BBC: A Zionist Propaganda?
By Ghali Hassan
18 July, 2006
portrayal of the BBC as independent and impartial public broadcaster
is sadly misleading. The BBC is a global instrument of Zionist propaganda.
In addition to defending Israel’s terrorism and the illegal occupation
of Palestinian land, the BBC is an active complicit in Zionism war crimes
throughout the Middle East.
A study by Greg Philo and
Mike Berry of the Glasgow University Media Unit in Scotland reveals
that the British media, including the BBC denying the public an opportunity
to understand the rights of the Palestinian people resistance to Israel’s
terror and Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. As a result of the
BBC Zionist propaganda, the British public remain confused and unable
to differentiate between the gross violence of the oppressors (the Israelis)
and the retaliatory self-defence of the oppressed (the Palestinians).
It is sad that the majority of the British public are unaware of the
fact that since 1967 Palestinians are under illegal Israeli military
occupation; the longest and most brutal in modern history. The so-called
Palestinian “authority” is a myth created by Israel and
the U.S. to manipulate public opinion and cover-up Israel’s crimes.
With its veneer of English
sophistication and global audience, the BBC is a formidable propaganda
instrument. Just after the Israeli army murdered an entire family (the
Ghalia’s family) and wounded many more Palestinians while picnicking
on a northern Gaza beach, the BBC was the first Western media to defend
Israel and volunteered to cover-up Israel’s crimes. The BBC went
along to unchallenged the Israeli lies, and happily repeated the Israeli
army (Israeli occupation forces [IOF]) claims that Israel is an innocent
bystander. The BBC version was that; “Israel is not responsible
for a blast that killed an entire Palestinian family enjoying a picnic
on a Gaza beach last Friday, Defence Minister Amir Peretz says”.
The BBC deliberately ignored hard evidence – Palestinian eyewitnesses,
hospital records, the U.S.-based Human Right Watch (HRW) and even Israelis
– that refuted the Israeli military version of events.
The Nazareth-based British
writer and journalist, Jonathan Cook wrote that the BBC “credulously
reports preposterous arguments seeking to exonerate the Israeli army
of responsibility for the shelling of the beach in Gaza that killed
a Palestinian family of seven. It treats as equally credible the army's
belated version in which Palestinian militants are said to have laid
a single mine at a favourite seaside picnic spot in the futile hope
of preventing the Israeli navy landing along the [Gaza] Strip's miles
of coastline”. It follows, that the BBC is complicit in Israel’s
crimes cover-up against the Palestinian people, and this is not an isolated
The BBC has a history of
defending Israel’s terror since the creation of Israel by British
imperialists. Israeli Zionists and their supporters in the West, the
likes of the racist Zionist Maureen Lipman, are the unchallenged permanent
guests on BBC programs, while Palestinians and pro-Palestinian voices
are shut-off. It is noteworthy that in order to deceit the public, the
BBC (occasionally) criticises Israel’s terror against the Palestinians.
However, any thing critique of Israel is said in an apologetic and vague
form that praises Israel.
Furthermore, the current
BBC coverage of the Israeli invasion and barbaric attacks on Gaza and
the indiscriminate aggression on Lebanon shows that the BBC favours
the Israeli-Zionist narrative at the expense of millions of defenceless
Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. While the BBC called Israeli indiscriminate
attacks on civilians – using U.S.-made Apache helicopter gunships,
F-16s bombers and artillery shells – acts of “self defence”,
the BBC blames the Palestinian and Lebanese resistant to Israel’s
aggression as “major escalation”.
It should be borne in mind
that while Palestinian and Lebanese resistant attacks were on legitimate
Israeli military targets, all Israeli attacks and blockades were indiscriminate
and deliberately targeting innocent civilians, mostly children, and
civilian infrastructures. Israel’s “self-defence”
must baffle any ‘expert’ trying to define terrorism.
In the mean time, Israel
continues to impose its trademark, collective punishment – barbaric
and coercive measures used by Israel (and the U.S. in Iraq) against
Gaza and indiscriminately killing innocent Palestinian civilians. In
flagrant violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions,
Israel is deliberately terrorising the Palestinians – children
and infants in particular – by using sonic booms, destroying Gaza’s
civilian infrastructures, including electricity and water supplies,
health care services, and leaving the population venerable to starvation
and chronic diseases. UN envoy John Dugard, told an emergency session
of the Human Rights Council, that Israel is violating the “most
fundamental norms of humanitarian law and human rights law” by
deliberately imposing a barbaric siege on the Palestinian population.
