Truly Shameful BBC Israeli Propaganda 549

In a genuinely outrageous piece of victim blaming, BBC News just blamed Palestinian intransigence in refusing to accept Israeli annexation of the West Bank for the deaths of Palestinian children caused by the Israeli blockade of medical supplies to Gaza.

This is a precise quote from the BBC TV News presenter headline at 10.30am:

“The lives of hundreds of sick Palestinian children are being put at risk because of the latest downturn in relations between their leaders and Israel last month. The Palestinian President said his government was giving up on past peace agreements because of Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank. That decision stopped co-operation on many security and civil matters including medical and travel permits.”

There followed a heart rending piece by BBC Middle East correspondent Yolande Knell featuring Palestinian children in Gaza dying of varous medical conditions and their distraught mothers.

The entire piece very plainly blamed Palestinian officials for the situation.

The BBC did not blame Israel for placing a blockade illegally preventing pharmaceuticals and medical supplies from entering Gaza – the basic reason the children cannot be treated at home.

The BBC did not blame Israel for blockading in illegally the civilian population of Gaza, so that these children cannot freely leave for treatment in Europe without Israeli clearance.

The BBC did not point out that the proposed annexation of the West Bank is illegal, has been condemned by the UN Secretary General and by 95% of the governments of the world, and will precipitate great violence.

No, the BBC blamed the Palestinians.

“Accept the illegal annexation of still more of your land, or small children will die and it will be your fault”.
That is a line the BBC are perfectly happy to push out on behalf of Israel. It is an astonishing moment for the UK state propagandist. It is important we do not ourselves become complacent at this absolutely unacceptable behaviour.


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549 thoughts on “Truly Shameful BBC Israeli Propaganda

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  • iain

    Days away from Israel annexing the West Bank — one of the most significant breaches of international law this century.

    So what is the “human rights lawyer” who leads the Labour Party doing?

    Defending the criminals …..

    (And clearing the way for a shadow education secretary who wont stand up for teachers and their unions.)

    The British establishment has its NuLabour back.

  • Laguerre

    What was dramatic was that the article for which Long-Bailey was sacked very clearly wasn’t anti-semitic. The author doesn’t even say that neck-kneeling was what the Israeli police taught, just that the police ware trained by the Israelis. Big mistake by Starmer, who is known for his forensic precision. But he was very imprecise here. As I said, don’t hope for anything on Palestine from Starmer.

    Of course the issue may be a trick by the Board of Deputies or similar organisations, who are far from friends with Labour, and would prefer the Tories in power, even Johnson. Why was such a big fuss made about something not anti-semitic? It may be a revival of the campaign against Labour, and Starmer fell for the trick.

    • Bramble

      Jonathan Cook has an article where a Palestinian diplomat alleges he was assaulted by an Israeli policeman in exactly the same way:

      If true, Israeli law enforcers do indeed kneel on necks.

      Nevertheless, the row in Labour over the education policy also occurred. It is revealing Starmer went with earning a brownie point from the BoD and its media foghorns to justify sacking Long-Bailey. The toxic culture continues and leaves Palestinians stripped of all defenders while targeting left wingers in Labour and trying to expel any genuinely socialist voice.

    • Marmite

      With Starmer, we can only hope that Labour kills itself off completely, making way for a responsible, anti-growth, green opposition. In a way, Labour has been the thing standing in the way of progress on social and political issues since before Thatcher. The last couple years were just a strange interlude that allowed people to warm to it, but now it is unmasked again for what it really is.

      • Goose

        She[RLB] says she didn’t even get an opportunity to state her defence.

        I’m sure Starmer is familiar with ‘Audi Alteram Partem’…

        Absolutely diabolical therefore of Starmer, with his legal background, not to get someone a right to be heard. The thicker sections of Labour applauding Starmer’s firm action, but the idea no case or judgement can be decided without listening to the point of another party is the central pillar of the principle(s) of natural justice.

        The membership should abandon the party in protest. Many had doubts about Starmer, because of appointments were basically a ‘who’s who list of anti-Corbyn people.

          • Laguerre

            Nothing like a bit of over-simplification, is there? Who knows whether Starmer was in on the trick or not? All that is certain is that the Board of Deputies is anti-Labour and will be trying to destroy it, which is why they made an enormous fuss about the article.

        • Goose

          Appears he’s deceived the membership, convincing them he was ‘of the left’ when he plainly isn’t.

          Looks like he hung around in Corbyn’s team almost as a sleeper would. Look at his appointments : Jess Philips, Wes Streeting ; Pat McFadden, Stephen Kinnock; Ian Murray, Liz Kendall , Toby Perkins, Peter Kyle.

          New Labour surely can’t and won’t happen again though.

          • N_


            New Labour surely can’t and won’t happen again though.

            It’s happening right now.

            The left should leave and form a new party, just as they should have done in 1994. No party that supports a fascist ethnic-supremacist regime such as Israel – and who have anything but contempt for its partisans who speak with utterly forked tongues whenever they talk of anti-Semitism – deserves to be viewed as a party that furthers the interests of the working class and the poor.

            Perhaps wait around for a short while, those who haven’t made up their minds about what’s happening. Those who leave because they suss only in a few months’ time that New Labour 2 is just as Toryoid as New Labour 1 will be welcome in the new party…

            I predict there will now be a flood of Labour membership applications. Thousands of Sir Keirites will join, ready to continue the Tories’ work whenever the Tories decide to pass the baton to them for a while.

            That’s what happened after Blair took over. If I recall correctly, it only took a year or two, perhaps three, for the MAJORITY of party members to be those who’d joined the party with that Thatcher-praising sh*tbag as leader.

    • Scurra

      Ok, I’m going to make a comment about the Long-Bailey business that will doubtless annoy people.

