Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Israel boycott restrictions thrown out by UK’s High Court

Asa Winstanley Activism and BDS Beat 22 June 2017

The High Court in London ruled on Thursday that the Conservative government acted unlawfully in trying to prevent local councils in the United Kingdom from divesting from firms involved in Israel’s military occupation.

The successful legal challenge for the right to boycott was brought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in March, and was supported by War on Want, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade and the Quakers.

”We couldn’t be happier that this right has been upheld by the court,” said PSC Director Ben Jamal.

Recent UK polling showed that two in five people consider BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – a reasonable Palestinian response to Israel’s crimes.

“Today is a victory for Palestine, for local democracy and for the rule of law,” PSC Chair Hugh Lanning, said. “Absolutely everyone has a right to peacefully protest Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights.”

In a judicial review published on Thursday, judge Ross Cranston overturned part of a guidance document issued in September by local government minister Sajid Javid.

The court ruled that the government had acted improperly by seeking to use pension law to pursue its own foreign and arms industry policy.

Freedom to protest

Jamie Potter, one of PSC’s lawyers, said, “this outcome is a reminder to the government that it cannot improperly interfere in the exercise of freedom of conscience and protest in order to pursue its own agenda.”

The full ruling can be read below.

The minister’s guidance had stated that local authorities must not use “pension policies to pursue boycotts, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defense industries … other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the government.”

Although the document did not specifically name Israel, it was part of a series of measures, launched at a press conference in Jerusalem, explicitly intended to target BDS campaigners.

Although the government trailed it to the media as a “BDS ban”, legal analysis of the new documents showed there was nothing new in them “aside from some overblown rhetoric clearly intended to scare campaigners.”

BDS gets the goods

Local government bodies in the UK have for years been urged by Palestine solidarity campaigners to divest from companies that are involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

French multinational Veolia withdrew from most Israeli businesses in 2015 after being the focus of a years-long BDS campaign.

Municipalities around the world had dropped it from contracts worth more than $14 billion, according to the BDS National Committee.

Veolia lost contracts with public bodies in London, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Canterbury, East Sussex and Winchester as a result of BDS campaigns.

Councils in Tower Hamlets, Leicester, Swansea and Bristol are among those that have passed resolutions in support of BDS or condemning companies involved in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law.

 

How the BBC devalues Palestinian lives and acts as mouthpiece for Israeli propaganda

Mind you that this article was published before this new preemptive war on Gaza and the burning live of Palestinian youth.

Amena Saleem Posted in News this June 29, 2014

Why is the BBC seemingly determined to shield Israel from bad publicity by withholding important news stories from its audiences,?While pushing anti-Palestinian stories provided by the Israeli army?

Palestinian funeral

Funeral of 14-year-old Palestinian boy Yousef Al-Shawamreh, shot by Israeli soldiers, 19 March 2014

Over the last 5 weeks, the trend in BBC reporting to ignore events that show Israel in a negative light, while affording coverage to tenuous claims from the Israeli army that it has uncovered Palestinian “terror” plots, has become quite glaring.

On 19 March, a 14-year-old Palestinian child, Yussef Shawamreh, was shot in the back and hip by Israeli soldiers as he foraged for edible wild thistles on his family’s land in the occupied West Bank.

The child bled to death.

His two friends, aged 12 and 17, were seized by soldiers dressed in black fatigues and wearing black face masks, and taken to a nearby illegal settlement, in handcuffs and blindfolds. There, they were beaten for failing to answer questions in Hebrew, a language neither understands.

By any standards, the cold-blooded killing of a 14-year-old by soldiers, and the subsequent abuse of his young friends, is appalling. The media outcry if the boy had been Israeli and his killers Palestinian can only be guessed at.

As it is, with the dead child being Palestinian, the BBC ignored the story.

The previous week, the BBC also failed to report on the killing on 10 March of university student Saji Darwish, also in the West Bank. Saji, a university student, was shot in the head by Israeli forces as he tended his goats.

Prevailing news agenda

When challenged by Palestine Solidarity Campaign on its failure to report on the killings of young Palestinians by the Israeli army – two in 9 days – BBC Online’s Middle East desk wrote back saying: “There is no mandate to report every killing.”

And so killings of Palestinians went by with the BBC’s journalists feeling under no obligation, or mandate, to report any of them.

