Mark Regev and the BBC: It’s a love story
December 30, 2009 § 4 Comments
Revolted by the BBC’s frequently obsequious attitude toward the Israeli spokesman Mark Regev, Anne Key, a friend of PULSE, sent the following letter of complaint. We encourage readers to also register their complaints (Please copy us in at firstname.lastname@example.org when you write).
Dear Sir, Madam,
I am writing to complain about the BBC’s persistently subservient attitude when interviewing Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli government.
Marking the first-year anniversary of Israel’s war on Gaza (“Operation Cast Lead”), in which 1,417 Palestinians were killed (including 313 children and 116 women), Mr Regev was once again given free reign to “explain” Israel’s motives for Operation Cast Lead. The interviewer barely challenged Mr Regev throughout the interview.
Contrary to what Mr Regev asserts, the Israeli Army did not attack “key Hamas targets”. Conducting an estimated 2,300 air strikes, Israel indiscriminately targeted schools (including a school run by the UN), homes, hospitals, mosques and even flourmills. 8,000 homes were completely destroyed, 33,767 families had their houses damaged, 200,000 people were displaced, among them 112,000 children.
Why was Mr Regev not challenged to comment on these figures, collated by trusted sources such as Oxfam, the UN, the Red Cross and the WHO? Moreover, why was Mr Regev not asked to comment on the 3-year blockade of Gaza, which deprives human beings of the basic necessities of life, such as medication, safe drinking water, staple foods, freedom of movement?
Two key reports were published this year – the Amnesty International Report and the Goldstone Report. Both reports document Israel’s use of battlefield weapons against a civilian population, the use of white phosphorus (prohibited as an incendiary weapon), as well as the use of depleted uranium.
As you are no doubt aware, the use of battlefield weapons against a civilian population is a violation of international law. Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishments are a war crime.
So how come Mr Regev was not challenged on any of these issues?
War crimes such as these, committed by any other regime in the world, would have received unprecedented coverage on the BBC, and widespread condemnation.
So why is Israel once again being let off the hook by the BBC? When will you finally hold Israel accountable for its actions? When will you finally be open and transparent with the British public? What are you so afraid of?
I am appalled at the BBC’s assertions that it must maintain “impartiality”. In the face of such grave injustice and oppression, perpetrated over 62 years against the Palestinian people by the fourth largest army in the world and the US’s closest ally and top recipient of foreign aid, there can be no “impartiality”.