Let’s be honest – Israel will never get a break on the BBC . The latter is institutionally pro-Palestinian and really struggles to disguise this each time this issue comes up. Earlier this morning, on Today, this was manifest in this item on (Sh)Amnesty International’s report accusing Israel and Hamas of war crimes and demanding an arms embargo against the Israeli state and “armed Palestinian groups”. No surprise there, I think anyone who has familiarity with AI knows that it is profoundly and sickeningly anti-Israeli but what interested me was how the BBC chose to cover this. It gave Gaza correspondent and donkey expert Aleem Maqbool the opportunity to glowingly propagandise on behalf of Hamas painting Israeli forces as homicidal monsters who deliberately target children before then switching to an accusatory interview with Israeli government spokesmen Mark Regev. I thought Regev countered quite well but the James Naughtie seemed a/ Disappointed that Hamas rockets were less effective than Israeli rockets and b/ Determined to ensure that the listener was left with the impression that Israel was the guilty party even when defending itself.

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  1. oldrightie says:

    Given their allegiance to Labour, does that mean this stance is a tacit Brown position?


  2. Cassandra says:

    Giving someone like Aleem Macbool a platform to spread his Jew obvious and blatant Jew hatred is a crime!
    The lies and manipulations by this islamist terrorist sympathiser are grossly offensive to civilised society everywhere and yet he is allowed a world platform.
    I find the BBC has sunk to the lowest depths of depravity, employing fanatics/anti semites/foul mouthed thugs/marxist agitators/leftist propagandists to air their disgusting filth, the BBC makes my skin crawl, its nothing more than a grubby dishonest gang of vipers!


  3. David Vance says:


    Stop sitting on the fence and tell us what you really think!

    Seriously, you are absolutely right. Maqbool is indistinguishable from a Hamas spokesman and yet we are asked to suspend belief and accept he is a neutral reporter.


  4. Nachman says:

    The Interviewer (I can’t bring myself to type his name) gave Mark Regev no time to make the point that there two aspects to Hamas’ war crimes. First the indiscriminate firing of missiles (offensive) into Israeli populated areas from Gaza residiential areas and secondly the engagement with Israeli troops (defensive) conducted from within residential areas where Hamas had set up its command and control in total breach of the rules of war. Secondly, no one asked those parents why their children were on the roof in the first place in the middle of a war zone. The answer is of course that no parent would permit their child to be on the roof – however Hamas “ensured” that there were children on the roof either cynically so that they could add them to “martyrs” with which the useful idiots at AI and HRW could accuse Israel of war crimes or so if identified as such by Israeli forces the IDF would break off the attack which happened on a number of occasions.


  5. JohnA says:

    Naughtie once again ducked the key issue about civilian casualties in Gaza – that Hamas deliberately embedded its rockets, its fighters and its command-and-control in amongst the civilian population. Which Amnesty and Human Rights Watch always skate over this. When Regev raised the issue Naughtie veered off by saying that Amnesty had criticised the use of rockets on civilian targets by Hamas – but this is a completely different point, and Naughtie damn well knows it is.

    The worst part though was the way everything Maqbool said was treated as gospel truth. Including the ridiculous assertion that Hamas embedded among the civilians because it was forced to do so. Maqbool raised this pre-emptively, I thought – and Naughtie didn’t comment in the slightest.

    So yes – the pattern of the item was – let the Palestinian “reporter” propagandise virtually unchallenged on behalf of Hamas, then pile into the Israeli spokesman.


  6. JohnA says:

    And then we slide effortlessly into further slagging off of Israel on Andrew Marr’s Start the Week – with beatification of Islamism because it can save the West from itself, some stupid woman saying “Christians killed far more Muslims than the other way round”, and further citicism of Israel’s robust self-defence against the hamas terrorists.


  7. JohnA says:


    Our posts coincided. As you say -Naughtie deliberately obscured the key point about Hamas basing itself inside civilian areas. Plus colouring the piece with a couple of stories about specific civilian casualties.

    I am afraid they gave the game away when the man said he had been worried about letting his daughters go upon the roof to feed the chickens – but still let them do so. Only a fool or a rogue could believe it is safe to be on a rooftop when there is urban fighting going on in Gaza.

    Hamas WANTS civilian casualties in Gaza.


  8. NotaSheep says:

    Does anyone else think that the BBC seem in an almost indecent haste to spread their message at the moment? Has panic set in at the BBC? Have they been tipped the wink that a June election is to be called so as to get the Conservatives in before the economy implodes completely? This will help their beloved Gordon Brown and Labour to recover quicker but are the BBC now worrying that their multiculturalist agenda might get pushed aside?


