BBC News misrepresents BDS campaign yet again

On May 8th the BBC News website’s Europe page ran an article titled “Copenhagen buses burned in ‘anti-Israel attack’“.Copenhagen buses art

Whilst the details of the incident presented in the BBC’s report are consistent with those presented by other media outlets, it continues the BBC’s practice of misrepresenting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) as “pro-Palestinian”.

“Last week, the city’s transit authority ordered the removal of advertisements by a pro-Palestinian group calling for a boycott of Israeli goods.”

The report includes a description of the adverts promoting BDS but fails to inform readers that they also featured a series of inaccurate maps frequently used in anti-Israel propaganda. Whether or not the BBC’s description of ‘Charlotte and Lizzie from Hellerup’ as “two Palestinian women” is in fact accurate is unclear.

“The notices, placed on 35 buses across Copenhagen, showed two Palestinian women opposite the words: “Our conscience is clean! We neither buy products from the Israeli settlements nor invest in the settlement industry.”

But within four days, the bus company, Movia, removed the adverts, saying they were “unnecessarily offensive”.

Movia added that it had “received a significant number of inquiries regarding the Danish Palestinian Friendship Association’s campaign against Israeli settlements.””

Copenhagen buses advert

Clearly readers will be unable to comprehend the bus company’s decision to remove the adverts because, as usual, they are not informed of the aims of the political campaign promoted by the non-transparently funded ‘Danish-Palestinian Friendship Association’ – despite the fact that a link to the organisation’s website appears in the BBC’s report.  

Whilst the BDS campaign’s political crusade to bring about the demise of Jewish self-determination by means of delegitimisation and demonization is not infrequently directly or indirectly amplified in BBC programming, the corporation inevitably refrains from informing its audiences exactly for what its ‘one-stater’ supporters are campaigning.

“With pressure imposed by the international community through a BDS campaign a la anti-Apartheid campaign which brought Apartheid South Africa to an end, we believe that Israel itself can be transformed into a secular democratic state after the return of 6 million Palestinian refugees who were ethnically cleansed in 1948, a state for ALL of its citizens…therefore, we think that one of the major tools of the struggle towards a secular democratic state is BDS.” Haider Eid, 2009

“So BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state…I view the BDS movement as a long-term project with radically transformative potential… the success of the BDS movement is tied directly to our success in humanizing Palestinians and discrediting Zionism as a legitimate way of regarding the world.” Ahmed Moor, 2010

“BDS represents three words that will help bring about the defeat of Zionist Israel and victory for Palestine.” Ronnie Kasrils, 2009

In the interest of adherence to its editorial guidelines on accuracy and impartiality, the BBC needs to ensure that an accurate description of the aims of the BDS campaign is a standard inclusion in any report which relates to that campaign’s activities or features interviews with its supporters.

27 comments on “BBC News misrepresents BDS campaign yet again

  1. Meanwhile, the Mirror newspaper yesterday reported that BBC child rapist, the late Sir Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011 without being exposed, attacked a woman in 2008 in his paedo-caravan parked on BBC premises. The woman reported it to police who appear to have hushed it up rather than indicting him.

    Duvidl’s suggestion to new culture secretary Johnny “beeb-smasher” Whittingdale MP: find out from that Dame Janet Smith (whose 2012 BBC-commissioned and TV-taxpayer-funded report into the Sir Jimmy scandal has still not been published yet) who at the BBC was told about this attack by the police and did nothing. Then publish the names of everyone involved under Parliamentary privilege.

    • NB. To assist BBC Watch readers generally, in 2008 the director-general of the BBC was Mark Thompson (now working in the US as CEO of the New York Times Company) and the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was Sir Ian (now Lord) Blair.

  2. Hi from Germany. A Jew myself, my father one of the first pilots in the Israeli Airforce (even before 1948) I can say I boycott Israeli products ONLY because of Israel’s policies against Palestinians. I am not alone. In fact I have not met or spoken with anyone who even considers boycotting Israel for any other reason than that. I believe paranoia is getting the better of you here.

    As for your maps, it might help one better understand the Israel-Palestine conflict if you looked at it from the beginning, in 1920, in the British Palestine Mandate, when Palestinians (the people living in Palestine) accounted for over 90% of the population, and included Jordan, 80% of the territory. Taken off any future negotiating table to cover for the British Sykes-Picot lie, Jews and Palestinians were left to haggle over the remaining 20%, which in the end Israel received 3/4’s of, that is 15% of British Palestine for Israel, 5% for the Palestinian Arab State.

