Revised: ‘Death on the Med’ – taking your complaint to the BBC further

19 August, 2010 — PSC

Following feedback from members to our email ‘Death on the Med – The Next Steps’; we encourage you to write back to the BBC and go through the three stages mentioned below.  (Ofcom has written to members saying it is unable to hold the BBC accountable on issues of ‘accuracy and impartiality’).
You may want to stress in your complaint that despite the programme being entitled ‘Death on the Med’, it barely mentioned the deaths of the nine activists who were shot thirty one times by Israeli commandos. There was no examination of how they died, the level of violence used against them, or whether their deaths were avoidable. No use, or even mention, was made of the autopsy reports (indicating that five out of the nine killed had been shot in the head), and the programme also failed to mention that over 50 passengers suffered serious injuries.

Click here for our amended model letter to use during the complaints procedure >>

What to do next:

A) Write back to the BBC 

Stage 1: 
a) Tell them you’re not satisfied with their response, and that you now want your complaint to be dealt with formally by the BBC Executive. 
b) Include the case number given to you by BBC Audience Services (you’ll find this in the subject line of their reply email). Ask for a case number if you haven’t been given one. This will enable you to follow the progress of the complaint.
c) Include your original complaint in the email.

Stage 2:
a) If after two more exchanges, you have not received a satisfactory response, write to The Editorial Complaints Unit, Room 5168, BBC White City, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TS.
b) Your letter should not exceed 1,000 words (about four pages). Provide a one-page summary of your complaint.
c) Include the reference number, date and details of your final correspondence to and from the BBC Executive. This written complaint is important as it will be the main basis for deciding whether an appeal is taken on by the Editorial Complaints Unit.

Stage 3:
a) If an investigation by the Editorial Complaints Unit proves to be unsatisfactory, you can request an appeal to the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee.
b) For more information on this procedure, and a detailed guide on complaining to the BBC click here:     

Panorama: Death on the Med can be viewed here:  

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK. Join PSC today!

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19 August, 2010 — The Real News Network


Minqi Li is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah specializing in Political Economy, World Systems and the Chinese Economy. He was a political prisoner in China from 1990 to 1992. He is the author of “After Neoliberalism: Empire, Social Democracy, or Socialism?


19 August, 2010 — The Real News Network


Minqi Li is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah specializing in Political Economy, World Systems and the Chinese Economy. He was a political prisoner in China from 1990 to 1992. He is the author of “After Neoliberalism: Empire, Social Democracy, or Socialism?

Jerusalem train company asks passengers: ‘Do you mind traveling with Arabs?’ By Nir Hasson

10 August, 2010 — Ha’aretz

With capital light rail raring to go, operator surveys residents’ attitudes.

Jerusalem’s light rail project is now in its final phase, with its train cars set to operate within less than a year. Ahead of the scheduled activation, CityPass, the rail system’s concessionaire, is conducting a poll to better gauge its public-relations standing among Jerusalemites.

The survey asks residents various questions related to whether they intend to use the new train system. Respondents are asked how they feel about a number of practical issues, such as the planned routes and the measures to make commuting easier.

The two last questions, however, deal with the fact that the train is also slated to serve several stations in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, including Shoafat, Sheikh Jarrah and others near the Old City.

“The light rail includes three stations in Shoafat. Does that present a problem for you?” the questionnaire asks. In another question: “All passengers, Jewish and Arab, enter the train freely and without the driver’s inspection. Is that a problem for you?”

Respondents are asked to indicate their level of concern from 1 (not a concern ) to 5 (very concerning ).

Among those surveyed yesterday was Ofra Ben-Artzi, a left-wing activist and the sister-in-law of Sara Netanyahu, wife of the prime minister. “I told the pollster, ‘Imagine this kind of question being asked in London or New York.’ It testifies to the level of racism we’ve reached,” she said.

Preparing for the worst

Over the past few years, Ben-Artzi has called to task several French companies involved in the project for building east of the Green Line.

“I tried to confront the company during the project’s early stages,” she said. “I don’t plan on using this train because it passes through the occupied territories, but this questionnaire shows just how deeply they’ve dug themselves in.”

“This survey smacks of racism,” said Jerusalem city council member Yosef Alalu. “If you thought all the problems would end once the train started running, now we see the sort of problems that can crop up in the future.”

One of the most pressing remaining problems related to the light rail is providing security against potential terror attacks. As it can hold up to 10 more passengers than a bus, the light rail is considered a higher-value target for terrorists.

Sources close to the project, however, have said that because the rail network would serve all residents of the city – both Jewish and Arab – the chance of a terrorist attack is low.

