BBC Bias: The Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Whatever happened on the Mavi Marmara on the morning of May 31st, 2010, the BBC’s Panorama team failed to give a balanced view of it in its so-called documentary, Death in the Med.  Even the title sounds more like that of a paperback mystery, rather than a serious analysis of Israel’s worst atrocity since Operation Cast Lead.

Documentaries should be truthful and informative and expand our understanding of situations and events; their content should be rigorously checked for errors in statements which are presented as facts and conjecture, and the personal opinions of their writers and presenters should be explicitly identified as such.  But  Death in the Med failed any test based on those parameters.

The BBC’s television and radio services reach an audience measured in hundreds of millions, world-wide, but are primarily funded by taxes and license fees paid by the British public; not by Israel or its influential friends.  Panorama’s biased and often untruthful treatment of Israel’s worst atrocity since Operation Cast Lead should trigger a public enquiry about who is really in charge of one of the most influential broadcasters on the planet.

Anthony Lawson is a retired, international-prize-winning TV commercials director, cameraman and editor, and a professional voiceover artist living in Thailand. His entire catalog of YouTube videos can be viewed online. Read other articles by Anthony.

23 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MylesH said on September 13th, 2010 at 7:24am #

    I wish the author would have provided examples and details. For the other hundreds of millions of us who did not watch the BBC coverage, we have nothing to go to agree or disagree with the article.

  2. MylesH said on September 13th, 2010 at 7:25am #

    Forgive the early morning grammar boo boo. ‘to go ON…’

  3. mary said on September 13th, 2010 at 8:24am #

    I am not seeing the video. In case others cannot it is

    Nearly 8,000 viewings since 11 Sept. Some Zionist trolls in the many comments needless to say.

  4. mary said on September 13th, 2010 at 8:36am #

    MylesH The programme itself is on two YouTubes.

    Thousands and thousands of complaints to the BBC followed. Normally these receive a template letter from a company called Capita that the BBC outsource. Eventually their Director of Complaints (Orwellian?) is dealing direct. Thousands of complaints will go to him but nothing will happen. The BBC is pure and simply a Zionist mouthpiece.
    Members who followed their initial emails up to Stage 3 of the BBC’s complaints process have received a letter from Colin Tregear, Complaints Director of the BBC, informing them that their complaint will be investigated and setting out the detailed guidelines under which the investigation will take place.

    Click here to read the guidelines under which the BBC will investigate complaints

    Click here to find out how to complain to the BBC about Death in the Med
    Complaints must be submitted by 16 September at the latest.


  5. MichaelKenny said on September 13th, 2010 at 9:24am #

    The BBC is financed by a licence fee paid by all households who have a TV. The private TV channels, and particularly, Murdoch’s BSkyB group of channels, are trying to get their hands on part of the licence fee and are smearing the BBC at every turn essentially because there are too many private TV channels in Europe for the amount of advertising available. Could that explain why the BBC is constantly being criticised but never is heard a discouraging word about ITV or Sky News? Mr Lawson, as he tells us, spent his professional career in commercial television. That a public service broadcaster like the BBC might not appeal to him is hardly surprising!

  6. mary said on September 13th, 2010 at 2:19pm #

    This disgusting propaganda has been inflicted on the Australians under another name Gaza – Collision Course.

    Murdoch might be smearing the BBC for commercial reasons and for his desire for a monopoly but at least the nature of his Zionist propaganda is overt. The BBC is the state broadcaster funded by the licence fees and should be completely impartial. The bias in their reporting on Israel and Palestine is continuous and obvious and this so called documentary was a travesty of the truth.

  7. MylesH said on September 13th, 2010 at 4:18pm #

    Thank you for providing the video. I’m now seeing it, whereas before there was only space. I think my original comment was due to a glitch that prevented the clip from being shown at that time.

  8. Anthony Lawson said on September 13th, 2010 at 9:29pm #

    Michael Kenny wrote: “Mr Lawson, as he tells us, spent his professional career in commercial television.”

    No, I did not tell you that. Check out what is written about me, above. Being an independent commercials director, cameraman, etc., is very far away from working in commercial television. In fact I once directed nine anti-smoking “commercials” for the BBC, for nothing, which were only run once, because the tobacco companies claimed that they broke the BBC’s charter on “advertising.”

