One issue which is completely and consistently off the BBC radar in its reporting on the subject of what it terms ‘obstacles to peace’, or ‘core issues’ of talks between Israel and the PLO, is that of Palestinian incitement against Israel.
The Palestinian Authority’s repeated glorification of terrorism against Israeli civilians, its official media’s negation of Israel’s existence and the lack of preparation of the Palestinian people for peace with their neighbours are quotidian phenomena which are completely ignored by the BBC. For example, a speech broadcast last month on official PA television on behalf of PA president Mahmoud Abbas negated the existence of the party with which the PLO is currently engaged in ‘peace talks’.
“All our holy places are still under occupation, and so far we have not liberated one inch of Palestinian land. All Palestinian land is occupied – Gaza is occupied, the West Bank is occupied, the 1948 lands (i.e., Israel) are occupied and Jerusalem is occupied.”
BBC audiences of course remain oblivious of this example – and many others –of officially sanctioned incitement by the supposedly ‘moderate’ Palestinian Authority.
Another issue which the BBC severely downplays in its reporting on the subject of the peace process is that of the Hamas – PA split, which renders any potential peace agreement with the PLO (of which Hamas is not a member) irrelevant to significant portions of the Palestinian population and hence incapable of bringing about an end to the conflict.
Hamas’ extremism – both towards Israel and Jews, as well as towards the population it rules – is a subject which the also BBC consistently ignores or downplays, as another recent example shows.
On November 3rd the New York Times ran an article on the subject of new textbooks recently introduced into some four hundred Hamas-run schools in the Gaza Strip.
“For the first time since taking control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, the Hamas movement is deviating from the approved Palestinian Authority curriculum, using the new texts as part of a broader push to infuse the next generation with its militant ideology.
Among other points, the books, used by 55,000 children in the eighth, ninth and 10th grades as part of a required “national education” course of study in government schools, do not recognize modern Israel, or even mention the Oslo Peace Accords the country signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1990s.” [….]
“What Gaza teenagers are reading in their 50-page hardcover texts this fall includes references to the Jewish Torah and Talmud as “fabricated,” and a description of Zionism as a racist movement whose goals include driving Arabs out of all of the area between the Nile in Africa and the Euphrates in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
“Palestine,” in turn, is defined as a state for Muslims stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. A list of Palestinian cities includes Haifa, Beersheba and Acre — all within Israel’s 1948 borders. And the books rebut Jewish historical claims to the territory by saying, “The Jews and the Zionist movement are not related to Israel, because the sons of Israel are a nation which had been annihilated.” “
The BBC has so far shown no interest in covering this story, meaning that – yet again – BBC audiences remain unaware of factors crucial to their understanding of the subject of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The BBC cannot possibly claim to fulfill its public purpose of “build[ing] a global understanding of international issues” when it systematically self-censors certain categories of information.