BBC’s Kevin Connolly on prisoner release

In addition to appearing on BBC television news reports, the filmed item below from August 13th by the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Kevin Connolly was also promoted on the BBC News website’s main homepage. 

Connolly filmed

The synopsis appearing on the website version states:

“The 26 long-term prisoners set for release are the first of 104 Palestinian and Israeli Arab inmates to be freed over the next few months as part of an agreement to restart US-brokered direct peace talks after a three-year hiatus.” [emphasis added]

It is good to see that the BBC has corrected its previous habit (noted here recently) of mistakenly describing all the prisoners as ‘Palestinian’ in favour of this accurate phrasing. 

Connolly interviews a former prisoner released at the time of the Oslo Accords, describing Abdel al Anani as having been:

“…charged with ordering the killing of an Israeli informer..”

From that description, viewers are not able to understand whether the person killed was Israeli or Palestinian. At this point in the report, it would of course have been helpful to audience understanding of this issue had Connolly not only informed viewers that “In the past Israel released Palestinian prisoners at key stages of the negotiations – around four thousand of them in the mid-1990s”, but had also provided information on the subject of the return of many of those former prisoners to terrorism. 

“Of 238 terrorists freed in the Jibril deal who reached Judea and Samaria, 48 percent returned to terrorism and were recaptured by the IDF, according to the Almagor Terror Victims Association. And since 2000, it says, some 180 Israelis have been killed in attacks planned by Palestinian terrorists released in prisoner exchange deals.”

Refreshingly though, Connolly also interviews the brother of Ronen Karamani who was murdered in 1990, making this one of the rare occasions upon which BBC audiences get to hear from the relatives of the victims of the prisoners slated for release.

However, later on in the report, against a background of images of a section of the anti-terrorist fence, Connolly says:

“In disputed territories like Jerusalem it is easier to see the problems than the opportunities. The long grey wall here is Israel’s barrier that separates it from the Palestinians.”

In other words, Connolly is both implying that the anti-terrorist fence is a ‘problem’ – rather than the terrorism it prevents – and misinforming audiences with regard to its function by both suggesting that its aim is ‘separation’ and at the same time concealing the fact that it is the actions of terrorists – including some of those released this week and others scheduled for release in the coming months – which made the building of the fence necessary in the first place. 

The same filmed report was also featured in an additional written article by Connolly titled “Little hope for talks among Israelis and Palestinians” dated August 13th. Connolly devotes portions of that report to promoting the current BBC theme of building tenders as a threat to peace talks whilst neglecting, as was the case in all the previous BBC reports on the subject, to inform readers that no building freeze has been agreed and therefore there is no factual or logical basis for that notion.

“The talk all along has been more of avoiding a breakdown than hoping for a breakthrough.

And that was before Israel’s Construction Minister Uri Ariel announced the final go-ahead for new building in East Jerusalem and on the West Bank.”

Connolly also promotes the BBC house version of “core issues” which of course does not include subjects such as terrorism, incitement, glorification of terrorism or acceptance of Israel’s existence. 

“Anyone who knows the region can rattle off the familiar list of issues from the status of Jerusalem and Israel’s right to live in security to settlement construction and the rights of Palestinian refugees.”

Like his colleague Yolande Knell, Connolly also promotes the morally equivalent stance which herds audiences towards a view according to which the description of the released prisoners as ‘heroes’ is just as valid as their classification as terrorists – despite the fact that they were all convicted of terrorist acts or extreme violence in a court of law.  

“To many Palestinians, the prisoners are heroes – fighters in a just cause.”

That practice is of course particularly pernicious when carried out by an organization which on the one hand claims to avoid the use of the word ‘terror’ and its derivatives because “the use of the word will frequently involve a value judgement”, and yet on the other hand displays no qualms about using the term in reports relating to Northern Ireland. 

Thirteen years ago the BBC got itself into hot water over the subject of a proposed programme which it was claimed would “make heroes” out of convicted IRA terrorists. A BBC spokesman responded:

“Contrary to suggestions, the drama, if made, would not seek to glamorise terrorism of any kind, he said.”

