BBC News ignores Hizballah terror designation development

Last week the BBC News website reported that the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – had decided to declare Hizballah a terrorist organization.GCC & Hizballah

The article states:

“The GCC’s designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation brings it into line with the United States and the European Union, although the latter has only blacklisted the group’s military wing.”

That statement of course provides audiences with only a partial view of Hizballah’s terror designations: in addition to the EU, the so-called ‘military wing’ of Hizballah is also designated by Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The entire organization is now designated by the six GCC member states, the US, Canada, France, the Netherlands and of course Israel.

It is obviously not in the least bit surprising that the following story is currently making waves in Israel.

“Hadash and Balad, two of the four parties that make up the mostly Arab Joint List in the Knesset, published condemnations Monday of Sunni Arab states that last week designated Shiite Hezbollah a terror organization. Both parties argued that the move serves Israel. […]

Hadash, which is helmed by Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh, denounced the blacklisting, which it said came “in the service of occupation and the continued occupation of Arab land.” Hadash backs the continued rule of Assad in Syria.

Balad followed Hadash’s lead Monday, posting a condemnation of the Gulf Cooperation Council on its website on Monday afternoon. “Even if there is criticism of its activities, there is no justification to condemn the organization,” Balad said of Hezbollah.”

The Jerusalem Post adds:

“The Balad faction, whose MKs recently were at the center of controversy for meeting with the families of Palestinians killed while perpetrating terror attacks against Israelis, said in a statement that “the GCC’s (Gulf Cooperation Council) decision to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization pours oil on the sectarian conflict and worsens the ordeal the Islamic nation has been witnessing.”

Balad argued that “no criticism of Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria justifies this dangerous decision, which serves Israel and her allies who do not hide their colonialist aspirations in Palestine, Lebanon and the rest of the Arabic homeland.”

Hadash, led by Joint List head Ayman Odeh, also condemned the decision, attacking Saudi Arabia for spearheading the effort to blacklist Hezbollah.

“After Saudi Arabia failed in its attempt to harness Lebanese society and political forces against Hezbollah by halting its military aid to Lebanon and after the Syrian people have succeeded in keeping Syria united, comes the decision to label Hezbollah as a terrorist organization that proves that Gulf States are totally loyal to neo-colonialist and Zionist forces, the enemies of Arabs.””

Readers may recall that last month the BBC World Service presented audiences with a very one-sided view of the sanctions placed by the Knesset Ethics Committee on three members of the Balad party after that meeting with the families of terrorists. Despite the fact that the same committee is likely to be called to address the topic of this latest support from Hadash and Balad for a terror organization designated by Israel, the BBC has not seen fit to report the story to date.

And – although it rarely misses an opportunity to amplify a speech by Hassan Nasrallah – BBC News also passed up on last month’s story of the Hizballah leader’s threat to deliberately fire missiles at ammonia storage tanks in the city of Haifa and thereby cause mass casualties – including of course among the 10% of Israeli Arab residents of that city.

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An Israeli mayor who does not fit into the BBC narrative

BBC coverage of the current wave of terror in Israel has included little if any reporting on the violent rioting seen in Arab towns and villages around Israel.

“An Arab Israeli man is arrested in Kafr Kanna early Sunday on suspicion of throwing rocks at security forces in late Saturday riots in the village.

Another Arab Israeli, age 17, is arrested in Bu’eine Nujeidat, east of Haifa. He is suspected of setting a tire on fire at the entrance to the nearby Jewish village of Beit Netofa.

A man and a woman were lightly injured late Saturday in a rock-throwing attack near the Galilee Arab vilage of Tour’an.

The two victims were hit by flying glass when their cars’ windows shattered after being struck by stones as they drove on Road 77 near the village.”

Rioting also took place in Um el Fahm, Rahat, Ramle and Nazareth.

“In Nazareth, some 1,500 Israeli Arabs took to the streets “in protest of the Israeli occupation,” Channel 2 reported. The demonstrators also hailed a local Arab woman who attempted to stab an Israeli security guard in a suspected terror attack on Friday. She was shot by security forces and is being treated in hospital.”

Of course the majority of Israeli Arabs have no truck with these violent disturbances and the Mayor of Nazareth went on national radio to make his views clear.

“Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem on Sunday criticized Arab Knesset members for their role in recent violent demonstrations, saying in two separate interviews to the Israeli media that their actions were detrimental to the Arab community.

“I blame the leaders; they are destroying our future, they are destroying coexistence,” Salem, the Muslim mayor of Israel’s largest Arab city, told Army Radio. […]

“We need to find a way to live together. We cannot fight like this. We are damaging ourselves,” he told Israel’s Walla website site.”

And when the head of the Joint Arab List was being interviewed by an Israeli TV channel in Nazareth on October 11th, Mr Salem found a novel way to express his displeasure.

Of course that story does not fit into the BBC’s monochrome narrative of the current wave of violence or its broader coverage of Israeli affairs.


BBC News reports one side of reactions to Israeli PM’s apology

On March 23rd the BBC News website’s Middle East page published an article titled “Netanyahu apologises to Israeli-Arabs over election remarks“. Readers are told that:Netanyahu apology art

“Apologising for his comments he [Netanyahu] said: “I know the things I said a few days ago hurt some Israeli citizens.

“My actions as prime minister, including massive investment in minority sectors, prove the exact opposite.

“I think, similarly, that no element outside the state of Israel should intervene in our democratic processes.””

Readers are not however told to whom the apology was made, in what circumstances or how it was received. The only clue to that comes in the form of the reaction of the leader of the Joint Arab List which the BBC did find fit to promote.

“The Joint List alliance of Arab-dominated parties rejected the apology. […]

Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List – an alliance of Israeli Arab-dominated parties that united for the first time and secured 13 seats at last week’s election, told Israel’s Channel 10: “We do not accept this apology.

“It was to a group of elders and not to the elected leadership of Israel’s Arabs. I want to see actions, how is he going to manifest this apology? Will he advance equality?””

Readers of this article will be unable to put Odeh’s claim that his party represents “the elected leadership of Israel’s Arabs” into its correct context because since the final results of the election were announced, the BBC has not clarified to audiences that in fact a quarter of the Arab MKs in the incoming Knesset represent other parties: Likud, Meretz, Yisrael Beitinu and the Zionist Union. Neither are BBC audiences aware of the fact that the BBC’s monochrome portrayal of Israeli Arab voters does not reflect the complete picture.

Netanyahu’s apology was made at the Prime Minister’s official residence, to which representatives from the various minority communities in Israel were invited. Readers can see for themselves below how his words were received by the invitees – and ponder the fact that whilst the BBC chose not to report that aspect of the story, it did find it necessary to report Ayman Odeh’s reaction and to repeat the White House’s criticism of Netanyahu’s original statement.