Sinn Fein – seen as Hamas’s intellectual model.

The rise of Hamas adds to the idea, much loved by the BBC, that the authentic leaders of Muslim societies today are all political Islamists — the intellectual model being that of Sinn Fein:

From Charles Moore, a mordant right wing critic of the BBC in the Spectator. Unfair, but the point nags at me. ( And the IRA were sort of/nearly on ceasefire before the serious talking started etc etc. but so what you may say). And from Melanie Philips (ditto to Moore) the accusation that the mainstream media is ignoring Hamas’s own declared brutality.

On the other side, the New Statesman offers the fundamentalist critique of the basic Israeli stance from John Pilger who accuses the media and academe of staying silent. You have to have a very big see-saw indeed to straddle both positions. What both sides have in common is an attack on the MSM for being willfully ignorant for unspecified motives, a key symptom in itself of implacable division of opinion which also exposes the limitations of what news coverage on the spot can deliver. Of course the polemicists are at least equally guilty of failing to provide the sort of sober analysis the situation cries out for.

Update. Pilger link repaired. Apologies.

  • willis

    “But, by its Charter, the BBC has a duty to educate, and what is missing in so much of the coverage is context. What is Hamas? What does it believe? Why is it not reported that the Arab press carries numerous attacks on Hamas for exposing the Palestinian people to suffering?”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7803050.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1654510.stm

    Charles Moore is being disingenuous, not for the first time.

    Don’t look for context on the main bulletins, that is what Radio 4 and the website are for.

    Is he paying his TV licence or isn’t he?

  • willis

    Surely the correct comparison would be:

    The rise of Hamas adds to the idea, much loved by the BBC, that the authentic leaders of Muslim societies today are all political Islamists — the intellectual model being that of the DUP.

  • passer-by

    Someone should tell you that the link on Pilger’s name in your post goes to the piece by Mel P. It caused me some confusion – I’d got through two paragraphs before I realised that, although Mel getting her freak on rants and raves much like the Pilgemeister getting *his* freak on, they are in fact different people.

    (Or are they?)

  • James

    The Catholics of Sinn Fein and their repubulican sheeple will sure get a kick out of what hamas wants to do to their beloved Rome!

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=i08L09V0_sg&feature=channel_page

  • Dave

    “The rise of Hamas adds to the idea, much loved by the BBC, that the authentic leaders of Muslim societies today are all political Islamists — the intellectual model being that of Sinn Fein: terrorists as the people who make peace.”

    Yassar Arafat (then the world’s most exotic terrorist) was the more relevant example. Indeed, wasn’t that cited by John Hume when he oft-quoted Yitzhak Rabin “You make peace with your enemies, not with your friends.”

    Broader than that, the idea that terrorism should be appeased by a political process rather than defeated by force gains intellectual currency among liberal and leftish media types via the writings of Noam Chomsky (the darling of the left). The usual subtext in his narratives is that terrorism is a cry by some oppressed party for political help from the international community. If we could only heed the cry, we would feed the infant and it would stop crying, and then we all sleep peacefully again.

    This plays into an infantilism culture, also propagated by the left, where the state is the ‘Nanny’ that must diligently watch over it temperamental children and ensure they are not up to any mischief or harm. Violence then is implicitly justified both as the means by which the bearded infant cries for help and as the means by which it objects to some form of neglect by Nanny.

    If the Hamas lobs rockets into Israel with the intent of randomly decapitating Israeli men, women, and children, it is only because Hamas is upset with Israel. The cause of the problem is not the rockets; no, the cause of the problem is that the arrogance of Israel has upset Hamas. Therefore, the solution is not for Hamas to stop lobbing rockets into Israel; no, the solution is for Nanny to stop upsetting the infant. This curious logic and warped morality succeeds in blaming the victims for the actions of the victimizer.

    So we see the Western media squealing about how “short-sighted” that Israel is being by defending its citizens from terrorist attacks because “it can’t see” how such defence is making Hamas and its supporters even more upset and angry, thereby leading to ever-more rockets to be fired into Israel and ever-more suicide bombers. Self-defence, then, should be avoided because the best policy is proffered as being one of appeasement.

    Yet those who specialise in violating human rights tend not to make convincing humanitarians, just as vicious thugs tend not to make great statesmen. Yassar Arafat, morally corrupt to the core, made the perfect terrorist; and as a terrorist converted via Oslo into a statesman, his moral corruption expressed itself in political and state corruption.

    Yitzhak Rabin came to the view that Israel could not govern another nation. It was that view that led him to support self-determination for Palestinians, and that was the basis for the Oslo agreements. That ‘success’ for the Palestinians had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorism of Yassar Arafat. Indeed, their support for terrorism has persistently retarded their quest for self-determination.

