As Israel assaults Gaza, BBC reporting assaults the truth

16 November 2012

121116-saleem.jpg

BBC has shown deference to Israeli goverment line in its reporting on Gaza in recent days.

(Ashraf Amra / APA images)

In 2006, an independent panel of senior public figures published a report assessing the impartiality of the BBC’s coverage of the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The panel, chaired by Sir Quentin Thomas, a senior figure in the British Home Office, found “identifiable shortcomings, particularly in respect of gaps in coverage, analysis, context and perspective and in the consistent maintenance of the BBC’s own editorial standards.”

The Thomas Report, as it became known, was quickly shoved under the carpet by the BBC, even though it had originally been commissioned by the corporation’s own governors, and business continued as usual (“Report of the Independent Panel for the BBC Governors on Impartiality of BBC Coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” April 2006, available on the Internet Archive).

In the last few days, the shortcomings highlighted in the report have never seemed so glaring.

Gaza reported without context

Across the BBC’s output, from the 24 hour rolling news channel, BBC News, to its flagship news and current affairs program Today on Radio 4, the Israeli assault on Gaza has been reported without context, without perspective and with a bias that has wholly favored the heavily-armed, nuclear state of Israel against the mostly refugee population of the besieged Gaza Strip.

This pattern of partiality was noted by Thomas and his panel. They made several mentions in their report to the “asymmetry of power between the two sides” and noted that “given this asymmetry, the BBC’s concern with balance gave an impression of equality between the two sides which was fundamentally, if unintentionally, misleading.”

To counter this flaw, the Thomas Report recommended that the BBC “should make purposive, and not merely reactive, efforts to explain the complexities of the conflict in the round, including the marked disparity between the position of the two sides.”

Yet, rather than providing information to its global audience which would make clear that Israel is deploying a vast arsenal of high tech armory against Gaza’s civilian population, to which the response is crude rockets, the BBC’s coverage of the past days has portrayed the stateless Palestinians as vicious aggressors against an exhausted Israel.

On the morning of 15 November, the day after Israel carried out the extrajudicial killing of Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari and unleashed a wave of terror against Gaza’s civilian population, the BBC put an article onto its website headlined: “Gaza rocket arsenal problem for Israel.”

The article goes into minute detail about what the BBC’s diplomatic and defense correspondent Jonathan Marcus describes as “the Palestinian rocket arsenal.”

There are descriptions of the types of rockets in the “arsenal,” their range, their design, their country of origin, the threat they pose to Israel, the towns in Israel they might be capable of reaching. Marcus also spends time discussing the capability of Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense and Israeli allegations of shipments of arms coming via Sudan to Gaza.

Israeli arsenals unreported by the BBC

Nowhere in the article, or elsewhere on the BBC, does Marcus investigate Israel’s weapons stockpile, which is funded to the tune of $3 billion a year by the United States.

There are no reams of paragraphs devoted to describing the different types of bombs, mortar shells, drones, fighter jets, gunboats, tanks, guns, nuclear warheads or white phosphorus shells that are in Israel’s arsenal. Yet, with the exception of nuclear missiles, all of these have been used at some point against the people of Gaza with devastating consequences.

A second article published on the BBC website the same morning is headlined: “Escalating violence takes its toll on Israelis.” Here we have journalist Yolande Knell putting a human face on the Israelis who have faced rocket attacks in the towns of Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi over the last two days.

There are interviews with Israeli men and women describing their fear, their pain at the previous day’s fatalities in Kiryat Malachi, their scramble to find shelter when the air raid sirens sound and the damage to their buildings. Knell describes “eerily quiet” streets in Ashkelon, closed restaurants and schools and how “normal life here remains on hold.”

Minimizing Palestinian voices

Yet when it comes to how Palestinians in Gaza endure frequent Israeli bombardment, Palestinian voices and their pain are minimized.

A BBC article in March claimed the people of Gaza are “almost inured to the endless conflict” and life in the Gaza Strip carries on as normal — a report based on the perspective of BBC correspondent, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, rather than interviews with the Palestinians themselves.

When the Palestine Solidarity Campaign complained about the bias inherent in Wingfield-Hayes extraordinary claims, which were juxtaposed alongside an article by Kevin Connolly describing the “dread” felt by Israelis during rocket strikes, a reply was received from Fraser Steel, Head of Editorial Complaints at the BBC.

