The BBC Refuses to Broadcast Gaza Charity Appeal

Numerous members of the public have written to us expressing their bewilderment at the violence of Israel’s 22-day attack on Gaza killing upwards of 1,300 people and wounding 4,200. To many witnessing the onslaught on their TV screens (especially Al Jazeera) this appeared to be an act of state sadism.

Israeli forces repeatedly bombed schools (including UN schools), medical centres, hospitals, ambulances, UN buildings, power plants, sewage plants, roads, bridges and civilian homes.

On January 15, Helpdoctors.org reported that Al Quds hospital had been “again the target of bombing”. Some 50 patients, 30 in wheelchairs, fled as the burning hospital was “totally destroyed”.

The hospital’s medical director said, “My heart is crying,” as he described how intensive care patients and premature babies in incubators were wheeled onto the street in the middle of the night.

On January 19, UN official John Ging said half a million people in Gaza had been without water since the conflict began — huge numbers were without power. Four thousand homes have been ruined and tens of thousands of people are homeless.

It is now known that the Israeli army (the IDF) used white phosphorus incendiary weapons – designed to burst over a wide area and burn to the bone — against civilian targets, including hospitals and UN buildings. The use of these weapons against civilians is a war crime.

Surgeons in Gaza have reported numerous, unusual cases where bomb victims had lost both legs rather than one, raising suspicions that the Israeli military used Dense Inert Metal Explosive (Dime) bombs — experimental weapons that generate micro-shrapnel that burns and destroys everything within a four-metre radius. Dr. Erik Fosse, a Norwegian surgeon, commented:

We suspect they used Dime weapons because we saw cases of huge amputations or flesh torn off the lower parts of the body. The pressure wave [from a Dime device] moves from the ground upwards and that’s why the majority of patients have huge injuries to the lower part of the body and abdomen… The problem is that most of the patients I saw were children. If they [the Israelis] are trying to be accurate, it seems obvious these weapons were aimed at children.1

The IDF also used hideous “flachette bombs” — high-tech nail bombs that shower victims with small metal darts that penetrate flesh and bone.

The BBC: Impartial or Immoral?

Despite this carnage, despite the fact that 89% of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents have received no humanitarian aid since Israel began its assault, the Guardian notes that the BBC has refused to broadcast a national humanitarian appeal for Gaza, “leaving aid agencies with a potential shortfall of millions of pounds in donations.”2

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organisation for 13 aid charities, launched its Gaza appeal yesterday saying the devastation was “so huge that British aid agencies were compelled to act.”2

By refusing to give free airtime to the appeal, the BBC made a rare decision to breach an agreement dating back to 1963. Other broadcasters then also rejected it. The DEC’s chief executive, Brendan Gormley, said:

“We are used to our appeal getting into every household and offering a safe and necessary way for people to respond. This time we will have to work a lot harder because we won’t have the free airtime or the powerful impact of appearing on every TV and radio station.”2

A BBC website article defending the BBC’s refusal to broadcast the Gaza appeal, asserted:

“The BBC decision was made because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of an ongoing news story.”

Gormley rejected the BBC’s claim that there were question marks about the delivery of aid, saying 100 lorries a day were entering Gaza. He also challenged the alleged problem with “impartiality”:

“We are totally apolitical and are driven by the principles of the Geneva conventions in terms of impartiality and neutrality. This appeal is a response to those humanitarian principles. The BBC seems to be confusing impartiality with equal airtime.”2

ITV said: “The DEC asked all broadcasters if they could support the appeal. We (the broadcasters) assessed the DEC’s requirements carefully against the agreed criteria and we were unable to reach the consensus necessary for an appeal.”2

Sky said: “We were considering this request internally when the DEC contacted us to let us know that the BBC had decided not to broadcast the appeal at this time. As, by convention, if all broadcasters do not carry the appeal then none do, the decision was effectively made for us.”2

This immoral and callous decision by the BBC in response to the suffering of the people of Gaza should not go unchallenged.

  1. Patrick O’Connor, ‘Reports reveal devastation wreaked by Israeli military in Gaza,’ World Socialist Web Site, January 20, 2008. []
  2. Jenny Percival, ‘Broadcasters refuse to air Gaza charity appeal,’ The Guardian, January 23, 2008. [] [] [] [] [] []

Media Lens is a UK-based media watchdog group headed by David Edwards and David Cromwell. The second Media Lens book, Newspeak: In the 21st Century by David Edwards and David Cromwell, was published in 2009 by Pluto Press. Read other articles by Media Lens, or visit Media Lens's website.

35 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Emma said on January 24th, 2009 at 3:46pm #

    I completely agree with you. I think the BBC is showing partiality towards the Zionist agenda by refusing the DEC advert. I was already appalled by their unbiased coverage of the Gaza massacre, always giving more airtime to Israeli propaganda and never asking any challenging questions. The BBC also never once tried to give its audience some context as to why Hamas was launching the rockets and the fact that it was Israel who had broken the ceasefire by killing 6 Palestinians in November not to mention 5,000 Palesinians killed since 2005 by Israel. Only 24 Israelis have died by rockets in the last 8 years.

    This final act has completely lost my trust in the BBC’s ability to be fair and unbiased. Shame on you BBC.

  2. mary said on January 24th, 2009 at 3:52pm #

    ITN, Channel 4 and Channel 5 (all terrestrial UK channels) have now decided to broadcast the appeal and Sky (digital and satellite) are ‘considering the matter’. They are probably waiting for Murdoch’s instructions. My e-mail went off tonight to the Director General and the Chief Operating Officer – note their ridiculous Gilbert and Sullivan titles – Mark Thompson and Caroline Thomson respectively.

    To the Director General and the Chief Operating Officer, the *BRITISH* Broadcasting Corporation

    It is not too late to stop yourselves appearing as completely heartless people. Show some humanity and air the DEC appeal. If you have children, put yourselves in the place in the place of the fathers and mothers of the dead and injured children, the children without parents and the children without food, water and shelter.

