Omission and agitprop on BBC R4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’

h/t BF

The September 22nd edition of the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Woman’s Hour‘ included an interview with an Israeli-Arab film director who was also featured in an article that appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page between September 3rd and 21st inclusive.

“‘In Between’ tells the story of three young Arab women living together in Tel Aviv, Israel. Away from the constraints of their families, they find themselves caught in between the free lives they want to lead and the restrictions still imposed on them. The first major film by Palestinian director Maysaloun Hamoud has been praised by international critics but also caused controversy, Maysaloun has had a fatwa issued against her. She joins Jenni to discuss.”

During the interview (from 24:20 here) listeners heard two further references to that ‘fatwa’ from presenter Jenni Murray.

25:07: “The writer and director Maysaloun Hamoud had a religious fatwa issued against her.”

31:03: “Now the film, we know, has attracted controversy about its theme. A fatwa was issued and I know there’ve been death threats. What impact is that having on you?”

At no point were the programme’s British listeners informed what a ‘fatwa’ is, who issued the one concerned or what was demanded by the film’s opponents – as explained by Ynet:

“Upon its release, it [the film] was heavily criticized in Umm al-Fahm, including by the city’s mayor.

Located in northern Israel, Umm al-Fahm is one of the country’s largest Arab cities with around 50,000 residents and serves as a stronghold for the Islamic Movement. The film was banned from screening in the city.

Right after the film was first screened in Israel, the mayor of Umm al-Fahm Sheikh Khaled Hamdan called Hamoud a heretic during a speech delivered in a mosque in January. Soon after, the Higher Islamic Council issued a fatwa, a religious Islamic ruling that determined that Hamoud was harming Islam and that the film was sinful. […]

The Umm al-Fahm city hall also sought a countrywide ban on In Between, and wrote a letter to the Israeli Ministry of Culture demanding that the film be removed from all Israeli theaters, describing it “offensive to the religion of Islam and to the residents of Umm al-Fahm in particular.””

Similarly, when Jenni Murray asked Hamoud about criticism of the source of funding for the film by “some people”, listeners were not told that the criticism came from supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign or that the film fund in question is financed by the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport.

29:45 Murray: “Now I know you were funded from Israeli film funds. Why were some people critical of that?”

Murray made no effort to question or clarify the claims of ‘discrimination’ and ‘tenth class citizen’ included in Hamoud’s response.

Hamoud: “I also ask why some people critical on that when they don’t remember [an] important thing: that I am a Palestinian [but] in the same time I am a Israeli citizen. I pay taxes, I have all my duties to the state that I deserve to get back – OK – as a citizen. But because I am a Palestinian citizen, so I am not second, even third or – I don’t know – tenth citizen class for the Israeli and we are discriminated [against] so we don’t really get our budgets that we deserve so I need to take not just that money that I took for my movie. I need – we as Palestinian artists, filmmakers or not just filmmakers – need to get our what we deserve so I see all the people who criticize this as really non-connected to reality.”

Neither did Murray bother to provide listeners with relevant information which would help them put Hamoud’s politicised portrayal of ‘history’ into its appropriate perspective.

28:33 Hamoud: “The Palestinian cinema is still so young. We cannot actually forget that we as a Palestinian had a very big, big, dramatic point in our history – it called the Naqba, OK – ’48 in creating of Israel. And let me say [it] smashed all the Palestinian society so after that dramatic historical – crucial, actually – point you start to build society from zero, from scratches [scratch], and not just in the culture aspect: in everything.”

In other words, while listeners to this item did not get a proper explanation of the religious and political sources of opposition to the film and its funding, they did hear completely unchallenged, one-sided, politicised portrayals of Israeli society and history that have considerably less relevance to the topic of discussion. 

 

 

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Northern Islamic Movement still not getting BBC coverage

During the last two weeks of July the BBC News website published seventeen reports concerning the July 14th terror attack at Lions Gate and the events which followed that incident.

