What can BBC audiences expect if the ‘Great Return March’ returns?

The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh reports that Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip intend to renew the ‘Great Return March’ rioting (which was suspended in December) next month.

“Maher Muzher, a member of the Commission of the Great March of Return, a group consisting of various Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, said on Saturday that the organizers are planning mass demonstrations near the border with Israel on March 30 to commemorate the second anniversary of the weekly protests, which also coincides with Land Day. […]

Recently, the organizers of the weekly protests decided to change the group’s name to The National Commission for the Great March of Return and Confronting the Deal, reference to US President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled plan for Mideast peace.

Muzher said that work has begun to prepare for the mass demonstrations. “We will continue to work towards mobilizing a large number of people to participate in the popular and peaceful protest against the occupation,” he said. “We want to send a message to the Israeli occupation that the Great March of Return is continuing in order to achieve our goals and express rejection of the Trump deal which aims to liquidate the Palestinian issue. Our people will win, and the deal will collapse.”

Khaled al-Batsh, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official and member of the commission, said that the weekly protests will resume on March 30. “We have decided to resume the marches of return,” he said. “They will be an important tool to express our rejection of the Trump deal.”

Hamas, meanwhile, called on Palestinians to step up protests against the Trump plan. Hamas’s representative in Lebanon, Ahmed Abdel Hadi, urged Palestinians to launch more protests against the Trump plan in the coming days. “Our heroic people who foiled previous projects will, god willing, also thwart this malicious deal and expel the occupation,” he said in a statement. “We will return to our homes in beloved Palestine, and we will pray at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. Jerusalem is ours, and it is the capital of our state. The whole land is ours, from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.””

As regular readers will be aware, BBC coverage of the weekly ‘Great Return March’ violence between March 2018 and December 2019 was remarkable for its promotion of very specific framing which:

  • Erased the fact that around 80% of those killed during the violent rioting at the border have been shown to be affiliated with various terror organisations – primarily Hamas.
  • Erased or downplays the violent nature of the events by failing to provide audiences with a representative view of the number of attacks using firebombs, airborne incendiary devices, IEDs, grenades and guns, the number of border infiltrations and the number of rockets and mortars launched.
  • Erased or downplayed the violent nature of the events by uniformly describing them as ‘protests’, ‘demonstrations’ or ‘rallies’.
  • Failed to provide adequate context concerning the stated aims of the events including ‘right of return’ and lifting of counter-terrorism measures.
  • Erased or downplayed Hamas’ role in initiating, facilitating, organising, financing, executing and controlling the events and portrayed terrorists as ‘militants’.
  • Cited casualty figures provided by “health officials” without clarifying that they are part of the same terror group that organises the violent rioting.

Even before the ‘Great Return March’ events began in March 2018 the organisers described their aim as being to stage events “that the whole world and media outlets would watch”. The BBC definitely played a part in ensuring that would be the case and with no evidence to indicate that editorial policy on that topic has shifted, if the events do indeed recommence next month, audiences can likely expect more promotion of the same jaded themes and euphemisms alongside the omission of vital information and context.

Related Articles:

BBC News sticks to year-old formula of reporting on ‘Great Return March’

The BBC’s ‘Great Return March’ great disappearing act

Mapping changes in BBC reporting of Palestinian demand for ‘right of return’

BBC News website unquestioningly amplifies UNHRC’s report

BBC Two’s ‘One Day in Gaza’ adheres to existing BBC practice

BBC film exposes falsehoods in two previous reports

15 comments on “What can BBC audiences expect if the ‘Great Return March’ returns?

  1. Nobody expects anything except fanciful fairy stories laced with pro Iranian propaganda from the BBC, they lost credibility years ago.

  2. Oh dear.
    Saying 80% are members of organisations is meaningless. It is not an excuse for murder. Indeed it is an Hamas excuse.

    Where else does one get figures of whom has been killed but from the Health Department? As I have repeatedly said They can give you figures but not explanations as they do not have the expertise or the time.

    Until you realise property stolen is a vital part of any agreement one will never be made.

    Allowing Israeli cities in Palestinian territory is another to ensure no Palestine will ever exist.

    • Oh dear. Self-defense is not murder. Israelis are as entitled to defend themselves and their fellow citizens as much as any one else.

      Maybe you can provide evidence that contradicts the Health Department’s figure’s?

      The mantra of “stolen property” is tired propaganda.

