We get bombarded with casualty figures from Gaza by the BBC in every other sentence it seems…initially their preferred source was ‘Palestinian medics’, then the ‘Health department’ in Gaza’, and now the one they opt for is figures given by the UN.
But you might ask, where does the UN get its figures?….from Palestinians, as BBC Watch details:
Readers no doubt recognize the names of the two highlighted NGOs above – Al Mezan and PCHR. They are two of the “primary sources” upon which UN OCHA recently told BBC Watch it relies for casualty figures in the Gaza Strip. Describing them as “United Nations” figures, the BBC in turn quotes and promotes those UN OCHA statistics without any independent verification of its own and fails to inform audiences that they are sourced from political NGOs.
The fact that the BBC is providing publicity, promotion and amplification for political NGOs engaged in anti-Israel campaigning through ‘lawfare’ to influence public opinion is one which is completely incompatible with its commitment – and obligation – to impartial reporting.
The same UN which yesterday had to admit Hamas had used its facilities to hide missiles:
Something the BBC barely mentioned in its reports…even after the discovery they were using this less than informative description:
“Israel accuses Hamas of hiding its military infrastructure within the civilian population.”
UNRWA is in essence a UN provided political advocate for Palestinians demanding the ‘right of return’ for them…and hence the destruction of Israel…as admitted by a UN official on the BBC:
April – August 1948: More than 700,000 Palestine refugees are displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli War.
The United Nations General Assembly adopts resolution 194 (III), resolving that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest
UNRWA deals specifically with Palestine refugees in its five areas of operation in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Its role encompasses assistance, protection and global advocacy for Palestine refugees.
Despite that being on their website apparently any such ‘right’ was removed in 1965:
The right of return, Prosor reiterated, would “flood Israel with millions of refugees, and drown the Jewish state by sheer numbers.”
Right of return, he said, is actually a euphemism for the destruction of Israel.
UNRWA is responsible for helping fuel this “fiction” of the right of return to Palestinian children through their textbooks and schools.
“It’s worth noting that their mandate to resettle refugees was removed in 1965,” Prosor said. “They have perpetuated the problem instead of solving it.”
For most Palestinians the right of return for the up to six million
refugees who are ancestors of those who made the exodus from Palestine
that followed the creation of Israel in 1948 is an absolute.
“Israel wants the Palestinians to admit Palestine is the home of the Jews.
It wants us to give up on the right of return,” says Fadel Taha.
“Palestine is for us and for our grandchildren and can only be liberated
by resistance. Oslo and Madrid [peace conferences] brought only shame. We
don’t believe in negotiations.” says Abu Ahmad Fadel Taha, the
leader of Hamas in Ain al-Hilweh.
Tom Gross reminds us of the close relationship between UNRWA spokesman, Chris Gunness, and the BBC, especially the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen:
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness is a British citizen, who previously worked for 23 years as a foreign correspondent and in senior editorial positions at the BBC and has a decades-long record of bias against Israel. Gunness is close friends with the BBC’s notoriously anti-Israel “chief Middle East correspondent” Jeremy Bowen.
I revealed Gunness’ close friendship with Bowen in a dispatch in 2009, here.
Nor is the BBC finding space in its attacks on Israel this hour, to mention that Israel thwarted a major terror attack this morning involving 13 Hamas gunmen who infiltrated into Israel by underground tunnel from Gaza.
I have previously outlined on this website the concoctions of the well-funded UN body UNRWA which have resulted in defamations of Israel and physical attacks on Jews in many different countries around the world.
For example, UNRWA has now admitted that their claim that Israel shelled a school in Gaza in January and killed 32 Palestinian civilians is completely false. The shell in question, it turns out, was in response to Palestinian mortar fire at civilians in Israel and killed nine Palestinian adults, none of whom were in the school. Seven of those killed were armed operatives and two were civilians.
The sensational and false claims of UNRWA led to headlines around the world such as “UN accuses Israel of herding 110 Palestinians into a house then shelling it, leaving 30 dead” (London Daily Mail Online UK, Jan 9 2009 11:59AM GMT).
The false reports led to anti-Israel riots and attacks on Jews in all six continents of the world.
A JOINT WAR CRIMES ALLEGATION BY UNRWA AND THE BBC
Now, it turns out that Chris Gunness, the UNWRA spokesman who went on several different international TV networks in January to accuse Israel of “war crimes” on account of the supposed school incident, is in fact a former BBC journalist and a close colleague of the BBC’s notoriously anti-Israel Chief Jerusalem Correspondent Jeremy Bowen.
In a diary article which Jeremy Bowen posted on BBC online, he states:
“I just broke off writing for a couple of minutes to take a call from Chris Gunness, who is the spokesman for Unrwa, the UN agency that looks after Palestinian refugees.
“He was ringing to say that Unrwa wanted an investigation into whether Israel has committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Civilians are protected by the laws of war.
“I have known Chris for years, as he used to be a BBC foreign correspondent. He wanted to make sure that we knew he was using the phrase for the first time. He said that the attack this morning on a UN school in Gaza looked as if it was a war crime.”
Tom Gross continues:
In three occasions in the past when I have criticized the BBC, the BBC online editors have then subtly changed their website so as to delete the part I criticized without letting readers know it had ever been there in the first place.
For the record, at the end of this dispatch, I attach Jeremy Bowen’s full diary entry (in which he makes the remarks above), together with two biographies of Chris Gunness. Gunness worked for the BBC for 23 years in senior editorial positions in both television and radio.
So it turns out that the UNWRA spokesman condemning Israel for “war crimes” that in fact never happened, is a former BBC World Service correspondent and producer who is a close friend of the current BBC Chief Middle East Correspondent who helped spread these allegations. Can it be that the false claims about Israel coming from two august institutions, the BBC and UNWRA, are in the hands of two friends who might just have a world view not sympathetic to Israel?
The BBC World Service and UNRWA are both funded by the British government. UNRWA receives huge amounts of money from many other countries too. Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced it would add hundreds of millions of dollars to the considerable funds it has already supplied UNRWA, an organization accused of allowing the promotion of suicide bombing and martyrdom to be taught at the schools it pays for and administers.