Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 24 July 2011

So Why Haven't You Released The Balen Report, Mr Thompson?

In an article on the BBC's online Editors' Blog section, an article first published in The Times, Al Beeb's director-general Mark Thompson opines:
"The ability of the BBC Trust to scrutinise BBC investigations and publish its findings, good or bad, means that our values and tradecraft are held constantly and openly to account." http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2011/07/investigative_journalism_in_th.html
Even allowing for the sanctimonious self-congratulatory puffery that all too often characterises the BBC, this statement takes the cake.

For Al Beeb's "values and tradecraft" as they bear upon the Arab-Israeli conflict have never been held "openly to account," since despite many requests the Corporation has fought tooth and nail, even in the highest court in the land and with the expenditure of enormous amounts of money (all money derived from that compulsory anachronistic burden on British television owners called the "licence fee" which finances it) to prevent the BBC-commissioned, licence-payer funded report by employee Malcolm Balen that investigated Al Beeb's coverage reaching the public gaze.

But there's been more evidence in recent days of the sheer hypocrisy that characterises the BBC.

In its coverage of the atrocitities in Norway it has not hesitated to employ the T-word that it is at such pains always to avoid when Arab terrorists carry out atrocities against Israelis.

Indeed, the BBC has no problem with using the T-word in relation to attacks on British soil.

It uses the T word freely on its CoJo (College of Journalism) website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/journalism/search/index.shtml?scope=cojo&q=terrorism&x=8&y=4
http://www.bbc.co.uk/journalism/blog/2010/07/barlings-london-remembering-ju.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/journalism/skills/writing-styles/journalism-tutor/terror-arrests.shtml

Yet whenever terrorists strike at Israel they are always defined as "militants".

It's all part and parcel of the BBC mindset that conceals the true nature of Hamas and of the Muslim Brotherhood from readers, viewers, and listeners.

Do we really need to see the internal Balen Report to know its findings, or learn why Al Beeb is so hell-bent on refusing to release it for public scrutiny?

I don't think so.  Do you?

Still, the accountability that Al Beeb demands of News Corp and others should certainly apply to Al Beeb itself.

Moral pressure should be kept up, Lord Patten and the BBC Trust (which has taken to touting for submissions from the public since Patten became chairman) should be bombarded with requests, until the odious Corporation is shamed into letting us see what Malcom Balen had to say about its reportage of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

6 comments:

  1. Actually, a recent comment by you inspired this post, Steve!

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  2. I cannot get my mind around that element of the UK political culture that would even allow the suppression of this report. How does that happen? Such a thing would be impossible in Australia and of course inconceivable in the US. Try explaining to an American the Balen affair. Even if I could understand it myself I couldn't.

    This is a public broadcaster for crying out loud. Of any institution surely it at least must be open to informed public scrutiny. I cannot understand how UK public opinion permits such a thing. Mind you I cannot understand how a modern political culture permits such a thing as the House of Lords but I guess that's their business. I suspect however a connection.

    However how the BBC conducts itself is not just their business. It is one of the best funded and most influential broadcasters in the world and is so as a result of UK policy from the very start. It was always intended to have a global reach. It is a huge British institution unlike anything else in the anglophone world and is of course entirely free of any commercial dynamic. Yet they are in some kind of struggle, which is much more than just about audiences, with News Corp which at least needs people to agree to part with their money to thrive. (not just Murdoch's British media by the way -- they really hate Fox).

    Perhaps they just hate the notion of free people buying what they want from private businesses that must make a profit out of giving them what they want. Certainly that's something that would never trouble a brow in places where the BBC makes decisions.

    Can you imagine how the BBC would react had the IDF sought to suppress its operation cast lead report?

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  3. The BBC Charter commits the BBC to strict neutrality, but in the 1960s/70s this respected institution started to become infiltrated by left-liberals and even Marxists who pushed the anti-American anti-Israel line that has become so characteristic of Al Beeb. Some departments, of course, are not affected, but the news division is - and the anachronistic status that the BBC enjoys as a public broadcaster makes the BBC arrogant and answerable only to itself. There is no external complaints procedure - all complaints are handled in-house, and until that changes the BBC will continue to thumb its nose at complainants. A London lawyer, and other pro-Israel elements, tried to force the BBC to release the Balen Report, but the BBC resisted all the way to the pinnacle of the legal system.

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  4. How do we know the Balen Report isn't simply a whitewash? In a normal organisation the cost and effort expended would be a good clue. But as noted the BBC isn't a normal organisation.

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  5. It could be, of course, David, but in that case I'd have expected the BBC to have released it.

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