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BBC: Tim Sebastien's tough interview with al Zahar

Dr. Mahmoud Al Zahar is by training a surgeon, and a major political and ideological figure in Hamas. His dedication to eliminating Israel is well known.  Here legendary "Hard-Talk" star Tim Sebastien gives him a hard time as he tries to blame Israel for everything while excusing his own side's behavior (BBC Doha Debates).  A study in demopathy, partly confronted by hard questioning, supplemented by Second Draft.

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written by Joanne, December 06, 2009
I think it would have been a good idea for Sebastien to have shown the same videos that you did of Al Zahar making his statements about Israel having no right to exist. Even if Al Zahar would take issue with the translation, there were apparently enough Arabic-speaking people in the audience (and, presumably, among the viewers) to hear what was said.

Given the tight timing of the interview, this would have been an elegant and efficient way to dispose of that issue, without having to talk in circles.

I think that, otherwise, this was a remarkable interview. The interviewer really took Al Zahar to task. Are you really sure this was the BBC? Does Sebastien still have his job?

And I was utterly surprised by the questions from the Arabs in the audience. by how they took Al Zahar to task, and weren't at all supportive of him. Notice that his statements didn't win applause from the audience, who, by the way, were amazingly polite.

Was this show shot in Britain? It must have been, yet I was surprised at the American voices among the questioners.

In any case, Al Zahar really came off badly. He sounded like an especially sleazy used-car salesman, or like someone trying to sell you something that fell off the back of a truck. I hope a lot of people saw that interview.

Sebastien is outstanding
written by Jonathan Hoffman, December 20, 2009
His HardTalk interview with Shlomo Sand was the only interview in the week when Sand was in London recently to nail Sand's falsehoods and antisemitism.

(maybe you cannot watch this outside the UK.... but maybe it's on YouTube)
written by Jonathan Hoffman, December 20, 2009
Sorry it was Stephen Sackur - Tim Sebastian's successor on Hardtalk - who interviewed Sand .........

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