Pressed further, the Middle East desk wrote back again to say: “The fact that we did not report the death of Yusef Abu Aker Shawamreh [sic] should not be construed as evidence of bias. There can be occasions where an incident does not get mentioned, possibly as a result of the prevailing news agenda.”

So what was the prevailing news agenda around the time of these youths’ deaths? According to BBC Online, it would appear to be an overwhelming concern with Israel’s security, and the threat the state claims it faces from Palestinians.

On 5 March, BBC Online ran with the story “Israel ‘halts weapons shipment from Iran.’” The article begins: “Israel says it has seized a ship carrying advanced Iranian weapons made in Syria that was heading towards Gaza.” The alleged weapons were surface-to-surface missiles.

The story continues: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the shipment was a ‘clandestine operation’ by Iran, and added that the weapons would have been used against Israel.”

Credulous BBC news team

The BBC’s source for the story is, in its own words, “the Israel Defense Forces.” There is a link from the BBC’s page to the story on the Israeli army’s website.

The story is based entirely on the claims of the Israeli prime minister and Israeli army officials, and doesn’t even begin to question how surface-to-surface missiles could possibly be smuggled into besieged Gaza.

Nor is the timing of the Israelis’ find questioned by the credulous BBC news team. The announcement came just days before EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s relationship-building visit to Iran (which denied any involvement in the shipment).

Instead, the Middle East desk chose to run a corresponding feature headlined “Israel’s clandestine battle with weapons smugglers.”

An incredibly lengthy report, written by the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus, it claims to reveal how the “major shipment of weaponry heading to the Gaza Strip from Iran throws a spotlight on alleged ongoing attempts to arm militants there, and Israel’s aim to thwart them.”

The feature continues in predictable BBC form, with subheadings such as: “So how does this compare to previous Gaza arms interceptions?”

All Israeli allegations of where the arms were headed and what they were to be used for are taken as fact.

There is no critical analysis at all of Israel’s sudden announcement.

“Israel has lied”

However, while the BBC remained oblivious to the absurdities of claims that a missile-loaded ship might be headed to Gaza, under land, sea and air blockade, and to the possibility that it was acting as a pliable conduit for Israeli propaganda, more sceptical news organizations challenged Israel’s allegations.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz ran a story headlined: “Netanyahu’s display of seized ship: meaningless Hollywood-style propaganda.”

Columnist Amir Oren writes: “From David Ben-Gurion’s time to the present, Israel has lied when it believed it had to.”

In its report “Doubts surface on Gaza destination of rockets seized by Israel,” the respected news agency Reuters quotes an unnamed US official as saying: “You look at those things and it’s obvious they couldn’t have been slipped into Gaza.”

Even the right-wing Times of Israel chose to cover the story from all angles, and not just from Israel’s perspective, as the BBC had done. Its report is headlined: “Iran arms ship may have been bound for Sinai, not Gaza.”

Correspondent Marissa Newman refers to investigations by US and Middle East intelligence analysts which concludes that: “Israel may have obfuscated [the ship’s] real destination in order to spare Egypt the humiliation of conceding the security unrest in the peninsula.”

Fact or speculation?

Compare these reports, responsibly analyzing the possibility that this story was no more than Israeli propaganda, with the BBC’s decision to use Israel’s claims as an opportunity to manufacture a feature on how an embattled Israel is fighting a “clandestine battle” with weapons smugglers.

Even when US doubts about the story began to emerge, the BBC refused to report on them, sticking with the Israeli side of the story which paints Palestinians in Gaza as violent militants.

Questioned on why the BBC is so willing to believe and report on all Israel has to say, the online Middle East desk replied: “The veracity of all stories can be called into question if there is not independent verification, but this depends on the reliability of the source and the credibility of the available information.”

And who is the source for this story? Back to the Middle East desk: “The article makes it clear that the announcement has come from Israel, i.e. that is the source.”

In other words, the BBC’s news teams are willing to throw journalistic values to the wind and accept Israel – a country which remains implicitly dishonest about its nuclear arsenal – as a credible and reliable source, in a way it probably wouldn’t do with any other country.

The Middle East desk certainly places what Israel has to say above what US and Middle East analysts have to say. Asked to follow up its original story by reporting on their doubts about the arms shipment, the Middle East desk replied that “to comment further would be purely speculative.”

