Friday, July 14, 2006

14-Jul-06: A word about the BBC

BBC's Kim Ghattas
It's Friday afternoon. The television here in the living room is tuned in to BBC World whose noon bulletin from London kicks off with main headlines that are all about "Israel has again attacked", "Intensified Israeli raids", "Israel seems determined to send a message to Syria", "Here's the latest from our correspondent in Beirut" and "Let's hear from an academic expert".

And familiar old feelings are being aroused.

In choosing to present both sides of the frightening events of the past 36 hours, BBC's voice from Beirut happens to be that of Kim Ghattas (pictured), a born-in-Lebanon Lebanese who speaks English smoothly and is never identified as partisan or even (in our experience) Lebanese. The BBC's choice of academic expert is a Lebanese man based in Washington DC with a very Lebanese viewpoint. And the message from both (paraphrased by us) is: it's those belligerent Israelis all over again, and until civilized and cultured forces from outside step in, the bloodshed will continue. 

We're now into the second half-hour of this hour-long bulletin, and while there's not a single word - not one word, not one image - so far about what's being done to Israeli towns all over the Galilee, there is a diplomatic analysis, courtesy of Syria's ambassador to the UN. (Yes, Syria.)

The bulletin's now over. They're into the economic news. Not one word on how tiny Israel, smaller than the state of New Jersey, surrounded by the sea on one side, by a Hamas state on two sides and a Hezbollah state on the fourth, is under unprovoked intense fire today from three out of four directions, with the fire landing right in the heart of major centers of population.

Not one word about how Israeli forces, more powerful by orders of magnitude, could turn its enemies and their towns and cities to rubble in a 24-hour concerted effort - but don't. Or to put it another way: if all the weaponry in this region were in the hands of the Islamists and Jihadists, the result would be genocide; while if all the weaponry were in the hands of Israel, the result would be serenity.

Not one word or picture from Tsfat where a house - adjacent to Ziv Hospital - took a direct hit this morning, causing serious injuries and damage.

Not one word from Nahariya where another barrage of Katyushas crashed into the center of the city around noon, causing significant damage close to where a woman was killed a day earlier in previous barrages.

Not one word about Katyushas landing in the past two hours in a number of western Galilee locations. Not one word about missiles striking Kibbutz Kabri, Kibbutz Gesher Haziv, Kibbutz Saar and the community of Bat-Ami.

The reason we created this blog was our conviction, based on personal knowledge and the experience we have of living here close to events, that the people who work in the news media are causing real harm to the lives of innocent Israelis. Their reporting, their editorial decisions, the choice of which images and video footage are put to air and which not - all of these are fundamental to the process of how opinions are formed. We don't need the news media to think like we do, or believe what we do. It would be enough if they were able to present both sides of an argument without advocating one of them at the expense of the other in a subtle and unprofessional manner.

Experience shows that the editors of the BBC in London are not currently, and not going to be, held to any objective test of how fair, honest and accurate their work-product. (And yes, we are very familiar with the efforts made in the last year to bring them to account, with little meaningful or respectable result.) Given how pervasive their influence is, in the United States no less than in the UK, Asia, Europe and elsewhere, Israel's friends everywhere need to take an even more active role - and especially now - in challenging the way the BBC spins the narrative. 

There are people hard at work inside the BBC fashioning a message that is hostile to Israel and Israeli interests. It's important for us to recognize this, and to do the things that individuals can do.


Anonymous said...

The BBC is the most pro-Muslim news outlet this side of al-jazerra. I'm surprised BBC sources don't beat the Arab stations to the punch with the latest beheading videos.

English anti-semitism has combined with Pakistani/Arab anti-semitism to produce a highly biased one sided view on every issue and every event in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

I watch French tv news and the BBC and the BBC is far more biased in their anti-Israseli telecasts, choice of correspondents and interviews.

Just this past week the BBC has began an Orwellian 1984 removal of words which cannot be used in "Have your say" BBC forums.

The BBC has excluded the word "dhimmi" or any derivative thereof.