    Mr. Kenny also wrote: “That a public service broadcaster like the BBC might not appeal to him is hardly surprising!”

    I leave it to others to make a judgment on Mr. Kenny’s powers of deduction. But another point Mr Kenny might like to ponder is that I live in Thailand, and I don’t have access to any U.K. independent broadcasters; my cable service only provides me with the BBC and CNN, which I also attack, when I think it necessary to do so.

    Next time, comment on the content of my video, Mr Kenny, not on me or what you perceive might have been my reason for making it, because you obviously haven’t any idea what motivates me.

  9. catguy00 said on September 13th, 2010 at 10:59pm #

    Most complaints against the BBC are that they are too pro-Palestinian.

  10. mary said on September 14th, 2010 at 7:45am #

    Your one liner is totally pathetic. Those who say that the BBC display a bias for Palestine are the CAMERA crew, part of your Hasbara set up.

    Meanwhile Mossad come up with the goods at the eleventh hour.

  11. 3bancan said on September 14th, 2010 at 8:15am #

    catguy00 said on September 13th, 2010 at 10:59pm #

    “Most complaints against the BBC are that they are too pro-Palestinian.”

    This is a real jewel of zionazi argument…

  12. catguy00 said on September 14th, 2010 at 7:38pm #

    Shouldn’t the BBC have supported the Iraq war???

  13. 3bancan said on September 14th, 2010 at 8:52pm #

    catguy00 said on September 14th, 2010 at 7:38pm #

    “Shouldn’t the BBC have supported the Iraq war???”

    What a perfect zionazi rhetorical question…

  14. mary said on September 14th, 2010 at 10:58pm #

    In answer to “Shouldn’t the BBC have supported the Iraq war???”.
    They did.

    ‘As the welcome sound of the machinery of war clunked into gear, the ‘Zioneocons’ high fived. We had had them up to here on the BBC. The Perles, Wolfowitzs and Edelmans were given free rein by our State Broadcaster whereas voices against illegal war were handed three percent of broadcasting time.’
    Blair’s Journey: Questions before Charge

  15. mary said on September 15th, 2010 at 2:50am #

    That’s alright then. Carry on with the slaughter.

    14 September 2010

    Israeli army admits three killed Gazans were civilians
    Ibrahim Abu Saeed, 91, and his grandson Husam were buried on Monday

    The Israeli army has admitted that three Palestinian men it killed in Gaza on Sunday were civilians, and not terrorists, as previously claimed.

  16. mary said on September 15th, 2010 at 8:24am #

    First aid convoy since the Mavi Marmara massacre

    Press Release
    15 September 2010

    Viva Palestina’s Lifeline 5 aid convoy will leave London this coming Saturday. The convoy will gather at 8.30am on the north side of the Embankment east of the Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House. The convoy will leave at 9.30am. All press are welcome.

    This is the first aid convoy to head for Gaza since nine human rights activists died at Israeli commando hands on the Mavi Marmara on 31st May. The convoy, organised by Viva Palestina, will include volunteers from Britain and Northern Ireland and representatives of organisations in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, France, Italy and Canada.

    The convoy will travel through France, stopping in Paris and Lyon, Italy stopping in Turin and Milan, Greece and Turkey before entering Syria. It will then board ships at the port of Latakia sailing to the Egyptian port of El Arish before entering Gaza through the Rafah Crossing. Details of the route and dates are available upon application. The convoy is expected to reach Gaza some time in the first two weeks of October.

    Aid vehicles are currently being stored in Luton and will be collected by volunteers on Friday 17th September. The press is welcome to come to Luton from 2.30pm on Friday to meet volunteers, etc. George Galloway will join the convoy on Saturday morning at the Embankment.

    For more information, comment, etc, please contact Rob Hoveman on 07889 726777

  17. Rehmat said on September 16th, 2010 at 4:56am #

    The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is supposed to be a publically owned multi-media company – but in reality most of its top management and decision-making positions are held by pro-Israel Jews. The latest addition to BBC executive board is Marcus Paul Agius (b. 1946) born into a Jewish family and married to the daughter of Edmund de Rothschild, the family known to be the founder of Israel.

    It was Marcus, who allegedly influenced BBC decision not to broadcast British MP George Galloway’s appeal for humanitarian aid for the Gazan victims of Zionazi thugs.

