Tuesday, July 24, 2012

BBC slams pro-Israel Jewish lobby

One is used to this sort of thing from The Guardian: its Israel-loathing anti-Semitism has long been a matter of public record. But The Guardian is a privately-run, commercial enterprise with the right in law to believe as its proprietor wishes and speak as its editor wills.

The same rights do not extend to the BBC, which is publicly owned and financed by the British taxpayer, with a commitment to broadcast impartiality and factual accuracy.

His Grace has been following this story closely for the past week: The Commentator blog drew attention to the fact that the BBC’s online Olympic coverage was manifestly anti-Israel and pro-Palestine: every participating nation had its capital city listed, bar the state of Israel, which was left blank. Yet the non-state of Palestine had its capital listed as ‘East Jerusalem’. Despite Israel’s seat of government – the Knesset – being in Jerusalem, and despite a plethora of foreign embassies being located in Tel Aviv, the BBC opted to identify neither as Israel’s capital city. And yet, despite the Palestinian seat of government being in Ramallah, and despite Jerusalem not being divided, the BBC opted to carve the East away and hand it, lock, stock and barrel (Temple Mount, Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre) to the self-proclaimed Palestinian Authority.

This was a blatant bias and factual inaccuracy. Even those who might defend the BBC with an appeal to UN declarations on the ‘international’ status of Jerusalem – contra Israel’s own assertion about its capital – are left floundering in the knowledge that any part of Jerusalem claimed by the non-state of Palestine is nothing more than self-proclamation.

Yet the BBC summarily dismissed what Israel says of and claims for Jerusalem, while validating and authenticating what Palestine says and claims of the city.

Unsurprisingly, people wrote to the BBC to complain, including the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, which wrote:
...we were astounded by the decision of the BBC to discriminate against Israel in the network’s Olympic page. For each country (and non-country) participating in the London Olympics, a special page was given on your internet site which included background information such as capital city. For each country (and non-country) apart from Israel. Jerusalem is the capital city of the state of Israel, and accordingly we request that you correct this matter immediately.
The BBC acknowledged:
Due to an error which was made at the time the information was added onto the website, incorrect details and mistakes appeared on the Israeli and Palestinian team pages. This has since been rectified in line with BBC policy.
And so the offending page was amended to read: ‘Seat of government: Jerusalem, though most foreign embassies are in Tel Aviv.’

Still no mention of a capital city.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office sent a further letter of complaint, but the BBC made it clear that this was as far as they would go.

So the Prime Minister’s Office launched a Facebook page to increase awareness and to pressure the BBC in this matter. The page description states: ‘Following the BBC's decision to omit Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel from its Olympic Games website, this is your place to support Jerusalem – the one and only Capital of Israel.’

The Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat wrote: “We will not accept those who deny our history, our sovereignty, and our right to determine our own capital. Irrespective of the BBC's political agenda, Jerusalem was, is, and will always be the capital of Israel and the spiritual, political, and physical center of the Jewish people.”

The changes to the BBC’s website are inadequate: they not only constitute an overt attempt to deny and de-legitimise Israel's capital; they amount to a breach of the BBC’s own Charter which requires impartiality and factual accuracy.

His Grace is loath to ask his readers and communicants to complain to the BBC about this matter, because it appears that those who believe in and proclaim Israel’s sovereignty over its destiny and eternal capital city are held in contempt. A viewer who did complain received a response which included the distasteful line: ‘...we feel it is worth explaining that a considerable number of complaints have been generated by online lobby activity’.

Media Guido asks ‘Which “lobby” could they possibly be referring to?’

And that is an interesting question, for one never hears of the BBC complaining about the ‘online lobby activity’ of (say) Muslims or gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered...

The Jewish Chronicle appears to be in no doubt, and neither should we be.


Blogger genghis said...

I received, after going through the incredibly complicated BBC complaints procedure, the standard 'boiler-plate' response which was printed on the Cranmer post.

I said, in my complaint, that the whole of Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel, as no doubt many others stressed as well; and for that, I am described as part of an online Lobby Group.

