BBC fails to report on UN resolution to subject more minorities to violence in Syria

Almost two years ago, in January 2011, the veteran former BBC news-reader Peter Sissons wrote an article in the Daily Mail about what he termed the BBC ‘mindset’. In it, he stated:

“At any given time there is a BBC line on everything of importance, a line usually adopted in the light of which way its senior echelons believe the political wind is ­blowing. This line is rarely spelled out explicitly, but percolates subtly throughout the organisation.

Whatever the United Nations is associated with is good — it is heresy to question any of its activities. The EU is also a good thing, but not quite as good as the UN.”

Such an attitude perhaps goes some way toward explaining the BBC UN correspondent’s resounding silence on the fact that during the past year the UN General Assembly has passed twenty two resolutions singling out Israel for criticism – and only four on the rest of the world combined. 

Notably ignored by the BBC is the fact that on December 18th – when no fewer than nine anti-Israel resolutions were passed in one day – one of those resolutions called for the Golan Heights to be returned “forthwith” to Syrian control. 

As the Executive Director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, noted:

 “At a time when the Syrian regime is massacring its own people, how can the U.N. call for more people to be subject to Assad’s rule? The timing of today’s text is morally galling and logically absurd.” 

As the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, the 20,000 or so Druze residents of the Golan Heights privately express great concern for the fate of their family members in Syria, with applications for Israeli citizenship (to which they have been entitled since Israel annexed the Golan in 1981) reaching an all-time high in recent months. 

“I believe this trend will only increase,” a Mas’ade resident who holds Israeli citizenship told the paper. “More and more people comprehend that this [Israel] is a well-managed country and it’s possible to live and raise children here. It is preferable to turning into refugees in another country.”

“In Syria there is mass murder, and if [the Druze are] under Syrian control they would likely be turned into the victims of these atrocities. People see murdered children and refugees fleeing to Jordan and Turkey, lacking everything, and ask themselves: Where do I want to raise my children. The answer is clear — in Israel and not Syria.”

The 2,000 or so Alawite residents of Ghajar, which also came under Israeli control in 1967, already have Israeli citizenship and they are certainly no strangers to arbitrary UN declarations made thousands of miles away with absolutely no relevance to the situation on the ground. As members of the minority sect to which the Assad family also belongs, one can only guess their fate were their village to be returned to Syrian control “forthwith”. 

None of these aspects of that UN GA resolution and others were reported by the BBC’s UN correspondent. She did – however- manage to put out the following Tweet:

Plett tweet 19 12

A BBC which avoids engaging in critical thinking regarding the anti-Israel obsession of the UN and hence promotes a trite, one-dimensional view of the Middle East cannot but fail in its task to increase its audiences’ understanding of the region and the complexities of the issues its residents face. 

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31 comments on “BBC fails to report on UN resolution to subject more minorities to violence in Syria

    • Could it be that most of the world is biased against Israel?

      Could it be that Israel is “the Jew among nations”?

    • What people on this website do not want you to know: anyone who tries to contradict their marginal views is censored.

      Seems like they are annoyed at people who come with FACTS and who remind them of INTERNATIONAL LAW and HUMAN RIGHTS LAW.

      Israel is a democracy, where freedom of expression and freedom of the press are protected.

      Do Adam Levick and Hadar Sela feel unable to engage in an intellectual debate where some people contradict them using FACTS and FIGURES?

      It seems they do.

      • And how exactly are they censored? One could only be sure of such censorship if one had personally been censored. So would you like to explain exactly what your allegations are?

        However, I suspect you are simply another sockpuppet identity belonging to the entity previously known as ‘Nat’, whom everyone visiting this site knows as a rather unintelligent Troll, and a complete prat, whose modus operandi extends to little more than making a nuisance of itself by filling up the site with persistent deposits of garbage. Is it possible that it is actually this behaviour that might have prompted the people owning the site to pull your plug? Because, if I were them, I would have done the same months ago, purely to end the pointless irritation.

  1. Pingback: BBC fails to report on UN resolution to subject more minorities to violence in Syria | Blogs about Israel aggregation

  2. I thought the point was that the BBC had uniquely ignored these things yet it turns out that everyone else did to. So it seems a bit weird to make a specific BBC issue out of it.

    • armbach, this blog is about BBC bias. Because bias exists in other media, it doesn’t mean that BBC bias shouldn’t be highlighted, does it? Especially as the BBC is a publicly funded body and legally bound to impartial coverage, which it abjectly fails to achieve.

