Wednesday 16 May 2018

Transcript: BBC News at Ten, Tuesday 16th May 2018

Newsreader: Tonight at Ten: More funerals in Gaza for the Palestinians killed in the deadliest day of violence there since 2014. As the burials go ahead for those shot dead by Israeli forces, the UN condemns what it calls the "appalling deadly" events. We report on the hospitals under pressure in Gaza, as the international community calls for an end to the violence. 
Jeremy Bowen: Politicians and diplomats abroad call for peace but real peace talks ended - failed - a long time ago. 
We'll have the latest from Gaza, and on today's emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. 

Newsreader: Good evening. More funerals have taken place for the Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in Gaza yesterday. An emergency session of the UN Security Council has heard condemnation of both Israel and the militant group, Hamas. Today marks the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands of people fled, or were expelled from their homes, when the State of Israel was established. Our Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, sent this report from Gaza. His report contains some distressing images.

Jeremy Bowen: On the border the soundtrack was anti-Israeli songs, not gunfire. 24 hours after the killing, the big protests have stopped, but tyres were burning and Palestinians looked warily towards the Israeli positions. Enterprising traders brought refreshments. So what's next? The Israelis deal with the international political fallout; the Palestinians have 60 dead. Politicians and diplomats abroad call for peace, but real peace talks ended - failed - a long time ago, and with the current generation of Palestinian and Israeli leaders, there is no chance of them being revived. The Israelis started firing tear gas. The crowd by then, including many families, was getting too big. And the young men were getting too close to the border wire. On the other side, the Israelis say they're in the right. 
Jonathan Conricus, IDF: We are not here looking to create casualties of Palestinians, that is not our aim. We are simply here to defend what is ours. We are defending our sovereignty, our civilians that live in close proximity, against an onslaught, led by a terrorist organisation that is using civilians in order to penetrate into Israel. 
Much of Gaza's rage is born in places like Beach Camp, still a home for refugees 70 years after more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes by newly independent Israel. Palestinians call it "Nakba" - catastrophe. 70% of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees, stuck fast in history. At the Al-Farooq mosque, Yazan Tobasi's funeral was much quieter than his death - shot through the eye during the protests. His body was wrapped in the Hamas flag. He was 23 and his friends were there to bury him. There were tender moments. Israel says it told them to stay away from the border and Hamas is responsible for what happened. His friend Mohamed El Bahrawy said Yazan had worked at the hospital, without pay, because of Gaza's collapsing economy. Poverty and grief breed anger. And so do the deaths of children. A family gathered for another funeral. It was for Leyla Al-Ghandour, who was eight months old. She had a weak heart and when she inhaled tear gas, she died, her family said. Children make up half of Gaza's population. Six were killed on Monday, according to the Ministry of Health. Her mother Mariam was in a pit of grief. At Shifa, the main hospital, wounded men were being transferred to Egypt for surgery. Inside, they were still treating casualties from the protest. This boy is 16. All day, I've been asking Palestinians if Hamas forced them to risk their lives at the protests. No one said yes. "I did it because Jerusalem is Palestinian," said Qadir Arras, unemployed, 24-years-old. This is the busiest time at the hospital since the 2014 war. 
Dr Ayman Sahbani, Director of Emergency Services, al-Shifa Hospital: As a human being, I speak, it is horrible to think about. If you saw it yesterday, that situation, it is horrible. Crying, bloody, pain, painful... What's happening? 
After the protests, it seems that many people are hoping for some kind of turning point. But the fundamentals of this conflict don't change. Jeremy Bowen, BBC News, Gaza.
Newsreader: Jeremy was focusing there on the hostility between Israel and the Palestinians, which has long centred on the land and the borders created following that war that led the establishment of Israel back in 1948 . Our chief international correspondent, Lyse Doucet, takes a closer look now at the history of the continuing struggle. 

Lyse Doucet: A history of the people on the run time and again. 1948, the Arab-Israeli war and the creation of Israel. Tens of thousands of Palestinians fled to Gaza, many forced from their homes. A narrow sliver of land became known as the Gaza Strip. Its borders defined by the positions of Egyptian and Israeli forces, separate from the West Bank when the 1948 ceasefire was declared. And for the next 70 years, Gaza's future would be shaped by its neighbours - most of all, the State of Israel. In 1967, in the Six Day War, Israel occupied Gaza and the West Bank, started building Jewish settlements on the best land, including along the Mediterranean. And then, decades later, a promise of land for peace. The last settlers and soldiers would leave in 2005, proclaiming the end of Israeli occupation, but Israel kept control of all borders, land, air and sea. Gazans called it 'the world's biggest prison'. But Palestinian politics played its part, too. The next year elections brought the militant group Hamas to power, pushing out Fatah, the main Palestinian faction. It pushed Gaza towards a growing confrontation with Israel, and a tightening blockade which created a growing humanitarian crisis. In the last ten years, three wars, and in between, efforts to ease Gaza's blockade, But never enough. And never enough aid. At the UN Security Council today, this same calls for restraint, and the US stood by its ally: 
Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN: I ask my colleagues here on the Security Council, who among us would accept this kind of activity on your border? No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has. 
And the same calls to return to peace talks: 
Karen Pierce, UK ambassador to the UNWe see negotiations towards the two state solution is the best way to end the occupation and to meet the national aspirations of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples. 
Gaza's fate has been sealed, literary, by its borders. The only route to a better future, through negotiations. But that's now further away than ever. Lyse Doucet, BBC News.
Newsreader: Lyse Doucet, our chief international correspondent, on the continuing hostility between Israel and the Palestinians. 