It is now recognized as a "unacceptable" word by BBC computers and any comment incorporating it is automatically rejected.

The reason?

It is said to be considered an insulting term by Muslims.

Amazingly "dhimmi" is an Arabic word which has been in use for centuries by Arabs to describe non-Muslim people living under Islamic political control. Thus, a Jew or a Christian who lives in Islamic society has less rights than does a Muslim and incurs special other obligations - mostly taxes - for continuing to be non-Muslim and is considered a "dhimmi". The term means "protected" and refers to the fact the non-Muslim is not killed outright but lives a second class citizen existence. Not killing the non-Muslim is the "protection".

With the expanded use of "dhimmi" to describe modern Western societies which treat Muslims in a deferential and favored way - not holding them to the same standards as others because of their being Muslim, the BBC is acting in exactly a "dhimmi" fashion. It is an example of political correctness or dhimmitude par excellence.

What is amazing is that at the BBC this dhimmi status is forced upon a non-muslim population, not by their Muslim overlords, but by the English themselves who enforce dhimmi rules and regulations on a non-Muslim nation at the behest of a Muslim minority.

Of course, it was probably the Paki/Arab members of the BBC who brought it up which was then vigorously embraced by the pathetic non-muslims at the BBC.

The great BBC people of the 1940s-1960s must be turning over in their graves.

Anonymous said...

Don't think the BBC represents anyone but those who work for it. The audience share of its primary domestic channel has collapsed. Noone watches BBC - it is a downmarket and trashy station which is no better than commercial TV. Its News service is pitiful.

Do not let its once-proud reputation confuse you; it has been taken over by the ignorant Left and is now an aburdity.

Diomedes said...

We stand with you here in Denver, Colorado.

Unfortunately, things aren't a whole lot better with the main US media outlets, e.g. CNN. And, to make things worse, the BBC is ramping up its US operations.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I reached it from Melanie Phillips' indispensible blog.

You might be interested in the Biased BBC weblog which is very active and which is read by BBC staff, who sometimes join in the debates.

Please keep telling us how it is for you. There are some of us trying to chip away at BBC bias over Israel (and other issues!) Who knows, one day, the truth might come out!

In the meantime, Psalm 91 all round.

Anonymous said...

I share your despair. I watch and listen to the BBC's output on all matters relating to Israel and wonder how the journalists, editors, and news management people can sleep at night, given the bias and hostility they peddle against Israel.

I visit Israel regularly and I talk to my Jewish friends here in the UK. Many of them are quietly desperate and angy at this misrepresentation by one of the world's premier broadcasters, whose reputation for fairness seems totally unjustified in relation to Israel and the Middle East generally. I no longer believe what the BBC says on these matters.

Anonymous said...

I recal reading a question somewhere.

"What would happen in the middle east if the Israelis destroyed all their weapons"?

"What would happen middle east if the Islamists destroyed all their weapons"?

It's not rocket science is it?

The BBC are a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Please, Please, never forget that the BBC is a news source so unworthy of the name British. This disgusting organisation is disowned by a large and growing number of people over here that support Isreal in both word and thought every day.
I feel such strong support for Isreal that if I could shed 15 of my 55 years I would emegrate and put my money where my mouth is to support your gallant county, I feel for you, I rage for you, if I were religious I would pray for you. The most I can do is pass on my heartfelt best wishes and damn the BBC in all the ways I can. Go Isreal.

YMedad said...

With you Arnold.


Anonymous said...

with you mike

Anonymous said...

Well said Mike.

To hell with the BBC. It makes me sick to my stomach that I am forced to to pay the wages of these rotten parasites.

But hey, a few ISP's are starting to provide IP-TV, so maybe we won't have to pay the BBC-tax for much longer.

Mark said...

Hear,hear - from another Briton with contempt for the BBC.

Good luck and God bless you, Israel.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how media networks funded by free and open societies tend to become the most unfair, vile, left wing news and entertainment outlets on earth. In the states, National Public Radio is similarly anti-Israel, in no small part because much of their news content consists of BBC broadcasts.

