Not enough Israelis killed by “home-made contraptions” for BBC’s Mishal Husain

Here is BBC World News presenter Mishal Hussein interviewing Gil Hoffman of the Jerusalem Post on November 20th 2012. 

At 1:20 Husain says:

“OK, you say that Israelis have been running for their lives ..erm…from rockets from Gaza, so tell me then; until this current confrontation, how many Israelis have been killed by these rockets from Gaza this year?”

Believe it or not, from there, it goes downhill. 

This is yet another example of the “not enough dead Israelis to count” syndrome so prevalent across the board at the BBC and which we have seen touted repeatedly over the past week. 

Can we really imagine citizens of any other country in the world being aggressively badgered by BBC presenters because their compatriots have not been murdered in large enough numbers by terrorist organisations?

Sixty seven British nationals were murdered in the 9/11 terror attacks. In relative terms, that is around six people in Israel. The United Kingdom saw that as justification for the invasion of Afghanistan – several thousand miles away – less than one month later.

 But apparently according to Husain, Israel is not justified, after almost twelve years of terror attacks by missile fire, in acting against terrorists located literally meters away from its civilian population because not enough Israelis have died this year – or at all. 

Some might call that a double standard

We might also call to mind the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines:

“Presenters, reporters and correspondents are the public face and voice of the BBC – they can have a significant impact on perceptions of whether due impartiality has been achieved.  Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC output the personal prejudices of our journalists or news and current affairs presenters on matters of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or on ‘controversial subjects’ in any other area.”

For more commentary on the subject, see here.

63 comments on “Not enough Israelis killed by “home-made contraptions” for BBC’s Mishal Husain

  1. Notice how she she can’t stop herself from smirking, as if it’s funny?
    She is no longer fit for her position.

    • I also noticed that smirk, but my interpretation is that it was because she thought she’d caught him out. It was a smirk of triumph, IMO.

  2. The Clue’s in her name. She should be removed from the screen, but seeing as how she works for the BBBC Biased British Broadcasting Corporation I expect she’ll get a hefty bonus paid for by the taxpayer.

  3. Not to defend her, but I don’t think that Mishal Hussain’s attitude reflects her Pakistani background. The argument that few Israelis have been killed, thoughtless as it is, is one that has been made by quite a few people who do not work for press organizations with a particular bias against Israel and are not of Muslim background. It reflects some combination of a widespread bias against Jews and Israel and a failure to think carefully about this kind of situation.

  4. ”Why does it not matter how many Israelis were killed?”
    “We’re trying to bring this story to our audience around the world.”

    The story would be much more satisfying to their audiences around the world if the Israelis had not instituted siren/secure room systems and if they had not invented the super-successful Iron Dome.

  5. It is truly shocking to see this kind of biased interviewing displayed by the BBC.

    Time to ‘let go’ of all these biased BBC people who are presenting a distorted view of the Middle East to the trusting (taxpaying) viewer. (The may be replaced. But not by previous Guardian employees).

  6. Told TV licensing that I only use a BT Vision Box for Catch Up TV and don’t watch or record live tv.. which is true. They refunded my licence and I won’t have to buy one again, but can still see BBC and other channels on iPlayer etc..

    • Brilliant. Perhaps this needs to be more publicly promoted. Could you clarify just how you did it? Does it require for example, a BT Vision Box? Do you have a tv or do you watch only on computer? Thanks.

  7. I’m surprised by Mishal Husein – I really thought she was outside the mindset of the BBC anti- Israel herd, but her facial expressions indicate that there was more than mere journalistic curiosity going on there – it was agenda driven.

    She asked a loaded question, aimed at trying to create an imbalance of morality between the two sides. She was having none of Gil Hoffman’s explanation, her mind presumably having already been made up.

    This is not journalism, it’s publicly funded propaganda, but she is unlikely to go – too pretty, too innocuous appearing under normal circumstances.