    The other Jews, who are and had been occupying top positions are – Greg Dyke, Tony Cohen, Alan Yentob, Alan Bookbinder, Jenny Abramsky, etc. In his 2003 article, Thomas Sparks, reported that the Zionist Jews have an almost total grip on the media in Britain. In addition to the BBC, Jews also control ITV, Granada Plc, ITN, Angelia Television, BSkyB, etc. Furthermore, 85 million copies of Jewish-controlled newspapers are sold in Britain evert week, controlled by Richard Desmond, Rupert Murdoch, Guy Zitter, and Zionist Conrad Black and his Jewish wife, Barbara Ameil.

    Like Britain, Jewish control of mass media is also a taboo in the US. However, interestingly, a Jewish Website “Juaism Online” gloated in its article “Jewish Success in American Media” – which proves that’s why US media spends more time on Israeli cause, hatred toward Islam, Christianity, Palestinian, and pushing Zionists’ immoral and political agenda. The list included CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and CNN.

  18. mary said on September 16th, 2010 at 5:28am #

    You are correct about Agius. Married to a Rothschild and Chairman of Barclays Bank, he must be doing something right. ;.)

    Conrad Black went to jail and is longer involved with the Daily Telegraph which was sold to the Barclay Brothers. Don’t know what his wife, the sainted Barbara Amiel, is up to though.

  19. Mulga Mumblebrain said on September 17th, 2010 at 4:03am #

    The reason that most complaints to the ZBC are that it is biased towards the Palestinians (Orwell would be humming in his grave) is that any hint, from time to time, either directly or by inference, that Palestinians, Moslems or Arabs might just,possibly, be human beings and not the ‘terrorwist’ devils that the Zionist controlled media relentlessly portray them as, sends the Zionazis into a frenzy.You must never forget that these are creatures absolutely riven by hatred and the lust to destroy their numerous ‘enemies’, those people who refuse to bow down and grovel before their super-human magnificence. I’ve witnessed the depths of this hate,with Zionists, their faces contorted into a rictus of rage, have sprayed me with spittle as they screeched their venom in retort to some mild observation. My mother, an elderly woman, was pinned up against the wall by a huge,middle-aged, South African Jew, when she mentioned the plight of the Palestinians at a meeting of her local Labor Party branch. She had been a member for over twenty years, the Zionazi just blown in from South Africa.
    For as long as Judeofascists and Zionazisare allowed to get away with murder, and consequent intimidation, vilification and demonisation, because of their money power and the moral cowardice and perfidy of so many, they will surely simply grow worse and worse. All bullying thugs follow this trajectory, and none more so than these, a species of bully made all the more dangerous by their religious belief that the rest of humanity are a species of lower animal.

  20. mary said on September 22nd, 2010 at 2:13pm #

    22 September 2010 22:01pm

    Israeli raid on Gaza aid flotilla broke law – UN probe

    The raid on the Mavi Marmara resulted in the deaths of nine pro-Palestinian activists Israel’s military broke international laws during its raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, a UN Human Rights Council investigation says.

    The three-member panel said the Israeli commandoes’ response to the flotilla was “disproportionate” and “betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality”.

    Israel insists that its soldiers acted in self-defence during the 31 May raid.

    Nine people were killed on board a Turkish ship as it tried to breach an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. (photo)

    There was widespread international criticism of Israel’s actions, which severely strained relations with its long-time Muslim ally, Turkey.

    Israeli rebuttal

    In a 56-page report, the UN panel said: “There is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: wilful killing; torture or inhuman treatment; wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health”.

    “The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence.”
    UN Human Rights Council report

    Report in full (link)

    The Convention is an international treaty governing the protection of civilians in times of war.

    The UN fact-finding mission also said the Israeli blockade of the Palestinian territory was “unlawful” because of a humanitarian crisis there.

    Just before the report was released, Israel dismissed the Human Rights Council as being biased, politicised and extremist.

    Israel also said that work on its own independent enquiry into the raid on the Mavi Mamara ship was still continuing.

    The Israeli investigation has two foreign observers, but critics say its remit is too narrow.

    Last month, the head of Israel’s military, Lt Gen Gabi Ashkenazi, defended its troops’ use of live ammunition during the raid. He told the Israeli inquiry that the soldiers had underestimated the threat and should have used more force to subdue activists before boarding.