  9. red pepper says:

    To be fair to AI, they did say in their report that they had found parts of rockets and other arms in schools hospitals and public buildings in Gaza. Nonetheless this is not an excuse for their sustained left wing pro Palestinian bias.


  10. Cassandra says:


    The incoming Tory administration will be weak and divided from the start, it will be subservient to the EU coomissars and the coming alliance(made in hell)of NULAB and the LIMDEMs will be able to cut the Tory majority down hugely, the NULAB union barons will sabotage the Tories every chance they get, the BBC will unleash a wall of anti Tory propaganda and the public battered by the depression will bame the Tories for their utter inability to rectify a smashed economy.
    The coming election will only bring a ‘Heath’ type weak regime pushing a fake Tory(blulab)agenda that will only make a dire situation worse, the crazy Tory preoccupation with insane ‘green’ policies will be as fatal to the economy as they are useless, even now the Tories are being outflanked and they arent even in power yet.
    There is nothing in the Tory manifesto other than weak compromises and starry eyed wishful thinking, the Tories have moved themselves so far to the left to become ‘acceptable’ to the ‘new political reality’ that they have in effect castrated themselves, they can offer us nothing but the prospect of a speedy collapse and a further election in a couple of years, we are getting rid of NULAB to replace it with a bumbling and confused BLULAB with policies so confused and unworkable that one has to wonder what the point of the election wil be!
    We need a leader like Maggie or Winston but we get a Heath/chamberlain/Carter concoction doomed to a cringing handwringing demise.
    The Tories seek power alone, they have no vision or purpose, they will lead us further into oblivion, the best that can be said of them is that they will oust the NULAB crooks and charletons.


  11. Cassandra says:

    Dear David Vance,

    I appologise for my earlier agressive post about Macdrool, its the mention of his name that drives me in into a fury, I will try to moderate my posts in future.

    Yours Cassie K.


  12. Derek W. Buxton says:

    I have to agree fully with Cassandra about the blu-labour party, no backbone at all, or principles for that matter. Pity really, we do need a better quality of politician (or is that an oxymoron).



  13. JohnA says:

    red pepper

    You say the Amnesty report criticised the placing of Hamas rockets in schools, hospitals etc.

    Good for them. More even-handed than usual.

    But I do not recall the Today prog mentioning these crimes this morning ?


  14. mailman says:


    The problem I have with how the report has been reported is that it draws a direct line between Hamas and the Government of Israel.

    In the report there is absolutely no differentiating between Hamas (a terrorist organisation) and the Government of Israel. In the report, both are treated as the same…thus the moral equivalence card is played to its fullest!

    What this report in reality is doing is adding pressure on America (and UK) to stop supporting Israel as if in some magical way Hamas themselves will stop shooting at Israel if Israel stops defending itself.

    The reality is an unarmed Israel is a dead Israel. Lets just hope that the Light Worker ™ really is as intelligent and bright and all knowing as the media is making him out to be [and that he doesnt cave in to his lefty friends and stop supporting Israel].



  15. deegee says:

    I liked AM’s last statement, Human rights investigators say that there seems to have been an Israeli policy of what they called the complete and total protection of its own forces but at the expense of the civilian population of Gaza

    Speaking as a former soldier and a parent, two of whose children have served in the Israel Defence Forces, I hope so. Does the British Army believe in sacrificing soldiers to avoid casualties to ‘innocent civilians’? I doubt it.


  16. deegee says:

    “I believe we need now to consider whether we – the international community in its widest sense – need to re-examine these (Geneva and Hague) conventions. If we do not, we risk continuing to fight a 21st Century conflict with 20th Century rules.”
    British Defence Secretary John Reid, 2006

    I thought the BBc report was remarkably balanced. Aleem Maqbool presented the Hamas side and Mark Regev presented the Israeli.


  17. Velvel says:

    Did I hear right this morning on 4? Someone from Hamas actually said, UNCHALLENGED BY AL BEEB, that if they had more accurate rockets they wouldn’t be indiscrimately hitting civilians in Israel.


  18. Matthew says:

    The comments by JohnA and Nachman are squarely on target. Amnesty does some decent work in some other parts of the world, but its venomous hostility toward Israel vitiates its work in the Middle East.


  19. David Vance says:


    You heard right. I also note the absence of BBC apologists on THIS thread. Cat got your tongue, guys?