As I have never, ever protested against anything except upon my own terms and for my own sake; I feel I deserve an apology.

Wonder what the chances are that I get one?

24 July 2012 at 09:46  
Blogger Dave Lowry said...

Same here ... standard reply that didn't address my main point. I mentioned that Wikipedia was more accurate than the BBC website!

24 July 2012 at 10:17  
Blogger Theo said...

And thankfully so is the CIA World Factbook. Why can't the BBC use reputable sources?

24 July 2012 at 10:27  
Blogger Roy said...

Tibet is presumably not taking part in the Olympic Games but how often does the BBC ever query its status as part of China?

24 July 2012 at 10:41  
Blogger Galant said...

Is there anywhere a list of which countries do and do not recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital?

24 July 2012 at 10:47  
Blogger Galant said...

Well it appears there are lots of lists of countries who do not recognise Jerusalem but so far I've only found one reference to countries who do make the recognition (apart from Israel itself, obviously) - Guatemala and El Salvador.

Perhaps in defence of the BBC, the argument in this case seems to rest upon how one attributes the status of 'Official Capital' - is it by self recognition, or international recognition.

To not list Jerusalem as Israel's capital is not inaccurate in view of almost world-wide denial of that point.

The BBC may have an anti-Israel bias but I'm struggling to see that in this case it's technically visible. I'm not now sure as to the argument as to why the BBC should list Jerusalem as the capital when the UK government does not. We might like it to do so. I'm not sure we can say this is bad journalism that they do not do so.


24 July 2012 at 11:00  
Blogger Old Blue Eyes said...

I have said it before and say it again - it is time public funding was withdrawn from the BBC.

24 July 2012 at 11:02  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Galant,

Please re-read paras 3-5. The point is that the BBC originally named 'East Jerusalem' as the official capital of 'Palestine' while refusing to give Israel any capital at all.

24 July 2012 at 11:06  
Blogger btjoss said...

I also complained about this noting that they list Pretoria for South Africa, with no mention of the legislature being in Cape Town and the judiciary in Bloemfontein, and they list Amsterdam for The Netherlands, omitting to mention that every arm of the Dutch government is in The Hague.

I expect the usual dismissive reply.

24 July 2012 at 11:15  
Blogger Galant said...

Ah, you did indeed clarify it. Thanks.

24 July 2012 at 11:59  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Your Grace,

I always thought Jerusalem was the Capital of Israel, but everyone else reckons its Tel Aviv?

24 July 2012 at 12:11  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, Israeli declarations of Jerusalem's status don't count, the fist and the boot not being recognized as legitimate instruments of state under international law; on the other hand, it is the BBC, so there's kind of two strikes against it going in. As an organization, at the collective, British national level, the BBC has always been biased towrads the Labour Party. BBC Scotland in particular is an utter disgrace, both as an organization and at the level of the individual staff member. North of the border, the Corporation doesn't even make a pretence of being anything other than the propoganda wing of the Labour Party, and the members of the institution honestly and truthfully don't see what is wrong with that. They genuinely believe that they are doing what is right and just by using taxpayers money to support the Labour Party.

Now, lest anybody think I've joined the Tories, it should be noted that there is not one scintilla of difference between the Labour and Conservative parties of today; Cranmer would be perfectly at home sitting in the Shadow Cabinet, just as Kid Millipede would fit right in to Call-Me-Dave's Big Society. You cannot put a cigarette paper between the two sides. It's the ultimate triumph of middle class values, if such things can be imagined.

However, in Scotland, there really is an alternative in the Scots Nationalists, and the only group who might be able to stop Alex Salmond is Labour, the Tories being extinct in Scotland. I find it curious, therefore, how Cranmer is completely at ease with the most corrupt part of the BBC (its Scottish operation) using taxpayers money to further the political agenda which he favours, while ranting about Palestine...oh, wait, silly me. I've just said it myself, haven't I? There is no distinction between Labour and the Tories. Sorry, Cranmer, carry on.

