BBC’s disgusting decision over Gaza


by Sunny
25th January, 2009 at 5:48 pm    

I’m thoroughly annoyed with the BBC’s decision not to broadcast the DEC’s Gaza appeal. I’ve made this complaint via their website:

I’m thoroughly disgusted at the BBC decision not to broadcast the DEC appeal for Gaza. I have long supported the BBC as a necessary independent news organisation, but it seems the BBC has no conviction in its own journalism. It is trying to placate malicious people who keep accusing it of anti-Israeli bias, when the evidence has long been the other way. And now, to placate those critics it is refusing to air the Gaza appeal.

Why weren’t the same considerations in place during Vietnam? What about during the tsunami appeal when Tamil terrorists also benefited? It just highlights the BBC’s double standards on the issue and frankly I’m appalled it doesn’t consider Palestinians as humans who deserve external aid. From now on, I will be recommending everyone to stop defending the BBC as an independent broadcaster – the corporation has failed in its basic endeavour.

Please take two minutes to make the complaint too! We need a high number of complaints to pour in.
As the BBC itself reports:

So far, more than 50 MPs have backed a Parliamentary motion, to be tabled on Monday, urging the BBC to screen the appeal. Meanwhile, the BBC has received about 1,000 complaints by telephone and a further 10,000 by e-mail. The Church of England has also waded into the row, with the Archbishop of York appealing for the BBC to consider humanity, not impartiality, and show the film.


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  1. tanvir — on 25th January, 2009 at 6:03 pm  

    Mark Thompson’s affiliation with Israel isn’t new.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/pandora/bbc-chief-holds-peace-talks-in-jerusalem-with-ariel-sharon-517400.html

    It is therefore ironic that they are refusing to show the charity appeal to remain impartial. Is it sound for this man to be the director general of the BBC? – An organisation just about every person in the country has to cough up for.

  2. SE — on 25th January, 2009 at 6:10 pm  

    They’ve been pro-Israel and anti-asian from the start (If you’ve read their news reports on anti-Asian/Muslim/Indian attacks)

  3. douglas clark — on 25th January, 2009 at 7:01 pm  

    Done it.

  4. Anas — on 25th January, 2009 at 7:45 pm  

    Excellent Sunny. Just added my complaint.

  5. Anas — on 25th January, 2009 at 7:55 pm  

    Please everyone, donate too:

    https://www.donate.bt.com/bt_form_gaza.html

    From the DEC website:
    “Impartiality
    The DEC members are committed to humanitarian principles including independence and have confirmed they are able to work without hindrance from the Hamas controlled authorities both to identify who are the most needy and to channel assistance to them directly, either through their own staff or well established local non governmental partners. The DEC members have submitted lists of partners and their banking arrangements, to insure proper systems are in place.”

  6. aji — on 25th January, 2009 at 8:15 pm  

    For a small strip of land that is almost completely dependent on international aid and with no sustainable economy, I think this decision smacks of insensitivity. I expect this kind of attitude from a private media organisation like Sky but not from a widely respected, allegedly impartial one like the BBC.

    I’m glad some respected people, like the Archbishop of York, spoke out against the BBC’s moral cowardice.

  7. Refresh — on 25th January, 2009 at 8:21 pm  

    Complaint registered. I have also requested details of any commitment the Director General may have given to Ariel Sharon on his unprecedented visit in 2005.

  8. Amrit — on 25th January, 2009 at 9:06 pm  

    Wow, I think I am the most concise I’ve ever been:

    ‘Your decision not to broadcast the humanitarian appeal for Gaza shows no ‘impartiality,’ only a spineless kowtowing to those so unreasonable and inhumane as to refuse to see the starkness of Gaza’s immediate reality: a people desperately in need. If you really want to show evidence of ‘impartiality’, you would do well to turn a blind eye to the deeply-entrenched I/P prejudices which render even sane people lunatic, and just broadcast the appeal.’

    :-D

  9. Mary — on 25th January, 2009 at 11:07 pm  

    Great stuff. This is outrageous and I’ve put my complaint through too.

  10. Refresh — on 25th January, 2009 at 11:09 pm  

    Just received notice that:

    ’150 Stop the War Coalition protesters are currently occupying BBC Scotland HQ until the media report the protests and show the GAZA Appeal.

    Please ring up the BBC to complain – the excuse of impartiality is pathetic and an abuse of the truth. Ring 03700100222 and pass the number on to others.’

  11. soru — on 25th January, 2009 at 11:20 pm  

    Really bizarre decision.

    Some politician or journalist once said you could tell a statement was uncontroversial, to the point of being bland and meaningless, if you couldn’t imagine someone coming out and actually saying the opposite.

    The DEC view is ‘after a war is over, the innocent victims who suffered in it deserve third party humanitarian aid’.

    The BBC needs to spell out exactly who they think holds the view opposite of that. Even ‘mad’ mel phillips says:

    Thus Israel is accused of causing a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, even though it is allowing hundreds of trucks of supplies through the crossing points — so that at one stage aid agencies in Gaza said their storehouses were full.

    Few are aware that wounded Gazans — 65 per cent of whom voted for Hamas — are continuing to be treated in Israeli hospitals.