    Those aboard the Mavi Marmara, where the activists were killed, say the commandos opened fire as soon as they boarded the vessel, which was in international waters at the time.

    There is also a separate UN enquiry – ordered by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon – into the raid.

  21. mary said on September 23rd, 2010 at 4:37am #

    The report:

    The summary:

    This report was prepared by the fact-finding mission established by the Human Rights Council in resolution A/HRC/RES/14/1 of 2 June 2010 to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, resulting from the interception by Israeli forces of the humanitarian aid flotilla bound for Gaza on 31
    May 2010 during which nine people were killed and many others injured.

    The report sets out background information relating to the interception of the flotilla as well as the applicable international law.

    The fact-finding mission conducted interviews with more than 100 witnesses in Geneva, London, Istanbul and Amman. On the basis of this testimony and other information received, the Mission was able to reconstruct a picture of the circumstances surrounding the interception on 31 May 2010 and its aftermath.

    The report presents a factual description of the events leading up to the interception, the interception of each of the six ships in the flotilla as well as a seventh ship subsequently intercepted on 6 June 2010, the deaths of nine passengers and wounding of many others and the detention of passengers in Israel and their deportation.

    The report contains a legal analysis of facts as determined by the Mission with a view to determining whether violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, took place.

    The fact-finding mission concluded that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation.

  22. mary said on September 24th, 2010 at 8:56am #

    From Free Gaza
    23 September 2010


    No one was safe,’ once Israeli soldiers began using live ammunition on board the Mavi Marmara, says an authoritative UN investigation team into the Israeli attacks on the Gaza aid flotilla.

    Their report is now going to be considered by the 57-member UN Human Rights Council next week that has the chance to finally ensure that Israel is held accountable for committing what the UNFFM found to be serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law including war crimes of wilful killing and torture.

    The UNFFM found that Israeli military personnel used ‘incredible violence’ against civilians who the investigators describe as ‘persons genuinely committed to the spirit of humanitarianism’.


  23. mary said on October 7th, 2010 at 11:53pm #

    Dogs will be used next time, if there is a next time. Apart from the fear that snarling dogs will engender, dogs are not liked by muslim people. I have seen the effect of the use of dogs by riot police in London against the Cast Lead demonstrators.


    IDF learns lessons from Turkish flotilla: Oketz unit dogs will be first to go aboard, keep area sterile until soldiers arrive

    Hanan Greenberg Published: 10.07.10, 17:17 / Israel News

    The IDF is learning from its experience with the flotilla to the Gaza Strip, and when the next flotilla – if there is one – is boarded by the navy, the soldiers will be assisted by attack dogs from the Oketz unit. The dogs will be the first to board the decks, to prevent harm to soldiers from hostile elements on board.

    “As soon as you put an attack dog in an area where soldiers are supposed to get to, it keeps the place sterile and prevents anyone from approaching,” a military source said. “Dogs can be placed by crane or other means. They’ll be the first, and after them, the soldiers.”

    Dogs from the Oketz unit are trained to immobilize an enemy by biting – the more the enemy struggles, the harder the bite. “Attack dogs have proved their capabilities on many occasions,” the source said. “They are strong and merciless, but in fact this is a non-lethal weapon that can certainly do the work (on the deck).”

    The same source said dogs were involved in preparations for boarding the Turkish flotilla, but it was believed there would be no violent opposition from the people aboard the Marmara, so they were not sent onto the decks.

    ‘Dogs can operate on board’

    “After that flotilla, we understood that this is indeed a good method and we’re improving our abilities,” he said. “A dog has no problem operating on a boat and can do great work.”

    It must be noted that in military investigations, officers have pointed out that after the Shayetet soldiers had succeeded in getting onto the deck, their operation was easy. Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi testified to the Turkel committee that the area which the soldiers reach must be sterile, and even hinted at the need for snipers.

    Recently, in light of the Oketz unit’s operational success, it has been decided to expand its activities in war and emergency situations. The unit will take part in training with other units which the dogs will then meet on the battlefield.

    “This will create cooperation and familiarity between the dog handlers and dogs, and the officers,” the military source said. “Then, when they have to operate during war, the initial familiarity of each handler and each dog with a different unit will increase efficacy.”,7340,L-3966094,00.html

    (There is also a video of the capture of the Jewish aid boat to Gaza here.)