Argh! Just could not help myself after seeing how BBC News Online are currently reporting the killing of a number of volunteers on the floating aid convoy bound for Gaza: ‘Israeli PM ‘regrets’ deaths as troops storm aid ships’. Get that – the headline does not focus on the fact that the Israeli government has been condemned worldwide for their latest act of butchery but instead draws attention to the meaningless expression of ‘regret’ (note: not apology) from Binyamin Netanyahu.
A few years back, the Glasgow University Media Group published the results of their study of the output of the main UK terrestrial broadcasters regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict in their superb book Bad News From Israel (a review I did at the time can be found here). They concluded that the BBC was particularly craven towards the Israelis and routinely gave them over twice as much airtime than the Palestinians.
A few hours ago, while taking a break from my revision I heard one particularly odious Israeli spokesperson (Dan Dannam or something) saying that the volunteers were all terrorist sympathisers. Two people I know are on that convoy and they are most certainly not terrorist sympathisers, you slimeball.
Will the UK enact any sanctions against Israel? Will it recall its Ambassador as a sign of disapproval? Highly unlikely given the UK’s consistent record of issuing statements designed to slap Israel’s wrists ever so mildly while allowing it to continue its land-grabbing activities unhindered. And sanctions of course are always ‘counter-productive’ our government says when it comes to Israel.
It is not difficult to imagine that the UK govt’s reaction would have been rather different if it had been, say, Iran that had massacred a group of aid volunteers.