The BBC Gets it Wrong, as Usual

In their report on the Crete synagogue arsonists, the BBC snuck in a tiny slap on the wrist to Israel. While rhapsodizing over the multi-culti worshippers – “Muslims, Christians, Catholics and Orthodox believers” (wait, aren’t Catholics Christians??) – at the Etz Chayyim synagogue, they stress that “many of the Jews who worship there are opposed to Israel’s settler program and frequent incursions into Gaza.”

What this has to do with arson is anyone’s guess, especially in light of the fact that in the next breath our BBC journalist claims, “according to police sources, the arson attacks have no connection to right-wing or Muslim political movements.”

So WTF, BBC?  Are we to suppose that, had all those worshipping Jews – which were no more than a dozen people at any time back in 2008 when I myself asked that question at the synagogue – been fervent supporters of Israeli settlers, they deserved to have their synagogue burned to the ground? That is the implication, after all. Otherwise, why bother mentioning it?

This is the latest in a seemingly endless campaign of British and European snobbery, which assumes hatred of Jews is somehow tied to Israel’s actions (or inactions) with regard to its neighbors. Even when this is explicitly not the case. But even if it were – anyway – somehow – they deserved it.

This is morally obtuse reportage, which insists on drawing parallels where there are none for the sake of  moralistic punditry.

So Cane Me, Already!

Choose your stick
Pick a stick

Everywhere I’ve looked today I’ve come across this story about a Malaysian woman who is getting caned for drinking beer. Oh, temptation! The BBC reports: “Malaysia’s majority Malays are subject to Islamic laws, while the large Chinese and Indian minorities are not.” Presumably, Ms. Kartika Shukarno was busted getting sloshed in a non-Islamic bar (Islamic bars only serve iced tea, I take it). Her punishment, caning, is (according to Wikipedia, which has an entire article on caning in Malaysia) the second most severe form of punishment in Malaysia–after the death penalty.

The bizzarre twist in the story comes when we learn that her sentence has been postponed until after Ramadan. Clearly, this is Islam’s version of compassion. It’s a dull story in my opinion, considering all the truly outrageous and awful things that happen in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, not to mention Iran, for similar “crimes.” But wait, here’s the finale:

Ms Kartika, a 32-year old trained nurse and mother of two, asked last week that her caning be administered in public. She had told reporters she was calm about the prospect and was willing to be caned because she respected the law.

I respect the BBC for its ability to tell this story with a straight face. If Ms. Kartika indeed respects the law, then why was she sneaking a swig of beer in the first place? Doesn’t she know that old wives’ tale about the woman and the serpent? At this point, I invite anyone reading to chant the infidel mantra with me, “It’s a beer! It’s a beer! You medieval dickwads–it’s a fucking beer!!