    Your words and those of the Chairman of the Trust do not wash. You should all resign if you have any honour.

    To add insult to injury, the teletext on BBC News 24 is saying that 200 people attended the demonstration outside your headquarters today. Try multiplying that by 50. It is similar to your reporting of the previous rallies and demonstrations all of which I have attended. You said that 12,000 attended the Hyde Park rally whereas conservative estimates said that there were at least 100,000 protesters marching.

    You always describe Hamas personnel as ‘militants’ whereas Israelis have ‘soldiers’. You persistently misreport and misrepresent the political situation and the events taking place in Gaza and have done so for many years.

    The BBC has become a mouthpiece for the terrorist Israeli state. Shame on you.

    Mary ………..

    ** emboldened

  3. kahar said on January 24th, 2009 at 5:02pm #

    “The pressure wave [from a Dime device] moves from the ground upwards and that’s why the majority of patients have huge injuries to the lower part of the body and abdomen…”

    Imagine going to school and college for some 16years or more of your life then people ask you what you do for a living and you say: I’m a scientist specialising in novel techniques and making instruments to efficiently slice children’s legs off.

    The IDF is the only terrorist group in the world targetting children specifically. The British Intelligence service and government are directed by Israel and it is revealing when MI6’s Nicholas Ridley, last July at the London met university, screeched with murderous enthusiasm that all Palestinian children are suicide bombers, he said: “they are ALL like this,” while pointing to a giant photo he’d put up of a toddler strapped up with pretend bombs. Of course when it comes to real bombers like his friend of MI6, Haroon Aswat who masterminded the London bombings making 20 cell phone calls to the so called bombers, Mr Ridley keeps his filthy mouth shut.

  4. DavidG. said on January 24th, 2009 at 6:27pm #

    In Australia, the ABC seems to have similar problems with balanced reporting of the M.E. Israeli mouthpieces always get a free ride!

    The act by the BBC is scandalous. Surely the Palestinians have suffered enough without being punished by a Government-run media organization.

    But then of course, the British were heavily involved with the creation of Israel, weren’t they? And they are in bed with the Yanks too, aren’t they?

    Birds of a feather.

  5. giorgio said on January 24th, 2009 at 6:37pm #

    “The BBC has become a mouthpiece for the terrorist Israeli state. Shame on you.” SHAME ON the BBC !

    Since that time of the row and scandal which resulted in the suicide of a British research official ( I don’t remember his name now) that said Tony Blair’s reasons for going into Iraq were a fabrication, since then, the BBC has become a British government mouthpiece and it’s no longer independent as it used to be.

    I used to be a regular watcher of the BBC. Now I don’t, ever!
    The last time I watched a full programme was DATELINE. The topic on this particular evening was Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. The panel members were the moderator, an Israeli, a Palestinian, a British woman, an American and one or two others. I got so incensed by the biased tone of the discussion that I sent an email to the BBC full of scorn for the way it had been conducted. Here is what I wrote:

    “THE ISRAEL WITHDRAWAL FROM GAZA ”

    I cannot let pass without commenting Sunday’s 21 August,2005, DATELINE BBC programme where the main topic was Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.

    I was appalled by what I saw. Here was the Israeli participant in the discussion, grinning, sneering and shaking his head with an obvious lack of empathy for the plight of the Arab participant’s account of his family’s eviction from their home and property, years ago. I could virtually sense what went thru this Israeli/Zionist’s mind as the account of this Arab sister’s eviction unfolded: ”What the f…k should you expect, you scumbag, would you think that the Israeli army would lay out the red carpet for your sister, board her into an aircon bus and take her to another home, fully equipped, courtesy the Israel government? …as it is now doing to our people with fat compensation cheques between $140,000 and $400,000, and a wrenching bleeding heart for the whole world out there to see and sympathise with our people’s misery? ”

    As for the middle aged bimbo, who also joined in the chuckle with the Zionist my comment is: so you were “most impressed” by the way the Israelis handled the eviction of their ilk? You kidding? Impressed by a well choreographed melodrama for the world to see on TV and feel sorry for the “unjustly treated victims” of Arab “intransigence”, being honey coddled from one cosy home to another cosy home? Then you must have been also impressed by the way the Israelis bulldozed to rubble the homes left behind, together with the piss and excrement of the exiting Israeli former occupants(**) for the Palestinians to clean up after them?
    Did it ever pass thru your Aryan blockhead that those homes could have been left standing, if not as token compensation but at least as a measure of goodwill towards the Palestinians?

    Now back to this prim, Armani suited, Zionist. At this time of my life, I have never felt such depth of scorn and contempt for your behaviour at this meeting, in particular, and your government’s treatment of the Palestinians, in general.

    HATRED? I dispense with that. It’s too strong an emotion to carry with me, and rather leave it to the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims who must be seething, and rightly so, with loads of it.

    It is now crystal clear to me that NO honourable solution to this conflict is possible. Anything that Israel puts on the table is just crumbs and stale leftovers for the Palestinians to take it and lump it! Therefore I see only two scenarios that can be played out which can give the Palestinians a viable, honourable and independent State.

    1: The worst-case scenario

    I would strongly recommend that the Palestinians give up their suicide bombing frenzy, which leads nowhere other than further punishment, misery and land grabbing by the State of Israel. This only provides the Israelis with the opportunity to cry out “foul” and play up the “victim syndrome” which for the last 60 years they have developed to a fine art.

    Adopt the Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha approach.

    The Palestinians strength is not guns, bombs or missiles. It is its own people, and large numbers of them, reinforced by their determination. Now just imagine a well organised, drilled, multitude (half a million, 1 million, 2 million…10 million, even!) of men, women, children, young and old, armed only with their teeth, hands and fists, moving as a mighty wave, a human tsunami, into different and separate points of the Israeli’s occupied territories to reclaim their stolen land.
    The very thought of it would scare the shits out of the Zionists. It could turn into a bloodbath, for the Israelis won’t hesitate to shoot and kill the defenceless. But by their sheer strength of numbers: the children scratching the Israeli’s faces and biting off their ears; the women spitting on their faces and with their nails gouge their eyes out, and the men with their bare fists ripping off their gut inside out; this, eventually but surely, would force the Israelis to eat humble pie, and bite the dust!
    For the Israelis, this is the bad, bad, bad news.