However, the UN has no teeth to bite with, and remains mute to act to
stop Israel’s terror.
According to a communiqué
by the Swiss Government (custodian of the Geneva Conventions), there
is “no doubt Israel has not taken the precautions required of
it in international law [including the Geneva Conventions] to protect
the civilian population and infrastructure … The destruction of
a power station, the attack on the offices of the Palestinian prime
minister, the arbitrary arrests of a large number of democratically-elected
representatives of the people and ministers... cannot be justified”.
The 1949 Geneva Conventions (Article 54) state clearly that: “Starvation
of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited”. It is also
“prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects
indispensable to the survival of the civilian population” (Article
51). The willingness of the BBC in particular and Western media in general
to be on the side of the Israeli military and deliberately blaming its
victims for the violence is evidence that Western media are complicit
in Israeli crimes against innocent civilians.
The advertised pretext for
this criminal wanton destruction and deliberate collective punishment
being carried out by the Israeli army is that Israel trying “to
free” one soldier. The soldier was taken prisoner during a legitimate
military operation by Palestinian resistance against Israeli military
post from which the Israeli army routinely fired thousands of artillery
shells into Gaza that have killed more than 30 Palestinians, including
several children in the past few weeks. One day before the operation,
Israeli commandos or the IOF abducted two brothers, Osama and Mustafa
Abu Muamar, and took them to Israel, probably murdered. The heroic operation
was called by an Israeli military expert as “a daring commando
action” which scared other soldiers nearby.
Since the invasion of Gaza
on 25 June 2006, the Israeli army has since killed more than 100 innocent
Palestinians, including many children, some as young as 6-years old,
and injured more than 200 Palestinians, including more than 110 children.
On the day (12 July) the U.S. vetoed a UN Resolutions condemning Israel’s
terror against the Palestinians, more than twenty five Palestinians,
including nine members of one family with their seven children, were
murdered by the IOF. The besieged territory is the largest concentration
camp on the planet, completely controlled by Israeli army. Gaza is constantly
and heavily bombed from air, sea and land. These deliberate and indiscriminate
acts of terrorism are war crimes against defenceless civilian population.
Furthermore, the Israeli
invasion of Gaza is designed to terrorise the Palestinians, destroy
a democratically elected legitimate leadership of the resistance movement
(HAMAS), and to provide Israel with a cover to annex more Palestinian
land in the West Bank and Jerusalem for illegal Jewish settlements (colonies).
The Israeli army has been preparing for an attack on Gaza several months
earlier and was constantly pushing for it, with the goal of destroying
the Hamas infrastructure and its government and has very little to do
with “freeing” one soldier. In fact Israel’s terror
on Gaza is endangering the life of the soldier, who is being well treated
by the Palestinians.
While the Israeli soldier
is portrayed as an “innocent” clean-shaven teenager, there
are some 10,000 Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons.
They include, 132 Palestinian women, 388 children and a dozen of infants
as young as 3 months old, separated from their mothers and under brutal
conditions. Many of the prisoners are imprisoned without charge as “Administrative
Detainees”. They were kidnapped from their homes at midnight,
imprisoned and subjected to torture, sexual abuses and denied their
human rights and fair trial. For the BBC, Palestinians are nameless,
voiceless and without identity.
As Jonathan Cook reported,
the British media in general and the BBC in particular, “preferred
to use words that misleadingly suggested [the soldier] was a victim,
an innocent whose status as a soldier was not relevant to his fate.
The Palestinians, as kidnappers and hostage-takers, were clearly not
behaving in a legitimate manner”. Cook added; “Not only
do [the BBC] reporters’ exhibit the biases associated with its
institutional racism – as an organisation, the BBC chooses to
identify with Israeli concerns before Palestinian ones – but they
then compound this distortion by repeating uncritically Israel's own
misrepresentation of events”. Racism is central to the BBC propaganda.
Racism is the BBC’s convenient tool to demonise the “Others”
and justify killing them. Let’s not forget that Israel is built
on violence and racism, and continue to use racism to identify itself
as a “Jewish State” only. The notion that Jews are superior
to other human beings and entitle to dominate and rule those who do
not is just a case in point. In his seminal work Jewish History, Jewish
Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (2002), the late Israeli
historian and academic, Israel Shahak argued that Israel is inherently
Like Israel, the BBC is devoid
of any moral principles and objectivity. Again we are reminded of how
the BBC transforms not only the Israelis from oppressors into victims
but also the Palestinians from victims of Israel’s terror into
perpetrators of what the BBC called Palestinian “violence”.
