Here is the BBC’s Ben Brown – located in Ashkelon – interviewing the IDF’s Foreign Media Spokesperson Lt Col Avital Leibovich on November 16th 2012 for BBC television news.
As was the case when Brown interviewed another IDF officer the previous day in Kiryat Malachi, he seems remarkably disinterested in reporting what is going on in the places in which he is located, constantly shifting the conversation to events in the Gaza Strip.
Brown says to Lt Col Leibovich:
“Tell us about your operation in Gaza. Already we’ve had twenty one, I think, killed in Gaza, some of them civilians. How much longer is it going to continue?”
Note that Brown makes no mention of those people killed in Israel, despite having been present at the scene only the day before.
He later goes on to say:
“You say it’s an unacceptable situation, but surely it’s an unacceptable situation for Palestinians – families, women, children – living in Gaza to have Israeli air-strikes continuing there?”
The BBC may have reporters currently in both Israel and the Gaza Strip, but that – as can be seen by this example – does not guarantee balanced coverage of the events in both places.
However, one BBC News programme managed to find an Ashkelon resident to interview via Skype.
The presenter seemed to be no less interested in expressing his own views than in hearing his interviewee’s experiences of life under rocket fire.
“Do you support what your Prime Minister is doing?”
“But why are you convinced this will work? Israel has taken severe military action in Gaza before and the rockets kept coming. Why do you believe this will make your lives safer and calmer?”
Speaking of BBC reporters currently on the ground in Israel, readers may be interested to know that Katya Adler is back.
Probably few will have forgotten some of her previous work.