He wrote: “I have to say it seems to me that the aspects of the reports which you single out for criticism can be interpreted as evidence of bias only if one approaches them with a prior assumption of bias on the part of the authors.”

The bias that PSC was highlighting is not on the part of the authors, but on the part of their employers, the BBC, and with good reason.

Israeli spokespeople unchallenged

Since al-Jabari’s assassination on 14 November, the BBC has rolled out all the Israeli heavyweights across its programming: Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador to the UN; Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister; Mark Regev, an Israeli government spokesperson; and Daniel Taub, Israel’s ambassador to the UK.

All have been allowed to disseminate, with virtually no interruption or correction, the propaganda line Israel is using for the duration of this assault on Gaza: that Israel withdrew its settlers in 2005 in order to allow Gaza to live in peace but Hamas insisted on a war which Israel has so far resisted, but is now being reluctantly drawn into in order to protect its citizens.

On the Today program on 15 November, Taub was interviewed by BBC heavyweight John Humphrys. For four minutes he was allowed to expound Israel’s hasbara line that Hamas rockets rain down on southern Israel with no response from Israel and that no other country but Israel would be so understanding.

Humphrys gave no challenge when Taub said: “We have to recognize, seven years ago, we pulled out of every inch of Gaza. We removed 9,000 Israeli civilians along with their homes, their schools, their kindergartens, in order to try and have a peaceful situation with Gaza … Tragically, that opportunity was not taken up. Hamas took over and since then has been waging an intensive war.”

The BBC’s major evening current affairs program Newsnight was used as a vehicle for similar hasbara the previous evening by Danny Ayalon, who enjoyed an uninterrupted three minute interview with presenter Gavin Esler.

At the very end of the interview Ayalon said: “Not only do they [Hamas] target the civilian population in Israel, but they implant themselves in the midst of the civilian population in Gaza, so in fact they use a population as a human shield for their hideous attacks.”

To which Esler replied: “Ok, we’ll leave it there. Danny Ayalon, thank you very much.”

There was no attempt, or even it seems a willingness, by this senior BBC journalist to confront and challenge Israeli propaganda and falsehoods.

Meanwhile Zionist activist Jonathan Sacerdoti appeared four times as a guest on different BBC television news programs during the first two days of the Israeli assault. The BBC allowed him to pose as an independent expert, neglecting to mention his past work for the Zionist Federation and current role at the Board of Deputies of British Jews (“Who is Jonathan Sacerdoti, the BBC’s Go-To Man on Gaza?” New Left Project, 16 November).

BBC failure

The findings of the Thomas Report from 2006 are holding true during this latest onslaught on Gaza. This unwillingness by both Humphrys and Esler, together with the presenters on television and radio news, to point out the facts to their Israeli government interviewees is just a symptom of the BBC’s failure to provide context and perspective, as highlighted by the report.

And so BBC audiences listen to Regev and the rest without being made aware that Israel is considered by the UN to be an occupying power in Gaza with obligations under the Geneva Conventions to protect the inhabitants.

Taub is allowed to freely say that Israel has withdrawn from Gaza, without being made to explain how he can make such a travesty of the truth when Israel holds Gaza under tight military siege, restricting access to food, medicines, water, fuel and other essentials, and restricts the free movement of Gaza’s people in and out of the territory.

Prosser can stand in Kiryat Malachi condemning Palestinian rocket attacks, as he did on the BBC News channel on 14 November, and not be asked to comment on Israel’s massacre of 1,400 Palestinians in three weeks in 2008-09 or its continuous bombing and shelling of Gaza since then.

And that is how Ayalon can barefacedly mislead BBC viewers with the human shield fallacy, because nowhere on the BBC, including Newsnight will its audience be told that 1.6 million people are crammed into a strip of land about 20 miles long and four miles wide, and consequently there is nowhere that is not inhabited.

In its final points, the Thomas Report summed up: “some of the deficiencies are serious and … [the BBC’s coverage] could be a great deal better: more distinctive, challenging and informative.”

If only it were. Imagine how many people around the world and those paying the licence fee in the UK would become aware of Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians, its daily violations of international law, its lies and deceits.

One presumes this is why the Thomas Report has rarely seen light of day since its publication.

Amena Saleem is active with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK and keeps a close eye on the media’s coverage of Palestine as part of her brief. She has twice driven on convoys to Gaza for PSC. More information on PSC is available at www.palestinecampaign.org.

