Oxfam spokesperson owned by SodaStream’s Daniel Birnbaum on BBC Newsnight

Back in the 60s, anti-war activists sometimes used the pejorative phrase “you have to burn the village to save it” to condemn US military tactics in Vietnam, to (unfairly) characterize the alleged destruction of North Vietnamese villages for the larger purpose of purging Viet Cong forces from the area.  

While such sloganeering was something of a specialty within the anti-war movement, that particular sentiment comes to mind when considering the mindless, destructive campaign by Oxfam, and like-minded pro-BDS groups, against the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim.

As you’ll see in the following clip of a segment on BBC’s Newsnight, which aired last night, Oxfam (an anti-poverty organization!) would evidently rather see 500 Palestinians fired from their jobs than tolerate the presence of a successful Israeli owned factory in Area C of the West Bank.  

Though there are some anti-settlement lies that go unchallenged during the debate, the hypocrisy and moral obtuseness of Oxfam and the broader anti-SodaStream movement is clearly revealed in the exchange between Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman, Oxfam’s Director of Policy Ben Phillips and SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum.

h/t Elder

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Thou shall not criticize the BBC at ‘Comment is Free’?

John Ware published an essay on Nov. 10 at ‘Comment is Free’ titled ‘A personal tragedy, and a hammer blow for an honest institution‘, about the resignation of George Entwistle as the BBC’s director general after a Newsnight report wrongly implicated Tory peer Lord McAlpinein in the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal.

Ware, a BBC Panorama reporter since 1986, criticized BBC senior management, which he accused of having “collapsed into a dysfunctional heap” under the strain the Savile and McAlpinein crises, before rallying to Auntie’s defense thus:

“The irony is, as Michael Grade used to say, when he ran Channel 4: “It’s the BBC that keeps us honest.” That was true then, and it remains true today, despite the trouble that Entwistle’s resignation has prompted.

At almost every level, BBC journalism illuminates areas of our national life, and around the world, with a care and precision unmatched by other media outlets. On any objective view, the BBC is overwhelmingly a force for good and understanding. And this really is the point. The Newsnight debacle is an aberration.”

A CiF commenter took exception to Ware’s argument, writing this:


Here’s a capture of the BBC report the commenter linked to:

A bit later, however, the comment was deleted, deemed inappropriate by CiF moderators:


Finally, just as a FYI, there’s a great site I’ve recently ‘come across’ whose managing editor expertly fisked the report cited above and, more broadly, superbly illuminates the BBC’s consistent anti-Israel bias with “care and precision” unmatched by any other blog.