24 July 2012 at 12:44  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

1 No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

2 Blair Jenkins, a former BBC news high hied yin is managing the YES campaign in Scotland.

3 but generally, in Scotland, the BBC is far too cosy with the establishmant, which means Labour.

24 July 2012 at 13:38  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Blair Jenkins came straight in at the top of BBC Scotland, and was therefore not a "company man". People who are brought in at the top rarely make any difference to the fabric of the organization they head before moving on to their next "challange". He came from STV and was not born in the BBC purple.

24 July 2012 at 14:06  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


It's Executive, Judicial, and Legislative headquarters of Israel can all be found in Jerusalem so Jerusalem is indeed the 'de facto' capital of the state of Israel. Can other entities or other countries impose a capital city on an individual country?.

Whatever anyone else says, Jerusalem is Israel’s capital FACT. It is the city from which they are governed. It does not matter if some countries argue that it should not be the capital. It is.

As for the argument against annexing occupied lands we would find most countries of the world would not have any claim to the lands or their capitals if that rule had prevailed.

How on earth did that country, Saudi Arabia, get so big except by conquest.
Then of course Jordan annexed the West Bank after the first war with Israel, did it not.Hmm.

Strange that Jerusalem is the only example, to my knowledge, where a country hasn’t the right to decide about it's capital city.

E S Blofeld

24 July 2012 at 14:14  
Blogger Berserker said...

This is how the BBC celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics massacre!

Recently, there have been threatening emails against the Israeli Swimming Team, so the Arab/Moslem nutters are our there being given sustenance by the BBC.

Capital cities are a bit of a muddle. Colchester/London/Winchester/London and look at Australasia - the two populous States of Victoria and New South Wales had Canberra (half way between) and New Zealand went from Auckland to Wellington to appease the South Island and its threat of seceding.

24 July 2012 at 15:25  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Commerce is commonly said to be a state of war, so the Gaurdian stirring up trouble is not uncommon

Israels has only ever been given de facto recognition, which puts the State on a par with de facto King John who tore up the Magna Carta after signing the blasted thing

24 July 2012 at 16:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

hmmm, Jerusalem is it. Well the Inspector would have put his money on Tel Aviv. However, the Inspector is not paid to know where it is, but those young reds the BBC employ every year are ! If a news organisation is going to stick it’s nose into the world’s business, it’s a must, don’t you think ?

Tally ho !

24 July 2012 at 17:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

24 July 2012 at 17:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oops. I always thought it was Tel Aviv which was the capital.

24 July 2012 at 18:23  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace: In light of "He who pays the Piper . . . ," perhaps it's germane that the euSSR's funding of Auntie presently warrants some scrutiny. If you will permit the link, the tip of the iceberg may appear here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9055183/BBC-admits-receiving-millions-in-grants-from-EU-and-councils.html

That said, of course... we contribute so much to euro coffers that I am bound to wonder how many times over we're paying them to feed us with disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda. Because that's the "underpinning."

24 July 2012 at 18:24  
Blogger Roy said...

Like it or not, and the BBC probably doesn't, an independent country can set up its capital city anywhere in the territory that it controls. BBC staff may be of the opinion that the capital should be somewhere else but their opinions count for nothing.

24 July 2012 at 18:55  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I heard rumour that Israel built a monument dedicated to the Red Army victory and refused to hand over communist butchers, who are wanted in Poland for despotic crimes, in relation to the Great Terror

If that is the case, then would this whole pretence about commies and Israel being opposing forces be something of a farce

24 July 2012 at 19:47  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

...or perhaps the BBC are part of the worldwide antiJewish conspiracy. Yeah. Bet you never thought of that one, eh?

24 July 2012 at 20:22  
Blogger Peter Thomas said...

I hold no brief for the Palestinians but you all very well know that the international community does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel therefore it would be inappropriate for the BBC to infer that it is. By all means have a pop at the BBC when it is being disingenuous, but in this case it is following its brief to be impartial. When supporters of Israel create a storm in a teacup over such matters as this then you tend to marginalise people like myself who might otherwise be supportive.