    NOW THE GOOD NEWS

    2: The best-case scenario

    If I remember correctly, it was round about the time when the former League of Nations was created, or just prior to the Balfour Declaration, that the idea was bandied about to allocate to the Jews a National Home. Regions that were mentioned were Angola ( or part of it), Kenya and some others. Of course nothing came out of it. I use this as my starting point for what I suggest next. With this precedent in mind and now that the US and Israel are in such good and friendly terms (an historical peak!) it would not be outrageous for the US government to offer the Israelis a new homeland in one of its vast deserts, compatible in size, climate and terrain to that of present Israel.

    They would move en masse, lock, stock and barrel there. They wouldn’t even need a Moses to split asunder the waters of the Atlantic Ocean for them to make the long journey on foot to America. They would fly comfortably over, Jumbo jet, courtesy the American tax-payer.
    Wasn’t the old London Bridge dismantled, shipped across and reassembled somewhere in America? So could also the Wailing Wall and all the sacred sites revered by the Jews, be carved out and shipped in containers and reassembled in their new home. There! A NEW ISRAEL, plonk in the middle of America, a fully independent nation, just like Switzerland is in the middle of Europe, too.
    Now, securely surrounded by friendly states, the Israelis would then be able to devote all their energies praying at the Wailing Wall, until they’re blue in the faces, for the coming of their Messiah, who is not likely to come round in such a hurry, since they missed out badly on that other One, 2000 years ago.

    Though, it may appear I’m writing this tongue-in-cheek, it is a scenario well worth considering, and sooner rather than later. Israel may be today America’s darling but there is no guarantee that it will be so 10/20 years down the road. This window of opportunity is wide open today, but just as quickly can be slammed shut tomorrow. By then, Americans may get so fed up with Israel’s antics in the Middle East, costing them lives and billions of dollars in Aid, and in the end reaping solely the opprobrium of the rest of the world. Then the Israelis will be left “frying” on their own where they are now, and for a long, long time.

    My last words are for the Arab participant in this particular debate. I often wonder why you agree to participate in these talks where the dice are heavily loaded against you, as an Arab and a Palestinian. The condescending tone and the veiled rebuffs around the table are all too obvious. You’re fighting a lost cause sitting there. If the BBC is trying to project to its viewers an image of “democratic” openness, showing that all sides are given a fair chance, frankly, I wouldn’t give them that satisfaction. The simple reason being that it’s just a smartly contrived ploy!

    (**) This is a reference to a Israeli woman’s account, one of the few Israelis still around, like the peace activist Uri Avneri, with a conscience. She, Amira Hass, related elsewhere that when some Israeli troops barge in and ransack Palestinians homes they delight in pissing and shitting all over, on their way out. Just a short quote from her: “Someone even managed to defecate into the photocopier…. Do they think Israeli shit is cleaner, holier than any one else’s?”

    A last note: I often puzzle on the similarity of naZi and Zion, both are 4-letter words, and both have the letter Z, the last letter (the dregs?) of the alphabet. Coincidence? or just darkly ominous?”

    I asked BBC to make available a copy of my email to each participant.
    I don’t know if they did or not. I never got a reply or ackowledgment.

  6. Hannibal Smith said on January 24th, 2009 at 10:29pm #

    Finally !!! I Found the right website !!! So … I agree with most of the above: Its an outrage, an atrocity could take place and this in a western country, that the BBC, by refusing to air the ad to raise funds for humanitarian reasons, puts a certain prize on a human live (indirectly), and like I read the comments here above its even worser then I initially thought: Like a few other newsagencies in the western world their approach is at least partially corrupt and bias (even in my beloved country BELGIUM this tendency is on the rise). Not seldom I put out the TV or switch to other channels because of the incompleteness, corruption and the biasety of the news reading. In the worstcase-scenario the news has become a ‘ARENA’ -like spectacle on certain ‘COMMERCIAL’ channels and even ‘NEUTRAL’ channels like the BBC. All I can Say: SHAME ON U, BBC and certain ‘other’ channels, Of course lets all hope for change in these reports and maybe a vain WISH/HOPE: Let All WARS END !!!

  7. mary said on January 25th, 2009 at 1:14am #

    This is an article in today’s Observer written by Tim Llewellyn who used to be the BBC’s Middle East correspondent until he resigned.
    See this for his reasons -http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/jun/20/israel.broadcasting

    THIS COWARDLY DECISION BETRAYS THE VALUES THE CORPORATION STANDS FOR
    Tim Llewellyn The Observer, Sunday 25 January 2009

    On Tuesday, speaking from a pulpit in Westminster Abbey, the director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, paid tribute to one of the corporation’s greatest journalists and broadcasters, Charles Wheeler, who died last summer at the age of 85.

    Thompson spoke in reverential terms of Wheeler: his independence; his dislike of authority, any authority; his relentless search for the truth, in postwar Germany, in the United States of the 1960s and 1970s, LBJ, Vietnam, Nixon; in India, Kuwait, Kurdistan. Thompson was right. Wheeler was a giant among BBC journalists, rightly hailed as one of the best of his generation.

    But even as Thompson spoke, the corporation was traducing every tradition that Wheeler, and many of us who still work for the BBC, have tried to live by. The corporation’s chief operating officer, Caroline Thomson, had refused to allow it to broadcast an appeal on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee for Gaza. She said that one reason was that “the BBC’s impartiality was in danger of being damaged”. Could the BBC be sure, she added, that money raised for this cause would find its way to the right people?

    How is the BBC’s impartiality to be prejudiced by asking others to raise money for the victims of an act of war by a recognised state, an ally of Britain, using the most lethal armaments it can against a defenceless population? What sly little trigger went off in her head when Thomson questioned whether the aid would reach the right people? What right people? Hamas, the elected representatives of the Palestinian people? The hospitals and clinics run by private charities and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency? The mosques? The citizens of Gaza, persecuted beyond measure not only by their Israeli enemies but by the western powers who arm and sustain Israel and defy the democratic vote of the Palestinian people?