      The problem here is that there was literally no need to mention Israeli involvement in the original article; however, a throw-away line like that continues to reinforce the impression amongst those who are already inclined to be antisemitic that hey, here’s another secret Jewish plot. And it can also later be used as supporting evidence that, hey, reputable people think this, so it must be true…
      If you were writing a piece about, say, The Great British Bake-Off, you wouldn’t say “this week the bakers tackled croissants (which were, of course, invented by the French who have many curious culinary habits)” if you didn’t want people to think “oh yes, they eat horses and frogs-legs”.
      Now, I want to stress that I really don’t think Peake in her original article actually was intending that. What I think happened is that she read the line somewhere else (possibly second-hand quoted from an actual anti-semitic context) and included it in her piece. And, to be fair, she may also not have spent the last few years being shown how lines like that are used to encourage that sort of anti-semitic thinking.

      However, Long-Bailey has no such excuse; she’s spent the last few years embroiled in this subject and is supposed to be able to recognise this sort of thing when it happens. And she also knows perfectly well that Twitter is not a place for nuance; people were going to leap on anything like that in seconds. There were other ways she could have said that she liked the piece, and she could also have contributed to the on-going educational process by drawing attention to the line and saying why it was problematic.

      By all means, bash the Israeli government for their treatment of the Palestinians – I am 100% behind Mr Murray on this one, as should all sane people; I’ve written my letters and supported these campaigns for years. But I am also opposed to anti-semitism: to the conspiracy theory that there is a secret cabal of Jews who are running the world (once you go down that rabbit hole, anything becomes possible.) It’s not hard to avoid continuing to spread that theory, but it requires a tiny bit of thought sometimes to catch oneself before it becomes normalised.

      • gwp3

        “The problem here is that there was literally no need to mention Israeli involvement in the original article;”

        RLB didn’t write the article.

      • George+McI

        That’s the impression I get too Scurra. The mention of Israeli forces was totally gratuitous in the original interview. When you make a remark like that, you are practically giving yourself over to those who are weaponising the term “anti-Semitism”.

        • bevin

          You are wrong. The connections between Israeli military/police training and violent supremacist police departments in the US are important. And Israel recognises this, making much of its close relations with the most authoritarian elements in American society.
          The connection between Chauvin’s training, the Minneapolis Police Union (a notoriously nasty organisation, famous for its support of Trump) and Israeli training tips are important and ought to be recognised.
          It is Israel which is singling its contributions out. There is nothing made up about this story, which is all of a piece with Israel’s courting of fascists all over Europe.
          The neck kneeling technique is one promoted by Israeli cops, who have perfected it-much as IDF snipers have perfected child killing- in the impunity zone of Palestine where every crime is condoned and all criticism is written off as antisemitism.

      • Greg Park

        No thoughts on the leader of the Labour Party being in the pay of Israel lobbyists. Another anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, I suppose.

      • nevermind

        no doubt you are also fullybehind the black lives matter campaign, Scurra?
        Why else would one take Starmers self harming serious and proclaim that RLB was asking for it.

        Facts matter and RLB merely retweeted what was known by many. I support her stance on schools re opening.

    • Dan

      I don’t think that was the *real* issue – she and Starmer had been having huge rows about whether or not it’s safe to force kids back to school and the fact that he had been so quick to support Johnson.

    • Dungroanin

      There is plenty of evidence of the Israeli Border Police training multiple countries forces.
      Jonathan Cook wrote a piece some weeks ago from which he links to others showing multiple photos of the knee technique being used.

      It is the modern form of lynching with no need of noose or tree!

      Al Jazeera also had a report with the writer Angela Davies repeating the connection

      Something has changed in the ‘propaganda playbook’ across the spectrum, from last week.
      They have decided to ratchet it up again!
      CM explained about how they work.

      The Groan went all anti-Russia again; the Skripal fairytale; the anonymous lie printed in the NYT, WaPo and Guardian etc about Russian ‘bounty’ in Afghanistan.

      The btl troll operation and alt rightist/leftist, BrexShitty Alt media shites joining in the full spectrum putsch.

      Not a mention of the collapse of the case against Flynn, the conspiracy hatched in the Oval Office or even the dementia afflicted candidate Biden who can’t discern between thousands and millions of dead (it’s true – he won’t make it through an interview never mind a debate).

      Crazy. End of times desperation. Thank goodness Mutti Angela is across the channel- I hope she organised a flotilla of small boats from the EU to take our needy this triple whammy winter to seek refuge and medication to the beaches of Dunkirk!

      • wonky

        “Mutti Angela” is a childless, evil and disgustingly ugly witch, inside and out. She has single-handedly ruined Germany and the EU. Just saying.

        • glenn_uk

          What’s this, “childless”-shaming now?

          I doubt if you would have dropped that in had it been a neutral term to you. Are you actually promoting the notion that women are obliged to contribute to the overpopulation of this desperately crowded planet?

  • Laguerre

    As I’ve said before, I doubt whether Israel’s annexation of large parts of the West Bank is going to make a lot of difference, except at the formal level. There is no outside power in existence today who is going to force Israel to disgorge the West Bank. What will do it is internal decay, and that process has advanced a substantial distance. Netanyahu is very wise not to go to war against an enemy who could conceivably fight back, because the Israeli army is not in a state to fight as they did in 67 or 73. They would lose. What keeps Israel going militarily, is the mere handful of expert pilots, and the high-grade technology supplied by the US, which permits them to launch missiles from Lebanon.

    • N_

      The Zionists won’t want to give the Arabs on the West Bank the vote. Most would not want it, but the Zionists won’t even want to give it to them hypothetically – at least not until most are “removed” one way or another.

  • Franc

    ” …… the proposed annexation of the West Bank has been condemned by 95% of governments of the World”
    Apart from the USA, who are countries, the 5% , that condone it?

  • Crispa

    I might return to the BBC for news and information if I had evidence that it was reporting critically on Israel on such as the:

    • illegalities of the planned annexations and settlements, including turning the Golan Heights into “Trump Heights”
    • the fake news put out by Israeli journalists to support the annexations
    • the continuing blockade of the Palestinians which makes them prisoners in their own homeland
    • the arresting and detention of numerous children and students
    • continuing acts of violence by the Israeli military which have resulted in massive loss of lives, untold injuries including to children, damage to property and loss of essential of water supplies, which are acts of pure vindictiveness
    • the illegal shooting of a young person with autism
    • the constant hate speech by Netanyahu’s son calling for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Israelis and Muslims
    • the constant manipulation of the country’ political system by Netanyahu to remain in power as a virtual dictator to promote his racist and fascist policies.
    • the opposition shown by European governments and USA to the BDS movement and their intolerance of it
    • the regular missile strikes on Syria
    • as much support for the idea Palestinian Lives Matter as it has given to Black Lives Matter – they are inextricably linked.

