The BBC’s shameful coverage of Israel’s apartheid continues

Israels defence forces with the word clashes

The BBC‘s coverage of the situation in occupied Palestine has left a lot to be desired. Far from acknowledging the reality of the apartheid state of Israel’s actions it actually appears intent on whitewashing it.

State-sanctioned violence by Israel

As The Canary previously reported, Israel is forcibly evicting Palestinians from their homes. It’s happening in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, among other places. An Israeli court said this could happen. This is despite some of the Palestinian families having lived in their homes since around 1956. The UN has said that the evictions “may amount to a war crime”.

The Canary‘s Sophia Purdy-Moore also wrote that Palestinians sharing info on the evictions are saying social media companies have “censored” their accounts. Musician and activist Lowkey tweeted that:

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All this comes after Israeli security forces killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy called Saeed Odeh on 5 May. Yet still, they continue to attack people in and around the area amid ongoing protests over the evictions.

This has all been happening during Ramadan.

Al-Aqsa mosque

On Friday 7 May, Israeli security forces injured around 200 Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque. Al Jazeera reported that:

Israeli police fired rubber-coated metal bullets and stun grenades towards rock-hurling Palestinians

And that:

The Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service said one of the injured lost an eye, two suffered serious head wounds, and two had their jaws fractured.

Then, as Middle East Eye reported on Saturday 8 May, Muslims observed Laylat al-Qadr. It noted that:

An estimated 90,000 Palestinian worshippers made it to the Old City for Laylat al-Qadr prayers… many on foot as Israeli authorities sought to block the passage of vehicles transporting Palestinians to Jerusalem.

Israeli forces continue to violently confront Palestinians around the Damascus Gate and Sheikh Jarrah.

And on Sunday 9 May, Middle East Monitor reported that:

At least 100 people on Sunday were injured after Israeli police fired plastic bullets and sound bombs after dawn prayer time

Predictably, enter the BBC to completely distort the reality of the situation.

BBC: subverting reality

The BBC has repeatedly referred to the state-sanctioned violence of the Israeli security forces as “clashes” between them and Palestinians:

The BBC framed the situation as the Palestinians starting it. It wrote:

Fresh clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police broke out in Jerusalem on Saturday, injuring dozens.

Protesters hurled stones at the police at Damascus Gate in the Old City, and officers responded with stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon.

Palestinian medics said 90 Palestinians were wounded. Israeli police said at least one officer was hurt.

It follows days of simmering unrest over possible evictions of Palestinians from land claimed by Jewish settlers.

But it’s not just the BBC calling Israel’s violence “clashes”:

So, as Lowkey said, corporate media’s use of the word “clashes” is intentional:

The BBC has a history of this kind of coverage. As The Canary reported in 2020, BBC coverage of the situation for refugees fleeing war and dictatorships was similar in terms of masking the real perpetrators of the story: in that case, often the UK and other Western governments.

Manufacturing consent

Lowkey summed up the situation in occupied Palestine by saying this was a story of “2 sides”:

And as Jewish former South African MP Andrew Feinstein said:

Yet the BBC is so concerned with following the establishment line that all this is just “clashes”. The people severely injured at Al-Aqsa mosque would tell a different story.

Featured image via Al Arabiya – YouTube

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