    Is Thomson more fussed about some imaginary “war on terror” that even the new White House is shying away from than she is about upholding the free speech and freedom of action of the corporation?

    This pusillanimous obeisance to some imagined governmental threat has aroused unprecedented anger across the BBC. Reporters and correspondents still on the staff, and who will not name themselves, are beside themselves with rage against a corporation that is traducing the very ideals it is supposed to uphold, and for which the director-general seemed to speak in Westminster Abbey.

    This is what one former BBC World Service current affairs producer wrote to his colleagues yesterday: “… I am rarely moved to comment on aspects of the BBC I can no longer influence. But I confess I am deeply saddened and confused – and frankly pleased to be distanced from such decisions – after listening to Caroline Thomson’s obfuscating defence on Today of the refusal to broadcast the joint charity appeal on behalf of the suffering in Gaza. The question of partiality is a red herring. It is for the general public to respond to a humanitarian disaster as they choose.”

    Having dealt with different news managers at the BBC over the past 30 years or so, I can safely say that the modern BBC has become a body of lions led by donkeys. Reporters of the calibre of Jeremy Bowen, David Lloyn, Lyse Doucet, experts in their field and brave people all, will be appalled by the directions they are being given. Edward Stourton and the Today programme rightly produced Tony Benn yesterday morning because they knew he would articulate what their bosses have failed to: reason and humanity.

    The big question that remains is this: what are the suits scared of? Why do BBC managers try to second-guess our government and even outreach it in grovelling to the United States and Israel?

    BBC journalists, extant and retired, not the “usual suspects”, not disaffected radicals and high-octane lefties, are incandescent with rage over this extraordinary piece of institutional cowardice.

    The episode makes a travesty of the institution’s posturing in Westminster Abbey last week, and discredits the honest reporters the BBC still has on its books and in the field.

    • Tim Llewellyn is a former BBC Middle East correspondent

  8. kahar said on January 25th, 2009 at 4:38am #

    Looking at the collection of charities making up the DEC –Save the Chickens, CARE Int., Islamic Relief (with no identifiable executive or directors and an emblem resembling the devil’s claw — I suspect a Zionist organisation)– I can’t help thinking this BBC stand off is a well orchestrated publicity stunt by the misery industry (which the BBC and the organisations making up the DEC are part of) to exploit this golden moneymaking opportunity of maimed and dead little children, they just never miss a trick and no doubt this has all been well planned in advance. Save the Chickens, CARE, the Red Cross, etc are front organisations syphoning off funds from the unsuspecting public into rich white executives’ pockets. Oxfam uses their funds to hold lavish parties in South East Asia, you thought they were giving the money to poor helpless little brown kids they like to advertise on their sites? You’ve been a propaganda victim.

  9. giorgio said on January 25th, 2009 at 5:35am #

    “the BBC’s impartiality was in danger of being damaged” ???

    What a joke!
    Excuse me, I’ve got to rush off to the loo and PUKE!

  10. giorgio said on January 25th, 2009 at 5:41am #

    “the BBC’s impartiality was in danger of being damaged” ???

    What a dirty JOKE!
    Excuse me, I’ve got to rush off to the loo and PUKE !!!

  11. mary said on January 25th, 2009 at 6:51am #

    Kahar – what the devil are you on about? This is the list of the charities involved. The only name that vaguely resembles the one you quote is Islamic Relief whose symbol consists of two minarets. A Muslim friend of mine worked for them in Banda Aceh after the Tsunami. Would you rather leave the people of Gaza, including the children, to starve and die in the rubble? The borders are still closed up by the way.

    http://www.dec.org.uk/who_we_are/dec_members.html

  12. albert said on January 25th, 2009 at 7:35am #

    i agree with kahar. the money never gets to the real victims.
    it’s used to keep western people in a job

  13. Beverly said on January 25th, 2009 at 7:55am #

    After a couple of years of listening to the BBC on satellite radio, I sadly realized their reporting is only a tad better than the corrupted/co-opted US media.

    Impartiality in danger of being compromised? I doubt anyone at the BBC wrote that lie, er, line without busting a gut laughing. Can mainstream media get any worst?

  14. kahar said on January 25th, 2009 at 7:59am #

    Hi Mary, Save the Chickens (have you read the Road to Hell), CARE, Oxfam and Red Cross are not in the list you say?? The twin minaret is a devil’s claw — Islamic Relief like about 85% of Islamic organisations in the West are Wahhabi/Zionist/MI6 set ups. If you have audited figures that prove otherwise I will gladly review my assessment. (The devil’s claw is also used on the Friends of Iraq website which is a zionist organisation.) Your Muslim friend, is s/he in the top echelons of the organisation, is s/he treasurer perhaps? if not s/he is unlikely to know much. I knew someone who worked for Save the Chicken and when I enlightened him with plenty of evidence and research he left them and now works with a smaller local charity. Since you read Dissident Voice then have a read through Keith Harmon Snow’s latest article on the misery industry. “Would I rather leave the people of Gaza to starve”? than what? Where have the billions of “relief” poured into Africa, for example, gone? Where do you think most of the money donated to these charities goes?

  15. TS said on January 25th, 2009 at 8:46am #

    Kahar, I believe you are talking out of your anal crevice. Large aid organisations do not funnel 10% of donated money to the the end beneficiary as you imply or the the book Road to Hell implies. These again these ‘white executives’ will find something else to manage. I don’t see s black/ brown executive do it for free?!
    As to your pie in the sky figure of 85% zionist set-ups- can you give us any reference or again this is part of your fantasyland?
    These aid organisation are not the root cause. It is a misery industry but thats nature of the business. Yes, 100% of the money donated isn’t going to go to the deprived souls in Palestine but then again I’m not willing to take the money myself and distribute it in Gaza.