24 July 2012 at 21:04  
Blogger Sean Baggaley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 July 2012 at 21:12  
Blogger Sean Baggaley said...

Jerusalem is not recognised as the capital of Israel by anyone other than Israel itself.

The UK (who f*cked up the partitioning process to begin with) doesn't recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The USA does not recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The EU doesn't recognise it either.
The UN certainly doesn't.

Last time I checked, Israel was a member of the UN. They don't get to pick and choose which UN Resolutions to abide by. (In fact, some Israeli governments have been more open to the idea of a formal "East / West Jerusalem" partitioning in the past. The present hardline stance has not always been there.)

The UN membership thing is also why non-arguments of the "Why doesn't the UK give its lands back to the Romans?" variety don't hold any water: Joining the UN changes the rules.

And every member is supposed to abide by those rules. Yes, Israel, that means you.

Granted, the voluntary enforcement is perhaps a little naïve, but given the situation at the time, it's hardly a surprise. Many nations have managed to abide by the rules as they're not particularly onerous for civilised nations. Even some uncivilised nations have managed it.

You can't turn around and demand everyone in the UN ignores their organisation's own Resolutions. That's not how it works, whether you like it or not.

Israel: Grow the hell up. Be the bigger, better partner, instead of the whiny, spoiled brat of the Middle East.

And you Palestinians can wipe those smirks off your faces too. You're no better.

24 July 2012 at 21:20  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

If the Jews recognise Jerusalem as their capital city, then it is most likely a recognition in respect of Ethnological Law as opposed to Economical Law

Ethnological Law would be the appropriate law with which to create a de jure Homeland

England faces the same struggle, in that most Traitors are in the Economical camp, whilst those Loyal to our Traditions have an Ethnological leaning

24 July 2012 at 22:06  
Blogger Roy said...

@ Sean Baggaley said...

Jerusalem is not recognised as the capital of Israel by anyone other than Israel itself.

So what? Jerusalem functions as Israel's capital. Whether or not other countries agree does not change that. If the rest of the world decided not to recognise London as the capital of the UK nobody in this country would be affected beyond the fact that they might have to travel to a different city if they need to go to a foreign embassy in person in order to get a visa.

24 July 2012 at 22:27  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Your Grace,

You've got an ad to the right of the computer from the Tourism ministry of Israel (the one with the attractive woman sitting on a wine barrel, holding a wine glass). I would suggest some communicants follow the link and discover for themselves what a wonderful country Israel actually is.

24 July 2012 at 22:36  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Tel Aviv is the capital as far as the UN is concerned (as can thus be safely ignored). Israel herself considers Jerusalem to be her capital.

24 July 2012 at 22:54  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

The issue seems to be that Israel's definition of its capital was overlooked and Palestine's self definition was accepted.

The status of Jerusalem is a core issue in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. And both sides in the dispute seek to make political capital whenever they can.

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured by Israel, while East Jerusalem was captured by Jordan.

Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it.

Israel's Basic Law refers to Jerusalem as the country's "undivided capital". The international community has rejected this annexation and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory held by Israel under military occupation.

The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies.

In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was passed, calling for Israel to withdraw "from territories occupied in the recent conflict" in exchange for peace treaties.

In 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel", thus formalising Israel's unilateral annexation. This declaration was declared "null and void" by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.

How can the BBC recognise Israel's own definition of its capital city when the international community regards this as illegal? Perhaps if it had specified West Jerusalem it would be acceptable.

As Mr Baggerley said ...

"Israel: Grow the hell up. Be the bigger, better partner, instead of the whiny, spoiled brat of the Middle East.
And you Palestinians can wipe those smirks off your faces too. You're no better."

24 July 2012 at 22:58  
Blogger bluedog said...

At least the BBC is consistent, Your Grace.

Fresh from the successful disparaging of the Diamond Jubilee, the BBC has slipped in to the familiar frame of undermining Israel if it can.

