BBC’s Donnison suggests rioters may be farmers… or scrap metal collectors

This is a picture taken around midday local time from the Israeli side of the border between Israel and Gaza where, until less than 48 hours ago, fierce fighting was taking place. 

It shows some of a group of around 300 Palestinians involved in creating a disturbance along the border fence, including stone-throwing, causing damage to the fence and attempts to breach the border. One man did get into Israel and was later returned to Gaza. Another man was shot and killed after ignoring warning shots into the air.

Footage from the other side of the fence can be seen in Jon Donnison’s report on the incident (also apparently broadcast on BBC television news) here

Both in the voice-over to the video and in the text below the report, Donnison repeats unsubstantiated Palestinian claims that the mob were actually “farmers trying to get into their land”. The written article also has an additional version to the story:

 “Eyewitnesses said the group were farmers, while Gaza health official Adnan Abu Salmia said they had been trying to retrieve parts from a damaged Israeli jeep inside the off-limits area.”

In his commentary Donnison states that: [emphasis added]

“I should say that before this big escalation in the last eight days or so, people getting shot on the Palestinian side around the border was a pretty regular occurrence. Erm..Israel says it has imposed a unilaterally declared exclusion zone 300 meters from the fence. It regularly opens fire for what it calls security reasons. Palestinians will say this is stealing their land and that they often fire beyond that 300 meter distance.”

Donnison also reported the events on Twitter, including promotion of a previous article of his which, whilst having nothing to do with the day’s events, reinforces the theme he tries to advance in the commentary to the video.

Donnison’s choice of wording – “It [Israel] regularly opens fire for what it calls security reasons” – is clearly intended to cast doubt upon the veracity Israeli security concerns.

He completely neglects to mention any of the recent Palestinian attempts to breach the border fence, tunnel-digging beneath the border, cross-border shooting and missile attacks and the laying of IEDs which, together with incessant rocket fire on civilians in Israel, preceded Operation ‘Pillar of Cloud’.

However, with Donnison and his colleagues having spent the past ten days or so trying to convince audiences that the recent escalation began with the targeted killing of Ahmed Jabari, it is hardly surprising that he should continue to downplay or ignore the significance of security events along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, instead preferring to promote versions of far-fetched stories about poor Palestinian farmers and scrap metal collectors – apparently conveniently equipped with either video cameras of their own or en-suite news crews.  

22 comments on “BBC’s Donnison suggests rioters may be farmers… or scrap metal collectors

  1. Do they LOOK like farmers and scrap collecters. The disturbing thing to me is that this “jerk” has so little respect for his audience that he can posit this statement.

  2. Surely its “Palestinians who..” and not “Palestinians that..” “that” implying inanimate objects “who” referring to living and breathing people. Is Donnison simply illiterate or does his choice of words have a deeper meaning? Lord Rees-Mogg once wrote that the reason people like this journalist cannot get along with Jews is that Jews are too self confident, vibrant and non self-serving whereas the Arabs can make the Jew hater feel superior. He’s probably right.

    • Kudos….after he was caught on Twitter he was of the air for 2 day’s and we got another star of the BBC , lets say the mentor of all ” fair and balanced ” reprters regarding all that is Jew or Israel at the BBC…Mister Jeremy Bowen.
      When Donisson came back he almost , read almost , looked like a real reporter….but he had troubles biting his lips and speaking at the same time…but it took him only 24 hours to recoup from his almost normal exposure on TV…and so now we have them both…the Master and his pupil….
      A disgrace to the profession..

  3. Is the average British ratepayer aware he is being taxed to pay a terrorist fellow-traveller and propagandist like Donnison?

    • As a UK resident i have to say that there is a almost zombie amongst a lot of the population here that that everything pumped out by this antisemitic , left wing channel is somehow representative of “mainstream” views and is impartial.

      Donnison’s moral compass is defunct. At best, he has the worst case of Stockholm syndrome ever recorded. At worst this man is a hamas apologist and a terrorist cheerleader.

      As someone who was minutes away from the bus bomb in London on 7/7 i can offer my empathy on israel’s situation and best wishes to all israelis.

      I can only apologise for this disgusting product of my country’s liberal left wing anti semitic culture.

  4. Independent Observer, yes, unfortunately, to watch TV in the UK, you need a licence, and the fee goes to the BBC, whether you use BBC services or not.

    It is an utterly draconian and outdated system – basically, I pay a tax to watch TV, and fund an organization which is institutionally antisemitic.

  5. What is it about Donnison that causes him to be so morally one-sided?

    Given the current political fragility, why doesn’t Hamas erect and man barriers to prevent citizens from attempting such antics? I know we know the answer, but with its obvious disregard for the safety of its own citizens, why does Donnison give Hamas a free pass?

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