Sky News moves to rival BBC's anti-Israel prejudice

Sky News used to be different from the BBC. Not now as their Sam Kiley rehashes familiar prejudices without appearing to know even the basics about the conflict

by Yorker on 21 February 2013 16:02

Apart from anti-Israel extremists, most knowledgeable observers adopt a wry smile when anyone raises the question of the BBC's attitude to Israel. That is the generous response to the flagrant political activism that masquerades as reporting at Britain's state broadcaster.

It used to be different elsewhere, but as the foul and bigoted Sunday Times Holocaust Memorial Day cartoon alerted us last month, nowhere is safe now.

Enter Sam Kiley, sometime Sky Security editor. Followers of Sky News will be familiar with his platitudinous anti-Israeli position from his previous reporting, especially during the US election campaign where his flagrant editorialising against Mitt Romney's correct analysis of Palestinian motives was pursued without let or hindrance.

If one were to take a kind view of Kiley's position one would simpy describe it as lazy. But he is BBCesque in his anti-Israel smugness. Essentially, his opinions proceed from the standard anti-Israel received wisdoms: the conflict boils down to settlements and the "occupation"; Palestinian responsibility for their own predicament basically does not exist.

Kiley either knows nothing whatever about Palestinian rejectionism and incitement or simply edits it out of his reporting. 

Witness the latest superficial garbage plastering its way across Sky, day in day out.

Ahead of the Oscars it is all about two documentary movies on Israel and its alleged brutality. In a show of "even-handedness", Kiley juxtaposes a Palestinian documentary "which reveals just how brutal and bloody for the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation is", with another film from the Israeli side which examines "how bad and how damaging it can be for the Israelis to be a state of occupation." The latter is based in the testimony of former Israeli security service chiefs.

Plainly, and uncontroversially, occupation is indeed deeply problematic for both sides. However, it is a measure of Kiley's shallowness and of his prejudice that he is simply unable to deal with the fact that the occupation is completely unwanted from the Israeli side and that there would never have been an occupation in the first place had the Palestinians accepted rather than consistently rejected peace agreements.

Does he know that, or is he wilfully blind? Either way, he has no business posing as an objective reporter if this is the best he can do.

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