BBC gives air time to ‘Stop the War Coalition’

BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme of December 29th featured a short discussion between the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland, Lindsey German of the ‘Stop the War Coalition’ and guest editor Ann Lesley on the subject of anti-Americanism in the UK. The relevant section of the broadcast can be heard here under the heading 7:51 and its synopsis reads: 

“Do we hold America to a higher moral standard than other countries? Our guest editor Ann Leslie thinks Britain is anti-American, we say nothing when Arabs kill other Arabs, but we heap criticism on the United States if it is responsible for any deaths. She suggests it is a form of racism. Jonathan Freedland writes for the Guardian and New York Times and has written about our mismatched attitudes. Lindsey German is convenor of the Stop the War Coalition and co-author of A People’s History of London.”

At 02:00 in the clip, German says: [emphasis added] 

“I think it beggars belief really that eleven years after the war on terror began when we’ve seen wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya, there are threats now to intervene in Syria and in Iran, that Israel is backed up to the tune of $3 billion a year by the US and all these things I think lead to a great deal of criticism in this country and around the world.”

Lindsey German – being Lindsey German – has of course nothing to say about Iranian funding for terror organisations such as Hamas and Hizballah. Neither, apparently, does she appear to think that what Americans chose to do with their own money is their business or to comprehend that – as stated in November 2011 by the Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs:

“In sum, while our commitment to Israel’s security is rooted in our shared values and outlook, we don’t provide assistance out of charity. We provide assistance because it benefits our security.”

At 04:54, German goes on to say:

“Most of the refugees, if you look in the world, are from Afghanistan, Iraq – as a result of the wars – and from Palestine.”

Statistics provided by the UNHCR at the end of 2010 put the total number of refugees in the world at 15.4 million – of those, 4.82 million Palestinians. Of the 10.58 non-Palestinian refugees, 3.05 million are from Afghanistan and 1.7 million from Iraq.

However, the UNHCR does not include in its refugee figures Internally Displaced Persons, and in that category it placed a further 27 million people in 2010 – mostly from Libya, the Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia and Sudan. UNRWA, of course, does not count Palestinian refugees living under Palestinian rule in the Gaza Strip (1,167,572 in January 2012) or the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories (727,471 in January 2012) as repatriated refugees or IDPs. 

Uniquely, those Palestinians remain refugees because unlike the UNHCR, which constantly strives to reduce the number of refugees and DIPs and which in 2010 repatriated 197,600 refugees to their countries of origin and resettled 98,800 more in other countries, UNRWA has not made any effort since its establishment to reduce the number of Palestinian refugees either by resettlement or by ending the hereditary status of refugees of Palestinian origin. And of course like the Arab dictatorships which Lindsey German and her fringe organization support, she has nothing to say against the manipulation and exploitation of Palestinian refugees for political purposes. 

Whilst the BBC is committed according to its Editorial Guidelines on impartiality to making sure that “no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented”, the question which must be asked is do unchallenged, context-free sound bites put out by a member of an extremist, fringe organization such as the ‘Stop the War Coalition’ indeed represent anything approaching a “significant” opinion?

After the 2005 terror attacks in London, at a rally which included Hamas supporter Azzam Tamimi among its speakers, Lindsey German said:

“We are here to stand up for the truth about the terrible bombings. The establishment says that they were nothing to with Iraq and the war on terror — it is to do with evil ideology.

“But the government would say that. The government is saying that the Muslim community should put their house in order, but we have to ask the government to put its own house in order.

“The government and Tony Blair is in denial about what has happened. Today we are standing together. We are not going to be divided by witch-hunts and racism.

“The only way to end the bombings is to withdraw from Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. When we have justice around the world we will have peace as well.”

German’s organization collaborates with 9/11 ‘troofers’ and antisemites such as Lowkey. It supports the annual Al Quds Day anti-Israel hate-fest organized in London by the Khomenist-regime’s UK supporters at the IHRC. It dabbles in anti-Americanism and antisemitism of its own and has rallied in support of the Assad regime in Syria and the Iranian dictatorship. Here is Lindsey German in London in 2012, speaking to the 200 or so people her organization managed to muster in support of the Assad regime whilst her fellow travelers harass Iranian democracy activists: 

The question is why does the BBC appear to believe that the pro-dictatorship, anti-Israel, anti-American views of a minuscule sect of opinion within the British public represent a “significant strand of thought” worth amplifying. 


33 comments on “BBC gives air time to ‘Stop the War Coalition’

      • Real Journalist/Yehuda/Shoshana/Nat:
        You are in pre-moderation. Any of your comments which are on topic and do not constitute tedious trolling will be released.

  1. Pingback: BBC gives air time to ‘Stop the War Coalition’ | Blogs about Israel aggregation

  2. What people on this website do not want you to know: anyone who tries to contradict their marginal views is censored.

    Seems like they are annoyed at people who come with FACTS and who remind them of INTERNATIONAL LAW and HUMAN RIGHTS LAW.

    Israel is a democracy, where freedom of expression and freedom of the press are protected.