    Mad as she undoubtedly is, even she is not saying ‘aid must stop, Palestinians must starve: that’ll learn em’.

    Can anyone find, perhaps in America, or amongst the far right in Israel, someone who would actually be prepared to come to a TV studio and argue against post-war humanitarian aid?

  12. douglas clark — on 25th January, 2009 at 11:44 pm  

    soru @ 11,

    There appears to be some chap called Bertie over at Harry’s Place who might be up for it. He’s already giving the arguement against the appeal.

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/01/25/bbc-and-dec-the-case-for-the-defence/

    Although even he isn’t saying aid isn’t required. Just waffles on about provenance of footage and stuff. The comments column is quite an ‘interesting’ read if you’ve got the stomach for it.

  13. Adnan — on 26th January, 2009 at 12:29 am  

    Isn’t this just a simple case of the Beeb being too sensitive to attacks from the Right e.g. the Ross / Brand “scandal” and engaging in covering its arse ?

  14. Anas — on 26th January, 2009 at 12:33 am  

    Apparently the DEC’s own statements to the effect that they are confident of being able to deliver desperately needed aid aren’t worth shit for the noxious pricks over at Harry’s Place — not even in a situation where the need is so great. Anyway, who’s hotly contesting the claims of “disproportionate force” and “collective punishment” made by that well known hothouse of anti-Semitic rhetoric Oxfam international? Tzipi Livni? Man, I feel the need to take a shower every time I visit that site.

  15. fug — on 26th January, 2009 at 12:44 am  

    i wonder how teneble mark thompson’s position is now, and if he really is the problem.

    there are well known sympathisers for the zionist cause blocking all sorts of solidarity in every institution in this country.

  16. Steve M — on 26th January, 2009 at 12:49 am  

    there are well known sympathisers for the zionist cause blocking all sorts of solidarity in every institution in this country.

    Do elaborate.

  17. Ravi Naik — on 26th January, 2009 at 1:06 am  

    The DEC view is ‘after a war is over, the innocent victims who suffered in it deserve third party humanitarian aid’.

    The BBC needs to spell out exactly who they think holds the view opposite of that

    Exactly right!

  18. platinum786 — on 26th January, 2009 at 9:36 am  

    The BBC and Sky have come out of the closet to confirm what everyone has suspected for a long time. I wonder how we can avoid paying a license fee? I’d rather not have access to a single BBC channel.

  19. Steve M — on 26th January, 2009 at 11:01 am  

    there are well known sympathisers for the zionist cause blocking all sorts of solidarity in every institution in this country.

    fug, We’re still waiting for an explanation of this.

  20. Anas — on 26th January, 2009 at 11:01 am  
  21. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 11:19 am  

    The BBC needs to spell out exactly who they think holds the view opposite of that

    What on earth is this about? Spell out? What? J E W S??
    WTF.

  22. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 11:30 am  

    How on earth is the BBC to remain impartial when showing crying children and dead bodies next to a destroyed building without mentioning that Hamas had fired rockets from the location, and that Hamas’ position is to maximise civilian casualties from the inevitable Israeli response. They deliberately fire from civilian populations, any civilians opposed to this will be shot.

    Impartiality is not showing video clips and pictures of carnage, that Hamas, Islamist and far-left sites would be proud of without explanation and context.

  23. soru — on 26th January, 2009 at 11:31 am  

    The comments column is quite an ‘interesting’ read if you’ve got the stomach for it.

    Pretty depressingly stupid read – it’s all:

    A. this is a sinister Jewish conspiracy

    B. it can’t be a conspiracy, therefore it must be a sensible decision

    Stupidity begets stupidity.

    The whole thing looks to me to be a cock-up not a conspiracy: the bit of that charter that guy quoted looks, at first sight, to be pretty unambiguous at ruling this kind of thing out.

    You can even see why those rules are in place – if all BBC documentaries and reports about famine in Africa were made in collaboration with Oxfam, and they were all ‘Oxfam is great, UN aid agencies and government-to-government aid suck’, that would obviously be a problem.

    But I’d bet no-one at the meeting that made the decision spoke up and pointed out that this was an appeal, not a programme, so that bit of the rules simply didn’t apply. Likely, instead someone raised some stupid and wrong objection, they got side-tracked into debating that, and so all those smart people signed off to a stupid decision in order to shut up the stupid person making a stupid objection.

    Stupidity begets stupidity.

    Which is, after all, the real story of much more significant parts of middle east history…

  24. Shamit — on 26th January, 2009 at 12:03 pm  

    BBC by tradition have a history of going against national sentiments and lacking understanding of the country’s mood — the hand that feeds their giant size ego.

    They were the broadcaster that refused to use the word “terrorsits” for a long time. Interestingly, many who were supporting BBC’s decision at the time, are now calling for the appeal to be shown. The appeal for humanitarian relief must be shown; and it no way hampers the impartiality that BBC claims to upheld by not showing it.

    Their viewers’ aren’t stupid and most likely they already have formed their opinions on the Gaza incursion by the IDF. Whatever their viewpoint I am sure the viewers’ would not want to stand in the way of Children getting some much needed relief and support — many of whom are orphans.

