BBC silent on British link to incitement of Palestinian children

A month ago the annual ‘Palestine Festival for Childhood and Education’ was held in the Gaza Strip. As the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported, the five-day festival’s opening event was attended by a representative from the Gaza office of a British charity.

“On April 3, 2016, a ceremony was held at the University College of Applied Sciences in Gaza to announce the beginning of the Annual Palestine Festival for Childhood and Education. The opening ceremony was attended by college’s rector, Dr. Refaat Rustom, members of the faculty, Ahmed Hawajri, director of guidance and special education in the department of education in the Gaza Strip, Imad al-Ghalayini, representing the Bank of Palestine, Mahmoud Lubbad, Interpal representative in Gaza, and representatives of children’s organizations throughout the Gaza Strip. The festival began on April 3 and ran until April 7, 2016, and organized various activities for children throughout the Gaza Strip.” [emphasis added]

Lubbad’s participation is explained by the fact that the British charity Interpal co-sponsored the festival.

“The high point of the festival during Palestinian Children’s Day on April 5. One of the events was held in Khan Yunis, and was attended by many children and their teachers. Children came on stage in groups and put on shows they had prepared for the audience. There were dances and songs as well as displays with themes of hatred and violence against Israel, evidence of the indoctrination received by the younger Palestinian generation. The displays were accompanied by songs with themes of hatred and violence.

Three of the plays put on by the children were the following:

  1. A play in which a very young, veiled girl stabs an “IDF soldier” with a knife – In response the “soldiers” shoot her and she falls motionless to the ground. The play was related to the release of Palestinian prisoners (see below), and glorified the stabbing attacks which are a prominent form of attack in the current Palestinian terrorist campaign.
  2. A play showing a “Palestinian prisoner” incarcerated by “IDF soldiers.” A masked child wearing a uniform “shoots and kills the IDF soldiers” and releases the “prisoner”. The play reflects the Hamas’ efforts to abduct Israelis as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel.
  3. A display put on by another group of children showing an “IDF soldier” holding an Israeli flag. A little girl knocks him over, steps on him and picks up a Palestinian flag. Then she “releases” a Palestinian prisoner.”

As can clearly be seen in this video of clips from those shows, the stage backdrop displayed the Israel-erasing Interpal logo.

Interpal logo Gaza childrens festival

When approached by the Daily Mail, an Interpal representative stated that:

“…it did not support the play but instead ‘hosted some activities in Gaza City, as part of the larger event’, adding that it does not condone violence.”

And:

“Our logo was used in various materials for the festival, as we held our own activities as part of the larger umbrella of the festival in Gaza City,’ a spokesperson said. ‘We did not support this particular play and did not have any involvement with it.”

Ten years ago the BBC’s ‘Panorama’ made a very good programme about Interpal titled ‘Faith, Hate and Charity’ which opened with footage of Palestinian children performing similar ‘amateur dramatics’. Following that programme an investigation into Interpal was carried out (not for the first time) by the Charity Commission.

“Included in a wealth of material which Panorama passed to the Commission was video evidence of young girls at an event organised by one of Interpal’s partner charities being encouraged to sing: “We all sacrifice ourselves for our country” and “… we answer your call and make of our skulls a ladder to your glory, a ladder.”

Another clip shows girls dancing to a tune with the lyrics: “Fasten your bomb belt oh would-be martyr and fill the square with blood so that we get back our homeland.”

A woman, who was organizing another event was seen taking the microphone and telling the children: “To martyrs in every time and place… To the rich blood and to the wounds which have drawn the identity of Islamic land.”

In paragraph 60 of its report, the Commission acknowledged that the material presented to it “seemed to indicate that certain local partners funded by the Charity promoted terrorist ideology or activities amongst their beneficiaries.”

Despite that Panorama report, Interpal continued to function and apparently very little has changed in the last decade – apart the BBC’s level of interest in the story, which it has not covered to date.

Related Articles:

UK government’s MB review shows 2014 BBC report misleads

Extremist links of charities ignored in BBC reports

BBC Business covers one terror banking story, ignores another more close to home

BBC College of Journalism “associations”

 

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BBC College of Journalism “associations”

The BBC Academy’s College of Journalism was opened in 2005 in the wake of the Hutton Judicial Inquiry with the aim of providing “training for the entire BBC editorial staff”. Its website claims that it “focuses on best practice in core editorial skills, and offers an overview of specialist areas as well as legal and ethical issues”.

On that website one can find plenty of evidence of collaboration between the BBC College of Journalism and the Frontline Club in London, where events are frequently advertised as being “in association with the BBC College of Journalism” and BBC employees frequently appear. Whether or not that “association” has financial aspects is unclear. 

FLC 1

FLC 2

But not only mainstream media journalists appear at the Frontline Club. As the CST recently reminded us, some speakers with decidedly dubious connections are given a platform there too.

“Tonight [June 12th 2013], Ibrahim Hewitt (pro-Palestinian Islamist), David Hearst (senior Guardian writer) and Tim Llewellyn (ex-BBC Middle East correspondent), will be “critiquing the media’s approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict”. The venue is London journalist haunt, the Frontline Club. It will be chaired by Mark McDonald, a founder of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.

Hewitt is central to this meeting. He is senior editor of Islamist news outfit, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) and runs Interpal, a pro-Palestinian charity. In 2010, CST stated that MEMO’s beliefs about “Zionist” control of media and politicians, made it “unsuitable for Labour MPs and senior Guardian personnel to work with”.”

As noted above, as well as being involved with MEMO, Ibrahim Hewitt is also a trustee of the Hamas-supporting ‘charity’ Interpal which is proscribed by the United States, Australia and Israel. He is seen in the picture below on the left, together with Essam Mustafa of Interpal, visiting Hamas PM Haniyeh in Gaza. 

“In July 2006, an investigation by BBC Panorama claimed that Interpal was providing funds to a number of charities in the  Palestinian territories that were affiliated with Hamas. Some of these charities were even run by senior Hamas members. The investigation uncovered video clips of young girls from the al Khalil al Rahman Girls’ Society, which had received money from Interpal. The children sang: “We all sacrifice ourselves for our country. We answer your call and make of our skulls a ladder to your glory, a ladder” … “Fasten your bomb belt, o would-be martyr and fill the square with blood so that we get back our homeland.” “

 So here’s a question for BBC licence fee payers: do they consider it appropriate for the BBC College of Journalism to maintain “associations” with an establishment which provides a platform (and even a MEMO organised book launch) for someone who belongs to what it knows itself to be a fundraiser for a terrorist organization