    Do Adam Levick and Hadar Sela feel unable to engage in an intellectual debate where some people contradict them using FACTS and FIGURES?

    Seems that they do!

  3. The programme was edited by Ann Leslie (get your spelling right), a good journalist who writes for the otherwise trashily right-wing Daily Mail. No doubt the selection of contributors was hers (she is far too forthright to be told who she can have). The case against the BBC thus falls at the first post. The tradition of guest editors on ‘Today’ in Christmas week is longstanding; it is understood that they provide an independent voice and do not speak for the BBC.

    That being said the general drift of your piece seems to be one of promoting censorship; some views and some people can be heard on the BBC and others can’t – not the most savoury of positions to adopt.

    • The programme was edited by Ann Leslie (get your spelling right)

      ‘a good journalist who writes for the otherwise trashily right-wing Daily Mail’

      You’re morely or L̶e̶s̶s̶l̶i̶e̶,̶ ̶L̶e̶s̶s̶l̶y̶,̶ lessily an annoying little pedant

      • ‘Trashily’ is in most good dictionaries, and its meaning is obvious. Look it up. ‘Anne Lesley’ is just two mis-spellings….

        • It probably is, but you used it incorrectly: you could say, for instance, that a person behaves trashily, or that a newspaper is trashy, but a paper cannot be trashily

          • My use of ‘trashily’ doesn’t qualify the noun, ‘Daily Mail’, but the adjective, ‘ right-wing’. I think your English teacher will confirm that this is perfectly correct.

          • It would still have been a much better sentence if you had written ‘otherwise trashy right-wing paper’. (FYI, I do have formal qualifications in proof-reading, although I do not currently work in this field. And my English teacher died of old age many years ago. Teach not thy grandmother to suck eggs.)

  4. Once again the pressure to keep up a steady stream of imaginary BBC outrages necessitates the padding out of the occasional iffy piece of editing with lots of trivia.

    • On the contrary, the “trivia” (as you term it) constitutes relevant items that amplify and inform the thrust of Hadar’s characteristically very able and valuable post.

    • @Rich (the self-professed prophet):Once again the pressure to see your name on screen, and thereby assure yourself that you do actually exist, necessitates the posting of another pathetic comment on someone else’s blog.

  5. Anyone who defends the Iranian dictators should have their faces rubbed in the blood of Neda Agha-Soltan. Oh, too late, it has been washed away. Still, they could always apply to be a crane operator for public executions of gay men.

  6. From “real Journalist” – As usual, a lot of jealousy and nonsense from people who could not make it to the BBC.

    From “real journalist” – Do Adam Levick and Hadar Sela feel unable to engage in an intellectual debate where some people contradict them using FACTS and FIGURES?

    kindly point out the shrewd arguments you are posting backed up by so called facts and figures…. because all we can see are sad, lonely, childish attacks devoid of any substance or meaning……….

    your mother must be very proud

  7. Why does the BBC appear to believe that the views of a minuscule sect of opinion represent a “significant strand of thought” worth amplifying? Because that is how the BBC believes it is honouring its commitment to impartiality. It thinks that by bringing on two people with diametrically opposite views, however barking mad one of them might be, it is providing balance. I recently heard a scientist on the Life Scientific complaining that the BBC in its ignorance gives equal weight to serious research and to untested theories such as those of Andrew Wakefield, who caused havoc by blaming autism on the MMR jab. It is the same with political coverage. The BBC sees no need to investigate the facts, it just digs out the usual suspects, lights blue touch paper and stands back, hoping for an interesting conflagration. The audience is supposed to make up its own mind, as if everything is a matter of opinion rather than truth, while editors are spared the trouble of familiarising themselves with the topic.

    • Why can’t people that are moderated accept it with good grace rather than sneak back in under another incarnation ? I have been banned from cifwatch, oyvagoy, Millets’s blog, Harry’s place to name but a few. I will eventually get banned from here. Do I whinge and whine ? No !!!!!!!

      • “I have been banned from cifwatch, oyvagoy, Millets’s blog, Harry’s place to name but a few. I will eventually get banned from here.”

        Don’t you wonder why?

          • Wow!

            Comparing yourself to prophets has to be the height of arrogance and delusions of grandeur!

            You really should seek professional psychiatric help.

          • @Bio: In modern times, at least in the developed world, people who claim to communicate directly with their deities are generally not perceived in quite the same way as the old biblical prophets used to be. Perhaps Armbach’s persistent pathetic posting on every pro-Israeli website going is actually just an unwelcome consequence of a Care in the Community programme……damn those NHS funding problems!

          • @Bio & @Yorkie – His Imam has spent so much time and energy building him up, he can’t help the way he sees himself.

            ‘Recharred arm back’??? like he’s burnt again at the stake. 🙄

    • I find these tactics disturbingly similar to those barrel-scraping, cheap-and-tacky ones employed on certain ‘car-crash’ type ‘reality’ shows – such as ‘Wifeswap’ and ‘Jerry Springer’. I don’t believe such tactics even produce light entertainment of an acceptable quality, let alone an acceptable quality of political discussion.

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