      Allowing Israeli cities in to-be-determined Palestinian territory is a possible solution. You have no evidence that it won’t work. Saying “I say so” only carries weight with you.

      • Oh dear the dreary old self defence argument except the writer Does NOT say that. it is merely they are members of an organisation.

        not Stolen. Tell that to the Palestinians who fled in terror barbecue of Jewish terrorist groups ( now they were the real deal ) and when they came back to their homes had found they were now taken.

        It isn’t any solution merely self delusion on your part. What if there were several Palestinian cities in Israel . how about several french cities in England. It is untenable and a recipe for violence.

        • No, you introduced the term of murder here, when it is in fact self-defense.

          “Stolen property” rests on the premise that the land was Palestinian when in fact the State of Palestine has never existed. And as usual, you ignore the facts that it was Arab armies who told Arabs to leave.

          It’s a possible solution. Thankfully, there are creative people working on this issue who come up with solutions who don’t limit themselves to what has already been tried.

          There is no reason to assume that there will be violence because the hypothetical state of Palestine will be demilitarized. Is what they want, no, but that’s the nature of compromise. Israelis have every right to expect security in an arrangement. That security cannot come from Palestinians. And yes, there are examples of enclaves in other countries e.g., Hong Kong and Macau.

          • the writer does not say self defence. ipsofacto it must be murder.

            Arab armies again Parading people in a village promoting the murders and poisoning the wells had no impact. Deniers always deny.

            Hong Kong is a country sport.
            As I said it is absurd as having french cities in England.
            Could have only been thought up by someone who has no expertise of the area.

          • The writer does not address Israeli response to Palestinian aggression, only the Palestinian aggression. You have inappropriately introduced the concept of murder.

            As usual, you also provide no proof that the Arab armies had not impact. I have shown that evidence in the past. As you say, denier also deny. That is your hypocrisy.

            Hong Kong was a British colony and it is now governed by China. Under the British, it reached a very high level of economic growth, despite being in the territory of another country. And it is not that much larger than a city. Perhaps you could show your expertise in determining what that threshold is. Or perhaps admit that you have no expertise.

          • Oh dear the writer has missed an important point. I very much doubt it. Never has the writer said the Palestinians were killed because they were attempting to kill someone.

            Thus ipsofacto the killing of the Palestinians was murder. .

            I have provided proof. you simply dismiss it.. Very much like a holocaust denier ironically enough.

            Australia was a colony but it was also a country. Funny about that.

          • Oh dear. Let’s assume that the Israelis are guilty because we have to assume that the Palestinians are innocent.

            You haven’t provided proof of anything. That would entail linking to evidence on a credible website or some other credible reference, not because “I say so.” I, on the other hand, have done just that. Videos of Arabs retelling how the Arab armies had told them to leave.

            Your comment about Australia shows that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Can you cite problems of British nationals traveling to and from Hong Kong and often China?

          • sushine learn your own history.
            Jewish terrorist groups murdered hundreds of Palestinian. villagers of Deir Yassin were paraded through Jerusalem.

            Just a coincicdence people fled with only the clothes they had on them for fear of their lives. As i said when they came back to their homes later they were traken !

            Colonies can be countries .Australia was ,India was. I do not have to. It was a country.

          • Learn your history yourself. Yes, there was Jewish terrorism and Deir Yassin happened, but so did the Arab armies who ordered Arabs to leave. You also ignore the fact that there was plenty of Arab terrorism against Jews, so it cannot be stated that Arabs fled because of Jewish terrorism. They may have fled because of conflict, but omitting these other aspects shows that you are not objective in this regard.

            What do you think people would do if an army was advancing, have a tea party?

            When they came back? So, there is no justification for a right of return then.

            Hong Kong was a British colony in Chinese territory and there were no issues as you describe.

          • Goebbels would be proud.

            People fled with only the clothes on their back. Israeli authorities highlighted the ‘perils’ of staying where they were such as parading in Jerusalem people terrorists had taken.

            When they came back to their homes when they thought it safe in less than a year they found their property taken.
            It is no wonder Christians ( they oh so few) listen to sermons on Amos and Micah a lot.

            Yes Hong kong is a good example. It was chinese and went back to the Chinese. A very good example.

          • Israel belongs to the Jews, it says so in the Quran, the Old Testament and the Torah, live with it….. Palestinian Christian population of Bethlehem 1975, 67%, Palestinian population of Bethlehem 2015, 6% forced out by dictatorial Islamic Palestinian Authority rule or escaped to safer lands in the West

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