The BBC strips the Palestinians from their humanity and justifies their
murder at the hands of Israeli terrorists. For the BBC, the Palestinians
are “militants”, regardless of their age or gender, embarking
on “destroying” the fourth largest or strongest army in
the world. In other words, Israel is portrayed as a victim of Palestinian
“terrorism”, not the opposite.
For the BBC, one Israeli
soldier, enforcing an illegal and criminal occupation is ranked far
above those innocent Palestinian civilians. There are no murdered Palestinian
children, and pregnant women dying at Israeli check points, and there
are no BBC reports on the malnutrition and starvation of Palestinian
caused by months-long Israeli blockades. As mentioned earlier, the BBC
is global propaganda and its main goal is to mislead not only the British
people but millions around the world in order to manipulate public opinion
and cover-up Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
In the Wes Bank and Jerusalem,
the IOF and the Israeli police are on their rampage of terrorising Palestinians
throughout the Occupied Territories, destroying and vandalising Palestinian
charities, offices, and businesses. Schools and medical centres have
been looted by Jewish extremists. Some 130 Palestinian lawmakers, government
officials, cabinet ministers and ordinary activists were taken hostages
without charge. The BBC described this mass midnight kidnapping as “arresting”.
Furthermore, Israel has rejected peace and a ceasefire proposal put
by the elected Palestinian Prime Minister, Ishmael Haniyeh, and threatened
to assassinate him. Like many previous acts of terrorism committed by
Israel, the BBC ignored to condemn Israel’s acts of naked state
terrorism. (For more on Haniyeh’s peace initiative, see his Washington
Post, 11 July 2006).
On another front in Israel’s
war of aggression, the BBC pro-Israel propaganda is in full swing. To
justify Israel’s war of aggression against Lebanon, the BBC argued
“[i]t is Hizbullah’s who have taken Lebanon hostage …
and Israeli is reacting in ‘self-defence’”, (Claire
Balderstone, BBC News Hour, 13 July, 2006). How simple it is?
Only a complicit BBC will
call Israel’s indiscriminate attacks – from the air, sea
and land – on population centres and civilian infrastructure of
Lebanon, including the Beirut Airport, roads, bridges, ports, power
plants, water supply and TV stations, the blockade of Lebanon and the
deliberate massacre of innocent civilians as Israel’s “self-defence”.
On the morning of Thursday
13 July 2006, U.S.-made F-16s bombed the home of Sayyed Adel Akkash,
killed Akkash, his wife and their 10 children, including Akkash's 6-month-old
daughter, and leaving just a pile of body parts. On the day (15 July
2006) the UN Security Council rejected pleas for an immediate ceasefire,
at least 35 civilians, including 15 children, were deliberately murdered
by Israeli jets while fleeing Israel’s indiscriminate bombardments
after they were ordered by the Israeli army to leave their homes and
villages, a criminal policy of using civilian to put pressure on their
government. The U.S. was the sole member of 15-nation UN Security Council
to endorse Israeli aggression and to block any Security Council’s
call for a ceasefire between Israel and the resistance.
In five days of deliberate
acts of aggression against the sovereign state of Lebanon, at least
200 innocent Lebanese civilians, including some 70 children have been
massacred by the Israeli army in cold blood and in the most cowardly
fashion. There is mounting evidence that Israel is using internationally
prohibited and banned weapons to attack civilians. It is unknown how
the BBC and the Western media in general justify these war crimes as
acts of “self-defence”. It is important to remember, that
this is the same fanatical and extremist line propagated by George Bush
and his two lackeys, Tony Blair and John Howard.
Again, the advertised pretext
for these deliberate war crimes and state terrorism, is that Israel
acting hysterical in order “to free” three Israeli soldiers
taken in a legitimate military operation by the Lebanese Hizbullah’s
fighters, because Israel refuses to adhere international law and exchange
prisoners in a peaceful way. Lebanese prisoners (mostly prominent leaders)
were abducted by Israeli military on Lebanese soil and detained as bargaining
chips and to keep an ongoing conflict with Hizbullah. In addition, the
BBC ignored to elaborate that Israel continues to occupy land in Lebanon,
known as the Sheba Farms, where Israeli soldiers have often abducted
and murdered Lebanese shepherds and farmers. Israel also routinely assassinated
prominent Palestinians and Lebanese in cold blood. Furthermore, Israel
– backed by the U.S. – is looking to widen the aggression
by unfairly accusing and threatening Syria and Iran.
