Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Beeb In Disgraceful Bias Shock

The BBC News site has just gotten worse and worse on Palestine. They don't even bother to mum objectivity anymore.

Exhibit A:
In this piece yesterday on Henchman Supreme Shaul Mofaz's defection to Sharon's new Kadima party after a failed bid to take over leadership of Likud (silly Shaul--once a sidekick, always a sidekick), we are blandly informed that
The prime minister set up the centrist Kadima party in order to give himself more room for manoeuvre in seeking a peace deal with the Palestinians.
As if they had fact-checked it with his prefrontal cortex and it was a matter of empirical record.

Exhibit B:
Today's reporting on the shooting death of a 22-year-old Palestinian stone-thrower during a raid on Nablus. The curious formulation is made
Israeli forces entered the city at dawn and were attacked by youths throwing stones and, later, by gunmen.
'Entered the city' and 'were attacked'? What exactly were the IDF doing there, if not attacking? Did they enter the city at dawn to do some shopping? Seeing as they were acknowledgedly there conducting a raid, surely the Palestinians were less attacking and more defending?

The article is, naturally without the slightest bias, accompanied by this photo of some Palestinian youth Lurking In Ambush around a corner with a big gun, and a caption that reads, 'Palestinians have attacked Israeli forces during raids in the West Bank'.

Again, I am confused. Since when is defending one's home against incursion by an armed force 'attacking'? I mean, I suppose you could say that if you come at me with a fist to the face and I hit you back to stop you hitting me again, then you have attacked me and I have technically 'attacked you back'. But after all in the bountiful fecundity of English vocabulary we do have a whole word for that 'attack your attacker back' concept: defense. (Or in English English vocabulary, defence.)

No, the only way the BBC's formulation makes sense is if it's based on the assumption that the inhabitants of Nablus had the raid coming to them. The Beeb volunteers that '[t]here have been several raids in the West Bank since an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber killed five Israelis in Netanya earlier this month'. OK, so a suicide bomber kills five Israelis, thus it is now time for the rest of the Palestinian population to sit quietly and take their collective punishment. If they dare to defend themselves, they are 'attackers'. Fucking disgraceful.

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