Comments

Its been honestly despairing listening to the reports, this week, reporting the Hamas rockets in numbers and effect but no reporting of Israeli attacks, many many times more over. Get a grip BBC your meant to be impartial(rippping up my licence fee bill).

this unfair totally biased reporting of Israel being portrayed as the victims when they are the aggressors I find totally in bad taste expecting most people to be thick and stupid when we are not. the reporting is so one sided it screams conspiracy. dont the Palestinian people deserve their own homeland? Do the israelis forget that not so long ago they were nearly exterminated. instead of having sympathy for the palestinians they are slowly making it impossible for them to live any sort of life at all..........................

The Israeli-Palestinian issue is very thorny. I support however, that if a Palestinian kills an Israeli, the Israelis have the right to defend themselves. The Palestinians continue to fire rockets into Israel. If not the Iron dome, Israel would also have high rate of deaths. The Hamas leader that was killed had Israeli blood on his hands. If The Palestinians had left without firing rockets into Israel, over a hundred lives would have been saved.

A step by step deconstruction of your comments.

"The Israeli-Palestinian issue is very thorny."
No, it's a straightforward affair which involves the decades-long oppression and occupation of one people (the Palestinians) by Israel. The matter would have been resolved long ago were it not for US military and political support.

"The Palestinians continue to fire rockets into Israel. If not the Iron dome, Israel would also have high rate of deaths."
The key word here is 'rockets', not missiles, which are crudely made, and which remain a drop of water next to the sea of Israeli armaments and stockpiles of weapons–including nuclear. Palestinians do not have an army, navy, or intelligence force. Thus, with the above statement, you whitewash Israeli crimes and make a weak argument for what 'might have been'. If were were to take your line of argument, we could say that Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto during WW2 might have killed as many as 6 million Germans were it not for sophisticated German defenses of the time. Of course this is absurd, but so is your statement.

"The Hamas leader that was killed had Israeli blood on his hands."
In this above statement you are add extra-judicial murder to your list of Israeli apologies. You imply that it is ok to kill someone as long as you believe they have blood on their hands. By the same token, one could justify the killings of Olmert, Barak, and Netanyahu, all of whom have blood on their hands.

"If The Palestinians had left without firing rockets into Israel, over a hundred lives would have been saved."
If the Palestinians had left what exactly? Their own land? This is a rather revealing statement from you.
Your pinning the blame on the victims is classic. Again, it is like saying 7,000 Jews could have been saved from being shot in the Warsaw Ghetto if only they hadn't fired at the Germans. Ridiculous, like every statement you make.

I look forward to reading your cut-and-paste comments elsewhere.

What do you exactly mean by 'thorny', when the crystal clear evidence and unbiased reports demonstrate that Israel is a war criminal aggressor state? So, there is the right for Israel to massacre children, pregnant women, elders, steal property to build illegal settlements and the Palestinians should remain unmoved waiting for their doom in the hand of those inhuman actions? Stop playing the dirty game of victimhood and wake up to what the entire world is shouting out loud: Palestine must and will be free with the support of the genuine international community.

Thanks for filling in the gaps. I, and many others, have been watching aghast at the BBC's editorial impotency with covering Israel over the past few years.

The last straw was the racism displayed when they had a 10 second clip of the BBC employee whose 11 year old son was killed by Israel and the screen caption addressed him as 'father'.

The BBC has been crossed off the Israeli lobby's target list for ages it seems.

Only if one is naive enough to expect truth form BBC - the propaganda tool of Western imperialism.

I do NOT expect anything else from BBC and other imperialist media. It would be unnatural for them NOT to be on the side of Zionist colonial settlers while Western imperialist states are busy supporting Zionism and waging colonial wars - openly and covertly in the same ME and all over the world.

One who is really surprised with BBC(FOX, CNN) being a mere propaganda machine must still believe in tooth fairy.