    And I am sure the organisation that is seeking the relief on behalf of the people in Gaza would not also mind providing other footage and commentary to ask for the help. And BBC itself has enough money and technical abilities to produce an appeal for funding.

    But if the Aid organisation is not willing to change its footage then I would wonder about their motivations as well.

  25. MaidMarian — on 26th January, 2009 at 12:32 pm  

    Ok Sunny – Let’s put this another way shall we and call a spade a spade. This is not about caring or not caring. The BBC have made a balanced decision to bottle it – you acknowledge as much yourself.

    ‘It is trying to placate malicious people who keep accusing it of anti-Israeli bias, when the evidence has long been the other way. And now, to placate those critics it is refusing to air the Gaza appeal.’

    I agree – I really do which is why I am slightly surprised that you are not taking it up with said peope of malice.

    Too many people are looking at this too hard. This is not a matter of not caring, nor is it a matter of journalistic integrity (as if there is any left). It’s about bottle and the BBC making a, probably correct, decision that the Israeli lobby’s oppobrium is far harder to face down than yours. Indeed, Sunny, you appear to be blinded to this unpalatable reality.

    ‘I will be recommending everyone to stop defending the BBC as an independent broadcaster – the corporation has failed in its basic endeavour.’ Babies and bathwater. The BBC is not independent because few if any things are black-and-white neutral.

    Your argument is not with the BBC – it is with those people who have created an atmosphere surrounding I/P to the extend that aid appeals can not be broadcast.

    And I get a sense that deep down you think along the same lines.

    Separate thought: If you really want to draw attention to the DEC ad, goad the Israeli lobby something rotten. Get them to draw attention to it for you. A pro-Israeli lobby hissy fit would get far more attention that a brief BBC broadcast.

    By making this about journalistic integrity and trying to get free publicity that way, the DEC has detracted from the humanitarian issus. The DEC has not played a smart game here.

  26. Steve M — on 26th January, 2009 at 12:45 pm  

    In view of Hamas’ share in the culpability for the current humanitarian situation in Gaza, I don’t see why the appeal has to be political in any way, neither anti-Hamas nor anti-Israel and I therefore don’t see any reason why the BBC should not have screened it.

    From a pro-Israel perspective I would have thought that any money going into Gaza from non-Hamas sources would be considered a good thing.

    There’s an expressed view in these comments that the ‘Israeli lobby’ is against this appeal and this has resulted in some anti-Semitic remarks (fug’s for instance). Does anyone have any evidence whatsoever that this is the case?

  27. aji — on 26th January, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

    Some times in situations when there’s been a natural disaster aid money often falls into the wrong hands. It has happened many times in the Indian sub-continent. After the Gujarat earthquake, the Hindutva groups had a great time attracting funds for their anti-Muslim, anti-Christian and anti-Dalit communal agenda; the same thing happened after the Orissa cyclone. Interesting how both states today are centres of Hindu extremism. A similar thing happened after the Kashmir earthquake. Many millions of pounds of UK nationals fell into the coffers of jihadi militant groups. There is the distinct possibility that aid money could find its way into the hands of Hamas. It’s a tricky business actually making sure aid money gets to the right recipients.

    But do you deny aid to a battered civilian population just for the sake of preventing terrorism? In the case of Gaza, it is in a uniquely shafted position in that it cannot sustain itself except by international aid. Any shortage of aid would be devastating, but even more so now after the latest Israeli assault. The ideal situation would be for Gaza to be able to support itself. However, considering its size and its relations with neighbouring countries, I don’t see that happening. Between a rock and a hard place, I think, and also just the fertile ground for breeding more terrorism.

  28. MaidMarian — on 26th January, 2009 at 12:57 pm  

    ‘There’s an expressed view in these comments that the ‘Israeli lobby’ is against this appeal and this has resulted in some anti-Semitic remarks.’

    Steve M – If not the Israel lobby (however defined), what is it that you think that is causing the BBC to wimp out? Unless you can point me in the direction of a senior figure of the lobby that has come out and said that the BBC should air this ad?

    The Archbishop of York may be a rent-a-quote but if nothing else he is willing to grasp nettles.

  29. Steve M — on 26th January, 2009 at 1:05 pm  

    The BBC has already denied that its decision is anything to do with Israeli pressure (2 mins 30 secs into the video linked below).

    It falls to you to prove your allegations that it is.

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1184614595?bctid=9021535001

  30. Random Guy — on 26th January, 2009 at 1:06 pm  

    I had the displeasure of hearing Mark Thompson blubbing away his excuses on Radio 4 this morning – always so obvious to spot the BS when you hear the constant umming and erring. He really had to scramble for his justifications.

  31. Kismet Hardy — on 26th January, 2009 at 1:14 pm  

    The illuminati striketh again

  32. Leon — on 26th January, 2009 at 1:26 pm  

    The BBC are bang out of order with this. I reckon complaints aint enough, we need a license fee boycott, that’d put the shits up them.