Obviously, that standard should be applied universally to all BBC programmes and reports relating to individuals who have been convicted of terrorist acts in a court of law in a democratic country – regardless of location. Any other course of action adopted by the BBC clearly opens it up to pertinent questions about politically motivated double standards. 

29 comments on “BBC’s Kevin Connolly on prisoner release

  1. I recall seeing the report and – to be honest – I do not believe it attempted to glamorise any of the acts undertaken by any of the released detainees.
    Also, you yourself – from memory – have posted pictures showing young Palestinians climbing long ladders to scale the wall and enter Israel. This clearly indicates that the alleged use of the wall – to keep out terrorism – is not working or – probably more correctly – that the Palestinians no longer see any point in trying to wage a guerrilla war against Israel, which is why – reluctantly — they are engaging in peace talks.
    For the sake of all parties on all sides, I hope they go well for everyone.

  2. “In other words, Connolly is both implying that the anti-terrorist fence is a ‘problem’ – rather than the terrorism it prevents”

    To what extent the ‘fence’ is responsible for a reduction in violence is debatable. Few would argue with Israel’s right to defend its territory ON ISRAELI LAND. The ‘problem’ with the fence is that it is largely built on Palestinian land and is yet another example of Israeli land theft under the guise of security measures.

  3. And the wall is ineffective, anyway, as Palestinian workers regularly scale the wall to work inside Israel. This indicates that the Palestinians today simply ant to lead ordinary lives, earn a living and provide for their families.

  4. The security barrier stops dozens of attacks daily. It is located within metres of swap lines agreed by the Palestinians 3 times.

      • See Genesis 15:18. Your other remarks make no sense, i.e. they are literal nonsense – deliberately or otherwise.

        • Do you think, you cretin, that all Jews follow the Bible literally?
          Or that the Zionist movement has a solely Biblical exegesis?
          Let’s have it out then: Where has any Israeli leader, or Zionist ideologue expressed an interest to stretch Israel from the “River to the Euphrates”? Where, you shameless git?
          You are, really, truly, disturbed.
          Forget about trolling here… Seek immediate, psychiatric attention!

          • Check out The Movement for Greater Israel.
            Check out; admittedly, this dates from 1998 so it could be argued that it is not up-to-date. What is up-to-date is Netanyahu, whose father only died last year and who had worked for Jabotinsky while living in America.
            Netanyahu’s father had a very strong influence on both his sons, including – in particular – Bibi up to the time of his father’s death.
            I could respond in kind by calling you a cretin, shameless, a git, disturbed, etc.
            However, I see nothing being gained by this, least of all understanding, so I will leave you to behave in such an uncouth manner, if you wish to continue in that vein.

          • I have responded but my reply is still under moderation. You will have to wait to see it, I believe.

          • Not impressed, John. Either you’re purposefully playing dumb, or that you have really attempted your preferred PSC-dissemblance — in which case, it’s not working out.
            Nothing in that article mentions, you fool, the Nile, or the Euphrates.
            It is true that many in the Zionist movement consider J&S(i.e. “West Bank”) part of Israel. Nothing, however, NOTHING exists to support your crude(and swivel-eyed) fiction, that anyone desires the annexation of Arab states(i.e. those actually on the Nile or the Euphrates) by Israel.
            “Greater Israel” means Judea & Samaria(to some, possibly Gaza, as well). Oh… I bet it’s quite scary!
            And clear off, cretin…

          • See and and and and

            I don’t agree with the rhetoric in these articles but they all point towards remarks made by Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, to the effect that he foresaw an Eretz Israel stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates.
            Subsequent Zionists have reiterated this same goal.

            I will leave your coarse invective unanswered. You are turning into another bonehead like Fritz – you need to be careful.

