We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Monday, 19 November 2012

It's Been A Weekend Of Disproportionate Bias On The BBC

Israel has "failed to get on with its neighbours"?
As detailed here, the BBC radio programme "Any Questions" (chaired, incidentally, by Jonathan Dimbleby, whose overt sympathy with the Palestinian cause surfaced during the 1970s) included a jaw-dropping question by one Stephen Bedford:
"Despite all the foreign aid and support, Israel has spectacularly failed to get on with its neighbours. Does Israel deserve a future?"
Comments the Scottish blogger Calton Hill:
Israel's neighbours have failed to get on with Israel!
"To suggest that any nation does not deserve a future is tantamount to advocating genocide and Calton is wondering if, in fact, the question constitutes a hate crime under our new legislation on such matters. Perhaps someone should phone the police and find out. What is encouraging is that all four of the panel stated quite clearly that Israel has a right to exist and two at least were just as shocked as Calton was at the way in which the question was framed. In these days of heightened tension in the Middle East it is quite reasonable to question whether the actions of Israel or any other nation are legitimate or proportionate, however, questioning a nation's right to continued existence is not reasonable. Nor is it helpful."
From what I have seen of BBC News 24 this weekend, I'm left with the impression of a feeding frenzy of Israel-demonisation, at least as far as today is concerned.  Hamas spokesmen  and pro-Palestinian interviwees seemed to have outnumbered Israeli ones in a ratio of 3:1.  Among those warmly welcomed into the studio was Ahmed Bari Atwan (pictured), the London-based editor who once proclaimed on TV that he'd dance in Trafalgar Square if Iranian missiles hit Israel.  Despite that statement, he continues to be a favourite with the BBC, and, as other Al Beeb newsreaders have done, Maxine Mawhinney greeted him like an old, fond friend.

I had thought that Ben Brown, reporting from Ashkelon, was a model of objectivity, but today his reportage seemed marred by what I suspect to be a mandated editorial line focusing on "disproportion" and "assymetrical warfare".  These were the allegations that Brown put to IDF spokeswoman Lt-Col Avital Leibovich today. and he seemed to agree with them.

A rocket fell in Ashdod this afternoon (photo: Jean Vercors)
Emotive partisan reportage and commentary has marred the tweets of the BBC's Middle East Bureau chief Paul Danahar, and has characterised the tweets and on-air remarks not only of the frequently errant (as far as Charter-stipulated objectivity is concerned) Jon Donnison but also Wyre Davies, of whom I had expected better.

That half of Gaza's residents are children is something that Donnison and Davies have been keenly emphasising this weekend, apparently to drive home to viewers just how ruthless the nation across the border that has the temerity to protect its citizens from Hamas rockets is being.  Yes, I know that there have been harrowing incidents, but unlike the Israelis Hamas fails to provide bomb shelters and uses its civilians, old and young, as human shields.  I do not blame Donnison and Davies for being upset at what they have witnessed, but it should not ostensibly affect their coverage or lead to snide condemnation of or value judgements against Israel.

Davies, for example, reported acidly today that Israel targeted the home of a Hamas official "regardless of who might be inside" resulting in the deaths of all nine occupants.


Ashdod this afternoon (photo: Jean Vercors)
BBC reporters and newsreaders are allowing Hamas spokesmen and their supporters to assert the mischievous, nay, malevolent, canard that Gaza is “under occupation”.   Newsreader Clive Myrie failed to challenge this assertion last night, for instance, and Ben Brown has failed to do so today.  Have they forgotten Israel's total withdrawal in 2005?

"This is one of the poorest regions on the face of the planet," emphatically declared an uncharacteristically partisan and propagandistic Myrie in talking to Osama Damo, a Save the Children official in Gaza.

Myrie then interviewed Gil Hoffman of the Jerusalem Post, who began to give the Israeli viewpoint, stressing that Israel is targeting terrorists who are indiscriminately attacking the Israeli population.  But Myrie had little patience with such realities.  He was more concerned with reminding Hoffman of the fate of that Hamas household of nine that was killed today by an Israeli airstrike.

