For years the BBC has uncritically promoted the recurrent anti-Israel propaganda produced by the anonymous English political activist known as Banksy.
It hence came as no surprise to see that the lead report on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page on the morning of December 22nd did not concern the tens of thousands of people forced to flee Idlib province in Syria after over 400 airstrikes by Syrian and Russian forces but instead promoted yet another piece of the graffiti artist’s agitprop.
In addition to the report headlined “Banksy ‘nativity scene’ appears in Bethlehem hotel” audiences were offered links both on the ‘Middle East’ page and in the body of the article to two previous examples from the same BBC genre:
The report recycles messaging which has previously appeared in related BBC content.
“A manger scene by British artist Banksy has appeared at a hotel in Bethlehem in the West Bank.
Dubbed the “Scar of Bethlehem”, the work shows Jesus’s manger by Israel’s separation barrier, which appears to have been pierced by a blast, creating the shape of a star.
On Instagram, the artist said the work was a “modified Nativity”.
Israel says the barrier is needed to prevent terror attacks. Palestinians say it is a device to grab land.
The International Court of Justice has called it illegal.”
As is inevitably the case in BBC content relating to the anti-terrorist fence, audiences are not informed that 95% of the structure is made of wire mesh or that the paraphrased ICJ advisory opinion was marred by politicisation. While the article includes the standard employment of the qualifying ‘Israel says’ formula to portray the structure’s purpose, the view presented to BBC audiences excludes any mention of the murders of hundreds of Israeli men, women and children by Palestinian terrorists that preceded the fence’s construction.
Readers are later informed that:
“All the rooms in the Walled Off hotel overlook a concrete section of the controversial West Bank barrier.”
Apparently the BBC is quite happy to employ the word “controversial” in relation to the anti-terrorist fence which has dramatically reduced Palestinian acts of violence but does not find it necessary to use the same terminology to describe the hundreds of terror attacks against civilians which brought about its construction.
Readers also find the following:
“Hotel manager Wissam Salsaa said Banksy had used the Christmas story to show how Palestinians in the West Bank were living.
“It is a great way to bring up the story of Bethlehem, the Christmas story, in a different way – to make people think more,” he said. […]
“Banksy is trying to be a voice for those that cannot speak,” Mr Salsaa added.”
There is of course nothing at all “different” about this latest exploitation of the nativity story for political ends – as the BBC obviously knows full well seeing as two years ago it collaborated with precisely such an initiative. And clearly the notion that the Palestinian people “cannot speak” is ridiculous given the amount of airtime and column space devoted to their views by the Western media- including the BBC.
This latest Christmas exploiting self-conscription to a long-running PR campaign promoting anonymous agitprop intended solely to delegitimise Israel continues to further erode the BBC’s claim of ‘impartiality’.