Why doesn’t the BBC introduce Ghada Karmi properly?

July 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm (anti-semitism, BBC, fantasy, israel, Jim D, Middle East, Racism, reactionay "anti-imperialism", zionism)

Above: Ghada Karmi, on Press TV, looks forward to the destruction of Israel

Only an idiot or a hopeless optimist would predict success for the newly-announced Palestinian Authority /Israeli government talks about talks.

Even so, all persons of good will must surely hope against hope that something worthwhile comes of them.

On the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning, two commentators were introduced to discuss the talks: Lord Levy, introduced as “Tony Blair’s special envoy” and Dr Ghada Karmi, introduced as a “research fellow at the Institute for Islamic and Arab Studies at Exeter University.”

Dr Karmi came over – initially – as very reasonable, starting by saying that all discussions are “very welcome”… before moving on to her real agenda: it’s all a waste of time.

What most listeners would not have known is that Dr Karmi is an inveterate rejectionist who opposes the two states solution in principle, together with any other compromise that leaves Israel in existence: she is, in fact, someone who welcomes what she sees (wrongly in my view) as Israel’s evolution into an “apartheid state.” Her views have been expressed very frankly in many pieces for the Guardian, and very clearly here, where she states:

“Israel/Palestine is today one state. But it is an apartheid state which discriminates against non-Jews in favour of Jews. The Palestinian task now is to fight against this apartheid and mount a struggle, not for an impossible Palestinian state, but for equal rights under Israeli rule. They would need to dismantle the Palestinian Authority, which is now a liability that only camouflages the true situation, and then confront Israel, their actual ruler, directly. As stateless people under military occupation, they must demand equal civil and political rights with Israeli citizens, and apply for Israeli citizenship if necessary. That puts the onus on Israel to respond: either to ignore the five million Palestinians it rules, or vacate their land, or grant them equal rights.

“Israel will reject all of these, but whatever it does will be against its own interests. And Palestinians at one stroke will have broken up Israel’s hegemonic hold on the political discourse and changed the rules of the lethal game being played against them.

“This strategy will not be popular amongst Palestinians, nor will they want to become second-class Israeli citizens. But are their lives now under occupation any better? And is there another option given the present conditions? I would argue that by adopting this plan, they will lose nothing but their illusions, and at this serious juncture in Palestinian history, it may be the only way to avert the annihilation of their cause. It will be a hard road, but the one chance to build a democratic state that replaces apartheid Israel and eventually enables the refugees to return to their ancestral homeland.”

Note those final words: “ancestral homeland.” Pretty much “blood and soil”, eh?

Dr Karmi has every right to put her views forward, and the BBC should, indeed, broadcast what she has to say. But listeners have the right to be given at least some indication of her underlying politics.


  1. brian said,

    Jim Denham: sad bastard.

  2. brian said,

    i see at least the 3rd tag is accurate

  3. holy joe said,

    Could you give us an indication of what in your view a “proper” introduction indicating her underlying politics would look like? And it is intriguing that you don’t believe any such insight should be provided into the underlying politics of “Lord Lever” (I assume you mean Lord Levy – dammit, these Jewish chappies are so hard to tell apart sometimes!)

    • Jim Denham said,

      Levy’s politics were, I think, properly introduced by the description given – ie: “Tony Blair’s special representative.”

      Karmi should have been introduced as “Supporter of a one state solution.”

      OK with that are you, Father Joe?

  4. Jim Denham said,

    And your point is, Brian?

  5. Mike Killingworth said,

    If you can’t understand Brian’s point, try mine, Jim.

    In your original article your only criticism of Dr Karmi’s article (or excerpt) is of its last two words. I take it, then, that you accept her characterisation of Israel as an apartheid state. Indeed, I’m not sure how it (or any other piece of territory) could be both a “Jewish national home” and a place where non-Jews enjoy equal rights.

    Apartheid is a very loaded term, but it’s not one that I introduced to the debate, thank God. During the South African transition my white South African friends occasionally asked me whether I thought they would be safe under majority rule. (Why they thought I was any kind of oracle I’ve no idea.) My reply was “yes, until there are young black voters who neither remember nor respect Mandela.” (Neither Israel nor the Palestinians have produced a leader of anything like Mandela’s calibre, and to be honest I don’t think either of them want to.) I now expect the Cape Provinces to secede at some time during the next two decades – whether this will lead to civil war there I’ve no idea.

    And I’ve no idea either how to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. But I do know that resolution isn’t furthered by apologists for either side. And it isn’t my problem, either. What is my problem is persuading my Muslim neighbours that their religion and my culture can happily co-exist. Of course, 90%+ of them need no persuading, but on the other hand terrorist cells need very few members. Blog articles that call Israel an apartheid state without either denying or denouncing that allegation are implicitly saying that Islamic terrorism is justified.

    Is that what you think, Jim?

    • Jim Denham said,

      No, I most certainly do *not* accept the politically illiterate description of Israel as an “apartheid state”.

      My point (which is actually quite clear in the post) is that Dr Karmi *welcomes* apartheid as part of her obsessive rejectionist agenda.

  6. blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer said,

    Wow, this post is worse than most of the shit at harry’s place.

  7. jimmy glesga said,

    Israel has a bit of breathing space as the Islamists are and we should encourage them to carry on the slaughter of each other for a few decades at least. They just love the bloodlust why spoil their fun.
    Up here in sunny Scotland the Catholic Taliban just systematically wodger young boys but that is tolerated by the government and we carry on as normal.

    • Monsuer Jelly More Bounce to the Ounce (Much More Bounce) said,

      tosser mental case

      • jimmy glesga said,

        Have not heard much from Adolf Ellis lately. No doubt he is on sick leave as his Arab Spring has totally collapsed.

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