Channel 4 News narrative collides with extremist reality

Here’s the full Channel 4 News report, “Will Israel’s new far-right coalition spark more violence”, by foreign correspondent Secunder Kermani, which aired on Dec. 8th.

First, note that, at 1:25, Kermani states that settlement outposts are built on “land internationally recognised as Palestinian“.

That’s not accurate.  Though most of the international community considers Israeli towns and villages in Judea and Samaria (both outposts and ordinary settlements) to be “illegal”, that’s not the same thing as asserting that all such land across the green line is “recognised as Palestinian”.  International observers typically say that ultimate control of West Bank land should be determined in peace negotiations.

At 2:30 in, Kermani asks an Israeli woman named Bashi, from an unamed West Bank outpost, “What you’re doing here is “colonialism”, isn’t it”?

The charge of “colonialism”, often hurled at Israelis on either side of the green line, is a common term of abuse to delegitmise the continued existence of a Jewish state within any borders.

It’s intrinsically ahistorical, as the term “conjures historical memories of exploitative [expansionist] white European empires militarily invading lands in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, implanting their citizens in colonies through the use of force, subjugating the native and indigenous populations and stealing their natural resources”.  To observe that this doesn’t even remotely describe the situation in Judea and Samaria is a profound understatement.  There is no foreign Jewish “motherland” directing Jews to settle or “colonialize” the territory, nor any such “motherland” for Jews to ‘return’ to.

Moreover, the “colonialsm” charge implicity suggests that Jews have no connection to the land, when, in fact, Jews are native and indigenous to the land.

Finally, as the scholar Alan Dowty has observed, “Prevailing definitions of “settler colonialism” imply “an intention to replace, or even eliminate, the indigenous people and/or culture”, a dynamic akin to “ethnic cleansing” that’s completely absent from the decision of Jews to live in such communities.

At 3:40, Kermani tells an Israeli MK from the Religous Zionist party: “You say you want better security. But, there’s more Palestinians killed in this conflict than Israelis. It’s the Palestinians who need better security“.

This, to put it simply, is an absurd argument.

The mere ‘disproportionality’ in the numbers of Israelis and Palestinians killed – a common anti-Zionist line of attack when Israel engages in conflicts with Hamas – is completely irrelevant when analysing the moral dimensions of any given conflagration.  Israelis are being killed by terrorists who reject the state’s right to exist and (as we’ll see below) consider all Israelis fair game, which is why the overwhelming majority of the 31 Israelis killed this year have been civilians.  Most of the Palestinains killed in 2022, on the other hand, have either been active members of terror groups, engaged in hostilities or, at the least, killed in the context of Israeli operations to arrest wanted Palestinian terrorists or thwart planned attacks.

At 6:20, Kermani argues that “Anger at the killings, and the repressive occupation is driving support for a new generation of Palestinian militants“.

Yet, at 7:25, when speaking to a (masked) Palestinian terrorist, Kermani asks, “When an Israeli civilian is killed, doesn’t that undermind your cause?”, to which the terrorist replies, “we don’t recognize any Israeli on this land as a civilian“.

Any serious observer who’s followed the ebb and flow of Palestinian terror over the past decades would know what the Palestinian terrorist interviewed by the Channel 4 News journalist implicitly acknowledged: that it is extremism and antisemitism which drives Palestinian terror, not the actions and decisions of Israel’s army and government in response to such terror.  Though this is most certainly not the message Kermani set out to communicate, it is nonetheless one unavoidable take-away in his predictable, tendentious and facile take on the ‘root causes’ of increased violence and extremism in the region.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Lesley Silver

    I am sickened that a publicly-owned TV company should be perpetuating the lies and hatred.
    Oh and about Palestinian deaths – how many people were killed when rockets intended for Israel fell back into Gaza?

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