    One can clearly understand Zionist frustration and anger at seeing Jordan, 80% of Eretz Israel, snapped from their grasp, for some a betrayal. What I can’t understand is Jews who can’t understand Palestinian frustration and anger at being 90% of the population and only offered 5% of the original Palestine Mandate.

    You can say this was just another example of Palestinian’s “missing an opportunity”. But come on, 90% of the people offered 5% of the land, no people on this planet would accept that. That they fought was a given. Human nature. The criminals are the ones who put them in that position. And that was not Israel.

    As for the map showing what Israel has “given up”, it is territory acquired through war, which under international law wasn’t Israel’s to keep, or was occupied territory Israel shouldn’t have been in in the first place.

    I, and my father, could understand Palestinian anger and frustration, why they fought. After decades of suffering, now that they’re willing to accept their lousy 5%, I say Israel should get off their land, return to internationally recognized borders, and let the Palestinian’s have the State the international community intended them to have.

    Forget Eretz Israel. Be happy with what you have. It’s pretty damn good.

    • But, Steven, look what happened when Gaza was evacuated…..You seem to ignore the end-game of the Palestinian leaders and just to wake you up here’s a quote from last month:
      “PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement reiterated the same message – that there is no room for Israel next to “Palestine” – by stating:
      “Palestine means the entire national land, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea
      The_land_is_for_us Palestine”
      [Facebook, “Fatah – The Main Page,” April 8, 2015]”

      Very encouraging isn’t it, Steven? So simple, just move out and all will be well.

      When I was kid living in Scotland I was told to go back to Palestine…….

      BTW How’s it going in Germany with the rise of anti-semitism in Europe?

      • What happened in Gaza was the Palestinians felt the peace process was going no where, they kept losing land, so abandoned Fatah and voted democratically for Hamas, which led to punishing sanctions and the blockade, an act of war under international law.

        Send me the link for your Abbas quote. The PA today is demanding pre 1967 borders. I never heard their official position was the whole pie, no room for Israel. That’s absurd, although no doubt some Palestinians, like Israeli’s, would like the whole pie. Anyway, send the link.

        There aren’t many Jews in Germany for Germans to know. All the Germans get is news on the Israel-Palestine conflict. They do obviously feel an obligation to Israel, and recognize the right to defend itself, but don’t see how occupying more land and building new settlements has anything to do “security”. For example when the U.S. wanted to protect itself from Mexicans it also built a fence, but built it along their internationally recognized borders. It didn’t encroach on Mexican territory and establish new towns.

        Clearly there’s an historic expansionist, biblical element in Israel.

        Having said that, Germans aren’t the only ones who recognize Palestinians right to defend themselves. That the international community has done absolutely nothing to reign in Israel can make people resentful, which I believe is falsely interpreted as anti-semitism.

        In the end it is simple. Return to pre 1967 borders, let the Pakestinians have their 5%, and win the sympathy of the whole world. If the Palestinians step out of line then Israel can always smash them again. Who could complain then?

          • Thanks. Any links to the original PA TV source other than the Zionist link you sent?
            I couldn’t track any.

            Even if what you stated is true, I’ve already stated my dismay at how so many Jews cannot fathom Palestinian anger and frustration at being offered only 5% of the original British Mandate, while at the same time being the vast majority of the population. Again, no people on earth would accept that. None. Can you? You can call their hatred an “ideology”, but certainly not without grounds. Can you not see, after the last 100 years, why they might be hateful?

            Clearly, after 100 years of conflict, terror from both sides, and misery (mostly on the Palestinian side), animosities are deeply entrenched, only festering as the injustice and carnage persists.

            And for every Palestinian who believes Israel is occupying their territory one could site a Jew who believes Palestinians are occupying their territory. For every Palestinian you can find that envisions a Greater Palestine one could site a Jew who envisions a Greater Israel, like the Yinon Plan. Such finger pointing and empty rhetoric does nothing to remedy the conflict.

            As for Imperialism, I believe it to mean the politics of Empire, in this case the British Empire. There can be no doubt the Zionist lobby in the West had more clout than the Palestinian, who by the way didn’t have much clout in the Arab world either. Jordan King Abdullah, a minority Hashemite, despised the Palestinians more than the Jews. Let’s face it, the Palestinians (the people historically residing in Palestine) were stuck between an Israeli rock and a Hashemite hard place, a result of British real-politik, i.e. Imperialism. That was made perfectly clear when the first British Govenor of Jerusalem, Sir Ronald Storrs, shrugged off the mess they had created by writing: “It (Israel) will form for England a little loyal Jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism.” Jolly good. Imperialism 101.

