A penny drops for BBC’s Jon Donnison?

It is not that long ago – four months, in fact – since the BBC’s man about town in Gaza was trying to persuade audiences that Hamas was trying to “rein in” rocket fire into Israel from other terrorist factions over which, he suggested, it had limited control.

In many of his reports in the weeks preceding Operation Pillar of Cloud, Jon Donnison chose to present Hamas as some sort of harassed ‘responsible adult’ in the Gaza Strip, conveniently side-stepping the subjects of Hamas’ tacit agreement to rocket fire and terror attacks by other groups which served its agenda at the time, and its control over the smuggling of weapons into the Strip. 

It was therefore interesting to see on February 5th that perhaps a penny has finally dropped.

Donnison tweet rockets

With that new-found insight, no doubt Donnison will soon be filing an incisive report on the establishment of a new Hamas military academy – named after Ahmed Jabari – as recently announced by Ismail Haniyeh. Showing of his performance during the ceremony

“Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced on Thursday that the military academy, the first of its kind in the Gaza Strip, would prepare the children for the “phase of liberating Palestine.”

He said that children in grades 7-9 could join the school and graduate with a diploma or a BA in military affairs.

Haniyeh made this announcement during a ceremony in the Gaza Strip marking the birth of the prophet Muhammad. More than 10,000 schoolchildren attended the ceremony, which included a “military parade” by some of the teenagers.

The prime minister said he has instructed the Hamas-run Education Ministry to draw up plans for the establishment of the military academy. Haniyeh said that the new academy would educate and prepare children for the establishment of a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.” “

And doubtless too the subject of the new dress code for women at Gaza’s Al Aqsa university will soon be the subject of a BBC report.

After all, this is the media organisation which informs its funding audiences that “they can expect the BBC to keep them in touch with what is going on in the world, giving insight into the way people live in other countries”.   

6 comments on “A penny drops for BBC’s Jon Donnison?

  1. A penny drops?

    I’m reminded of when one inserts a faulty coin into a vending machine and the coin comes straight out into the change tray below.

    Donnison and most of the BBC correspondents will need to insert bags of coins into the machine before it starts delivering the goods.

    See Wyre Davies’ carrying water for Hezbollah:

    Long before this official report was released by the Bulgarian authorities, Israel had accused Hezbollah (and its principal sponsor, Iran) of being behind the Burgas attack.

    Since the July 2012 bombing, Israel and the US have pressed European Union states to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation (denying it access to funding and other financial assets in Europe).

    While some, including Britain and the Netherlands, might support such a move, other countries, such as France, oppose it. France counters that Hezbollah is a political and social as well as a militant organisation.

    The French argue that proscribing it as an illegal terrorist organisation could destabilise Lebanon and its current coalition government, of which Hezbollah is part.

  2. I think there needs to be a pound or two dropped… not just a penny.. i received this from Stephanie Harris Head of Editorial Compliance & Accountability, regarding my complaint(s) about Jon being either too incompetent or too biased for the job:

    “I am sorry not to have been able to send you an earlier reply given that I have very little to add to the responses you have previously received. Jon Donnison is a very fine correspondent working in an extremely challenging and dangerous environment. As soon as he was aware of retweeting another journalist’s mistake, he apologised and deleted his tweet. He is dealing with actual danger to people’s lives in the interests of bringing news to the world about the situation in Gaza and it would be disproportionate beyond measure to take any action against him as you intimate. It is inevitable that genuine mistakes may occur when working under such pressure and the important thing is to be open and accountable when that happens, as Jon Donnison has been. It only remains for me to assure you that the error has been discussed with him.”

    And so the appeal continues…. self serving bastards

    • My impression of Donnison, and most of the rest, is that they are young, spoilt brats living it up in the best hotels Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Gaza City can offer, who, once their daily quota of BBC output is reached, are their heads off at what happens around them. Forget about “working in an extremely challenging and dangerous environment”!

      Donnison has never reported on Hamas’ repression of its own people, such as prohibiting women passengers on motorcycles or forbidding male hairdressers from working on womens’ hair. Neither has the BBC ever reported on the fire-bombing of video clubs and shops selling music CDs and the latest example of Hamas and its Sharia is merely tweeted for a chuckle:

      Jon Donnison ‏@JonDonnison

      Hamas’s supposed low slung trouser “crackdown” in #Gaza reminded me of 1 of more quirky complaints about my coverage http://pic.twitter.com/YJ6V1yOM

      Donnison, or the BBC, have never reported on Hamas mistreatment of journalists if an IDF officer farts in front Donnison be sure the world will hear about it.

      Jon Donnison ‏@JonDonnison

      Foreign Press Association: latest assault on a female AP journalist by Israeli army in Burin last week is “a stain on Israeli democracy”

      No stains on the Palestinians, just “quirky” little “crackdowns” which are only “supposed” anyway, on personal freedom of dress.

      What a bunch of Hooray Henrys!

      • “are their heads off at what happens around them” should read are laughing their heads off at what happens around them

  3. My image is not really that of a penny dropping because it suggests a once-and-for-all movement in a singular and inevitable direction. If I had to contextualise BBC reporting in the region images of a pinball machine spring to mind. Whizzing all over the place for most of the game before descending downwards – and not very often resulting in a ‘win’.

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