    But I doubt if it will.

  • Royd

    One has only to consider Rebecca Long Bailey’s sacking by ‘Sir’ Keir Starmer today to appreciate that Israel’s reach is far and wide.

    • Goose

      They’re calling it a ‘Zero tolerance’ approach.

      More like a ‘zero criticism allowed’ approach. Talk about a tenuous linkage to antisemitism.

      Maxine Peake – the interviewee in the Independent’s interview RLB was referring to – wasn’t even directly criticising Israel, she mentioned Israeli policing methods in the context of US police tactics and George Floyd & Black Lives Matter. Starmer’s behaviour looks pathetically servile in sacking her.

    • N_

      Imagine the leader of the so-called party of the working class accepting a “knighthood” from “her majesty” – what a plonker!

      Can Stürmer change his first name, please? His parents named him after Keir Hardie. He doesn’t deserve to carry that name.

      Perhaps Stürmer can share some port with his fellow lawyer Menzies Campbell. Having received his orders from the J**ish fascist lobby, Campbell told Jenny Tonge to lick Z**n*zi boot or he’d sack her, and (in a very rare case of a British politician showing honour) she told him he had better f***ing well sack her then. When Stürmer received an instruction from the same lobby to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey, I doubt he hesitated for a single moment. He probably even asked them what time of day they would like him to make the announcement.

  • Old+Red+Sandstone

    OK, that’s it for me. I’ve just cancelled my LP membership direct debit. The direction of travel is all too obvious.

    Any cash of mine that would have gone to the LP will now be directed to Palestinian causes.

    If you don’t mind my posting a link, Mike Sivier has a good summary of the issues. I hope some US followers of this blog will be good enough to supply further confirmation.

    • Goose

      Was just listening to Aaron Bastani on today’s Novara Media Youtube show and he thinks Maxine Peake should sue Starmer and the Labour party for claiming she was promoting an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

      What Peake said :

      “Systemic racism is a global issue,” she adds. “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”

      Israel claims it didn’t teach that particular technique. But has been frequently seen being used.

      There is overwhelming evidence the US has sent dozens of police chiefs and officers to Israel, to learn Israeli policing tactics, methods and techniques such as use of force and crowd control. Nearly all the big states of the US too.

      Direct quote from Amnesty US:

      “Baltimore law enforcement officials, along with hundreds of others from Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California , Arizona, Connecticut , New York , Massachusetts, North Carolina , Georgia, Washington state as well as DC Capitol police have all traveled to Israel for training. Thousands of others have received training from Israeli officials here in the US.

      Quote from Jerusalem Post :

      Citing Israel’s preeminence in counter-terrorism operations, US police Chiefs are visiting the country as part of an ADL delegation to learn advanced training techniques from Israel Police. Among the delegation are chiefs of the Orlando Florida and San Bernadino , California police departments, who recently witnessed unprecedented terrorist attacks in their cities.

  • Glasshopper

    Smarmer is an odious creep. As one would expect from someone forever dancing to the Brussels tune. Michael Foot and Tony Benn must be spinning in their graves!

    But this will go down well with the slippery snob class who still read The Guardian.

    • Goose

      He was DPP when the CPS prosecutors were telling Swedish prosecutors not to ‘dare getting cold feet’ over Assange. Sweden tried to drop Assange extradition in 2013, CPS emails showed.

      Let’s face it, if he had been an obstacle as DPP, to those pursuing Assange, he probably wouldn’t have become Sir Keir Rodney Starmer KCB. Senior officials would have made sure of that.

      • Shatnersrug

        He became Sir Starmer because he buried the Jean Charles De Mendoza Murder and said the officers had no case to answer.

        You know the one on the tube at Stockwell where plain clothes Met officers In a crowded train grabbed some brown bloke and fired seven rounds into his head.

        Guess what? They’d just come back from terror training in Israel. Funny that.

        The labour part is dead. I wont resign but I see nowhere for it to go other than a play opposition with a imbecile I’m charge.

        People on the left need to wake the fuck up.

        I’m talking influential people – like Richard Murphy, Ash Shakar, Aaron Bastanj. They cannot sit on the fence and pretend Israel isn’t a problem anymore John McDonnell even Jeremy although I’ve spoken to him and he knows all to well where we’re going.

        • Goose

          Yes, there needs to be a new leftwing party established at some point and timing is crucial. And btw, I don’t trust George Galloway so his party certainly isn’t the vehicle.

          My own view is Corbyn had two choices when the smears first started. Notably after doing better than anyone predicted in 2017’s election, then they intensified.

          Being a genuine pacifist Corbyn chose what he thought was the path of least resistance (big error); by accepting Labour had big problem with antisemitism among its membership (if didn’t and never has had). It allowed those making the absurd claims to use Corbyn’s words as proof of the problem. The admission itself was used as proof.

          Corbyn let members down dreadfully, by not disputing the smears from the start; by not standing by close allies like Chris Williamson and by not introducing open selection to empower the membership with the democratic tools to democratically and fairly remove the rotten Blairites.

          • Jimmeh

            You mean George “indefatigability” Galloway?
            I vote; I nearly always vote for losers. I voted for a Corbynite Labour candidate, but I can’t vote for neo-liberal Labour, and certainly not for the Tories. I vote for losers in the hope of saving their deposit.
            Steer Karma is awful. The Wrong-Daily sacking is a disgrace. I agree we need a new left party, but if Galloway has anything to do with it, I’ll go on voting Green. The Greens have many problematic candidates, but not as many as neo-liberal Labour has.

        • Coldish

          Shatnersrug (23.33): you wrote: “Guess what? They’d just come back from terror training in Israel. Funny that.” That’s an important claim. Can you provide documentation?

