On the subject of Sue's Tuesday post, David Collier has now posted a coruscating attack on the BBC over this week's Panorama and BBC Arabic's heavy involvement with it.
It's too powerful a piece to be read in paraphrase, so you really ought to read the whole thing.
He looks at why the BBC targeted Roman Abramovich ("a wealthy, proud, Zionist Jew who fights antisemitism – what is not for the BBC...to hate?"); argues that the BBC has "amplified beyond recognition" certain fringe Jewish voices through "editorial choices"; and says the BBC is "obsessed with Israel".
He further argues that BBC Arabic's story about Mr Abramovich's funding of an NGO (Elad) that invests in Jerusalem isn't news ("Shock horror – A Jew invests in Jerusalem"):
Jews investing in Jerusalem is like Muslims investing in Mecca or Catholics in the Vatican. It is a non-story.
He then outlines the "usual smears", the loaded language, the "nonsensical propaganda stories" and "the standard deceptive tactics" used by the BBC - eg:
BBC Arabic [found] a fringe Israeli left-wing politician to claim he was ‘shocked’ on camera. That politician left the scene 14 years ago after his party failed to gain enough votes to see him re-elected. This is truly desperate stuff.
He sets out the historical background to the story behind the BBC "hit piece" in detail before describing how "as always" the BBC tried to make it personal" and then proceeded to "hide most of the story" of the family presented as a victim of Mr Abramovich’s funding and Elad’s activity. David lays out what the BBC "hid" - the exposed forgeries, the wealth of the "poor" family, the legal rulings against them - and the funding for them from "Jewish American billionaire George Soros":
You may not know this, as some backing of Jewish billionaires the BBC don’t want people to know about.
He then describes BBC Arabic as "a propaganda network":
Anyone who doesn’t realise this doesn’t understand the way news is produced and isn’t paying attention. Using mainly locals to create its news, it is entirely subservient to local pressure and norms. When they do get to tell a story about life in Gaza, they spend it talking about fishermen and ancient coins rather than the brutal rule of Hamas. And inside every human interest story like that, they never miss an opportunity to talk about Israeli ‘oppression’.
David has seen the full interview between Doron Spielman of Elad and Rosie Garthwaite of the BBC (the main journalist and producer behind this piece) and describes how the 55-minute exchange was reduced to "just a few seconds for her piece" after "careful snipping":
Anyone who ever wants to see how bad BBC journalism is – should seek out evidence such as this. It exposes an exercise in creating propaganda, ignoring what you are being told and writing the piece they were always going to write anyway.
What points made by Mr Spielman did Rosie Garthwaite omit?
- This is Jerusalem, the City of David and what we do benefits everyone
- This is an archaeological site of world importance
- Many Arab voices are with us, why are the BBC only using those against us
- Some well-funded NGOs are dissuading Jewish/Arab cooperation
- Suleiman forged documents and has no real claim
- Israel abides by the law
- The EU and some governments fund those dissuading Jewish / Arab cooperation
He adds, "Each of these is a story in itself. None of them made it into the piece."
He then writes about the BBC's use of an activist from Peace Now "to help with their case during the documentary", noting:
They had all the information necessary to remind viewers Peace Now is financed by foreign governments. If funding on one side is important, then surely it is on both. This isn’t neglect or an accident. The BBC have completely aligned themselves with only one side of the argument. This isn’t telling the truth, it is spreading disinformation. If the BBC knows there are problems with Sumarin’s claim – wasn’t it the duty of a proper journalist to remind viewers his evidence was proven to be forged?
We've already written about Rosie Garthwaite's history of "hard-core" anti-Israel activity on social media (and yet the BBC still went ahead with involving her here), and David adds to that the name of Uri Blau, who he calls "an anti-Israel activist". Mr Blau is 'friends' with numerous anti-Israel activists on Facebook. David concludes:
It is impossible for the BBC to claim impartiality when he is one of the producers of the piece. Uri Blau sits firmly on one side of the argument. He is in the enemy camp. How on earth can the BBC let him produce a news piece and then claim their investigations are impartial? It was a set-up from the start.
He goes on to say, "The truth is that the BBC and the Guardian are at war with the Jews" and then makes a point Sue has often made:
They don’t mind Jews when they are victims of a terror attack or Holocaust, but cannot stand them when they call for Jewish rights to be protected.
He ends by writing:
It is an old-school British supremacist antisemitic mindset. A Jew investing in an archaeological site in the City of David – the historical biblical Jewish capital is enough to set them off. No longer interested in telling the truth, they sit firmly in the Arab camp, pushing out anti-Israel propaganda at every opportunity. Which makes pieces like the recent BBC piece on Panorama just par for the course. Just another shot in their ongoing propaganda war against the Jewish state.
Please give the whole piece a careful read. It deserves a proper response from the BBC.
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