Sunday, March 24, 2013

24-Mar-13: Seed of evil: Whitewashing terror at the BBC

The BBC's March 15, 2013 report is here
We wrote here earlier today about the troubling absence of news coverage concerning an incident in the Gaza Strip in which, yet again, children are tragically the victims.

We mentioned Jon Donnison of the BBC whose principal watch is Gaza but who seems - despite its gravity - to have missed this recent Gaza story completely. Some will suggest this is because the signs point to the six children having been seriously injured as a result of a Gazan terrorist 'work accident'. Such things happen often. Not so, the news reports about them. (If anyone needs to have someone explain why this is, we will be glad to offer our view of how this works.)

An alert reader tipped us off this morning to another recent Gazan news story that does little credit (in our view) to Mr Donnison's credibility, reputation or professional standing.

Given the pusillanimous manner in which his employer deals as a matter of explicit policy with the word 'terror' and how it reports on the terrorists, we feel there is something to be learned from the following affair. It throws light on the BBC in general and the credulousness of some of the BBC's people when it's the terrorists who are handing out the press releases.

The BBC ran a Jon Donnison story recently 
of a baby boy born – supposedly as the result of IVF treatment using smuggled sperm –  to the wife of a Hamas terrorist jailed in Israel after having been sentenced to multiple life sentences, was featured on the BBC News website, on BBC television news programmes, on BBC World Service radio and some BBC Watch readers also heard the item on the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘PM’. [Source: BBC Watch]
In other words, a story that got the full benefit and exposure of the world's largest and best-resourced news megaphone. And a story in which the word 'terror' or 'terrorist' is mentioned approximately never. Not once.

No, for the BBC's editors and trustees, this is not a story about terror, hatred or the killing of innocent people in the name of jihad. Instead, it is a story full of human interest, a warm and inspiring narrative of motherhood and determination, an episode from the exotic Arab East in which the little people fight back and by means of pluck, warm hearts and masturbation, overcome great odds and stick a finger in the eye of the Israeli overlord. You can understand the enthusiasm at the BBC and why they published this story on multiple platforms, squeezing it for every ounce of pathos.

Human interest, you ask? Where was that? Here:
Unlike some Israeli prisoners, Palestinians who are jailed for what Israel calls security offences are not allowed conjugal visits where they can be intimate with their partners. [BBC]
Now if, unlike the easy-to-persuade Mr. Donnison, you are wondering how to understand the meaning of the descriptor "jailed for what Israel calls security offences", we can actually help. We have gotten used to interpreting the sanitized double-speak of reporters with agendas. And we know enough to look beyond these shoddy excuses for news reporting to try to extract what terrorism-drenched facts lie behind them.

Back in 1999, Reuters said this of the man
A military court found a former Palestinian Authority policeman and prison guard guilty of helping to carry out two suicide bombings by the militant Islamic group Hamas that killed 26 people. Ammar al-Zibben, 24, left, said he was proud to have had a hand in the attacks in Jerusalem's main produce market in July and September 1997... (Reuters)
For his part in the cold-blooded murders of 26 innocent non-combatants, al-Zibben was convicted and sentenced to multiple life terms in an Israeli prison. He remains behind bars until today.

His friends in the outlawed terrorist organization Hamas are especially proud of him. On Hamas' Qassam website, they write of his key role in what they term 
"5 martyrdom operations [that yielded] 27 Israelis killed and 300 injured as a reaction against the Zionist daily arrest and crimes against the Palestinian people. [al-Zibben belonged to] the group of Al-Qassam leaders who carried the burden of maintaining the resistance before Al-Aqsa Intifada, and escalated the resistance during the first 2 years of the Intifada."
Not a whiff of the brutality and jihadist zeal for Jewish blood can be detected in the Donnison/BBC report. Readers familiar with the horror of that late nineties period in Jerusalem will need no reminder of the mass killings carried out at the Machane Yehuda open-air market (the dual 1997 attacks, not the 2002 one), among other busy places. This was the between-the-intifadas era, by the way; the one in which the optimism of the Oslo Accords prevailed, and in which hundreds of Israelis nevertheless died at the hands of Hamas killers in the streets of Israel's capital and other parts of Israel.