        • Jon

          “You know the one on the tube at Stockwell where plain clothes Met officers In a crowded train grabbed some brown bloke and fired seven rounds into his head.

          Guess what? They’d just come back from terror training in Israel. Funny that.”

          And guess more what? The woman in charge (according to the official narrative) of that killing is now head of the Met Police, after two anonymous years at the FCO; the details of which we taxpayers are allowed to know absolutely nothing. Not even the simplest of facts such as job description, pay, job location. Nothing whatsoever.

        • Microbe

          Dame Cressida Dick, now commissioner of the MET, was the officer in command at the time of the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

          • Microbe

            Apologies Jon – I missed your contribution amongst the mêlée of comments which already has pointed out what I point out DOH!

        • BlutBlot

          I’m confused. Is it “terror training” or “anti-terror training” that UK and US cops receive from Israel?

          Or does it not really matter?

  • Ian

    Maybe Israeli soldiers and police don’t use the ‘knee’ stranglehold. Why would they, when they can just shoot Palestinians with impunity? It is well documented that Israel has been training US police forces, which effectively militarises them, so the ‘debate’ about which exact method of chokehold they may use is irrelevant. oint is the dehyumanisation of the protesters and the wanton violence they daily inflict on them, whether lethal or just major injury.

    • Ken Kenn

      The Israeli techniques appear to have rubbed off on ‘ Sleepy Joe ‘ Biden as he posited shooting protesters in the knees instead of neck kneeling and straightforward shooting of protesters.

      The aim of this Israeli Military tactic was to ensure that if these young Palestinians ever wanted to get to a future protest – they would have to go there in wheelchairs.

      Eventually the cops will get round to blowing up old men with a tank shell for going near a fence.

      Re; Rebecca Long Bailey:

      According to Squawkboxes sources, it was a row in the Shadow Cabinet about Starmers support for re-opening schools that got her the sack.

      The Labour Party could run another leadership contest I reckon.

      They need 22 MPs to kick it off and There are 29 MPs in The Campaign Group.

      Biggest problem : a candidate as I think Jeremy Corbyn will not stand again.

      Don’t forget the Centrists had two bites at the cherry.

      • Goose

        They may try removing the whip from the campaign group members, picking them off, one by one, as a dirty means of kicking them out. Removing RLB from the s.cabinet makes sense if these centrist bastards are plotting a deep purge like that.

        I blame Corbyn for this entire mess; for being such a wimp and never putting his leadership on the line. When they forced a second leadership contest in 2016, after he emphatically won again, he should have brought in open selection and the membership could’ve done the heavy lifting democratically.

      • Bramble

        He couldn’t use the education row to sack RLB; too many parents would agree with her. The Maxine Peak article became the acceptable alternative, largely because the arguments would be made by the main stream media without his having to say much at all. The lies they tell about anti Semitism among Israel critics have become truths by dint of relentless repetition. Good for Maxine Peak, for telling the truth.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Zionism is a racist ideology whether its Political Zionism (Theodor Herzl was an atheist who proposed British East Africa as a safe place for a Jewish state) or Religious Zionism that takes large parts of the Old Testament literally of being Gods chosen people. The religious Zionists wanted the Holy Land.
    Why Zionists are tolerated by the British and the US I don’t know.

    “The Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, also known as the British Zionist Federation or simply the Zionist Federation (ZF), was established in 1899 to campaign for a permanent homeland for the Jewish people.
    “The Zionist Federation is an umbrella organisation for the Zionist movement in the United Kingdom, representing more than 30 organisations, and over 50,000 affiliated members.
    “The ZF celebrates Israel and challenges our enemies. As the UK affiliate of the World Zionist Organisation, originally founded as the Zionist Organisation at the initiative of Theodor Herzl, The ZF stands up for Israel in all forums, both nationally and internationally. From the media, to civil society, to the political establishment, “The ZF is proud to support the noble cause of Zionism.”
    Mods> Feel free to edit if you think this site could be criticised as anti Semitic for the above post.

    • Jimmeh

      “Why Zionists are tolerated by the British and the US I don’t know.”

      I do.

      When I was growing up (I’m now 64), most right-thinking liberal-minded people in the UK supported Israel, partly because of guilt about the Holocaust. My cousin went to work on a kibbutz during her summer hols; in those days, most kibbutzim were socialist and egalitarian. Of course they were settler projects, and racist; but I didn’t know that then – I believed the story about “a land without people, for a people without land”, and “greening the desert”. I thought Israel was a decent project too. At that time, Palestinians were hijacking airliners and ships, and setting off bombs. I certainly didn’t know that Israeli gangs were responsible for appalling attacks on civilians.

      In the USA, it’s a bit different. There’s a strain of evangelical Christianity in the USA that is very different from evangelicalism in the UK. US jellicles rely on prophecies in The Revelation of Saint John to the effect that only when all Jews have returned to the Holy Land will Christ return to Earth, and the end-times will come. There will then follow the Tribulation, which will end with the Rapture, in which only true Christians will be sucked up to Heaven, leaving the rest of us to rot in Hell forever. These ideas are not new – they’ve been around since the mid nineteenth century.

      So these American jellicles are keen for an Eretz Israel, to provide space for all those Jews to migrate to – not because they have any particular liking for Jews or Israel. They are just concerned with their own salvation (and they’d probably like the Jews to get the hell out of the USA as a bonus).

      These US jellicles are a major part of Trump’s support base. Of course, Trump isn’t evangelical – Bible-posturing notwithstanding, I don’t think he has a Christian sinew in his body. And the jellicles know it, but they don’t care. Their support for Trump is horrific hypocrisy, and they will pay a heavy price if he’s re-elected.

      • Goose

        That Brendan O’Neill article misses the real reason for her sacking though, if as many believe,Starmer has been waiting for slightest reason to get rid of her. Apparently she was at loggerheads with him in shadow cabinet meetings over lack of support for teaching unions. Starmer , ‘quelle surprise’ taking the Blairite approach of maintaining distance with the unions.

