As the person who launched the Twitter hashtags #disgustingBBC and #ImmoralAcomplices, I am conscious that they form grave accusations. Let me, therefore, explain exactly what I mean.
Three teenagers have been murdered in cold blood. They were in no way involved in hostilities; they were peacefully making their way home and were murdered only because they were Jewish.
Those who kidnapped and murdered them were neither British journalists nor Western NGO activists; it was Palestinian Arab terrorists who, at point blank, put bullets into their young bodies. They are the murderers.
But there are those who have contributed, however indirectly, to these murders; and to the previous ones; and – unless we do something about it – will continue to contribute to future ones.
Because terrorists do not just decide one morning to kidnap and murder innocents. No, they are spawned by a culture of hatred and incitement; and are helped on their way, step-by-step, nudge by little nudge, by all those who justify such acts – explicitly or by implication; who ‘explain’ them; who deal in the horrible muck of moral relativism.
The British Broadcasting Corporation is prominent among the latter. Suffice to analyse the way that the outlet reported the finding of the teenager’s lifeless bodies.
The initial report on BBC’s news website talked about the three Israeli teenagers that ‘went missing’ and were later ‘found dead’; not forgetting to mention that they ‘attended a seminary in ‘Occupied West Bank’.
A reader not particularly interested and not following the events would find no clue that this was kidnapping and cold-blooded murder committed by Palestinian terrorists. Perhaps the youngsters ‘went missing’ while hiking and were ‘found dead’ after falling into a ravine?? And if any better informed reader should guess that it’s the Palestinians who did it, the implication is there: the ‘illegal settlers’ had it coming – after all they were in ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’. An offense which – by Palestinian ‘law’ and BBC implication – is punishable by death.
But why dwell on innocent victims? BBC’s report quickly moved on to Israeli troops arresting hundreds of Palestinians and ‘killing’ several of them. Got it? Arab rioters attacking IDF troops are ‘killed’. As for innocent Jews… well, they just die. And the two categories ‘exist’ together in the same item, in ‘balance’. In the swamp of moral relativism in which the BBC wallows, there is no difference between uninvolved kids killed in cold blood and rioters shot while attacking soldiers.
Who ‘killed’ the Palestinians is clear – those murderous Israeli soldiers; but who ‘caused to die’ the Jewish boys? Here, the BBC is suddenly stricken dumb by the complexity of the situation and the need for ‘balance’ and ‘accuracy’. Netanyahu, says the BBC, blames Hamas; but the latter denies any involvement. That’s it. The fact that Hamas has kidnapped Israelis several times before and has attempted to kidnap many more times? Not relevant, from BBC’s point of view. The fact that Hamas leaders have overtly cheered the kidnapping and asked for more of the same? The BBC does not see how that might be context meaningful to their audience. The fact that the two perpetrators (‘suspects’ to the BBC) are known members of Hamas? Well, what’s that got to do with anything?
But that’s just the beginning. Arguably a new record in BBC’s quest for complete lack of journalistic (nay, basic human) ethics was broken by BBC’s Radio 4 programme ‘PM’. (The recording is available here, start listening from around 5 minutes into the programme).
After half a minute of platitudes uttered by the BBC correspondent, the anchorman asks:
Kevin, how much debate have these deaths started within the Israeli society?
What an interesting – not to say revealing – question! It is not the Palestinian Arab society, that society which spawns killers of innocents – from Olympic athletes to infants sleeping in their cots – which needs to have a debate; to this BBC ‘journalist’, the fact that Palestinian terrorists have murdered three uninvolved Israeli kids clearly necessitates some serious soul-searching… within the victims’ society.
In fact, the question was so unexpectedly stupid that even the correspondent (who, needless to say, was asked to respond on behalf of that ‘Israeli society’) was taken by surprise. A few seconds of silence were eventually followed by some inconsequential blabber which did not really refer to the question. Eventually, the formulaic ‘cycle of violence’ came up, with the clear implication that it was Israel’s responsibility to end it. The typical BBC ‘It all started when Israel fired… back’.
But the really ‘insightful’ analysis began with the anchor announcing that the three murdered youngsters were (gasp!) hitchhiking. The ‘expert’ invited to shed light on this issue was none other than former BBC Jerusalem correspondent Jon Donnison. Yes, the one who – to mention just one instance – re-tweeted the photo of a ‘Gazan child’ killed by those nasty Israelis; a photo supplied to him by a Palestinian ‘journalist/activist’; which photo turned out to be that of a Syrian child killed the previous fortnight by Assad’s bombs. The same Jon Donnison who – from his apparently boring new posting Down Under – continues to pursue his anti-Israel fixation: half of his tweets are Israel-bashing. (Most of the rest are about his other hobby – football.)
So good-ol’ Donnison launches into a rather prolix and unclear ‘analysis’ of Israelis’ weird penchant for hitchhiking. The conclusion of which was that… well, for some reason Israelis like to hitchhike, which is ‘obviously’ very risky. Donnison’s ‘analysis’ deftly mixed up IDF soldiers catching a lift home when on leave with civilians such as young students coming home from school. Which allowed the anchor to interject
And they’re banned from doing so…
Throughout the exchange, the unspoken implication seemed to be that it was the Israeli youngsters who did something wrong; they engaged in that particularly dangerous activity of hitchhiking – and in the ‘Occupied West Bank’ of all places. The hint was that it was their own fault; they had it coming; they should have known better.
I won’t even dwell on the fact that Jews have been kidnapped from within Israel proper, in a varierty of circumstances; that they were attacked and killed when travelling as tourists and when living abroad; that for the likes of Hamas Jews are to be killed wherever they are. But let’s remember something very basic: the Israeli teenagers were the victims of a murderous act; so why was the BBC dissecting their behaviour – rather than that of the criminals? Why wasn’t the BBC analysing the culture of hatred and incitement that turns Palestinians into murderers of innocent kids (or, in BBC’s version, kids ‘guilty of the crime of hitchhiking’)?
To fully understand how disgusting these journalists’ discussion really was, imagine that this was a case of rape. Rather than expressing their disgust for the crime and for the rapists, these guys were analysing the raped victim’s behaviour, asking ‘Why do these young girls walk outside after dark? Don’t they know it’s dangerous’?
This is exactly the type of ‘analysis’ that justifies rape and emboldens rapists. When applied to kidnapping and murder, it justifies and emboldens terrorists.
If you think, like I do, that the latest BBC antics have filled the term ‘disgusting’ with fresh meaning; if you think that in so doing they became (im)moral accomplices to the terrorists’ barbaric acts – then take to Twitter and let them know what you think. Address your comments to @BBCworld and use the hashtags #disgustingBBC and #ImmoralAccomplices.