BBC revamps anti-Israel campaigner as “democracy activist”

Here is the BBC engaging in a little self-congratulation and self-promotion on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of its BBC Arabic Service. 

75 anniv BBC Arabic

How many of these congratulations arrived spontaneously and how many were solicited, we do not know, but the portrayal of one of the well-wishers is rather interesting. 

“Mustafa Barghouthi, Palestinian democracy activist and Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, believed the BBC gave too much space to the Israeli voice, but he said its training of Arab and Palestinian journalists – some of whom had become ‘icons of the Arab media’ – had been among the BBC’s ‘most important achievements’. “

mustafa barghouti

Barghouti at one of the weekly demonstrations in Bil’in, 2010. (Photo: Dan Halutz)

Mustafa Barghouthi is indeed the Secretary General of the PNI (aka Al Mubadara), but his classification as a “democracy activist” is somewhat tendentious. 

In 2011 Barghouthi travelled all the way to Greece to proffer his support for the Hamas-enabling ‘Freedom Flotilla 2’. He has attended and spoken at the annual Bil’in conference on several occasions, promoting ‘apartheid’ rhetoric and the ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees, and is a prominent advocate of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. 

In April 2012 Barghouthi was a guest speaker at a conference promoting the ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees organized by the Hamas-affiliated ‘Palestinian Return Centre’ based in London. He was involved with the ‘Air Flotilla’ (aka ‘Flytilla’) stunt which sought to delegitimize Israel in the same month and was one of the organisers of the ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ in March 2012, collaborating with others connected to the Iranian regime, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizballah. 

Prior to the ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ event Barghouthi engaged in spreading his often used delegitimizing falsehoods regarding the freedom of worship and ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Jerusalem. On the day of the march itself, he was personally present at the violent riots which took place at the Qalandiya checkpoint.  

The fact that the BBC sees fit to solicit and publish an endorsement of itself from someone prepared to work with affiliates and representatives of terrorist organisations and repressive dictatorships in order to delegitimise a democratic country speaks volumes. The fact that the BBC then describes that man – whose activism is dedicated to the demise of the most vibrant democracy in the Middle East – as a “democracy activist” reveals much about the political views prevalent in the corporation. 



8 comments on “BBC revamps anti-Israel campaigner as “democracy activist”

  1. Self praise is no praise.

    Don’t trust the BBC, home of the Savile-paedo-caravan club, with Helen Boaden, news director, still in the driving seat.

  2. So Barghouthi:

    – supported the flotilla and other similar peaceful enterprises
    – refers to Israel as an apartheid regime
    – supports BDS and the right of return
    – was ‘personally present’ at the violent riots….

    None of these activities disqualifies him from the status of a non-violent, democratic politician. He has stood on several occasions for elective office. His ‘Independent Palestine’ list stood on the platform of ‘a truly democratic and independent “third way” for the large majority of silent and unrepresented Palestinian voters, who favour neither the autocracy and corruption of the governing Fatah party, nor the fundamentalism of Hamas’. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Mairead Maguire, co-founder of the Peace People (Northern Ireland).

    Incidentally, Barghouthi has several times been detained by Israeli forces, but convicted of nothing, and was hospitalised by the IDF while assisting injured demonstrators.

    Is the BBC to be a mouthpiece only for Netanyahu and the appalling Naftali Bennett?

    • – supported the violation of a legal blockade against armaments to a vicious, violently racist regime and similar “peaceful enterprises”
      – reinforces a carefully nurtured propaganda campaign by falsely referring to Israel (the only free country in the region, and where in particular Arabs have more rights than in any Arab country) as an “apartheid regime”
      – supports the ugly BDS campaign, and the phony ‘right of return’, i.e. another carefully nurtured bit of false propaganda
      – was ‘personally present at’ (and most likely encouraged) violent riots…

      All of these activities taken together disqualifies him from being taken seriously as a nonviolent democratic politician. He has stood on several occasions for elective office (so has Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, members of the KKK, and Hitler).
      As I hear it, anyone on the planet can be nominated by anyone else on the planet for a Nobel Peace Prize.
      Is the BBC ever a mouthpiece for Netanyahu?

  3. What a pity that the BBC did not mention whether Barghouti had completed his Ph.D at Tel Aviv University which he attended while hypocritically encouraging others to boycott it and the rest of the country that paid the taxes to keep him there.

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