Welcome to BBC Israel By William Bowles

31 May, 2010

The BBC has outdone itself this time with an outrageous piece of blatant Israeli propaganda

It was a tossup: should I go to the demonstration outside 10 Downing Street today (31/5/10) or write this piece on the absolutely outrageous ‘coverage’ by the BBC of the massacre of at least nineteen people by the Israeli military in international waters?

“It happened about 40 miles (64 km) out to sea, in international waters. — ‘Deaths as Israeli forces storm Gaza aid ship’, BBC, 31 May, 2010

The BBC seems not to care that attacking ships in international waters is a crime under a variety of international laws. Had it been off the coast of Somalia, then no doubt the BBC would have called it piracy but it’s Israel that’s the pirate and a murdering one at that, so the BBC conveniently omits any reference to it.

The short video (lifted from Turkish media coverage) ‘Israeli navy storms Gaza aid ship’ on the BBC Website is echoed by a virtually identical piece, ‘Deaths as Israeli forces storm Gaza aid ship’, put out a few hours later, is the BBC’s entire online coverage of what is now clearly revealed as a massacre of unarmed civilians with dozens reportedly injured and all 700-800 people abducted by the Israeli military and taken to Ashdod, in Israel. (The earlier link now takes you to the one remaining piece, see below.)

The attack came in international waters approximately 65 kilometers off the coast of Gaza according to witnesses, with Israeli storm-troopers shooting as they boarded.

But back to the BBC’s ‘news’ coverage. The first one has now been heavily abridged with a link to the later piece. Correction: in a nifty piece of editing the earlier piece has now been replaced by the later one, but in the now deleted entry, had you been quick enough, you could have read the following:

“Well clearly when you’ve got as many as 600 people on board these ships at night in the high seas, it is a very very difficult situation and you can imagine a rather chaotic situation. Of course the Israeli military is very well experienced at dealing with crowd control. But certainly you’ve got live fire being fired as well as teargas canisters which is what is being reported was fired then that is a very dangerous situation in a crowded space” — Now removed from the BBC Website

Instead, in the one remaining ‘news’ story we find the following outrageous ‘analysis’ by BBC’s Jonathan Marcus, allegedly a BBC diplomatic correspondent:

This was always going to be a high-risk operation for Israel both in terms of reputation and diplomatic repercussions.

Taking over vessels at sea is no easy task, even if the units carrying out the mission are well-trained, and it is especially difficult if the people already on board the vessels resist.

The full details of what happened will emerge in time, but in political terms the damage has already been done.

The deaths threaten to make what was always going to be a potential public relations disaster for Israel into a fully-fledged calamity. — ‘Deaths as Israeli forces storm Gaza aid ship’, BBC Website, 31 May, 2010

So it seems that the BBC care only about Israel’s reputation and that it will undoubtedly be a ‘public relations disaster’. The deaths of at least nineteen unarmed people doesn’t figure in the BBC’s universe of spin. Why should my license fee be used to condone the actions of a genocidal and clearly psychopathic government?

If you think the BBC will listen, you can contact them either to leave a comment or to complain:

Post comments to http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/10195838.stm and complain to http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/homepage/

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