So, according to the BBC, what US officials have to say is speculation, but what comes out of the mouths of Israeli officials is fact.

Promoting Israel’s viewpoint

On 21 March, BBC Online ran another story that could be viewed as propaganda for Israel under the headline: “Israel uncovers longest Gaza tunnel.’” The BBC’s source once again is the Israeli army, and a link is provided to the story on the army’s website as verification for its authenticity.

The BBC reports: “A spokesman said it was the longest tunnel found to date and was meant for use in attacks on Israeli civilians.” The story came five months after a similar BBC story headlined “Gaza ‘terror tunnel’ uncovered inside Israel.”

In the intervening five months, BBC Online carried no stories on how tunnels between Gaza and Egypt have served as a lifeline to the Palestinians, held under an illegal blockade for seven years. When the BBC reports on tunnels under Gaza, they are solely “terror tunnels.”

And so, in March, the BBC ignored the killings of Palestinian youths in the West Bank, choosing instead to run dubious stories on arms shipments to Gaza and “terror tunnels,” both of which propagate Israel’s hasbara viewpoint of Palestinians as terrorists hellbent on its destruction. The truthful image of Palestinians that Israel does not want promoted – that of victims of unprovoked Israeli aggression – is kept from BBC audiences.

This week, BBC Online airbrushed another historical moment from its news pages. This time it was the comments of US Secretary of State John Kerry, blaming Israel for the breakdown of talks with the Palestinian Authority, which the BBC decided to withhold from its licence fee-paying audience.

Incredibly, the BBC begins its article in a way that placed the blame on the Palestinians for the collapse of the talks, a claim made by Israel. Once again, the BBC reported from the viewpoint of Israel. The US perspective that Israel precipitated the breakdown was not reported.

So why is BBC Online’s Middle East desk seemingly so determined to shield Israel from bad publicity by withholding important news stories from its audiences, while, on the other hand, pushing anti-Palestinian stories provided by the Israeli army?

Could it be anything to do with the desk’s editor, Raffi Berg, who took up his post in August 2013, and was exposed by The Electronic Intifada for having sent emails to BBC journalists asking them to promote the Israeli perspective in their reporting?

It is, of course, impossible to say. But what can be said, by just looking at its reporting of Israel and the Palestinians over the last five weeks, is that it is becoming almost impossible to hide the pro-Israeli bias of BBC Online’s Middle East desk. For that, the BBC should surely take collective responsibility.

Source: Electronic Intifada

 

G4S ‘to end’ Israel prison contracts as pressure mounts over torture complicity

British-Danish multinational security and prison profiteering firm G4S is to pull out of Israeli prisons completely, the Financial Times reports this morning.

Campaigners have given a cautious welcome to the news, but emphasize that pressure on the company must continue until the complicit abuses end. They note that G4S has made misleading statements in the past.

According to the Financial Times:

G4S has confirmed that it will end all its Israeli prison contracts within the next 3 years after an annual general meeting that was severely disrupted by human rights protesters.

Asked by angry protesters whether G4S would withdraw from the Palestinian territories as reported by the Financial Times last year, Ashley Almanza, chief executive, confirmed “no change to that position.”

“We expect them to expire and we don’t expect to renew them,” he said. These include contracts to provide security and screening equipment at military checkpoints, the controversial Ofer prison and a police station in the West Bank, all of which are expected to expire next year.

But Mr Almanza said for the first time that the move would also include prison service contracts all over Israel.

Caution

“G4S is certainly feeling the pressure and reputational damage caused by the international campaign against its complicity in Israel’s military occupation,” said Randa Wahbe, advocacy officer with the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, in a statement emailed to The Electronic Intifada.

“The latest reports that G4S will not renew its contract with the Israeli Prison Service is a welcome step, but this has no immediate effect on those facing human rights violations inside Israel’s prisons today.”

“G4S has a long track record of saying one thing but doing another and has not made any formal written statements about when it intends to end its contracts with the Israeli prison service and other aspects of Israel’s apartheid regime.”

“The campaign against G4S will continue until it actually ends all contracts that support Israel’s military occupation.”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign adds that G4S “will continue to be targeted until it ends its complicity with Israeli crimes.”

“Blood on its hands”

Despite the apparent decision to pull out, the company maintains that it has no role in Israel’s abuses.