  1. Again sticking purely to matters concerning BBC impartiality, here are the points I'd make here.

    (Disagree please if you wish).

    (1) The BBC's introduction here was unflinching in making it all about Palestinian suffering and international condemnation of Israel.

    (2) The newsreader's subsequent full introduction was a virtual retread of the headline introduction but some one-sided language about the background history.

    (3) Seriously, where to begin with Jeremy Bowen's report?
    He provides a long paragraph presenting the Palestinians as victims - at the border as "singing", "warily looking" on, being plucky, bringing their families along. (Why take babies to such an event?) Ah but - BBC impartiality!- "the Israelis say they're in the right" and here's someone from the IDF to say that very thing after all that Jeremy has previously said in the build-up to the IDF's Jonathan Conricus and his 'talking head'. Jeremy immediately counters him by piling on the loaded language and the loaded history to 'give context' to the Palestinian "rage". And then comes the inevitable, distressing Jeremy Bowen bit on the victims of Israel's actions and the distressed hospital doctor. And they are all presented as victims, even the ones who are still alive. Everyone's a victim. Everyone's a saint. Everyone's in a pit of grief. No one is a Hamas terrorist. No eight month old (who was taken by her parents to the border clashes) died as as result of tear gas inhalation is anything other than a victim of the Israeli security response.

    (4) "All day, I've been asking Palestinians if Hamas forced them to risk their lives at the protests. No one said yes", said Jeremy Bowen. JB didn't follow that with any cautions. We, the viewers, were meant to accept it, just as Jeremy had accepted it.

    (5) If it's true, as pro-Israeli tweeters and bloggers are reporting, that a Hamas Politburo member Salah Bardaweil is saying that around 50 of the 60 or so people killed on Monday in Gaza were "from Hamas" , then that will make a lot of the BBC's reporting here seem at least naive and, perhaps, something far worse.

    (6) As for Lyse Doucet's potted history of the Gazans, "the people on the run time and again", well, I think it's safe to say that it will appeal to anti-Israeli people and not appeal to pro-Israel people.

    1. Trouble is that reports like this have an effect. A cousin in Brazil had received an email from a left leaning cousin in the U.K. asking (rhetorically) how he could support Israel’s actions. I thought much of the footage of Gazaans on stretchers was pure Pallywood. I am sure I saw one of the injured smile at the end of the footage. I wasn’t convinced any were in pain. Do we even know the baby died from tear gas

      As for Salah Bardaweil now admitting that 50 of the dead were Hamas, I heard that slipped out without comment in WATO but if it was mentioned in the 10pm BBC1 news, I missed it.

      As for Lyse’s statements that many Palestinians were forced out of Israel in 1948, if that isn’t biased reporting, what is?

  2. Doucet offers this up as an objective assessment: "And never enough aid." I dispute that entirely. There is too much aid in my view, which encourages the Palestinians in their fanaticism and obduracy. The small Palestinian population receives billions of dollars in aid every year. You would be hard pressed to find any "humanitarian crisis" - you only ever see well fed and well dressed Palestinians.

  3. Also the reference to the wars in Doucet's analysis...

    "1948, the Arab-Israeli war and the creation of Israel..."

    "In 1967, in the Six Day War, Israel occupied Gaza and the West Bank, started building Jewish settlements on the best land..."

    It's as if those wars just happened, spontaneously, with no-one to blame. In fact both conflicts were attempts by Arab nations to eradicate the state of Israel and slaughter or expel its (Jewish) citizens. A fact, but not one you'll ever hear on the Israel-hating Beeb.

    With deliberately skewed reports like this it's no wonder the casual BBC viewer who is not especially interested in the politics and history of the Middle East inevitably ends up seeing Israel as the bad actor in all this.

    1. Precisely - and that is why the BBC is an enabler of terrorism. It has been allowing Hamas to pose as a resistance movement against unjustified oppression, instead of identifying it consistently as an anti-Jewish terrorist organisation. It's only very recently that it has started to admit here and there that Hamas aims to remove Israel as a state.

  4. Sorry, there would have been edits to my comments, spelling and the like but couldn’t get it to preview, so posted.


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