Hoffman effectively found himself on the receiving end of a hectoring lecture, managing to get in the fact that 24 truckloads of aid has entered Gaza from Israel (and adding, justifiably, that this is a rare gesture from one combatant to another) before an impatient Myrie was off again, telling him aggressively that Israel's response: "doesn't look fair" (there again was that "disproportionate" response and "assymetrical warfare" argument that the BBC have been pushing today.) 

Ashdod residents, shaken but unbowed (photo: Jean Vercors)
Some effort was made, as indeed it should have been, to show the effect of rocket attacks on the people of Israel.

However, compared to previous days, this appeared cursory.

 More might, as well,  have been made of the fact that Hamas is sending missiles into areas where there are numbers of Arabs as well as Jews, thus again displaying their callousness towards their own people.

And so we await the half-truths and distortions that the BBC on the new week will bring ...

(Interesting post here)

14 comments:

  1. And what of this week?
    I've just switched BBC Breakfast (TV BBC News 24 on) to find an Arab professor and a pro-Palestinian from Save the Children talking to the studio anchors, who keep saying "Yes, yes" to the points being made.

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  2. Jon Donnison out of control as usual - formal complaints required:
    http://bbcwatch.org/2012/11/19/bbcs-jon-donnison-tweets-malicious-fauxtography/comment-page-1/#comment-1315

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  3. Wonder if the Brits would be as sympathetic to the jihad against Israel if Islamic missiles were flying into London like German bombers during the early nineteen forties. They could conceivably be one day.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, Steve - thanks for your comment.

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  4. This is brilliant
    Finally, the BBC's pro-Palestinian propaganda machine has swung into action
    "Instead I am wondering why it took the BBC so long to get into its full propaganda mode in its reporting of the war between Israel and Hamas. I don’t say there was ever anything distantly approaching even-handedness. You never get that with an ideological pressure group as committed to its own unassailable self-righteousness as the BBC. But at least for the first few days of the war there was the pretence of objectivity."
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/petermullen/100190323/finally-the-bbcs-pro-palestinian-propaganda-machine-has-swung-into-action/

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  5. I haven't watched Q and A yet but did they really not ask any Israel questions! I guess the comrades at the ABC didn't want to risk having Turbull and Rudd defend Israel, their audience might fall out of love with the Left's favorite alternative leaders.

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  6. A nice round up of media fails
    http://honestreporting.com/top-5-media-fails-the-media-war-hall-of-shame/

    This is the worst tho
    Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War have posted a picture of a wounded "Gazan" child to tug at the heart strings.
    Heart rending isn't it? They missed one small detail, it's a wounded Israeli child, injured in the Hamas rocket attacks on Kiryat Malachi!
    http://blazingcatfur.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/must-seetodays-despicable-idiots.html

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  7. Meanwhile, the BBC trots out a po-faced leftist Jew to argue that there's not enough international pressure on Israel.

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  8. I think so-called 'pro-Israeli' presenter on LBC - Nick Ferrari - performed a valuable service this morning when he unwittingly revealed what underlies the UK media's relentless hatred of Israel in his interview with Daniel Taub the Israeli ambassador. "Only 3 Israelis have died, Mr Ambassador so why are you killing so many Palestinians....and why did you kill the Hamas military leader last week ..."

    It all boils down to there not being enough dead Jews it seems ...

    http://edgar1981.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/not-enough-dead-jews.html

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    Replies
    1. There does seem to be a lot of scorecard-keeping, Edgar ...

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    2. Brian at Israellycool has a good answer for that

      Brian Says: How To Answer The Disproportionate Nonsense
      "Would you like me to kill my children this morning? Would that even things up for you?"
      http://www.israellycool.com/2012/11/20/brian-says-how-to-answer-the-disproportionate-nonsense/

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    3. I hope that the Israeli ambassador answered: "well Nick, that's because Israel bothers to build shelters for its civilians, while Hamas builds shelters for its terrorists under the civilian homes".

      As an Israeli, this media bias, especially in the UK media is infuriating. I'm at a loss as to the reason for it - I mean, anyone with a sound mind who uses logic (i.e. the kind of logic that also says 1+1=2) sees who is right and who is wrong.. I guess it is true what they say: "there is no patch for human stupidity"

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    4. Meanwhile, people who should know better are describing Gaza as militarily occupied by Israel. Demonising and crazy.

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