Playgrounds for killers:

The BBC carries a report here on thousands of Palestinians having formed a “human chain” in Gaza in protest at Israel’s blockade of the territory. Gaza schools were closed for the day, and thousands of pupils were taken in buses to participate. Many could be seen with banners stating: “The siege of Gaza will only strengthen us” and “The world has condemned Gaza to death”. I was wondering if these children attend the same schools for suicide bombers in Gaza on which the BBC reported here back in 2001? I also wonder if the many “militants” and “fighters” that infest Gaza in 2008 may be frustrated graduates from these same schools for self-exploders from the class of 2001 – schools for which the people of Gaza have such a pride? BBC Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi appears to believe that this demonstration was a spontaneous display by “ordinary Palestinians” rather than a cynical (and failed) stunt by Hamas! How can we take such bizarre commentary from Abdelhadi seriously?

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18 Responses to Playgrounds for killers:

  1. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Good find, and serendipitously timed. I was just now reading something about this very “incident” from Noah Pollak a Jewish journalist living in Israel. Pollak has traveled extensively in the Middle East, including tours of Iraq, and is no fool or shill for any cause. He has – surprise – the exact opposite take of Hamas’s latest “stunt”.

    Apparently, this was supposed to be huge, but not so many people showed up like they did at the Egyptian border.

    He also links to a post by (another Jew in Israel) David Hazony, which succinctly explains the reality which the BBC denies in their propaganda piece.

    Just another small piece of evidence that the BBC occasionally sees itself as spreading the Hamas Gospel, in their own minds working for freedom and victory for the oppressed Palestinians.

    Stunning turnout or a complete misrepresentation (to the point of lying) by the BBC?


  2. pounce says:

    I love how the BBC promotes a protest by 4000 (not the 5000 the BBC claims) as the most news worthy event of the day from the Levant.
    Tell me is the above staged protest a larger story than the 41 deaths claimed by the Turks on their invasion of Iraq?
    Turkey hits rebels in new attacks
    Which incidentally has a later time stamp than the Gaza gathering..

    How about the use of a man in a wheelchair as a suicide bomber in Iraq.
    I wonder if Panorama will run a story about how the cripple in the chair was a victim of British military brutality.

    How about stories the BBC hasn’t aired like the failure of the Lebanese senate to pick a new PM. Or how the Saudis have pulled $4.8 Billion in investments in Lebanon in the past year.

    Or how about this story which you would think the BBC would have no problem shoving on the top spot.
    Kidnap threat returns to Gaza
    For the first time since Hamas seized military control of Gaza in June, the threat of kidnapping has returned to the Gaza Strip.

    According to the Foreign Press Association and journalists in Gaza, militants with the Army of Islam, the group behind the nearly-four-month kidnapping of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston last year, turned up at the main Gaza City hotel used by Western journalists and visiting aid workers last week and asked the staff for a list of journalists staying there.In parallel, there have been renewed attacks on Christian centers in Gaza. Last week, militants attacked the YMCA in Gaza.The new threats have prompted Western journalists, aid groups and the U.N. to all take extra precautions and rethink their operations in Gaza. Some news organizations have directed their staff to leave Gaza while others are not sending staff in at this point.

    Instead the BBC promotes a three-line whip of a fizzled out protest in which to slate the Jews just one more time.


  3. Alan says:

    Even the AP states the low turnout:

    Including this:

    Later Monday, militants fired 11 rockets at southern Israel, the military said. One seriously wounded a 10-year-old boy in the battered town of Sderot, just across the Gaza border.

    Doctors said shrapnel cut through the boy’s shoulder, but surgeons were able to save his arm. Earlier this month, an 8-year-old boy in Sderot lost a leg in a rocket attack.

    Never mind, BBC is in full damage-control mode from the Hamas low turnout, and is bringing “spontaneous” Gaza Voices:


  4. Steve_Mac says:

    Siege, blockade, I don’t understand why it is labeled Israeli. It would be completely ineffective (and not a siege or blockade) if the Egyptians weren’t completing the circle. Even when the Gazan’s were blowing up the border wall and breaking into Egypt the BBC reported it as the “Israeli blockade”.

    Blockaded by Israel, Gaza residents have been flocking into Egypt.

    An attempt by Egyptian riot police to reseal the border on Saturday collapsed when Hamas fighters responded to water cannon and electric batons with gunfire


  5. Alan says:

    Even the Lefty Haaretz today reports:
    In the end blood was shed in Sderot, not Gaza

    It should not have come as a surprise that the Qassam rockets struck Sderot several moments after the Palestinian demonstration south of the Erez crossing died out. The small number of protesters the organizers managed to rally did not meet the expectations or the preparations of the Israeli security forces, and certainly not those of the media.
    But the lack of a story at Erez quickly changed with the horrifying scenes from Sderot – and with it so did the media’s attention: The desperate situation of Gazan children under an economic siege moved to the immediate suffering of Sderot children, after one of them, Yossi Haimov, suffered injuries from Qassam rocket fragments to his shoulder.


  6. deegee says:

    Gazans discuss human chain protest HYS
    Three Palestinians discuss their involvement in the “human chain” demonstration against the Israeli blockade of Gaza and how the siege is affecting them.