Today programme, Fri Nov 16. BBC's Yolande Knell (Israel) and Jon Donnison (JD) (Gaza) report. Again, as Thu before:
- Same sequence, Israel first (yes, in reports, it is up to the Gaza view to 'respond').
- Again this pattern: Knell 2:30; JD 1:10 on the bombings (and 0:45 on the Egyptian PM).
- T introduction to Knell: what it's like "to live and work under rocket attack" (report with siren sounds). T introdcution to Donnison: "We are hearing there is a sort of sus..., a suspension, a cease fire [while Egypt PM is visiting]. Is everything quiet?"
(Thursday, exactly the same word "quiet" was used to introduce the Gaza correspondent JD. You see, nothing going one really. News and background noises of war are in Israel only).
- Then JD reports adding to the fog, if not creating it: "We've just heard several loud explosions. We're not sure if that was airstrikes from Israel or rockets being launched from Gaza. So it is not actually quiet." (sic. An explosion by firing a rocket?)
- JD: "150 targes". JD is at the "Hamas [Ministry] is devastated, a crater of fire". ("not much people in there").
- Note that the word "rocket" is used only in connection with "Palestine". On the other hand, there are only Israeli "airstrikes" and "targets".
- JD just squeezes in "we heard last night three civilians were killed".
- About the Egyptian PM visiting, JD concludes: "What happens when he leaves. We're gona have to wait and see". What an insight.
Jon Donnison, please start reporting on what you see and know and hear. You have not contributed a single point last two days. Over here, we heard the Israeli point often enough. And why don't you call that what it is: 150 targets for rockets, bombs, shells. Why do you not have a single report from one of these civilians killed?

After this, UK Foreign Secretary Hague can rant for 7" (as ambassador Taub did Thu).

Audio link (see 8.10): http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi...

Indeed so bad has BBC reporting been that when we heard via social media that the child of a BBC camerman had been killed this was not reported on BBC news.

It is not just in the flare up taking place now that their coverage has been to say the least, selective. I don't think their correspondents in Jerusalem once went to Bil'in to report the protests against the wall. Nor did they make use of any video or news information offerd them. When Nobel prizewinner Mairead Corrigan, who used to be front-page in the UK media during her activity in Ireland, was injured by a rubber bullet at Bil'in, I thought now they have got to report it, but I was wrong. It was as though she had ceased to exist so far as the British media were concerned.
Again I have not seen any news on TV about the anti-war demonstrations taking place in Israel. Nor anything about the people in Sderot and nearby areas who before this latest attack started were calling for talks with Hamas. We must not be encouraged to think.
Thank heavens we no longer need to rely on the mainstream newspapers and broadcasters for news and have Electronic Intifada, Democracy Now, You Tube and Facebook friends who can tell us what is going on. But pity the wider public who don't realise how much they are not being told.

No surprises here. When has the BBC ever done honest, unbiased reporting where Palestine is concerned? The BBC has always favoured Israel's propaganda.

There was a time when the BBC, or at least the BBC World Service Radio, produced good reporting on Israel and Palestine. The change began about ten or fifteen years ago. It's now intolerably biased and inferior in every way to Al-Jazeera, and not just on the Middle East, but also on Africa, Asia etc.

I am not surprised that the BBC does not have a balanced report when it comes to GAZA . In CANADA we have the same problem with the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp) when it comes to the struggle of the people of PALESTINE . It would seem at times that the CBC is nothing but a cheering section for the ZIONISTS of ISRAEL. I listened to a news broadcast yesterday in which the Palestinians were allowed 4 minutes while the ZIONISTS were given almost 10 minutes to give their side of the "story". And I will not speak of the AMERICAN mainstream media "reports" of the situation in PALESTINE. And this has been going on for the more than 60 yrs that I have followed events in PALESTINE. As someone once said , "freedom of the press belongs to those who own the presses.".

not exactly unbiased reporting it seems.I always thought the BBC to be icons of honesty but sadly I was wrong in my assumption

Thanks for this fantastic post, Amena! Over the last three days I've tried to engage many of my friends, family and co-workers in discussions about Palestine and was shocked to find that most totally buy into the BBC type Israeli biased mainstream media coverage. I've been told to forget about 'these religious idiots' (referring to Palestinians), heard pleas to have empathy with 'those poor Israelis fearing for their lives with all these Hamas rockets rain down on them' and been met with complete incomprehension that I would side with 'those awful terrorists' in Gaza. None of them are bad people, none are devoid of human decency and empathy. They're simply trusting mainstream media to tell them what's going on in the world and unfortunately the picture they get is so very very skewed. I shall circulate your article widely now and hope it'll add a different perspective to the mix. Thanks again.

BBC biased?
I'm Shocked!

