Good ol’ Beeb are at it again.
It seems even the most simple message is spun against Israel, lacks context and distorts intentions.
This was the headline in an article posted earlier this week:
Israel risks Middle East isolation, warns US official
The BBC News website has long touted lies and half-truths which have become accepted ‘facts’.
Israel is becoming increasingly isolated in the Middle East, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has warned.
Didn’t anyone notice that, apart from Turkey, it has always been isolated despite two cold peace treaties. ‘Isolated’ should really be ‘threatened’, but no-one will say that. It’s not diplomatic. So they have to put the blame on Israel.
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta did, indeed, say this but here is what he said verbatim:
“It’s pretty clear that this dramatic time in the Middle East, where there have been so many changes, that it is not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated, and that’s what’s happening,” Mr Panetta told journalists aboard a US Air Force plane en route to the Middle East
As reported later in the article. But the BBC has to editorialise, of course.
He said Israel should restart peace talks with the Palestinians and restore good relations with Turkey and Egypt.
Can you see what they did there? The verbatim quote states a fact and provides the reason for this isolation; the BBC spin on this puts the entire onus on Israel to initiate diplomatic procedures.
But what is the reality?
1. He said Israel should restart peace talks with the Palestinians
Yes, and Israel has repeatedly stated that they are willing to negotiate without preconditions. Prime Minister Netanyahu said so at the UN. It is the Palestinians who are refusing to talk because they want Israel to stop building settlements, the convenient excuse provided to them by the same President Obama who came out, at last, (nothing to do with re-election, of course) on Israel’s side on the question of a Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood at the UN last month.
But wait, the BBC acknowledges…
Israel has agreed to participate in such talks, but the Palestinians want Israel to stop building more homes for settlers in the occupied territories.
Israel announced last week it planned to build 1,100 more homes in a settlement in occupied East Jerusalem
So it is Israel’s fault because they are building homes. In fact the ‘settlement’ in question is Gilo which is a contiguous suburb of Jerusalem and would remain part of Israel in any final settlement agreement. Everyone knows that.
In fact there have been no new settlements, just additions to existing ones. And, as I have always wondered, if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas genuinely believes that settlements will one day be part of Palestine, then surely Israel is building his future state for him. The whole idea of settlements, love ‘em or hate ‘em, is a complete red herring which was never an impediment to ‘peace talks’ previously.
It’s also a convenient one – for the Palestinians. If Israel were indeed to stop building, why should we believe that Abbas won’t do what he did last time; Israel had a 10 month moratorium on settlement building on the West Bank (but not Jerusalem, granted) and in the 9th month Abbas said he would agree to talks only if that moratorium were extended.
So who’s stopping the talks? You judge.
The argument is ‘how can we negotiate with someone who is building on our land?’ But the point of the negotiations is to decide whose land it is. And wouldn’t you want to negotiate sooner rather than later if you believe that ‘facts on the ground’ are being changed.
2. …and restore good relations with Turkey
I have dealt with Turkey on previous occasions. Turkey wants Israel to apologise for the deaths aboard the Mavi Marmara, pay compensation to the families of the IHH terrorists who tried to lynch Israeli soldiers, and lift the maritime blockade of Gaza. Only then will Turkey restore relations with Israel.
So not only does Turkey want Israel to apologise for its soldiers’ attempt to save their own lives, they also want Israel to commit suicide by allowing Iranian missiles free passage to Gaza.
And Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan continues to try bully Israel and provoke Israel into an action which will provide him with his apparently sought-after military conflict.
So it is Israel, then, according to the BBC spin, that must mend the fences with a country which not only severely downgrades diplomatic, military and economic co-operation but does so because it, Turkey, failed to protect its then ally, Israel, from assault by its citizens planning to break a legal maritime blockade (Palmer Report conclusion).
With friends like this…
3. … restore good relations with … Egypt.
Eh? Who’s responsible for this cooling of relations then?
Was it Israel who allowed the gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel to be blown up six times?
Was it an Israeli politician who said that the treaty between the two countries is not necessarily valid for all time?
Was it Israelis who attacked Egypt’s embassy and almost lynched six Egyptian nationals?
Was it Israel who allowed its citizens to carry out a terrorist attack near a southern Egyptian town?
Was it Israel who childishly prevented the sale of palm leaves for a religious festival (subsequently sourced from Gaza, ironically)?
Who is it that has Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elder of Zion freely available, widely read and almost universally believed?
However Panetta did say:
As they take risks for peace, we will be able to provide the security that they will need in order to ensure that they can have the room hopefully to negotiate
Now that could be read as putting the onus on Israel. I read this as an Obama-ese way of saying “If you halt settlement building, we’ll ensure the security of the state post final settlement agreement”. The ‘how’ is moot.
It could mean, as the BBC spins it:
Mr Panetta said the US would make sure Israel maintained its military superiority in the region, but should use this advantage to press for peace.
It is rather ignorant to believe that military superiority will stop missiles and suicide bombers.
So it’s Israel who should make the first move, right? Israel has to make the concessions whilst it is obvious to anyone of any intelligence that the Palestinians just want one concession from Israel: Israel.
As long as that does not change, Israel will have no security and every concession strips it of another layer of protection.