The commentators 04-08-14
Jon Snow’s YouTube appeal carried an implicit message that is threatening to TV news. He considered that he could deliver this only online since it might contravene rules governing impartiality in news programmes. It resembled the homilies that used to be delivered by TV anchors such as Walter Cronkite at the end of the nightly news in the US. Ronald Reagan’s abolition of the fairness doctrine contributed to a significant weakening of TV news in the US, releasing a flood of ignorance – a salutary warning to those campaigning for an end to impartiality rules here in order to encourage reporters to be more emotionally engaged.
- David Loyn, The Guardian
Populist anti-Israeli posturing is dangerous. It shows not the slightest grasp of the reality of Islamist aggression in the Middle East and the depth of the challenge that Israel faces. In practice denouncing the Jewish state means siding with the malevolent, murderous forces of jihadism, a stance that not only represents a complete inversion of morality but a suicidal disdain for the interests of western civilisation.
- Leo McKinstrey, Daily Express
People don’t realise how their emotions are being manipulated. They are not being shown how Hamas is using its own people as human shields and sacrifices, to enable it to continue firing rockets at Israeli civilians and to increase its own civilian casualties in order to turn western opinion against Israel. It has built no shelters, forcing civilians to use UN schools, for instance, instead. It has ordered Gazans to ignore Israeli warnings to flee their houses and stay put under bombardment.
- Melanie Phillips, The Times
It is the Palestinians and, in this case, Hamas, who are in a stronger position than they were a month ago. By its actions, Israel has put the Palestinian issue firmly back on the international agenda from which it had largely disappeared since the Arab uprisings of 2011.
- Patrick Cockburn, The Independent
Where are the statesmen, or stateswomen, who’ll think a way out of such sorry, bloody messes, and bring vicious territorial disputes to an end? They don’t exist in reality, only in retrospect. We have to muddle through with the wretches we have.
- Peter McKay, Daily Mail
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