On November 21st 2012 the BBC published on its website and broadcast on its television news programmes footage of part of the press conference at which Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a ceasefire bringing an end to Operation ‘Pillar of Cloud’.
Running under the headline “Israeli PM Netanyahu defends ceasefire decision“, the piece would have been better titled “Israeli PM Netanyahu explains ceasefire to the nation”.
The article’s synopsis states that:
“A ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas movement which governs Gaza, has come into effect after a week of violence in which more than 150 Palestinians and five Israelis have died.”
No distinction is made between combatant and civilian death tolls.
The footage is accompanied by a fairly dismal translation into English.
This is the BBC’s version of the portion of the whole speech which appears in the footage:
“Israel cannot stand cross armed. I have agreed with President Obama that we are hand in hand with Israel and United States against terrorism, smuggling of arms.
Since its inception Israel has faced complex situations and challenges. And these complexities have increased.
We are required to manage the state with wisdom and take decisions taking into consideration all military and political aspects and this is how we behave this time. We have used military might.
It is true that some citizens expected a stronger major operation. But this time it was necessary for Israel to take advantage of this opportunity and agree ceasefire.
I had to take the necessary measures to protect our security.
During the past week we had victims in the State of Israel and I would like to send my condolences to all the families.”
This is a translation of the same portion from the Hebrew. The entire speech in Hebrew can be heard here .
“However, Israel obviously cannot sit idly while our enemy reinforces itself with weapons of terror. Therefore I agreed with President Obama that we would work together – the United States and Israel – against the smuggling of weapons to the terror organizations – weapons, virtually all of which come from Iran.
From the day the State of Israel was established, it has had to deal with complex challenges in the Middle East, and we can all see that these challenges have become even more complex in the last few years. Under these conditions we are required to navigate this ship, the State of Israel, wisely and responsibly while taking into account all considerations – military and political alike. This is what a responsible government does, and it is what we did here: we made use of our military strength while applying political considerations.
Now, I realize that there are citizens who expect a harsher military action and we may very well need to do that. But at present, the right thing for the State of Israel is to take advantage of this opportunity of reaching a lengthy cease-fire. As Prime Minister, I have the responsibility – and it is the highest responsibility – to take the right steps to ensure our security. That is what I have done and it is what I will continue to do.
During the last week, Israel has lost several victims. On behalf of the entire population, I send condolences to the families, and wish the wounded a speedy recovery.”