          • When pressed for a source, you give me one quote mentioned in Hertzl’s diaries(apparently), never a public statement, though, and at the same time, a veritable smorgasbord of anti-Semitic pamphleteering and literature.
            You protest being called a Jew-hatred. But when you spew such material forth, what do you expect a reasonable person to deduce?
            In short, you’ve got nothing! Hertzl died in 1904, and his tiny, one-lined observation died with him. Not a single operative Zionist leader, after him, repeated or relied on such a nonsensical claim.

          • I provide you with numerous sources – which you then choose to ignore. The facts have been provided but you choose not to acknowledge them. I will not bother to respond to your childish remarks; after all, I am a grownup and not a child, like you.

          • Your “sources” are watered-down “Protocols for Dummies”. No deal!
            I’ve asked you, when has an operative, leading member of the Zionist movement(one that had not died, oh, say, BEFORE the British had taken Palestine) voiced a desire to subsume “Nile & Euphrates” into Israel.
            The answer: No one; never. (Hertzl’s diaries, of course — who make a single, passing mention of something rather vague, don’t count)
            Of course you’re a child, John. Any person sure of a worldwide cobweb of complots against Media(like you) is bound to have the intellectual faculties of a child. And a not very well developed one, either.

      • WellInformed referred to “the security barrier stop[ping] dozens of attacks daily”, and John asked for evidence of these.You refer us to a site recording dozens of terrorist incidents per month across all of the occupied territories, none of which are noted specifically as involving the barrier. Perhaps you should read and understand others’ posts before posting irrelevant replies.

        • Quite a reaction…
          Tell you what: when you stop attacking Israeli civilians, attempting to infiltrate Israel-proper and actually embark on a mission of reconciliation with Israel, thence will the wall have become redundant.
          The list above is an example of why YOU can’t be trusted.
          How’s that for an “irrelevant” reply, moron?

          • You still don’t get it, do you? Time has moved on since the last intifada – but you appear not to have noticed. How many Palestinians have you ever actually met?
            I have met many and the vast majority of them are committed to a non-violent resolution to the Israel-Palestinian differences. However, this does not suit people like Netanyahu and his fellow-travelling right-wing Zionists. They want to keep on peddling the tired and stale old lies they have been selling to you for years.
            Young Palestinian children ask why Israelis want to live inside a prison camp. How can any intelligent person provide an adequate response to such innocent questions?
            They perceive the wall as acting to keep the Israelis imprisoned inside a Zionist prison, where control over media and any other form of communication can be kept under the control of the Israeli state. Most Israelis do not have a clue as to what is going on elsewhere unless they have been spoon-fed the information by the Israeli state’s media machine. The wall is an eyesore and an unnecessary restriction not only for the Palestinians but for the Israelis too. Now do you get it?
            The Israelis today are the new East Germans – they also had a wall; remember?

          • Are you fucking insane?

            Where control over media and any other form of communication can be kept under the control of the Israeli state. Most Israelis do not have a clue as to what is going on elsewhere unless they have been spoon-fed the information by the Israeli state’s media machine…

            Israel has no “state-owned” media, you loon. Israel is also the only country ranked “Free” in the region, concerning press freedoms.
            So how about you teach your darling Palestinians what it’s like to run a free press? You know, disabuse them of the notion that breaking bones or imprisoning someone for a report they didn’t like, doesn’t really match “Western standards”.
            Have a look at that list: See how many times, how many incidents there have been, with your attempts to slaughter innocent Israelis. Go ask, you prick, the remnants of the Fogel family what they think of the “non-violence” that your beloved Pals displayed, when they butchered their 3-year-old daughter.
            And furthermore, I really don’t buy this sappy “love” the Pals. supposedly display toward Israelis.
            This is what they actually promote.
            And numbskull, here’s some news for you:
            Try and murder me once, shame on you. Try and do so twice, well, you know the rest.
            Why don’t you crawl back under your PSC rock? It seems staying underneath it for so long has clouded your perception of reality.

          • Much as you might like to think so, Commentary101, you can’t win arguments by calling people morons or cretins. Try engaging the grey matter….