A deal struck between the state and CityPass holds that the Public Security Ministry will be tasked with providing the light rail with security. Government officials close to the project issued a statement saying, “We’re pleased to serve public-transportation users in Jerusalem without distinction.”

“There is no country in the world dealing with the security problems Jerusalem faces on a daily basis,” a response from CityPass said.

“There are questions that arise when dealing with public transportation in Jerusalem – whether it’s a bus or light rail – that don’t arise elsewhere in the world, and they need to be addressed,” it said.

Information Clearing House Newsletter 20 August, 2010: Despite new mission, US troops still in the fight in Iraq

20 August, 2010 — Information Clearing House

ICH Archives March 2003 – March 2010

Philippines Police ‘Torture’ Video
Torture video outrage in the Philippines
By Al Jazeera
A cell-phone video, showing a suspected robber screaming in pain as an alleged police chief yanks on a rope tied to the victim’s genitals, has sparked outrage in the Philippines.

Other Countries Probing Bush-era Torture – Why Aren’t We?
By Shashank Bengali
Judges in Great Britain, Spain, Australia, Poland and Lithuania are preparing to hear allegations that their governments helped the CIA run secret prisons on their soil or cooperated in illegal U.S. treatment of terrorism suspects.

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“No threats can stop Bushehr nuclear plant launch”

19 August, 2010 —

‘Russia did not build the station in Bushehr so that somebody could bomb it,’ Rogozin stressed. ‘It is part of civilian infrastructure and has nothing to do with the military. It was built in accordance with all IAEA guidelines, all agreements and international laws. An attack against this civilian facility should be considered exactly as the use of military force against civilian infrastructure facility,’ he told RT.

The physical launch of the Russian-built nuclear power station is scheduled for Saturday, August 21, when, under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the deliveries of fuel to the reactor will begin. The long awaited event – which has been repeatedly put off – marks the end of tests at the nuclear power plant and the beginning of the startup.

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Inquiry exposes massive Israeli media manipulation campaign in US

19 August, 2010 — RT Top Stories

Files declassified in America have revealed the covert public relations and lobbying activities of Israel in the US.

The National Archive made the documents public following a Senate investigation. They suggest Israel has been trying to shape media coverage of issues it regards as important.

The files can be downloaded from the website of the Institute for Research on Middle Eastern Policy.

Grant F. Smith, who is a director of the institute in Washington, explained to RT what had been uncovered.

‘These files are from a sealed Senate investigation which was the result of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the US Department of Justice looking into groups that brought $36 million into the US to plant stories in the US media and promote Israeli foreign policy objectives in the US,’ he said.

‘They are extremely relevant, because they reveal, for example, a vast effort to divert US attention from the Israeli Dimona nuclear weapons facility by saying it was merely a research center,’ he added. ‘They carefully tracked how that story was playing in the US media.’

Alison Weir of the Council for National Interest in the US, an advocacy group on Middle East policy, said this information was not a surprise for her, as she did her own studies on this subject.

She believes Israeli influence is corrupting the American media, which no longer represents the views of the country’s people.

‘Part of their agenda is to make Americans fear and hate Arabs and Muslims and also, I fear, to make Muslims and Arabs fear and hate Americans,’ Weir told RT. ‘This is very troubling and going on day by day.’

Together we are one

19 August, 2010 — HopeNotHate

It seems that when I sit down to email you I’m often asking for your help. But today’s a little different.

Thanks to the support of thousands of people across the country and many, many more in Bradford we’ve been able to persuade the West Yorkshire Police to ban the English Defence League’s dangerous and violent march through the town. And I’ve just been told that the Home Secretary is prepared to sign it.

The EDL might still hold a static protest but we’ve stopped them marching through predominantly Muslim areas of the city.

This is a victory for the people of Bradford. And it’s a victory for each of us – and our movement as a whole. Once again we’ve shown that when we come together, grassroots beat jackboots.

To celebrate our victory and to thank the people of Bradford for their support, we’re planning on presenting a book to the city with messages of solidarity, hope and support. And we want you to help us write it.

So why do you believe in hope not hate? Why do you think it was right to stop the EDL? How should we keep this momentum up and community spirits high? Tell us your story here:

We’ll be taking the best of these stories and displaying them in Bradford city hall. So we want your words, your ideas and your inspiration – and we want to show what this movement looks like. Throughout the campaign we’ve been using the slogan “Bradford Together.” And we’d like to keep that theme going – so please send us in your story, and take a photo of you with the word “together” written on your hand.

On the streets of Bradford alone, Hope not Hate spoke to over 10,700 people – that’s almost 6% of all adults in the city – and got them signed up to the campaign. But we can’t stop here, we need to build on this community spirit and this community pride. And we all need to stand together to make that happen.

