01 August 2017

A curious case of BBC that forgot to bark in the daytime

What with the unrelenting flow of news coming out of the White House these days, the media is overwhelmed. Their journos are too busy trying to catch up with the stream.

Well, this is the only explanation I have got for the most curious omission in BBC reporting from their favorite corner of the world, I mean the Middle East. In their reporting of a sad case where a British man has been arrested as part of an anti-terror operation while on holiday in Turkey, they have missed an important clue. Not that the clue is relevant to the fate of Joe Robinson, the British man in question. But let's put the things in order. The man first:

Mr Robinson, who is originally from Lancashire, spent five months fighting as a volunteer with the YPG against the so-called Islamic State group and has previously spoken about his experiences in media reports. Although the YPG is not a proscribed group in the UK, Turkey views it as the extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
I can hardly add something to the quote. Possibly a plea to the British government to intervene more forcefully and to save the British subject from an almost certain incarceration by the friendly and oh how democratic NATO member and its leader going from mad to crazy. But it is hardly my business.

The other thing, though, the writing on the wall (no pun intended) is somewhat different, being totally in the domain of the Elders. The fact that not a single BBC employee got even remotely curious about it...

נַ נַחְ נַחְמָ נַחְמָן מְאוּמַן‎‎

This text adorns many a wall and a fence in Israel, being a part of the local lore. A curious person with access to Google could have easily deciphered the meaning, available in English in Wiki:
Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman (Hebrew: נַ נַחְ נַחְמָ נַחְמָן מְאוּמַן‎‎) is a Hebrew language name and song used by a subgroup of Breslover Hasidim colloquially known as the Na Nachs. The complete phrase is Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'uman. It is a kabbalistic formula based on the four Hebrew letters of the name Nachman, referring to the founder of the Breslov movement, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, along with a reference to his burial place in Uman, Ukraine.
But the text evidently was mistaken by the BBC editors for Arabic, most probably related to Daesh/ISIS and not a single man/woman of BBC has caught on the possibility to explore this golden lode of a Zionist plot  - obviously of some import.

Opportunity lost...

Hat tip: P.V.

Update: The mystery resolved, thanks to Gilead, whose comment includes this article:
Timothy Paul Jacobs Wordsworth, speaking to The Jerusalem Post from northern Syria on Monday, said he was inspired to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria because he was instilled with the desire to do everything he can to help people.

In the 1990s, he was a soldier for the British military and served as a NATO peacekeeper in Bosnia and Kosovo. However, his life took a different direction as the horrors of Islamic State continued to mount.
And, most important for this post:
Wordsworth has been spray-painting a popular hassidic slogan in places that the Kurdish forces recapture, former Islamic State bases and mosques around Syria. Sometimes the slogan appears alongside the Islamic State flag.
So there:

Many thanks, Gilead!