Israeli crimes and BBC propaganda march in lock-step

Israel has just launched a new assault on Gaza — 13 airstrikes — and here is how the BBC reports it.

Israeli warplanes have carried out at least 13 air strikes on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources have told the BBC.

Gaza is not besieged by Israel, you see. It’s ‘Hamas-ruled’. It makes it so much more acceptable to target it than if it were, say, ‘densely populated by civilians’.

See my earlier analysis of the despicable manner in which the BBC misreported last year’s massacre in Gaza.

UPDATE: The story and its propaganda content has been expanded since it was first published. Paul de Rooij adds:

There is more! The article states:

Palestinians and rights groups say more than 1,400 Gazans died in the conflict, while Israel puts the figure at 1,166.

Now, since the Israelis haven’t been on the ground counting the casualties, how would they know the total numbers? In fact, they don’t know how many people were killed under their bombs. If so, then why does the BBC bother reporting the Israeli figures at all? These are merely meant to whitewash the crimes they have perpetrated; this transparent, yet it seems that the BBC lends credibility to those figures. Notice also the “Gazans died” as opposed to what really happened: they were killed. One denotes intention the other could include natural causes, but the Gaza Massacre was anything but natural, and thus the correct terminology should be “killed”.

Notice also:

The BBC’s Jon Donnison, in Jerusalem, says Israel appears to be sending a signal that whenever there is militant activity inside Gaza it will respond.

So, is it always the Israelis who “respond”? Has BBC reportage ever reported Palestinians “responding” to Israeli attacks? And why refer to Palestinian resistance actions as “militant”? This is another euphemism meant to hide the nature of the Palestinian actions, i.e., defending themselves of the Israeli colonial project which invariably entails violence and dispossession. “Militant” is a generic term that doesn’t indicate the nature of the violence, and again helps hide the nature and origin of the violence in the area.

And why is there no reference whatsoever in that report to the continuing siege of Gaza? Malnutrition is now becoming rampant; children’s development is becoming stunted (most youngsters are now shorter than their parents). Now, while respecting a ceasefire the situation has not improved, then what are the Palestinians supposed to do? Starve in silence? Unfortunately, the BBC’s reportage only mentions the manifestations of violence while it is mostly silent on its causes.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

5 thoughts on “Israeli crimes and BBC propaganda march in lock-step”

  1. ‘The latest violence is the most serious since the end of Israel’s assault on Gaza in January 2009. ,

    Yet again the zionist scum at the BBC fail to point out the killing of 90 Palestinians by Israel since January 2009 but insist on counting rocket fired by Palestinian groups. No attention on the amount of ordinance fired into Gaza and the number of fishermen shot, the number of farmer shot or the number of Palestinians abducted. As usual they are always keen to quote the Israeli propaganda machine and interpret their aims as benign and to portray the Palestinians as random nutters firing random rockets.

  2. Should also point out that the disreputable BBC does the dirty once again when it adheres the ‘rocket attacks’ as justification for Zions lycanthropic behaviour.

  3. Things took a turn for the worse at the BBC as soon as Mark Thompson was made director general. I’m sure the fact that his wife is a Jewish Zionist, and that their visit to Israel in ’05 to hold talks with the Butcher of Beirut to, as The Independent put it, “build bridges with the country’s political class” had absolutely no bearing on the BBC’s current Middle East policy.

    I’m also sure the transfer of Orla Guerin, the side-lining of Jeremy Bowen and the subsequent promotion of Tim Franks and Katya Adler as Jerusalem-based Middle East Correspondents have nothing to do with it either (but I’m sure the Israeli politicos were pleased).

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3323307,00.html

    It begs some obvious questions…

    This is also quite interesting:
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/01/biased_broadcas.html

    “What is Really Happening
    I watched BBC World News for a timed hour yesterday. In that time I saw:
    Pro-Israeli (including US government) speakers – 17
    Pro-Palestinian speakers – 2

    Mentions of Hamas Rockets as reason for war – 37
    Mentions of illegal Israeli settlements – 0
    Mentions of Palestinians killed by Israel during “ceasefire” – 2
    Mentions of Sderot – 12
    Mentions Sderot used to be Palestinian – 0″

  4. Alison Weir has drawn attention to the issue of objective reporting on the Middle East at a time when
    senior American correspondents of mainstream outlets have close relations with Israel (as Israeli nationals, spouse of an Israeli national, having served in IDF or a with family member(s) serving in IDF).

    http://alisonweir.org/journal/2010/2/10/other-journalists-with-ties-to-the-israeli-military-is-ethan.html

    It is hoped that an expose of British media correspondents’s affiliations and links will
    be reported soon.

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