I don't dissent from the general drift here, but not all of the comments here are fair to the BBC. In particular, the killing of the BBC film editor's baby was covered in some detail, and at somewhat greater length than deaths on the Israeli side. The other thing which needs to be said is that the BBC is continuously accused of anti-Israeli bias by friends of Israel. They do have to tread a difficult path, but I am daily frustrated by the failure in almost all news media (The Guardian and sometimes Channel 4 news being exceptions) to explain the context. But don't just complain on this website: write directly to the BBC. You can bet that the Israeli side will be doing exactly that, complaining that the BBC's presenters are biased. They were at it again today, on Radio 4's Any Answers.

i'm not shocked..... i knew this things..... BBC wants to cover the face of the israel...

The link to the report seems not to be working.

http://web.archive.org/web/200...

Write to Lord Christopher Patten , The chairman of the BBC Trust. He is the Patron of Medical Aid to Palestine .That should mean he is aware of the troubles in Palestine. Get him to observe the bias and recite the Thomas Report to him.

hi, great suggestion. everyone who reads this comment should stop and do this now, don't think about it just do it! thankyou. in some way it may lead to some help/restbite for the suffering people.

The "Thomas Report" in not in BBC's domain any more, even on the wayback machine is not working. But here a copy uploaded by BBC-watch by scribd: http://de.scribd.com/doc/95712...

Take care it is copied a couple of times more and doesnt disappear as BBC would obviously very much like it.

The bias is so blatant that it is hard to believe the BBC pays no attention to criticism. What is the reason for this? Who determines their Israel policy and which individuals have the power to do so? How much say does the government have? Cameron and Hague churn out exactly the same lines as the BBC.

BBC for a long time corrupt full of coverups. would really like to know who is directing them in their behaviours. We pay our licence fees not for disinformation. should'nt put up with this bias. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE ? does anyone know and will they be challenged ?!! Israel/US bullies its a disgrace, how can palestine defend itself and being bombarded all we here about are military targets being hit, but time and time again this is not true. like the report revealed in Iraq when US tried to cover up destroying a family by sending in bombers to destroy evidence. world is a disgrace at moment. not enough protests and mainstream media shameful needs to be questioned all journos need to be looked at.

15 November 2012 Last updated at 08:11 ET
Gaza rocket arsenal problem for Israel
By Jonathan Marcus BBC diplomatic and defence correspondent

"The upsurge of fighting between Israel and Hamas has highlighted, once again, the total disparity of force between the two sides".

The BBC is the flagship of a country that got rid of the Jews in Europe (the ones Adolf left behind) by dumping them in the Mideast.

Britain is also the country that promised Arabs the moon if they fought the Turks with T. E. Lawrence during WWI, then reneged.

So do your REALLY expect them to be fair with it comes to the "other" Semites?

Dan Damon will interview an ordinary citizen of Israel; then its ambassador; and finally an IDF spokesperson. He'll then stop and think he's given a "balanced" report per Gaza's invasion.

Decades ago the BBC would have called that infamous event in Poland the "Warsaw War," treating the Wehrmacht's use of artillery and tanks and flame-throwers against emaciated, imprisoned Jewish ghetto rebels-with-pistols as a "fair fight."

Remember, too: the "ever-brilliant" UK made a secret pact to protect Poland that cost it an Empire and made it the Queen's plaything. Ergo, who outside a few turtles on the Falkland Islands fears Beefeaters any more?

Given their failure to admit their military and other failures, sure: the BBC will likely hire on-air dunderheads whose voices echo hasbara, their pointed crania wedged so high in their fundaments.

Practically all Western media is biased against Palestine, and the BBC is no exception - perhaps just a bit cleverer at appearing impartial. I have noticed that whenever the BBC gives a report (on Newsnight, for example) of the conflict, and has a representative of each side to give their comments, the LAST word is ALWAYS given to the Israeli spokesman, even when the Israeli spokesman is the wretched Mark Regev. What is this Aussie doing in Israel anyway?

It appears Israel´s government wants the region in flames! Why? The old hardcore Zionist dream of the “Transfer” of the Palestinians is still alive! They want to solve their problem with the “Red Indians”, gruntling: but the Americans were also left alone to solve their “problem”. Difficulty for them: growing resistance in the diaspora against the filthy claim to commit their crimes in the name of “all Jews” in this world coursing moral deligitimation and growing awareness of many people. So time is running out for their dream which is the nightmare of the Palestinians. Only an all out war in the region could be used to “sell” the Transfer as necessary for Israel´s “survival”. Thought that Iran war could inflame the whole region, but US growing fear of “overtsretching” makes the US hesitate. So they want to torch the surounding directly. I think it´s not only the elections that let them go mad!
But more and more people understand: link to wipokuli.wordpress.com
Andreas Schlüter
Sociologist
Berlin, Germany

