BBC’s Simpson admires Hamas engineering ‘feat’ and ignores its intended victims

A filmed report for BBC television news from July 21st – supposedly one of the BBC’s never abundant but now increasingly rare ‘Israeli point of view’ pieces – was presented by John Simpson and it appears on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Clashes go on as Israel holds funerals for the dead“. Simpson, we are told in the synopsis, “sent this report from Sderot on Israel’s border with Gaza”.Simpson Sderot 21 7

Kibbutz Nir Am – which was the target of the attempted terrorist infiltration addressed at the beginning of Simpson’s report –  is within easy walking distance of Sderot but nevertheless, Simpson apparently saw nothing newsworthy in going to talk to any of the people there who have been living under the terror of missiles for well over a decade and who now face the new threat of underground terrorist infiltrations – literally in their own  backyard.

Simpson opens his report with a statement which provides a good example of what happens when journalists are ‘parachuted in’ to Israel to provide extra manpower in times of a major event. No-one with even the slightest awareness of what preceded the current escalation and life in the Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip during the past decade could possibly talk in terms of a “quiet landscape”.

JS: “Beneath this quiet landscape between Gaza and Israel, Hamas has been working away for months – sometimes years – digging tunnels. At six this morning an Israeli team watched from hiding as Hamas infiltrators dug their way to the surface and opened fire. But they didn’t stand a chance. At least ten members of the Hamas team were killed.”

Simpson makes no attempt to inform viewers of what the aim of that infiltration was, ridiculously downplaying its lethal intention with his flippant “they didn’t stand a chance” quip. Having apparently decided that the intended civilian victims of that infiltration are of no interest, he goes on to admire Hamas’ engineering skills, but fails to inform audiences of the schools, housing and hospitals Hamas fails to construct for its population instead or of where the materials and money for these “feats” comes from.

“These tunnels are impressive: a real feat of engineering. The BBC was allowed to film inside this one recently after it was discovered. The Israelis afterwards make sure the tunnels can’t be used again.

A few hours after this morning’s operation against the Hamas infiltrators, a top government minister came to congratulate the soldiers who’d carried it out. Tsipi Livni is the most dovish member of the Israeli cabinet; plainly worried about the casualties on both sides.”

In a remarkable display of the worth of that famous BBC commitment to ‘impartiality’, Simpson then says to Livni:

“I have to say it to you in these terms: are you going to carry on killing civilians – including women and children in quite large numbers – until you get what you want?”

Livni: “We are not looking for civilians to kill. We are trying to avoid this. And if you think that we want to send our soldiers – our children – to Shuja’iya or all these places in which they’re being killed, you are mistaken.”

Simpson continues with more downplaying of the effects and results of Hamas terror, invoking that frequent media theme of ‘not enough dead Israelis to count’.

“This is one reason why casualties on the two sides are so out of proportion. Israel has developed the world’s most effective anti-missile defence. The Iron Dome system’s abilities to knock Hamas missiles out of the sky has been a remarkable achievement for Israel during this crisis. The success rate is quite phenomenal. Even so, there are missiles which get through. One of those landed close by here this morning. But the family had taken shelter and scarcely any damage was done. They take it all stoically.”

Woman: “We’re here to stay, you know, it’s our home.”

Simpson quickly returns to his real agenda:

“As she spoke, death and destruction were raining down in Gaza only twenty miles away, but a different world.”

Death and destruction also rained down on the al Wadj family from a Bedouin village near Dimona on July 19th. Thirty-two year-old Ouda al Wadj was killed and his wife, his sister, his four year-old son and three month-old daughter were injured. Little Aya al Wadj is still in hospital in Be’er Sheva recovering from the shrapnel injuries to her head caused by the missile fired from the Gaza Strip. No BBC team has covered that story.

Simpson closes with a perfunctory nod to supposed BBC impartiality by saying:

“All the same, there are funerals of soldiers every day here now. Thirteen killed yesterday, seven more today. Here they were burying Moshe Malko – an Israeli of Ethiopian origin. The scale of Israeli and Palestinian deaths may be utterly different but Israel is paying a heavy price as well.”

For well over a decade the Western media – BBC included – has ignored the story of the people who live in the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip and the children who have grown up under the threat of constant missile attacks. From time to time, when the situation escalates, reporters are ‘parachuted in’ and the world gets a brief view the story as they chose to frame it.

In John Simpson’s case that means downplaying the thousands of missile attacks carried out by terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip, erasing the all-important topic of Hamas’ use of the people of Gaza as human shields and failing to enable BBC audiences to hear the voices of the Israelis now facing the threat of underground terror attacks.

Dana Bar-On is from Nir Am – the kibbutz which on July 21st had a very lucky escape from the terror attack which Simpson fails to adequately report in this item. Here is a five-minute glimpse of how she and her family – and thousands of other residents of the same area – live.

 

 

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8 comments on “BBC’s Simpson admires Hamas engineering ‘feat’ and ignores its intended victims

  1. The BBC is always biased against Israel. They are also biased against English people in favour of any ‘ethnic minority’ in Britain. They have their own political and ‘moral’ agenda, not in tune with the British Government or the British people at all. Most BBC staff do not even realise this; they are sucked in by the subtle manipulations of the shadowy BBC leaders that decide how the BBC should shape public opinion. So much news is ignored by the BBC because it does not suit their idea of the way the public should be thinking, and news items (or opinions) which support their own beliefs (whether verified or reliable or not) are given front page treatment. An example of this is the difference between the reporting of the Paris anti-Jewish riots this week and Gaza. They see no difference between defensive military action and brutish, racist attacks on totally innocent people – in fact they portray the former as far worse than the latter. This prejudiced and incomplete reporting by the BBC (and others) only fans the flames of hatred. By attempting to be morally superior they encourage those who behave in an amoral fashion, and give succour to those who justify violence against the innocent in the pursuit of religious or political fanaticism.

  2. Oh c’mon!! As Jews who love Israel we must also accept that sometimes reports on the BBC are balanced . Simpson has been very fair in his reports . I saw that report & he also marvelled at the Iron Dome technology .
    But have you noticed Jeremy Bowen is conspicuous by his absence?

  3. What a knob.

    Simon, don’t talk such unmitigated rubbish. Or are you hearing-impaired and didn’t hear “I have to say it to you in these terms: are you going to carry on killing civilians – including women and children in quite large numbers – until you get what you want?”

    Simpson has always been one of the nastiest in the nasty crew of BBC Jew-haters. I had really hoped we’d seen the last of this utterly vile creature.

  4. There almost seems to be a concerted effort by ‘journalists’ to get horrific pictures that fit their own personal political narrative and to present them devoid of (difficult) context. Reporters and media need to inform the public. Not manipulate the public.

  5. “Little Aya al Wadj is still in hospital in Be’er Sheva recovering from the shrapnel injuries to her head caused by the missile fired from the Gaza Strip. No BBC team has covered that story”

    But of course no story or pictures. Showing suffering children in the Israeli side would only serve to undermine the BBC’s selective moral outrage at suffering Palestinian children.

    It’s the sheer hypocrisy. The BBC and other reporters inside Gaza will never blame the clear culprit for all this suffering – Hamas – because there would be serious consequences (at best they’d be told to leave which would be bad for your career). But you can say anything you want against Israel both from Gaza or Israel.

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