        RLB should have run for the Deputy post and been a thorn in Starmer’s side, as the vile Tom Watson was in Corbyn’s.

        More proof for the conjecture above: Look how Starmer has ignored the far more blatant racism in the leaked HQ staffers report, those people aren’t even suspended. I’d wager, if a Starmer appointee had retweeted that Maxine Peake interview, Starmer probably wouldn’t have taken any action whatsoever.

    • Ian

      Lol, the ridiculous Brendan O’Neill and spiked get it right for totally the wrong reasons, and as usual use it a stick with which to beat his imaginary idea of ‘the left’.

    • Crispa

      O’Neill is the sort who defends freedom of expression for those on the right and denies it for those on the left, which he never loses an opportunity to attack. He is the ultimate forked tongue hypocrite.

      • Glasshopper

        O’Neill has been doing a sterling job of taking on the Orwellian Woke Nazis. Many of whom are on the “left”. Though not on the left in any meaningful way. Most of them are cheerleaders for Brussels and clearly despise the working classes.

    • Marmite

      I’m afraid there aren’t enough decent people left to ‘inflame’, so in that respect O’Neill is wrong.

      I admire his optimism in that respect, but on this day, Britain (if not the world) has effectively decided that the age-old ideals of truth and morality don’t matter. It has proven over and again that decent people will mercilessly be cut up and abused in the worst ways. The economy is more important than human decency.

      Meanwhile, we congratulate ourselves on the most idiotic form of rhetoric about zero-tolerance for racism (when it so openly exists, when it is so openly encouraged by pigheaded Brits). At least Trudeau (whom I cannot stand otherwise) had the guts to admit that racism directed at indigenous peoples is a systemic problem in his country, but only because the video of police brutality leaked. No other leader would have the decency to do this, even if it was a kind of grandstanding.

  • N_

    Tip: if someone wants to research what restraint and fighting techniques Israeli state or private trainers have taught to US police officers, they might start by looking at the police-training use of the martial art of krav maga, and where it intersects with “prone restraint“.

    • Goose

      Seems a lot of people have put their reputations on the line today over this neck kneeling restraint technique never being taught by thec Israelis.

      If someone can prove it WAS taught to US police. Starmer, the BBC, and all the other journo crap who’ve piled on, calling it a ‘conspiracy theory’ today are going to have egg on their faces. I’m not an investigative journalist but since Amnesty US reported :

      “Baltimore law enforcement officials, along with hundreds of others from Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California , Arizona, Connecticut , New York , Massachusetts, North Carolina , Georgia, Washington state as well as DC Capitol police have all traveled to Israel for training. Thousands of others have received training from Israeli officials here in the US.

      ….There must be plenty of guides and illustrative literature for an amateur sleuth to uncover.

      • Spencer Eagle

        I don’t think kneeling on the neck would have been part of any formal training program, however there are plenty of dirty little tricks that are unofficially shared between officers. Look at the way UK officers all know how to shout ‘stop resisting’ during an arrest even though the person being arrested is either incapable of or isn’t resisting at at all, it’s a fiction created to allow suspects to be brutilized whilst simultaneously protecting officers from injury or excessive force claims being made against them. Additionally, nearby witnesses are seeded with the idea that resistance to arrest was taking place, so too for bodycam recordings, the video close in is at best unreliable but the audio reinforces the lie. Claims of being spat on follow exactly the same rational.
        Many UK police forces have shared experience with the Israeli’s too. Don’t forget the Met, when challenged at the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest, cited training provided by the Israeli’s as reason for officers having fired 11 shots at his head.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    It is not just the BBC Mr Murray: both the major political parties in this country are now infested with ‘Israel First’ sell-out prostitutes.

    For them, representing British people is subservient to serving Israeli interests. Oh, they have to be subtle about it, but make no mistake, their primary loyalty now is to Israel and other foreign bodies, those that actually elected them come a very very distant last.

  • Doug Scorgie

    June 25, 2020 at 23:33

    “The labour party is dead. I wont resign but I see nowhere for it to go other than a play opposition with a imbecile I’m charge.”
    I am not going to resign either but I was sorely tempted.
    I urge all democratic socialists in the Labour Party not to tear their membership cards up. We have to be members to have any influence at all from within the party.

      • George+McI

        I’d say the Labour Party has been dead since Thatcher’s initial victory. It wasn’t Labour that came back to power. It was “New Labour” who Thatcher called her greatest acheivement. Corbyn was an anomaly: the first Labour leader in four decades who believed what Labour was supposed to believe. And look what happened to him!

        • Pyewacket

          George, of course, we’ll never know; but the untimely death of John Smith was another nail in the coffin of any future Socialist leaning administration. Smith’s burial was on Iona, and attended by his political inheritors, particularly Blair & Brown. I believe discussion to carve up the legacy began over a dish of local Seafood, somewhere up the remoter ends of the A89. So straight after the funeral really.

        • Glasshopper

          Corbyn was given huge support by Tories who signed up and paid their 3 quid. I know several myself and if you read the Guido Fawkes comment section you will find a sizable army of them.

          They voted for him to keep the left out of office, because they knew – as did anyone with 2 brain cells – that Corbyn could never make it it no 10 and would plunge the Labour Party into a wilderness period. Frankly, anyone who voted for Corbyn thinking he had a chance of leading the country is staggeringly naive.

      • Laguerre

        Only those who have an ideological belief in a pure Left think the Labour party is dead, but it is true that Starmer stuck a knife into its heart yesterday, dividing the Party still more, in an apparent fright to clear Labour of accusations of anti-semitism, something that will never succeed, because, like Brexit, absolute purity is unattainable, when Netanyahu is openly using anti-semitism as a weapon to advance his interests.

        • Greg Park

          It is the MPs and officials in the Labour Party who share your Neo liberal perspective who have weaponized anti-Semitism for the past half decade. The people who would rather see the Tories win than Corbyn.

          • Laguerre

            Oh, I’m neo-liberal, am I? Just because I’m not ideologically hard-left. Your view is why Labour was losing under Corbyn. British political parties tend to be broad churches, at least they were till the hard right took over the Tories. And now you want the hard left to take over Labour.