Canadian public radio peddles the same logical fallacies, anti-Semitism masquerading as political reporting, and overall left wing agenda grinding as the BBC and NPR. One day, some enterprising scholar is going to write a book on this perverse phenomena.

Anonymous said...

What rubbish! BBC's current headline -
`Deadly Hezbollah attack on Haifa' - cause enough death and destruction and they'll cover it. Israel are far more effective at killing civillians so they get more coverage.
BTW, BBC's reporter in Beirut is Ben Brown - he looks pretty English to me.

Oz_in_Zion said...

This message is for anonymous (the one who says he/she thinks our blog is rubbish):
If you care to write to us via our published email addresss, we'll be glad to argue with you. Posting an anonymous comment that's critical of someone else's published opinion is a pretty clear indication you don't respect viewpoints that differ from your own. Still, the invitation's there if you care to take it up.
- Arnold Roth

Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious to not only read and watch the BBC Coverage, but to read the biased "Have Your Say" on the BBC website.

On top of it, the US Equivalent of the BBC, CNN, cut off an AMERICAN student in Israel stating the FACTS about all the rockets coming down indiscrimenantly around her from Hezbollah. They would rather report the lies of the Arab Al Jazeera about Israel using chemical and radiological weapons in Southern Lebanon.

The Arabs have learned well from their hero Nazis.

Anonymous said...

i'm with the other english on here
the bbc are terrible they make me
deeply ashamed.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Britian for five years and I loath the BBC and their smug and biased reporting on several issues.
I live in New York now and plan to attend a pro-Israel solidarity rally in front of the United Nations. Your doing great work.
Your struggle is our struggle.

Anonymous said...

Down with Israel and its Nazi treatment of the Palestinian people. The day Israel is reduced to ashes will be a day to celebrate.

Simon Lazarus said...

I am sorry that Israel has to do this - but it is something that must be done.

However, why does the IAF bomb runways in Beirut? How about sending some UAVs around southern Lebanon, and when it sees some Muslim terrorists setting up a missile launcher it should have the UAV hit them with a Hellfire missile and that would get rid of Hezbollah rather quickly.

Israel should also send some special forces inside Lebanon and do some wet works to make Hezbollah pay.

Do something to the people who are doing this, not to some runway. The world sees Israel bombing shit anyway - at least make it work.

Anonymous said...

The BBC's healdine ALL DAY today:

"Israeli raids reach north Lebanon"

And the following text in all instances bemoans the aggressive destructiveness of Israel.

Ordinarily, the BBC claims that all Iraqi casualties of US action are women and children. No male terrorist fighters are ever killed by US forces. Just babies and women. I have no doubt that the BBC will report the same results re Israeli actions.

Marc said...

I've been documenting the BBC's propaganda for over two years now.

See here:

My main page is here:

As this post points out "It's important for us to recognize this, and to do the things that individuals can do."

We need many more people blogging about the BBC. The more eyes we have watching, documenting and complaining about the BBC's propaganda, the more effect we will have on changing them.

I, Biased BBC and others, have become good at getting the BBC to correct stories. Unfortunately, it's in the form of stealth editing instead of corrections. But some correcting is better than none.

Also, the more we document the BBC's "errors", the more we hurt their credibility.

Most important, take screen shots of the BBC report in question. Here's why:

And here:

The BBC think they are accountable to no authority. That is their weakness. For they are accountable to the highest authority - we the public.

Biased BBC can be found here:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling it as it is. The BBC is a national disgrace. Their reporting of this conflict has been the last straw for me and I'm now refusing to pay the TV tax that funds this odious organisation. I'd encourage other British citizens to do the same.

Anonymous said...

May God bless Israel and its struggles. God, in His wisdom, has left it to His chosen people to stand for justice and righteousness.
Ignore the BBC - it hangs itself by its continued abuse of its position.

Keep the faith.

A British committed Christian
(another despised minority by the Beeb)

Anonymous said...

