Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gaza Appeal Opens Can Of Biased Worms

The BBC decision not to broadcast a 'charity' appeal to raise funds for Gaza has opened a can of worms among UK broadcasters now desperately trying to use the appeal to get themselves off the hook and justify their shameful biased coverage of the conflict.

At the BBC in particular, it reveals the split between BBC bosses, wary of a world-wide audience in the face of international media criticism and its own news organisation bent on presenting the conflict with blatant anti-Israel bias and pro-Hamas atrocity propaganda. 

At the time of writing, the BBC is refusing to back down amid criticism of its decision, despite three rival terrestrial channels, ITV, Channel 4 and Five deciding to run the appeal.

Mark Thompson, the BBC's director-general, said: "The decision was made because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation."

Unlike Channel 4 and ITV, the BBC and Sky,which is considering the request, broadcast directly to the Middle East including Palestine, Israel and moderate Arab states, as well as fundamental Islamic regimes in Syria and Iran.

The appeal would rub Israeli noses in the dirt of the Gaza conflict, without mention of the destruction caused by Iran-backed rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. 

The bias of the appeal would be too obvious if presenters didn't mention that Hamas was committing crimes against humanity by using Gazan civilians as human shields. 

Moreover, the appeal could be seen as highlighting the victims of fundamental Islamic aggression and the BBC would not want to criticise Hamas by broadcasting such an appeal. 

More moderate Arab states too would be outraged at an appeal for the victims in Gaza, which includes members of Palestinian rivals Fatah, who are being routinely murdered and tortured by Hamas thugs in the wake of the conflict. 

Earlier, ITV and Sky had agreed with the BBC that they would not air the 'charity' appeal but ITV later reversed its decision.

Channel 4's decision to broadcast the appeal should come as no surprise. The broadcaster is already in hot water after an insulting and offensive alternative "Christmas message" by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, at the height of the conflict. News anchor, Jon Snow, too for his offensive, comments over former President Bush. The channel's biased 'news' coverage of the conflict has verged on the fanatical and its output a bad joke. 

The issue of the appeal was swiftly whipped up as a 'cause' by the usual well-organised suspects protesting outside the BBC's Broadcast House, all carefully crafted to create pictures for the waiting media. 

A couple of lowly government ministers have waded into the row urging the BBC to reconsider, while the Archbishop of York speaks from the heart and soul of humanity. 

The appeal is by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organization of 13 aid charities but there is no shortage of cash and aid for Gaza. 

Millions of dollars have poured in. The UN, EU and governments including our own have donated very generously. Aid is available locally and Israel has already lifted its ban on foreign aid workers entering Gaza. Many outside the cloistered world of the UK media have questioned DEC's motives for a 'political' appeal. 

It's difficult to see how such an appeal would not use stock pro-Hamas propaganda TV footage and the testimony of women and children made under threat by the thugs standing behind them. And can a presenter give a balanced and unbiased account of the events leading up to the suffering, without giving away their anti-Israel credentials. 

How can anyone be sure any of the aid will go to all the people of Gaza and not just into the pockets of Hamas and handed out to its supporters or those poor souls brow-beaten by the authoritarian regime, while Gazans from rival Fatah are left to starve and scrabble around in the ruins. 

No one would deny that humanitarian aid should override politics when innocent people are suffering. This conflict, like so many before, has been all about politics and power. 

Unlike the humanitarian aid already there in Gaza, the so-called 'charity' appeal is a political appeal and the on-going row is more about pseudo-liberal posturing politics than people.  

Picture: Foreign aid distributed in Gaza from the BBC website

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i am so glad to see an article that really tackles the issue of media bias in this situation. i was absolutely horrified to watch the charity appeal which had no mention of the hamas rocket attacks into Sderot. However, if the charity appeal had called for the rasing of funds which would have gone to BOTH Gaza AND the people of Sderot (or anyone who has been affected by the missile attacks into Israel) i would have happily donated. This is a perfect example of the way in which the media is manipulating the public by conviniently forgetting the devastation casued by Hamas' terrorist actions and is sadly another reason for the rising antisemitism that Jews are experiencing in Britain and all over the world today. Thank you.