Vile Israel Question on BBC "Any Questions"


By Jonathan Hoffman
November 21, 2012
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Last Friday’s “Any Questions” on BBC Radio 4 had a vile question on Israel from “Steve Bedford”:

Despite all the foreign aid and support, Israel has spectacularly failed to get on with its neighbours. Does Israel deserve a future?

Unbelievably some (no doubt Guardian-reading) BBC Researcher on the programme thought this a suitable question to pick.

I was the first caller on “Any Answers”.

You can hear me here (until Saturday)(“Anita” is Anita Anand who hosts the programme):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=any%20answers

A transcript of what I said is here (thanks to @Akusia on Twitter for transcribing):

I must say I agree with Alex Deane. I was shocked by that question and I'd like to reassure that questioner that not only was Israel there before he was even born - assuming he's under 64 years old - but Israel will certainly be there after he is long gone.

But then I wanted to comment on some of the points made by your panellists. Particularly Hilary Benn made the point about the comparison with Northern Ireland and that is a very good comparison but one has to remember that the Good Friday Agreement only came because the IRA laid down its arms and Hamas is a long way away from laying down its arms

And then Jonathan Dimbleby said to Alex Deane that... he asked if the conflict was "proportional". It's really important to remember that under international law "proportional" does not mean that there are the same number of casualties on each side. "Proportional" means that you can do what's necessary to do the job. In the Second World War there were obviously more German casualties than British casualties but nobody ever says Britain was being "disproportional".

And then Shirley Williams talked about a large proportion of the population of Israel opposing the PM's policies. That's just not the case. Over 90%... if you look at Cast Lead four years ago over 90% of the population supported Cast Lead.

And then finally David Willetts talked about Israel creating a powder keg. No. It's really the Palestinian TV, Hamas TV, that's creating that powder keg. It teaches its children to hate Israelis, and indeed to hate Jews.

Then coming on to the question about civilian casualties, Col Richard Kemp who was the British Commander in Afghanistan said that Israel has the most moral army in the world - and he's absolutely right. There was a United Nations study, Anita, which looked at the casualties in asymmetric warfare. The average number of casualties in asymmetric warfare is three civilians for every one combatant. In Afghanistan it was 3:1. In Iraq and Kosovo it was 4:1 and in Chechnya and Serbia even greater. Israel in Cast Lead four years ago achieved a casualty rate of 1:1 That is unprecedentedly low in the history of asymmetric warfare.

COMMENTS

Mary in Brighton

Thu, 11/22/2012 - 10:13

Rate this:

-2 points

Don't look at Jonathan look at meeeeeeeeeeee


J.Clifford

Fri, 11/23/2012 - 14:48

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1 point

Wistrich: I personally believe that the long-term future of European Jewry is bleak. I would not wish to decide for European Jews what future they should choose, but I am convinced that the land of Israel is the only possible spiritual and political homeland for the Jewish people. Let us also remember that it was in the city of Basel that Theodor Herzl first proclaimed to the wider Jewish and Gentile world in 1897 the birth of modern Zionism. In his diary he prophesied that within fifty years a Jewish State would inevitably arise. Many people at the time dismissed him as a charlatan or a dreamer. But his prophecy came true and for that we should be thankful


suzanna

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 13:37

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0 points

Palestine does have a future though!

Sign the petition.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/palestine_the_worlds_next_nation_uk_rb/?bygMVbb&...


Advis3r

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:25

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0 points

It seems that some people like suzanna are unable to face the world as it is but need to keep creating an imaginary world of their own, against all the facts.


suzanna

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:37

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0 points

1,757,231 signatures and counting!

Now is the time for Palestine.

Join this massive campaign

http://www.avaaz.org/en/palestine_the_worlds_next_nation_uk_rb/?bygMVbb&...


joshua789

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 15:01

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0 points

Hey Suzanna - signatures have gone up to 1,758,433

That's over thousand people in just ten minutes!

I wonder if Ehud Olmert has signed? Go on Ehud, Now is the Time for Palestine!!


suzanna

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 15:26

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0 points

1,759,737 have signed.

Another 1,304 people supporting the Palestinian bid at the UN in just over ten minutes.


joshua789

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 15:29

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1 point

Awesome!


joshua789

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 16:13

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1 point

Jewish Voice for Peace have written today:

'This is your moment. Please forward'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y58njT2oXfE&feature=youtu.be


suzanna

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 16:24

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1 point

Signatures are upto 1,762,167.

We can reach two million!


joshua789

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 16:29

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1 point

Palazzo Chigi in Rome has just announced that Italy will support the Palestinian bid at the UN.


suzanna

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 17:31

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0 points

Viva Italia!!

The petition is now at 1,765,009

Please forward.

Let's bring an end to the occupation, peace for Israel and freedom for Palestine.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/palestine_the_worlds_next_nation_uk_rb/?bygMVbb&...

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