Thursday, 24 July 2014

Jeremy Bowen's Gaza notebook: "I saw no evidence of Hamas using Palestinians as human shields"



The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen has written a 'Gaza notebook' for the New Statesman. (Well, did you really think it would be for the Spectator or the Jewish Chronicle?). It is strikingly opinionated, even by his standards.

He uses it to dispute Benjamin Netanhayu's claims that Hamas uses civilians as human shields; indeed, even going so far as to paint Hamas in a rather protective-sounding light:
I saw Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, giving an interview to the BBC after Israel had killed more than 60 people in the Gaza district of Shejaiya. He said he regretted the civilian casualties in Gaza but they were the fault of Hamas. Netanyahu said Israel had warned people to get out. Some had taken the advice; others had been prevented from leaving by Hamas.
I was back in London for my son’s 11th birthday party by the time all those people were killed in Shejaiya. But my impression of Hamas is different from Netanyahu’s. I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields. I saw men from Hamas on street corners, keeping an eye on what was happening. They were local people and everyone knew them, even the young boys.
This comes despite Hamas publicly advocating the use of civilians as human shields (something Jeremy Bowen fails to acknowledge). The Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, was caught (by MEMRI) speaking on a local station recently, saying: 
This attests to the character of our noble, jihad-loving people – who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and their blood.
The policy of people confronting the Israeli warplanes with their bare chests in order to protect their homes has proven effective against the occupation… we in Hamas call upon our people to adopt this policy in order to protect the Palestinian homes.
And yet Jeremy Bowen dismisses it all, even after UNRWA found Hamas rockets in two of its Gazan schools, and despite credible reports that some civilians are deliberating ignoring Israel's warnings and that groups of civilians have actually gathered at targeted buildings in order to serve as human shields [see Channel 4's FactCheck blog]. 

A week in Gaza, and yet Jeremy Bowen "saw no evidence...of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields". 

Presumably, the blinkers he was wearing at the time didn't help.

30 comments:

  1. Christopher Scopes24 July 2014 at 19:00

    Jeremy Bowen should be immediately replaced as BBC Middle east editor. I have failed to hear any report of his which has not been emotive or one-sided.How can the BBC be respected when they do not question Hamas propaganda and their Middle East editor refuses to put the Israeli pont of view? sarah Montague's on the Today programme at 8.10 was a serious lapse of impartiality.

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    2. What about debunking Zionist propaganda that has been spoon fed to you by the BBC. The human sheild myth has no foundation, it is a propaganda devise to dehumanize Palestinians and provides justification for the murderering of children. The guy is Hitler revisited. Come on I am waiting for it call me a Hamas supporter, because that's about all you got. Netanyhu is a war criminal and that is something you cannot refute.

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    5. ''This attests to the character of our noble, jihad-loving people – who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and their blood''. So this statement is apparently proof of human shields. That's right you are supposed to believe the Palesinians are holding up their babies to be killed as the bombs are destroying people private houses. No don't believe an eye witness, believe this biased article instead. So bloody what, if a Palestinian freedom fighter does a bit of chest thumping, in a time of crisis. It is the Zionist who are killing the children. I post a lot because I am furious at the deliberate ignorance. Hateful bastards!

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  2. This article has no independent evidence to show that he is a liar and the writer expects everyone to believe it.

    The man stated what he witnessed, the same was said by RT News reporters, AJ and European News. Where is the evidence that Hamas used civilians as shields, all we really have are some made up photos by IDF to support their agenda. Nothing from any independent source.

    Besides Israel have done this to themselves, they have now exposed their lies and everyone knows it. Here are some videos with evidence from different channels. Now do us all a favour and create a new page calling them all liars also.

    How Israel warns Palestinians before bombing them?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqKu5rSTyP8

    How IDF abuses and uses Palestinian children as shields

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16TW0ereUUI

    Teenage boys were shot dead before any rockets were fired. But never made front page.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTQPGjhJDhQ

    Israel tests new weapon of mass destruction on live civilians

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kevgeiOAVAg

    Ex-IDF Soldier tells story how Israel tests Weapons on live civilians to sell to other countries

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93hqlmrZKd8

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    1. Now is a good time to go all Richard Ingrams. on you.
      “I have developed a habit, when confronted by letters supporting Hamas, to look at the signature to see if the writer is called (e.g.) Fiaz. If so I tend to disregard it.”

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    2. Nice one Sue, at least you openly admit you're a racist!

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    3. Yes, but is ‘Anonymous’ a race?

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    4. What a bigot you are.

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    17. Even the British parliament including people who condemn Hamas are calling it for what it is. WAR CRIMES, PURE AND SIMPLE. The Zionists even cut off water supplies. Netanyhu has shown no repect for human life, it is wrong to reward this behaviour. Sanction Israel now, as this is the right thing to do.

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    19. The people posting in this reply section sound like a bunch of racist bogans. So you are telling me it is not racist to use collective punishment on a whole ethnic group, but it is racist to point out the war criminal doing it. Let me enlighten you bigots, ethic cleansing is extreme racism. Netanyhu is a racist war criminal, make no mistake. Now come on, with all your ad-homiem attacks as that is all people who refuse to listen to truth can do.

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    20. PS: The anti-semite acussation does not hold any water. There are millions of Jews through out the world that are appalled at what Zionist Israel are doing. These people are smeared as self haters, in fact they are very decent Jews who practice what they believe is the true spirit of Judaism.

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  3. Israel Hasbara crap has been rubbished by many journalists on the ground. The media use Hamas as a bogeyman to hide its own systematic genocide and carpet bombing of a defenseless people. Israeli terrorists have killed 1800+ civilians and a quarter of them children. That's nothing to do with Hamas so stop the lies. Israel wants to destroy Gaza and the Palestinian hopes of peace and a state.

    They continue with land theft, illegal settlements and bulldozing Palestinian homes. You don't need Hamas or Jeremy Bowen to tell you that. It's a criminal state that has broken international law countless times and accused of war crimes by the UN and every humanitarian organisation out there. Time is up and even US public opinion is changing.

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    1. Netanyhu is a monster and if you do not think this you are deluded.

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