalistic ethics. But it was even more than that – a veiled threat that there would be more killing from the Palestinian side if the Israelis did not succumb to Palestinian demands.

    Tel Aviv is like a new Miami but does it help talks?

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