Be part of this moment – and part of our campaign’s living history – right now:

We were able to stop the EDL from marching thanks to real and ongoing community organising. We should all be deeply, deeply proud of what we’ve achieved today.

Please forward this email to everyone you know – and get them to join this moment.

Thank you.


VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 19 August, 2010: Ex-soldier in Facebook scandal would ‘gladly kill Arabs’

19 August, 2010 — VTJP


Ma’an News

Witnesses: Armed settler threatens farmers
8/19/2010 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — An armed settler accompanied by settlement security guards prevented Palestinian farmers and peace activists from irrigating their land near Nablus on Thursday morning, witnesses said. A resident of the illegal Itamar settlement, carrying a rifle and traveling in an armored vehicle with guards, approached farmers en route to water their recently….

Ex-soldier in Facebook scandal would ‘gladly kill Arabs’
8/20/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The ex-soldier criticized for uploading photos of herself on Facebook posing with Palestinian detainees wrote that she would “gladly kill Arabs – even butcher them” the Israeli press said Thursday. Eden Abergil attracted attention when photographs depicting her smiling in front of blindfolded, handcuffed Palestinians, in an album titled “IDF – Best years….

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The Ecstasy of Empire: How Close Is America’s Demise? Without a revolution, Americans are history By Paul Craig Roberts

16 August, 2010 — Global Research

The United States is running out of time to get its budget and trade deficits under control.  Despite the urgency of the situation, 2010 has been wasted in hype about a non-existent recovery.  As recently as August 2 Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner penned a New York Times Column, “Welcome to the Recovery.”

As John Williams ( has made clear on many occasions, an appearance of recovery was created by over-counting employment and undercounting inflation. Warnings by Williams, Gerald Celente, and myself have gone unheeded, but our warnings recently had echos from Boston University professor Laurence Kotlikoff and from David Stockman, who excoriated the Republican Party for becoming big spending Democrats.

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Massacre, with a smile

20 August, 2010 — The Only Democracy

A few days ago we learned about Eden Aberjil, an Israeli woman who posted pictures on her Facebook account of her abusing bound Palestinian prisoners at the time of her military service.

The picture is captioned ‘Army service, the most wonderful time of my life!’

The controversy reached the New York Times, where Aberjil defended herself. She said that the “pictures were taken in good will, there was no statement in them.” According to the Times, she added that they were not intended to humiliate the prisoners but merely to document her “military experience,” and that she had no idea they “would be problematic.”

The IDF response is what you would expect. According to Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli veterans that collects testimonies:

Unsurprisingly, the I.D.F. spokesman released a ’shocked’ statement saying that this is the “shameless and ugly behavior of one soldier.” This picture is not the ugly behavior of one person, but a norm throughout the army… that is a result of military rule over a civilian population over a long time.

Today Ynet reveals how “ugly” Aberjil’s behavior really is. This is what she is really thinking, according to her own posts in Facebook following the controversy:

I am in favor of of Zionist Jewish state!! I am defending what belongs to me from the beginning of time!!… In war there are no laws!! I hate Arabs and wish them all manner of evil and gladly I would kill them and even massacre them. We cannot forget what they do. Does not matter the reason. I am simply on the side of the Jewish people!!

To Aberjil I say, I am one of many Jews who do not consider you on “our side.” Not one bit.

To the IDF I say, stop hiding behind excuses. Pay attention to Breaking the Silence’s documentation of how these humiliating pictures are the norm, not the exception. Oh, and teach your soldiers a thing or two about the Geneva Conventions, will you? Would you explain how they can do years of military service and still believe that there are no laws of war?

Experts demand a full Kelly inquest

16 August, 2010

A leading UN weapons inspector last night added his voice to the growing clamour for a full inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.

Experts demand a full Kelly inquest, posted with vodpod

Dr Richard Spertzel claimed Dr Kelly was on a ‘hitlist’ in the final years of his life. The former head of the UN Biological Section, who worked closely with Dr Kelly in Iraq in the 1990s, has written to Attorney General Dominic Grieve about the ‘mysterious circumstances’ surrounding the death.

The weapons inspector’s body was found after he was unmasked as the source of a damaging BBC news report questioning the grounds for the Iraq war. Officially, he took his own life.

Yesterday Dr Spertzel told the Mail that the British authorities were ‘intentionally ignoring’ the issue. He believes that there is something ‘fishy’ and insisted that a coroner should examine the death as soon as possible. His demands come 24 hours after nine of Britain’s leading medical experts wrote an open letter to minsters demanding a full inquest.

Dr Spertzel said: ‘I know that David, as well as myself and a couple of others, were on an Iraqi hitlist. In late 1997, we were told by the Russian embassy in Baghdad. I had no idea what it meant but apparently David and I were high on the priority list.’