            You’d have to be pretty naive or indoctrinated not to see the obvious, not to mention pointing a finger at a Palestinian for mentioning Israel was a product of Imperialism, the politics of the British Empire. That the Imperialists that created this mess in the first place are doing absolutely nothing to remedy it today is yet further proof of that. Israel is still the West’s “Ulster Brigade”.

            The question is, are Jews going to risk it all on Eretz Israel and waning international and Imperial support, or accept international law and Palestinian desires to create a State on the lousy 5% offered them in 1947, after decades of hell something they’re finally willing to accept.

            Like I already said, if they step out of line after that Israel can always bomb them into the stone age again, but with one difference. International opinion will be on Israel’s side this time.

            Forget Eretz Israel. A pipe dream.

          • The quote is from Fatah’s own Facebook page.

            Search for it yourself.

            Any links to the original PA TV source other than the Zionist link you sent?

            Even if what you stated is true

            Why shouldn’t it be?

            Are you calling me a liar?

            Good luck being a Jew under Arab rule!


    • SHAME ON YOU. Perhaps living in Germany has affected your ability to research and understand truth from fiction. Everything that you say is like reading the BDS manifesto and you have absolutely no understanding of the situation that Israel lives in day to day. You are free of course to air your antisemitic views but maybe find a more suitable outlet like, say, electronic intifada or the International Solidarity Movement. These so-called organisations will be delighted to have you on board.

        • I did check it out, on Facebook too. No “Fatah – The Main Page on Facebook, nor “This Land Is For Us Palestine”, nor any original PA TV site anywhere else I could reference. Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are on Facebook, but only as Wikipedia entries, no official statements from either, only member comments. If I’m missing something please point it out.

          if I’m not missing anything then you are either full of shit or intentionally lying.

          And you still didn’t answer my question, can you understand the Palestinians being angry at being 70% of the population in 1947 (over 90% in the 1920’s), and only being offered 5% of the Palestine Mandate? Given away by a foreign power that some might say had no business being there in the first place? Can you understand they, like any people on this planet, would fight and resist that absurd offer?

      • I am very well aware of Israel’s position today. With the help of the West a wealthy, highly developed industrial and miltary society with all the rights and privledges afforded such a great country. I have no problem with that. I only have a problem with it stealing other peoples land and brurtalising them when they resist. Have a security threat? Build a fence ALONG YOUR INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED BORDER, like the U.S. did. And unlike you I find it a waste of time preaching to the choir,;would rather preach to sinners, like those, I guess like you, who beleive in stealing for a Greater Israel.

          • Trombone. And if you turn on your T.V. and see what’s become of Libya, and the mass proliferation of Islamo-Fascism through the region as a result of our aggression, you might lament too. But I suppose anyone who supported Nelson Mandela, Palestinian rights and African unity had to go. ..By the way, check out the socio-economic data on Gaddafi’s Libya on the U.S. State Department and C.I.A. Fact Book websites.

          • Some Italians like to say of Mussolini that at least under his rule the trains ran on time…

          • Oh Steven, to be silly enough once to write such nonsense is bad enough, but to repeat it.

            “Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error”

      • And I’ve done enough research to know most Jews 100 years ago were against recreating Israel, because they were afraid radical Zionist nut jobs would hijack the country politically and give Jews a bad name, just like they are today. Mission accomplished. Bravo.

