BBC News, PA Balfour agitprop and British history

BBC amplification of the latest pseudo-legal agitprop from the vexatious Palestinian Authority came in the form of an article which appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on July 26th under the misleading title “Palestinians plan to sue Britain over 1917 Balfour act“.PA Balfour Decl art

The Balfour Declaration was of course a statement of British government policy – not an “act” as this headline states.

Later on in the article, readers were further misled by an inaccurate portrayal of the end of British administration of the Mandate for Palestine.

“Israel declared its independence in 1948 after the UK mandate expired.”

The mandate did not ‘expire‘: the British government chose to terminate its administration of the mandate originally granted by the League of Nations.

Remarkably, the article omitted any mention of British restrictions on Jewish immigration to Mandate Palestine before, during and after the Second World War.

“Jewish immigration to Palestine accelerated from the 1920s to the 1940s, latterly spurred by Nazi persecution and the Holocaust in Europe. The growth of the Jewish population was opposed by Palestine’s Arab community, which rejected the eventual establishment of a Jewish state.”

The article provided uncritical amplification to spurious claims made by a PA representative:

“Palestinian FM Riad Malki said the document led to mass Jewish immigration to British Mandate Palestine “at the expense of our Palestinian people”. […]

Speaking at an Arab League summit in Mauritania on Monday, Mr Malki said the UK was responsible for all “Israeli crimes” since the end of the mandate in 1948.

“Nearly a century has passed since the issuance of the Balfour Declaration in 1917,” he was quoted as saying by the Palestinian Wafa news agency.

“And based on this ill-omened promise hundreds of thousands of Jews were moved from Europe and elsewhere to Palestine at the expense of our Palestinian people whose parents and grandparents had lived for thousands of years on the soil of their homeland.””

The article refrained from clarifying to readers that this latest PA stunt does not come out of the blue and it failed to provide them with the relevant context of the long record of denial of Jewish history by official Palestinian bodies, as ‘The Tower’ explains:

“Article 20 of the charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization, whose chairman Mahmoud Abbas is also president of the Palestinian Authority, declared that “The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood.”

In 1993, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat promised, as part of the Oslo peace process, to revoke elements of the charter that denied Israel’s right to exist as part of the Oslo peace process. After initially failing to keep his commitment, Arafat specified in a 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton that Article 20 would be among those that would be revoked. In December 1998, the Palestinian legislature officially voted to revoke those sections of the charter that were inconsistent with the Palestinians’ commitment to peace. By questioning the legality of the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinian Authority may be in violation of its international commitments to peace.”

This latest PA agitprop is of course unlikely to do more than create a few headlines. Nevertheless, if the BBC is going to give it amplification, it should at least also inform audiences about the real aim of an exercise that highights the redundancy of the BBC’s repeated promotion of the notion that ‘settlements’ and ‘occupation’ are the “obstacles to peace”.

Obviously too, the UK’s national broadcaster should be capable of presenting its funding public with an accurate account of Britain’s role in that particular chapter of history.

Related Articles:

BBC’s Connolly contorts Israeli – and British – history to fit his political narrative

BBC’s Kevin Connolly erases Iranian patronage of terror, distorts history

BBC World Service misleads on Jewish immigration to Mandate Palestine

Omissions, distortions and inaccurate history in BBC WW1 ‘educational’ feature

How does the BBC define ‘pro-Palestinian’?

BBC R4 presents jaundiced account of San Remo conference

 

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9 comments on “BBC News, PA Balfour agitprop and British history

  1. If the PLO goes ahead with this ridiculous law suit it will make itself look doubly ridiculous. As you say, the Balfour Declaration was a hint of British government policy in 1918, it took the form of a private letter to Lord Rothschild and was superseded by a similar letter promising Palestine to the Arabs! Short of digging up the remains of Arthur Balfour and putting them on trial, there is not much to be done. And if it sets a precedent, the Germans could sue over the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and so it goes on, it would be endless.

  2. The mandate did not ‘expire‘: the British government chose to terminate its administration of the mandate originally granted by the League of Nations.

    It is quite scandalous how a person or group of persons, in the BBC, continue trying to rewrite factual history.

  3. Meanwhile, here is Robert Spencer’s “Jihadwatch” blog take on the corrupt BBC’s misleading coverage of the recent Syrian jihadi suicide bomber in Germany.

    BBC Watch readers will remember that Robert, together with “Atlas Shrugs” blogger Pamela Geller, have been banned from entering the UK by current British Prime Minister Teresa May, when Home Secretary.

    https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/07/bbc-reuters-paint-jihad-suicide-bomber-as-syrian-migrant-killed-in-german-blast

    • Yes, well, we have been misgoverned by lunatics, ignoramuses, idiots and knaves of all kinds for many years now.

  4. Pingback: 07/27 Links Pt2: Protesters torch Israeli flag outside DNC; Lethal Journalism Made Simone Zimmerman – 24/6 Magazine

  5. Pingback: More ‘one man’s terrorist’ from the BBC | BBC Watch

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