    If you really want to question the process how about questioning this: We, as a country, supply Israel with all the latest weapons. They destroy everything built with our aid money (state/ public donated). Then we send money again to re-build. It would be funny if it were not so sickening. How stupid we must be to the Zionists!

  16. kahar said on January 25th, 2009 at 9:30am #

    Beverly, in case you were not aware:
    (from 2007)
    “Britain’s new prime minister, Gordon Brown, has appointed Israel supporters to key positions of responsibility over the British media. James Purnell, a notorious Israel apologist, has been given the post of secretary of state for culture media and sport. As such, he will have an oversight role over the British Broadcasting Corporation and the rest of the British media. From 2002 to 2004 James Purnell served as chairman of Labour Friends of Israel.” (Friends of Israel is much like your Israeli Lobby, with many branches and many sayanim serving it.)
    http://www.redress.cc/global/redress20070628

  17. bozh said on January 25th, 2009 at 10:47am #

    in 1945 it was labor’s govt official policy not allow ashkenazic immigration into UK.
    these people were not wanted anywhere; in the main, i deduce, because of their cult and not solely because they were ‘jews’.

    they were not jews but an euro-asian people with the worst
    cult possible.
    gazan events and their conduct towards indigenous pop of palestine proves it.
    even the west may secretely abhor these cultists but need israel as nonsuicide bomber of shemitic lands or suspected sites of wmd production.
    that’s the only usefulness israel has for the christian world. thnx

  18. Barry said on January 25th, 2009 at 11:32am #

    For Giorgio – The problem with the Mahatma Gandhi approach is that the Palestinians have been using it for years – decades. Passive resistance to illegitimate Israeli authority has been part of Palestinian practice since the earliest days of occupation. After 1967, the IDF met passive resistance with a policy of broken bones – and the more than occasional shooting to enforce the message. Palestinian political ‘moderates’ were removed from office, other ‘moderate’ leaders found their homes ransacked, or were arrested on trumped-up charges.
    A major problem is that the populations of Jews and Palestinians is approximately equal. Britain had but maybe 10,000 personnel in India- up against 400 million Indians. If Palestinians were to try walking en masse into their hold stomping grounds – they would be gunned down mercilessly.
    I might also add that Palestinians have never engaged in a suicide bombing frenzy, and certainly not in the recent past of several years.
    But I do understand your central points.

  19. mary said on January 25th, 2009 at 11:51am #

    BBC chief holds peace talks in Jerusalem with Ariel Sharon
    By Guy Adams
    Tuesday, 29 November 2005

    The BBC is often accused of an anti-Israeli bias in its coverage of the Middle East, and recently censured reporter Barbara Plett for saying she “started to cry” when Yasser Arafat left Palestine shortly before his death.

    Fascinating, then, to learn that its director general, Mark Thompson, has recently returned from Jerusalem, where he held a face-to-face meeting with the hardine Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

    Although the diplomatic visit was not publicised on these shores, it has been seized upon in Israel as evidence that Thompson, who took office in 2004, intends to build bridges with the country’s political class.

    Sources at the Beeb also suspect that it heralds a “softening” to the corporation’s unofficial editorial line on the Middle East.

    “This was the first visit of its kind by any serving director general, so it’s clearly a significant development,” I’m told.

    “Not many people know this, but Mark is actually a deeply religious man. He’s a Catholic, but his wife is Jewish, and he has a far greater regard for the Israeli cause than some of his predecessors.”

    Understandably, an official BBC spokesman was anxious to downplay talk of an exclusively pro-Israeli charm offensive.

    Apopros this month’s previously undocumented trip, he stressed that Thompson had also held talks with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/pandora/bbc-chief-holds-peace-talks-in-jerusalem-with-ariel-sharon-517400.html
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wonder what else is going to emerge!

    Have just heard that 100 protesters from Stop The War Coalition/PSC have occupied the BBC HQ in Scotland.

  20. bozh said on January 25th, 2009 at 12:32pm #

    the bottom line is that pals resistance had not stopped loss of their land.
    partisan resistance was successful because it always possessed free teritorry. but the key to their success was that the empires were also fighting germans/italians.
    partisans wld have bitten dust had not US, UK, USSR been victorious.

    in pals case, the many empires/lands are their lethal enemies. it may be true, that even if pals wld resist occupation by non-violence, they wld be provoked into some kind violent acts.

    and we all know there are no absolutes, such as apsolute peaceful occupation or any countries or person’s apsolute security.

    so, US/israel are saying to pals, We’ll kill, kidnap, imprison, torture you anyway but not as much as when you endeavor to be apsolutely peaceful and obedient.

    so, which is better for pals? thnx

  21. giorgio said on January 25th, 2009 at 2:06pm #

    It’s a sad reflection on Israel’s lack of any international moral standing to realise that all this killing and destruction in Gaza for the last few weeks was a mere contest between three Israeli politicians. As Saul Landau puts it in his article in Counterpunch.org, stating in the end:

    “What was this war about? Could it be as banal as gaining seats in the coming elections? That Israeli Defense and Foreign Ministers Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni have shown their voting publics – elections next month – they have bigger cojones than the hawkish Bibi Netanyahu.”

