Spooks: Let’s Demonize Israel

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Tonight, I watched an episode of the British series Spooks, a show about British MI5 intelligent officers. A good friend of mine in Israel had raved about the series, going as far as saying it puts my favorite show 24 to shame. And as luck would have it, tonight’s episode happened to deal with the Middle East peace process, and efforts to derail it. Needless to say, I watched it.

I won’t recap the entire plot of the episode, but it can be found here. The bad guys are a neo-con, pro-Israel group called the November Committee, who murder those who stand in the way of their vision of a Greater Israel. The pro-palestinian group in the episode, similar to the ISM, are initially suspected of financing suicide bombings, but by episode end are cleared of any wrongdoing.

Besides the one dimensional pro-Israel=bad message of the episode, there were a number of other misleading points, including the notion that Israel’s “occupation” of lands during the Six Day War of 1967 are the root cause of the conflict and palestinian terrorism. As if palestinian terror groups were not formed before 1967, and as if palestinian terror groups to this day do not espouse the aim to drive all the Jews into the sea and take over the entire land of Israel – not just the so-called “occupied” territories of 1967.



And then there’s of course the fact that the show had to invent an extremist Israeli terror group as the bad guys and major obstacle to peace in the Middle East. I say invent, because such groups, if they exist, are not a factor (Israeli society and the police would not tolerate them). Never mind the fact that palestinian terror groups are all too real and enjoy the support of a majority of the palestinian population.

While television shows and movies continue to tiptoe around the issue of Islamic terrorism and go out of their way to show more nuanced depictions of Muslims, shows such as Spooks show no such sensitivity when depicting Israelis and Israel supporters.

In other words, it’s not just the mainstream media poisoning peoples’ minds and feeding them lies and half-truths about the Middle East conflict.

By the way, did I mention that Spooks is a BBC show?

Update: Here’s a synposis for a later Spooks episode:

Ros is taken hostage as part of a siege at the Saudi Trade Centre. The hostage-takers demand that Al-Qaeda prisoners are released.

MI5 realise that there’s an informant among them. The leak is traced to Neil, who commits suicide. But Adam is suspicious – why would Neil be helping an Arab terrorist group when his family were killed by Arab suicide bombers?

The team soon realise they’re actually dealing with an Israeli plot designed to discredit the Saudis and de-rail the nuclear deal.

The Security Services storm the Embassy. The true nature of the plot remains a secret and the world believes an Al-Qaeda plot has been foiled. The nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia goes ahead, with the Saudis lauded as a worthy ally who stand firm in the face of fundamentalism.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Spooks has an agenda. Which is very much aligned with that of the BBC.

Update: I just found this earlier post from Kesher Talk. So you see, it’s not just me.

Update: Yet another earlier blog post, this time on a subsequent anti-Israel Spooks episode. And a Telegraph piece on BBC bias, which mentions the show. It seems I am late to the party.

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An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool. He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and single malt whisky.