BBC’s Lyse Doucet does ‘reporter in the rubble’ redux – part one

Under no circumstances would it be accurate to say that BBC audiences have been deprived of information relating to the topic of structural damage and reconstruction in the Gaza Strip either during or after last summer’s conflict between Hamas and Israel. In fact, since the ceasefire came into effect at the end of August 2014, not a month has gone by without at least one BBC report on the topic.

Nevertheless, the BBC obviously found it necessary to revisit the same theme yet again and sent Lyse Doucet off to the Gaza Strip to mark the occasion of the passing of six months since the ceasefire. Thus, BBC audiences were once again exposed to context-free pictures of rubble and ruin on a variety of BBC social media platforms.

Doucet Gaza FB

Doucet Gaza twitter 1

Doucet Gaza twitter 2

The BBC World Service radio Twitter account also promoted an audio report by Doucet broadcast on an unidentified programme under the title “Gaza – the struggle to survive“. Doucet introduced the item as follows:Doucet Gaza audio on Twitter

“You reach the top step of this four-storey building that’s still standing and you look in front of you and for street after street all you can see is rubble. Cement blocks, trees torn from their roots, bits of clothing and plastic: all of it still strewn across this wasteland. It looks like the scene of a natural disaster: the immediate aftermath. But this is Gaza six months on. There isn’t the cement to rebuild, there isn’t the money and for many people, not even the will because everyone fears there’s going to be another war sometime soon.”

Doucet refrains from providing any explanation to listeners as to why there “isn’t the money”, failing to clarify that the donor pledges made at last October’s Cairo conference so enthusiastically reported by the BBC have largely failed to materialise because of internal Palestinian politics. Neither does she address the issue of the already evident failures of the mechanism adopted by the UN to ensure that construction materials were not diverted to Hamas or the fact that residents’ fears that “there’s going to be another war” may have something to do with the fact that there is obviously no shortage of funds available for the rehabilitation of Hamas’ military capabilities.  

Accompanied by a person she describes as “Gazan journalist Jihad Rustam [phonetic]”, Doucet talks to a resident of Shuja’iya neighbourhood.

“Can we talk to these people? They’ve got…put a bit of cloth and they’ve put some wooden planks together and it almost looks like a bus stop but actually it’s a very makeshift…a little wooden cabin in front with some signs inside.”

Her companion says:

“Yeah; this is also a photo of one of the guys who died in this house during the war. His name is Mohammed Tsukur [phonetic] – he’s a martyr. They hang his picture inside this little tent with a picture of Abu Amar – Yasser Arafat….”

Via her companion and translator Doucet asks the man in the cabin to tell her “what happened here?” and the translated response is as follows:

“It was during the dawn of the massacre on Shuja’iya when missiles and bombs were falling everywhere. We had to run out of the house. We didn’t get a chance to grab anything. My brother died instantly while we were running and we kept heading west. A couple of days later we came back and we found this: just rubble, just a bunch of rubble. No house, no store, no nothing.”

Neglecting to inform listeners that in fact the residents of Shuja’iya were given a four-day advance warning to evacuate the neighbourhood before military activity began there, Doucet observes (and it is worth noting her tone of voice as she does):Shuja'iya map sites

“Yes, it’s interesting they use the word ‘massacre’ because Israel calls it a targeting of military sites. But for the people here; so many died they do call it a massacre.”

Doucet cannot fail to be aware of the fact that over 140 missiles were fired from the Shuja’iya area into Israel between July 8th and July 20th. She must also know that the entrances to no fewer than ten cross-border attack tunnels, numerous weapons caches and Hamas command posts were to be found in that neighbourhood. Her failure to clarify those facts to listeners and her defence of the use of the inaccurate and loaded term ‘massacre’ hence shows a blatant disregard for supposed BBC editorial standards of accuracy and impartiality.

Later on Doucet asks the man “who do you blame?” and the answer she gets via her translator is:

“We blame the Arab countries. We blame the donor countries who are supposed to be our brothers and just stood there while we were under attack and under the siege and contributed to the siege. Before we blame Israel we blame the Arab countries – especially Egypt – and then we blame Israel and the occupation and what they’re doing to us.”

Doucet makes no attempt to clarify to listeners that the Gaza Strip has not been under ‘occupation’ for almost a decade or why the term “siege” is not an accurate description of the restrictions on the entry of weapons and dual-use goods imposed by Israel in order to curb Hamas’ procurement of arms. She again fails to point out the factor of internal Palestinian politics which has caused the donor countries to hold back on their pledges.

Instead, she simply ends her pathos rich but fact lacking report there.

Back in July 2014 Doucet was one of the BBC’s reporters on the ground in Shuja’iya. Then too she amplified false claims of a ‘massacre’ and avoided giving BBC audiences a realistic picture of the terrorist infrastructure in that neighbourhood.

Over six months on, BBC audiences have still not been told what really happened in Shuja’iya and it is clear from this report that the BBC has no intention of rectifying that. The political agenda which underpinned the vast quantities of one-sided reporting produced by Lyse Doucet and her colleagues in the Gaza Strip last summer is still all too apparent.

Part two of this post will deal with additional reports produced by Doucet on her latest trip to the Gaza Strip.



13 comments on “BBC’s Lyse Doucet does ‘reporter in the rubble’ redux – part one

  1. I complained to the BBC (03700100222) about the part of her report that was broadcast on the Radio 4 Today programme yesterday. Where has the money gone for rebuilding provided by Hamas allies for rebuilding?

