BBC’s Knell returns to the Gaza rubble

More than an entire month has gone by since BBC audiences got their last ‘reporter in the Gaza rubble’ fix from Lyse Doucet and so it came as little surprise to see the baton handed to Yolande Knell on April 1st.

Knell’s written and filmed versions of the same story – “Gaza family ‘tricked’ into selling Banksy painting for $175” and “Palestinian ‘tricked’ over Banksy art” – both appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page.Knell Banksy written  

In the written report readers learned that:

“A Palestinian man says he was tricked into selling a mural by the artist Banksy that is estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Rabie Darduna told the BBC he was given less than $175 (£118) for the image drawn on the only remaining door of his house in Gaza.

It was one of thousands of homes destroyed during last year’s war.

Banksy visited Gaza in February and used the rubble as a canvas for his politicised graffiti.”

That story was also covered at the time by the BBC’s Gaza correspondent Rushdi Abualouf.

In the filmed version of Knell’s report shown on BBC television news programmes, viewers heard the following context-free introduction:

“Their lives in ruins: thousands of families in Gaza lost their homes in last year’s brutal war with Israel.”

Throughout the report Knell continues to use the story of a man who now regrets selling something he got for free after he discovered its proper value as a hook upon which to hang her real message.

“And when the British artist Banksy made a surprise visit here a month ago, this rubble inspired his politicized art.”

“The street art that Banksy left here in Gaza […] is meant to highlight the destruction here…”

“Back in Gaza the Darduna family can’t get over this cruel twist of fate. Banksy painted on their destroyed house to show he cares about Palestinians’ plight but now they’ve lost his unexpected gift they feel their suffering even more acutely.” [emphasis added]

At the bottom of the filmed report’s synopsis, audiences are invited to click on a link titled “Writing on the Wall” which leads them to the BBC’s ‘iWonder’ website. That site is billed as a project intended to “educate and inform” and “a ‘one-stop-shop’ for factual and educational content” and so – as we have noted here before – one might expect it to stick to accurate and impartial facts.Knell Banksy filmed

The page to which that promoted links leads includes, however, the following context-free politicized slogans: [all emphasis added]

“Banksy is the most well known graffiti artist in the world, even though he has never revealed his true identity. Quirky and political, his work has satirised oppression in Palestine, hypocrisy in politics and capitalist greed in London.”

Continuing his use of public spaces to display his work, he choose one of the most controversial walls in the world.

In 2005, to comment on Israeli involvement in Palestine, Banksy travelled to the Middle East and targeted the West Bank wall. His satirical stencils criticised Israeli militarism and oppression. The works provoked fierce debate in the media over whether a wall judged to be “illegal” by the International Court of Justice could in fact be vandalised. Banksy described the wall as “the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers”.

Yes – that is what the BBC apparently defines as “educational content”.  

Related Articles:

BBC inaccurately promotes Banksy propaganda as a ‘documentary’

BBC’s Yolande Knell ditches any semblance of impartiality


17 comments on “BBC’s Knell returns to the Gaza rubble

  1. An excellent educational piece by (My) BBC

    I see no issue about a poor man suffering slow death by his occupier’s strangulation and collective punishment, for attempting to gain advantage by selling something.

    Documentary/propaganda/documentary: Irrelevant.

    I also fail to see how this fits BBC watch remit – since Israel claims it no longer occupied GAZA in 2005. Not is GAZA inside Israel’s State Boarder.

    This is no more than a petty whinge. It has no merit.

    You do not address imbalance by balance. You address it by counter balance.

    • Are we supposed to take seriously anything said by somebody who thinks Russell Brand knows what he’s talking about?

      Wouldn’t your time be better spent writing something for your own blog which boasts no less than three posts since October 2012?

      • Russell Brand is correct in that the UN and the EU recognise that Gaza is still occupied by Israel. borders, imports, exports, airspace, waters. Perhaps he has more heart than brain … that’s one more than Israel’s leaders.

        • Yes indeed, check out the replies from the two recent trolls. “Personal attacks”?

          Not to mention the paranoid comments suggesting that Hadar is commenting here using aliases.

          The “strength of (your) piece”? Just boiler plate Jew hatred using criticism of Israel as a shield.

          Go write something on your own blog instead of contaminating this one.

          • You are in Huston Texas – ergo you do not have the right to attack my BBC. I live here in the UK and pay the licence, which pays the wages of BBC staff. I will defend them and their reporters… vigorously – all your smears will fall on deaf ears.

          • Duvidl reprises his neww song from yesterday’s BBC Watch thread:

            A new song from Duvidl:

            Brown Finger
            (After the theme song from the James Bond movie “Goldfinger.”)

            Brown Finger,
            Mike;s the man; the man with ebola touch.
            Infests too much.
            Schtinks linger; up Mike’s friends,
            Mike’s Jew-hate finger goes;
            Then up his nose.

            Mike has his Jew-hate-spreading plan.
            It’s a plan without any elan.
            With ebola, he’ll infect each man;
            Up each brown nose.


            DS Al Coda

      • “Wouldn’t your time be better spent writing something for your own blog which boasts no less than three posts since October 2012?”

        Oh? How many does yours have?

  2. ‘Yes – that is what the BBC apparently defines as “educational content”‘.’

    It’s something you didn’t know … something I didn’t know ….we’ve both been educated … thankyou.

  3. With new 8th verse Duvidl reiterates his epic poem from previous BBC Watch articles:


    A hate-troll, by name Michael Farmer;
    Grandiloquent Jew-baiting charmer.
    That verbal diarrhoea from his trap,
    Would prompt Clarkson to give him a schlap.

    As Michael’s’ diarrhoea oozes out,
    Other Jew-haters’ lips form a pout.
    From his orifices Jew-hate flows;
    While friends make a ring brown-nose-to-nose.

    Spawn of Mike’s psycho-disordered genus
    Are Jew-haters with miniscule penis.
    Even they fear to brown-nose his trap
    In case they catch a dose of his clap.

    Mike’s infection turns into a spate
    With each scrawl, the V.D. of Jew-hate
    But this clap-ridden Jew-hate-troll hollerer
    May really be carrying cholera.

    To his Jew-hate pals’ organs, poor schmocks,
    His cholera spreads like the pox.
    Jew-bait urine-borne scribblings and scrawls
    Have them gripped by the clap-diseased testicles.

    They thought that their Jew-hate disease
    Might be nothing much worse than herpes,
    Clap and cholera, sweet like a cola;
    But no, it makes full-blown ebola.

    As Mike waddles the ebola road,
    Knowing it is the quick road to FOAD,
    Jew-hatred his scrawl so pervades,
    With ebola’ll FOAD faster than AIDS

    Ebola is never discreet,
    Mike screams, “Mum come in from the street.
    Our Jew-hate joy isn’t complete.
    I have whoremaster friends you should meet.”

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