by Robin Shepherd
In one of the most disgraceful displays of wilful bias that you will ever have the misfortune to witness, the BBC today covers a UN Human Rights Council report which castigates Israel over the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in the Mediterranean Sea earlier this year.
The incident left nine pro-terror activists dead after they attacked Israeli soldiers in a bid for martyrdom. Gleefully, the BBC quotes the report as accusing Israel in the following terms:
“There is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: wilful killing; torture or inhuman treatment; wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health”.
As good propagandists the reporters and editors are careful to relate Israel’s rejection of the report. But since any country accused of such crimes would instantly issue a rebuttal, the effect on the reader can safely be assumed to be minimal. What the BBC does is to censor out any of the relevant details, both about the incident itself and about the UN rights council. Here is a list of what they (quite deliberately) do not tell the reader:
1. The UN Human Rights Council is dominated by dictatorships, many with appalling human rights records. For example, members include China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia. This is crucial information since it goes to the credibility of anything that the Council does or says. Any trained journalist would know that such information must be included in any fair report. To omit it must, therefore, be a matter of deliberate choice. In this case, the BBC must have known that to relate such information would nullify the report’s impact as a device for defaming Israel. And that is why they omitted it.
2. The activists on the Mavi Marmara openly (on camera, and in newspaper interviews) courted martyrdom before even setting sail. This is vital information since it allows the reader to understand the mindset of the people Israel was confronting. It would provide clear evidence contradicting the thrust of the UN report. Again, not to provide such information must be deliberate.
3. According to the testimony of the ship’s captain and his deputy, the activists hijacked the ship several hours before the incident took place. This is more evidence that the activists were looking for confrontation. But to provide such information would contradict the favoured narrative that Israeli soldiers massacred a group of peace activists. Therefore, the BBC does not mention it.
4. There is video evidence (it’s on youtube for goodness sake!) that activists armed with steel bars, clubs, and knives mobbed the Israeli soldiers the moment they landed on the ship in an attempt to maim or kill them. No professional journalist would omit such information. And since anyone with even a cursory knowledge of what happened would be aware of such facts their omission must have been deliberate and part of a clear policy of promoting an anti-Israeli agenda.
There is just no way out of this for the BBC. This isn’t journalism, it’s political propaganda. And since that violates the BBC’s own charter, the journalists and editors should be held to account.
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