Several people have written to us (thank you all) to bring the following BBC radio broadcast to our attention.
On Wednesday, November 14th 2012, at 16:00 GMT, BBC Radio 5 broadcast an edition of its programme ’5 live Drive’ with presenters Peter Allen and Anna Foster which can be heard here.
Sections of the broadcast dealt with the subject of Operation Pillar of Cloud, which had commenced less than two hours previous to the start of the programme.
At the beginning (01:18), one can hear the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Wyre Davies talking about the “targeted assassination” of Ahmed Jabari and speculating as to the likelihood of further “assassinations”.
The correct term is of course ‘targeted killing’ – which is the intentional killing of a targeted person who is taking part in terrorism. Assassination, on the other hand, is defined as “to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons”.
In electing to use the word ‘assassination’, Davies is clearly attempting to impart an air of illegality to the action of targeting the head of the Izz ad Din al Qassam brigades terrorist militia.
At around two hours into the broadcast, one can hear a Mr El Hadad from Gaza being interviewed by the BBC without any context whatsoever being given for the strikes in the Gaza Strip which he describes. El Hadad is also allowed to make an entirely speculative remark about the supposed connection of the timing of the operation to the upcoming Israeli elections: a theme which the BBC has been promoting vigorously throughout its coverage of the current operation and before.
At 2:05:37 Peter Allen conducts an interview with Gil Hoffman of the Jerusalem Post. Bearing in mind that Operation Pillar of Cloud had at that time been underway for less than four hours, here are Allen’s ‘contributions’ to the interview:
“We’re all aware of the arguments that a lot of rockets have been fired at Israel and that the retaliation was both necessary and just, but from the outside it just looks like part of this never-ending cycle of violence. It won’t stop anything, this, will it?”
“Yeah – but it’s not just this man [Jabari] who’s been killed. There’s a lot of innocent people getting killed at the same time.”
“Yeah – but nevertheless, if you count it up – the casualties – it’s those inside Gaza who are suffering rather than those inside Israel.”
“Yeah. You can count up the casualties. I’m sorry, you know, but the outside world would count up the casualties and see – you know – that Israel always wreaks its revenge and the revenge it takes is greater than the original – erm – suffering in this war. It does it all the time.”
Impartial? Balanced? Accurate?
Allen is not even pretending to try to meet any of those supposed BBC standards.