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Friday, April 6, 2007

At the BBC, any occasion is good for Israel Bashing

In the good old days of the Middle Ages, there were three times to blame the Jews:
1. When things go bad - if there is a plague, the Jews must have poisoned the well.

2. When things go well - holidays like Christmans were always good occasions for pogroms. "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" had a different meaning then.

3. Whenever else you feel like it.

The BBC has continued in this fine old tradition. When British sailors were released from Iran, BBC used the occassion for Israel-bashing. BBC is spending a fortune to supress a report about its anti-Israel bias. They are wasting their money. Why try to hide what everyone knows?

The item below is from Joy Wolfe. Please do complain to the BBC if you live in Britain and saw the show.

Ami Isseroff

Complaint re Newsnight 05/04/07

Complaint registered on the website and reported by telephone on 08700100 222

I wish to complain most strongly that the report on last night's Newsnight about the release of the British marines and sailors was allowed to develop into yet another opportunity to put out negative views about Israel.

Firstly I would contend this report had absolutely no relevant link to Israel, so I question why the producer would invite such a pro Palestinian activist to comment on it.

Secondly if it did have to have a go at Israel, making the outrageous, and in my opinion unsustainable claim, that it was Israel who started hostage taking and at one point was the only country using this tactic, why no mention about those Israelis who currently are hostages, with nothing known about them and the world and the BBC conveniently choosing to forget all about them.

I consider this to be yet another example of the BBC's bias against Israel, and in this case to be particularly deplorable since a link was created where none should legitimately have existed

I would like you to treat this as an official complaint, acknowledge it with a reference number, and I look forward to a response before deciding how and where to pursue this complaint.

Below is the profile of the person you chose as the one to comment on this report last night. Hardly comes into the unbiased and balanced category even if the item was about Israel, which it most clearly was not.

May I suggest you think very carefully about trotting her out on air unless there is a balancing voice to put Israel's point of view, if you wish to retain your alleged view that the BBC is unbiased and balanced.

Karma Nabulsi is the fellow in politics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and university lecturer at the department of politics and international relations, Oxford University. She was a PLO representative from 1977-90, working at the United Nations, in Beirut, Tunis, and the United Kingdom. She was an advisory member of the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks in Washington from 1991-1993. She then did her doctorate at Balliol College, and was prize research fellow at Nuffield College until 2005. During this time she was the specialist adviser to the UK all-party parliamentary commission of inquiry on Palestinian refugees (and its report, Right of Return, 2000) and the specialist adviser to the House of Commons select committee's inquiry on development assistance and the occupied Palestinian territories, and its report on donor assistance.

She is currently engaged in an EU-funded collective research project, based at Nuffield College, entitled Foundations for Participation: Civic Structures in Palestinian Refugee Camps and Exile Communities.

She is the author of Traditions of War: Occupation, Resistance and the Law (Oxford University Press, paperback edition 2005) and writes on the philosophy and ethics of war, the laws of war, European political history and theory and Palestinian history and politics. She is currently writing Conspirators for Liberty: The Underground Struggle for Democracy in 19th century Europe for W W Norton, supported by a Leverhulme Trust research grant. The book uncovers the untold story of the associations and networks that worked together to build democratic societies in Europe. She contributes to the Guardian, al Hayat, the Electronic Intifada and other journals.

She is a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, adviser for the Badil legal unit and a member of its expert forum and adviser to Arab Media Watch in the UK. She is a trustee of the Hoping Foundation, which raises money and provides grants to grassroots community organisations working with Palestinian youth in refugee camps all over the Middle East. She was a founding member of the Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK in 1988, and of the Palestinian Women's Union, UK branch.

"Between the Lines "

I sent the following email to Honest Reporting UK on

Did anybody see the slot on Newsnight tonight?


I want to draw your attention to yet another side swipe at Israel by the BBC, on Newsnight tonight.

As you know the news is full of the return of the 15 British Marines and sailors from Iran. As a spin-off on Newsnight, there was a slot about hostage-taking in the Middle East. They mentioned all the people taken hostage by Islamists since the American Embassy siege in the 1980s, but as you can guess the Israelis held hostage by terrorists were conspicuous by their absence.

To add insult to injury, the BBC trotted out Karma Nabulsi who then proceeded to list Israel as one of the countries which took hostages and even said there was a time when they were the only ones doing it.

I wasn't able to get a full transcript of what was said, but surely we can complain to the BBC about trotting out a person who sympathises with the aspirations of Hamas in a slot like this is bias of the worst kind?

I look forward to your alert about this, and will gladly join with everybody else in protest. Keep up your wonderful work.

Chag Same'ach LPesach

Ilana Rosen"

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