Depicting Gaza and the West Bank as if they were English suburbs blighted by ‘neighbours from hell’ typifies a huge flaw in the BBC’s biased coverage of the I/P conflict.
Jon Donnison is one of the worst offenders. After reading yesterday’s report on Gaza (blogged yesterday by David) one could take away the impression that the blockade was merely a hardship that Israel imposed at random upon innocent people just because it could. For some inexplicable reason a terrible misfortune seems to have befallen the Palestinians. Neither they themselves nor the BBC appear to be aware of why they are suffering this unfair siege. Bad karma? Behaving badly in previous incarnations? Or just the pure evil of the Zionists.
When he mentions that Israel has eased the blockade, he can’t resist qualifying it, and reminding us, “exports are still banned and most people are not allowed to leave the territory.” just in case we started to stop hating Israel.
Stranded in the middle of a list of hardships is a reference to “near-daily rocket and mortar attacks last week,” which omits to explain where or by whom; then there is this throwaway remark: “Israel and neighbouring Egypt shut down Gaza’s border crossings when an Israeli soldier was captured in June 2006. “
An Israeli soldier “was captured?” Oh, what a silly accident that seems to have been! How careless, to get yourself captured! But who captured him? Jon Donnison doesn’t say. What has happened to him since? Jon Donnison doesn’t think we’d be interested. Instead he wants us to know some UN-sponsored statistics about the damage and destruction caused by the blockade, and for good measure throws in some extra bits about Operation Cast Lead.
An explanation of sorts comes at the end. By way of providing what the BBC is so famous for – ‘balance,’ here is Israel’s side:
”Israel says the restrictions are necessary to pressure militants to stop firing rockets from the territory.”
Puhlease don’t exaggerate Jon.
It’s not good enough to present Palestinian society as though it were downtown Slough in an economic downturn. Palestinian standards need to be understood before anyone can begin to comprehend what Israel is dealing with. If we’re to get the full picture we must be told more. Apart from describing the antics of the Islamist extremists that run Gaza, what about the PA reaffirming the death penalty for Palestinians who sell land to Israelis. Will there ever be the death penalty for people in the UK who sell property to neighbours from hell?