    In regard to present events in the Gaza Strip, the reason the Israeli attacks are so accurate is due to the intelligence work of Shabak, who are now working very closely with Aman (Israel’s military intelligence) to pinpoint where the terrorists are located in that zone. That is why those events should be seen as a counter-terrorist operation rather than anything else. Once again, the support of the Palestinians for terrorism undermines their own interests.

    Will they ever learn? Not as long as a gaggle of muppets in the Western media and politics continue to lead them to erroneously believe that their support for terrorism is legitimate and that it has serve their self-determination thus far, when, in actuality, it has always been illegitimate and achieved the exact opposite. Of course, once they are granted their state, they then have the challenge of making it self-sustaining…

  • Wilde Rover

    Dave,

    “In regard to present events in the Gaza Strip, the reason the Israeli attacks are so accurate is due to the intelligence work of Shabak, who are now working very closely with Aman (Israel’s military intelligence) to pinpoint where the terrorists are located in that zone.”

    Accurate?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090109/ap_on_re_mi_ea/un_un_gaza_humanitarian_toll

    “That is why those events should be seen as a counter-terrorist operation rather than anything else.”

    So this is a counter-terrorist operation where one third of the dead terrorists are children?

  • Dave

    Rover, 80% hitting their intended target (Hamas) is accurate. As for the other 20%, take it up with the terrorist group who use civilians as cover.

    By the way, Brian Walker, your Pilger link doesn’t work but no doubt it is familiar anti-Zionist piffle delivered in his usual polemical style of vanity journalism that places the heroic hack centre stage, more important than the story, valiantly uncovering the facts that other less heroic hacks conspire with establishment interests to conceal from the public – who, of course, would immediately act in support of all that is good when the heroic hack succeeds against the odds in bringing the injustice to their attention. This, of course, is the risible hack whose perverted logic and warped morality saw him denounce Tony Blair for causing the 7/7 London bombings rather than the British Islamist extremists who carried them out! How exactly did Tony Blair murder 52 Londoners and injure 700 others? Why, according to this gentleman’s impeccable logic, he planted those bombs when he supported the Iraq war! Right, and a woman who wore a short dress caused her own rape by acting in such an obviously provocative manner around red-blooded men.

    The Hamas and Shinner comparison is fatuous, anyway. Hamas have no interest in self-determination for the Palestinian people. Indeed, they don’t believe in the Western concept of national self-determination at all. That is where they differ from the people they were elected to represent. Palestinians want self-determination; they want the opportunity to determine their own affairs as a nation, controlling their own state for that purpose. Hamas, on the other hand, see self-determination as applying to Islam, not specific nationalisms. Their aim and the aim of the Palestinian people are not compatible.

  • Brian

    SF had to adopt the Mitchell Principles before they entered talks – would Hamas adopt similar principles?. Have blogged on O’Conall Street today about Blair’s possible role in a solution and the other lessons from the Northern Irish talks.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Dub

    Your take it up with Hamas stance over the deaths of 200 plus children and various other civilians does not work. Would the IDF so liberally use masses of high ordinance if Hamas were operating amongst Israeli civilians? The answer is obvious.

    >>The rise of Hamas adds to the idea, much loved by the BBC, that the authentic leaders of Muslim societies today are all political Islamists — the intellectual model being that of Sinn Fein:<< I believe that were they to be given the vote most Arab countries would have political Islamists as leaders. Ironic that the only Arab electorate outside of Lebanon to be given a free vote(well one with choices anyhow) and they voted for political Islamists in the form of Hamas.

  • Brian Walker

    Dave, It’s great to play the part of philosopher/arbitrator. Your eloquent thesis is part of the ideological debate. That’s fine for all of us who enjoy arbitrating on the justice of causes from remote positions. But the real situation is more complex than any thesis and the humanitarian factors have their own force. In the RSA debate someone quoted the (very pro-Israeli) C.C. 0’Brien who said once that the Israeli/Palestine affair was not a problem needing a solution: it’s a conflict needing an outcome.

    A good way of looking at it I think.

    BTW, there’s plenty context in the reporting if you look for it, but not so much from the reporters’ positions overlooking Gaza or the Dome of the Rock. The role of those reporters is to do their best to monitor hour by hour the course of events. A big enough job in itself.

    The 10 o’clock News, Newsnight and R4’s World Tonight have lots of context but as so often, it tends to get forgotten in the welter of (heavily edited) images and the impact they make.

  • barnshee

    Dopy Dave in common with the friends of the Zionists, conveniently ignore the root cause—>
    Murder expulsion and land theft by the Zionists.

    Gaza is a concentration -only the gas chambers are missing -exactly what are the palestianians supposed to do in response to these Nazi tactics?

