What if every item of BBC news had to include a comparison with “Gaza”? That seems to be what Jeremy Bowen has in mind.
Today programme. (2:28:47)
“….someone usually on this programme to talk about the Middle East”
says Mishal Husain as she introduces Jeremy Bowen and his 'choice of poem' at 8:28 am.
“G’morning to you and y’now I’m gonna be as cheerful as possible because this is a very hard time and it’s miserable for so many and people are dying. Y’know, we’re gonna get through it.
Um. There have been some comparisons made with this fight against the virus and the war, and I think that’s valid - without the bullets - now, a reason why this is so shocking is because usually in this country and most other developed countries we have pretty secure - most of us - and stable lives and in wars that mass security gets taken away I’ve seen it all over the world many times, and that’s what the virus is doing; now - it’s not a competition of course, but man people around the world never have that kind of safety and security that usually we’re used to. Untimely death is always part of it for them.
And so think about all that and the fact that, you know, we have the NHS and many countries don’t, and figures I’ve seen lately - forty ventilators in Gaza for two million people - three ventilators in the Central African Republic for five million, so it’s a time to count our blessings, I suppose is what I’m saying. Now this poem………
Jeremy Bowen, your agenda is showing. Why on earth did you shoehorn that particular statistic into your ‘cheerful’ intro? (I suppose it cheered you up to do so)
Is there a new rule that every item of BBC news has to include a comparison with “Gaza”?
BBC Watch has been monitoring the BBC’s agenda-littered reporting of Israel / COVID-19 related issues, which invariably includes snide anti-Israel innuendo. For example, just examine the emotive language in one passage of Jonathan Marcus’s report. One could easily omit the gratuitous insinuations, without compromising the accuracy of (e.g.,) the following report.
“But the densely populated Gaza Strip presents an altogether more worrying case. The population there is isolated; the Palestinians are under effective blockade from both Israel and Egypt, who say it is a necessary security measure against militants.
There has been a long-running debate between Israel and the international community as to its abiding responsibilities for the territory. Israel’s troops have left and it insists that it is no longer responsible for events there, which is now the job of the Hamas rulers.
But if the pandemic sweeps through Gaza this may become a very difficult case to argue given the grip that Israel still retains from outside.
No wonder there have been calls from Palestinian experts and humanitarian agencies for the so-called Israeli “blockade” to be lifted, and for Palestinians in both the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Israelis to make common cause to fight the pandemic.”
Here’s a suggestion:
“But the Gaza Strip presents a worrying case. The population there is isolated; the Palestinian residents are under effective blockade from both Israel and Egypt, which is a necessary security measure against Palestinian terrorism.
There has been a long-running debate between Israel and the international community as to its responsibilities for the territory but Israel is no longer responsible for events there; this is now the job of the Hamas rulers.
There have been calls from Palestinian experts and humanitarian agencies for the so-called Israeli “blockade” to be lifted, and for Palestinians in both the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Israelis to make common cause to fight the pandemic.”
Contrary to the BBC’s insinuations, it has been widely reported on the pro-Israel press, (not the BBC) that Israel has continued to supply goods to Gaza including medical supplies, throughout the epidemic and the ubiquitous references to the density of the population do not give a true picture of reality in terms of ‘comparative densities’.
and yet:The Palestinian Authority leadership has done virtually nothing to help the Gaza Strip confront the coronavirus pandemic. Ironically, the only country that has been helping the Gaza Strip in the past few weeks is Israel. https://t.co/QQUYpuCOn2— Gatestone Institute (@GatestoneInst) April 1, 2020
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar threatened to kill all of Israel's Jews if Gaza does not get enough ventilators.
“If ventilators are not brought into [Gaza], we’ll take them by force from Israel and stop the breathing of 6 million Israelis," he said, as reported by Times of Israel and Arab media.