  33. Anas — on 26th January, 2009 at 1:41 pm  

    My license fee is a form of direct financial aid to the BBC, helping to feed the likes of Jonathan Ross and Fiona Bruce. Now that I see it’s making a blatantly political decision to deny charities vital access to aid in order to placate its pro-Israel critics am I allowed to withhold my fee?

  34. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 1:48 pm  

    stop defending the BBC as an independent broadcaster – the corporation has failed in its basic endeavour.

    The BBC does not exist to air charity appeals victims of wars that are the cause célèbre of the week.

    “we need a license fee boycott”

    You first Leon, eh. I say go for it Anas, Leon!

    People have talked for yonks about mass boycotts of the BBC. It’s never worked and never gained momentum.

    The Palestinians have immense sympathy within the BBC. The Zionist overlords would probably like nothing more than the demise of such an organisation!

  35. Leon — on 26th January, 2009 at 1:57 pm  

    You first Leon, eh. I say go for it Anas, Leon!

    I’m actually considering it, to be honest I’m fast approaching the position that the BBC shouldn’t be license fee funded and it should fight, like all other outlets, within the market.

    It’s output is almost the same as other companies so why the hell not let it make some money and save me some?

  36. Steve M — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

    I have campaigned on my blog for the BBC license tax to be ended. However, more recently I have come to think that this would be a mistake.

    Bad as I think that the BBC’s coverage is over the I/P issue (although for different reasons than some here), I consider that the alternatives, ie. privatisation, would be worse and we could lose many of the good things that the BBC offers. Overall I can’t think of a single commercial TV channel that can match the BBC.

  37. Ravi Naik — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:06 pm  

    The BBC does not exist to air charity appeals victims of wars that are the cause célèbre of the week.

    You know Marvin, this little comment of yours makes you a jerk, and I wonder if you would say that if the victims were European or even British children.

  38. Sid — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:18 pm  

    well said Ravi.

  39. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

    Why does it make me a jerk? Every innocent life lost is tragedy. Why when Palestinians are killed by Israelis is the left apopleptic, yet slaughter in the Congo is barely mentioned if at all? How many have died from the humanitarian disaster in Zimbabwe? Why aren’t we talking about doing something here too? Why, when the Labenese army destroyed a refugee camp with 40,000 residents was it barely mentioned? Hundreds of people died in that too. When Hamas executes hundreds of Fatah members much of the left is a bit embarassed and tries not to mention it!

    You deny that the Palestinian cause is the one embraced by the trendy left, to the exclusion of all the other tragedies in the world???

  40. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:22 pm  

    Yeh well said, that showed me! The Palestinain cause is really not a cause célèbre at all. I am imagining it. The left are equally outraged at the recent murder of 500 Muslim refugees by the Thai authorities. I must have missed the deluge of Comment is Free articles lambasting the Thais, and the calls for boycotts of Thai food restaurants, and the high spirited protesters smashing up of Thai restaurants…

  41. Sid — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:25 pm  

    More tiresome claptrap from “The marvellous world of marvin”. For marvin I/P is a zero-sum game: what benefits Palestinians detracts from Israelis and vice versa. Even when this means aiding civilians in a humanitarian crisis.

  42. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:33 pm  

    Not all. I think absolutely the Palestinian civilians should get aid. But Mark Thompson has made a decision, presumably after seeing the DEC footage and has decided that it may effect the ability for the BBC to remain impartial. People may think it’s “disgusting” or whatever and that the Zionist overlords are trying to stop Palestinians getting aid, that’s up to them. I just see it as a pragmatic decision. The whole controversy has only aided publicity for the DEC appeal anyway.

    Sid, could you explain where the outrage is about the 500 deaths of the Muslim refugees? All life being equal and such.

  43. douglas clark — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:35 pm  

    Marvin @ 39,

    Well done. You have achieved the seventh level. You have now mastered the art of changing the subject because you won’t address the subject at all. You may find your humanity slipping a bit, but believe me, the feeling of righteousness that replaces it will be more than adequate compensation.

    We are watching you closely young acolyte. Your progree to the next level is enhanced with the wit and wisdom of this:

    The whole controversy has only aided publicity for the DEC appeal anyway.

    That ability to belittle the opponents case is an important step.

    Just watch the blood pressure.

  44. Boyo — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:41 pm  

    It irrelevant to this thread Marvin, but it’s a question that has bugged me all along.

    For Gaza, read Sri Lanka or Kashmir or Darfur. For humanitarian disaster Zimbabwe or the Congo. Yet one raises this and one is a “defender of Israel” (as indeed YOU are ;-) ).

    Personally I think the BBC’s ban is as disgraceful as everyone else. I also believe Israel should return to its 67 borders and its attack on Gaza was a stupid, tragic waste.

    However, because I try to explain it, instead of demonising Israel, and indeed also criticise Hamas, I am not only a “defender of Israel” but should “go back” there – which when you think about it, despite the fact that I am not Jewish, is a strange position for an anti-Zionist Briton presumably of Asian or African origin to take. No wait a minute, that’s because they were an anti-semite.