    If the palestinians had access to reliable anti aircraft/anti tank missiles would the Zionists be quite so gung ho? What they need is bloody nose

  • F A Zog

    Hamas were set up in the first instance by Mossad to emasculate the secular Palestinian resistance to Zionist exterminations and ethnic cleansing. Therein is the connection with the Provos and Brit/Orangie exterminations and ethnic cleansing.
    Given that the hands of Perfidious Albion have plenty of Arab blood on them, Brits and Orangies should stfu about this. Like the Israelis, they are the true inheritors of Herr Hitler.
    Go for it, Hamas.

  • Driftwood

    I thought Fisks article today was interesting as it refers to our process here in the last few paragraphs,
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fiskrsquos-world-wherever-i-go-i-hear-the-same-tired-middle-east-comparisons-1297595.html

  • William

    The BBC are breaching their charter in relation to the way that they are reporting the Gaza conflict. They even have a member of a Hamas sponsored ‘aid’ worker blogging from Gaza and all the links and the headlines on their webpage of his blog are anti-Israel.

    Those lily-liveried liberals and sinn fein terrorists who support Hamas should read the The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas, the url of which I have posted here:

    ______________

    http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm

  • Munster Republic

    “The Catholics of Sinn Fein and their repubulican sheeple will sure get a kick out of what hamas wants to do to their beloved Rome!”
    James

    Ireland not for london or for Rome.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Is there any story Moore can’t turn into a rant against the beeb?

  • willis

    William

    I am assuming this is the blog you are talking about:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7802295.stm

    and this is the charity:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Relief

    I can understand why you didn’t want to include links.

  • cut the bull

    There was a massive parade in Belfast city centre today calling for a cease fire.
    After the parade had ended protesters entered Marks and Spensors several people filled shopping trolleys with food some of which was Iraeli
    products they off loaded this shopping at the pay out. After it had been scanned through the protestors told staff that did not want the goods as the shop sold Israeli produce.
    About thirty protestors then lined up beside the pay out shouting boycott Israeli produce, Free Palestine. They brought the food dept to a complete stand still.
    Some of the staff were a bit pissed off but I two of them saying fair play to them.

  • Rory Carr

    Reading Dave’s infant/nanny analogy above which Brian, with an extension of charity beyond the reach of my hard heart, labels an “elegant thesis” impressed me rather as trying too hard – and failing.

    If for example we examine this paragraph again where the analogy is played out to its conclusion:

    If the Hamas lobs rockets into Israel with the intent of randomly decapitating Israeli men, women, and children, it is only because Hamas is upset with Israel. The cause of the problem is not the rockets; no, the cause of the problem is that the arrogance of Israel has upset Hamas. Therefore, the solution is not for Hamas to stop lobbing rockets into Israel; no, the solution is for Nanny to stop upsetting the infant. This curious logic and warped morality succeeds in blaming the victims for the actions of the victimizer.

    we can see that he disingenously omits any reference as to the reasons why the infant, Hamas might be upset with Nanny, Israel. Dave, demonstrating a debt to the limitations of Adam Smith’s consideration of the capitalist mode of production, would have us accept that it just is; that there can be no reason; it is the way things are and have ever been. It is natural for Hamas to be a bad natured infant (to continue with this dreary infantile analogy which I confess makes even me want to blubber like an infant after a while).

    Yet of course ther must be a reason for the upset just as there is a reason for anyone’s infant to be upset at Nanny (so very chi chi this nanny business. I don’t suppose in his circles the mother herself would carry out the tedious business of caring for her own infant) and we seek to discover the reason – the child is hungry; nappy needs changing; colic; teething; fever; meningitis, God forbid!

    So it is with the people of Gaza who have legitimate reasons to be (much more than) “upset” with Israel which has made their very life a living hell in order to satisfy the territorial lust of New York and Russian Jewish adventurers. Thus we may liken the rockets fired by Hamas, to again continue the analogy, as baby throwing its rattle out of the pram to draw attention to its plight.(By Hamas note, not the people of Gaza more than half of whose 1.3m population are children under the age of 14; and then we have the women, the old and infirm, the sick and disabled. Not a lot left really to be considered ‘legitimate targets’ one might think).

    Yes, damnit! its plight. Not some mystical “upset” of bad grace or one engendered by genetics or racial imperfection, but a state of desperate plight caused by Israel. Israel – the ultimate Nanny from Hell – to finish with this tiresome stupidity that demands we surrender our humanity, our compassion in order that land-grabbers may cut their way like Vikings through the bodies of any and all to seek their plunder. Yet at least the Vikings had the justification of the need to sustain their own people, the barrenness of their own land being insufficient to supply such sustenance.

