Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gaza: Does the BBC have a death wish?

Having outraged Daily Mail releases over Jonathan Ross, the BBC now seems determined to do the same for Guardian readers. Soon there will be no one left with the motivation to speak up for it.

The Independent reports:

Hundreds of protesters are expected to gather outside Broadcasting House in London today after the BBC defended its decision not to broadcast a public appeal to raise funds for Gaza.

The corporation said the decision was taken with other broadcasters not to show the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) crisis appeal because of impartiality concerns. There were also doubts about the delivery of aid in such a volatile situation, the BBC said.

Speaking on the radio this morning, Caroline Thomson, the BBC's "chief operating officer", waffled and was unable to give a reasoned defence of the corporation's position. In particular, she could not explain why the BBC was a better judge of whether aid can be delivered than the experienced charities who form the DEC.

But don't despair. As someone said at the time of Manuelgate, when faced with complaints the BBC has no middle position between arrogant dismissal and abject surrender. We are still at the first stage.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

AMERICAN JEWS OPPOSE ISRAELI POLICY IN GAZA



THANK GOD Jewish communities around the world are at last coming to their senses! Killing unarmed civilians, men, women and children with missiles, bombs, white phosphorus, or a bullet through the head is a criminal act - A WAR CRIME. No amount of propaganda from the Israeli embassy will alter that fact. These atrocities are not done in the name of ordinary Jews and we condemn these acts, outright. Judaism expressly forbids such terrible killings. Please use your voice to get President Obama to STOP THE SALE OF ARMS TO THE MIDDLE EAST NOW - tanks, planes, cluster bombs, white phosphorus, guns and spare parts.

Let this senseless brutality cease! Do NOT support the killing of any civilians – particularly children. It is an act against God.





“AMERICAN JEWS OPPOSE ISRAELI POLICY IN GAZA”

Jan 22nd, 2009

“We Shall Not Be a Party to Their Counsel!”



As human beings, we are shocked and appalled at the mass destruction unleashed by the State of Israel against the people of Gaza in its current military operation, following years of Israeli occupation, siege, and deprivation.

As Americans, we protest the carte blanche given Israel by the US government to pursue a war of “national honor,” “restoring deterrence,” “destroying Hamas,” and “searing Israel’s military might into the consciousness of the Gazans.”

As progressives, we reject the same justifications for the carnage that we heard ad nauseam from the supporters of the Second Iraq War: the so-called “war on terror,” the “clash of civilizations,” the “need to re-establish deterrence” – all of which served to justify a misguided and unnecessary war, with disastrous consequences for America and Iraq.

But as Jews of different religious persuasions, from Orthodox to secular atheist, we are especially horrified that a state that purports to speak in our name wages a military campaign that has killed over 1,000 people, a large percentage of them civilians, children, and non-combatants, with little or no consideration for human rights or the laws of war.

While the moral and legal issue concerning Israel’s right to respond militarily in these circumstance can be debated, there is near-universal agreement that its conduct of the military operation has been unjust and even criminal – with only the usual apologists for the Jewish state disagreeing.

As Jews, we stand united with another Israel, the patriarch Jacob, who cursed his sons Simeon and Levi for massacring the people of Shechem in revenge for the rape of their sister Dinah. Like Jacob, “we shall not be a party to the counsel of zealots. We shall not be counted in their assembly. (See Genesis 34. 49: 5-7).

As Jews, we stand united with the Jewish sages who rejected the zealotry of the Jewish “terrorists” at Masada, those who masked ethnic tribalism in the cloak of “self-defense” and “national honor.”

As Jews, we listen not only when the sage Hillel says, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” but also when he says, “If I am only for myself, what am I?” Hillel’s closing words also ring true in this hour of decision when a full cessation of conflict is demanded of both sides: “If not now, when?”

Finally, as American Jewish progressives, and as human beings, we condemn Hamas and Israel for violating the human rights of civilians on both sides, although we do not necessarily declare these violations to be morally or legally equivalent. We affirm the rights of both Israeli and the Palestinian peoples to self-determination and self-defense, as we affirm the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.





Rabbi Leonard Beerman
Rabbi Brant Rosen
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Tony Judt, NYU
Howard Zinn
Brian Leiter, Wilson Professor of Law, Univ. of Chicago
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Daniel Garber, Princeton, Philosophy dept. chair
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Ido Roll, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
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Assaf Oron, Univ. of Wash.
Clare Solomon, Washington Univ.
Judith Norman, Trinity Univ.
Steven Bell, Berry College
Charles Manekin, Univ. of Maryland
Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam
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Bram Hubbell, Friends Seminary

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Frank H Little said...

According to a Radio 4 news bulletin this morning (2009-1-25), the government has now made things even worse for the BBC by calling for the corporation to change its mind. BBC surely cannot be seen to bow to government pressure, however worthy the cause.

dreamingspire said...

CT was indeed dreadful. Why do we pay these people?