Over the years workers' strikes, colonial struggles, 'Northern Ireland' have all experienced biased reporting by the BBC. (See the excellent studies carried out by the Glasgow Media Project at Strathclyde University. Greg Philo and David Millar of the GMP also published 'Bad News from Israel', a forensic critique of BBC and other media coverage). But at least now we have other sources of information - the Internet, social networking etc. I agree with the comment above that we should write to the BBC to let them know we're unhappy with their news coverage and that they're losing more and more of their audience. Oh yes, and also circulate the Thomas Report - widely.

These seem like three true statements to me.
(1) Hamas is focusing on building bombs instead of bridges. Hamas’ leaders frequently and openly state this: “resistance” above all else.
(2) Danny Ayalon’s statement that “[Hamas] targets the civilian population in Israel.” Indiscriminate rockets seem to fall into that category and are war crimes.
(3) And Ayalon’s statement that Hamas “implants themselves in the midst of the civilian population in Gaza, so in fact they use a population as a human shield for their hideous attacks” also seems true. Pictures on CNN of rockets being fired out of Gaza show them repeatedly being fired from houses and civilian areas.

I fail to understand. These seem like three true statements. The author of this article fails to explain otherwise.

I wonder if you'll get this: that if you drive a people out of their homes so they're forced to live on a stretch of beach called the 'Gaza Strip'; that if you then attempt brutally to ethnically cleanse them again in order to plant settlers among them as Ariel Sharon did in 1970 at the time of the 'Gaza Clearances'; that if you remove the settlers but impose a military siege by controlling the land borders, the adjacent sea and the airspace so that neither people, nor goods can move in or out freely; that you thus destroy their economy while continuing to fire at them from land, sea and air - are you surprised if they become angry and frustrated and try to fight back? Oh, and I wouldn't mention war crimes if I were you. Israel has been committing war crimes in breach of the Geneva Convention, Hague Regulations etc. for years!

I love the Israelis claiming Hamas hides behind human shields. For one thing, its so obviously an prior attempt to create an excuse for war crimes and atrocities they know they are going to commit. On one hand they talk about bombing Gaza back to the Middle Ages, and talk about flattening entire neighborhoods, but they come up with this rehearsed excuse that Hamas hides behind civilians.

Then of course, there's the shear ignorance. There's something like 1.5 million people crowded into a strip some 20 miles long and a few miles wide. There's nothing there but urban areas. Its not like you could fight back from anywhere else. And even that understates the crowding, because Israel doesn't let Gaza have all that space to use. Israel insists on big 'security buffers' where they kill anyone who enters. Israel divides Gaza up with other security zones and roads, so there's really just four enclaves within that small strip along the sea where people can live.

But mostly, it just makes me sick to watch people justifying what is nothing but pure cold-blooded murder.

I refer again to my article containing many links: http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/...
Particularly on the the topic of "human Shields" see these links:
Israel´s army using “Human Shields”, part1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Israel´s army using “Human Shields”, part2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
There are international laws and UN resolutions, for example 242! Israel has to give statehood to the Palestinians! Foundation of this are the borders before 1967, Period!
Andreas Schlüter

Excellent article, thank you.
This is just as bad as the BBC's appalling coverage of Israel's attack of the Freedom Flotilla & murder of 9 peace activists: http://jfjfp.com/?p=14213

YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THE AMERICAN MEDIA,THEY ARE WORST THAN BBC.DO WE EXPECT ANYTHING GOOD FROM THEM?.

Anyone familiar with the BBC's reporting on Palestine, or any conflict that the Western elite has a stake in, should not be surprised by any of the revalations concerning Jimmy Saville. Facilitating systematic violence against children is part of the BBC's core mission.

Roger Petri, are you being deliberately obtuse or do you only have one source of information?
1) check the meaning of the word "resistance". check the lawfulness of resistance. check resistance in world history. check the terror rained on Gaza. check reasons for Isarel having rights that they deny Hamas. check how many people think that the Israeli government practices terrorism.
2) Danny Ayalon? You mean Danny Ayalon who speaks with forked tongue? We can though agree that any rockets targeting civilians are terrible, which makes Israel look pretty ruthless.
3) Oh, Danny Ayalon again. The old tired accusation re. human shields. As far as I know there is no proof and I have only found these allegations on extreme anti-Palestinian websites, from where they circulate the globe as fact. However in the Guardian UK I did read this: "Two Israeli soldiers who used a nine-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield were given suspended sentences and demoted after being convicted of "inappropriate conduct". There are pictures showing similar acts.
On the other hand, the UN's Goldstone Commission Report claimed it could find "no evidence" that Hamas intentionally used civilians as human shields during the Gaza War.

