The October 3rd edition of the BBC News and BBC World News programme ‘Dateline London’ included a discussion on the topic of gun law in the United States, apparently in light of the recent shootings in Oregon.
Guest American journalist Stephanie Baker of Bloomberg Markets raised the subject of the National Rifle Association’s influence on US legislation, stating that the organisation “has so much money to channel into the election process…”. Next came a contribution from a British journalist before Syrian ex-pat Mustapha Karkouti – a journalist with the Dubai based Gulf News – caused the conversation to take a bizarre deviation.
Karkouti: “We outside, away – as Arabs, let’s say – we find it really perplexing sometimes; the division between the Congress and the White House itself. I mean the lobby system…
Gavin Esler: “And the inability of presidents to deal with it…”
Karkouti: “Yeah. I mean take the Palestine issue. It has not been progressing at all for at least three or four dec… – well, through its history – because of the lobby system in the States. They just control the president.”
Host Gavin Esler failed to provide a relevant response to that blatant attempt to mislead audiences with regard to the reasons for the lack of progress in ‘the Palestine issue’ by simplistically blaming an opaque, all powerful lobby in the United States. Although that allegedly omnipotent lobby this time goes unnamed, it would not of course have been difficult for viewers to determine that Karkouti was not referring to the NRA, the oil lobby or any of the countries which actually do invest a great deal in lobbying in the US – including the UAE, which tops the list and just happens to be the country in which the paper for which he writes is based.
It is worth recalling that the BBC’s promotion of the notion of a ‘Jewish lobby’ was cited by the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism in February 2015 as one of the factors contributing to the rise in anti-Jewish racism in the UK.