BBC double standards on checkpoints

A quick perusal of the BBC News website shows that the corporation has had quite a lot to say about Israeli checkpoints for some length of time.

One undated “Guide to a West Bank Checkpoint“, produced by Martin Asser, states that:

“A recent report by a group of 20 aid agencies has drawn public attention to one of the little reported aspects of the continuing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians – checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank and Gaza.

The report said these travel restrictions – some of them in place since the beginning of the intifada in 2000 – limit Palestinians’ access to schools and medical care, increase frustration and destroy hopes for peace.”

The ‘guide’ provides interactive pages on aspects of checkpoints and there, for example, BBC audiences are told that:

“Ahmed Kassem had hired this private taxi to pick him up on the north side of the Surda roadblock, which is on the north side of Ramallah, on his way home from a heart check-up in the town.

He has to walk 10 minutes uphill in the midday heat to pass through the roadblock, and is very concerned about his health.

He told BBC News Online he expected the journey – 20km in total – would take another three hours to complete.

“I think the Israelis do this because they want to make us feel like foreigners in our own land. They just want us to leave,” he said.”

The rationale behind the existence of checkpoints is generally framed with the BBC’s often used caveat of “Israel says”:

“Israel says the measures are vital to stop suicide bombers flooding into its cities to terrorise the civilian population.” 

Another – very outdated – page still appearing on the BBC website states that:

 “Israeli troops have […] severely restricted the movement of Palestinian civilians.”

And when Israeli checkpoints feature in BBC content, they are more often than not presented without the context essential for audience understanding of their necessity – for example here and here

However, it turns out that some kinds of military checkpoints are reported very differently by the BBC.UK tourists Sharm

An article about the recent floods in England which appeared on the BBC News website’s UK page on February 12th noted that:

“Our correspondent said that, with so many homes in the village evacuated, there was a real fear some of the empty properties might be looted so the Army had set up checkpoints on some roads to monitor overnight who comes and who goes.” 

In a filmed report which appeared on February 21st on the BBC News website’s Middle East page, Quentin Sommerville informed audiences of the concerns of two British holiday-makers in the south Sinai with regard to the inefficiency of Egyptian checkpoints.

“We’ve got really good security at our hotel. The checkpoints, on the other hand, have a lot to be answered for. You don’t really get stopped at the checkpoints, which…”

“There is a high presence. We’ve been on two excursions and we didn’t get checked – our passports or…We haven’t seen any vehicles stopped at a checkpoint.”

Clearly the BBC can understand perfectly well the necessity for checkpoints when they are set up to safeguard British property or British tourists, but those set up to safeguard Israeli lives are apparently a different kettle of fish.

Related Articles:

Checking BBC-propagated untruths about checkpoints

21 comments on “BBC double standards on checkpoints

  1. Evidently to european lefters’ media and governments, Israel does not have the same rights as other governments. Israelis lives and property do not deserve the same care as europeans’. With all arabs and moslems allowed to enter europe, soon europe will have more problems with them than Israel!

  2. How the Israeli checkpoints can be classified as “little reported” I do not know. But apparently, the BBC thinks you can never have too much of a good thing. And when was the last time an Israeli checkpoint was in place in Gaza?

  3. Checkpoints are the same wherever you go – it’s how they are policed and who has the ‘right’ to cross them that are the issue. When they’re checkpoints on someone else’s sovereign territory, that’s the Israeli position, then it’s clearly problematic. Illegal , also.

    Israel does not own the borders of Palestine, and should not be policing them.

    To pretend otherwise is to deny the intellect of the public, which you offend with your simplistic rants.

  4. Meanwhile sexual assault and child rape sagas at the BBC are in the news again today. Former BBC DJ Dave Lee Travis (David Griffin) is to be retried on two counts of sexual assault while at the BBC, the jury having failed to reach a verdict on these counts in his previous trial just ended:

    Also, alleged victims of the late Sir Jimmy Savile’s undetected child rapes and assaults partly in his BBC TV Centre caravan during his 52 years as a BBC DJ are fighting trustees of his £4m estate over compensation:

    Of course, we £145.50 p.a. forced TV taxpayers are paying for BBC defence lawyers. Furthermore, the elephant in this BBC room that the press studiously avoids investigating is which, if any, named BBC senior executives and trustees living and dead knew of the late Sir Jimmy’s activities and did nothing for 52 years.

    • you’re not forced to pay. If you don’t want to watch live broadcasts, then don’t pay.

      Stop whining and vote with your wallet.


      • Actually, viewers in Britian ARE forced (by law) to pay for the BBC, if they want to watch ANY TV programs, broadcast by ANY TV channel, at the time of the program’s actual broadcast. The payment is made by buying a Television Licence. The revenue this generates goes to the BBC ONLY – no other TV channels receive any of it. Companies selling new TVs have to obtain the name and address of all purchasers, which are then passed to the licencing authorities for them to ensure the purchasers have a licence. It makes no difference whether the purchaser intends to watch BBC channels or not. People have to buy the licence just to be allowed to have a working television (or one with the potential to work)within their home or other property.
        However, for the time-being at least, people MAY watch SOME programs (but generally only those where the rights to that program are also owned by the relevant channel), for a short period after their original broadcast, by accessing them over the internet, without having to buy the licence. Only the BBC allows actual downloading of such programs, to facilitate watching them off-line: other channels only make them available via internet streaming. Standard internet speeds are such in Britian that one has to pay a considerable premium for a connection that actually facilitates effective streaming, so the less well off struggle to afford this option.

        • Spot on.

          And let us not forget the penalty of imprisonment for TV owners not paying their annual £145.50 licence fee; a penalty BBC (TV taxpayer- funded) lawyers are pursuing through the criminal courts with great zeal since, in 2012, one in ten UK court cases concerned BBC prosecutions for non-payment of licence fees.

          Imagine ending up in Wormwood Scrubs gaol with the child rapists and sex predators for not -paying £145.50 this year for a TV licence.

          • NB. While serving a prison term, a licence fee evader could presumably end up being forced to watch TV-tax-free in-cell television together with a child rapist/murderer cell mate, the prison TV licence fee being paid by the British taxpayer. Here is some BBC coverage:


        • Then watch it ‘not live’ , or better yet, read a book, newspaper, listen to the radio or watch streaming on the internet from non-live broadcasts.

          If you don’t like it, don’t pay. You have the choice.

          Internet speeds need to me 3.5mbps to get live TV – everyone has that almost. don’t exaggerate.

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