    • A wiser person than I commented: Either people choose to believe lies, or they choose not to believe the truth. I suggest you read some history and learn that following WWI the Great Allied Powers listened to both Arabs and Jews at the Conference at San Remo, 1920. The Arabs were granted full political rights and were given the Mandates of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It is correct that Churchill, as Colonial Secretary, illegally took 78% of the land set aside for the Jewish National Home in order to create the Emirate of Trans-Jordan, Later the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Hashemites were a tribe from the Arabian Peninsula and it could have been the Saud Kingdom of Jordan.
      The Jews were given political rights via the Mandate for Palestine. The only people called Palestinians were the Jews. To call an Arab a Palestinian was an insult which was why the Arabs refused to fight for the British. Accordingly, the Jews, under international law which has never been abrogated, were and are entitled to settle anywhere within the Jewish National Home. The Jews lost 78% of their home because of British duplicity. In 1947, the UN General Assembly decided that the remaining 22% of Jewish land should be divided between the Jews and create yet another Arab state. The UN GA had no legal right to make this decision. In the end, it mattered not because while the Jews agreed, the Arabs rejected the idea of the 23rd Arab state. This is because the Arabs do not want another state: they want to destroy the Jewish State.
      The basic fact remains: Arabs occupy 5.4 million square miles. Israel is situated in approximately 11,800 square miles. Moreover, the Palestinian Arabs were not indigenous. As a result of Zionists buying land at high prices from the Ottoman Emperor, Arabs from Syria, Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula moved because of the improvement in socio-economic conditions.
      The Treaty of San Remo, 1922, the Mandates granted by the League of Nations are still in force today and enshrined in Article 80 of the UN Charter. Arabs were granted full political rights within their own countries. The Jews received full political rights in the Mandate for Palestine. Just as Jews have no political rights in the Arab Mandates, so the Arabs do not have political rights in the Jewish homeland.
      For a full and unbiased opinion on international law, see the French-Canadian Dr Jacques Gauthier whose doctorate from Geneva is based on who has legal rights to Jerusalem (and therefore Israel): the Jewish people. The only people who ever had sovereign rights: the Jews. The first time, from 1000 BCE to the destruction of the First Jewish Temple in Jerusalem; second, from the return of the Babylonian Exile (and by the way, Jews never left Judea and Samaria) to the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple by the Romans in 70 CE; and third, from May 1948.
      The only time Jerusalem was ever divided was through the illegal occupation by Jordan and Egypt 1949-1967. Finally, in a defensive war, the country under attack (Israel) is entitled to keep the land. One day following the Declaration of the State of Israel, 5 Arab Armies (led by Britain and trained by Nazis) attacked 600,000 Jews. The world watched believing the Jews would be killed. In 1967, Egypt and Jordan were warned not to go to war. Israel won – and the first thing Israel did – they sued for peace even giving the Wakf control over the Mosques on the Temple Mount – the holiest site for Jews. In return, the Arabs voted at Khartoum: NO to negotiation; NO to recognition; and NO to peace.

      • The only Palestinian’s in Palestine were Jewish? Wow. Who were all those people, who according to the last Ottoman census, accounted for over 90% of the population in their Palestine Mandate? What were the Palestinian Arab Conferences then? A series of congresses held by the Palestinian Arab population, they were organized by a network of local Muslim-Christian Associations in the British Mandate of Palestine, led by the Mufti of Haifa. They existed. Not invited to San Remo or Cairo, according to British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel as not being representative, the voice of the majority Arab population in the Palestine Mandate was silenced. I believe they were silenced, and continued to be ignored today, for the simple reason Palestinians, the Arab population residing in Palestine under Ottoman then British Rule, were, and continue to be superfluous to Western Imperial planners, not to mention Israel. They serve no purpose, and thus are ignored. That might be fine for you, and the Brit’s, French, Italians and Japanese at San Remo or Cairo, but back in Palestine violence only worsened as their voices were ignored. I believe you’re making the same mistake as the British, an Arab is an Arab. The fact is Faisal and Abdullah despised the Palestinians more than the Jews, they were a minority ruler fearing their unruly majority. They wanted “to be the rider, not the horse”. The British didn’t know what they were doing, and you don’t know what you’re talking about. The Palestinians were just as angry about losing Jordan to a Hashemite as they were losing Palestine to the Jews.
        Don’t get me wrong, I think Israel is great, and happy it exists. I just don’t understand people who can’t understand why the Palestinians, the majority population of Ottoman and British Palestine, would reject 5% of Palestine when they were by then 70% of the population, and take up arms. It’s normal. No people, anywhere on this planet would accept such a raw deal. The sooner you accept that fact the better for everyone. Citing their rejection as “another opportunity to miss an opportunity” is simply asinine.
        You and I both know the creation of Jordan dashed much of the Zionist dream. The indigenous population of Palestine weren’t happy either. 70 years down the road, as the Palestinian’s are finally worn down and willing to accept their lousy 5%, I say give it to ’em. Forget Eretz Israel. Be happy with what you have. Get out of the occupied territories and give peace a chance.

      • I have more news for you, under international law no nation is entitled to acquire land through warfare. If Israel is allowed to be the exception it is because it serves an Imperial geo-political function, nothing to do with law or justice. On the contrary, it only incites violence, like we see today.

  3. Oh, things are better now that Gaddafi is gone. What an intellectual cesspool I stumbled on to here

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