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August 17, 2011

BBC Bias on Display Again

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The entrenched bias of the BBC is evident once again in its guide to the Palestinian plan to ask the UN to recognize its statehood. The guide, titled "Q & A: Palestinian Statehood Bid at the UN", selectively omits key historical facts in order to portray Israel as the obstacle to peace.

The following examples expose the BBC's evasive presentation of the circumstances that led to the Palestinian decision to pursue a UN General Assembly vote:

1) The guide states that

The Palestinians ... have long sought to establish an independent, sovereign state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six Day War. Although the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said he would prefer to achieve this through negotiations, two decades of on-and-off peace talks have failed to produce a deal.

The statement implicitly connects the Israeli control of these territories since 1967 with the failure to establish a sovereign Palestinian state. This ignores the central fact that a sovereign Palestinian state does not exist because Arab leaders rejected the UN resolution to establish it in 1947 since this would have required them to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state as well. The statement also ignores Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and offer to cede as much as 95 percent of the West Bank.

By claiming that Abbas would like to negotiate a solution while making no mention of Israeli efforts, the guide leaves the impression that Israel is responsible for the failure of negotiations. BBC should have clarified that Abbas, not Netanyahu, has refused to negotiate despite Israel's agreeing to a ten month freeze on building on the West Bank in 2009.

2) The guide discusses how

The Palestinians and their supporters are also looking at ways to press for UN General Assembly resolution 181 of 1947 to be enforced. The resolution calls for the partition of British Mandate Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab one.

The BBC fails to inform that it was the Arabs who rejected the resolution and are responsible for it not being enforced.

3) In discussing UN Security Council Resolution 242, the BBC asserts,

Although Israel disputes the precise meaning of this, there is wide international acceptance that the pre-1967 frontiers should form the basis of a peace settlement.

In fact, as CAMERA has amply documented, the framers of the resolution, including British diplomats Lord Caradon and Baron George Brown, clearly established that the resolution does not require Israel to return to the pre-1967 boundaries. It is not, as the BBC contends, an Israeli dispute over the "precise meaning."

4) While mentioning Hamas's commitment to the destruction of Israel, the BBC emphasizes that "the main opposition comes from Israel." The phrasing emphasizes Israeli opposition to the UN plan in order to portray Israel as unreasonable in demanding negotiations, while presenting Hamas as acting reasonable for going along with the plan even though it has not modified it's eliminationist stance.

The guide is a striking example of the unwillingness of the BBC to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict objectively even in what is purportedly an objective information piece.

Posted by SS at August 17, 2011 02:09 PM

Comments

Writing to the BBC doesn't seem to help. How about writing to the British Government, particularly to the attention of the ministers of justice and PM David Cameron, who recently said the media has lost its morality. Well, they have; he's right, and he should be trying to get it back by insisting on truth. The more covering up is done on behalf of Palestinians, the more they'll all be taken over by Islam.

Posted by: Tabitha Korol at August 21, 2011 02:35 PM

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