    • Of course BBC isn’t unique. But like the New York Times in the USA, BBC is a news leader. Other news agencies follow their line. So their bias becomes imbedded into the national dialogue. Indeed, there should be a NYTs Watch. They’re just as anti Israel as BBC.

  3. armbach, are you happy with the media acting as lemmings, all covering the same stories whilst ignoring others (often much worse and more newsworthy?)

    • Well I think there is a hierarchy of news. Some news is local interest only, and there is national news that is potentially interesting nationally and there is world news that is potentially interesting to everyone. Editors have to judge what to include given the space / airtime available. That the news outlets sometimes are of the same mind sometimes needn’t be evidence of bias but evidence that the judgment of what, given what is available , will be of most interest to customers is sound.

      It just seems a bit silly to put something up as evidence of bias on the part of the BBC something that the other outlets haven’t found to be sufficiently interesting either.

  4. Do you “really” believe that Israel is the most evil nation in the world? That the UN is justified for blaming Israel ALONE for an illegal occupation? Where are the resolutions condemning China over Tibet? Myanmar over the Karens? Brazil over the continuing genocide against Amazonian Indians? I would love to read an honest response.

  5. “Where are the resolutions condemning China over Tibet?”

    There have been at least three such resolutions, though none recently, as far as I know:

    United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1353 (XIV) New York, 1959
    Calls for respect for the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people and for their distinctive cultural and religious life.

    United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1723 (XVI) New York, 1961
    Solemnly renews its call for the cessation of practices which deprive the Tibetan people of their fundamental human rights and freedoms, including their right to self-determination

    United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2079 (XX) New York, 1965
    Solemnly renews its call for the cessation of all practices which deprive the Tibetan people of the human rights and fundamental freedoms which they have always enjoyed

    • My point was and is, Israel is so often the focus of UN sanctions that one would be excused for believing that the Israel/Palestinian conflict is the bloodiest of the last 50 years. (Total dead from both sides was a fraction of just Rwanda.) Tibet has been subsect to a cultural genocide for almost that long. And you could find 3 resolutions. Thats an off week where Israel is concerned. But then moral equivilency is so often used to excuse injustice!

    • The point which you want to avoid is the sheer quantity. In any given session, the UN will pass a slew of resolutions condemning Israel. The fact that not a single one condemning China on Tibet has been passed in almost 50 years is what’s relevant.

  6. Then explain why it is that the Christian population is falling, whilst the Muslim population continues to soar. Isn’t it some coincidence that the fall in Christians echoes everything else that is happening in the Islamic world – (eg. hundreds of thousands of Copts fleeing Egypt in the past 12 months to the media’s and the world’s silence, including the UN) whilst the ONLy Christian population on the rise in the Middle East is in…Israel.

  7. sencar, 7 million people were butchered in DRC in the decade after 1997. This is more than all Israeli-Arab wars, Afghanistan, Iraq, the genocide in Darfur, the Vietnam war, the Sri Lankan civil war, and you could throw in a dozen others to spare a million or two.

    It hardly got ANY coverage – because it was simply too dangerous for journalists to go there. Now don’t you think that the media misrepresents what is really going on in the world, that there is no proportionality, and that what they do indeed deign to report is often misrepresented, without due context?

    Why is this so difficult to understand?

    • Adam

      To your list we can also add Cambodia., In 1975 the UN did not spare a session to consider the murderous actions of Pol Pot, deciding instead that the recommendation proposed by Idi Amin – that Zionism is racism – was more of a priority.

      If you have time – and if you haven’t already watched them (perhaps on YouTube) – the speakers at the counter-Durban conference are most enlightening.

  8. Your last paragraph uses the word ‘critical thinking’. Thank you. It does seem that critical thinking or truth seeking or measurement against morals have been replaced with opinion and pragmatism and trend and populism. As a listener or watcher of TV or radio I am more aware of the lack of deep thought that is put into its journalism. However without the actual facts to my hand, with TV and radio being a major source of information, I rely on the tone of their voices and their methods of obtaining information to ascertain if the information being drawn is likely to be accurately reflecting the truth.

  9. pennylan, thanks for reminding me – how anyone quotes the UN as if it represents some kind of moral authority is beyond a sick joke.

    • In fairness, Adam, the UN began its life with noble aims and I doubt many know just how far it has strayed from its early mandate. Most do not have time or interest to check exactly what any given UN resolution states or – more importantly – what nation states introduced and voted in favour of it. The media could clarify the more pertinent resolutions but don’t. Thus, in my view, this is not so much a failing of the people as irresponsible journalism which is prolonging this state of affairs within the UN.

      Whatever happened to ‘telling truth to power’?

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