A couple of items which somehow got overlooked by the BBC.
From a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait, broadcast on Hamas TV on Aug 1st:
"Without a doubt, the blood being spilled [in Gaza] is dear. But the equation is: 'Those killed from our side are in Paradise, and those killed from their side in Hell.' (Hadith)
We are not afraid of Martyrdom. Not long ago, you cried out loud: 'Death for Allah is our most exalted wish!' (Muslim Brotherhood slogan) You received the death you wanted. We have no problem with death. We are not like the children of Israel: 'And you will surely find them the most greedy of people for life.' (Quran) Whereas we yearn for death and Martyrdom... Every mother - especially the mothers in Palestine, but every mother in the [Islamic] Nation, not just Palestine - must nurse her children on hatred of the sons of Zion. We hate them and they are our enemies. We will plant this in their [our children’s] souls, so that a new generation will grow among us, which will erase them from the face of the earth."
And here's a Friday sermon from one Sheik Abd Al-Barr Al-Rawdhi, speaking in an Italian mosque:
What can we possibly expect from [the Jews], whose hearts are harder than stone? What can we possibly expect from people whose hands are soiled with the blood of the prophets, not to mention the blood of defenseless, innocent people? What can we possibly expect from people who lost all respect for Allah, saying to Moses: "Show us Allah outright"? What can we possibly expect from people who said: "The hand of Allah is shackled"? "May their own hands be shackled, and may they be cursed for what they said." […]
Oh Allah, bring upon them that which will make us happy. Oh Allah, count them one by one, and kill them to the very last one. Do not spare a single one of them. Turn their food to poison, make the air they breathe blazing hot, make their slumber full of grief, and make their days black. Oh Allah, plant fear in their hearts.
My point about the BBC isn't entirely facetious. No, of course I wouldn't expect to see these items reported in the news. But the failure of the BBC - and practically every other news organisation - to provide context to the Gaza conflict by highlighting the extraordinary level of vicious anti-Semitic discourse pouring out of Israel's Muslim neighbours, and particularly from Hamas, strikes me as a a huge abrogation of their responsibility to provide balanced coverage. Has there ever been a Newsnight item, say, or a Panorama programme, that deals with this kind of poisonous rhetoric? I may be wrong, but I don't think so. We're left to assume that Hamas are some kind of bold resistance movement - a David to Israel's Goliath - instead of a fascist Islamist movement dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews.
It's interesting to speculate why this should be. Fear of accusations of Islamophobia or Orientalism? A belief that somehow only Westerners can really be anti-Semitic? Or maybe it's just the old story that, when it comes down to it, they don't actually believe that these people mean what they say: they think it's all just a funny and elaborate way of expressing their resentment of the way Israel has supposedly come and stolen their land. Ultimately, I suppose, it's a belief that the initial and genuine transgressors here are the Israelis, and whatever comes from the other side is simply an excusable - if a sometimes perhaps a little over-excited - reaction.
Of course some in the BBC no doubt really do think that Hamas are noble freedom fighters. As indeed do many of our leading intellectuals. In the immortal words of Judith Butler:
“Understanding Hamas/Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important."