|By British Israel Coalition|
Ever since the current action against Hamas started, BBC newsreaders and anchors of current affairs programmes have sought confirmation of this suggestion of theirs with mantra-like questioning of interviewees and panellists.
Mostly, it has to be said, to little avail. They must have thought that Gideon Levy, whom they interviewed yesterday on their main news channel, would oblige them with a confirmatory reply, but instead he roundly dismissed the idea as nonsense.
Occasionally, through assiduous handpicking of respondees, they have struck lucky, as Gavin Esler did on "Dateline London" today when to his query to the effect "Why now?" a robustly anti-Israel Sudanese writer called Nesrine Malik waded straight in with the adamant (and unprobed by Esler) claim that the January election is driving Israel's strike.
Indeed, so-called "Middle East editor" Jeremy Bowen (he of the utterly banal, mediocre waffle that passes for "analysis" on Al Beeb, he who egregiously erred in claiming last week that rocket attacks from Gaza have been diminishing, he whose infamous anti-Israel bias has been displayed afresh, as analyst Robin Shepherd notes in this must-read piece) has stated it as a given fact.
To quote from an incisive short article by London blogger and author Jeremy Havardi that appeared on Thursday:
'So already the madness has started. No, not Israel's self defence operation against the terrorism from Gaza but the onslaught from Israel's detractors. Already the Israeli action is being presented as a reckless 'escalation' of hostilities, a means of sparking a regional conflagration that will drag in other countries.
The BBC's Jeremy Bowen suggested yesterday that the Israeli operations were part of a ploy by Benjamin Netanyahu to get re- elected. "In the past", he declared "military strikes have been used to send messages about the toughness of Israeli leaders.” In other words, Netanyahu's action was designed to feed the Israeli public's insatiable appetite for conflict.
As we know, what the BBC says really matters because it remains the most influential shaper of public opinion in the UK. Much of the public will swallow the BBC's line, not because they are automatically pro-Palestinian or bigoted, but simply because the real context for Israeli actions has been vastly underreported.
In the few days before Israel targeted Ahmed al-Jabari, the head of Hamas' military wing, there had been an unprovoked attack on an Israeli jeep that injured four soldiers, one seriously. What followed was a sustained barrage of rocket attacks (well over 100) across the south of Israel, with some 120 rockets fired since Jabari was killed. Three Israeli civilians have now been killed by a direct hit. Hamas has also been busy importing scores of Fajr missiles from Iran with a range of up to 75 kilometres, making them capable of reaching Tel Aviv.
Yet these latest outrageous attacks are but the tip of the iceberg. Since the start of 2012, 797 rockets have been fired from Gaza, forcing approximately one million Israelis in towns across the south to flee to their nearest bomb shelter, with as little as 15 seconds to react. The number of rockets fired increases to over 5,000 since 2006.
Yet apparently, the low number of casualties (thanks to Israel's advanced technology and interception systems) is a total non-story. It is only when Israel ends its restraint and finally takes decisive action that suddenly the BBC screams of a dangerous escalation. They then have the temerity to suggest that the real reason for the Gaza operation lies hidden beneath a clever Israeli smokescreen. Rockets? What rockets? ...."Well, these rockets, shown on a typically excellent BBCWatch post
Rockets targeting civilians that no nation should or would tolerate
Rockets that were very much on the mind of the pro-Israel demonstrators in London yesterday, whose rally has been ignored by the mainstream media. (See my previous post, and read more here)
|Photographer: Adrian Korsner; h/t: Lyn Julius|
And (hat tip: reader Shirlee) watch Hamas's latest lies here.
(btw, read about the bias of Paul Danahar, who heads the BBC's Middle East Bureau, here, and cast an eye occasionally over his, and Donnison's, tweets. BBC objectivity? Pah!)