I bet you still don't get it.

You wrote:
"Prosser can stand in Kiryat Malachi condemning Palestinian rocket attacks, as he did on the BBC News channel on 14 November, and not be asked to comment on Israel’s massacre of 1,400 Palestinians in three weeks in 2008-09 or its continuous bombing and shelling of Gaza since then."

Well that would make sense, since he was reporting news as it happened.

Maybe BBC should do an investigative story to see how many Jews died at the hands of Muslim during the occupation by Ottomans for hundreds of years.

If the BBC did an investigation on Jews in the Ottoman Empire they would have to report that the Ottoman Empire was a refuge for Jews fleeing persecution in Christian Europe, hence the exitance of Ladino (spanish) speaking Jewish communities throughout Ottoman lands. I doubt the BBC would want to do such an investigation as this would counter the Islamaphobic myths of Western imperialism and Zionism.
Interestingly, such an investigation would also reveal that Jewish refugees from Christendom could, and did, settle anywhere in the Ottoman Empire but relatively few chose to settle in Palestine, busting another Zionist myth.

I'm on the BBC website right now (11.04PM EST on Nov 20) and I see reports of Gazans killed, including photos. I visit the website every day. What I don't normally see is photos of Israelis killed. Did the photos of the three Israelis killed make it to the world news? How many people saw the photos of dead bodies during the 2001 intifada bombings? It is the Israeli govt policy not to release these photos so of course you will not. The media gives legitimacy to Hamas, gives it interviews, just like at any major news service like AP, AFP, etc or use google news and type 'Hamas' to see official statements. Do not pretend that Hamas' message is not released to the whole world.

1. Eugene, I responded to what you wrote & you respond on a totally different subject. Or to put it another way, you are not debating but trolling.

2. The Western media is saturated with Israeli government & military spokespeople. Not to mention politicians and "experts" from other imperialist countries repeating the Israelis' statements verbatim. I have not heard a single Hamas spokesperson in the media since this latest massacre started. The few Palestinian or pro-Palestine voices that do appear face hostile questioning or are reduced to tiny soundbites, while even the most absurd lies spouted by the Israelis are never questioned. I took your advice and typed "Hamas" into Google news and not a single interview with a member of Hamas appeared. Plenty of pro-Israel articles did, however. Have you ever considered making your lies a little less transparant?

"CNN exclusive: Hamas leader says group not behind bus bomb
updated 12:38 PM EST, Wed November 21, 2012"

"Mashaal says Hamas not behind TA terror attack By JPOST.COM STAFF11/22/2012 06:38"

Int'l community hails Israel-Hamas truce deal
English.news.cn 2012-11-22 12:39:43

"After Israel, Hamas reach Gaza cease-fire, both sides claim victory" Washington Post, Nov. 21.

Now would be a good time to apologize for calling me a liar. Or you could always just stop posting here, as it's clear to everyone on this forum that you can't be trusted. Oh and that trolling comment was just petty.

So you found one solitary interview with a Hamas leader, a CNN exclusive. I don't think any media outlet could be claiming any interview with Mark Regev as an exclusive. Or Netanyahu or any member of the Israeli government, who saturate the media.
Furthermore, compare the aggressive nature of the questioning by the CNN interviewer with the free pass given to Israeli spokespeople.
The Jerualem Post article was the same interview.
The Xinhua article did not have a single word from anyone in Hamas while the Washington Post article had a full 25 words. So when you wrote "The media gives legitimacy to Hamas, gives it interviews … use google news and type 'Hamas' to see official statements," you were stretching the truth a bit, weren't you?

As for your trolling: you raised the subject of Jews in the Ottoman Empire, I responded, you changed topic. So lets return to that subject. In particular the fact that when very large numbers of Jews fled from the Iberian Peninsular to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Palestine at the time, very few of these refugees chose to settle in Palestine, most choosing to settle elsewhere in the Ottoman Empire. Doesn't really fit with the Zionist myth of a Jewish "nation" yearning to return to a Palestinian homeland they were exiled from, does it?