Reviewing BBC ‘historical record’ of the July 2017 Temple Mount story – part one

Reviewing BBC ‘historical record’ of the July 2017 Temple Mount story – part two

Some of those reports were produced by, or included analysis from, two of the BBC’s locally based staff; Yolande Knell and Tom Bateman. Since July 28th, however, neither of those correspondents nor any other has produced any follow-up reporting relating to the events it covered so broadly at the time.

BBC audiences therefore remain unaware of the fact that an accomplice of the three terrorists from Umm al Fahm who carried out the attack that sparked two weeks of increased violence has been charged on counts including accessory to murder.

“Amjad Jabarin was arrested on July 23, nine days after the attack. On Thursday, he was formally charged in a Haifa District Court as an accessory to murder.

According to the indictment, Jabarin trained with the terrorists ahead of the attack, joining them when they went to practice shooting their improvised “Carlo” submachine guns.

The night before the attack, he also drove the three to a soccer field in Umm al-Fahm, which served as a pickup point for a shuttle to the Temple Mount, knowing that they were armed and planning to carry out the shooting, according to the charges against him.”

The BBC’s extensive July coverage did not include reporting on the funerals of the three terrorists in Umm al Fahm or the related incitement and glorification of terrorism on the part of the banned northern Islamic Movement. Given that the BBC has generally avoided the topic of the northern Islamic Movement’s connection to unrest surrounding Temple Mount in the past, those omissions were not particularly surprising. They are nevertheless relevant in light of the fact that the ISA’s investigation showed links between the terrorists and the northern Islamic Movement.

“The Shin Bet said the men came together to plan their attack at the mosque in Umm al-Fahm’s al-Malsaa’ neighborhood.

“The findings of the investigation pointed to a clear link between the al-Malsaa’ mosque and the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, which was declared an illegal organization in November 2015 and is now considered a terrorist organization,” the agency said.

The Shin Bet noted that one of the gunmen was responsible for maintenance at the mosque and served as its muezzin, the person who performs the call to prayer.

“In addition, connections were found between the assailants and the Islamic Movement, including support for the ideas put out by the movement and through their involvement in organizations that have clear links to the Islamic Movement,” the Shin Bet said.

As an example, the agency noted that the terrorist who served as the al-Malsa’a mosque’s muezzin was once active in the Mourabitoun, a group that often clashed with Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount and was declared illegal in September 2015 over its ties to the Islamic Movement and Hamas.”

Additionally, the BBC has not informed its audience of the public glorification of the terrorist who murdered three members of a family in Halamish on July 21st and severely wounded another. As well as being lauded by PLO and Palestinian Authority officials and in official PA media, the terrorist’s acts were justified by the spokesman for PA’s security forces, who has previously been quoted in BBC content.

Related Articles:

BBC News ignores Northern Islamic Movement ban – in English

The part of the Temple Mount story the BBC refuses to tell

Another Temple Mount related story ignored by the BBC 

 

 

 

BBC ignores another Northern Islamic Movement story – in English

Last week the leader of the illegal Northern Islamic Movement, Raed Salah, was arrested at his home in Umm el Fahm.

“In a statement, police said Tuesday morning that they had arrested for questioning under caution “a central instigator” of the Islamic Movement on suspicion of incitement to violence and terror, as well as supporting and being active in a banned organization. The statement was apparently referring to the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement that split from the main organization.

“The investigation is being conducted together with the Shin Bet and was authorized by the State Attorney’s Office, as required in incitement cases, with the consent of the attorney general,” police said and added that the Haifa district state prosecutor is handling the case.

“On a number of occasions, all of them after the movement was made illegal [in 2015], the inciter made statements before an audience and saw his statements quoted in the media. These statement are linked to the movement’s worldview. An examination of the [statements] raise the suspicion that some of the things said [by Salah] meet the criteria for the stated crimes.” […]

Salah has spearheaded campaigns asserting that “Al-Aqsa is in danger,” focusing on the claim that Israel intends to change the status quo at the contested Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem. The allegation, denied by Israel, was at the heart of last month’s violence and tensions surrounding the site.”

Salah’s detention was extended on August 17th.

