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BBC editor hired to correct anti-Israel bias was found to be perpetrating it

Back from the USSR, I perceived the BBC radio as a voice of freedom. These days I find it deeply disappointing because at least in one respect – its coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict – the Beeb is nauseatingly biased against Israel. Today the Editorial Standards Committee of the BBC Trust admitted bias.

Jonathan Hoffman, co-Vice Chair of the UK Zionist Federation guest posts at Z-Word:

The BBC is a unique institution. It is the largest broadcasting organisation on the planet (with an annual operating expenditure over £4 billion) and it is a public service broadcaster. The former gives it tremendous power.

The combination of size with 100% public ownership means that the BBC has very clear Editorial Guidelines.

They state: “The BBC’s commitment to accuracy is a core editorial value and fundamental to our reputation… Impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences.“

In November 2003 in response to criticism (from both sides) about its Middle East coverage, the BBC appointed Malcolm Balen as Senior Editorial Adviser on the Middle East.

He wrote a long Report which was supposed to be internal. Reportedly it found anti-Israel bias.

Since then, the BBC  spent hundreds of thousands of B. pounds of taxpayer money on a long legal battle against making it public. This is especially hypocritical because the BBC frequently uses the Freedom of Information Act for its own reporting.

Also in response to criticism the BBC appointed its first Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen.

What happened today was the publication of a landmark decision. The highest level of the BBC’s complaints-handling structure – the Editorial Standards Committee of the BBC Trust – has ruled that Jeremy Bowen breached both the guideline on accuracy and that on impartiality.

Read the whole post, and CAMERA (which made the complaint) promises more details.

It is not easy to distinguish the cause and effect here, but it is no surprise that UK is European center of anti-Semitism.

Of course it will take much more than this to correct the problem, but today’s step is in the right direction.

UPDATE:
JPost’s article Complaints of BBC bias partially upheld says in part:

However, the Trust’s ruling contains no sanction, and a BBC spokesman played down its significance. In respect to one of the findings, the spokesman said that Bowen had merely been “exercising his professional judgment on history.”

April 15, 2009 Posted by | Media bias | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Two-State solution is 87 years old. What did it bring?

Victor Sharpe, author of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish State, has an excellent article in Am Thinker:
The Two-State Solution is 87 Years Old

In 1920, Great Britain was given the responsibility by the League of Nations to oversee the Mandate over the geographical territory known as Palestine with the express intention of reconstituting within its territory a Jewish National Home.

The territory in question stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the eastern boundary of Mandatory Palestine, which was a border that would separate it from what was to become the future state of Iraq.

The League of Nations created a number of articles, which were in line with the original intent of the Balfour Declaration of November 29th, 1917. At the last minute, however, a new article was introduced by the British Colonial Office: article number 25.

At first the sudden addition of this article was not a cause for alarm but gradually it became apparent that its inclusion directly enabled Great Britain in 1921 to tear away all the territory of geographical Palestine, east of the River Jordan, and give it to the Arab Hashemite family; the territory to become Trans-Jordan and led by the emir Abdullah.

This was the first partition of Palestine and created a brand new entity 87 years ago covering some 35,000 square miles or nearly four-fifths of the geographical territory of Palestine. Immediately Jewish residence in the territory was forbidden and it became in effect judenrein – the German term for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from a territory.

This betrayal by none other than Winston Churchill, the Colonial Secretary at the time, was a devastating blow to the Jewish and Zionist leadership, which now saw the promised Jewish homeland reduced to the remaining narrow territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan – an area barely 50 miles at its widest.

Shortly after, in 1923, the British and French colonial powers also divided up the northern part of the Palestine Mandate. Britain stripped away the Golan Heights (ancient biblical Bashan) and gave it to French occupied Syria.

The succeeding history of the remaining one fifth of the original territory promised to the Jewish people by Lord Balfour and the British government was one of continuing British betrayal as each successive Mandatory administration displayed pro-Arab and anti-Jewish policies.

During its administration up until 1947, Britain severely restricted Jewish immigration and purchases of land while turning a blind eye to massive illegal Arab immigration into the territory from neighboring Arab states.

Britain’s sorry record of appeasement of the Arabs, at the expense of Jewish destiny in the remaining territory, culminated in the infamous 1939 White Paper, which limited Jewish immigration to just 75,000 souls for the next five years. This onerous and draconian policy, coming as it did on the eve of the outbreak of World War 2, was a death blow to millions of Jews attempting to flee extermination by Nazi Germany.

In 1948, Trans-Jordan, renamed the Kingdom of Jordan since 1946, had joined the other Arab nations in invading the Jewish state, illegally annexing the Biblical and ancestral Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria and renaming it the West Bank. Only Britain and Pakistan recognized the annexation.