Great article, our prayers are with you. Dont be fooled by the BBC, most people in Britain support Israel. This is all one war and we're on the same side.

Anonymous said...

Our prayers and thoughts are with you in these very difficult times.

Don't despair - the mainstream media is slowly losing influence - because of blogs like yours which don't allow them to get away with their mendacious scribblings.

We run a blog from malta which is trying to do this with our local media.

All the best from the Gardjola Team

Anonymous said...

Gasp - nation state takes action to defend itself against extremist, insane terrorists : only on the BBC does this raise questions, while for the sane world it is the most normal thing in the world to do. Here in Britain the overwhelming majority are pro-Israel in their fight against Hizbollah, so try to ignore the pathetic BBC like all of us do. Think of them as a small group of condescending yet ignorant snobs, with little connection to reality. They are a bit dumb, like little kids who have never left the country mansion, and they do get confused. It's quite funny, really.

As posters have said, the BBC is only a threat if people pay attention to what is said by them. I would argue that very few do, espcially world leaders who no longer regard them as they used to. The mainsteam news media is the classic middle man and is heading for a mighty crash. For informed comment use the blogosphere - for instance pajamas media - who have livebloggers from Israel, Palestine and the rest of the arab world, unmnediated and unfiltered : allowing you to make up your own mind.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago I used to work at the BBC, for the programme scheduling magazine, "Radio Times". I will never forget when our picture editor wanted to obtain a picture of Yasser Arafat "looking respectable, picking up his 'degree' from Cairo University". Or the way that one of the staff used to walk around wearing a badge saying "Support the Arab Cause - a United Palestine". I am afraid that the BBC has been taken over by the antisemitism of the left-wing intellgensia. Needless to say I was unable to continue working in that environment!

Kathy said...

It is not enough for Brits to wash their hands of the BBC by saying things like "We know it's unfair" and "It has been discredited" and "Some/many/most of us don't believe it anymore." IT IS KILLING PEOPLE! Between the anti-Semitism and the anti-Americanism it infects the whole planet with, one could make a strong case for saying that the BBC is "the greatest threat to peace in the world." The British people must own their responsibility to stop it.

Anonymous said...

"The British people must own their responsibility to stop it."

Possum - how can we? If i refuse to pay my TV tax to the BBC i will end up in JAIL and i will end up with a criminal record for the rest of my life.

the Biased-BBC blog is our way of fighting back. but we need support - lots of it.

Anonymous said...

"Let's hear from an academic expert"...I caught Kim Ghattas interviewing a female academic a few days ago on BBC News 24, the academic remained unnamed( I think?) but was presented as an expert on Hezbollah, and had written a book on them. Anybody have any clues?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who wants to resist paying the criminal dhimmi BBC tax can get away with it quite easily. The BBC propagandists try and scare people into paying but hundreds of thousands do not pay. If you ignore the threatening letters there is little they can do. They are mostly bluster, it is VERY hard for them to get a conviction! For lots of information on how to stop paying the BBC jizya tax see:

Anonymous said...

After all these fine comments all I can say as a British athiest subject concerning the BBC is.

I am very very SORRY not only to the people of Israel but to the people of the whole world. I appeal to anyone out there to help the British people destroy the BBC before it helps destroy all of us.

It is true that a large magority of British people support Israel. However there is now an increasing minority that dont even try to suppress they rampant anti-semitism.

I truely believe that the BBC is the single biggest and most easily got ridd of threats to the future of the entire planet.

THIS IS NOT A JOKE. The BBC broadcasts all over the world in over 40 different languages. The English version is criminaly irresponsible enough, what they tell the Muslim world should scare all sane people to death.

BTW bias BBC is very good, and many of its contributers are excellent, and work very hard. But the people that run it are the biggest load of patronising middle class dictatorial prats I have ever had the misfortune to communicate with.

roGER said...

Unlike outfits like Fox and CNN, the BBC has the courage and independence to broadcast the truth.

The truth hurts doesn't it?!?

Oz_in_Zion said...

