Visit ArabTopics.com

BBC forced to admit it misled over Palestine

Israeli soldiers escort blindfolded Palestinian women to the Kissufim Israeli army base,after they were detained  during a military operation in the Gaza Strip.(AP Photo/Yehuda Lahiani)

 

 

by Amena Saleem                                   The Electronic Intifada

 
For the second time in just over six months, the BBC has been forced to admit that its flagship news and current affairs program — Today — has misled its audiences over the situation in Israel and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In a broadcast in October, veteran presenter John Humphrys and Middle East correspondent Kevin Connolly implied in a two-way conversation that all of those killed in that month’s violence were Israeli.

In fact, at the date of broadcast, on 19 October, more than 40 of those killed were Palestinian and fewer than 10 Israeli.

Breach of BBC’s own guidelines

This week, in response to complaints from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and numerous individuals, the BBC’s editorial complaints unit ruled that the broadcast had breached the corporation’s editorial guidelines on accuracy and misled listeners.

The Today program had initially tried to defend the four-minute exchange between Humphrys and Connolly, with assistant editor at the time, George Mann, writing to complainants: “I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Kevin Connolly’s discussion with John Humphrys on Monday morning. Having listened back to it, I think I have to disagree with the interpretation you have put on the exchange.”

Complainants then escalated their objections to the executive level of the BBC’s complaints system, pointing out that Humphrys and Connolly did not mention Palestinian fatalities, focusing solely on Israelis and Israeli concerns about security.

Humphrys began his discussion with Connolly by saying:

“Yet another attack on Israelis last night. This time an Arab man with a gun and a knife killed a soldier and wounded 10 people. Our Middle East correspondent is Kevin Connolly. The number is mounting, isn’t it Kevin. The number is about 50 now, isn’t it?”

Connolly responded: “We think around 50 dead over the course of the last month or so, John. This sudden sharp uptick of violence — not just that attack at the bus station in Beersheva, inside Israel itself, but also, on Saturday, a wave of stabbing attacks in Hebron and in Jerusalem.”

It was only with the last sentence of the conversation that Connolly made a throwaway reference to Palestinian deaths. Calling them not Palestinians, but “the attackers,” and giving no indication that they are gunned down by Israeli soldiers and, on occasion, settlers, Connolly said:

“… individuals are taking the decisions to stage these attacks for reasons we’re often left to guess at because, of course, the attackers often die in the course of the attack.”

Humphrys then ended the discussion.

Connolly used the passive verb “die” rather than saying the Palestinians are being killed, and who is killing them. He also did not mention that many of those shot dead by Israel’s occupation forces were not posing an immediate threat they were extrajudicially executed.

The BBC’s Middle East correspondent also seems to be unaware of Israel’s military occupation and the choking oppression with which it rules over Palestinians, claiming he can only “guess at” the reasons Palestinians have attacked Israelis.

Other news outlets are not so shy of citing the occupation as a motivating factor for the stabbings, and some, like Al Jazeera, have interviewed the family and friends of Palestinians who have stabbed, or attempted to stab, and consequently been executed, in an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of why these Palestinians did what they did.

Conversely, in his exchange with Humphrys, Connolly does give a very emotive description of the fears of Israelis.

He tells the Today presenter that the “very random and spontaneous nature of the attacks has left many Israeli citizens feeling that any Palestinian passing them in the street might be carrying a knife, might be planning to attack them. Any passing car might at any moment be used as a vehicle against Israeli civilian pedestrians … [the attacks have] achieved an extraordinary change in the atmosphere of daily life here.”

Pro-Israel bias?

This tendency to convey only Israeli fears and perceptions landed Today in trouble in May.

Then, the BBC’s editorial complaints unit ruled that an interview conducted by senior Today presenter Sarah Montague with Israeli defence minister Moshe Yaalon exhibited pro-Israel bias.

Again, following a series of complaints from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others that Montague had remained completely silent as Yaalon told lie after lie – including the claim that Palestinians have political independence – the BBC found that the interview had breached its editorial guidelines on impartiality.

The BBC’s head of editorial complaints, Fraser Steel, admitted in an email to complainants that “the output fell below the BBC’s standards of impartiality.”

Today, broadcast on Radio 4 six mornings a week, reaches 7 million people in the UK weekly. James Harding, the BBC’s Director of News, describes it as “the program that sets the agenda for the nation’s news every day.”

All the more shocking, then, that the BBC’s own internal findings suggest an ingrained unwillingness at the program to challenge Israel’s spokespeople, even when they are telling blatant untruths, or to acknowledge Palestinian fatalities and their suffering under occupation.

 

Originally appeared at The Electronic Intifada

__________________________________________________

About the author

Amena SaleemAmena Saleem is a journalist and activist, working with Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK. She has twice driven on convoys to Gaza with PSC. More information on PSC’s solidarity work is available at www.palestinecampaign.org

 

Source: 
Intifada (Voice of Palestine)

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 310
Pass Blue 291
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 16
John Pilger 421
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 2994
FEE 5083
Marine Le Pen 391
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 1094
Mohamed Omar 403
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 18
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 128
Vetenskapsradion Historia 177
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 241
Les Crises 3257
Richard Falk 194
Ian Sinclair 119
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 10956
Kafila 557
Gail Malone 42
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 10487
Vanessa Beeley 180
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5822
Paul Craig Roberts 2199
News Junkie Post 59
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 5554
Sir Ken Robinson 25
Stephan Kinsella 107
Liberty Blitzkrieg 871
Sami Bedouin 65
Consortium News 2685
21 Century Wire 3853
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 97
David D. Friedman 158
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1529
Tom Dispatch 578
Levant Report 18
The Saker 4774
The Barnes Review 559
John Friend 510
Psyche Truth 160
Jonathan Cook 162
New Eastern Outlook 4538
School Sucks Project 1790
Giza Death Star 2053
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 643
GMWatch 2475
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 35
Jay's Analysis 1089
Le 4ème singe 90
Jacob Cohen 215
Agora Vox 17695
Cercle Des Volontaires 446
Panamza 2391
Fairewinds 118
Project Censored 1073
Spy Culture 592
Conspiracy Archive 81
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 609
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 932
Independent Science News 84
The Anti Media 6861
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 305
The Mind renewed 452
Natural Society 2627
Yanis Varoufakis 1054
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 158
Porkins Policy Review 447
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 627
Libyan War Truth 354
DeadLine Live 1916
Kevin Ryan 65
BSNEWS 2103
Aaron Franz 254
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 153
Peter B Collins 1692
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 11388
Climate Audit 226
Donna Laframboise 481
Judith Curry 1161
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2570
Syria Report 78
Human Rights Investigation 93
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 12856
Laura Wells Solutions 46
Video Rebel's Blog 453
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 21862
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3196
Northerntruthseeker 2595
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4811
AntiWar.com Blog 3301
AntiWar.com Original Content 7366
Corbett Report 2521
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1254
Webster Tarpley Website 1138

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public