    YES, indeed, it could all boil down to a decision who of the three has REAL BALLS! And this will be decided by the Israeli electorate, early this February. Then the World will know who has been Awarded the Biggest, Heaviest GOLDEN BALL(s)!!! by an extremely judicious, enlightened and savvy Israeli public…

  22. Mulga Mumblebrain said on January 25th, 2009 at 7:35pm #

    Here in Australia the media bias towards Israel is total, with Palestinians voices ENTIRELY absent from the discourse, while every shade of Israeli opinion, but overwhelmingly from the psychopathic Right, is represented, endlessly. My apologies, I remember Hanan Ashrawi being on the radio for some minutes, last week. Despite this prodigious bias, the victims of Zionist ‘moral insanity’ screech every day, in that venomous manner they have perfected, that the media is biased against Israel. Herein lies the peculiar problem that this ceaseless tragedy with its potential to foment religious war and mass murder presents. The Jewish Right, in Israel and outside, are, like all Rightwingers, psychopathic. They fit every criterion, in untruthfulness, egomania, arrogance, lack of human empathy, indifference to the suffering of others etc, but it is Rightist psychopathy with Jewish characteristics. After all how could the reality of adherence to a religion whose fundamentalist tendency, now so powerful in Israel, sees Jews as a different, and higher order of creation from the rest of humanity,and of the recent horrors and psychic and spiritual traumas of the Nazi Judeocide, not deeply affect any group? For the Israeli Right contempt and hatred of the rest of humanity is plainly a reaction to their own suffering, and confirmation of religious indoctrination. When the fascist and racist Israeli state kills children in cold blood, it is not merely saying it regards them and their parents as animals who have gotten in their God-ordained way, and who may be swept aside like insects, but that there is nothing anyone can do about it. Push them too far and the nukes will reign down, not necessarily just on Tehran. The local Judeofascists keep some of their foulest vitriol reserved for the United Nations, it obviously being particularly insufferable to have black, brown and yellow goyim dictating to Chosen People.
    Of course all my criticism is of the Jewish Right, and may equally be applied to those gentile Rightwingers, xenophobes and racists who flock to support Israel, as their grandparents admired Mussolini and Hitler simply because they embody racism and brutal force wielded with consummate cruelty and sadism. Those Jews brave enough to stand against this evil done in their name have my highest admiration, and those silent but dismayed, my sympathy. It must be wretched to see your people turn to evil with greater and greater pitilessness. The problem remains however, how to stop the Israeli Nazi regime from now attacking Lebanon, Iran, Syria, and from ethnically cleansing the remaining Palestinians, and finishing the job left undone in 1948. As every year passes Israeli politics becomes more depraved, yet the stranglehold of Jewish money power in the West tightens, in politics and the media. Not only is Israeli moral perfidy increasing, but they are dragging the West down into the pit with them. In this country the brutality in Gaza has aroused not a single murmur of protest from the mainstream political parties, so great is Jewish control of politics here. An amazing situation, when you consider that they represent 1% of the local population, possibly unparalleled in history.

  23. Don Hawkins said on January 25th, 2009 at 8:16pm #

    Mulga what time is it over there down under because here in the States it’s dark and getting very late.

  24. DavidG. said on January 25th, 2009 at 11:14pm #

    Once again, I just lost a comment that took some time to compose. It is happening constantly over the last week or so.

    Please sort the problem out, Editors!

  25. giorgio said on January 26th, 2009 at 4:30am #

    Israel Shahak ends chapter 4 of his book “Jewish History, Jewish Religion…with this gem statement:

    We must confront the Jewish past and those aspects of the present which are based simultaneously on lying about that past and worshiping it. The prerequisites for this are, first, total honesty about the facts and, secondly, the belief (leading to action, whenever possible) in universalistic human principles of ethics and politics.

    The ancient Chinese sage Mencius (4th century BC), much admired by Voltaire, once wrote:

    This is why I say that all men have a sense of commiseration: here is a man who suddenly notices a child about to fall into a well. Invariably he will feel a sense of alarm and compassion. And this is not for the purpose of gaining the favour of the child’s parents or of seeking the approbation of his neighbours and friends, or for fear of blame should he fail to rescue it. Thus we see that no man is without a sense of compassion or a sense of shame or a sense of courtesy or a sense of right and wrong. The sense of compassion is the beginning of humanity, the sense of shame is the beginning of righteousness, the sense of courtesy is the beginning of decorum, the sense of right and wrong is the beginning of wisdom. Every man has within himself these four beginnings, just as he has four limbs. Since everyone has these four beginnings within him, the man who considers himself incapable of exercising them is destroying himself.

    We have seen above, and will show in greater detail in the next chapter how far removed from this are the precepts with which the Jewish religion in its classical and talmudic form is poisoning minds and hearts.
    The road to a genuine revolution in Judaism – to making it humane, allowing Jews to understand their own past, thereby re-educating themselves out of its tyranny – lies through an unrelenting critique of the Jewish religion. Without fear or favour, we must speak out against what belongs to our own past as Voltaire did against his:

    écrasez l’infâme!

    (crush the infamous!)

  26. John said on January 26th, 2009 at 7:16am #

    I have just come across this discussion and felt I might add to it.

    I find I have to agree in part with some of the criticisms of some major aid agencies. There are often “expenses” incurred which mean the aid donated does not reach the people who need it. Some of the larger charities do have execs on huge salaries who enjoy junkets etc. However there is also the problem of controlling governments, militias etc in some aid areas also misappropriating and syphoning funds and aid away. Notwithstanding this what other way do we have to get our aid to these people? The system is far from perfect but it is what we have so I would ask people to support the major charities in their work.

    The situation in gaza has troubled me for many years. The situation over the last few months has been intolerable. Men women and children have been enclosed in a ghetto. Food and supplies were being allowed in and people we encouraged to travel outside to work for the controlling authorities. Then on a political whim the border is closed – nothing in or out. The situation becomes untenable so the people in the ghetto fight back. The authorities move in with tanks and bombs and kill hundreds. I am not talking about Gaza – this was Warsaw where the Nazi’s put down the Jewish uprising. How can Israel say their attack was justified? In my opinion they are the last of the fascist states and I hope that some people find that offensive enough to actually stop and think.

    There are too many apologists for Israel who feel that because of the Holocaust they cannot be criticised. Hogwash. This discourages impartial reporting. All we ask is the news channels etc report the story fairly and accurately and doesn’t pander to any lobby. Any decent minded person can see that the horrors in gaza should be addressed and we should do what we can to help the victims. We should all also do what we can to try and stop future attrocities.

    Possibly not the most coherent of pieces I have ever written but I hope I get my point across. Sorry if I have repeated anything previously.

