Happy Birthday, Hamas! Love, the BBC (Apparently, the Guardian forgot to send a card)

A guest post by Geary

If, having committed some obscure but particularly heinous sin, you found yourself consigned to a Circle of Hell where the exquisite Dante-esque punishment was that your only source of reading is the Guardian, you would be unaware that this week saw the celebration of Hamas’s 23rd birthday.

It was however reported by both the BBC and al-Jazeera, and a comparison of the two reports is instructive.

Note that, prominent in the al-Jazeera report, was:

“Resistance group throws 23rd anniversary rally, as tight Israeli siege makes Gaza’s Hamas rulers increasingly unpopular“.

If you click on the clip half-way down, you will discover that the Al-Jazeera piece also suggests Hamas is unpopular for reasons unconnected to its impotence as regards Israel, such as police brutality and corruption.

But the BBC? Hamas is unpopular? Perish the thought. Dear old Auntie (that is, Anti-Israel) instead stresses the “tens of thousands”, the “throngs” of supporters who – of their own free will of course –  “filled the streets of Gaza” to watch the festive green balloons and listen to the tinny martial music and hear how, “Hamas leader Ismail Haniya says the Islamist movement is committed to Palestinian national reconciliation in order to fight the Israeli occupation”. How noble! But, any thoughts instead of making peace with Israel for the good of all? Thought not.

So where was Harriet Sherwood during all this? Still basking in the glory of her trenchant piece denouncing the brutal conditions of confinement of Israeli chickens? Not in the least. Here is our irrepressible intrepid reporter on the Guardians “Teaching English as a Foreign Language” page – always at the heart of the action – recounting an 18-month old story of how Hamas police closed down a rap gig.

In Gaza you dance only to the tune of Hamas – at least if you’re the Guardian or the BBC.

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