“We do not operate prisons, we supply prisons with security equipment,” Almanza told the Financial Times, claiming that the equipment made the Israeli prisons “safer” and did not increase human rights abuses.

 

But as this video from Addameer explains, G4S has “blood on its hands” by providing surveillance systems and other services at facilities like Megiddo prison, where Arafat Jaradat , father of three, was tortured to death last year, and where Palestinian teen Ali Shamalawi, one of the “Hares Boys,” is being held.

Increasing pressure

On 5 June, dozens of campaigners disrupted the G4S annual shareholder meeting in London and 25 were forcibly ejected, as many more demonstrated outside.

The video at the top of this post, taken during the meeting, features activists loudly shouting “G4S shame on you!” and reading out the company’s abuses, including its role in the abuse and detention of asylum seekers and migrants in the UK and for Australia (Three G4S guards have been charged with manslaughter following the 2010 death of Jimmy Mubenga as he was being restrained by the men during a forcible deportation from the UK.)

Another video posted by the activist coalition Stop G4S on its Facebook page shows more of the action outside the shareholders meeting.

The news also comes after a number of well known artists, activists and politicians publicly called on G4S to end its complicity in Israel’s abuse of child prisoners.

They include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African politician and former political prisoner Ahmed Kathrada, Alice Walker, Roger Waters, Angela Davis, Breyten Breytenbach, Saleh Bakri and a number of UK members of parliament.

In addition to protests, G4S is also finding itself under official pressure. Earlier this week, as the Financial Times reports, “the UK government’s National Contact Point watchdog launched an investigation into G4S’s activities in Israel and the West Bank. The National Contact Point, which is part of the Department for Business, said it had ‘accepted issues for further examination.’”

This follows a formal complaint by Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, which welcomed the trade body’s step as “ground-breaking and significant.”

Last week it was revealed that the Bill Gates Foundation dumped a significant holding of shares in G4S after coming under criticism for investing in the company.

The latest developments show clearly that even a company as vast as G4S – it has more than 600,000 employees worldwide – cannot continue to profit from the suffering and abuse of human beings without feeling the pressure from dedicated campaigners.

Note 1: UN Secretary General demanded that Israel free all the Palestinians under administrative status. Over 200 have been on hunger strike for 2 months, and 40 of them are suffering from bleeding in the stomach for prolonged hunger strike period.

Note 2: Over 60% of Palestinian youth have been placed in administrative detention, just to keep them off the street, as black youth in the US at certain periods.

Palestinian perspectives censored on BBC: Why Israeli lies keep broadcasted unchecked…?

Film director Ken Loach of Land and Freedom (about the revolutionaries who fought in the Spanish Civil War that often reflect his keen sense of justice). recently learned that Palestine and Palestinians, and Israel occupation of Palestinian lands, remain taboo for the BBC.Mind you that the BBC is still a publicly funded institution, and any censorship might send the message that the British people agree with its policy lines…

On 23 July, Loach was at the Royal Albert Hall in London to listen to a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, performed by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. The orchestra consists of Israeli, Palestinian and other Arab musicians, and is conducted by Daniel Barenboim, who formed the orchestra in 1999 with the late Palestinian academic and activist Edward Said.

Loach was asked during the intermission for an interview by BBC Proms, which was recording the concert for later broadcast.  Lock considered it reasonable to air his thoughts on the nature of the orchestra as well as the music.

Loach said that he spoke to the BBC journalist for five minutes, during which time he said: “Seeing Israelis and Arabs, including Palestinians, sitting side by side on the stage makes us confront the issue of the continuing oppression of the Palestinian people, and I shall be thinking of them when I hear the music tonight.”

The BBC had in the last six months alternately denied the existence of Palestine and then the fact of Israel’s occupation, the mere mention of the fact of the Palestinian people’s oppression was too controversial to broadcast.

Amena Saleem posted on The Electronic Intifada on August 14, 2012:

BBC admits to censorship

Loach received a phone call from the program producers informing him that his interview would be cut “due to the music over-running.” Lock sent an email to the BBC stating:

“Thank you for letting me know about the broadcast and the need to shorten the interview. Of course I understand about length. But I would ask you to include my brief remarks about the orchestra and the Palestinians. As an opponent of oppression and tyranny I think Ludwig [van Beethoven] would have approved. It was one of the reasons I agreed to take part. I’m happy if you need to reduce my thoughts on the music itself.”