    You can see the flipside over at HP, where they are equally obsessed, with actually defending Israel. The Left seems to have lost its soul – decoupled from its economic origin, one side’s racial reductionism ends in actual racism, the other appears to have forgotten that Arabs are human too. Yet these poles seem to account for pretty much of what is left of the Left. Or maybe I should just begin to seek out some sites where maybe genuinely progressive socialism has not descended in to playground politics…

  45. Sid — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:42 pm  

    marvin,

    You’re always trotting out the party line about the left and/or Muslim indifference to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

    So tell us, if the BBC decided to refuse airing a ‘DEC Appeal for Darfur’ campaign because of a specious pretext which went along the lines of wanting to “avoid compromising public confidence in its impartiality”, how strongly would you be agreeing with them on that?

    After all, the humanitarian crimes of the Janjaweed militia and the Sudanese government against the people of Darfur could be regarded as a cause célèbre as well, couldn’t it?

    I’d gamble – not an inch.

  46. Amrit — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:44 pm  

    Sky has now joined in alongside the BBC in refusing to air the appeal, also citing ‘impartiality’! WTF?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/26/gaza-israelandthepalestinians

  47. chairwoman — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:52 pm  

    Personally I am convinced that Hamas and their supporters have convinced the BBC and bribed Mark Thompson personally not to run the appeal so the general assumption will be that it’s the work of the Jewish/Zionist lobby.

    That’s in no way more ridiculous to me, than the many assertions that it’s all the fault of the Juice appears to be to some of you.

    .

  48. Sid — on 26th January, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

    You never give me your number
    you only call me an anti-semite
    and in the middle of negotiations
    we break down

  49. douglas clark — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:00 pm  

    Chairwoman,

    To be honest, I thought soru’s analysis at 23 was more likely to be correct. Doesn’t let the BBC off the hook though…

  50. chairwoman — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:04 pm  

    We’ve all got to carry that weight, Sid.

    And I didn’t mean you. Do I have to actually name the usual suspects? :)

  51. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:04 pm  

    To an extend yes Darfur is a cause célèbre. And yes you are right, unless the BBC thought the aid would end up in the hands of the militia then there would be no sensible argument against showing such a DEC appeal. Only Islamists, and nut jobs would be opposed to such a thing. There’s clearly innocent victims, and despicable aggressors.

    The I/P conflict is far from as black and white as you well know. There are innocent civlians being killed on both sides. Both sides are seeking victory whatever it means to them. If you are going to show images in order to evoke and emotional response then you need context. I.e. Hamas fired a rocket from this school, and Israel returned fire, destroying this school and killing several people.

    Yes you need context. You only need to look at Leon’s gaffe the other week of posting a You Tube clip supposedly of aftermath of an Israeli attack. A very emotive response was elicited, and the condemnations of the murdering Israelis were not held back. Yet it turned out it was a Hamas weapons parade gone horrifically wrong.

  52. chairwoman — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:06 pm  

    Douglas, exasperation begets the fasitious.

  53. Anas — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:07 pm  

    It isn’t a conspiracy nor is it a random act of stupidity it’s the result of an institutional bias within the BBC in favour of Israel.

  54. Sid — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:07 pm  

    But marvin, the BBC did not decide to pull airing the DEC campaign when it came to Darfur. “Impartiality” or not and certainly nothing to do with the Sudanese government impeding the aid to Southern Sudan!

    Perhaps the BBC didn’t say “how high” when the Sudanese government told it to “jump” as it most probably did when the Israeli government did. As it has done previously.

  55. chairwoman — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:16 pm  

    Goodness Anas, you have encapsulated, with only a solitary word change needed, exactly how I feel about the BBC!

  56. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:19 pm  

    I don’t really see your point Sid. They didn’t pull DEC Darfur. Right. Because there was no issue of impartiality by any sensible person.

  57. Sid — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:20 pm  

    hahahahahahaha, you are a chump marvin.

  58. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:24 pm  

    result of an institutional bias within the BBC in favour of Israel.

    Hahaha. You clearly have never met anyone who works for the BBC, then. There was a report about bias against Israel, but the BBC spent £200k suppressing it. I reckon it’s something to do with the Islamist conspiracy!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/bbc-fights-to-suppress-internal-report-into-allegations-of-bias-against-israel-442150.html

  59. fug — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:25 pm  
  60. Refresh — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:43 pm  

    Marvin, if there was a report which tells you that a majority of British people actually think that the Palestinians were the occupiers in the West Bank and Gaza. Would you propose that we do everything we can to put that perception right? Or would you question the institutional bias that has kept the public ignorant? Or for a peaceful life suggest we keep it the way it is, as its nothing really to do with them?

    Perhaps I should have started by asking you if you think the Palestinians are occupying Gaza and the West Bank.

  61. Leon — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:49 pm  

    Well this fire is burning bright! How about a little more fuel?

    http://www.chickyog.net/2009/01/26/mark-thompson-defines-impartiality/

    Look at this bastard, January 2009:

    BBC boss Mark Thompson has again defended the decision [not to broadcast a charity appeal for Gaza], saying it would jeopardise the BBC’s impartiality.

    Look at this bastard, November 2005:

    [D]irector general, Mark Thompson, has recently returned from Jerusalem, where he held a face-to-face meeting with the hardine Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

    Although the diplomatic visit was not publicised on these shores, it has been seized upon in Israel as evidence that Thompson, who took office in 2004, intends to build bridges with the country’s political class.

