June 30, 2003


Seems to me that this might almost be a form of discrimination:

An Oxford University professor has provoked outrage by rejecting an application from an Israeli PhD student purely because of his nationality.

Andrew Wilkie, the Nuffield professor of pathology and a fellow of Pembroke College, is under investigation after telling Amit Duvshani, a student at Tel Aviv university, that he and many other British academics were not prepared to take on Israelis because of the "gross human rights abuses" he claims that they inflict on Palestinians.

"As you may be aware, I am not the only UK scientist with these views but I'm sure you will find another lab if you look around."

Like the one Dr. Mengele used to run, for example. Meanwhile, via the Jerusalem Post:

The London Times reports that after the BBC broadcast its provocative documentary Israel's Secret Weapon on its World Service channel, Israel has broken off contact with the venerable broadcasting organization known as "Auntie".

Israeli officials will refuse BBC interviews, impose visa restrictions, and be decidedly unhelpful to the BBC at road blocks and Ben-Gurion Airport.

"The BBC will discover that bureaucracy can be applied with goodwill or without it. And after the way that they have repeatedly tried to delegitimize the State of Israel, we, as hosts, have none left for them," Daniel Seaman, director of the government press office, told The Times.

He said that Israel has come to believe that the overall BBC attitude towards Israel is "verging on the anti-Semitic".

"We decided that we had to draw a red line rather than just complain about a consistent attitude in which successive BBC programs attempt to place us in the same context as totalitarian, axis-of-evil countries such as Iraq and Iran," Seaman continued.

The BBC should have been booted after its reporting on the Jenin non-massacre.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 30, 2003 03:35 AM

It seems that, from Hamas's point of view (and the point of view of a disturbingly large number of "ordinary" Palestinians) that the grossest of the "gross human rights abuses" perpetrated by the ordinary Isreali is the mere fact of their existence.

Posted by: Sean at June 30, 2003 at 05:30 AM

I watched this program today -- it was a well-done propaganda film of the highest order.
It accused Israel of everything from being a virtual dictatorship (since people weren't free to talk about state secrets - who knew?) to as bad as Saddam (since they suggested that Israel used poison gas on the Palestianians).
Unfortunately, with all their faults, the BBC is about a "balanced" as you find anymore in Europe, if you take a look at French, Spanish, or German "news" demonstrates.

Posted by: Scott at June 30, 2003 at 08:55 AM

The BBC (and the ABC, for that matter) is as "balanced" as the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion".

Privatize them now.

Posted by: DF at June 30, 2003 at 10:28 AM

Great to see that Andrew Wilkie after being dumped by ASIO, has gone on to higher things

Posted by: Rob at June 30, 2003 at 02:42 PM

Israel can be uncoperative? Fancy that.

Anyone would think they had something to hide.

But of course they don't - no secret nuclear program, for example. Ahem.

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 30, 2003 at 07:42 PM

Bon you would be uncooperative also if the BBC continually ran articles that were constantly biased against, and/or outright falsehoods, about people who choked to death on their own vomit. Now wouldn't you? Besides, not to do so would be kinda braindead.

Posted by: D2D at June 30, 2003 at 08:27 PM


Given your vantage point amongst the clouds you surely must realise that Israel has no more of a WMD program than did Iraq? Or, does access to the celestial mini-bar cause your vision to be less than clear?

Regardless, given that Israel has nothing to fear from those who were obviously jesting when threatening to push the Jews into the sea, there is no need for an Israeli WMD program. It's a myth.

Posted by: ZsaZsa at June 30, 2003 at 08:36 PM

This is long over due on Israel's part. The BBC is the enemy period!

Posted by: Joel at July 1, 2003 at 12:27 AM

A hard weekend's gigs has left the sightlines from up here a little fuzzy, I'm afraid.

But the Federation of American Scientists think Israel has somewhere between 100 and 200 nukes (they think estimates of 400 plus are overdone): http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/

If the FAS is too lefty for your tastes, this US Air Force bloke provides a handy history of the Israeli nuclear program here: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cpc-pubs/farr.htm

The Israeli nuclear program is so non-existent that Janes' publishes assesments of its vulnerability to pre-emptive strikes, complete with satellite pic of the site the non-missiles aren't launched from: http://www.janes.com/regional_news/africa_middle_east/news/jir/jir990901_1_n.shtml

Note that the Israeli nuclear program was started up with assistance from those cheese-eating surrender monkeys, the French.

Posted by: Bon Scott at July 1, 2003 at 10:28 AM

First of all I enjoyed most of your music Bon.
But this stuff about Israeli nukes , has what to do with the BBC? Is it the BBC's job to smear a country if it has nukes? If so when will they get around to France, China, North Korea, South Africa? And what about Canada (they sold the tech that gave India and Pakistan their nukes)? What about Canada 's proposed nuclear reactor sales to Turkey and Cuba? Nope the BBC isn't interested in weapons of mass destruction hidden or otherwise. They are interested in good old fashioned jew hating.

Posted by: James D at July 1, 2003 at 11:45 AM

The specific report the Israeli government is complaining about had to do with Israeli nukes. (As far as I can tell from available press reports.)

Officially, Israel doesn't have any. But it's an open secret that they do.

Also, Israel's kidnap of a Israeli nuclear whistleblower in 86 is still news in Britain:

Posted by: Bon Scott at July 1, 2003 at 12:17 PM

Mr. Blair,
Your view that Israel has neither done nor can do any wrong is totally irresponsible if you say you're a journalist. Certainly Israel has done much good for Jewish people around the world, but, like every country, it has also made some tragic mistakes, and continues to.

But my specific comment is regarding your report on the Israeli who applied to teach in the UK and allegations that he was denied due to his nationality. If true, that is immoral, but you fail to mention that Israel, as a national law, forbids people from buying land because of their non-Jewish nationality, which I find equally immoral.

It's one thing for a specific professor in Britian to be racist, but quite another for a country to adopt racism as its national policy.

And, for the record, those of us who criticize Israel are hardly anti-semetic; we deplore war crimes and human rights violations no matter which country is carrying out such practices. Those who want to simplify the entire debate by labeling it "a bunch of jew haters" is desperate to avoid answering real questions.

After all, Israel is viewed as an occupying force akin to apartheid South Africa by virtually THE ENTIRE WORLD. And after 36 years, the world is still waiting for Israel to honor just one UN resolution (#242 was even signed by America).

Posted by: matt at July 4, 2003 at 06:55 PM