    1) RAMI ABDU Our human chain stretched from Beit Hanoun in the north of Gaza down to Rafa in the south. There was wide participation – thousands of people turned up. As the BBC reports, a few thousand, mainly school children turned up. The ‘human chain’ came nowhere near stretching the length of the border.

    2) SAMEH HABEED I joined the chain for about 15 minutes. I work full time so could not stay longer. Hard to be an activist when your boss won’t give you time off.

    3) IBTASAM I didn’t go to the demonstration. I cannot afford to be political, because my work [in a multinational NGO] means I must be impartial.

    Have Your Say found 3 participants. The first, whose statement is contradicted by the BBC report; the 2nd stayed 15 minutes and the 3rd who didn’t take part. Even by BBC standards this is weak.

    The major reason so few turned up – was the heavy rain 🙂


  7. Anonymous says:

    The above mentioned Freedom Fighters – Hamas TV – Pioneers of Tomorrow – Latest Thoughts on Denmark:


  8. Anonymous says:

    At the end a caller calls for murder – this is a young children show.


  9. Bryan says:

    Steve_Mac | 26.02.08 – 3:11 am,

    And the irony of it is that UNRWA supplies the Gazans with aid through Israeli border crossings, not Egypt. The BBC will never query why that is the case.

    I suppose the Hamas-organised protest was a sort of trial run for future attempts on the part of the terrorists to push women and children towards the border in the hope that there will be an incident that can be blamed on the Israelis.

    The low turn-out is surprising, rain or no rain. It could be that Hamas has radically lost support.


  10. deegee says:

    It could be that Hamas has radically lost support.
    Bryan | 26.02.08 – 10:05 am

    I doubt it. That would imply a rise in support for corrupt, ineffectual and most crucially, military losers, Fatah. What evidence is there for that?

    My feeling is that crossing into Egypt was a shopping trip at low risk. The Gazans bought (relative) luxury goods like cigarettes that were not available at home. Despite propaganda so freely pushed by Hamas and the BBC they didn’t buy staple foods or medicines because those things are in relatively good supply.

    Had they crossed into Israel, what would the Gazans have done? Gone shopping – where? Taken their keys and returned to the villages their grandparents left in 1948 – how? On top of that they would be testing how much deadly force Israel would use to stop them or how much deadly force Hamas would use to provoke a bloody photo opportunity.

    If I was Palestinian, I suspect, I’d blame the rain, too.


  11. Sue says:

    Where are John Reith and co? The deafening silence from Beeboids says it all.


  12. George R says:

    BBC report headline:

    “Five militants die in Gaza strike”

    Were these “militants” paintballing, perhaps? No?

    Oh, I see, these “militants” were “from ISLAMIC JIHAD”:


  13. The People's Front of Judea says:

    “Where are John Reith and co? The deafening silence from Beeboids says it all.”

    I think BBC management finally found a way of discovering where all the work shy, sponging employees were during the ‘hectic’ days at Broadcasting House.

    On this blog.

    And anyway, John Reith tackles soft targets only Sue, I’m sure you know that.

    You don’t want his Google finger wearing itself out do you? It’s the only talent he has.


  14. Oscar says:

    The news bulletin on R4s PM at 5pm give another ‘heartrending’ headline for the Pals with no mention AT ALL of yesterday’s murder of an Israeli man and ongoing rocket attacks in Sderot. No – the BBC just tell us that some Pal children have been killed and more than 30 other Pals have died in ongoing Israeli operations. According to the BBC the Israeli’s do this sort of thing just for kicks – they never ever mention the attacks against them and the fact that the Pals put their kids in harms way. Any beeboid around here with a conscience who will own up to this vile perversion of the ‘news’?


  15. Sue says:

    (Posted on other wretched thread as well)

    Those rocketeers again

    “The strategy of the Palestinian militants is also becoming clearer.”

    To who?

    ……. Their goal appears to be to establish a balance of deterrence with each significant Israeli incursion or targeted killing meeting a significant response; one that they hope will encourage the Israeli government to restrain its own forces.”

    Who says? Oh, Jonathan Marcus. He has decided that the jolly Rocketeers are doing this as a deterrence.
    While Israel is killing poor Palestinian citizens at random, just because it can.


  16. Bryan says:

    Yes, they ‘ve been making a concerted effort lately on the World Service and the website to represent Israel as the aggressor. It would be bad enough if the BBC tried to occupy some imaginary “middle ground” between Palestinian terror and Israeli defence against that terror but it goes way beyond that to side with the terrorists.

    Vile bunch of propagandists.


  17. George R says:

    “Al-Qaeda has infiltrated Gaza with help of Hamas, says Abbas”

    (there’s reference to BBC and A.Johnson here.)


  18. Angry Young Alex says:

    “I was wondering if these children attend the same schools for suicide bombers in Gaza on which the BBC reported here back in 2001?…BBC Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi appears to believe that this demonstration was a spontaneous display by “ordinary Palestinians” rather than a cynical (and failed) stunt by Hamas!”

    So, er, where’s the bias? I see the news story plus whimsical speculation. But where does the BBC fit in? Please don’t ramble, Vance.