Between the expulsion and the rise of Zionism a lot happened to the Jews to justify that statement.

As if there is not more written about Jewish suffering than.......but you know, there are many Jews who do not wish to be defined in this way in every single debate about Israel. In fact, they don't even see themselves connected to Israel, which is always madly assuming representation for all Jews and the Holocaust as well.
And you and many others should get the story about the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands straight (many reasons, including anti-Zionist sentiments as opposed to antisemitism, Zionist efforts to entice Jews to Israel, including payment and false promises, Zionist fearmongering and local nationalism that affected many groups and nationalities). Then criticize where criticism is deserved.
It is so tedious to have falsified data presented over and over again.

You are right about tedious. The main argument about atrocities in this current conflict involve a power comparison. People argue that Israelis are much more powerful than Gazans, which is true. But you should not take such a narrow view of history. In fact, if you look at which group suppressed the other for longer, you will clearly see that Muslims massacred Jews whenever they wanted to. Even as late as 1920 - look at battle of Tel hai and the 1920 Nabi Musa riots. These were the roots of the conflict to come. Let's not forget who the victims were in those instances. The Israeli mentality today is informed partly by those conflicts.

"....muslims massacred Jews whenever they wanted to." This is a disgraceful thing to say and lies like this help nobody. As regards the 'root of the conflict' - I believe this was the implementation of the Balfour Agreement, brainchild of the British imperialist government.

You should be more precise when you throw in something like " you will clearly see that Muslims massacred Jews whenever they wanted to". No, I don't see that clearly at all and it is a provocative and untrue assertion. I keep repeating, read Gilbert Achcar's extraordinary "The Arabs and the Holocaust", an extremely differentiated depiction of Arab and Jewish coexistence before Zionism and the ensuing breakdown.
The Nabi Musa riots horrified most Arabs. The crowd was incited by inflammatory rhetoric (we see similar inflammatory rhetoric, even worse, in Israel at the moment), the British were in part responsible, and the whole thing was not contained. Those involved were justifiably angry about the outrageous Balfour Declaration, opposed by many British politicians who foretold the outcome, and Zionist colonization (other reasons, see below), even though their response was bloody. It resulted in a hardening of fronts previously unknown .
(a) Arab disappointment at the non-fulfilment of the promises of independence which they claimed had been given to them during the war.
(b) Arab belief that the Balfour Declaration implied a denial of the right of self-determination and their fear that the establishment of a National Home would mean a great increase in Jewish immigration and would lead to their economic and political subjection to the Jews.
(c) The aggravation of these sentiments on the one hand by propaganda from outside Palestine associated with the proclamation of the Emir Feisal as King of a re-united Syria and with the growth of Pan-Arab and Pan-Moslem ideas, and on the other hand by the activities of the Zionist Commission supported by the resources and influence of Jews throughout the world.
As we see, it has never stopped and never will until Israel implodes or realizes that it must live with its neighbours, become part of the Middle East, rather than remain a foreign body, and accept Palestinian rights to land and self-determination.

The Nabi Musa riots horrified most Arabs."
How do you know that?

Secondly, explanation does not provide justification. You can rationalise all you want but in the end innocent blood was spilt by Arabs.

It is well documented that many Arabs were not only horrified by such violence, but in fact protected Jews. It is also documented that statements were released denouncing this kind of violence against Jews. Unfortunately some 'historians' have seen it fit to disseminate the opposite. They have deliberately ignored such evidence or due to their inability to speak or read Arabic have had no access to the material.
You really cannot hold on to these false beliefs. Millions of Jews (see Nurit Peled's interviews about education of children in Israeli schools, or Eyal Sivan's films about the same) have been indoctrinated to believe that they are hated, by the Arabs in particular, but also potentially by anyone. This is an extremely warped world view and harmful to individuals. Racism exists and antisemitism, although it is defined as 'special', is a form of racism, and should be seen as such. To witness people who see themselves solely as the victims spreading Islamophobia and hatred of Palestinians is most distressing. Particularly so, when one has studied the ways in which public opinion was manipulated, using lies and skillful propaganda. to turn people against Jews in Europe in the 30's. It is worth noting that Germans have spent sixty years examining how it was possible to be so manipulated and the subject is still a major one today in schools.
It is staggering that many Israelis and those supporting their 'unique right' are blind to the similarities in their own actions today.

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