Though a welcome announcement, helping to bring desperately-needed relief to the suffering of Gaza, it only confirms the BBC's culpability for refusing the very same appeal in 2009.
As reported at BBC Online:
At the time, the BBC said it did not show the appeal "because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC's impartiality".As many will recall, the BBC's questioning of the DEC's ability to deliver such aid was utterly facile, as was the pretext of 'compromising' its 'impartiality'. Had the BBC ever doubted this aid organisation's abilities in any other volatile situation? Unsurprisingly, the Trust did endorse Thompson, the caveat on any any further DEC appeals included as token mitigation.
The BBC Trust later backed the stance of former director general Mark Thompson, but said the BBC and other broadcasters should look again at their agreement with the DEC on when appeals should be screened.
Today's BBC report goes on:
In a statement, the BBC said it had taken "three issues" into consideration after being asked to broadcast the appeal for humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza.So, what's different from 2009, when the appeal was based on the very same emergency needs, with little doubt then, as now, that the DEC were/are able to 'deliver' on all of the BBC's 'three issues'?
"The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift international humanitarian assistance; the DEC agencies must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national appeal; and, there has to be reasonable grounds for concluding that a public appeal would be successful," it said.
"We also have to consider our Charter obligation of due impartiality. After careful consideration we believe these criteria have been met."
Isn't the real truth that in 2009 the BBC's decision was part of an institutional agenda to avoid legitimate criticism of Israel? None of that has changed. But, isn't the evolving truth in 2014 that the BBC, deeply shamed in 2009, just can't sustain that level of evasion now, and the public discontent that would go with any such refusal to allow this appeal?
The BBC's readiness to allow air time on this occasion is a key indication of how rapidly public awareness is moving against Israel despite the ongoing protection still being offered by the UK establishment, of which the BBC is a vital part.
As documented by Amena Saleem, there's been some intimation that the BBC decided to air the DEC appeal "because of Israel’s admission that it’s a humanitarian crisis."
If so, this is more damning evidence that the BBC acts and rationalises its position according to Israel's own posturing.
Thanks to Mary for posting Amena's discussion.