  62. chairwoman — on 26th January, 2009 at 3:56 pm  

    Don’t forget he also met with Abbas

  63. soru — on 26th January, 2009 at 4:00 pm  

    majority of British people actually think that the Palestinians were the occupiers in the West Bank

    Does anyone actually think that result is based on something other than a confusion between ‘occupying: living there’ and ‘occupying: patrolling the streets’?

  64. Sofia — on 26th January, 2009 at 4:02 pm  

    why was he doing that…is that how he spends our licence fee? he’s not some investigative journalist.

  65. Refresh — on 26th January, 2009 at 4:06 pm  

    Soru, occupying as in squatting (that’s as gently as I want to put it, so we don’t up with a derail).

  66. Ravi Naik — on 26th January, 2009 at 4:14 pm  

    I don’t really see your point Sid. They didn’t pull DEC Darfur. Right. Because there was no issue of impartiality by any sensible person.

    So, your main objection has gone out of flames. Good.

    Well, marvin, you are a sensible person. Please tell me who actually objects in helping children and people who are in need of food, medicine and shelter? Who is actually on the other side?

    It is one thing to take sides in the I/P conflict, it is another thing to take sides on a humanitarian crisis. You should be ashamed of yourself, and I have to say I expected more from you.

  67. marvin — on 26th January, 2009 at 4:37 pm  

    Please tell me who actually objects in helping children and people who are in need of food, medicine and shelter?

    Um, nobody? Mark Thompson does not object to humanitarian aid. I do not. You are getting confused Ravi.

    The issue is that the BBC and Sky News both felt that it would affect their impartiality. Is it inconceivable that the footage given by the DEC to Sky News and the BBC was seen as particularly one-sided and did not explain the causes of the crisis? Perhaps the footage was shot by Hamas officials, perhaps the carnage you see before you is actually Hamas munitions exploding, and yet the narrative is that due to the ‘bombings’ (obviously Israel implied) these people are suffering.

  68. sonia — on 26th January, 2009 at 4:47 pm  

    good points from steve m.

    i daresay this adverse publicity is working out in favour of the DEC appeal though in the end.

    who knows what the bbc is thinking – has it explained itself?

  69. Katy Newton — on 26th January, 2009 at 4:47 pm  

    the narrative is that due to the ‘bombings’ (obviously Israel implied) these people are suffering.

    But they are suffering because of the bombings. You and I have our views as to the extent to which Hamas shares responsibility for their suffering, but the fact remains that a lot of people have lost everything and need basic stuff. Of course the appeal should be televised. I do not understand how anyone could think it shouldn’t be.

  70. sonia — on 26th January, 2009 at 4:56 pm  

    bollocks marvin. the BBC (we don’t give a fuck about sky, we know they’re serious trouble) wants us to believe there was no way they could broadcast a ‘version’ of the appeal without making it sound ‘political’ – come on. they’re a media outfit, if necessary, they can take the appeal, rewrite it, to sound just like every other humanitarian appeal in the world, without ‘blaming’ anyone for the crisis. i could do it – why the hell couldn’t they?

    You can have an “impartial” broadcast of a humanitarian appeal. Unless they are implying of course = that the humanitarian appeal – is itself – political. (i.e. denying the humanitarian nature of the appeal!)

    very silly – i’m glad i don’t have a f***ing televsion now and pay them the license fee. if they want to put themselves in the same playing field as Sky, well make your money yourself then.

  71. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 26th January, 2009 at 5:37 pm  

    The opening line in a lower post asks …..

    Is the world sleepwalking to a dumbed-down world where narrow, fanatical political agendas can flourish as the ability to engage with broader opinion is lost

    I wonder the same thing! and also if the world has become a giant bunch of screaming children all demanding what the want to be given immediately!
    “Daddy, I want an ompalumpa, and I want it now!”
    No offense to the people on this blog I swear … but I get so confused trying to figure out what it’s all about here? You seem to make everything so complicated, why? And the words of others at least trying to express an opposing opinion, thought process or through detached observation are always twisted, misread, ignored and the commenter called names like jerk.

    So the BBC has decided to not air something .. and the typical response is outrage yet we wonder why the world is so full of rage?
    I can respect the BBC decision and consider maybe finally someone is taking an consequentialist approach, without right away blaming anyone for anything and simply accusing everyone not on MY side of not caring..blah blah…

    The DEC is one organization out of millions! I checked out their web site … same old images of cute crying children standing in front of a pile of rubble. I think they should give him a puppy or kitten to hold …that would really really make people fell bad and give more money! My only point in saying that is when charities use blatant marketing I have to question where its going as an establishment.

    Please tell me who actually objects in helping children and people who are in need of food, medicine and shelter? Who is actually on the other side?

    ummm …no one!

    it is one thing to take sides in the I/P conflict, it is another thing to take sides on a humanitarian crisis.

