Revisiting a BBC journalist’s claim about ‘Palestinian land’

Back in April 2013 we documented some less than impartial Tweets from the then BBC Jerusalem bureau correspondent Wyre Davies.

As was noted here at the time:

“The site of the Al Mahrour (also spelt Al Makhrour) restaurant is situated in Area C where, according to the Oslo accords signed willingly by the representatives of the Palestinian people, Israel has administrative and security control.

The restaurant was constructed without planning permission or the appropriate building permits and hence was the subject of a demolition order issued in 2005 and carried out in May 2012. The restaurant was then rebuilt – also illegally without the necessary planning permission or building permits. The restaurant’s owner/constructor was given the opportunity to appear before the planning committee of the Civil Administration. A second demolition order was issued and that was carried out on April 18th 2013. The electricity line to which Davies refers was also illegally connected.”

The story did not however end there. In late July the High Court of Justice handed down a ruling which – as the Times of Israel reported – brought a long legal battle to a close.

“Israeli security forces demolished a family’s home and restaurant near Bethlehem on Monday, ending a nearly 15 year-long legal battle against the Palestinian locals led by a subsidiary organization of KKL-JNF Jewish National Fund.

The razing of the Cassia family’s compound followed a High Court of Justice ruling last month that rejected the Palestinians’ last ditch petition against the demolition orders.

 The property, located between the villages of Battir and Beit Jala south of Jerusalem, are located in Area C of the West Bank, where Israel exercises civilian and military control.

The Cassia family claims to have owned the property for generations. To prove ownership, they provided Israeli authorities with a so-called malia document, which shows property tax payment from when Jordan controlled the West Bank.

However, the Defense Ministry on several occasions over the past two decades rejected their requests for building permits, saying the tax paper was not enough to prove ownership under Israeli law.

Nonetheless, the family went ahead and built on what long had been agricultural lands in 2005, constructing a large home as well as a restaurant and a farm. The Civil Administration – the Defense Ministry body that authorizes construction in Israel-controlled Area C of the West Bank, issued demolition orders and razed several structures in the decade and a half that followed, but the home and restaurant had remained standing as the Cassias fought the orders in court.

In 2017, Himanuta, a KKL-JNF branch organization known for purchasing lands in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, joined the state’s legal efforts against the Cassias, coming forward with documents showing that they purchased the land in 1969, which the court accepted as legitimate.”

In other words, Wyre Davies’ claim that the restaurant was located “on Palestinian land” has been shown to be inaccurate. That, however, is what happens when BBC correspondents make blanket assumptions based on a politically motivated narrative which inaccurately portrays all locations beyond the 1949 Armistice lines as “occupied” and “Palestinian”.  

Related Articles:

A story BBC audiences are unlikely to be told

Looking beyond the BBC’s simplistic portrayal of Gush Etzion

BBC’s Wyre Davies Tweeting for illegal building

4 comments on “Revisiting a BBC journalist’s claim about ‘Palestinian land’

  1. In other words the world should wake up to the fact that BBC reporters lie through their teeth in order to denigrate Israel. Why are they allowed work permits in Israel?

  2. Sir Winston Churchill described “militant Mahommedanism”
    as “the religion of blood and war”.

    SOURCE: Churchill: Walking With Destiny
    (chapter 2, page 53) by Andrew Roberts, Viking Publishers, year 2018,
    ISBN 1101980990 * ISBN 9781101980996

    The phrase:

    “Islam in a man is like rabies in a dog”
    is often attributed to Sir Winston Churchill.

    However his exact words were:

    “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!

    Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man
    as hydrophobia* in a dog
    , there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.”

    The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
    says that hydrophobia* is another name for rabies.

    SOURCE 1: The River War:
    An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan
    by Winston Churchill in year 1899 CE,
    published by Longmans in two volumes.

    This quote was removed from the condensed year 1902 edition, for fear of antagonizing millions of Muslims that the British Empire ruled at that time.

    SOURCE 2: Churchill: Walking With Destiny
    (chapter 3, page 62) by Andrew Roberts, Viking Publishers, year 2018,
    ISBN 1101980990 * ISBN 9781101980996.

    In March 1921, when Sir Winston Churchill visited Gaza,
    the local Arabs greeted him with frenzied cries of:

    “Down with the Jews! Cut their throats!”

    SOURCE: Churchill: Walking With Destiny
    (chapter 12, page 283) by Andrew Roberts, Viking Publishers, year 2018,
    ISBN 1101980990 * ISBN 9781101980996

    In March 1921, Sir Winston Churchill said to the Arabs of Haifa:

    “It is manifestly right that the scattered Jews
    should have a national centre and a national home
    in which they might be reunited, and where else
    but in Palestine, with which the Jews for 3,000 years
    have been intimately and profoundly associated?”

    SOURCE: Churchill: Walking With Destiny
    (chapter 12, page 283) by Andrew Roberts, Viking Publishers, year 2018,
    ISBN 1101980990 * ISBN 9781101980996

    “…the persecution of the Jews in Germany began in earnest with a Government-orchestrated national boycott of all Jewish businesses and professions, enforced by Brownshirt thugs on the streets who sadistically assaulted and humiliated Jews at every opportunity.

    Churchill’s philo-Semitism, so rare on Tory benches, was invaluable in allowing him to see sooner than anyone else the true nature of the Nazi regime.”

    SOURCE: Churchill: Walking With Destiny
    (chapter 15, page 367) by Andrew Roberts, Viking Publishers, year 2018,
    ISBN 1101980990 * ISBN 9781101980996

    “Churchill had eloquently denounced the notorious [year] 1939 White Paper that had severely restricted Jewish immigration into Palestine.”

    SOURCE: Churchill: Walking With Destiny
    (chapter 23, page 601) by Andrew Roberts, Viking Publishers, year 2018,
    ISBN 1101980990 * ISBN 9781101980996

    On 1944 July 11, Sir Winston Churchill wrote this
    to [Anthony] Eden about the Nazi death camps:

    “There is no doubt that this is probably the greatest and most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world…”

    SOURCE: Churchill: Walking With Destiny
    (chapter 30, page 829) by Andrew Roberts, Viking Publishers, year 2018,
    ISBN 1101980990 * ISBN 9781101980996

  3. ************************************************

    www (dot) IsraelLawCenter (dot) org

    www (dot) TheLawFareProject (dot) org


    www (dot) AntiSemitismTaskForce (dot) org


    www (dot) israelbonds (dot) com/Home (dot) aspx


    www (dot) camera (dot) org

    www (dot) HonestReporting (dot) com

    www (dot) memri (dot) org


  4. Pingback: A familiar face returns to the BBC Jerusalem bureau | BBC Watch

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