Nope, Roger, this is not about the truth hurting. It's about the BBC doing an honest job of placing facts, opinions and "spin" in their context. You'll say they're doing it right. We say they're doing it wrong, and maliciously so, via a personal/political agenda that's shared by a long and depressing list of BBC staff and managers.

Beyond that, it's hard for us to ignore the patronising, supercilious tone of your note. It makes a statement of a different sort, one we've personally encountered often. It isn't truth or falsehood that interests you. We believe (a personal, subjective view) that you belong to a class of people who are steaming because of what you call the Naqba. You'll blame that on us Israelis and we'll blame it on British perfidy and Arab corruption and hatred. There isn't much room for common ground on this because truth and facts are really not what motivates people with your viewepoint.

For us, on the other hand, this is about staying focused, personally and collectively, on creating and preserving family life and society life that exhibit decent values, and a commitment to justice, opportunity and achievement.

You're (personal and subjective viewpoint) probably too tightly aligned with the child-sacrificers and pizza-restaurant bombers to comprehend the monumental scale of the self-inflicted Naqba catastrophe engineered by the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs and their willing British allies on Palestinian Arab society for sixty years and more.

Thanks for letting us know where you stand.

Anonymous said...

The truth never hurt me but BBC lies dont just hurt, they are responsible for people dying. I am not Israeli neither are any of the Bias BBC commentaters. I challenge you to read the Bias BBC blog. You may learn something about how ordinary British people are increasingly reguarding the BBC. Terrorists can only win by influenceing western public opinion. A fact that they are very much aware of.( ref Viet-Nam ) The BBC makes them think that they are winning the argument, when in fact they are most deffinately losing it BIG TIME, certainly in Britain.

Anonymous said...

Having listening to a variety of news media, i would honestly have to say that the beeb has the most informed, professional and un-biased news reportage of any global organisation. This is my honest opinion.

I am jewish and live in the UK.

P.S. i am not anti - isreali.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, just kidding! I'm a Muslim Arab from Saudi Arabia.

Anonymous said...

the BBC is not only biased in its coverage of Israel and teh Arab Israeli conflict, it is more biased in what it doesnt show. Hardly ever is there a report or commentary on the brutal forms of Islamic justice being dispensed in any country where Islamic courts rule. (Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Parts of Iraq, Pakistan, saudi Arabia, and until recently Afganistan, and Chechnya, Algeria ... ) not one graphic report on the beheadings, stonings, hangings, eye gouging, amputations which are constantly dispensed by these courts). Hardly any coverage about the genocide perpetrated by Arab Muslims killing more than 100,000 people in Darfur. We are never shown or told of any of this inspite that fact that this information is readily available. The BBC hides the fate of those societies that have fallen to radical Islam in order to press its left wing agenda.

CommieBobbie said...

As You can see from my username, I'm extremely left-wing in my politics.

That saying, if I was able to I would be flying over to Israel and fighting the just cause against the 21st Century Nazis that try to drive Israel into the sea.

Hezbollah are terrorist filth which need to be destroy, as does the BBC as well.

The BBC for many years have been, shall we say discreet in its hostility to Israel, for some reason, such as it was for the fascist IRA. Remember the IRA and Hezbollah used to train together so they are all the same.

Sometimes I do wonder whether I'm watching Al-Jazerra or the BBC, as the difference is very difficult to find.

The BBC are responsilble for the deaths of so many innocents, they should be made to pay in the court of Justice.

Freedom for Israel.

Anonymous said...

I am a student majors in NEWS TRANSPORTANTION. I don't believe the news exactly from TV.

Anonymous said...

Let's not be quick to conclude that Israel communicates via cryptic military exercises. This is not the Cold War. In my experience, enemies like these communicate in a much more overt way. For example, the City of Bloomington decided to oust my landlording business from Bloomington, Indiana, on the basis of my Jewish faith. I have returned the favor, filing a suit against the City, including Kevin Robling, Patricia Mulvihill and Mayor Mark Kruzan, for violating my civil rights.