"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Israel Did Not Break the Law in Gaza

The outcome of the Israeli Army's internal investigation into the conduct of soldiers during the Gaza campaign has been concluded.

Its findings indicate what most level-headed people have known all along; the Israeli armed forces operated within the law and operational necessity within Gaza.

Whilst a few tragic errors did occur, all reasonable steps were taken to avoid civilian casualties - and when dealing with such a ruthless foe as Hamas, people who hide behind women and children, that is no small feat.

In light of these findings, the BBC has issued the following apology:

In common with every other news outlet in Britain, we may have given the impression that the recent war in Gaza was a one-sided, David & Goliath affair, with Israel acting as the bullying aggressor and Hamas as the plucky chaps standing for justice, bravely attempting to fend off an unwarranted invasion by an immensely powerful foe.

Headlines such as 'Israeli Cowards Invade Gaza', 'Isn't it Time Some of These Murdering B*****d Babykillers were Tried in the Hague' and 'Brave People of Gaza Fend off Evil Israelis' may have left some of our readers and viewers with the impression that the conflict was entirely one-sided and that the men of Hamas were in some way fighting an honourable war whilst the Israeli military deliberately and vindictively killed their women and children for sport.

We now realise, after the findings of yet another investigation and the revelation that Hamas is a terrorist organisation which has rained missiles down on Israeli civilians for years, that not one bit of the information presented above is true. We are happy to accept that the Israeli military was in fact carrying out a justified defence of the people of Israel and that where possible it avoided all potential for civilian casualties.

We would like to apologise for any distress or confusion caused to the Israeli people, the Jewish community and the wider public by our unbelievable incompetence, gullibility and laziness, as well as our desire to sacrifice our journalistic code of conduct to devote yet more air time to stories about Global Warming, Lindsay Lohan and Amy Winehouse rather than troubling ourselves with such trivialities as the facts of the stories we report.

Well, OK, I'm lying - but it would be nice, wouldn't it?

As it stands, what they actually do is use lots of carefully worded phrases and strategically placed inverted commas.

The usual suspects are also up in arms about the findings, and are calling for an independent 'unbiased' inquiry (I assume by that they mean their own interpretation of it, i.e. actually quite biased).

But let's not pretend that the BBC isn't biased when it comes to this issue - in the run up to the Israeli elections, they gave us a helpful run down on what the Arab media was saying.

Sadly, all sources were listed without irony, despite their usual virulent anti-Israel and anti-semitic content.

Here's what the BBC's own introduction said:

The Arabic press contains widespread scepticism that the general election in Israel will offer any impetus for change in regional relations, irrespective of the result.

Ah yes. We all know which way that pesky 'impetus' tends to flow, don't we? Well actually no, if you read the BBC's article you don't. As far as I can tell, only Israel is expected to make concession after concession for a peace that never comes; if you read this article, which provides no real balance, you would think it was the other way around.

It is only very recently that Jeremy Bowen, their Middle East editor, was actually so biased as to be rebuked by the organisation.

Well, not rebuked as such - they found him guilty of bias in some of his anti-Israel remarks, but he did not have to resign or anything. I mean, lying to the public seems to be their remit, so why would he?

Here's the Mail:

“The BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen faced calls to quit tonight after he was criticised for breaching the broadcaster’s rules on accuracy and impartiality in two reports about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

An inquiry found that a reference to ‘Zionism’s innate instinct to push out the frontier’ in an article for the BBC’s website breached guidelines.

In addition, a suggestion that Israel was ‘in defiance of everyone’s interpretation of international law except its own’ was said to have been ‘imprecise’.

A separate radio broadcast by Bowen also led to a complaint and was criticised by the trust.

The initial claims by Bowen were made in a website report entitled ‘How 1967 Defined the Middle East’. It sparked two complaints.

Bowen’s online article, published last year, put the present-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict in context by explaining the events of the 1967 Six Day War.

But the committee said he should have done more to make clear that there were other views on the matter.

Ruling that the article had breached the rules on impartiality, the committee said: ‘Readers might come away from the article thinking that the interpretation offered was the only sensible view of the war.’

‘It was not necessary for equal space to be given to the other arguments, but … the existence of alternative theses should have been more clearly signposted.’

Bowen’s radio report, for Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent, said the US government considered Har Homa, an Israeli settlement near Jerusalem, to be illegal.

This was based on information from an ‘authoritative source’, the committee said, but there was no evidence the view was official US policy.

BBC bosses have faced repeated claims that reporting of the Arab-Israeli conflict has been skewed towards the Palestinian cause.

One controversial incident involved Middle East correspondent Barbara Plett revealing that she had cried as Yasser Arafat neared death in 2004.

The BBC has also been criticised for spending tens of thousands of pounds in licence fee cash in a court battle to block publication of an internal report into its alleged bias in covering the region.

Jonathan Turner, who made one of the complaints, said he was pleased with the committee’s findings.

But he said Bowen should leave his job as Middle East editor and called on the BBC to publish a correction prominently on its website.

‘If he cannot get this right, it’s difficult to see what else he can get right in relation to Israel,’ Mr Turner said.

‘You cannot understand what’s happening today unless you have a proper understanding of what happened in ‘67.

‘Clearly he doesn’t have a proper understanding, so for that reason I think his position is untenable.’

Mr Turner, a barrister from London, said pursuing the complaint in his spare time had been an ‘enormous burden’.

He described the slow speed of the complaints process as ‘outrageous’.

He made his original complaint about both the Six Day War article - published in July 2007 - and the From Our Own Correspondent broadcast in January 2008.

In today’s report, the BBC Trust apologised for the ‘exceptionally long time’ taken over the complaint.

No disciplinary action is expected against Bowen, but the web article will be revised and a link added to the editorial standards committee’s findings.“

A link to the committee's findings. That should do it.

1 comment:

MK said...

Would be so nice if that scumbag organization called the BBC could fund itself eh, let you Brits keep your hard-earned and leave that nest of sniveling vipers to earn their crust, just like every one else.

Just on that report by Israel. I honestly don't know why they bother, they'll never get a fair hearing, the haters will never stop hating them or give them any credit. There is no cure for jew-hatred it seems.