          • Greg Park

            Yep, a Neo Liberal Macron Man to the core, ideologically aligned with a Labour PLP who weaponized anti-Semitism because they feared Cornyn might defeat the Tories.

          • Laguerre

            Greg Park

            yep, hard-left to the core, if you think other socialists are not “pure” enough.

          • Greg Park

            It is the centrist wing of the Labour Party that rejects unity. Trust the evidence of your own eyes rather than what the establishment media tells you.

        • George+McI

          “Only those who have an ideological belief in a pure Left think the Labour party is dead….”

          I think we are fast approaching a situation in which the slightest leftward move will be characterised as an indication of “pure left” ideology.

          • George+McI

            Your terms are veering on the meaningless. But that is an indication of how far to the right the Overton window has moved. Corbyn was a mild left reformer who was utterly unacceptable to the neoliberal (“centrist”) order. Thus
            he had to become the new Hitler.

    • seydlitz

      the Labour Party is not a socialist party it never has been, read its long history of betrayal of the working class.

      • Laguerre

        If you want an ideological Labour party, which is pure socialist, it won’t win any elections. The Labour party as it exists has done quite well for the working class, when in government. Out of government it can’t. The 1945 government was a great creation. If you deny that, you’re just being ridiculously hair-splitting.

        • George+McI

          None of the parties were ever socialist. They all represent the ruling class. Some had a “socialist” veneer to fool the public. But these parties only ever came out with concessions which were taken back as soon as they could be. It is the rich who rule. Also the rich who decide what is “popular” i.e. who set up the appropriate showbiz visuals.

          • Nick

            Absolutely correct
            The peasants only got its NHS,welfare state and improvements in standards of living due to a Male population, traumatized by trench and open warfare,armed and knowing how to use their weapons,returning home from ww2. They were not keen on those weapons being pointed at them. They didn’t give a toss for returning civilians but offered what they did out of appeasement to save their own skins. The last 41 years has been about taking these concessions back.

      • Natasha

        @seydlitz my dad wrote some of that “long history of betrayal of the working class”… When Corbyn was first on the ballot, Labour refused to let me join, or £vote. Later I found out why. A DPA request revealed “Green” had been written in my records, probably by an exit pollster sometime between the 1990s and 2016. Why? The Labour party has indeed been dead since Thatcher. And the Blair / Brown show made me puke. Where else to go? Next time NoA.

    • Ingwe

      The assumption, made by those Labour Party members urging disillusioned members to remain within the Party, is that the Party is open to persuasion and by remaining in the Party, their votes will bring about the necessary changes. This is a myth and has been demonstrated as a myth time and time again.

      A new, truly progressive, working class based party is needed. Reformism will never achieve the fundamental root and branch changes in society. By remaining in the Labour Party merely gives support to the lie that the likes of Starmer, Kinnock, Phillips et al (sorry, the list is short as compiling it was giving me nausea) will, at some mystical point, be persuaded that they should follow the policies of the members. All those 400,000 odd people who joined the Party resulting in Corbyn’s election as leader, and who promised some radical policies were cheated by him and his colleagues and the policies were abandoned.
      The position of the Labour Party is analogous to the Democratic Party in the US. Hardly a cigarette paper between the Democrats and the Republicans in terms of policies. No real choice for the electorate. Similarly here, there is no real difference between what the Tories promise and what Labour will actually do should they ever be elected.
      What we former, betrayed loyalists of the Labour Party should do is to form local committees, take the message to the streets, organise within trades unions (possibly the most reactionary organisations currently) and create a new Party with true democracy and looking toward similar organisations around the world.
      The time is past for the intellectual masturbation engaged in by Labour Party intellectuals who haven’t accepted that the Party, as a movement for progression, is stone dead.

    • Microbe

      We have tried and tried and failed. What’s the point of remaining in this kind of Labour Party as a member. There’ll always be factions inside and out frustrating the Left. We thought we were well and truly on to a new thing with Jeremy Corbyn. I have cancelled my membership. Why should Starmer who headed Labour’s catastrophic Brexit strategy benefit from leading the largest political party in Europe that Jeremy Corbyn initiated with the help of Momentum? Get out now and agitate for a new Party! Also, ditch Union membership who supported Starmer and, if possible, join another Union.

  • Gerald

    Vomit inducing stuff. Haven’t watched Beeb news for years, glad about that, I haven’t missed a thing and become much wiser by seeking real news elsewhere. They’re hopeless.

  • Andrew+Nichols

    On the same day KS dumped Long Bailey and Maxine Peake was suspended for telling the truth about Israel, showing conclusively that any criticism of Israel will be treated as antisemitism. The Brits really do hate the Palestinians dont they…”wrong colour I guess.

  • Janet Marks

    Israeli police spokesman denies that knee-restraint isn’t a part of police training in Israel. Nevertheless there is photographic evidence that it is being used in the Occupied Territories. There is also good evidence of training visits by US police to Israel and vice versa. They share anti-terrorist techniques. The majority of domestic terrorism in the US is white nationalists with guns. Haven’t seen the knee restraint being used there, but there’s photographic evidence of it being used on unarmed, black people. Hmm. The BBC report just makes me feel totally alienated from it as a news source. Its a propaganda machine for the Cons.

    • Spencer Eagle

      You will never see kneeling on the neck in any formal police training, Israeli or otherwise, however, police the world over share dirty little tricks with each other in locker rooms every morning.

      • Marmite

        Yes, and this locker-room scum must identify very well with the Israeli state, since they both have in common the feeling that they are above the law.

        Not sure where I stand on defunding the police any more though. Up until recently, I thought it was the mark of a progressive society, and I generally associate the need for police forces with the most barbaric kind of society, i.e., capitalism.

        But witnessing the rise of such a violent and openly racist populist right everywhere, don’t we still need some form of policing.

        An idea I had is that the usual thugs who go into policing work should be diverted to garbage collection duty (since they naturally seem to belong with garbage), and that the police forces should be recruited from gentler folk who are as a matter of principle non-violent. A modest proposal, I know.