          • I would advise you the same, “sencar”.
            But then, you couldn’t make use of it, could you? Anti-Semites are typically brain-addled; tough luck for you, I suppose.

  5. If you had read my reply more carefully, you would have seen that I used the word control – not owned. It is very similar here in the UK. While the state does not own any of the media, it certainly knows how to control it. The same is true in America and you can bet everything you are worth that the situation in Israel is no different.
    The rest of your posting is so contaminated by coarse invective I will leave answering those points when you are able to express them coolly and objectively.
    I agree that murdering a 3-year old is unforgivable. It reminds me of the poem by John Donne “Ask not for whom the bell tolls”. Very sad that children have to die because so-called grownups cannot arrive at an agreement.

    • Do you realize — I mean, I ask in all sincerity — that you’re out of your mind?
      Do you genuinely believe, that a nefarious cabal exists, globally, to stifle the press in Western nations?
      Does being a PSC member come with mental illness, or was it extant when you entered that hate-group?(That would explain why you sought them, in the first place).
      I repeat: You urgently need help. I thought you could be reasoned with; I’ll tell you that much. You tricked me at first; but like all maniacs, you can’t hide your true self for long.

      • You really seem to have a thing about mental illness, Commentary101. Rather than deal with the arguments of your opponents rationally you reach first for some psychiatric clinical label. I can assure you, as a professional psychologist, that none of them are used appropriately. Your next line of attack is the ‘anti-semite’ smear. I genuinely try to avoid personal abuse on this site – but in your case I am sorely tempted….

        Please try to make a rational case or just keep quiet.

        • No… I get it. You too are convinced that the world’s media is under a stranglehold, hostage to a ‘certain’ clique.
          So let’s have it out then: who is shackling the press? Is it the Lizard-people Icke & now Alice Walker speak of? Perhaps aliens? (Oh wait, I know who…)
          There’s no conspiracy(the juicier, the more Jewish-centric, the better) that you wouldn’t pounce on, as a ready excuse to escape the harsh reality and the miserableness of your “cause”.
          If you are a “professional psychologist”(which, by the way you most certainly are not; for you can’t even lie convincingly, let alone maintain the façade of one), then I fear very much for the profession.
          It seems that the nutcases have firmly overtaken the Asylum. Or, is it, Mr. Shrink, a case of Anosognosia(look it up)?

      • You must stop projecting your own inadequacies onto others. You also need to recognise that you are unable to accept positive criticism, as demonstrated by your response to my factual correction of your earlier statement. The banner headline for this blog refers to accuracy and impartiality – I suggest you restrict your approach to meeting those two criteria – you will feel better for it. I must say that your response about control, rather than ownership is incredibly naïve. You must be aware that Netanyahu employs a “spin” doctor in the form of Mark Regev, surely? I do not negatively criticise this situation as it is what I expect from people who want their propaganda to be swallowed wholesale by all forms of the media. They are not alone, of course. Tony Blair was also a past master of propaganda spin and Obama certainly attempts to emulate him and other politicians too. Do you recall that Blair, when Leader of the Opposition flew all the way from Britain to Australia in order to ingratiate himself with the Murdoch press. This shows us the lengths are prepared to go to gain influence – initially – with influential actors in the media, with the eventual intent of controlling that self-same media.

        • Mark Regev is the Spokesman for the Israeli PM. Just like Cameron keeps his aides, Obama does Carney, and many others around the globe.
          The rest of your rant is the typical fulmination of a madman. I don’t see what Tony Blair, or Murdoch have to do with the subject at hand, but in your twisted mind, everything, no doubt, is intricately interconnected.

          • Commentary101, I’m sure you’re familiar with the incident that ends with the (then) President of Harvard saying, “Don’t change the subject, we’re talking about Jews.”

          • Go ahead. Carry on living in La-La-Land. If you are happy to live in ignorance then so be it. I had just thought you were capable of being better.

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