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.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London