BBC’s Knell paints a caricature of the Palestinian economy

BBC Watch

June 27th 2013 saw the appearance on the BBC News website’s Middle East page of a filmed report by Yolande Knell on the subject of the economy in PA controlled areas, which was also shown on BBC television news. 

Knell Palestinian economy film

The next day, a written report by Knell on the same subject appeared in the ‘Features & Analysis’ section of the Middle East page of the BBC News website. 

Knell Palestinian economy written

Knell’s overall implied message to her audiences in both pieces is that it is Israel’s fault that the Palestinian economy is in the doldrums. That message is promoted by completely ignoring certain factors whilst distorting others.

In her written article Knell informs readers that:

“Across the Palestinian territories, nearly a quarter of the workforce is unemployed. Overall the economy relies on foreign donors’ aid and is stagnating.”

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, figures for the first quarter of…

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James' Funnies


 The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners. It ‘ s an armored booth you step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on your person.

Israel sees this as a win-win situation for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling. It will also eliminate the costs of long and expensive trials.

You ‘ re in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter, an announcement:

“Attention to all standby passengers, El Al is proud to announce a seat available on flight 670 to London . Shalom!”


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Egypt’s Rough Road to Democracy

Beyond the Cusp

There will be many people who over the coming days will express ideas and talking points which will agree with Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, who was quoted saying, “The events in Egypt show that there is no quick and peaceful transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic politics.” He went on to describe the current events in Egypt pointing out that democracy is not a “one size fits all” system and nearly all the “democratic revolutions” in the Arab World have produced less than admirable results. He further pointed out that there was a need for much advance work to be performed in order to transform the Arab World into a place where democratic governance could flourish. I disagree with this assessment simply because what we are witnessing is democracy in its most raw form. What we are not seeing is a representative republic yet…

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A walk in the country, Farleton Knott and the village of Burton-in-Kendal

notes from camelid country

The part of Cumbria south of Kendal may not be as famous as its illustrious neighbour to the north, the Lake District National Park, but it still offers beautiful countryside and some lovely walks. The only problem is the weather: it rains a lot…I mean a lot. It doesn’t really matter what time of year, you should always expect rain.

There have been a couple of good (i.e. only light rain) days since I’ve been here, and luckily I’ve been able to go walking. In an ironic twist, I even got sunburnt on my walk up Farleton Knott.

What I find most interesting in this predominately rural landscape, is the evidence of historical industries which used to thrive here. One sign of this is the Lancaster Canal – itself cutting edge technology when it was constructed in 1819 – which slices through this area between Lancaster and Kendal. Lancaster was an important…

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