BBC’s favourite Norwegian doctor given multiple platforms for medical agitprop

On November 14th the Twitter account linked to the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Outside Source’ promoted a segment from that day’s broadcast as a stand-alone item.

OS Tweet Mads Gilbert

That podcast can be heard here. The programme from which it is taken can be heard here for a limited period of time, with the relevant item beginning at 36:55. Presenter Chloe Tilley introduced the item as follows:

“Now, people who listen regularly to ‘Outside Source’ may be familiar with the name Mads Gilbert. He’s a Norwegian doctor who has spoken to us lots on the programme and he’s been told he’s been banned from Gaza for the foreseeable future over Israeli government claims he poses a security threat. Dr Gilbert’s been travelling to Gaza to treat patients for over 15 years and he told Outside Source’s Louise Webster what had happened.”

Of course Mads Gilbert has not only been frequently featured on the BBC World Service, but on a variety of other BBC platforms too and, as has so frequently been the case in the past, in this item no attempt whatsoever was made to correct the misleading impressions received by BBC audiences as a result of Gilbert’s promotion of unchallenged propaganda.OS podcast Mads Gilbert

“The fundamental reason for the ill-health in the population in Gaza is of course the siege and the bombing.”

“The siege of Gaza of course has to be lifted. We cannot accept the siege is now also including international medical staff who seek to support the medical sector in Gaza. That is totally unacceptable.”

“Well, I think – you know – the siege of Gaza has been going on for seven years now and they have been denied all sorts of daily commodities; building material, medical supplies and so on. And it seems like the Israeli authorities are also trying to limit the number of foreigners who are allowed to travel through Israel to Gaza. So what is lost is actually the flow of information about the realities in Gaza and we need to know what is the circumstances and the situation for the population in Gaza.”

In fact the main causes of death in the Gaza Strip are cardiovascular disease, cancer and cerebrovascular disease. There is, of course, no “siege” on the Gaza Strip, but nevertheless the BBC still continues to energetically promote that particular falsehood. As we had cause to note here on numerous occasions during this summer’s conflict, the issue of shortages of medical supplies in the Gaza Strip has nothing to do with the restriction on the entry of dual-use goods imposed by Israel as part of counter-terrorism measures and in fact arises from long-standing disputes between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Clearly too, Gilbert’s hysterical claim of a limit or ban on foreign medical staff travelling to Gaza is a gross distortion.

So yet again we see the BBC providing an unhindered platform for Mads Gilbert to promote his usual deliberate misinformation.

In the full version of the item, Gilbert’s monologue was followed by Chloe Tilley informing listeners that:

“…an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman told Outside Source that an investigation was underway into Dr Gilbert, who he described as a ‘Jekyll & Hyde figure hiding behind a cloak of being a humanitarian doctor’. He said there was strong suspicion that he had been involved in matters relating to supporting terror activities. An investigation is underway and Dr Gilbert’s position would be reassessed when it came to a conclusion.”

That statement was omitted from the version of the item promoted on Twitter, a link to which also appeared in a written article titled “Israel bans Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert from Gaza” published on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on November 14th. That article further amplified Gilbert’s inaccurate “siege” propaganda:Gilbert on website

“”The fundamental reason for the ill health of the population in Gaza is of course the siege and the bombing,” he said.”

It also told readers that:

“In July, Dr Gilbert was one of the co-signatories in a strongly-worded letter denouncing Israeli action in Gaza, published in the medical journal, the Lancet.”

Notably, the BBC made no effort to inform audiences of the controversy surrounding that letter when two of Gilbert’s co-signatories were found to have a history of disseminating antisemitic material or of the Lancet editor’s subsequent comments on the issue.

The BBC knows full well that there is no “siege” on the Gaza Strip and it should by now also be aware of the fact that Israel does not pose any limitations on the entry of medical supplies. However, it continues to mislead BBC audiences worldwide by providing an unhindered platform for Mads Gilbert’s promotion these falsehoods, thus clearly breaching its own supposed editorial standards of accuracy and impartiality.

Related Articles:

The reality behind the BBC’s promotion of information from medics in Gaza

Hamas terminology and propaganda in BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ interview with Mads Gilbert

13 comments on “BBC’s favourite Norwegian doctor given multiple platforms for medical agitprop

  1. Israel bans Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert from Gaza.

    Oh dear. That should have been: Israel bans mad Norwegian doctor Gilbert from Gaza

    • Talking of morality, Adam, you do know that Gilbert supported terror attacks on the US after 9/11? Did it slip your mind?

    • Because this is an advocacy page, and has no compunction in omitting anything that undermines its narrative or cause.

      It’s not impartially, informed, sourced or referenced.

      Therefore any shit goes.

  2. Is Hadar Sela really a woman? How can a woman show so little interest for the many lives that this doctor has saved in Gaza – including those of many kids who were gravely injured or, sometimes, mutilated by Tsahal airstrikes?

    Don’t think she is a woman. Must be a fake name.

  3. Of course there is a siege of Gaza. Israel has been blockading the Strip since 2007. It is also occupying vast swathes of agricultural land in Gaza and most of its fishing grounds. It also bans Palestinians from leaving or entering the Strip.

    Sela seems to have absolutely no idea what she is talking about. Probably why she did not get a job at the BBC? They only hire the very best.

    • Thomas, Hadar Sela does not hide behind a given name as you do. If I were to attack her as you do in such personal ways I’d have the courage to tell her who I am. Basically you are a coward……

      • Does not hide behind a given name? Really?
        She’s happy to hide behind multiple aliases. A simple CRS& ping reveals that at least 3 of the regular commenters (you know who you are, L***. B************. and Y*****).are in fact the author in disguise, commenting on her own blog, while berating other people’s journalistic ethics.

  4. Looks like most people don’t get Gilbert’s case. The is special timming of the scandal – Gilbert wrote new book about Gaza ( I guess, pro Hamas propaganda) and now gets free PR.

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