    …and wanting to air this is not doing that? Taking sides?
    and if BBC wont do it they are just bad bad bad evil even, which must be fought against and destroyed!
    In my opinion if an origination wanted to help children they wouldn’t separate them into groups at all. so if DEC needs money they should simply make a new advert plea that includes children from everywhere suffering, then divide the money as they see fit …. The BBC would have no objections to running it then everyone would be happy.
    But I guess it is just easier to blame BBC now.

  72. Ravi Naik — on 26th January, 2009 at 5:44 pm  

    The issue is that the BBC and Sky News both felt that it would affect their impartiality. Is it inconceivable that the footage given by the DEC to Sky News and the BBC was seen as particularly one-sided and did not explain the causes of the crisis?

    Marvin, this is not a war tribunal nor a PR exercise. There is no need to explain the causes of the crisis, the fact is that there IS A HUMANITARIAN CRISIS, and needs URGENT attention.

    What would happen if every media outlet ignored calls to help war victims on ‘impartiality’ grounds?

  73. Ravi Naik — on 26th January, 2009 at 5:50 pm  

    Actually, Marvin, here is a solution: let the BBC show DEC’s Gaza appeal, followed by the OTHER version of the story. This way, the BBC can say they are impartial, larger appeal for Gaza’s victims, and I get to understand what is the other version of a humanitarian crisis.

  74. sonia — on 26th January, 2009 at 6:02 pm  

    good one ravi.

  75. sonia — on 26th January, 2009 at 6:06 pm  

    anyway, the bbc have claimed they take into account the practicality of delivering the aid, into consideration. NOw that is ridiculous. its never easy delivering aid – ok fine someone is going to have to do it – let them f**ing worry about it! How high-handed of the BBC to think well this isn’t realistic so we fucking won’t broadcast it.

    well all i can say is them refusing to broadcast the appeal will generate enough publicity for the appeal, and convince people to donate towards the appeal. it can be done without the f***ing bbc.

  76. sonia — on 26th January, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

    i couldn’t see from their not very clear reporting ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7848614.stm) when this demo happened?

  77. sonia — on 26th January, 2009 at 6:14 pm  

    The amusing thing (and irony of course) is that the bbc claims its because Gaza is such a big story right now.

    well guess what, the bbc’s actions mean that its going to stay being a story! ridiculous, what a bunch of stupid fools. they have to have coverage of ppl protesting against their appeal – so surely, its just turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    they really should be ashamed of themselves. i’m not someone who normally ‘complains’ to the BBC (especially over idiotic things like who said they slept with whose grandaughter) but this is really stupid.

  78. Ravi Naik — on 26th January, 2009 at 6:22 pm  

    they really should be ashamed of themselves. i’m not someone who normally ‘complains’ to the BBC (especially over idiotic things like who said they slept with whose grandaughter) but this is really stupid.

    I am exactly in the same situation.

  79. douglas clark — on 26th January, 2009 at 6:25 pm  

    Ravi @ 73,

    There really is no need for you to compromise at all. What you said at 66 was definitive.

  80. sonia — on 26th January, 2009 at 6:29 pm  

    Yes, and whilst the government shouldn’t be the ones to ‘pressure’ the BBC (criticising it is fine) we the public should. after all – they are saying that the Public will lose confidence in its impartiality, well i think the Public will lose confidence in the BBC full stop.

    apparently already 15,500 complaints have poured in. given they had to respond to the Russell brand/ross affair (which had zero importance compared to this) – how many complaints poured in then?

    according to this guardian article it suggests – right at the bottom,

    “The Guardian understands that Brendan Gormley, DEC’s chief executive, assured senior BBC executives that the money raised was “for all those affected by the recent conflict”, including people in southern Israel. However, the BBC has said the DEC clearly indicated that the request was “solely for Gaza”.”

    is that their problem? that its impartial to ask only for money for gaza?

    anyway, they are foolish. this is the end of the BBC. as it was they were having trouble convincing people to pay their license fees.

    and also – are they casting a slur on Channel 4? they’ve agreed to broadcast the appeal

  81. sonia — on 26th January, 2009 at 6:32 pm  

    anyway, what can you expect from a bunch of journalists.

    “journalistic impartiality” hah – doesn’t mean censorship last time i looked.

    as ravi pointed out = what’s the “other side”? !

  82. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 26th January, 2009 at 6:35 pm  

    What would happen if every media outlet ignored calls to help war victims on ‘impartiality’ grounds?

    Thats an excellent question … sadly the answer is life would go on, as it always had pre media overload, mob mentality would settle, leaders would be able to do their jobs again, and things may actually start to progress.
    Has everyone forgotten the blind rage we just witnessed during the recent actual war? How does now showing all the destruction not just keep the embers burning till next time? Which to me would turn the tables and find Israel under attack in retaliation for what has done to gaza. Why do we have to see? didn’t we just all watch it happen?
    It is one thing to want to help but honestly I can’t not feel DEC might be suffering from an ego trip here as I don’t see the million other charity groups throwing a tantrum ..yet.
    and what about the UN.
    some of you seem to think no aid will come if this one group doesn’t get its way in the way they want using the method they want without any thought or compromise .
    “Unity” is going well already!
    yippeee more to fight!