There was a time when the BBC deserved the first name in its initials. It was recognisably loyal and generally promoted British interests and values. Now the BBC has merely become another instrument of the Secular Ascendancy and any other causes that appeal to the Left.

In this latest instance the BBC merely reflects the values of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

Bigoted Dangerous and Shameful, more like.

24 July 2012 at 23:11  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Dodo @ 22.58, as the UN building on the East River stands on a site donated for the purpose by the Rockefeller family, this communicant always feels that attacks on Israel from the Islamo-Left and originating from the UN are somewhat lacking in reciprocal generosity.

24 July 2012 at 23:24  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


How can the BBC recognise an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel when the world community does not? And if it had stated Tel Aviv, in direct contradictions to Israel's own claims, imagine the outcry.

Possession of Jerusalem may be Israel's ultimate destiny. For some it is her eternal capital city. She has certainly stated her intent with regard to this. However, as a member of the UN, and committed to seeking peace, such a unilateral declaration of ownership is premature.

24 July 2012 at 23:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Come off it bluedog!

Donating a building does not guarantee uncritical UN support of Israel. What reciprocity do you expect?

So all critics of Israel are from the 'Islamo-Left?

24 July 2012 at 23:39  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo,

If the UN said London wasn't the capital of Britain, it wouldn't make any difference. London would still be the capital. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that isn't going to change.

24 July 2012 at 23:39  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


A unite, undivided Jerusalem? Or an East and West Jerusalem,
with East Jerusalem a part of the Palestinian State?

As I understand it, the Israelis have committed to the latter and the creation of a Palestine State, subject to a successful outcome to bi-lateral negotiations with Palestinian representatives.

In this context, surely, unilaterally declaring Jerusalem united and permanently part of the State of Israel is presuptious? It has also has been declared illegal.

25 July 2012 at 00:56  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo,

The whole city is Israel's capital, which is what I was referring to in my post above.


25 July 2012 at 09:04  
Blogger John Thomas said...

Your Grace, How many people seriously think the BBC is remotely interested in objectivity (what used to be called "balance")?
Is its name "The Brazenly Biased Corporation" for naught?
John Thomas

25 July 2012 at 10:40  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Dodo @ 23.39, this communicant is entirely confident that the Rockefellers, whose philanthropic scorecard has reached a billion dollars, know the first rule of giving - don't expect to micro-manage your bequest.

One can assume that they donated the site in a spirit of complete altruism without any expectation of some quid pro quo. If you read my remarks with an open mind rather than with a pre-conceived idea you will see nothing more than a certain wistful irony in the words 'lacking in reciprocal generosity'.

There is neither a suggestion nor an inference that there should be some benefit accruing to either the Rockfellers or to the state of Israel as a consequence of the gift of the site.

It is surprising that you should attempt such an allusion.

But then, maybe not.

25 July 2012 at 13:23  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

bluedog said ...

"Mr Dodo @ 22.58, as the UN building on the East River stands on a site donated for the purpose by the Rockefeller family, this communicant always feels that attacks on Israel from the Islamo-Left and originating from the UN are somewhat lacking in reciprocal generosity."

Oh, I think such an inference is there without my suggesting it!

What else do you mean by "reciprocal generosity"? Maybe the building should be call Balfour Towers.

And the UN is now the instigator of Islamo-Left attacks on Israel? Please.

25 July 2012 at 16:18  
Blogger Frog 19 said...

Why so much fuss about this ?
Is this "Cramer" a rabbi or a bishop?

The Israelis want to make believe that Jerusalem is a "universal" Jewish city
Should we forget that for close to 2000 years it has been a Palestinian home with a multicultural statute where as Semites they combined peacefully Judaism, Christianity and Islam...NO PROBLEM

Then came the Zionist under the flag of the Rothschild to mess up the middle east. ( Non Semites ashkenazis posting as Jews )
Troubles have not stopped since then.
The Brits gave away Palestine to the Rothschild and BBC is again playing a deceiving game .

they are very good at it

27 July 2012 at 14:44  
Blogger len said...

Something not 'Kosher' about the BBC.

30 July 2012 at 23:18  

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