January 22, 2010
I have never really found the BBC overtly anti-Israel. Having attended many a pro-Palestinian meeting I always hear them moan about how anti-Palestinian Auntie is.
And despite the recent Panorama with Jane "Clare Short" Corbin they have given Israel's relief team to Haiti incredible coverage, as have Sky and CNN. No one has believed how Israel got to the disaster zone so quickly and set up a field hospital so efficiently and before anyone else, including the Americans.
And then there was the recent Newsnight with Tim Collins taking a walk through Sderot and Gaza in order to give his own experienced military perspective on how certain disputed deaths might have been caused and mosques destroyed. He totally found in Israel's favour.
I just received a copy of this complaint below to Auntie from the pro-Palestine campaign (some might even say lobby). It is a fascinating read. The most fascinating part is the letter's allusion to Micky Rosenfeld, Israel's police spokesman (aka Mickey Roosevelt apparently)as being "'from North London'".
Whatever could they mean by repeating such a meaningless fact? Answers on a postcard please:
Newsnight Tuesday 19th January 2010 complaint to BBCShare
I was repelled by the ‘Newsnight” segment featuring Colonel Tim Collins on
Tuesday night. He was on an obvious mission to justify the Israeli massacre in
Gaza that occurred a year ago. Given the BBC’s callous refusal to publicise The
DEC appeal that followed this inhuman and, universally acknowledged,
disproportionate attack, it is astonishing that you would follow this up with a
downright justification of Israel’s horrific war crimes. The BBC’S claim to
impartiality has been completely discredited by this sequence of events.
Colonel Collins, who has been compared to a character out of ‘Apocalypse Now,’
made no effort to make sense of the numbers of deaths involved: 13 Israelis
(four of those were ‘friendly fire’, 1,400 Palestinians, involving hundreds of
civilians, including women and children. Instead, he seemed unmoved by the
evidence in front of him and chose only to see Hamas posters and interview the
usual suspects in their ‘lair’ with an arsenal consisting of homemade rockets.
At Sderot, his guide was Mickey Roosevelt, ‘from North London’ who showed
Colonel Collins the rockets collected since 2000 which have caused so little
damage. He was not taken to review Israel’s arsenal of F16s, nuclear weapons,
phosphorous bombs and all the other paraphanalia of the world’s fourth largest
army. It was as if Israel was the unarmed victim, living in fear of having homes
demolished, schools flattened and hundreds of civilians slaughtered.
The programme presented a complete distortion of the facts and made no attempt
to inform, provide context, or even the slightest attempt at impartiality.
Colonel Collins is well-known for his gung-ho speeches (‘show them no mercy’,
‘we are their nemesis’) and boasts of his war record in the most brutal military
interventions of the past decades. ‘Not as bad as Faluja,’ he commented, eyeing
a flattened mosque. He claimed to have found proof of weapons having been stored
in the crypt of this building, but there was no evidence shown on camera.
As he toured the region in an Israeli-piloted helicopter, he flew over Qalqilya,
one of the Palestinian towns most grievously affected by Israel’s apartheid
wall. ‘It’s to protect the main road,’ said the pilot, speaking of an
Israeli-only road built on stolen Palestinian land.
Given the BBC’s complete blanking of the recent VivaPalestina Convoy, the Gaza
Freedom March, and other efforts by civil society humanitarian activists from
around the world, the programme takes on a special meaning. The depth of the
BBC’s bias is demonstrated across the entire output of your programming and not
only by the skewed nature of this particular item on ‘Newsnight.’