Thursday, April 15, 2010

More willful distortion courtesy of the BBC

I've taken umbrage with BBC reporting before, but this time I'm really mad.

The story in question, Religious row holds up Israeli hospital", is one that I was actually rather glad to see being reported upon as it was a story that carried national significance within Israel and made for good material on Israeli life and local affairs, as opposed to yet another one of the BBC's identikit pieces on the ongoing conflict which serves to make the region look like nothing but a bleak war zone. True, this story stems from a conflict of interest between the religious and secular factions in Israel, but I welcomed the BBC's decision to examine some other aspect of Israeli life.

The article explains that "new unit was to be fortified against the rockets often fired into Israel by Palestinian militants" because the hospital is located only 12km from the Gaza strip, well within reach of the Kassam and Grad rockets fired from there.

I was happy that the BBC would write this, but my initial feelings gave way to one of disbelief when I read an outrageous following lie slipped in the next sentence: "Nearly three-quarters of the hospital's patients had to be evacuated during Israel's military operation in Gaza last year, as there was nowhere safe for them to stay as the rockets fell in response."

To say my eyes nearly popped out of my head would be an understatement. Really? I never knew that the rockets fired at Israeli cities and towns were a response to Israel's attack on Hamas... Oh, how thoughtless of us! If only we'd known that earlier, we would have stopped attacking those poor Hamasniks. What a terrrible misunderstanding!

Of course, the truth is that the rocket fire on Israel predated Operation Cast Lead by a mere eight years. Operation Cast Lead was a response to the rocket fire, not the other way round. If the BBC wants to spread muck it should be more careful. Israel's detractors have apparently decided that the best way to do this is to malign Israel's intentions, disparaging us as wayward war criminals who wantonly kill the defenceless. The tactic works; such claims are difficult in the extreme to disprove.

But this time it would seem that the BBC hacks were a little too excited to share their perspective with the world and allowed their excitedness to get the better of them. If I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, I can only imagine that they've come to the point that they believe their own distorted perception of reality that they've forgotten that the operation was initiated after Hamas repeatedly allowed a six-month ceasefire to be broken, with the last straw coming after Israel realised that Hamas were using the lull to build tunnels with the aim of capturing more Israeli soldiers.

So they've either bought their own claptrap or they've decided to dispense with their normal method of working with reality and then spinning it to fit their own anti-Israel agenda. Either way, I'm appalled that the BBC can rewrite history like this.

Hamas struck first? No. Sod that. If the facts are inconvenient, just change them to suit your own ends. Who cares about the truth, anyway?

Oh, and another thing; do these rockets look "crude" or "home-made" (as the BBC loves to describe them) to you? Thought not.


  1. It is not just the "in response" bit that is wrong, so is the choice of "fell". I've noticed in a lot of media outlets the use of the word "fell" to describe the Hamas rockets. It is wilful use of language to distort the picture. Rockets do not fall out the blue, they are fired by murderous terrorists.

  2. Darn it, I should have mentioned that as well.

    It seems like I've gotten used to the media's preference for passive terminology, much like I don't bother calling out words like "militant" any more. It's just par for course.

    Good call.