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Complain to the BBC about the outrageous Panorama propaganda

1 September 2010

Many of you will have seen the Panorama show aired by the BBC two weeks ago. If you haven’t yet seen it, you can watch it here now:

No informed viewer could fail to have been disgusted by the blatant bias shown by presenter Jane Corbin. The amount of airtime and credence given to Israeli lies throughout was shameful. Throughout the programme, we were constantly asked to identify with the Israeli soldiers, whose lies about the peace activists on board the flotilla were repeated over and over again, without any serious questioning.

Apparently, while the majority of world opinion is finally turning away from supporting this pariah apartheid state, while consumers, trade unions, investors, academics, musicians and artists are boycotting Israel, the BBC thinks it’s the corporation’s job to help the war criminals cover up their crimes.

This blog has previously reported the personal testimonies of people who were on board the Mavi Marmara. The torture and barbarity they were subjected to was unjustified and unjustifiable (to re-use a Cameron quote). The stories put out by Israeli soldiers and generals in their defence are total fabrications.

Just one point puts it all in perspective: if Israel hadn’t been intending to kill unarmed civilians, why did they send their deadliest fighting force, equipped with live ammunition, to stop the flotilla in the middle of the night? Surely Israel has plenty of police trained in opposing civil disobedience-type actions? The flotilla was heading away from Israel at the time of the attack, trying to avoid a night-time confrontation. It posed no threat to Israel, and if it had, there are many ways to stop boats without attacking all those on board.

Even more to the point: the UN calls the blockade and the occupation unlawful. Under international law Israel has no right to stop aid ships that are bound for Gaza. Moreover, they stopped the ships in international waters, which no nation has the right to do. And given that they did that, any defence the people on the ship put up was perfectly justified under international law. It comes to something when a BBC reporter nods sympathetically as an international pirate complains that he came under attack, when he was the one who forcefully boarded a ship in international waters while shooting live ammo!

The Israelis stole all the camera and video footage taken by those on board the flotilla, as well as their personal possessions. (Some people even found that soldiers had used their credit cards when they got home.) Anything the Israeli army is now releasing has clearly been selected and edited by them to back up whatever specious arguments they want to make.

The fact that the Panorama programme made no serious mention of most of these basic facts; no mention of the illegal blockade; no mention of the illegal occupation; no mention of the ethnic cleansing, bombing, executions, house demolitions and many other crimes committed by Israel, and which explain the background to the flotilla’s mission, but instead chose to give the majority of airtime to Israelis keen to present those on the flotilla as crazy muslim terrorists and the attack as a ‘slightly misjudged’ but perfectly acceptable and even normal ‘operation’, tells its own story about the role of the BBC and its alleged ‘values’ and ‘impartiality’.

Similarly outrageous was the Beeb’s keenness to emphasise the ‘Islamist’ aspect of the flotilla, and of the Turkish government, following the racist Israeli logic that the merest hint of ‘muslim’ involvement is enough to justify their barbarity or to negate the concern that people in Turkey (as in most other parts of the world) feel for the plight of the Palestinian people.

The repeated slanders against humanitarian aid organisation IHH volunteers as ‘terrorists’ is another example of this. No mention was made in the programme of the charity’s UN-recognised status, or of its many projects building wells in Africa or feeding refugees in Pakistan; of its orphan-sponsoring programmes all over the world, or its clinics in Haiti.

The unspoken conclusion that was being pushed onto British viewers was that those on board the flotilla were ‘muslims’, in which case, we needn’t take their concerns seriously or mind much if they got killed! (An easy bit of racism to peddle in the light of the routine covering up and normalising of massacres against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

Media workers should be ashamed to be associated with this kind of programme, which has more in common with Goebbels than with honest journalism.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is calling on people to complain about the programme. When you’ve done that and got their standard brush-off response, follow it up with further action. Please do everything you can to bring the broadcasters to account and let them know that they do not speak for decent British people!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mohamed Hassan permalink
    4 September 2010 1:31pm

    Hope more people escape this evil regime

  2. Stephen Bailey permalink
    4 September 2010 3:50pm

    Thank you Joti for bringing this to my attention .
    I missed the programme when it was aired originally
    but have watched it now. To think my licence fee pays for this one sided drivel.

    Stephen

  3. Jonathan Dale permalink
    5 September 2010 9:29pm

    WHAT HAPPEND ON THE FORTILLA WAS A MURDEREST ATTACK BYE ISREAL GOVERMENT AND MILLITARRY, IT POROVES EVEN FURTHER THAT ISREAL, IS WHAT IT INTENDS TO BE, AND OPPRESSOR, AND A 2ND USA. WE CAN ALL SEE WHY THE TWO STATES ARE SO IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER AND SHARE SIMILAIR ALLIES. WE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO STAND FOR IT ANYMORE WE ARE GOING TO RISE UP AGAINST THIS MIGHT, AND LIES OF THE PROPAGANDA. BUILT UP BYE THE CAPITALIST MEDIA. THE PROPAGANDA IS ONE SIDED WHY BECAUSE THEY SUPPORT WHAT IS GOING ON. LETS SHE IF THE MEDIA IS EVER GOING TO SHOW THAT THIS IS TWO SIDES TO A FIGHT NOT ONE SIDE.

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