Israeli lies unchecked, Palestinian perspectives censored on BBC
2012 08 28
By Amena Saleem | Electronic Intifada
One of the most obvious examples of bias by the BBC is the taxpayer-funded broadcaster’s habit of inviting Israeli politicians or the Israeli government spokesperson, Mark Regev, onto its programs to speak without challenge. Meanwhile, Palestinians and those who would convey a Palestinian perspective are not given the same opportunity.
Film director Ken Loach recently learned that for the BBC, Palestine remains a taboo.
On 23 July, Loach was at the Royal Albert Hall in London to listen to a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, performed by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. The orchestra consists of Israeli, Palestinian and other Arab musicians, and is conducted by Daniel Barenboim, who formed the orchestra in 1999 with the late Palestinian academic and activist Edward Said.
So when Loach was asked during the intermission for an interview by BBC Proms, which was recording the concert for later broadcast, he considered it reasonable to air his thoughts on the nature of the orchestra as well as the music.
Loach said that he spoke to the BBC journalist for five minutes, during which time he said: “Seeing Israelis and Arabs, including Palestinians, sitting side by side on the stage makes us confront the issue of the continuing oppression of the Palestinian people, and I shall be thinking of them when I hear the music tonight.”
These were typically compassionate words from a director whose films, including Land and Freedom about the revolutionaries who fought in the Spanish Civil War, often reflect his keen sense of justice.
However, for the BBC, which in the last six months has alternately denied the existence of Palestine and then the fact of Israel’s occupation, the mere mention of the fact of the Palestinian people’s oppression was too controversial to broadcast.
BBC admits to censorship
Loach received a phone call from the program producers informing him that his interview would be cut “due to the music over-running.” He sent an email to the BBC, which has been seen by this writer, stating:
“Thank you for letting me know about the broadcast and the need to shorten the interview. Of course I understand about length. But I would ask you to include my brief remarks about the orchestra and the Palestinians. As an opponent of oppression and tyranny I think Ludwig [van Beethoven] would have approved. It was one of the reasons I agreed to take part. I’m happy if you need to reduce my thoughts on the music itself.”
His email was ignored and the interview was broadcast three days later on BBC Proms with his observation about the oppression of the Palestinian people removed. The rest of the interview remained intact.
Loach said: “I called the producer, Oliver MacFarlane, who admitted they had deliberately cut the line about Palestine. He said if they’d included it they would have had to have a balancing interview. I wasn’t pleased and I responded robustly.”
When asked to respond to this, a BBC spokesperson stated: “As part of the BBC’s comprehensive music television coverage of The Proms, esteemed filmmaker Ken Loach was invited to comment on his personal passion for Beethoven, given the time slot available and the fact that this was a music television programme, the most editorially relevant sections of Mr. Loach’s interview were used in the final edit.”
Israeli spokespersons unchallenged
But if it was the case that the BBC did feel the need to “balance” Loach’s simple words about the ongoing oppression of the Palestinians, it has absolutely no qualms about airing, totally unopposed, the wild, often lurid, mostly fact-free statements made by Israeli ministers and spokespeople.
Take, for example, James Naughtie’s interview with Danny Ayalon on Radio 4’s Today program on 16 January 2012. The interview was conducted the day after the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, called on Israel to end its occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories and to end its violence against civilians.
This strong UN criticism of Israel was completely ignored by Naughtie, who focused on Iran with the unquestioned premise of the interview being that Iran is, without a doubt, developing nuclear weapons and consequently poses a grave threat to Israel.
Ayalon had been on air for less than a second when he said: “What we see here is a drive, a relentless push by Iran to illegally acquire and develop nuclear weapons and for them it’s not just a means, it’s a way to reach hegemony to continue with their very dangerous and radical approach.”
He went on to say: “Today Iran is the international hub of terror in the world.”
This was clearly Israeli propaganda; Ayalon used the BBC to loudly bang the drums of war against Iran. Yet Naughtie neither challenged his unfounded opinions, which were presented as facts, nor brought in someone to present an alternative viewpoint.
Ayalon’s wild accusations, so much more controversial than Loach’s mild remarks, were certainly not cut for lack of a “balancing interview.” Nor was Ayalon questioned about Israel’s widely suspected nuclear arsenal or about Israel’s staunch refusal to allow international weapons inspections.
Read the full article at: globalresearch.ca
Criticism of the BBC, Bias - Wikipedia
BBC ’mistakenly’ uses image of Iraq in Syrian massacre story
Paedophile Gary Glitter to be paid thousands in royalties after BBC airs repeat performance
BBC Continues Recruitment Campaign for the Freemasons - What is Really Going on Inside the Brotherhood?
The BBC and an inconvenient truth about climate change "defiantly one-sided"
BBC, Sky News ‘Changed Narrative’ On Stories Under Lobby Pressure
BBC Responds Over False Tripoli Footage. In summary: Sorry, we got “confused”
BBC admits role in 1953 Iranian coup
Latest News from our Front Page
Why is the State so obsessed by, and careless with, deadly pathogens?
2014 07 31
Earlier this month, we ran a report on the CDC anthrax blunder. As if that weren’t bad enough, there have been additional exposures since we posted that report. This time, it involved the shipment of live, highly contagious, and deadly H5N1 avian influenza samples.
As previously reported, as many as 841 scientists and staff members at a US Centers for Disease ...
‘Catastrophic’: Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer warns of EMP
2014 07 31
Imminent: ‘Only a matter of time’ until entire electric grid destroyed by natural or man-made event…
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer is warning investors – and more broadly, lawmakers and leaders – about the potential destructive power of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which could be triggered by solar events or artificially, via blasts in the atmosphere.
According to Singer, research ...
CIA Spies and Lies: CIA spied on senate investigators examining agency torture
2014 07 31
CIA confirms CIA spied on senate investigators examining CIA torture programs
In March 2014, McClatchy newspaper published a bombshell story revealing that the CIA spied on Senate Select Intelligence Committee investigators looking into CIA torture. During negotiations about the preparation of the committee’s long-awaited report on CIA torture programs, the spy agency had told investigators they could only view CIA documents ...
A Look at Theories About Elongated Skulls in Ancient Peru, Europe, Egypt
2014 07 31
Elongated skulls have been found in ancient burial grounds around the world. Many are the result of a practice of intentionally deforming the skull with binding applied during the early years of a child’s life. Some may be explained by natural deformity. Yet enough mystery is left in relation to some of the skulls for various theories to arise.
Could the ...
Australia, ‘better slave than dead’
2014 07 30
Remember the name “Pine Gap.” It lies at the heart of this story.
I’ve always thought Australians were more blunt and forthright than Americans. I don’t know if that’s true, but the current debate about total surveillance in the Land Down Under is cutting to the bone.
The government wants to tax the Australian people so it can use giant telecoms to ...
|More News » |