  2. A verse from Duvidl:

    BBC Trot, Lyse Doucet;
    Careerist Jew-hater, you bet.
    Her rubble rabble-rouser rant;
    Bereft of truth with context scant.

  3. We would LIKE to be “deprived” on informations about gaza and Israel’s jordanians pr calls “palestinians”! In fact there are too many infos on that topic all the more since they always take the form of anti Israel pr. Can the bbc not stop bothering us with their pr for a while?

  4. I heard the BBC World Service report from Lyse Doucet a few nights ago, it was so context-free, simplistic and misleading as to be laughable.

  5. BBC Watch is doing a great job monitoring the bias of the BBC reporting – but there is no denying that it is re-active. What is needed now is some pro-active action – perhaps by yourselves infiltrating the BBC hierachy or a public campaign to shame the BBC into treating Israel fairly

  6. Meanwhile, an official report has been published today by barrister Kate Lampard on the child rape, sex abuse of the dying and dead body penetration of the late BBC DJ Sir Jimmy Savile at Stoke Mandeville hospital.

    Victims’ lawyer Liz Dux said on Sky TV that the victims want “accountability” and have not been given that accountability by the report, adding “Senior National Health Service staff knew and kept secret dozens of sex abuse allegations.” The report claims that it could happen again and that Britain’s children are still not safe in hospital, but no names of senior staff have been mentioned.

    The same lack of accountability is clearly true of unnamed senior staff at the corrupt BBC, where the late Sir Jimmy Savile worked and raped children from 1959 to his death in 2011. However, a Parliamentary report into the future of the BBC, also published today, has not recommended that the organisation be closed down.

  7. I just heard the shamelessly slanted reports from Lyse Doucet in Gaza on Feb 25. It was a propagandist attempt to portray the youth in Gaza as harmless victims of the oppression of everyone in the world other than their own government. They even staged a birthday celebration, singing the birthday song in English, as if to portray them as participants in western culture who are merely trying to enjoy their innocent youth rather than, at best, passive pawns, if not active participants in a radically hostile theocratic government.

    Her extended residence in Pakistan and understandably friendly relationships with the neighboring victims of the Islamist conflicts seems to have imbued her with a sense of mission to champion relief for these abused populations. By portraying the cause of the Gaza population’s plight as the Israeli imposed embargo however, all she does is deny and ignore the root cause of their problem rather than address its solution.

    In her interview when, at the end, she offered an Israeli official a perfunctory rebuttal to accusations that Israel’s restrictions on building materials were unjust cruelty, she literally ignored his statements that the Hamas government routinely diverted construction supplies for military purposes, with no reply to his pointed facts other than to further harangue him with accusations. She gave no acknowledgment in the story of the reality of Hamas’ usurpation of supplies, as evidenced by the sprawling network of tunnels that were discovered in their last battle with Israel, and also dismissed the same embargo imposed by Egypt as irrelevant.

    As the Israeli interviewee suggested, there seems to be a fear of speaking out against Hamas among the citizens of Gaza, so it remains convenient to blame the symptom of Israel’s response rather than the disease of Hamas’ aggression as the cause of their ordeal. It is obvious that, under the current Hamas regime, the removal of the embargo would simply result in renewed supplies for an immediate attack on Israel, and an amplified and prolonged battle, in which Hamas would again use citizens as shields, and cause yet further decimation of their city.

    Indulging the subjects of her sympathies with the delusion that they can blame Israel for their problems rather than urging them to restore a more rational government, similar to the one that presided over the initial period of peace, just after Israel optimistically relinquished control of Gaza, is a disservice to them.

    It’s inaccurate to call the bias that’s so evident in her story anti-semitic, which is also what the press incorrectly names the Muslim hostilities against Jews that are erupting in Europe. Arabs are in fact Semites too. This kind of bias, which has to either be called anti-Israeli, or maybe anti-Jewish, has never made any sense. It seems to be part of the agenda of every evil organization in recorded history, but at a minimum, its the byproduct of fractured logic, (such as the Jews killed Christ, but if it matters, the Romans did), or inane propaganda, (such as Jews eat babies), consumed by the thoughtless. While most of the Jews in my community don’t seem especially religious, the main Jewish experience I have is through the many contributions I recognize they’ve made to science and entertainment that I encounter almost every day. The thought of reducing the security of land that has been partitioned to protect that culture, which is part of the foundation of Western civilization, to offer a scapegoat for the problems of a, not-universally, but pervasively anti-social and often savage culture, is horribly misguided. It should not be advocated by anyone representing factual news.

  8. We should compare the Doucett report with Quentin Sommerville’s. Palestinian Islamic Jihad have rearmed and replenished ranks also on the BBC. While not yet acceptable journalism it ‘discovers’ things that the BBC failed to discover in July 2014 and Doucett still doesn’t acknowledge.

    Examples are the use of tunnels then and the rebuilding now; mortars used to attack Israel last year and threatened to be used in the next war and armed, uniformed fighters. Even allowing that they probably committed a war crime by fighting without uniforms in 50 days of fighting the BBC failed to show a single Palestinian fighter (or casualty) or to even discover one example of missiles fired against Israel.

  9. Pingback: BBC’s Lyse Doucet does ‘reporter in the rubble’ redux – part two | BBC Watch

  10. Pingback: BBC’s Lyse Doucet does ‘reporter in the rubble’ redux – part three | BBC Watch

  11. Pingback: A side to the Gaza reconstruction story the BBC isn’t telling | BBC Watch

  12. Pingback: Lyse Doucet’s blatant political propaganda on BBC WS WHYS – part one | BBC Watch

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