His email was ignored and the interview was broadcast three days later on BBC Proms with his observation about the oppression of the Palestinian people removed. The rest of the interview remained intact.

Loach said: “I called the producer, Oliver MacFarlane, who admitted they had deliberately cut the line about Palestine. He said if they’d included it they would have had to have a balancing interview. I wasn’t pleased and I responded robustly.”

When asked to respond to this, a BBC spokesperson stated: “As part of the BBC’s comprehensive music television coverage of The Proms, esteemed filmmaker Ken Loach was invited to comment on his personal passion for Beethoven, given the time slot available and the fact that this was a music television programme, the most editorially relevant sections of Mr. Loach’s interview were used in the final edit.”

Israeli oppression of Palestinians not suitable for broadcast by BBC. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler)

One of the most obvious examples of bias by the BBC is the taxpayer-funded broadcaster’s habit of inviting Israeli politicians or the Israeli government spokesperson, Mark Regev, onto its programs to speak without challenge.

Palestinians and those who would convey a Palestinian perspective are not given the same opportunity.

Why Israeli spokespersons go unchallenged, and the BBC refuses Palestinian opinions to balance the Israeli interviews?

But if it was the case that the BBC did feel the need to “balance” Loach’s simple words about the ongoing oppression of the Palestinians, it has absolutely no qualms about airing, totally unopposed, the wild, often lurid, mostly fact-free statements made by Israeli ministers and spokespeople.

Take, for example, James Naughtie’s interview with Danny Ayalon on Radio 4’s Today program on 16 January 2012.

The interview was conducted the day after the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, called on Israel to end its occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories and to end its violence against civilians.

This strong UN criticism of Israel was completely ignored by Naughtie, who focused on Iran with the unquestioned premise of the interview being that Iran is, without a doubt, developing nuclear weapons and consequently poses a grave threat to Israel.

Ayalon had been on air for less than a second when he said: “What we see here is a drive, a relentless push by Iran to illegally acquire and develop nuclear weapons and for them it’s not just a means, it’s a way to reach hegemony to continue with their very dangerous and radical approach.”

He went on to say: “Today Iran is the international hub of terror in the world.”

This was clearly Israeli propaganda. ; Ayalon used the BBC to loudly bang the drums of war against Iran. Yet Naughtie neither challenged his unfounded opinions, which were presented as facts, nor brought in someone to present an alternative viewpoint.

Ayalon’s wild accusations, so much more controversial than Loach’s mild remarks, were certainly not cut for lack of a “balancing interview.”

Nor was Ayalon questioned about Israel’s widely suspected nuclear arsenal or about Israel’s staunch refusal to allow international weapons inspections.

BBC’s double standards

Arthur Neslen was a BBC journalist for four years, but this didn’t stop him falling foul of the BBC’s double standards on this issue.

In March this year, he wrote an article for the Guardian newspaper describing how he returned to Gaza to meet the man who had tried to kill him(Khalid)  more than two years earlier (“Why I met the man who tried to kill me,” 2 March 2012).

During Israel’s massacre in Gaza in 2008-2009, Khalid had gone to the front line to ask the Israelis to stop killing civilians. He was captured at gunpoint by Israeli soldiers, handcuffed and blindfolded, taken to the doorway of a house the Israeli army had commandeered, and repeatedly beaten by soldiers on their way in or out.

Khaled was then used as a human shield by Israeli snipers, who placed him in front of an open window and shot from behind him. Khalid was later taken to a detention center in Israel and put through the court system, regularly beaten, before being released back into Gaza two months later.

This article for the Guardian led to a phone call requesting an interview from the producers of Outlook, a BBC World Service program which is broadcast Monday through Thursday.

Neslen agreed, but even before he visited BBC studios, the problems began.

Neslen said: “The BBC kept delaying the interview. Then they called two months later and said they were ready, so I went to do the interview which lasted 45 minutes.”

In his interview, Neslen described how a stranger called “Khalid” (not his real name) had attacked him randomly in a Gaza street in May 2009, pulling a knife on him as he came out of the offices of the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA).

In 2011, Neslen had returned to Gaza to meet the man who had tried to kill him and, in his BBC Outlook interview, he told Khalid’s story.

