208 Palestinians have now died in Gaza, 80% of them civilians, and one Israeli civilian has died, but in limited good news many in Britain are protesting not just Israel’s air strikes but also the Western media’s biased, pro-Israel reporting. London protesters rallied outside the headquarters of the publicly funded BBC, saying its reporting disappears the “context or background” of Israel’s previous Gaza occupation and its never-ending air strikes on Gaza since 2006. The UK Independent quotes an open letter from the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and other groups to the BBC Director General:
We would like to remind you that Gaza has no army, air force, or navy, while Israel possess one of the strongest militaries in the world. …
When you portray the occupier as the victim, and the occupied as the aggressor, we would like to remind you that resistance to occupation is a right under international law.
The Stop the War Coalition plans more demonstrations in the next several days against BBC’s Gaza reporting and Israel’s war on Gaza, in Birmingham, London, Glasgow, and Worcester.
The UK Guardian‘s Owen Jones had his own eyes on BBC bias a week ago in “‘Israel under renewed Hamas attack’, says the BBC. More balance is needed:”
‘Israel under renewed Hamas attack:’ this was last night’s BBC headline on the escalating bloodshed in Gaza. It is as perverse as Mike Tyson punching a toddler, followed by a headline claiming that the child spat at him. As Elizabeth Tsurkov, a Tel Aviv-based Israeli human rights activist, tweeted: ‘We are targeted by mostly shitty rockets. Gazans are being shelled with heavy bombs. We have shelters, sirens, Iron Dome. They have 0.’
There is no defence for Hamas firing rockets into civilian areas, and as sirens wail in Israel, the fear among ordinary Israelis should not be ignored or belittled. But the media coverage hardly reflects the reality: a military superpower armed with F-15 fighter jets, AH-64 Apache helicopters, Delilah missiles, IAI Heron-1 drones and Jericho II missiles (and nuclear bombs, for that matter), versus what David Cameron describes as a ‘prison camp‘ firing almost entirely ineffective missiles. …
The macabre truth is that Israeli life is deemed by the western media to be worth more than a Palestinian life: here is the ‘hierarchy of death‘ at work. According to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, 565 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces since January 2009, while 28 Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli security personnel have been killed. The asymmetry of this so-called conflict is reflected in the death toll, but it is not reflected in the coverage.
Musician Brian Eno joined the BBC protests early, focusing on its biased reporting on the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers:
The most recent incident concerns the killing of three Israeli teenagers in Hebron. This admittedly disgusting crime has received an entirely disproportionate treatment: listening to the BBC one would be left with the impression that killing children had never happened in [the West Bank] before. But it has. And it happens with monotonous regularity. Not, by and large, to Israeli children, but to Palestinians. And not only killing, but imprisonment and torture and day-to-day harassment and brutality. This goes on all the time – and I see little reaction to it from the international media. Unfortunately, that increasingly includes the BBC, which now, like many others, seems to regard Palestinian lives as less valuable, less newsworthy.
The British protesters are inspirational, aren’t they? Just saying, but why don’t we here in the U.S. protest the horrible, racist coverage by U.S. news organizations of the Israel-Gaza conflict? They’re far worse than the BBC.