          • Bayard

            Biggest killers of white people in the US, and very probably the UK, are not the police but other whites.

  • Peter

    Living in Canada as soon as we got Satellite TV Service some 30 years ago we included the BBC world service in our news watching routine. At one point in the last ten years I found that the program seemed more and more to become a bullhorn repeating the Government lines…and at one point six years ago we just stopped watching the service.

  • Brendan

    Someone reading the BBC’s “Explainer” yesterday on the annexation might get the impression that it only affects a small fraction of the West Bank population:
    “The move could result in some 4.5% of Palestinians in the West Bank living in enclaves within annexed territory.”

    But that 4.5% only refers to those who would be cut off from the rest of the so-called state of Palestine. In fact, 100% of Palestinians in all of the West Bank would live in an enclave surrounded by ‘Israel’.
    See map of the Trump/Netanyahu plan:

    It’s even worse than that because parts of Israel would cut right though this enclave, whose different parts would be connected to each other only by a small number of roads or tunnels.

    Furthermore, a large number of settlements will remain deep inside Palestinian territory, and (Israeli-only) road access to the settlements will cut through it.

    The only access from ‘Palestine’ to anywhere beyond Israel would be via two roads (again, through Israeli-annexed land) to Israeli-controlled border crossings on the Jordanian border. ‘Palestine’ would not even have control over its own airspace and would not be allowed to have an airport. Even Gaza on the Mediterranean coast would not be allowed to have a port.

    None of these details get mentioned in the mass media, especially not in the BBC. The only coverage is in blogs like this.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    The BBC has declined into the most abject purveyor of propaganda on behalf of the phalanx made up of the USA, the British military and security establishment and associated propagandists, the festering nightmare that is represented by Israel.
    The empowerment of Israel and its loathsome belligerence, unprovoked aggression and lunatic territorialism based on archaic biblical ideas certainly dates from the period just prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    I find it interesting that since that time, when opposition to “western ME policy” caved in and with a free hand nothing has been done to resolve the festering sore of Palestine/Israel. That can only mean that there is no will within the so called wetern bloc to bring about a peaceful just and equable settlement.Just yesterday Rebecca Long Bailey was sacked by Starmer ,over an issue about the origins of neck kneeling raised by Maxine Peake. Apparently the IDF are now indemnified from all criticism or investigation by conflation with anti-semitism. Starmer is becoming a more craven Blairite and Tory government apologist than Blair or any of his grovelling acolytes. Starmer confines his critical analysis to arcane technical points regarding COVID, which is akin to a swiping Johnsons tousled locks with a feather duster. He scores no points of any political weight and reveals himself as a typical coward and bully.

    • Crispa

      “Maxine Peake interview textbook ‘casual antisemitism’- Even organisation that first made link she repeats as if matter of record or motivation for heinous crime has withdrawn it as a piece of libellous conspiracism. Being anti racist means countering, not indulging, such tropes”.
      So tweets Labour MP Stella Creasy with this kind of tendentious nonsense, no doubt widely shared by many of her colleagues and the new leadership. There is no hope for it.

    • Mary

      Apologists for Israel take top posts at BBC

      That includes Purnell who is still there as Head of Strategy and Digital as well as Head of Radio.

      In 2005 Mark Thompson, the then BBC Director General, without his wife, Jane Blumberg, according to a reply by the BBC PR dept in response to a FoI request, visited Ariel Sharon in Israel. What as the purpose. We will never know. Thompson is now CEO at the New York Times.

      The BBC also banned the performance of Seven Jewish Children, a radio play. That was Caryl Churchill’s work. Note how the ‘lobby’ piled in.

      ‘The play has been widely criticized as antisemitic. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has criticized it as “horrifically anti-Israel”, and “beyond the boundaries of reasonable political discourse”, and Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic called the play a blood libel, “the mainstreaming of the worst anti-Jewish stereotypes,”, while playwright Tony Kushner and academic Alisa Solomon, both Jewish-American critics of Israeli policy, argue in The Nation that the play is dense, beautiful and elusive, and that “[a]ny play about the crisis in the Middle East that doesn’t arouse anger and distress has missed the point.”

      ‘Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza is a six-page, 10-minute play by British playwright Caryl Churchill, written in response to the 2008-2009 Israel military strike on Gaza, and first performed at London’s Royal Court Theatre on 6 February 2009.

      The DEC appeal for Gaza, following the Cast Lead onslaught by Israel, was also banned by the BBC.

      The case for Palestine will never be heard on the state broadcaster’s airwaves. It is so unfair.

  • tom kane

    These are terrible times, Craig. And the BBC seem very comortable ducking and diving around the architecture of their statements as they describe the brutal treatment of Palestinian citizens in Gaza. I guess they would really rather not wrestle with what is justifiable condemnation of a modern military state, and what is anti-semitism.

    As far as I know, their motto is still, “Nations shall speak Peace unto Nation”… … There’s not much speaking to Israel about Peace going on at the BBC.

    I have been thinking of all the ways the BBC has let us down since it burst onto television, promising to and this fairy dust over brutality is some of the worst of it.


      • tom kane

        Yup…too true J…
        But in 1948, last time they made that their true motto… There was a worldwide disdain for mass-slaughterand the victors of ww2… Particularly the UK wanted to normalise humanity and peaceful coexistence between erstwhile enemies… Hence the wonderful Edinburgh International Festival … established 1947 to foster peace and reconciliation through art… That’s the roots of the BBC… It once had sights on something much higher than pleasing it’s favoured Tory governors/government/audience.

        Sorry for typos in original post… Was at the same time v annoyed and distracted. Koi

  • Mark+Rowantree

    Is anyone even remotely surprised given the source? I, personally have long given up the BBC as a trusted breed source.

  • TheBlogg

    Conspiracy theory?
    For clarity, what I would like to see is:
    Photographic evidence of American cops kneeling on someone’s neck before the Israeli training;
    A statement from an American cop who had done the training to the effect that the technique was taught on the training.

