BBC’s Knell amplifies Hamas PR while sidestepping ISIS-Hamas collaboration

BBC Watch

For nearly two and a half years the BBC has managed to avoid producing any serious reporting on the subject of collaboration between Hamas and the ISIS franchise operating in the Sinai Peninsula.

Back in August 2013 the BBC’s Yolande Knell told audiences that:

“Cairo has repeatedly accused Hamas of interfering in Egyptian affairs and has accused Palestinians of supporting Islamist militants in the increasingly restive Sinai region.”

Failing to provide any objective information concerning those Egyptian claims, she then promoted the following statement from Hamas’ Ghazi Hamad:

“They have a plan in order to distort the image of Gaza in order to start propaganda and media campaign against Gaza, against Hamas, in order to show Gaza is like a devil and Hamas is like a devil,” Mr Hamed [sic] said.

“I think they succeeded to do this on the Egyptian street, in the Egyptian society.”

In October 2014 the…

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BBC Two’s ‘Inside Obama’s White House’: unchallenging and uncritical

BBC Watch

BBC Two has been showing a series titled ‘Inside Obama’s White House’ and the third episode of that programme – already shown on March 29th and to be broadcast again tonight at 23:15 local time – addresses the topic of the US president’s record in the Middle East.

Obama prog METhe synopsis to that episode – titled “Don’t Screw It Up” – reads as follows:Obama prog synopsis

“Episode three explores how Barack Obama set out to end George Bush’s wars in the Middle East and reset relations with the rest of the world. In Cairo he speaks to the Arab world, calling democracy a human right. Two years later when protest erupts in Tahrir Square, the president is torn between secretary of state Hillary Clinton and defense secretary Robert Gates, who believe Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak provides regional stability, and his young advisors, who are in tune with the promise of the Arab Spring…

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BBC’s ‘Newsbeat’ discovers terrorists in Israel

BBC Watch

h/t JS

BBC Radio 1’s ‘Newsbeat’ recently produced an article about the change to British Summer Time titled “The time when the clocks changed by more than an hour“. At the end of that report we find unusual use of the term ‘terrorists’ in connection with Israel – albeit well over a decade and a half ago – as well as mention of a country the BBC style guide correctly says does not exist.

“So, in day-to-day coverage of the Middle East you should not affix the name ‘Palestine’ to Gaza or the West Bank – rather, it is still an aspiration or an historical entity.”

Newsbeat clocks art

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BBC News website promotes 3 year old inaccurate related reading

BBC Watch

On March 27th the BBC News website’s Middle East page published an article about the Israeli High Court of Justice’s decision concerning the government’s natural gas policy which was handed down on the same day.Bagatz gas art

Titled “Israel’s Mediterranean gas deal struck down by top court“, the report tells the specific story in an accurate manner – although those unfamiliar with its wider background may have had trouble understanding the court’s objections. Despite its usual interest in internal Israeli affairs, the topic of public objections and political wrangling surrounding the gas policy has not been covered by the BBC in recent months.

It was hence not very surprising to see that the article offered as additional reading on the topic both at the bottom of the report and on the main Middle East page is nearly three years old.

Unfortunately, that May 2013 article by Yolande Knell –…

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BBC Radio London provides a platform for conspiracy theories

BBC Watch

h/t AH

The March 24th edition of the BBC Radio London late-night phone-in show ‘Duncan Barkes’ was hosted by stand-in presenter Chris Rogers.Radio London 24 3

Under the title “Terrorism and roadworks”, one topic put forward for discussion was the potential further arming of police in the UK in light of the terror attacks (interestingly, termed as such) in Brussels and Paris.

However, during the first hour of the show (available for a limited period of time here) listeners heard very little discussion of that topic. What they got to hear instead was the repeated promotion of bizarre conspiracy theories.

In relation to the Brussels attack two days previously, from around 22:17 ‘Steve in Streatham’ told listeners that:

“This is a terrorist false flag. Anyone who knows about false flags will know that these covert operations include Israel’s Mossad, the CIA and MI5 to blame other countries for their agenda…

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Guardian publishes historical fiction about Israel in ‘Letters’ section

UK Media Watch

Commenting on the UN’s egregious bias against the Jewish state, Abba Eban (who served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN and foreign minister, among other posts) oncequipped: “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”

To this I’d add: If the resolution was introduced today it would likely receive sympathetic coverage in the Guardian.

The latest anti-Israeli communique at the Guardian demonstrates that historical truth plays little if any role in Guardian editors’ decisions regarding which letters to publish.

The following letter, titled ‘UK’s responsibility to the Palestinians“, was published on November 1st and was signed by such sage anti-Zionists, and confirmed one-staters, as Ghada KarmiTim Llewellyn, Karl Sabbagh, John Rose, Kamel Hawwash, Naomi Foyle, Mona Baker, Mike Marquesee and Seni Seneviratne.

This thrifty polemic (196 words…

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#BDS is Failing: a continuing series (April 2016)

UK Media Watch

Here’s the latest installment in our monthly round-up of BDSfails.

(When debating those who contend that BDS is succeeding, consider citing some of these examples.)

Political BDS Fails

Foreign Minister Margot Wallström in Stockholm has agreed to publicly denounce the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement after a Saturday night meeting with Tzipi Livni. 

Wallstrom has previously made controversial statements against the Jewish state, including accusing Israel the extrajudicial executions.

Livni emphasized to Wallström the importance of her publicly and clearly support  Israel’s need to defend itself, as well as her opposition to boycotts against Israel and the BDS movement – especially during the recent wave of terror.

At the end of the meeting, Wollstrom finally agreed to publicly support Israel’s right to protect itself and oppose BDS. Wallstrom also supported the principle of a two-state solution and…

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