Former BBC director general admits bias

The BBC has decided not to air an appeal for aid for Gaza, to ensure it doesn’t look biased over the Gaza conflict. I think this is a good decision, but it would have little relevance to NZ were it not for this quote:

Greg Dyke, Mr Thompson’s predecessor as BBC director general, said the issue had put the BBC in a “no-win situation”.

“I can understand why the BBC has taken this decision, because on a subject as sensitive as the Middle East it is absolutely essential that the audience cannot see any evidence at all of bias,” he told the Observer.[emphasis added]

Very interestng choice of words that! He could have said “it is absolutely essential that the BBC remains clearly unbiased” or something like that, but he didn’t. It certainly sounds like he has accepted the BBC is biased, they just don’t want anyone to know! Is this a rare glimpse into the true mindset of the BBC, or just a random slip of the tongue?

Why do the left support Hamas?

The liberal lefties march in support of Hamas. Yet Hamas would kill them for their beliefs, especially if they are gay, and it is only in Israel that they would have freedom of speech. They march to protect civilians, yet it is Israel who protects civilians and Hamas who deliberately puts them in harms way. The facts are clear. Why are they ignored?

I highly recommend you read “Marching for Hamas” in the Jerusalem Post. Whale Oil has written an excellent commentary on it. A few quotes from Marching for Hamas:

Hamas is a bully aided by a bigger bully, Iran. And, just as strident and threatening human bullies get away with their aggression so long as no one calls their bluff, so Hamas has been getting away with murder and torture because the UN and many states won’t call its two-faced self-portrayal as the victim in the piece. In the struggle to take over Gaza from Fatah, it went on a rampage that killed hundreds of Palestinians. Even during this most recent assault, in early January, it executed Fatah members for violating their house arrest. …

Even if the Palestinians want peace, Hamas won’t let them have it, because Hamas knows best, and jihad “is the only solution.” Don’t believe me, read the Covenant. It likes nothing better than killing Jews, and the bigger bully in Teheran thinks that’s a damn fine thing too. No one says a word, because the UN is dominated by the Islamic states, and the Western governments know where the oil comes from, and nobody likes the Jews much anyway. …

For all its bluster, Hamas, like all bullies, is a coward at heart. Watch those films of Hamas gunmen dragging screaming children along with them to act as human shields, watch how they fire from behind the little ones, knowing no Israeli soldier will fire back. And even as they put their own children’s lives at risk, they shout to high heaven that the Israelis are Nazis and the Jews are child-killers. This blatant pornography spreads through the Western media, and people never once ask “what does this look like from the other side,”

Anyone who would march in support of such evil needs their heads examined. Or better yet, needs to spend a few years under Hamas rule. If they survive that long.

Why so many civilian deaths in Gaza?

Very simple. The illustration speaks for itself.

palestinian_whyHat tip: Say Hello to my Little Friend

Note: The Israeli flag is blue on white, the Palestinian is red, green etc.

Hamas opposing aid in Gaza

Israel is putting a lot of effort into getting aid into Gaza, but Hamas is making it difficult. The Jerusalem Post explains what is happening now with aid.

The IDF plans to open more crossing points into Gaza starting on Wednesday, in an effort to vastly increase aid to the civilian population. …

The IDF now hopes to open the grain chute at the Karni crossing, a major passage way for goods …

On Monday, the IDF opened the chute at Karni for a test run during which 23 truckloads of grain were sent into Gaza, according to Lerner.

It was shut on Tuesday, however, after the army found a tunnel on the Gaza side, meant to be used for a mine attack.

On Wednesday the IDF hopes to open the chute for the passage of 60 truckloads of grain.

That’s not quite what you hear in the media over here. Aren’t the Palestinians crying out for aid and the naughty Israeli’s letting them starve? Yet according to the J-post, it is Hamas standing in the way. Read on, and you’ll find out about Kerem Shalom, where much aid is sent through:

Nor is this a risk free operation, he said. Hamas has been known to shoot mortars over the wall.

Should there be an attack, he suggested that it would be wise to seek safety in the white concrete room at the edge of the lot.

“On one hand, we want to let the aid in, but it is a difficult situation when they start lobbing mortars at us,” he said.

Hamas also:

  • Steals trucks of food aid and sells it to the highest bidders.
  • Fires rockets from a school during a humanitarian cease-fire (intended to allow aid to be distributed).
  • Probably directly attacks UN aid convoys, killing some workers. The mainstream media initially blamed Israel for this incident but I haven’t seen any corrections published now more facts have emerged (who attacked them is still disputed but it certainly wasn’t an Israeli tank), so most of the world still thinks Israel has attacked the aid convoys.
  • Uses mosques and schools to attack Israel, and meets in a hospital, directly endangering their fellow Palestinians by requiring Israel to attack these sites if they are to attack Hamas.

I’ll stop the list there, but it would be easy to go on. Please, local media, some balance would be great.

David Farrar advertising Moslem wives

Here’s a rather interesting screenshot from Kiwiblog today, click for a larger view:

screenshotI didn’t expect to see Moslem wives being advertised there! Interesting article by the way, a Turkish cafe owner kicked out some Israeli women as a protest against the Gaza war. I would have no problem with this (the cafe is his own property after all) if it were also ok for to kick Moslems out as a protest against Hamas. But I wouldn’t want to try that in NZ, you’d get in too much trouble. Crazy double standard.

Is Hamas’ use of children immoral?

Hamas has been using children in “combat support” roles in Gaza – carrying messages and ammunition for example. Whale Oil has heavily criticised this.

However, although I am certainly not one to support Hamas, this particular issue is not that clear-cut. Children have been used in such roles in Western countries too.

Robert Baden-Powell was the British officer in charge at the siege of Mafeking, in the Second Boer War (1899). He was short of men, so the Mafeking Cadet Corps, a group of boys from the age of 11, served in a combat support role. Their duties included carrying messages, helping in the hospital, and acting as lookouts.

Baden-Powell was very impressed with their work, and eventually formed the Boy Scouts based on this. The Boy Scouts was originally formed along military lines, and was important in preparing boys for military service in the two World Wars.

The Hamas children are doing the same sorts of duties as the Mafeking Cadet Corps – the main difference being that the MCC had uniforms and the Hamas children are apparantly in civilian clothes. Although I strongly disagree with Hamas, and certainly disagree with them encouraging children to be suicide bombers and using them as human shields, it would be hypocritical for me to criticise their use of children in combat support roles while agreeing with the Mafeking Cadet Corps and the Scouting movement. Most people will get their children to help out with whatever they are doing, whether what they are doing is right or wrong, and Hamas is no exception.

So I will criticise what Hamas is doing, but not the fact that their children are helping them do it.

Hat tip: My wife, who brought Baden-Powell and child military service to my attention.

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