  8. Sorry but “bias” doesn’t even begin to describe this woman’s ignorant rudeness and line of questioning. Perhaps somewhere along the way, the BBC invited a number of “best experts” to a secret seminar in order to advise their executives and “journalists” on how best to present the Hamas “cause”.

    Just as they did in January 2006 for “climate change” – except that, as has recently been revealed, in this instance all but three of these “best experts” were advocates from green lobby groups. In fact, this seminar was organized by a group that prides itself on its successful lobbying of the BBC.

    I’d certainly like to know when the BBC charter obligation changed from “impartiality” to a mandate for brainwashing its audience.

  9. I too thought Mishal Hussein was better than this. I also thought Clive Myrie was better than he proved on the weekend, when he gave Gil Hoffman more of a hectoring lecture than a questioning (Hoffman managed to slip in some excellent points, but not as many as he would had Myrie not been so impatient and indignant).

  10. Sorry, I disagree. She asked a perfectly straightforward question about the facts, and the interviewee refused to answer the question. He even said it didn’t matter how many died. Would the families of those who died agree with that?

    • He didn’t say it didn’t matter, he said it wasn’t relevant to the discussion.

      Does the fact that far more Germans than Britons were killed in WWII prove that the British were the bad guys and the Nazis were the good guys? Because that seems to be the argument all these “look at the difference in the numbers killed” types are making.

        • Carlotta, it is clear, again by context, that he was saying it wasn’t relevant to the discussion.

          And indeed it wasn’t – just a cheap trick to try to paint Israel as aggressor, and Hamas as sweet innocent victim.

    • Carlotta, do you think this conflict is simply about casualty lists? Don’t you think that context, cause and effect, and intention are relevant to a deeper understanding?

      • No I don’t think the conflict is simply about casualty lists. Did I say that? You people are over-reacting and over-interpreting my comment in the same way that you are in regard to the interviewer’s comment.

        • But Carlotta, that is PRECISELY what Mishal Husein IS saying – ands you think it’s reasonable.

          “You people”? What do you mean by that?!

    • In addition Carlotta, perhaps you should direct your concerns to Hamas, who started the conflict in the first place, then place their own civilians at risk by firing missiles and operating from within civilian population centres.

  11. Carlotta

    Firstly, can you point me to a BBC programme in which Barack Obama has been interviewed regarding the casualty figures in Afghanistan and Iraq? Preferably one in which he has not been granted the opportunity to explain his position but has been actively prevented from doing so by a BBC employee talking over him? Many, many civilians have died in the drone attacks – do you know the numbers or is it just Israel that is held to a unique standard?

    Secondly, can you tell me if you – or anyone you know – lobbied an MP, the UN or a human right’s organisation during the years Israeli civilians were being bombarded by Hamas rockets? And if not, why not? Is it beyond comprehension that if a country is forced to put up with thousands of rockets targeting its civilians (because Hamas does, and it is a war crime), it will eventually be forced to do something about it?
    If those who had the power to influence Hamas failed to do so, – and indeed, turned blind eyes to their activities – then are they not also morally culpable? Knowing – as they did – that no country will put up with its citizens running to bomb shelters many times a day, year in, year out? Following Cast Lead, Tony Blair had the sense to point out that the international community had just allowed a situation to fester and that it should not do so again. But it did.

    Finally, we do not yet know how many civilians were killed by a) Hamas mis-fired rockets (some 150 missiles, I believe) b) Hamas preventing its civilians from leaving an area in which the Israeli army had warned – by leaflet dropping and text – that it was going to attack.

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  13. How does anyone know that the next rocket won’t be a missile, perhaps even a chemical weapon, capable of mass destruction?

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  15. is it possible to know how to complain to the BBC world news service as it is different to the normal procedure, aswell as more details of the timings of this program

  16. It seems possible to do so online, M. I’ve just had a go.

    I went to this page (below) and just followed the directions. On the section “Which TV Channel is your complaint about?” it does give a BBC World News option

    The program was broadcast on 20th November. I don’t think you need to provide the time of day it was broadcast.

    The link I’ve given you also provides a telephone and postal complaint option.

    Hope that helps.

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