    The last time I was in New York there seemed to be no end to kosher delis, supermarkets and restuarants and a bagel stand on every corner; and a Jewish mayor to boot in his second term (and seeking, Emperor Bokassi like, life tenancy) having driven out the papish Micks and guineas. What the hell more do they want, our life’s blood already? Well someone’s anyway it would appear and the poor people of Gaza are corralled and destined to be these bloodsuckers’ victims.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good. But can I just point out to those who like James have useful contributions to make, suggesting that other people’s political choice makes them ‘sheep’ is ‘ad hominem’, and therefore out of bounds of the commenting policy!

    At the very least it distracts from the point you wish to make; and at worst it tips us all into a race to the bottom that’s as unnecessary as it is unwelcome!

  • passer-by

    The final paragraph of Rory Carr’s comment uses some all too familiarand all too disgusting tropes of anti-Semitism – Gentiles being “driven out”, Jews characterised by their commercial activities, Jews as “bloodsuckers” – and then Mick Fealty chooses to intervene to chastise James? That’s a revealing set of priorities right there.

  • Mick Fealty

    p-b,

    I was dealing with the first case problem (admittedly). I’m not blaming James for Rory’s output.

    It’s never clear to me when Rory is playing it straight or being tongue-in-cheek. Mixing the two is rarely useful or helpful. In this case, you are right, that last reads pretty much as standard an anti Semitic rant as you’ll see anywhere.

    I must admit I’ve not, until now, had Rory down as raging anti Semite, which makes me suspect he’s trying to pull peoples’ collective plonkers.

    Rory,

    Do us a favour? Engage with your opponents, and spare us the unctuous scorn for their views. This site is open to engagement between individual with vehemently opposing views.

    Taking the piss is not engaging! And this is too serious a subject to start it now!!

  • passer-by

    Well, I’m still not sure what Rory was up to there, but at least I can say that *I’m* not taking the piss now: thankyou for that courteous and thoughtful response to my admittedly snotty comment. It’s a rare thing in the blogosphere, and even rarer in any discussion involving the Middle East.

  • Rory Carr

    I am well aware, Passer-by, that you are “not sure what Rory was up to there” given that you put words into my post that were never there in the first place.

    I never once alluded to “Gentiles being driven out” or “characterised Jews by their commercial activities” or Jews as a race or religion as “bloodsuckers”. That final description referred, not to commercial activity but to the death and injury that is being visited on Gaza by the IDF while Russian and New York Jews without any excuse of need flood into Palestinian territory from which its existing Palestinian population hs been driven by force. I would suggest that your own linking of that term to “Jewish commercial activities” may have been influenced by everyday crude misinterpretations of Shylock’s character in The Merchant of Venice, for which influence I can scarcely be blamed .

    Interestingly much a similar view to was taken by an old friend of mine who happens to be a Jewish journalist and you may care to listen to her views broadcast by Jonathan Dimbleby on yesterday’s Any Answers programme on Radio 4 which can be accessed via the Listen Again facility.

  • If I was looking out over the wall of my ghetto at the guy who took my home, I think I might want to throw something at him.

  • Sean

    SDLP PALESTINIAN SLAUGHTER HYPOCRISCY

    I am writing to you to register my disgust at the hypocrisy of the SDLP in relation to the morally unjustifiable actions by Israel in Gaza. Whilst on the one hand SDLP Leader Mark Durkan announces that he has written to British Foreign Secretary David Milliband and the Israeli ambassadors in London and Dublin to register his deep concern at the “deteriorating situation” as well as joining more than 100 MPs and other lords to sign a statement demanding the end to the slaughter in Gaza, on the other, the SDLP in Newry and Mourne Council in an alliance with the Unionist members also serving on the Council, voted to refuse myself and many others who feel so strong about this issue, the right to register our concerns, sympathies and disgust at the human catastrophe which is currently unfolding, by refusing to put Books of Condolences for those killed in Council Buildings throughout the area. The Council had Condolence Books for many things such as the 7/11 London Bombing, the deaths of the Queen Mother, Princess Diana and George Best, but unfortunately Gaza with nearly 800 dead (mostly civilians) and over 2000 wounded (many maimed), does not seem to fit the local SDLP understanding, of what the people of Newry and Mourne can register sympathies for. In his statement Mark Durkan stated “It is not good enough for governments, including the UK government, to hide behind superficial even-handedness, to call for a two-way ceasefire in terms that suggest that Israel is not to be held to any particular account for the scale, nature and humanitarian impact of the military action it has deployed”. Obviously the SDLP leaders words were not meant for his own elected representatives to practice. The collective SDLP vote against the proposal to allow Books of Condolences for those killed in this latest savagery on helpless people was morally wrong and they should hang their heads in shame.

  • runciter

    SDLP PALESTINIAN SLAUGHTER HYPOCRISCY

    Is there a good reason for posting the same press release on two separate threads?