Comparing NPR’s report on Israel’s Gaza attack with the BBC’s

Dear NPR News,

I listened to Linda Gradstein’s report on Israel’s attack in Occupied Gaza on Morning Edition today, and I also listened to the report on the same incident on the BBC Arabic Service. The BBC reported that eleven people were killed in the Israeli attack, and another two, a mentally-disabled man and a child, were killed in Israeli attacks on Nablus (as far as I recall, Gradstein did not report on the killings in Nablus).

There was a big difference in the two reports. What we got from Gradstein was clearly something prepared far, far away from the events. Gradstein did not do much reporting. She simply juxtaposed competing statements from the Israeli military spokesman justifying the attack, and Palestinians condemning it and vowing revenge. As usual, she did not commit herself to any facts, rather, she seems to consider all views of the events as equally plausible. I understand that is the best she can do from Occupied Jerusalem, far from the scene, but it is not really reporting.

The BBC, by contrast, provided a report from the scene, not unlike those Gradstein always provides from the scene of suicide bomb attacks directed at Israelis, close to where she lives. There was actuality of people screaming, as they took stock of the savagery that had visited them, loved ones killed, and injured, children terrified, and homes destroyed as one of the world’s most powerful armies once again demonstrated its prowess and bravery on the defenceless residents of a squalid refugee camp in one of the world’s poorest and most densely populated places.

The difference between the reports could not have been greater. Isn’t it time you assigned a competent reporter to be permanently stationed in the Occupied Gaza Strip, as well as the Occupied West Bank where most of the news is actually happening?


Ali Abunimah

PS: What could Gradstein possibly have meant when the asserted that Israel is not occupying Gaza?