  83. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 26th January, 2009 at 7:02 pm  

    I’m sorry sonia,
    I don’t see the logic in the comment ““journalistic impartiality” hah – doesn’t mean censorship last time i looked.

    as ravi pointed out = what’s the “other side”? !”

    that kind of makes a circle that undoes itself.

    What is the real fight in this topic against? Thats what I can’t figure out?
    As millions of dollars pour into gaza at this very moment a million people who just want to help are protesting against BBC because …. please explain why again?

  84. Mangles — on 26th January, 2009 at 11:00 pm  

    What is all the fuss about with this story about the BBC. The whole world is at constant threat of war because Hamas cant live next to its jewish neighbours and now the BBC is being FORCED to not be independent and make independent decisions. Such fervent campaigning against the BBC in any other situation would have been headlined as political interference, so why is it that the perceived Palestinian lobby can get away with it.

    Whereas I find the spilling of innocent Palestinian blood absolutely abhorrent, and don’t want to endorse the actions of Israel in any way shape or form. But isn’t the spilling of innocent Israeli blood also worthy of condemnation? Some of the comments over the past few weeks have been or verged on ant-semitism, but such hatred seems to have become acceptable so long as its masked as anti-Israeli.

    Not only that but I find the suggestion so patronising that the bbc is anti-palestinian for simply not playing this DEC appeal, when all you hear is news on this topic day-in day-out. It would be nice to read some impartiality on this blog sometimes, perhaps even a condemnation of Hamas and its constant threat to a small Jewish community on an even smaller piece of land. The Al Qaeda propaganda department must be laughing all the way to their caves.

    The plot is too similar to the 9/11 or 7/7 joke (whichever takes your fancy) which goes like….we will bomb you for having freedom, if you get rid of the freedom ….we will bomb you for arresting and breaking up our cells….. if you bomb our training camps abroad …. we will bomb you for your foreign policy….. if you reach out to us….. we will bomb you for being liberal. Oh lets just surrender and do away with the bombing (If only it was a Monty Python sketch.)

    As a Sikh I know how scarry it is to be a marked out minority community, either because you have a strong culture and belief system, or because you are perceived to be successful, DESPITE the size of your community.

    Even though Israel has always supported India in arming and training Indian forces in their abuse of human rights, leading to thousands of Sikhs being killed extra-judicially, I still feel that the Jews are a besieged community, who like the Sikh community have to be successful just to survive; their strength comes after all not from numbers. So to sustain themselves every one life has to count, and Hamas simply has to take one Jewish life at a time. I wish the Sikh community would take a leaf from the jewish history book and pull together before they too have to suffer as great a holocaust as it took the jews to build their own homeland.

    Long may Isreal flourish! Israel Zindabad!
    Long may Palestine flourish! Palestine Zindabad!

  85. douglas clark — on 26th January, 2009 at 11:54 pm  

    Queen of Fiddlesticks @ 82,

    With all due respect, I think it is you that is missing the point here. Please re-read what Ravi said at 66.

    It is pretty usual for disaster appeals to be broadcast by the major UK Terrestrial Channels. It is difficult to see why this one has been singled out – by the BBC which we pay a tax for – as different.

    The point is – in a post conflict situation – what opposition can there possibly be to a humanitarian appeal? One would have thought such an arguement could only be forthcoming from those who are against humanitarian aid. Which would be a denial of our common humanity.

    And I’d like to think you’d find that not one member of the editorial team here, nor any of the regular commentators, subscribes to that idea. These are people of all backgrounds, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Christian and those of no religion at all. Absolutely no serious commentator on here doesn’t feel sympathy for the Palestinians in Gaza. Whatever their differences over the conflict itself.

    At least, that’s what I think.

  86. Ravi Naik — on 27th January, 2009 at 2:28 pm  

    What is the real fight in this topic against? Thats what I can’t figure out?
    As millions of dollars pour into gaza at this very moment a million people who just want to help are protesting against BBC because …. please explain why again?

    Because the BBC has politicised an appeal to help a humanitarian crisis. Is that good enough reason for you?

    It is pretty usual for disaster appeals to be broadcast by the major UK Terrestrial Channels. It is difficult to see why this one has been singled out – by the BBC which we pay a tax for – as different.

    Absolutely.

  87. El Cid — on 28th January, 2009 at 3:43 pm  
  88. Sofia — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:01 pm  

    this is the response the BBC sent me to my complaint.

    Thank you for your e-mail. We note your disappointment at our decision not to broadcast an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee to raise funds for Gaza. We decided not to broadcast the DEC’s public appeal because we wished to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of covering a continuing news story where issues of responsibility for civilian suffering and distress are intrinsic to the story and remain highly contentious. We also could not be confident that the aid resulting from audience donations could reach those it was intended for at a time of a fragile ceasefire and sporadic border access. We will of course continue to report the humanitarian story in Gaza. The BBC’s director-general Mark Thompson has therefore explained the decision in more detail in a number of television and radio broadcasts and online at our Editors’ blog. Please follow the link to read his explanation in full: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2009/01/bbc_and_the_gaza_appeal.html Please be assured that we have registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their senior management. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC. Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. Regards BBC Complaints

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