Before telling his story in the Guardian, Neslen spent a month trying to get an explanation from several Israeli authorities, finally obtaining a statement from the Israeli Ministry of Justice which confirmed the dates of Khalid’s arrest, court appearances and release.

BBC drops story

All this evidence proved insufficient for the BBC.

“The BBC called me after I’d left the interview, asking me to come back straight away. They wanted to know what the Israeli response was to Khalid’s story and I told them about the statement. I was told the interview would go out the following week.”

However, ten minutes before the interview was due to be aired, he received a series of “desperate” emails and calls from a BBC journalist asking to see all his correspondence with the Israeli authorities on the matter, which he emailed over immediately.

“They told me I hadn’t provided them with proof that I had put the allegation to the Israeli army that they had used Khalid as a human shield,” said Neslen. “Then they dropped the story.”

“Why didn’t they put the allegations to the IDF [Israeli army] themselves?” he asked. “I was a BBC journalist for four years and they didn’t believe my story. But if Mark Regev goes on BBC News to say a hunger striker is a member of Hamas or Islamic Jihad, the BBC never tries to go to the family to get confirmation. It only seems to go in one direction.”

The UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign wrote to the BBC in May to ask why Regev had been allowed to make unchallenged and false comments on BBC1’s News at 10 and Radio 4’s six-o-clock news bulletin on 11 May.

Regev claimed the Palestinian hunger strikers, who numbered more than 1,000, were motivated by an “Islamist cause” and wanted to “commit suicide.”

Last week, the group received this response from the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit:

“You have said that the report lacked the necessary due impartiality because it contained an interview with the Israeli government spokesman, Mark Regev, but did not include a similar interview with someone putting forward the view of the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines on Impartiality make it clear that due impartiality does not necessarily require all views and opinions to be covered in equal proportions on all occasions.”

As Neslen says, it only seems to go one way with the BBC. Take this line from the Editorial Guidelines on Impartiality, which the BBC appeared to disregard when interviewing Loach:

“… it is not usually required for an appearance by a politician, or other contributor with partial views, to be balanced on each occasion by those taking a contrary view.”

The BBC seems to interpret this as meaning that someone who openly lies about the political motivations of Palestinian hunger strikers can be heard unchallenged on its airwaves, while someone who dares to mention the oppression of the Palestinians must be silenced.

Bowing to Israeli pressure

Neslen has his own ideas, based on his time at the BBC, for the double standards.

“They’re running scared of the Israeli authorities,” he said. He gives an example, detailed in his book, In Your Eyes a Sandstorm: Ways of Being Palestinian, of the Israeli embassy calling the BBC radio newsroom where he then worked.

The Israel government asked a news editor not to run the Palestinian side of a particular news story, implying that doing so could involve an accusation of “terror collusion.” The Palestinian statement, sent by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to the BBC, was dropped.

On another occasion, at the beginning of “Operation Defensive Shield,” Israel’s massive re-invasion of the West Bank during the second intifada, the Israeli government threatened to close down the BBC’s offices in West Jerusalem if it did not pull its correspondent Barbara Plett out of the West Bank. The next day she was withdrawn.

Nelson said: “These sorts of things happen every day, and some news editors will stand up for core journalistic values. But in general, Palestinian calls of complaints about news bulletins tended to be laughed off. I remember one acting editor on a BBC Radio 5 live bulletin slamming down the phone on a Palestinian caller and saying ‘If I get one more call from a moaning Arab…’”

He added: “If the Israeli embassy phones in, there’s a vast disparity of power [compared] to if a Palestinian activist calls in. They take Israeli calls very seriously, and critical stories about Israel get shot down through official pressure and the fear of official pressure. These are very powerful lobbyists — people know their careers can be broken.”

The result of all this is obvious bias shown against the Palestinians in the BBC’s broadcasts, whether it is by the complete omission of their story, the editing of comments which dare to mention their oppression, or the constant, relentless foisting of the Israeli narrative onto the audience.

Is this really journalism? Those who pay their licence fee so that the BBC can broadcast all across the world — and those whose lives are affected by those broadcasts — deserve much better.

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. Follow the PSC on Twitter: @PSCupdates.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

November 2020
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Blog Stats

  • 1,439,964 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 782 other followers

%d bloggers like this: