Media Blog

What if Israelis had abducted BBC man?

My friend and colleague Charles Moore, the former editor of the (London) Daily Telegraph and also of The Spectator, and now a columnist for both publications, writes an outstanding piece in today’s Daily Telegraph on the BBC’s lamentable coverage of the kidnap by Palestinian terrorists of the BBC Gaza correspondent, and the way the BBC is virtually trying to blame the Jewish state for this Islamist act of terror.

Moore is absolutely correct when he says:

Watching the horrible video of Alan Johnston of the BBC broadcasting Palestinian propaganda under orders from his kidnappers, I found myself asking what it would have been like had he been kidnapped by Israelis, and made to do the same thing the other way round. The first point is that it would never happen. There are no Israeli organisations – governmental or freelance – that would contemplate such a thing. That fact is itself significant.
But just suppose that some fanatical Jews had grabbed Mr Johnston and forced him to spout their message, abusing his own country as he did so. What would the world have said?

… The Israeli government would immediately have been condemned for its readiness to harbour terrorists or its failure to track them down. Loud would have been the denunciations of the extremist doctrines of Zionism which had given rise to this vile act. The world isolation of Israel, if it failed to get Mr Johnston freed, would have been complete.

Moore also discusses the ridiculousness of the increasing calls to boycott Israel (and only Israel) among many among the often anti-Semitic elites in Britain:

The Universities and Colleges Union has just voted for its members to “consider the moral implications of existing and proposed links with Israeli academic institutions”.

Well, they could consider how work by scientists at the Technion in Haifa has led to the production of the drug Velcade, which treats multiple myeloma. Or they could look at the professor at Ben-Gurion University who discovered a bacteria that fights malaria and river blindness by killing mosquitoes and black fly.
Or they could study the co-operation between researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who have isolated the protein that triggers stress in order to try to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, and their equivalents at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

Moore, who is to be the official biographer of Margaret Thatcher, asks:

How can we [the British] have got ourselves into a situation in which we half-excuse turbaned torturers for kidnapping our fellow-citizens while trying to exclude Jewish biochemists from lecturing to our students?

As one of the Daily Telegraph readers notes on the comments section after Moore’s piece, it is: “a brilliant and brave article in a country where anti-Semitism is becoming a default position of the establishment.”
Read it all.

Tom GrossTom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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