A BBC report on Gaza shows its disgraceful bias

BBC News at Ten report on Gaza
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The BBC‘s reporting on the situation in Gaza has been little more than establishment propaganda. But its specific coverage of Israel’s bombing of the occupied Palestinian territory descended into disgraceful bias.

Ongoing Israeli crimes in Gaza and Palestine

Much of the world has been watching the situation in Israel and the occupied territories. As of 12pm on Wednesday 12 May, PA reported that Israeli air strikes had levelled two apartment towers in the Gaza Strip. Hamas said Israeli air strikes destroyed the central police headquarters in Gaza City. The death toll in Gaza rose to 35 Palestinians, including 12 children, with some 233 people injured. Israel claimed that Hamas rocket fire killed five Israelis, including a child, on 11 and early on 12 May.

PA also reported that Israel’s destruction of apartment towers in Gaza was among several tactics used during the 2014 war. These are now the subject of an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into possible war crimes. Israel is not a member of the court and has rejected the probe.

The situation which led to this point has been brewing for weeks.

The real story of recent Israeli violence

As The Canary previously reported, what’s happening:

is the culmination of weeks of Israeli violence in Jerusalem that have included Israeli forces shooting dead a 16-year-old boy and hundreds injured. …

Unrest has been growing in Jerusalem over the last few weeks. A court case is currently ongoing that will decide whether Israel can evict Palestinians from their homes in a Jerusalem neighbourhood and give them to Israeli settlers. Palestinians also said they were being unfairly restricted during Ramadan.

Read on...

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Palestinian protests have been met with rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades from Israeli forces.

Anger escalated on the morning of 10 May after Israeli police stormed the al-Asqa mosque and used tear gas and rubber bullets on Palestinian worshippers. As a result, Hamas gave Israel an ultimatum to withdraw its security forces from the area.

When the ultimatum deadline expired, Hamas launched rockets into Israel. Israel responded with deadly airstrikes.

So, amid all of this, it seems fairly obvious that while there are two sides to this story, Israel’s deadly actions and provocation dwarf that of Hamas’s. But if you’re the BBC, this isn’t the case.

Enter the BBC with a tin of whitewash

It broadcast a segment during its News at Ten bulletin on Tuesday 11 May. But it failed to mention Israeli forces killing 16-year-old Saeed Odeh on 5 May. The BBC said the situation “follows weeks of boiling tensions in Jerusalem”. But again, it failed to mention what happened on 10 May and Hamas’s ultimatum. Instead, reporter Tom Bateman framed it as:

the casualty figures on both sides have continued to grow. But it is also the scale of firepower used by militants in the Gaza Strip in a single round, reaching deep into the heart of Israel, that makes that one of the biggest episodes between the two sides in recent memory. It looks, for now, like only escalation is possible – despite the repeated international calls for calm.

In other words, the BBC is framing the situation as Hamas being responsible for what’s happening.

Colonising the narrative

Of course, the group is not absolved of responsibility. But as journalist Omar Baddar tweeted, media outlets like the BBC‘s narrative is intentionally “misleading… [their] audience”:

But this kind of reporting is endemic of wider coverage. For example, DW News reported that in Gaza nine children “have been killed in fighting with Israel”. But as musician and activist Lowkey summed up:

Moreover, the situation with the BBC is not new:

As The Canary wrote in 2018:

In 2015, the BBC‘s complaints unit ruled that the broadcaster had breached its own guidelines in its reporting of Palestinian fatalities. And a BBC online editor once sent internal emails to staff urging them to write more favourably about Israel. In general, the BBC faces accusations of downplaying the reality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Meanwhile, the reality is:

If the corporate media challenged the situation in the Palestinian occupied territories, then by default it would be challenging the entire status quo of society more broadly. That is, of course, never going to happen.

Additional reporting by PA. Featured image via BBC – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. “Even UN Resolution 3246 asserts that the Palestinians have the right to armed resistance”

      …..and up to this conflict Palestinians have been armed with and firing Tomb-Thumb Crackers from Gaza, Black Flags From Israel and Knives, post mortem, from an IDF soldier’s Pick-A-Knife Pouch!
      Much as I hate Violence and seeing those Israelis with Automatic Guns over their shoulders, it is high bloody time Palestinians are Armed Like for like and Military Investment to an Equal Standard to that of Israel!

    2. Why were the Israelis seeking to evade the Palestinians from their Jerusalem homes — were these homes sold to third parties or are they the subject of compulsory purchase orders?
      Also are these clashes involving Christian as well as Muslim Palestinians? Many Palestinians in Jerusalem are Christian.

      1. They cannot prove ownership of the homes, 4 properties in total I believe. The Palestinian occupants claim they purchased them from a Jordanian man years ago,but have nothing to back it up.
        On a different note, looking forward to the Canary article on Kate Hollern resigning after attempting a smear campaign to protect Mike Hill. Kate was Corbyn’s PPS at the time. I’m sure we’ll be reading all about it on these pages….

    3. Hundreds of people are dead, the entire region is on the brink of war, and “Dianesrightshoe” thinks that a non-story about a former Corbyn aide is the most important news…

      Do you work in the corporate media, by any chance DRS?

      Can you imagine living in a Western Democracy where you have different legal rights depending upon your ‘race’?

        1. It is unlikely to be stopped.

          Nuttyahoo deliberately instigated the violence to prevent the ‘Change Govt’ from forming with the help of Abbas – with the notion that Lapid and Gantz would then oppose the violence.

          Instead, they decided to play him at his ‘games’ and ratchet it up further.

          This means Hezbollah, and Iran, are now on alert.

          The only one that MIGHT be able to pull it back is Nuttyahoo. Although it has likely moved too far already.

          Nuttyahoo thought this was a great game, not only dissolving the alliance against him, but also putting the Yanks on notice that the “Middle East is still important”.

          In other words, Israel is needy, especially as Nuttyahoo’s own manoeuverings have left Iran heading towards nuclearisation – which the JCPOA had effectively prevented.

          In short, Israel is heading for a war. A war that the US & Europe will try to ensure that Israel ‘wins’, mainly through murdering as many Palestinians as possible.

          How very ironic that at the end of Nuttyahoo’s career, he throws everything away that he carefully built. And all for a minor propaganda point that literally only the already pro_Israel brainwashed COULD even believe.

          1. I hope you are ready to be seeing more horrific scenes. Ethnic-cleansing in Jerusalem, just DAYS after banning Palestinian elections by preventing Jerusalem residents from voting in the first Pal elections in 15 years – what occupied people can accept that?

            Palestine won’t back down, even though Israel has assassinated several senior Hamas leaders. A war crime in itself.

            The regional Sunni dictators may have ‘made nice’ with Israel, but even they have to take SOME account of street rage.

            What would stop this immediately is the Biden Admin conditioning future tribute to Israel – and even better putting a block on arms sales.

            The chances of that happening are the same as the beans I swapped for a cow growing into a space elevator.

            Nuttyahoo is the sole person who can row this back now. And he’s laughing because all this violence and destruction is keeping his court cases off the headlines.

            Personally, I don’t watch TV anymore. But for the Palestinians, not seeing the violence doesn’t prevent the Israelis from inflicting it upon them en masse. :'(

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