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)

Thursday 21 June 2012

Unabashedly Plugging Pilger: The BBC flaunts its bias

"[E]xiled and despairing" is how the BBC website described the Palestinians in the caption to one of the cartoons in a slideshow in this set, and that value judgment informs most of the British national broadcaster's output relating to the Arab-Israeli dispute.

Indeed, despite a (rare) rap over the knuckles from the BBC Trust for bias on the part of its Middle East editor (who remained defiant) in 2009, the BBC, with honorable exceptions among its reporting team,  has carried on regardless.

After all, like the senior BBC figure (author of a book on the PLO) who wrote this article decrying the Trust's verdict, the present head of the Trust has a background of overt partisanship with the Palestinian cause.

Al Beeb's leftist anti-Western mindset (of the type identified by David Pryce-Jones, whom I've quoted in the preceding post), which informs its view of the Palestinians vis-à-vis Israel, and of the world in general, pervades the BBC's College of Journalism (CoJo), which is (to quote its website)
"part of the BBC Academy, oversees training for the BBC’s entire editorial staff.
This website focuses on best practice in core editorial skills, and offers an overview of specialist areas as well as legal and ethical issues.
It is a site about BBC journalism for BBC journalists, but is available to everyone."
On the CoJo website there are earnest, self-righteous, and self-indulgent sections on a number of themes, all for the edification of novice or intending journalists.  A sturdy leftist strand dominates, and is evident in the accordance of guest posts (guest posters are a privileged group indeed, for most of the posts appear to come in-house, and there appear to be none that reflect a rightwing perspective).

There's a curious spin on the subject of impartiality (which by the terms of its Charter and Producers' Guidelines the BBC is obligated to manifest but palpably does not).  In fact the section is risible, indeed seemingly delusional, since the BBC does not present all sides of all issues, and effectively censors developments that do not fit its leftist, politically correct agenda by omitting to report them (certain race hate crimes are a notable case in point):
'Impartiality is one of the hallmarks of the BBC’s journalism.... 
Impartiality is also a matter of trust.
Impartiality is not the same as objectivity or balance or neutrality, although it contains elements of all three. Nor is it the same as simply being fair – although it is unlikely you will be impartial without being fair-minded. At its simplest it means not taking sides.
Impartiality is about providing a breadth of view....
Impartiality is about enabling the national debate – assuring that people, over time or the course of a debate, will hear all significant opinions and have access to the information they need to make an informed choice....
Audiences turn to the BBC to help them to make sense of events through disinterested analysis and by hearing a range of relevant facts, views and opinions....
 Reporting around the world
Being an impartial witness to events does not mean being mealy mouthed about them. Due impartiality does not require absolute neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic values....
Some stories, such as with wars or election campaigns, unfold over weeks or months. It’s the responsibility of the editor in charge of a particular section of output to ensure that over time all significant and relevant voices have been heard. '

The BBC's political bias is clearly discernible in  the cosy relationship it enjoys with the journalistic Frontline Club, which is well left of centre, a fact that shows in the topics it presents for discussion, and the discussants it selects.  See here for its past events concerning Israel: they are in content and personnel notably pro-Palestinian.  In fact, many appear to demonise Israel in the way that Amnesty International does.

As I've remarked before:
"BBC employees have been judges on journalistic awards given out by Amnesty International (a controversial organisation these days, and certainly one not particularly enamoured of Israel).  Even if the BBC employees concerned have the best of motives, in my view this involvement is not in keeping with impartiality."
And BBC employees, such as Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, appear as guests of the Frontline Club.

Later this month, John Pilger will be addressing the Club on the topic "Reflections".  But the Club is not his sole host.  Its website reports of the fully-booked event:
"In association with BBC College of Journalism
Renowned investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker John Pilger will be joining us in conversation with broadcaster, journalist and writer Charles Glass to look back on half a century of reporting from around the world....."
Pilger's longstanding hostility towards Israel is notorious.  This is the man who, for instance, declared in an execrable piece in the Daily Mirror a couple of years ago:
"Is Israel now a rogue state? ....
 Like so much of the language that journalists use about Israel, ever frightened of being called anti-Semitic, “rogue” is soft. Israel is a criminal state."