The aim of the Zionist state
and its main backer (the U.S.) is to divide the Lebanese people, seek
revenge against a legitimate political and resistance movement, and
in the process trigger a broader war in the region, through acts of
provocation and pre-emptive aggression. Israel creates a violent environment
and uses violence to shape its miserably failed Zionist strategy in
the region. The Arab regimes, particularly those of Egypt and Saudi
Arabia, should be ashamed for their cowardice, treason of the Arab cause
and for not being able to stand up to Israel’s aggression.
With journalists in Israel,
Lebanon and the Occupied Territories, Western media and the BBC in particular
have ample opportunities to tell the truth and expose Israel’s
war crimes against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples to the outside
world. Instead, Israel’s war crimes are covered-up with a veneer
of disinformation and propaganda. There are no photographs of murdered
Palestinian and Lebanese children and pregnant women dying at Israeli
check-points or tortured and humiliated Palestinian prisoners on the
BBC web site. There are no BBC reports on the living conditions, malnutrition
and starvation of Palestinians caused by the months-long Israeli criminal
The illegal invasion of Iraq
is another barbarity where the BBC was and continues to be an active
complicit. The war on Iraq by the U.S. and British Governments was the
most violent premeditated act of aggression against defenceless people.
The BBC deliberately and
systematically ignored much publicly available information on Iraq's
weapons programs, and instead played a very dishonest and warmongering
role. The BBC unchallenged and repeated Blair and Bush fabricated pack
of lies about the (none)-existence of Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction
(WMD); the result was up to half a million Iraqis, mostly women and
children killed by U.S. and British armies, and the total destruction
of the Iraqi society. The BBC continues to actively aiding and abetting
a murderous Occupation and murderous occupying forces who are committing
gross crimes against the Iraqi people.
After three years of illegal
and murderous Occupation, the BBC is fully aware of the Occupation-generated
violence and destruction. Yet the BBC continues to play ball and distort
facts on the ground in Iraq. How an illegal invasion and a murderous
occupation that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis –
mostly women and children – could be described as just “melancholy
thoughts”? How could the scares of torture, rape and sexual abuses
of tens of thousands of Iraqis by U.S. and British soldiers be described
just mere “memory”? The complicity of the BBC in the crimes
against the Iraqi people is crimes against humanity, as it was rightly
The complicity of the BBC
and other corporate media in the war crimes was summarised by the World
Tribunal on Iraq in its 27 June findings. After a four day session hearing
of evidence, the charges laid against the corporate media, including
the BBC are war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Here is WTI findings).
The BBC continues to cover-up
horrendous war crimes committed against the Iraqi people by US and British
soldiers. The destruction of Iraqi towns and cities, the countless massacres
of innocent civilians, and the torture and sexual abused of Iraqi prisoners
at Abu Ghraib and hundreds of other US and Britain-run prisons do not
feature in the BBC program lists or on the BBC website. The BBC is deliberately
misleading the public and continues actively aiding and abetting in
war crimes against the Iraqi people.
Finally, it is baffling that
the BBC is unable to tell the British public where is Israel and if
Israel has recognised international boarders. The British people ought
to know that the Apartheid Wall is not Israel’s “security
fence”. The Wall was rightly condemned by the International Court
of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague for it “imposes immense and unnecessary
suffering on the Palestinian people”. It is a formidable wall
designed to fractionate Palestinian communities, isolate them into ghettos
and steal their land and water resources.
Due to its reliance on government
sources and its support for the policies of the British Government,
the BBC failed to be independent and impartial public broadcaster. The
BBC betrays its Charter and the trust of the people in Britain. As a
result, the people of Britain are misled by the BBC disinformation and
denied an opportunity to understand the conflict. The British people
have the right to know that their government and military are committing
cross crimes their name.
There can be no peace in
the Middle East until the occupation of Palestine and Iraq end and the
injustices committed by the Israeli and the U.S. governments against
the people of the Middle East cease. The British public must hold the
BBC accountable for its failure to provide independent and impartial
Ghali Hassan lives in Perth,