One of the most consistent BBC falsehoods is the 'Israel responds' line. Not only does this present a distorted 'tit-for-tat' narrative - why doesn't the 'timeline' on 'responding' begin with Israel's actual occupation of Palestinian lands or/and the strangulation siege of Gaza? - it's a clear violation of the BBC's own supposed rules of 'impartial' engagement.
BBC reports set a vitally misleading context for viewers in constantly repeating the message that Israel is simply 'responding' to Hamas rockets or Palestinian 'provocation'.
Consider the following passage from this BBC online report:
In the past few days Israel has launched air strikes after rockets were fired from Gaza.Notice that while the 'motive' for Israeli air strikes is taken as a given, a 'bald fact', the motive for the killing and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdair is treated as a 'claim', as in "there are claims it was an act of revenge".
There is high tension in East Jerusalem ahead of the planned funeral of a murdered Palestinian teenager. There have already been two days of clashes there between masked Palestinians and Israeli police over the kidnap and murder of 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdair.
The motive for his killing has not been confirmed but there are claims it was an act of revenge for the recent murders of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank. Israeli police are investigating.
Why are these same words not similarly applied when reporting Israel's bombing of Gaza?
The amended line would, thus, read:
"In the past few days Israel claims it has launched air strikes as an act of revenge over rockets fired from Gaza."This, at least, would have the merit of treating Israel's 'revenge attacks' as contestable claims - even amid all the other regular 'Israel says' quotes, comments and approving repetition contained in such output.
The actual truth is that Israel has never needed any such pretexts to bomb Gaza - it bombs Gaza at will, out of a deliberate policy to terrify, contain, demoralise, dehumanise and break Palestinian resolve.
There's no chance, of course, that the BBC would ever venture that kind of unconditional statement or view.
But it will routinely churn out this 'matter of fact' line:
'Mr Cameron is keen to rekindle the Middle East peace process.'Again, not Cameron 'claims' or 'says' he is 'keen', just the straightforward acceptance that he is 'keen', and that there is an actual 'peace process' to be 'rekindled'.
My complaint over this specific line, with all its deeply-loaded assumptions of 'benign assistance' and omissions on Western culpability, has now made its labyrinthine way to the BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit. One awaits with usual interest the Kafkaesque excuses and mitigations being prepared.
Meanwhile, the BBC and other posturing media contrive to show that they are reporting the killing of a Palestinian teenager with the same intensity as three Israeli teenagers. The Guardian even ran livestream coverage of the Israeli youths' funeral services, but evaded comment on whether they would do likewise for the dead Palestinian youth.
What's crucially absent in BBC and other 'leading' media commentary is the contextual scale of the daily murder and oppression of Palestinians.
In what should be a seemingly obvious opportunity to relate such facts, the BBC has steadfastly refused to highlight the vast number of Palestinian children murdered by the Israeli state.
All it had to do was state the undeniable statistics, as distilled here by Media Lens:
The missing, ugly reality is that over the last 13 years, on average, one Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every 3 days. Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000, 1,523 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel's occupation forces. Over the same time period, 129 Israeli children have been killed. Thus, the ratio of Palestinian children to Israeli children killed is more than ten to one.Just imagine the differing awareness, hostility to Israel and pressure on our government to act if the viewing public were being routinely reminded about that kind of shocking truth.
As with the BBC's selective suppression of death figures for Iraq, the state media is playing a critical role in hiding Israel's crimes, the West's criminal protections of a brutal ally, and the media's own complicit part in the whole disgraceful story of Palestinian suffering.
For more of the crucial illumination the BBC refuse to provide, please read and share ML's vital alert article:
Some Deaths Really Matter - The Disproportionate Coverage of Israeli and Palestinian Killings