  20. Gus Haynes says:

    BBC apologists is a peculiar term. I would say this issue has been dealt with thoroughly.The BBCs reporting is not biased, its just not to your liking. If they covered it all from the Israeli side, and emphasised their concerns, that would be biased too wouldnt it? Youre problem is that you dont like their conclusions. Bias is bias, but you’re just opposed to it being the wrong kind of bias for your particular views.


  21. mailman says:


    You are probably right. One would suspect that if those of us who object to Al beebs reporting were raging anti-semites then we probably would be happy with Al Beebs coverage! 🙂



  22. Cassandra says:

    Amnesty International has a problem, they have so many Arab countries on their list of cruel/inhuman/nasty/undemocratic failed states that they have to go overboard looking for a non muslim nation to critisise so they dont appear islamaphobic, ever wonder why AI goes out of its way to nitpick and level ultra trivial complaints at western nations? because if it didnt do this it would have a massive list of muslim states on its red list with just a handful of other states!
    The truth is painful for the BBC/leftists but the fact is that the vast majority of states that fail all the tests of a decent democracy are in fact muslim states.
    In the vain attempt to look even handed it makes itself look stupid.


  23. Sue says:

    Gus Haynes | 23.02.09 – 3:32 pm |

    That’s because the BBC treats the Israeli cause and the Hamas cause as though they have equal merit.
    Israel is threatened with extinction (hampered by a temporary lack of the means of implementation.)

    The Israeli cause is the desire to live in peace within secure borders.
    The Hamas cause is the all-out destruction of Israel.

    Can you blame anyone for requiring that this is pointed out occasionally?
    If that is bias, it’s bias towards reason.


  24. Gus Haynes says:

    Israel’s cause is the destruction of Hamas, to live in peace and security.

    Hamas’s cause is the destruction of Israel, to live in peace and security.

    They are remarkable similar Sue, arent they?


  25. Grant says:

    Cassandra 9:12
    I am sorry, but for once I must disagree with you. The BBC are worse than that !


  26. Hazel says:

    “Israel’s cause is the destruction of Hamas, to live in peace and security.

    Hamas’s cause is the destruction of Israel, to live in peace and security.”

    No, Gus, you are wrong. Hamas’s cause is the destruction of Israeli and Israelis, to kill Jews (read their charter) AND THEN to continue with Iran’s agenda to dominate the Middle East. It’s Iran who fund Hamas and Hezbollah, and the Saudis don’t like these developments one little bit.

    And the BBC’s bias has disgusted me for a long time.


  27. Jon says:

    “Israel’s cause is the destruction of Hamas” It is indeed and it is also the aim of Australia, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, European Union and United Nations.

    Click to access Attachment.pdf


  28. libertus says:

    The destruction of Hamas would be the best thing that happened to the Palestinians. Go, IDF!


  29. cassander says:

    Dear Gus,

    “Israel’s cause is the destruction of Hamas, to live in peace and security.
    Hamas’s cause is the destruction of Israel, to live in peace and security.”

    But Hamas is a terrorist organisation of a few thousand dedicated terrorists whose avowed, sole goal is to wipe out Israel (as already pointed out, this is not in dispute) whereas Israel is an entire, democratic state of some 7.5 million people, whose main goal is to live in peace and prosperity. Do you maybe think that the moral equivalence of the two, and the wiping-out business, is, perhaps, a bit iffy?


  30. deegee says:

    Israel’s cause is the destruction of Hamas, to live in peace and security.

    Israel’s cause is to live in peace and security. In Operation Cast Lead, perhaps tactically mistakenly, Israel declared openly that its goal was to stop the attacks against its civilians and not to destroy Hamas. That it stopped the war when it was clear that going in to finish Hamas would lead to massive civilian casualties and more importantly Israeli casualties was a practical sign that this was more than words.

    Hamas’s cause is the destruction of Israel, to live in peace and security.

    Hamas’s clear, unambiguous and undisputed cause is the establishment of an Islamic sharia state replacing Israel followed by the reestablishment of the Caliphate and eventually the conquest of Europe and the world that was stopped at Poitiers and Vienna. Its attacks on border crossings and joint industrial enterprises as well as its encouragement of suicide Jihad are practical indications that peace and security are secondary concerns.


  31. Jack says:

    You are wrong!!!!
    The BBC is not pro Palestinian…
    It is institutionalized anti Israel.

    I realized this fact when I watched the
    BBC (Jeremy Bowen) Reporting from Lebanon during the 2006 conflict with Hizbolah.