On February 20th the BBC News website published a report titled “Palestinian head Abbas calls for international peace summit” on its Middle East page. The BBC’s account of Abbas’ long speech at the UN Security Council on the same day is as follows:
“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called for an international peace conference to tackle the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
In a rare address to the UN Security Council, he said the situation was “no longer bearable” for Palestinians. […]
Mr Abbas told the Security Council that “to solve the Palestine question… it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism”.
He blamed the deadlock in the peace process on the US declaration on Jerusalem, which he said violated international law, and on what he called Israel’s “illegal activities” in the occupied territories.
“We call for the convening of an international peace conference by mid-2018 based on international law and the relevant UN resolutions,” he said.”
As has been the case on previous occasions (see here and here), the BBC’s account did not include the parts of Abbas’ speech that do not fit its chosen narrative. BBC audiences therefore remain unaware of the fact that, as he has done in the past, Abbas alleged in this – for him – relatively restrained address that the Palestinians:
“…are the descendants of the Canaanites that lived in the land of Palestine 5,000 years ago and continuously remained there to this day.”
The BBC also omitted from its account Abbas’ claim that “[t]he Palestinian people built their own cities and homeland and made contributions to humanity and civilization witnessed by the world” and that he negated Jewish history in the region by stating:
“All of this existed before and after the Balfour Declaration issued by the British Government in 1917, a declaration by which those who did not own, giving to those who had no right.”
Abbas also asserted that:
“Our national institutions are recognized by international organizations for their merit and work, which is based on the rule of law, accountability and transparency, and empowerment of women and youth in an environment of tolerance, coexistence of civilizations and nondiscrimination.”
Abbas professed that the Palestinians are “opposed to conventional weapons”, are “committed to fostering a culture of peace, rejection of violence”. The BBC has consistently ignored Abbas’ own incitement to violence and that coming from his party and administration. The issue of payments to terrorists and their families has not received any meaningful BBC coverage.
Abbas also claimed that the Palestinians have “persisted in our efforts to attain peace” while alleging that the failure of past peace efforts is exclusively the result of “the Israeli Government’s intransigence”. He of course refrained from mentioning Arab rejection of the 1947 Partition Plan, the decades of Palestinian terrorism against Jews and Israelis or the fact that a significant number of Palestinian factions reject the existence of Israel in any form whatsoever.
Abbas used the ‘apartheid’ smear against Israel and advanced the false notion of “the 1967 borders”. While on the one hand citing “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force”, he described areas of Jerusalem occupied by Jordan in 1948 as “our capital” and “part of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967”.
In short, the BBC’s presentation of Abbas’ remarks is once again framed in a manner that excludes from audience view anything which may undermine or conflict with the narrative of a peace-seeking Palestinian Authority that the corporation long since elected to promote.