When cultural relativism takes over your BBC news

BBC Watch

On January 26th the BBC News (World) twitter account sent the following Tweet.

BBC World tweet DjiinObviously, the answer to that question is a resounding no.

Nevertheless, the BBC News website found it appropriate to promote a film titled “Egyptian village blaming fires on ‘evil spirits’” on its Middle East page which – true to the dictates of cultural relativism – ‘impartially’ presents two supposedly equally ‘legitimate’ sides of the story – but with the accent heavily on the one which is a bunch of superstitious baloney.

Djiin 3Djiin 4So, when the head of the BBC’s Middle East bureau promoted that film on Twitter with the question “Why does the idea of evil spirits – or ‘Djinns’ – still hold power for many in Egypt?”, it apparently did not occur to him that one of numerous possible answers might be because a Western media organization – which is supposed provide audiences worldwide…

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More Hamas news the BBC is not reporting

BBC Watch

We have previously documented on these pages the fact that the BBC has refrained from providing its audiences with information concerning Hamas’ efforts to boost its terrorist infrastructure in Judea & Samaria and take the current wave of terror attacks against Israelis to a more violent level.

An additional facet to that story emerged recently when the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) made a rare statement. Erez 

“Attempts by Hamas to exploit entry permits given to Gazan residents by Israel are jeopardizing future crossings by Palestinians, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, has warned.

In an interview to the Al-Quds Palestinian newspaper, Mordechai said Hamas will force Israel to consider completely close the crossings to the Strip if attempts to recruit Gazans for terrorist missions do not cease. […]

Hamas’s “cynical exploitation of Israeli entry permits is forcing Israel to think twice…

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The ‘Elders of Zion’ reborn at the University of Kent

UK Media Watch

Cross posted from the blog ofDavid Collier

Yesterday, 28/01/2016, I was at the University of Kent to hear a talk by Amira Hass titled ‘Israel and the Palestinians: Colonialism and Prospects for Justice. The event itself was a collaboration between The Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at Kent University and the Palestine Centre at SOAS, University of London. One of these universities, SOAS, is already a notorious hotbed for extremism, the other, Kent, seems to be desperately trying to catch-up.

Dr Bashir Abu-Manneh is the head of the centre for Postcolonial studies at Kent, like other academics of his type, it can be seen from his own activity that he has long lost sight of what academia and critical thinking is about. This event, following one just the evening before attempting to create BDS activists on campus, is simply a sign of a deteriorating environment.

Amira Hass is…

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BBC News sidesteps the real issues in Hamas tunnel collapse story

BBC Watch

The story of Hamas’ ongoing efforts to reconstruct the system of cross-border offensive tunnels which made it necessary for Israel to carry out a ground operation during the conflict of summer 2014 is one which has been severely under-reported by the BBC throughout the last year and a half.

That of course means that if in the future Israel has to act once again to protect its citizens living in communities near the border with the Gaza Strip, BBC audiences will be oblivious of the background to a story we can confidently predict that the corporation will cover extensively. 

An opportunity to redress that lack of serious reporting recently arose when reports emerged of the collapse of a tunnel due to severe weather conditions.

“At least six Palestinians have been reported killed in the collapse of a tunnel dug under the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening.

The incident occurred…

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The drip drip of politicised geography on BBC Two

BBC Watch

Throughout this month BBC Two has been showing a series titled ‘Immortal Egypt’ presented by Egyptologist Professor Joann Fletcher of York University. The fourth and final episode opened with footage of Fletcher in Alexandria, telling audiences that:

“This is about as far north in Egypt as it’s possible to get because out there is the Mediterranean. To my west is Libya; to my east – Palestine and Arabia….”

Libya does indeed of course lie to the west of Egypt but to its east, Egypt has borders with the Gaza Strip and a country called Israel – which the BBC has apparently found fit to inaccurately rebrand as ‘Palestine’.

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BBC takes lessons on ‘impartiality’ from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

BBC Watch

As readers may have heard, the BBC has described a former employee’s signature on a letter opposing a cultural boycott of Israel as “inadvisable”.

“The BBC has criticised former director of television Danny Cohen for signing a letter opposing a cultural boycott of Israel.

The corporation said that it regretted the “impression” created by Mr Cohen’s name appearing on the letter but that it “had no bearing on his ability to do his day job”.

The letter, published in the Guardian in October, was signed by more than 150 writers, artists, musicians and media personalities including J K Rowling and Melvyn Bragg. It was a response to an earlier announcement by media personalities calling for a cultural boycott of Israel and described boycotting Israel as ‘a barrier to peace’.

Following a complaint to the BBC about Mr Cohen’s involvement, the BBC responded in a December email describing Mr Cohen’s actions…

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