From time to time, I have gone through the tedious but necessary task of picking up the BBC’ bias over Israel’s dominance of the Palestinians. This article is riddled with systemic bias.[i] There is one sentence that, to me, sums up the attitude of the pro-Israeli report. The issue is the 600,000 Israeli Jews who have settled in the West Bank. “Palestinians say these are illegal under international law and are obstacles to peace, but Israel denies this.”
It is not the Palestinians that say that the settlement process is illegal but the UK, UN the USA and EU and most others who have thought about it. It is an astonishing piece of false reporting. It is the reduction of international law to one of merely opinion. So I, and many others, complain.
But what do you do when it produces nothing?
In June the official UN observer to the Middle East, Michael Lynk said, “in my report, I conclude that the Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime”. “I submit to you that this finding compels the international community … to make it clear to Israel that its illegal occupation, and its defiance of international law and international opinion, can and will no longer be cost-free,”[ii] he added.
So what did the BBC say on this blunt correction of misreporting? Nothing. How can we complain against misreporting when there is nothing there?
How does the BBC decide what is worth reporting and what is not? Now it may be that influence comes from the Chairman who is from the establishment[iii], and the establishment CEO[iv]. It may be that the Government sees Israel as a strategic ally and does not wish its war crimes drawn attention to.[v] It may be the journalists are ardent Zionists or cowed by the boss’s views. It may be that they fought to report it and lost. I just do not know.
I decided to see if there was a paper trail. How was Lynk’s report went unreported by the BBC?
GENEVA (9 July 2021) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, today called on the international community to designate the creation of Israeli settlements as a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.” [vi]
My question “Was it reported on the BBC?” and “I would like copies of any e-mails relating to how it should be reported”.
This is what I got back
“Part VI of Schedule 1 to the Act provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature’. The BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities”
I don’t think it takes much creativity to bury a story.
[iii] Richard Sharp has given more than £400,000 to the Conservative Party
[v] “We will also build upon our close security partnerships, including with Israel and Saudi Arabia, to better protect our interests in the region.” From defence paper