6 July 2006
Frankly, I am beside myself with despair and anger at the actions of the Israeli government which have, as one commentator put it, more in common with the Nazi onslaught on the Warsaw Ghetto than any nonsense about defending the Israeli people from ‘terrorism’.
Worse still is the frustration I feel with the actions of the British government, which aside from a plaintive whine about “restraint”, does absolutely nothing. Are we to stand by and watch ‘our’ government be party to a war crime of the most horrendous proportions? It seems so. So too, the ‘impartial’ BBC is directly complicit in covering up Israel’s crimes against humanity and frankly, when the day comes and the Western governments are forced to answer for their crimes, the BBC should also be in the dock along with them.
What kind of mentality is it that can condone what is being done to the Palestinian people? How do the people in the BBC news department live with the fact that the lies they write every day make them party to covering up the genocidal actions of the Israeli government. And not only the BBC but virtually every other MSM is complicit in the crimes being committed on a daily basis against defenceless people.
Only one thing can explain the inane platitudes and that is the fundamentally racist nature of the British state, one of the things it holds in common with the state of Israel. How else can such a double standard operate unless it’s based upon the idea that the Palestinians are less than human. We treat dogs better than we do the Palestinian people.
Article 69 of the Geneva Convention states.
Basic needs in occupied territories
1. In addition to the duties specified in Article 55 of the Fourth Convention concerning food and medical supplies, the Occupying Power shall, to the fullest extent of the means available to it and without any adverse distinction, also ensure the provision of clothing, bedding, means of shelter, other supplies essential to the survival of the civilian population of the occupied territory and objects necessary for religious worship.
2. Relief actions for the benefit of the civilian population of occupied territories are governed by Articles 59, 60, 61, 62, 108, 109, 110 and 111 of the Fourth Convention, and by Article 71 of this Protocol, and shall be implemented without delay. www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739
The BBC makes no bones about it; Israelis are held “hostage” or “captives”, but Palestinians are “prisoners”. The Israeli government kidnaps half the government and a quarter of the Palestinian parliament, an act that the BBC refers to as “arrests”. How much longer are we to put up with the blatant propagandising of the BBC on behalf of the Israeli government?
The BBC continues to ignore the legitimate nature of the Palestinian struggle for its rights. So today we read on the BBC Website that:
Cpl Gilad Shalit was taken by gunmen in a cross-border raid on 25 June.
“Gunmen”? The Palestinians conducted a legitimate military attack on Israeli occupation forces and took a single IDF soldier prisoner, an action entirely in accord with international law that recognises the rights of an occupied people to defend themselves and take the steps necessary to expel the invader.
So whilst pretty much the rest of the world recognises the barbaric policies of the Israeli government, the BBC continues to unreservedly to support the genocidal actions of the Zionists.
The Israeli government publicly pronounces that it will murder the Palestinian prime minister if the lone Israeli soldier is not returned but search in vain for any reference to Olmert’s threat. Instead, a BBC story dated 2 July has the headline:
“Hamas threatens attacks in Israel”
No mention of the horrendous and barbarous attack on the civilian population of the Occupied Territories, itself a war crime under both the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter.
Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions collective punishments are a war crime. Article 33 states: “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed,” and “collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”
The BBC has also not reported the fact that the attacks on Gaza were planned weeks before the capture of the Israeli soldier. In fact there is not a single story on the BBC Website that describes the real suffering of the Palestinian people. Instead it repeats virtually verbatim Israeli PR about “reprisals” for Palestinian acts of “terrorism”.
I could go on ad infinitum detailing the skewed and just plain misleading ‘reporting’ by the Western ‘news’ media on the situation in the occupied territories but it hardly seems worth the effort. Highlighting how the Western media covers the absolutely outrageous actions of the Israeli government will not it seems, alter the coverage one iota. The one exception seems to be Channel 4’s occasional ‘lapses’ back into reality but these disappear under a barrage of pro-Israeli propaganda dutifully relayed by the Western press.
Moreover, Channel 4’s stories focus on the ‘humanitarian’ side of Israeli actions, whereas the underlying illegality and barbarism of Israel barely gets a mention.
On the surface it would appear that the Israeli government has the Western media gripped hard and fast by the ‘short and curlies’ but dig a little deeper and it’s clear that Israeli policies are geared directly to Western strategic interests.Not only are they totally in-step with Western interests, they flow directly from Western policies. It is inconceivable to imagine Israel carrying out its policy of genocide without the blessing of the West.
Ironically, Israeli press coverage is infinitely better than anything the British mainstream press can offer. Today’s Ha’aretz (3/7/06) carries a piece titled ‘A black flag’ By Gideon Levy:
A black flag hangs over the “rolling” operation in Gaza. The more the operation “rolls,” the darker the flag becomes. The “summer rains” we are showering on Gaza are not only pointless, but are first and foremost blatantly illegitimate. It is not legitimate to cut off 750,000 people from electricity. It is not legitimate to call on 20,000 people to run from their homes and turn their towns into ghost towns. It is not legitimate to penetrate Syria’s airspace. It is not legitimate to kidnap half a government and a quarter of a parliament.
A state that takes such steps is no longer distinguishable from a terror organization. The harsher the steps, the more monstrous and stupid they become, the more the moral underpinnings for them are removed and the stronger the impression that the Israeli government has lost its nerve. Now one must hope that the weekend lull, whether initiated by Egypt or the prime minister, and in any case to the dismay of Channel 2’s Roni Daniel and the IDF, will lead to a radical change. (read entire article www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=733427)
It is incumbent on us as citizens to voice our opposition to the events that are taking place in the occupied territories. By all means write to the BBC, to your MP, to the foreign secretary and let them know what you think. There are a number of public demonstrations and meetings taking place this week (see the Actions page for details).