  27. mary said on January 26th, 2009 at 2:24pm #

    Sky caved in to the Zionist lobby in the end and did not transmit the appeal. Murdoch spoke no doubt. It was transmitted by ITV, Channel 4 and 5 and a cold stony heart could not fail to be moved by the images.

    Thompson, earning £816,000 pa inc. bonus and pension, sent this e-mail round to the staff, many of whom are said to be very angry. In fact the NUJ and BECTU members have written to the BBC.

    ‘see below Mark Thompson’s email to all BBC staffers concerning DEC Gaza appeal decision:

    Dear all

    I am writing to you to explain some of the background to our decision not to broadcast an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee about the humanitarian problems in Gaza. It’s a decision which is being widely debated outside the BBC and I know will be of interest to many of you as well.

    When there is a major humanitarian crisis, the DEC – which is a group of major British charities – comes together and, if it believes various criteria are met and a major public appeal is justified, asks the BBC and other broadcasters to broadcast an appeal. We usually – though not always – accede to the DEC’s request and as a result have broadcast many DEC appeals over the years.

    A few days ago, the DEC approached us about an appeal for Gaza and, after very careful reflection and consultation inside and outside the BBC, we decided that in this case we should not broadcast the appeal. One reason was a concern about whether aid raised by the appeal could actually be delivered on the ground. You will understand that one of the factors we have to look at is the practicality of the aid, which the public are being asked to fund, getting through. In the case of the Burma cyclone, for instance, it was only when we judged that there was a good chance of the aid getting to the people who needed it most that we agreed to broadcast the appeal. Clearly, there have been considerable logistical difficulties in delivering aid into Gaza. However some progress has already been made and the situation could well improve in the coming days. If it does, this reason for declining to broadcast the appeal will no longer be relevant.

    But there is a second more fundamental reason why we decided that we should not broadcast the appeal at present. This is because Gaza remains a major ongoing news story, in which humanitarian issues – the suffering and distress of civilians and combatants on both sides of the conflict, the debate about who is responsible for causing it and what should be done about it – are both at the heart of the story and contentious. We have and will continue to cover the human side of the conflict in Gaza extensively across our news services where we can place all of the issues in context in an objective and balanced way. After looking at all of the circumstances, and in particular after seeking advice from senior leaders in BBC Journalism, we concluded that we could not broadcast a free-standing appeal, no matter how carefully constructed, without running the risk of reducing public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in its wider coverage of the story. Inevitably an appeal would use pictures which are the same or similar to those we would be using in our news programmes but would do so with the objective of encouraging public donations. The danger for the BBC is that this could be interpreted as taking a political stance on an ongoing story. When we have turned down DEC appeals in the past on impartiality grounds it has been because of this risk of giving the public the impression that the BBC was taking sides in an ongoing conflict.

    However, BBC News and the BBC as a whole, takes its responsibility to report the human consequences of situations like Gaza very seriously and I believe our record in doing it with compassion as well as objectivity is unrivalled. Putting this decision aside, we also have a very strong track-record in supporting DEC appeals and more broadly, through BBC Children In Need, Comic Relief and our many other appeals, in using the BBC’s airwaves to achieve positive humanitarian and charitable goals. This is an important part of what it is to be a public service broadcaster. It is sometimes not a comfortable place to be, but we have a duty to ensure that nothing risks undermining our impartiality. It is to protect that impartiality that we have made this difficult decision.

    Finally, it is important to remember that our decision does not prevent the DEC continuing with their appeal for donations and people are able to contribute should they choose to.

    All the best,

    Mark Thompson
    Director-General’
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The excuses given by him are ridiculously unconvincing. How could broadcasting the appeal possibly put in doubt the BBC’s impartiality? Certainly the Zionist lobby has been at work.

    In November 2005, BBC Director General Mark Thompson travelled to Israel, (my link above) where he schmoozed with Ariel Sharon, the war criminal, which were intended to let the BBC ‘build bridges with Israel’. I am not sure how many prime ministers of foreign countries have had similar visits by the BBC’s Director General. There cannot be many, if any.

    Still, this does not really answer the question. Despite initial denials by
    Tzipi Livni — “Humanitarian crisis? What Humanitarian crisis?” — no-one
    now denies that the situation in Gaza is dire, and its people are in great
    need of aid. Israel can no longer deny it. Moreover, neither Israel nor
    the Zionist lobby made the slightest protest when President Obama promised to provide such aid from the US and its satellites.

    Here is the key to the puzzle. Obama’s promised aid has a big string attached to it: the aid must be channelled via Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority. That condition was explicit in Obama’s statement. Hamas are personae non gratae.

    One of the main aims of the Israeli massacre in Gaza was to impose on the people in Gaza the corrupt and compliant Palestinian Authority, which is subservient to Israel and the US. The promised aid will be used as an instrument of subjugating the Palestinians to Israel and the US further increasing the collaboration. The US and Israel want to stop aid going through independent channels.

    Probably the pressure on the BBC has been exerted not only by
    the UK Zionist lobby, but also by the US. If this conjecture is correct expect to hear in future about Israel putting many obstacles in the way of independent aid getting through to Gaza, eg keeping the borders closed.

    Incidentally there hasn’t been a peep out of the Palestinian General Delegate to the UK, the Palestinian Authority’s answer to the voluble and ever-present-on-the-BBC Israeli Ambassador, Prosor.

    Shame on the oppressors and persecutors of the Palestinians.

    And Kahar and John I do not think that the executives of the 13 DEC charities combined will be in receipt of anything near Thompson’s individual salary. It is easy to cast aspersions.

  28. mary said on January 26th, 2009 at 2:31pm #

    This is a You Tube of the appeal.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=0AgUJncX4X4

  29. John said on January 27th, 2009 at 4:17am #

    I was not trying to cast aspersions Mary but to accept that there is some truth is Kahar’s comments about charities. You will note that I also said I fully supported the DEC appeal. I would like people to realise that charity management and the real problems on the ground are two seperate issues that need to be addressed at different times and not at a time of crisis such as this. I feared Kahar would “throw the baby out with the bathwater” with his comments and sought to be reasonable in a response.