BBC coverage of the two weeks of violence that followed the murder last month of two Israeli policemen by three terrorists from Umm el Fahm did not inform audiences that Salah conducted prayers for the attackers just hours later. Neither were BBC audiences told of the scenes at the terrorists’ funerals or of the incitement from the Northern Islamic Movement during that period of violence.

In November 2015 the BBC refrained from reporting in the English language on the banning of the Northern Islamic Movement and it has also serially ignored stories relating to that group’s networks of activists paid to disrupt visits by non-Muslims to Temple Mount. In 2013, Yolande Knell provided BBC audiences with a tepid portrayal of the Northern Islamic Movement as a “conservative” group.

While at least one BBC staff member has Tweeted about it, the BBC has not covered Raed Salah’s latest arrest for its English-speaking audiences. The story has, however, been the subject of a report on the BBC Arabic website, which also provided its readers with a profile of Salah.

English speakers interested in reading more about Raed Salah and the Northern Islamic Movement can find a useful backgrounder at the Times of Israel

 

A part of the Temple Mount ‘tensions’ story that BBC audiences were not told

In the early morning hours of July 27th the funerals of the three terrorists who committed the attack at Lions’ Gate nearly two weeks earlier took place in their home town of Umm al Fahm in northern Israel.

“Thousands of people attended the funerals overnight Wednesday of the three Arab-Israeli terrorists who carried out a terror attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem two weeks ago, killing two Israeli Druze police officers with weapons they had smuggled onto the holy site.

Some 3,000 people were at the funerals in the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm, according to Hebrew media.

The burial processions included cheers and celebratory chants, as attendees vowed to become “martyrs for Al-Aqsa,” in reference to the mosque that sits on the Temple Mount along with the Dome of the Rock sanctuary.

Some flew the Palestinian flag. “Millions of martyrs are marching to Al-Aqsa,” the crowd chanted, in footage shown on Channel 2.

An unnamed member of the Jabarin family praised the attackers, telling Channel 2 they were “shahids” (martyrs), and saying “they received the respect they deserved with a mass funeral the area has not seen before.””

The organisers of the funerals claimed higher attendance:

“During the funeral procession, the three terrorists, buried alongside one another, were hailed as “shahids” (martyrs) while firecrackers were shot in the air, Palestinian flags were waved and the masses chanted: “By fire and with blood we will redeem you, Al-Aqsa,” and “You are the shahids of Al-Aqsa.”

The procession was led by the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, and other senior members of the outlawed organization. One participant said the funeral was one of the largest ever to take place in Umm al-Fahm, “as befitting the shahids honor.”

Funeral organizers claimed that over 10,000 people took part in the procession, while the Israel Police said it comprised less than 3,000 people.”

Writing at Ha’aretz a few days later, Moshe Arens noted that:

“Unfortunately, engraved in the memory of many will remain not only the criminal act by three Israeli Arabs from Umm al-Fahm, but even more disturbing, the mass celebrations there that accompanied their funerals. The gunmen evidently had the support of many in Umm al-Fahm, and others seem prepared to follow in their footsteps. Those who wanted to believe that it was the act of a few crazed individuals are sorely disappointed. The assailants killed two policemen and damaged the fabric of relationships between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens that will take a long time to repair.”

Those getting their news from the BBC, however, have no idea that those funerals took place and are completely unaware of the scenes that so disturbed the Israeli public in general and foremost the families of the two murdered policemen.

On July 27th the BBC News website published four reports on its Middle East page:

Israel removes Jerusalem flashpoint security apparatus 27/7/17

Jerusalem holy site: Cheers as scaffolding removed 27/7/17

Palestinians return to holy site after Israel security reversal 27/7/17

Jordan’s King Abdullah calls for Israel trial over embassy deaths 27/7/17

None of them includes so much as a word about the scenes that had taken place in Umm al Fahm earlier that same day.

Related Articles:

BBC coverage of the Jerusalem terror attack – part one: BBC News website

BBC coverage of the Jerusalem terror attack – part two: BBC radio

BBC News ignores Northern Islamic Movement ban – in English

The part of the Temple Mount story the BBC refuses to tell