Outrageously biased BBC News Hour story about the blockade of Gaza

To: worldservice@bbc.co.uk
Cc: letters@camera.org, kklose@npr.org, info@wbur.bu.edu

To whom it may concern:

I just heard on the BBC News Hour, broadcast on the NPR station WBUR of Boston, an outrageously one-sided story about Hamas and the blockade of Gaza.

A UN official, an Israeli teacher and an Hamas official were interviewed on the air calling for the blockade to be lifted.  It is unclear why the BBC felt that an Israeli school teacher qualifies as an expect on the Arab-Israeli conflict whose opinion is worthy of broadcast.  It is unfathomable why the BBC would think it appropriate to broadcast a story about the blockade without interviewing a single person who supports it.

The Hamas official you interviewed claimed that Israel is trying to impose “surrender” on the Palestinians.  Your story offered no opposing point of view.  Hamas refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, and its stated raison d’etre, which its leadership has affirmed quite recently, is to destroy Israel and kill as many “Zionists” as possible in the process.  It would seem Hamas, not Israel, is trying to impose “surrender”; why did your story say nothing of this?

The UN official you interviewed blamed the suffering in Gaza on Isarel and said that it was “completely predictable” that the blockade would cause such suffering.  The other interviewees also blamed Israel.  Wouldn’t it perhaps have made sense to at least mention in passing, let alone cover in an interview, the point of view held by many civilized people all over the world, not just by Israel, that the suffering is Hamas’s fault, that if Hamas would denounce its quest to destroy Israel and stop sending bombs and suicide bombers, Gaza and the entire Middle East would benefit as a result?

As described by CAMERA, the supposed “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza was manufactured by Hamas for the purpose of drumming up support.  Wouldn’t it have made sense to mention this?

Your reporter mentioned in passing that he had to switch passports on the way to Damascus, because travelers with Israeli visas in their passports are not allowed to enter Syria.  Wouldn’t it perhaps have made sense to at least mention in passing that this because Syria, too, refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, and has officially been in a state of war with Israel for the last sixty years?  Wouldn’t it perhaps have made sense to at least mention that the reason why your reporter was traveling to Syria to speak with a Hamas official, is because Hamas is not in fact a Palestinian movement, but is rather a movement of terrorists born, bred and trained in Israel with the express purpose of destroying Israel?

Wouldn’t it perhaps have made sense to mention that in the last election, the Palestinians had the opportunity to choose between leaders who were trying to make peace with Israel, and leaders whose avowed purpose is to destroy Israel, and they chose the latter?  Who, then, but them, is to blame for their suffering?

Wouldn’t it perhaps have made sense to mention that when Israel loosens the border restrictions on Gaza, the inevitable result is increased incursions into Israel and attacks by Hamas terrorists?

Wouldn’t it perhaps have made sense to mention that when the border between Gaza and Egypt was breached, Hamas operatives were seen transporting weapons and supplies for manufacturing explosives in large quantities from Egypt into Gaza?  Do your reporters think they are going to use all that ammonium nitrate to fertilize their crops?

The Hamas official you interviewed openly threatened to escalate the violence in the coming weeks and months if the “siege” of Gaza is not lifted.  Your story left this remark unchallenged.  In other words, you allowed a Hamas official to openly threaten terrorism without saying a word about it.  When the IRA was bombing buildings in London, did the BBC allow IRA spokesmen to threaten escalations of the violence on the air without challenging them?

Wouldn’t it perhaps have made sense to mention that not only Israel, but also the US, the European Union, Canada, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom classify Hamas as a terrorist organization, and that the Israeli policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorist organizations is supported by much of the world?

The story I heard this morning on the BBC was essentially Hamas propaganda, not the objective, balanced, fact-based reporting one might expect from an organization like the BBC.  Or, at least, the reporting one might expect if one did not already know that the BBC has a long, shameful history of bias against Israel in its reporting of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Jonathan Kamens

To: worldservice@bbc.co.uk
Cc: letters@camera.org, kklose@npr.org, info@wbur.bu.edu

One more thing I forgot to mention:

It would have made sense to mention, when reporting Hamas’s call for a ceasefire, that there is a long, clear historical record of Hamas using ceasefires not as an opportunity to make progress toward peace, but rather as an opportunity to regroup, retrain and rearm its operatives, after which it engages in some sort of provocation which forces Israel to respond, then claims that Israel broke the ceasefire and resumes its attacks, stronger than it was before.  In other words, for Hamas, calls for ceasefire are a military tactic.  This fact would have been reported in an objective news story.

Jonathan Kamens

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One Response to “Outrageously biased BBC News Hour story about the blockade of Gaza”

  1. BBC reader says:

    BBC bias isn’t new, but still they maintain as the biggest and most important news service in the world. Big money can revert the truth and even rewrite history.

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