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Emet m'Tsiyon

Monday, February 20, 2017

BBC Equals Fake News -- Gavin Esler & Dateline London

The Dateline London program on BBC is usually interesting even if the guests, journalists stationed in London, British or foreign, usually stay within certain acceptable or conventional bounds of permitted opinion. Hence, the opinions expressed about Israel and issues connected with Israel stay within the narrow framework of conventional Western anti-Israel opinion -- or better said, within the bounds of anti-Israel prejudice. Of course they are free to express their opinions. They are free to affirm fake news, however false it may be. Now, with charges of "fake news" flying in all directions, it is relevant to discuss the falsehoods of the BBC, not only of the guests on the Dateline London discussion panel.

We are long  used to the BBC's anti-Jewish prejudice, which was expressed during the Shoah by avoiding reporting on the ongoing mass murder of Jews by the German Nazi forces. And we also keep in mind that the BBC's foreign reporting is supervised by the Foreign Office, as Shmul Zigelboym noted during the Holocaust.

So it was no surprise to hear Gavin Esler, moderator of Dateline London, utter several lies that fit into the smear-Israel, anti-Israel, pro-PLO narrative. In the middle, approximately, of the show broadcast on 18 & 19 February 2017, Esler introduced the topic of one-state or two-states to supposedly settle the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict. He said that there were supporters of the one-state solution on both sides, Israeli and Arab. Then he said that Israeli supporters of that "solution" wanted the one-state to be Jewish, whereas Arabs ("Palestinians" in his lingo) wanted "a democratic state" with --presumably-- equal rights for all and Jews and Arabs ("Palestinians") living "side by side". This presentation of the desires of both sides --to an audience devoted to equality and democracy-- makes Israelis sound bigoted and Palestinian Arabs sound broad-minded, democratic, egalitarian, and liberal.

Now, how accurate or honest was Esler's description? First, have the many mass murder terrorist attacks against Jews by Palestinian Arabs over the years, and especially in the wave of murderous terrorism that began about one and a half years ago in September 2015, demonstrated a desire to live together in peace with Jews on the part of the Arabs, who are --by the way-- an overwhelmingly Muslim population? Second, how is it that, whereas no Arab state is truly democratic and all but Lebanon affirm the supremacy of Islam or Islamic law in their constitutions, that the Palestinian Arabs, unlike the other Arabs, want a democratic government with equality for persons of all religions and all ethnic groups living within the state -- quoth Esler? That would be very curious indeed and would demand special scholarly investigation -- if true. Thirdly, the treatment of Arabic-speaking Christians in the Palestinian Authority is bad and does not indicate respect for their equal rights. Fourth, is there any documentation of the supposedly democratic inclinations of the Palestinian Arabs and their putative statelet, the Palestinian Authority? Can Esler or anyone else supply a reliable public opinion poll to that effect?

In fact, it is widely known that the Palestinian Authority is far from democratic. It is far from respecting basic human and civil rights for its own people-- let alone Jews. Just look at documentation provided by PMW (Palestinian Media Watch) demonstrating the hate agitation of the PA government in Ramallah headed by Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen], as well its financial corruption regarding its own people. There is also the record of anti-Israel hate agitation in Arab media generally --although there are exceptions-- provided by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) And most pertinent to the discussion, the PA has drawn up a constitution for its not yet existent state. This document like Arab state constitutions generally, provides for the supremacy of Islam and Islamic law. What exactly does the PA-proposed constitution for a future state comprise?

The draft constitution of the planned state affirms: 
“This constitution is based on the will of Palestinian-Arab people,” (Article 1), “the Palestinian people are a part of the Arab and Islamic nation,” (Article 2), “sovereignty belongs to the Palestinian Arab people,” (Article 10), “the legal character of the Arab-Palestinian people will be embodied by the state,” (Article 13). “Islam will be the official religion of the state,” (Article 6). [emph. added[Prof Shmuel Trigano pointed to these articles of the draft constitution]
Now, it is notorious that the status of the non-Muslim, the dhimmi, in the Islamic state is an inferior one. The section of Islamic law that deals with dhimmis is called the dhimma and it provides for the regular inferiority of the dhimmi in many areas of life, such as the special taxes borne by the dhimmi and his regular humiliation, his worth as half of a Muslim in that his testimony in court is worth half of a Muslim's testimony, and so on and so forth [see dhimma rules here & here].

Further, Esler claimed that the "Palestinians" who wanted a one-state solution wanted it to be "a democratic state" with --presumably-- equal rights for all and Jews and Arabs ("Palestinians") living "side by side". Whereas Islamic law, shariy`ah holds that non-Muslims, dhimmis, are inferior, one wonders whether there are more than a handful of genuine, loyal Arab Muslims who want a truly democratic liberal state where Jews have equal rights. And as to living "side by side," Jews in Arab-Muslim-ruled lands were often forced to live in ghettos, as in Christian Europe up to the French Revolution and after it in many places. I have not found a public opinion poll of Palestinian Arabs who both want a single state and want it to be democratic with equal rights for Jews. If Esler or anyone knows of such a poll, please publicize it and send us a link. I will be glad to post such a link. However, I did find something:
Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, said Wednesday that the only alternative to a two-state solution is one state with equal democratic rights for all. [here]
Now Saeb Erikat is an expert propagandist, a liar and double-talker. The liberal affirmations that he makes when speaking English are typically contradicted by what he says to his own people in Arabic. So his sincerity in speaking of an egalitarian, democratic state is highly dubious, especially if we take into account how his Palestinian Authority treats its own Arab population. And bear in mind that he subscribes to the draft constitution quoted above which is an Islamic supremacist document. Furthermore, it seems likely that when Esler was saying that Palestinian Arabs who wanted a single state wanted it to be democratic and egalitarian with Jews and Arabs living side by side, he was thinking about Erikat's statement above which had been published just days before on 15 February 2017. If Esler believes one word uttered by Erikat then he is a fool. But maybe believing in the likes of Erikat is a rule at the BBC.

Be that as it may, how about Jews living in the same state with Palestinian Arabs? Could they live or reside in such a state? As far as Erikat's relative, Maen Areikat [the spelling difference is immaterial] is concerned, Jews would not have the right to live in a "Palestinian state."

INTERVIEWER: So you think it would be necessary to first transfer and remove every Jew.
AREIKAT: Absolutely. No, I'm not saying to transfer every Jew. I'm saying to transfer Jews who, after an agreement with Israel, fall under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state.
INTERVIEWER: Any Jew who is in the borders of Palestine will have to leave?
AREIKAT: Absolutely.
[here & here]

The "Palestine" that Areikat wants to construct would include Jewish holy places and cities that the Jews have long traditionally considered holy, like Jerusalem, especially the Old City, and Hebron. The Jewish holy places that he would foreclose Jews from living close to include the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Tomb of Simon the Just in Jerusalem [outside & north of the Old City], the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and so on. Given the record of the Kingdom of Jordan before the Six Day War in preventing Jews from visiting the Jewish holy places, access to which had been stipulated in the 1949 armistice accords,  the projected "State of Palestine" would likewise prevent Jews from visiting Jewish holy places.

We see that public opinion among Arabs in the Palestinin Authority is not liberal and not eager to live in equality with Jews. And therefore, Gavin Esler was broadcasting fake news. Nothing new for the BBC.

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