BBC biased reporting of Israel’s assault on Gaza

Press TV — August 3, 2014

BBC NewsIf BBC coverage of Israel’s systematic destruction of lives wasn’t sufficient to make people hot under the collar, the corporation’s justification of its role should do so.

“Our role is to explain what is happening and why and we endeavour to reflect a range of voices amid deeply held views,” says an anonymous spokesperson.

If that’s what it’s supposed to do, the BBC is failing its own criteria.

At no time do its correspondents explain that the Palestinians are a people under military occupation and that Israel is pursuing a relentless colonisation of the West Bank, which, under the 1993 Oslo accords, is supposed to be the site of an independent Palestinian state.

Israeli occupation forces should have evacuated the land they conquered in 1967 so a Palestinian Authority could be established and a permanent settlement finalised.

One reason alone stymied that agreement — Tel Aviv’s refusal to end its occupation of the West Bank, preferring instead to construct Jews-only settlements and infrastructure.

Israeli leaders, united in support of a maximalist Zionist programme, have dredged up one pretext after another to justify their ethnic cleansing programme.

But the unspoken — except in unguarded moments — reason is that they are determined to hold on to the entire territory from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel acknowledged two months ago that there are now about 400,000 Israeli settlers on the West Bank.

“I think that in five years there will be 550,000 or 600,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria,” he added.

Whatever marginal differences there may be in Netanyahu’s government about various issues, West Bank colonisation is not one of them.

Palestinians, whether from Christian or Muslim backgrounds, secular or Islamist, understand that the Zionist juggernaut rolling over them and their land is facilitated by US and European Union subscription to the myth that Israel wants a peaceful solution encompassing a two-state solution.

Even the dogs in the street can see the falsity of this claim, but our political leaders persist with it to avoid having to act in accordance with their supposed opposition to the colonisation process.

They pretend that there is a military threat to Israel’s existence, that Palestinian resistance to occupation is terrorism and that “if we could just get some peace,” all would be well.

Their efforts to appear even-handed by equating oppressors and oppressed and urging “both sides” to show restraint are cynical attempts to obscure British backing for the regional bullyboy.

The BBC makes much of its reputation built over the years of penetrating the blanket of censorship to encourage people fighting for their freedom.

Clearly the Palestinians are children of a lesser god since their desire for an independent state and an end to Israeli military occupation is soaked in blood by state-of-the-art tanks, bombs and rockets and drowned in BBC crocodile tears.

How could any TV reporter with integrity refer to hundreds of slaughtered civilians being “caught in the crossfire” during a one-sided onslaught on schools, mosques, hospitals and homes?

The BBC professes its commitment to reporting “sometimes fast-moving events in an accurate, fair and balanced way.” Well, it’s falling down on the job.

The BBC Bristol occupation has shown the way. The national broadcaster belongs to us all, not just those who are indifferent to Palestinian humanity.

Film-maker Ken Loach tears into the BBC for its biased coverage of Israel’s assault on Gaza

Film-maker Ken Loach tore into the BBC for its biased coverage of Israel’s assault on Gaza as he joined an ongoing occupation outside the broadcaster’s headquarters in Bristol.

Speaking to the Morning Star from the front lawn of the BBC Bristol offices, Mr Loach said: “The protesters are doing a terrific job even as the BBC is threatening to get them evicted from the site.

“We should note that many at the BBC, including senior staff, are embarrassed by the broadcaster’s coverage that has an obvious pro-Israel bias.

“They don’t put the views of Palestinians to the Israelis during interviews, while the use of language about Gazans is pejorative and the war crimes being committed against them ignored.

“They’re not ‘militants’ or ‘terrorists,’ they’re ‘resistance fighters.’ On the one side innocent people are being massacred, while the other are setting off a few fireworks.

“It’s the BBC, we own it, so it should be answerable.”

He believes BBC editors will have no choice but to respond to the pressure but believes any change to their broadcasting habits will be a “tactical” one.
Palestine campaigners have occupied the front lawn of the BBC building in Bristol for the last week.

They are set to join thousands in a march through the city today against the “Israeli genocide” in Gaza. It is set to be the biggest protest in Bristol for a decade, with demonstrators departing Bristol’s Shah Jahal Mosque at noon for a rally on College Green.

And next week they are set to present a “damning dossier” to BBC Bristol TV editor Neil Bennett containing evidence of the broadcaster’s biased reporting and demand time to argue their case.

The activists are also arranging a public burning of TV licences and the occupation’s court summons, as well as making plans to resist the eviction and to shame the BBC.

Along with Mr Loach’s attendance to the picket, other high-profile artists and campaigners offered messages of support.

Among them was comedian Mark Thomas, who said: “The BBC reporting of the Israeli military assault on Gaza has failed time and time again to contextualise the violence, refusing to explain the occupation of Palestine and the siege of Gaza.

“Ironically the occupation of the BBC in Bristol seems likely to be the only time an occupation is commented on.”

MOS/AB

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