But there's more. Why did he publish this in March 2013 when the baby was born seven months earlier? [This report from August 13, 2012 ought to make that clear.]

Answer: We think it's because there was no full-on Hamas propaganda campaign underway in August to promote the 'human interests' of the Palestinian Arab prisoners in Israeli jails. And this month there is. What's a Gaza-based BBC man there for if not to dance to the Hamas tune?

Are we being unfair? Perhaps but please ask yourself: can you imagine ever writing an article about a man sentenced to 27 life terms in prison plus an additional 25 years, whose wife has a baby fifteen years after he is locked up, without so much as mentioning that he is a convicted mass-murderer? Or even the most basic information about the dozens of people he was instrumental in killing?

No? Then you're probably not a suitable candidate for a reporting/editing job at today's BBC.

By the way, over at the excellent BBC Watch site [see "BBC glosses over terrorism yet again in Donnison ‘human interest’ puff piece"], they raise some interesting speculations about how likely it is (hint: not very) for non-coital insemination to succeed under the conditions described by the Hamas press office via BBC.

But from where we sit, this story is less about Hamas (ahem) story-telling which is what most objective observers learn to expect, and more about the ongoing, knowing manipulation of innocent news consumers' opinions by fabulously-well-funded news organizations like the BBC.

We end with an appeal. In the name of the hundreds of innocent Israelis massacred by al-Zibben, his fellow terrorists and those who followed in their hateful path, we ask that the decent people at the BBC (and we are sure that's most of the people employed there) finally speak out publicly against the ongoing moral depravity that inspires 'news' articles like the BBC's and Donnison's "smuggled sperm" baby story.

1 comment:

Frank Adam said...

Beeb and Saudi backers on ME satellites if still about, should remember that there are limits to being needled and in 1920ff the Thracian and Cretan Turks were exchanged for the Ionian Greeks even as in 1974 the Cypriot Turks and Greeks distilled out into separate polities.

Similarly the nasty push too far of the Auslanddeutsch in Sudetenland, Silesia and E.Prussia led to a population rearrangement, for which the German element should be bloody grateful they were allowed their lives - but they nevertheless with US hypocrisy were allowed to whinge on about "lost provinces" for thirty years. The Volga Germans and Transylvanian Saxons were with Federal German help allowed to go quietly on aliyah before being kicked out.

Fortunately Obama is a first rate audience player, canvasser, and glad-hander, so he will not have missed that the Ramallah crowd and representatives are outright hostile to even recognising Israel - and Obama himself for treating Israel as legitimate and having a right to be. Normally there is nothing like a face to face experience especially for the personally sensitive to be disabused or confirmed in an illusion. With any luck the PA bad manners in Ramallah should put Obama off pressuring Israel now because you can not squeeze the lemon juice of a peace treaty out of the Arab lemon by squeezing the Israeli orange - in a manner of speaking.

Complementarily if Bibi is clever he will tell the US "Yes! Yes! Of course, BUT the Arabs sign a peace treaty first to end their conflict and its claims, before Israel makes any further moves on the ground. As offered bona fides Israel should offer rail links between Rafah-Gaza and Hebron and the US rail between Hebron- Bethlehem- Jericho- Ramallah- Nablus- Tulkarm and Jenin-Tubas- Jericho (qv Alan Dershowitz "The Case For Peace" map pp42-43) paid for with diverted PA aid at least for the construction year(s). The €U should divert its PA aid to sewage works for the ten West Bank and Gaza towns and recuperated water for irrigation - on all of which Israel has the techniques and consultants.

That all depends on facts on the ground keeping the Arab population quiet but if they wish to throw another tantrum as in 1948 and 1967 they should be warned that there is no guarantee that Israel will continue to be Mr Nice Guy 67 compared to 1948.