BBC’s Yolande Knell ditches any semblance of impartiality

BBC Watch

h/t H

‘Open Bethlehem’ is a political campaign which describes its aim as being “to address the state of emergency in Bethlehem”. Partnered by the Amos Trust, promotion of its campaign message is largely focused around a film of the same name made by Leila Sansour.

The campaign’s Facebook account states:

“Open Bethlehem aims to bring world attention to the crisis facing the city by reaching out to decision-makers, church leaders and the media and acting as a route into Bethlehem for initiatives of all kinds. Above all, we aim to build a positive legacy for Palestine and the wider region by reasserting Bethlehem’s unique historical character as a living example of an open and multi-faith Middle East.”

A recent review in the Guardian informs readers that:

“Leila Sansour’s documentary Open Bethlehem follows her campaign to stop occupying Israeli forces encircling her hometown with a concrete wall.”


“Palestinian director…

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Sniper attack on Gaza Strip border fails to make BBC news in English but reported in Arabic

BBC Watch

At around 11 a.m. on December 24th a sniper in the Gaza Strip opened fire at IDF troops on the Israeli side of the border fence near Kissufim and a soldier from the Bedouin Desert Reconnaissance Battalion sustained severe chest injuries.

IDF forces responded to the attack.

“Palestinians said that the commander of Hamas’s surveillance unit in the area was killed in the IDF response, Israel Radio reported. Hamas fighters were abandoning positions across the Strip, the report said.

Medical sources said Tayseer al-Ismary, 33, died after being hit by a bullet fired by the IDF, while Hamas sources confirmed he was a member of the movement’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.”

Despite BBC staff being aware of this latest breach of the August ceasefire agreement by Palestinian terrorists, it was not reported on the BBC News website either on December 24th or 25th.

Kissufim attack Shuval tweet

The story did…

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BBC reports on Wafa hospital shown to be inaccurate

BBC Watch

The Wafa hospital in the Shuja’iya neighbourhood of Gaza City was featured in several BBC reports produced during the conflict between Israel and Gaza Strip-based terrorist organisations this last summer. Those reports include the ones below, all of which have the common denominator of denial of Hamas’ use of that institution for military purposes and hence imply that Israeli actions against that hospital were unnecessary, unjustified and even unlawful.editorial guidelines

Hospital on Gaza conflict’s front line” by Paul Adams, BBC News website, July 18th 2014 – discussed here.

“Israel says rockets have been fired from Basman al-Ashi’s hospital, a charge his staff deny completely.”

“World Update” interview with ISM activist, BBC World Service radio, July 31st 2014 – discussed here.

Damon: “Because you will know that there have been all kinds of rumours on the internet about hospitals being used to hide men and indeed weapons. Any evidence?”

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BBC WS ‘Newshour’ special edition from Jerusalem – part one

BBC Watch

On December 5th the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ broadcast a special edition from Jerusalem, presented by Tim Franks. Titled “The push to increase access to the Temple Mount”, this programme obviously presented an opportunity to provide some much-needed background information and context on a topic with which the BBC has been dealing very unsatisfactorily since late October.Newshour 5 12 Jerusalem special

The parts of the programme relating to the declared subject matter were presented in two segments – available here from 00:04 and from 30:00. In the first segment listeners heard from two Israelis and two Palestinians and Tim Franks opened the programme by explaining why the BBC World Service was devoting a special broadcast to the topic.

“Welcome to this special edition of Newshour from the BBC World Service with me, Tim Franks, live in Jerusalem. We’re here because…well, because this city has been in the news for most of…

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How the BBC cherry-picked its Jihadist terrorists

BBC Watch

In recent days quite a few people have let us know via e-mail or social media that they were surprised to find that a BBC special feature on “Jihadist attacks” during the month of November did not include Israelis murdered during that month by terrorists linked to organisations such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.countries Jihadists

After all, in a fourteen day period during that month, nine Israelis were killed by Palestinian terrorists and a tenth victim injured in the November 5th attack died of his wounds a month later. Despite that fact, Israel does not appear on the list of countries in which, according to the study carried out by the BBC and the ICSR, Jihadist attacks took place. Notably too, the word terrorism does not appear in the BBC’s main feature on the topic – “Jihadism: Tracking a month of deadly attacks“, December 11

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BBC’s Knell revamps ‘reporter in the rubble’ for promotion of a political agenda

BBC Watch

It’s a story BBC audiences have heard many times before but on December 8th two more reports produced by the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Yolande Knell continued the now well established tradition of context-free descriptions of damage to structures resulting from the summer conflict in the Gaza Strip as a means of amplification of the campaign by Hamas and its sympathisers to lift restrictions on dual-use goods into the territory, to which the corporation – and Knell in particular – self-conscripted back in July.

Listeners to BBC World Service radio heard an item titled “Slow reconstruction of Gaza” which was also promoted as a podcast on Twitter. The synopsis to that podcast reads as follows:Knell reconstruction audio 8 12

“At least 100,000 Palestinians lost their homes in this summer’s conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza, according to the UN. The BBC’s Yolande Knell has found that very little…

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