The Frontline Club can invite Pilger, or whoever else it pleases.

But that the BBC is sponsoring a talk by such a demoniser of Israel, so partisan an individual, is reprehensible.

That the BBC gets away with such conduct is more reprehensible still.


  1. I saw this on a blog called www.israelandstuff

    Rita, thanks for your comment as always but I think the first part needs toning down before I can publish it!

  2. Replies
    1. You make good points about his being a darling of the ABC and SBS, and the influence this has on people.

  3. I've stopped calling anybody or any organisation pro-Palestinian. They show no interest in the human rights and welfare of Palestinians unless Israel is somehow involved. Lebanon maintained apartheid rules against Palestinians - no interest, Jordan removes citizenship rights from Palestinians who arrived after 1967 - no interest. Kuwait slaughters 60,000 Palestinians after the Gulf War and expels most of the rest - no interest. Restrictions on women in Gaza - no interest. Arbitrary arrest in the Palestinian Authority - no interest. The list goes on and on.

    It seems to be pro-Palestinian one must either want them forced into a Sharia state or under the control of (relatively) secular thugs, no more democratic, tolerant or welfare-minded than any dictatorship that fell in the Arab Spring.

    What is it they say about having friends like that …?

  4. Meanwhile, re the ABC, Al Beeb's terrible twin Down Under:

  5. In a civilised world someone who accompanied PFLP terrorist on a raid into Israel, would be persona non grata.
    Thankfully Pilger is a little poorer today now that Assange’s bail has been revoked.

    As for Assange I’m sure he’ll love Ecuador:
    Correa has been accused, in the words of the President of the Inter-American Press Association, of mounting a "systematic and hostile campaign to do away with the independent press and establish, by law or through the courts, ownership of the truth that all the Ecuadoran people must swallow."

    An excellent article from EoZ about the Temple Mount, with another picture of the Dome of the Rock, this time from 1954, showing ankle high weeds and a desolate building.
    Reuters vs. the truth about the Temple Mount

    1. Very interesting, this link to the "Reuter's view of Israel". I had a feeling for a long time already that Reuters might try to emulate Aljeezeera (however this is spelled).

    2. I think you’ll find Reuters crossed over from bias to outright anti-Israel propaganda a while ago.
      The Reuters Photo Scandal
      A comprehensive overview of the four types of photo fraud committed by Reuters, August, 2006
      Adnan Hajj photographs controversy
      Fauxtography at Reuters: What Was Removed?

  6. You peddle lies in the same way that you accuse others of doing. Pilger reported on the PFLP as journalists report on war, from one side or another, with or without commitment to that side. To accuse him of "participating", as if he were taking military action, is a downright lie, which you should retract. And, if only, to apologise. You do the cause of Israel, and peace in Israel and the region, no good at all.

    1. Perhaps I need to go to Specsavers - I can't see the word "participating" anywhere...

    2. ROFL I think you meant to reply to me, but your computer literacy is as poor as your English comprehension.

      He didn't "participate" (as no one has claimed) but he did accompany PFLP terrorists.
      "Then there was a metallic chatter, the revving of a motor and a spotlight. Our file broke as we ran in all directions. The spotlight spread ahead of the man running in front of me who tripped as he jettisoned his bandolier of ammunition. I fell face first into the sand as automatic fire lifted it in little fountains; I drenched my pants. Salah fell back, swivelled on his belly and returned the fire, a brave and stupid act as he was blinded by the spotlight and had declared himself a target.
      1 found our marker at the riverbank and catapulted myself on to one of the tubes. There was a volley of grenade explosions, the roaring of the motor, then silence. The Israeli patrol had driven away at speed. They had been as surprised as we were; and perhaps their panic had matched ours, with the exception of Salah, whose furious detonations had doubtless given the impression of a force of formidable numbers. He stumbled towards us and into the mud, carrying his brother who was drenched in blood and crying."

      BTW wars are between soldiers, have someone read Geneva 3 Art.4(2) to you and Art.3(1) while you're at it.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.