    I suspect you are wrong on the salary figures. Just for information some charities do have chief execs on salaries in excess of £150k p.a. That’s an awful lot of small donations. This is Dissident Voice seeking social justice and peace. Is it social justice for a pensioner or low waged to donate £1 which might be a major percentage of their disposable income intending their gift to help people even less fortunate than themselves for someone to enjoy a very healthy income from that £1? That too is a social justice issue isn’t it?

    That is however a side issue. The persecution of the Palestinians, the attrocities committed by Israeli armed forces and the tacit approval of much of the rest of the world governments is the real issue and we need to be united in trying to help there.

  30. kahar said on January 27th, 2009 at 7:20am #

    Well, I don’t know what you mean by “throwing the baby out etc”. If people really cared they would not throw their money at these major charities who are in league with the criminal media and directed by corporate interest — their money is in reality doing harm to the people they imagine will be aided. Big charities are nothing short of criminals waiting for the opportunity to make easy profit. Your donated £1 will just go to fill the pocket of some white as***le with a high salary, no conscience and a lavish lifestyle. The same can be said of the UN organisations who along with the charities make huge profits in places of misery where refugees might be suffering (if you have been such a person you would know this well). The BBC is a deeply criminal organisation and all the past charity events they’ve hosted have done nothing but damage the places and people they pretended to help. If people wanted to help they could donate to Free Gaza which from what I can see is involved in direct action to break the seige, and I’m sure there are other small organisations that do similar.

  31. kahar said on January 27th, 2009 at 7:29am #

    Mary, you are clueless about who the executives are let alone their salaries. But the problem is not just salaries — they need to be high to keep the type of whores needed — it’s about perpetuating misery which as an industry what theses major charities do.

  32. mary said on January 27th, 2009 at 8:29am #

    We could go the whole hog and say that Hamas steal the aid and keep the takings like Melanie ‘Mad Mel’ Phillips in the Daily Mail today.

    To take one example out of the 13 charities, Islamic Relief, the Devil’s Claw as you call it puzzlingly, has a CEO named Haroun Atallah, an income of £29m, a salary bill of £4.4m and do not pay anyone in excess of £60,000 pa. Their Annual Report

    http://www.islamic-relief.com/WhoWeAre/Files/AnnualReportandFS2007_a.pdf

    is easily available on the Charity Commission website as are those for the other charities and gives all the required information.

    18. Staff Costs and Emoluments
    Total
    2007
    Gross Salaries £4,436,120
    Employers National Insurance £430,409
    Pension Contribution £38,889
    Number 195

    Average number of Employees As restated
    Engaged on Charitable Activities 38
    Engaged on Publicity Activities 27
    Engaged on Fund-raising Activities 68
    Engaged on Management and Governance Activities 26
    Engaged on Support Activities 36
    There were no employees with emoluments in excess of £60,000 per annum.

    19. Trustees Remuneration
    2007
    Trustees are not remunerated (2006 £Nil)
    Neither the trustees nor any persons connected with them have received any remuneration, either in the current year or the prior year.

    Number of Trustees 7
    Trustees Expenses
    Travel – £2,048

    Can we please stop now?

  33. Gary Corseri said on January 27th, 2009 at 1:34pm #

    I read with incredulity that the BBC had denied a charitable group a chance to air an appeal on the BBC to solicit money to help Gaza.

    Whatever happened to John Bull? Must we now say John Bullshit? Has John Bull traded kidney pie for motzoh ball soup?

  34. mary said on January 28th, 2009 at 3:05am #

    I bet you had fun writing that pithy two-liner Gary. V. good. One correction – it’s called steak and kidney pie but it is not so popular these days. Cholesterol! All that animal fat!

    This in from another good man.

    UN nuclear chief boycotts BBC over Gaza appeal

    Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog and a Nobel peace prize winner, has cancelled planned interviews with the BBC in protest at the corporation’s decision not to air a humanitarian appeal for Gaza.

    In a statement issued to the Guardian, ElBaradei unleashed a stinging denunciation of the BBC that deepens the damage already inflicted by the Gaza row.

    The statement from his office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the BBC management decision not to air the aid appeal for victims of the fighting “violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people irrespective of who is right or wrong”.

    According to the statement, the IAEA director had cancelled interviews with BBC World Service television and radio, which had been scheduled to take place on Saturday at the World Economic Forum at Davos.

    A BBC spokesman said: “We regret that Mr ElBaradei was not able to participate in an interview with the BBC while he is at Davos. Our audience around the world remains interested in what he has to say about a range of topics and we hope he will accept an invation at another time.”

    Elbaradei, an Egyptian lawyer, is due to leave his post as IAEA director general in November. He won acclaim for his scepticism over western claims that Saddam Hussein was attempting to develop nuclear weapons, and his public opposition to the invasion. He and the IAEA won the Nobel peace prize in 2005.

    Officials in his office said it was unclear how long ElBaradei’s BBC boycott would last. A spokeswoman said she expected him to review his position in light of how the BBC resolved the row.

    Both the BBC and Sky decided not to air an appeal from the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella group of non-governmental humanitarian agencies, for aid for victims of the recent conflict in Gaza.

    The appeal was broadcast by ITV, Channel 4, and Channel Five last night and was watched by a combined audience of 4.5 million.

    At the beginning of the broadcast, a voiceover said: “This is not about the rights and wrongs of the conflict, these people simply need your help.”

    The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, said the appeal was not broadcast because it would have damaged the impartiality of the corporation’s coverage of the conflict.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jan/28/bbc
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    PS There’s a reference there to the Global Economic Forum in Davos. Many of the UK banking chiefs are dropping out as they cannot possibly be seen having a good time when they have made such a pig’s ear of the banking system. I believe Blair was holding court there last year after he had fixed up his JP Morgan sinecure.

  35. kahar said on January 28th, 2009 at 4:57am #

    Mary, did you not read my comment? I said it’s not just about salaries. Your flippant and moronic remark about Hamas and your persistent defence of these charities makes me wonder as to your reasons.