BBC gives air time to ‘Stop the War Coalition’

BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme of December 29th featured a short discussion between the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland, Lindsey German of the ‘Stop the War Coalition’ and guest editor Ann Lesley on the subject of anti-Americanism in the UK. The relevant section of the broadcast can be heard here under the heading 7:51 and its synopsis reads: 

“Do we hold America to a higher moral standard than other countries? Our guest editor Ann Leslie thinks Britain is anti-American, we say nothing when Arabs kill other Arabs, but we heap criticism on the United States if it is responsible for any deaths. She suggests it is a form of racism. Jonathan Freedland writes for the Guardian and New York Times and has written about our mismatched attitudes. Lindsey German is convenor of the Stop the War Coalition and co-author of A People’s History of London.”

At 02:00 in the clip, German says: [emphasis added] 

“I think it beggars belief really that eleven years after the war on terror began when we’ve seen wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya, there are threats now to intervene in Syria and in Iran, that Israel is backed up to the tune of $3 billion a year by the US and all these things I think lead to a great deal of criticism in this country and around the world.”

Lindsey German – being Lindsey German – has of course nothing to say about Iranian funding for terror organisations such as Hamas and Hizballah. Neither, apparently, does she appear to think that what Americans chose to do with their own money is their business or to comprehend that – as stated in November 2011 by the Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs:

“In sum, while our commitment to Israel’s security is rooted in our shared values and outlook, we don’t provide assistance out of charity. We provide assistance because it benefits our security.”

At 04:54, German goes on to say:

“Most of the refugees, if you look in the world, are from Afghanistan, Iraq – as a result of the wars – and from Palestine.”

Statistics provided by the UNHCR at the end of 2010 put the total number of refugees in the world at 15.4 million – of those, 4.82 million Palestinians. Of the 10.58 non-Palestinian refugees, 3.05 million are from Afghanistan and 1.7 million from Iraq.

However, the UNHCR does not include in its refugee figures Internally Displaced Persons, and in that category it placed a further 27 million people in 2010 – mostly from Libya, the Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia and Sudan. UNRWA, of course, does not count Palestinian refugees living under Palestinian rule in the Gaza Strip (1,167,572 in January 2012) or the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories (727,471 in January 2012) as repatriated refugees or IDPs. 

Uniquely, those Palestinians remain refugees because unlike the UNHCR, which constantly strives to reduce the number of refugees and DIPs and which in 2010 repatriated 197,600 refugees to their countries of origin and resettled 98,800 more in other countries, UNRWA has not made any effort since its establishment to reduce the number of Palestinian refugees either by resettlement or by ending the hereditary status of refugees of Palestinian origin. And of course like the Arab dictatorships which Lindsey German and her fringe organization support, she has nothing to say against the manipulation and exploitation of Palestinian refugees for political purposes. 

Whilst the BBC is committed according to its Editorial Guidelines on impartiality to making sure that “no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented”, the question which must be asked is do unchallenged, context-free sound bites put out by a member of an extremist, fringe organization such as the ‘Stop the War Coalition’ indeed represent anything approaching a “significant” opinion?

After the 2005 terror attacks in London, at a rally which included Hamas supporter Azzam Tamimi among its speakers, Lindsey German said:

“We are here to stand up for the truth about the terrible bombings. The establishment says that they were nothing to with Iraq and the war on terror — it is to do with evil ideology.

“But the government would say that. The government is saying that the Muslim community should put their house in order, but we have to ask the government to put its own house in order.

“The government and Tony Blair is in denial about what has happened. Today we are standing together. We are not going to be divided by witch-hunts and racism.

“The only way to end the bombings is to withdraw from Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. When we have justice around the world we will have peace as well.”

German’s organization collaborates with 9/11 ‘troofers’ and antisemites such as Lowkey. It supports the annual Al Quds Day anti-Israel hate-fest organized in London by the Khomenist-regime’s UK supporters at the IHRC. It dabbles in anti-Americanism and antisemitism of its own and has rallied in support of the Assad regime in Syria and the Iranian dictatorship. Here is Lindsey German in London in 2012, speaking to the 200 or so people her organization managed to muster in support of the Assad regime whilst her fellow travelers harass Iranian democracy activists: 

The question is why does the BBC appear to believe that the pro-dictatorship, anti-Israel, anti-American views of a minuscule sect of opinion within the British public represent a “significant strand of thought” worth amplifying.