The war ended in tortuous armistice lines resulting in an Israeli border a mere nine miles wide at the most densely populated area, which stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordanian occupied West Bank. Israel’s late Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, described these dangerously vulnerable armistice lines as the Auschwitz borders.

Nineteen years later the Arab states declared again their imminent intention to destroy Israel. In the June 1967 Six Day War Israel liberated Judea and Samaria from Jordan in a defensive war. Israel offered to give away the newly liberated West Bank to the Hashemite regime in Jordan and the Gaza Strip to its erstwhile Egyptian occupiers in return for a full and lasting peace. But the Arab League, meeting in Khartoum in August, 1967, delivered the infamous three No’s: No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel.

It is within the narrow territory remaining for the Jewish state, if one includes Judea and Samaria, that the world now demands the establishment of yet another Arab state. Hamas controlled Gaza would be included in this future state to be called Palestine; a state which has never existed before by that name in all of recorded history – certainly not as an independent Arab state.

Gaza has already been given to the Arabs and they have turned it into a terror base from which they have launched a lethal missile blitz against Israel numbering to date over 10,000 rockets.

Sadly, Israeli governments have become notoriously fearful of rejecting outright the deadly trap inherent in the so called two-state solution. Their muted responses have merely encouraged world leaders to repeatedly breathe new life into the discredited plan. The searing tragedy is that the two-state solution may presage for the Jewish people another Final Solution.

Perhaps the Secretary of State prefers to remain oblivious to the stark fact that the Arabs, whom she embraces and who today call themselves Palestinians, are as committed as their parents and grandparents before them to destroy the Jewish state; whatever size or shape its borders. The fact is that this is not a dispute over borders; this is a religious war and the Arabs, so long as the overwhelming majority remain Muslim, will never accept the existence of a non-Muslim state in territory previously conquered in the name of Allah -whatever the size or shape of its borders.

Only just recently, Muhammad Dahlan, speaking on behalf of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, declared on PA TV that the PA will not recognize Israel — one of the primary demands made upon the Palestinian Arabs in the Oslo Peace Accords. Indeed, Dahlan admitted that the only reason they meet with Israelis at all is in order to continue receiving the immense flow of international funds.

I wrote about Dahlan’s speech here. Note how Arab leaders consistently reject any partition that allows any Jewish state in the Middle East. That is what happened in 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000, etc.

Hat tip: Israel Matzav, who calls this is a “must read” (I agree) and also links to a great commentary by Melanie Phillips: The essential history.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Arab-Israeli Conflict, History, UK | , , , | Leave a comment

What’s behind overwhelming anti-Israel bias in the UK media

Melanie Phillips reveals the reason of overwhelming anti-Israel bias in the British media: The real lobby and its acolytes

Well now Arab Media Watch lifts a curtain to show us the real lobby at work. It boasts:

Some 200 guests gathered at Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel on 21 March 2009 to attend Arab Media Watch’s fifth annual fundraising dinner, and to mark its ninth anniversary. Among the guests were almost three-dozen senior journalists from the BBC, Al Jazeera English, Financial Times, Reuters, Daily Mail, Independent, Asharq Al Awsat, Al Quds Al Arabi, Al Hayat and others.

The evening began with a welcome speech by AMW chairman Sharif Hikmat Nashashibi, who outlined the extensive work done by the organisation during and since Israel’s invasion of Gaza, including:

– forcing the media to correct factual errors
– meeting with editors and journalists
– providing them with information
– being interviewed by them or arranging interviews for them
– getting letters and articles published
– being quoted and cited in articles
– publishing studies, press releases and Action Alerts
– organising and speaking at events
– helping university students and researchers

‘All this was done,’ Nashashibi reminded the audience, ‘while continuing our work on media portrayals of the entire Arab world, a huge but vital task undertaken on a budget that’s dwarfed by that of the pro-Israel lobbies.’ He added: ‘We’ve proven the sceptics wrong for the last nine years, establishing ourselves as a credible, professional, dynamic organisation with the recognition, respect and support of much of the British media, and high-level contacts in every news organisation…AMW is making a considerable and invaluable difference, and wants to continue doing so.’

Here are some of the ‘factual errors’ that on its website AMW has tried to correct:

* The ‘myth that Hamas is out to destroy Israel’
* The ‘myth that Palestinian rockets are a grave threat to Israeli civilians’
* The ‘myth that five Arab armies tried to wipe out Israel in 1948: ‘Strictly speaking, therefore, the Arab states did not launch a war against Israel, but undertook an armed intervention which was both lawful and justified.’

On and on its goes, lie after smear after brazen lie.

Read the whole thing, it explains a lot.
Let’s remember this the next time we hear them lament about “all-powerful Israeli lobby”.

HT: LGF via IsraelMatzav

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Media bias, UK | , , | Leave a comment