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Vanished - How the BBC disappears the news
by William Bowles
This from GazaFriends on the kidnapping of 15 Palestinian fishermen and 3 foreign nationals in international waters by the Israeli navy:
20 November, 2008 â€” "Darlene Wallach is in a new prison in Ramle, a men's prison, but she's in a section reserved for illegal immigrants.
"She wanted to pass on this information, "We were fishing about 7 miles off the shores of Gaza. The Israeli soldiers came on board the three boats via four Zodiacs. The frogmen came up and over each boat. They used a taser on Vik while he was still on the boat, then tried to push him backwards onto a sharp piece of wood. He jumped into the sea to avoid being hurt more than he already was and was in the water for quite a while.
"Then they came for me and forced me into the Zodiac at the point of a gun. They said, "You are in Israeli territory" even though it was obvious that all three boats were in Palestinian territory. They kidnapped me and Andrew and Vik and all of the Palestinian fishermen."
"Today two women from immigration were there to see Darlene. They were very rude. Until just a few minutes ago, Darlene was refused a change of clothes and a mobile, but, thanks to Lubna and a nice woman at the prison, she now has both.
"The authorities are saying they will refuse to send Darlene to London and want to send her back to the United States. The judge said she would make a decision today so Darlene is waiting to hear the ruling. She still does not have a passport.
"She sounded fine, relieved to finally be able to talk to someone outside Israel. If you know ANY media who would like to interview her, please let me know and I will pass on Darlene's phone number to them. This story is vitally important to get out to the public.""
A couple of days ago I posted an earlier piece from GazaFriends on the
kidnapping of 15 Palestinian fishermen and three foreign nationals in
international waters by the Israeli navy. I forwarded the GazaFriends
press release (and the one above) to Channel 4 News in the (vain) hope
that theyâ€™d pick up the story but so far to no avail.
Youâ€™ll look in vain to find this story in the corporate/state-run media, but then this is the norm when it comes to the actions of Israel unless it's in response to a Palestinian 'terrorist'.
In an earlier piece I referred to a BBC Website story on the abuse Palestinians are subjected to by the Israeli Occupation Army (IOA) and the skepticism of the BBC reporter concerning the story (see â€˜Finding the words to say itâ€™) and the fact that the reporter, Tim Franks, had commented:
â€œâ€¦we have no clue as to when or where this video was shot and it is impossible to know just how frequently such incidents occurâ€, prompted me to look through another excellent source of news on Palestine, â€˜VTJP Palestine/Israel NewsLinksâ€™, an almost daily digest of stories.
Here are just a few headlines from the 19 November issue:
The above are just one dayâ€™s stories collected by a single individual that illustrate the daily abuses, shootings, arrests and harassment that Palestinian citizens go through on (whatâ€™s left of) their land. More 'officially' this weekâ€™s Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reports the following events over the past seven days:
Thus Franksâ€™ statement that â€œit is impossible to know just how frequently such incidents occurâ€ is to put it bluntly, a lie. There is simply no excuse for a real journalist who is genuinely interested in reporting events in the Occupied Territories, for not availing him or herself of the literally thousands of such incidents that have occurred over the past year.
Familyâ€™s eviction draws global outrage Jonathan Cook, The National, International Solidarity Movement 11/19/2008
"The middle-of-the-night eviction last week of an elderly Palestinian couple from their home in East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers is a demonstration of Israeli intent towards a future peace deal with the Palestinians. Mohammed and Fawziya Khurd are now on the street, living in a tent, after Israeli police enforced a court order issued in July to expel them. The couple have been living in the same property in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood since the mid-1950s, when East Jerusalem was under Jordanian control. The United Nations allotted them the land after they were expelled from their homes in territory that was seized by Israel during the 1948 war. Since East Jerusalemâ€™s occupation by Israel in 1967, however, Jewish settler groups have been waging a relentless...
So why does the BBC continue to ignore the reality on the ground? And, when the BBC does stoop to present a story on Israeli treatment of Palestinians, it mangles them as in the following BBC report with an innocuous title: â€œIsrael police remove protest tentâ€
It goes on:
â€œJewish groups have claimed ownership of the site as part of efforts to settle the Israeli-occupied east of the city,â€ and then manages to mangle even this, â€œBut this move is not recognised by most of the international community, which regards East Jerusalem as occupied, along with the West Bank, since the 1967 Israeli-Arab war.â€
Not recognized? Israelâ€™s actions are illegal under international law including the continued occupation of Jerusalem following the 1967 war, so itâ€™s not an issue of whether the â€˜international communityâ€™ recognizes Israelâ€™s actions or not. Note also that the BBC story does not mention that the Kurds had already been evicted from their land in 1948.
A crime is not a crime because the BBC didnâ€™t know when it took place and it's also not a crime because the BBC doesnâ€™t know how often such crimes occur.
The devil lives in the details when the BBC reports on the actions of the Israeli occupiers. Illegal becomes â€˜not recognizedâ€™, and the illegal occupation of land gets transformed by the BBC into "efforts to settle the Israeli-occupied east of the city". By changing a single word, the entire meaning of the event is trivialized thus the BBC, bound by a Charter to cover events in a 'balanced' and 'impartial' way, gets away with evading, ignoring, distorting and trivializing the daily tragedies of ordinary Palestinians.
This essay is archived at: http://www.creative-i.info/?p=2303