BBC’s Ben Brown covers events in Israel – by talking about Gaza

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.


5 comments on “BBC’s Ben Brown covers events in Israel – by talking about Gaza

  1. My 13 year old niece wrote that she is scared – she lives in Israel but Facebook locates her in Qalqilyah, Palestine. So what hope is there for balance when a scared Israeli kid is not noticed and she is neatly moved out of Israel. So if there is no Israel what’s the war about then?

  2. Even the smallest institution in the UK is likely to have a series of safety policies. An office block; a school; a supermarket: these are likely to have a duty of care involving at the very least an evacuation policy.

    Has the BBC undertaken any hard questioning of Hamas operatives with regard to its civilian population and their duty of care towards them?

  3. On BBC News24 at 5pm GMT there was a report by Donnison, followed by one by Wyre Davies, that both included, within a very few minutes of each other, footage of a Palestinian woman whose children, we were told, have all been injured in an Israeli airstrike. So, a double dose of anti-Israel propaganda (‘”What have my children ever done to Israel to deserve this?” she says’) within the space of two or three minutes!
    Brown (who by and large is OK) and the rest of them are obsessed with the “scorecards” of casualty numbers – what do they want, more Israeli dead?
    Donnison was shown at intervals today reporting from the ruins of a Hamas building, and at one point an explosion was heard in the background. Donnison (a tad tardily, it seemed to me) flinched much as John Simpson does in that clip that often introduces Al-Beeb’s News, and to the right of the screen came fingers pointing at him, and a mocking “ha,ha, ha!” The camera panned to show the owners of the fingers – male Gazan teenagers who were grinning with glee. Surely Donnison (whose favourite adjective at the moment seems to be “pretty” this and “pretty” that, pronounced annoyingly as “priddy”) wasn’t auditioning as a Pallywood extra? Tellingly, perhaps, no one else seemed to flinch – the boys were having a fun time watching his performance, apparently.
    Also on BBC News 24 today, Ismail Patel,founder of Friends of Al Aqsa, was interviewed from Leicester re the Gaza situation, newreader Maxine Mawhinney at one point saying apologetically “Just playing play devil’s advocate now…” when she suggested that Israel might claim that it has a right to self-defence, Right after that came “Dateline London” with four panellists, none of them obvious friends of Israel; in fact one was Michael White of The Guardian, but at least he proved more even-handed than the first off the mark, a rabidly anti-Israel Sudanese writer called Nesrine Malik, who stated adamantly to notably unchallenging compere Gavin Esler that the upcoming Israeli election is the driving force behind Israel’s action.

  4. Since I live in the US, I don’t normally read or listen to the BBC. Now that I’ve signed onto your web site, I am remembering why. I can’t stand the slanted, arrogant, elitist snide comments. When the Blitz was on Britons rushed to get into bomb shelters, but if Israelis and probably a whole lot of foreigners do the same thing, Katya Adler calls it panic. In another article she describes the insidious potentially evil increase in religious involvement in the IDF, as if Israel was trying to create a replica of hysterical fanatic Muslim terrorists or soldiers. The BBC doesn’t produce informative balanced news reporting.

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