  • Kaiama

    100% with CM on this. The AS label is routinely used to shut down political criticism. It is ruthlessly exploited to justify appalling treatment against the Palestinians.

  • nevermind

    BiBiCe = MI7 the propaganda ministry of lies. Beyond the pale.
    And it is a fact that Israeli expertise in monitoring, subjugating Palestinians and holding them in knee locks, is being taught to US police forces.
    Mrs Long Bailey’s dismissal by Starmer was a double barrel shot into Labours membership and structure. Many young people do not understand Starmers Atlanticist course, many more will leave the party.

  • John Goss

    The BBC has no shame – not any more. Only this morning it was praising Keir Starmer for sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey after she tweeted an article suggesting that the US police had been trained in neck compression techniques by Israel.

    One of my sources for information regarding COVID-19 has been Johns Hopkins University database. One thing that strikes me as being particularly biased in favour of Israeli ideals is that despite Palestine being acknowledged by the United Nations as a country in its own right it gives no figures for Palestine that I can find. Instead it gives figures for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    I suspect something bad is about to happen to Palestine – worse than what is already happening. If nominee, Tzipi Hotovely, becomes the next Israeli ambassador to the UK, with her record over settlements, it will be a disaster.

  • Yeah, Right

    What is the legal argument used by Israel to justify any sort of blockade of the Gaza Strip?

    Blockade by land or sea is covered by International Humanitarian Law i.e. it is governed by The Laws of War.
    So for any blockade to be “legal” you need a “war”, and Israel does not claim to be at war with anyone.

    Sure, an occupying power has authority over the territory it occupies, so it has control over what comes in and goes out.
    (By definition (Article 42 of the Hague Regulations) it is that “authority” that makes an army an “occupying power”).
    But Israel insists that it doesn’t occupy the Gaza Strip any more, so there goes that legal justification as well.

    Simply saying that the Israelis don’t like Hamas is not enough: blockades are not legal unless there is “war”, and the Israelis don’t claim to be “at war” with anyone.

    Simply saying that the Israelis need to control what goes into and comes out of the Gaza Strip is not enough: to insist on that is to admit that it is the occupying power, whereas Israel insists that it is not the occupying power.

    As far as I can tell Israel is prancing around like the Emperor with No Clothes, only this Emperor has reversed the fable: he knows he is naked, he just hopes that nobody else notices.

      • Yeah, Right

        I had not read that account before, but it only deals with the sudden change of registration before the ship was allowed to sail.

        Interesting though that is (and it is, indeed, interesting) it rather pales beside the bigger question of the legality of the IDF’s assault on that ship.

        To my mind there is no question that the assault was illegal, insofar as Israel did *not* possess the authority to impose a naval blockade on anyone, for any reason, in the absence of an “armed conflict”.

        And at the time of the sailing of the Mavi Marmara there was no “armed conflict”.

        No armed conflict = no legal justification for a naval blockade.

        Simply put: in the absence of an armed conflict then the “San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea” is, by definition, not applicable. It says as much in the title.

        The only applicable law is therefore the Law of the Sea, which would insist that the Mavi Marmara has the right of free passage, which is something that the IDF definitely does not possess the right to impede .

        During an “armed conflict, sure, it does. But absent an “armed conflict”, no, it doesn’t.

        To my mind that seems so obvious that it staggers the mind that this wasn’t brought up in the UN investigation into the affair.
        But it wasn’t, which is a classic example of a committee being constituted in order to reach a pre-determined conclusion.

  • zoot

    there is a palpable fear on the part of the bbc and the political class that the anti-racist protests of recent weeks will spill over into sympathy for palestinians as they face perhaps the bleakest moment in their history.

    • On the train

      But the sympathy won’t spill over…..the media black out of what is happening to the Palestinians is almost total.
      What coverage that there is is twisted to imply that the Palestinian people have only themselves to blame….as Craig points out.
      The treatment of Rebecca Long Bailey is another signal to any journalist who might want to enlighten the British Public that it would be far more sensible to focus attention elsewhere.

      • Goose

        That is correct.

        Omission and denying those suffering injustice a platform, is as powerful a weapon as direct propaganda. When you talk to people about Assange, they often know very little of his plight because of the MSM blackout.

        Look at how during Corbyn’s time as leader certain critics of his leadership within the PLP were always available and asked to do TV & radio interviews: Hodge, Streeting; Mann and Ian Austin were regulars. You can bet the large Socialist Campaign Group of MPs won’t be asked on Tv and radio to critique Starmer’s performance.

      • bevin

        I’m not sure that “the media blackout” is important in this case. It is generally known that Palestinians are treated extremely badly by Israel, that there is a system worse than Apartheid in operation and that the basis of Zionism in Israel is racism.
        Nobody needs the BBC to confirm what most people of normal intelligence have known for years. Did anyone miss Operation Cast Lead-including Israelis in deckchairs watching the massacres as entertainment? Did anyone not hear about the sniper killings on the Gaza/Israel border last year?

  • Giyane

    Israel is a coggle-boggle of leftie rightie sentiments overuled by rigged elections by a far right executive.
    You couldn’t get further right than Skarmer sacking a rival for speaking the truth. And I am still in confusion about Tories doling out trillions of furlough. Why don’t they just let us slog it out with teargas like Hong Kong. Is the mask of capitalist folly hot and sticky like every other folly humans have concocted for governance.

    I really do believe , after sering the police kettle demonstrators over the 2007/8 banking crisis that our police would get very violent indeed at anything more than gluing oneself to a lamp-post.

    So what would our government do if a large bloc of minority ethnicity tried to assert its independent sovereignty. Assuming all the normal human dirt had been dug against the leaders of the protesters.
    Burning crops as in Syria? Not paying wages? Imprisoning intellectuals? False flag terror as in N. Ireland? Then jackboot.

    Under a very thin veneer of Oxford accent, we might yet get a chance to find out. Boris looked at his options and decided to fork out furlough. If the election had not been rigged in favour of the Alt Right, under Corbyn , the banks would not have delivered furlough. Now that it has been rigged , can you QE an economy so much that your dollar is only worth one cent?

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