Since the beginning of the week dozens of rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel in a significant ramping up of the usual barely (if at all) reported regular barrage that penetrates southern Israeli cities towns and rural communities. On Tuesday an IDF officer was critically wounded in attack near the Gaza border.
On Twitter and in Israeli newspapers and other online media and websites this barrage was big news. Israel employed its Iron Dome defence system which is only partially effective in protecting large conurbations far enough away from launch sites. Typically Israelis have 15 seconds to get to shelters once the sirens sound.
Then two farm workers near Kissufim were badly injured by rocket fire.
On the BBC and its website what was the reaction for at least two days? We are talking about the world’s most respected news service, allegedly.
Nothing. Zip, Nada. Goor nisht.
I and friends online came to the conclusion that the BBC would not report this until Israel responded and that the headline would imply that Israel was the aggressor.
Sure enough, yesterday, Israel did respond and the BBC’s own response was immediate; there it was on the website’s World and Middle East pages with “Militants killed in Gaza strike’.
BBCWatch have been assiduously reporting this timeline and you can see their reports at BBCwatch.org
That report seems to have disappeared (actually buried and changed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20054554) and been replaced with a more balanced one ‘Israel and Hamas ‘negotiate unofficial truce’ in Gaza’
I’m sure the original is somewhere in the BBC archive but I would hazard a guess they had several complaints about it and updated it. This is typical. A piece appears with a headline reversing cause and effect; the body of the piece often contradicts the headline and draws some moral equivalence between unprovoked attacks on civilian targets by Hamas or Gaza-based ‘militants’ and Israel’s response to prevent further attacks by targeting those about to fire or those who it knows have already done so.
Today we now have two very different pieces from the BBC. The one about the truce at last puts the horse before the cart:
Five have been injured in Israel since rocket attacks began on Monday.
Israel retaliated with air strikes on Gaza City, killing at least six militants.
On Wednesday, more than 70 rockets were launched into southern Israel, injuring five people, two critically, according to the Israeli military.
In response, Israeli aircraft and tanks targeted rocket-launching sites in northern Gaza.
Hamas’s military wing, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, confirmed it had been involved in firing dozens of rockets and mortars into Israel.
In a statement, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades and a smaller Gaza-based militant group, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), said: “These holy missions come in response to the repeated, continuous crimes of the enemy against our people.”
But should we not have a headline at some point during this timeline which says ‘Five Israelis critically injured by rockets from Gaza‘ or ‘Israel responds to escalation of attacks in the South‘?
I’m sure we could all write a better, more balanced headline than the ones being spewed out from the BBC Mid-East desk.
Now, if you have any doubts about the level of moral degradation that the BBC’s reporting of this conflict has now reached you only have to look at the report by Jon Donnison who appears to be following in the illustrious footsteps of Jeremy Bowen and Barbara Plett reaching new heights of ignorance and moral bankruptcy.
Please be careful. This reports contains graphic examples of the BBC’s egregious attempts at what it calls ‘balance’ but is simply either bias, stupidity or moral decrepitude. (There was, apparently, an even worse report by Donnison last night which I have not been able to source yet)
Here’s the link in all its emetic glory. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20073219
The text below the video:
Mourners in the Gaza Strip have buried four Palestinian militants killed in Israeli air strikes over the past two days.
Israel said the militants were hit as they prepared to fire rockets into southern Israel.
It says at least 60 rockets and mortar shells have landed on its territory, seriously injuring three people. Schools have been closed on both sides of the border for fear of more attacks.
Ah – ‘Israel said’ – in other words we should not believe the Israelis but swallow whole anything emanating from terrorist-occupied Gaza.
And ‘schools have been closed both sides of the border‘ just to emphasise that same old moral equivalence. If schools have been closed in Gaza then it’s a precaution not normally offered to its children when rockets are launched from them. Or maybe it’s a good idea to close these schools to demonstrate to the BBC in particular how they protect their children. Or maybe Eid has something to do with it?
In the report Donnison does not show us hundreds of thousands of Israelis cowering in bomb shelters but the funeral of ‘militants’ killed by Israeli air strikes, and quoties Hamas. He leaves out the fact that this was after dozens of rockets hit Israel. We see mourning relatives and Gazans taking cover but absolutely nothing about Israelis.
These reports do tell us what actually happened if you care to decipher the text and remove the veneer of ‘balance’ but it certainly takes a strong solvent and an even stronger stomach.