BBC lies and distortions

Napoleon once remarked that he would give three regiments for a newspaper. Management of the media during war is part of psychological operations; intended to maximise the scope of military actions and their effectiveness. In The Art of War Sun Tzu observed that ‘Military force is based upon deception.’ Thus for Israeli war planners the criminal is presented as the victim and the aggressor as the defender. Reviewing their latest operations, the Israeli military will be satisfied that the media in the major imperialist countries was successfully managed, the BBC being a prime example. This portends future slaughter.

The attack was planned months ago together with the supporting media campaign and the public relations staff carefully selected and rehearsed. All international journalists were banned from going into Gaza for the duration of the assault. Like the BBC’s Michael Sergeant, they were held in Jerusalem or, like the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, they were embedded with Israeli forces in Israel close to Gaza. Subsequently they relied on the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre for reports which re-cycled Israeli Defence Ministry briefings. Schools, mosques and hospitals became ‘Hamas infrastructure’ and ‘Hamas leader killed in air strike’ (BBC website) was the illegal murder of 16 Palestinians, including 11 children. Ten houses were destroyed in the attack. Israeli control of information included the confiscation of all their troops’ mobile phones; during the 2006 invasion of Lebanon Israeli soldiers phoned home for help and to describe what was happening.

Protestors have rightly targeted BBC offices for bias and refusing to screen the appeal by leading charities on behalf of Gaza’s people. The BBC is British government owned and its senior executives rotate their careers through business, government ministry and BBC boardrooms. The founding executive, Lord Reith, prevented any trade union representatives gaining access to the radio during the 1926 General Strike. For 40 years in Bush House a brigadier passed on the names of applicants for editorial jobs at the BBC World Service to MI5 for vetting. Reith expressed the partiality of the BBC for the ruling class it represents, ‘They know they can trust us not to be impartial.’

Current BBC director-general Mark Thompson visited the then Israeli Prime Minister Sharon and Palestinian Authority leader Abbas in 2005 to assure them that BBC coverage of the Middle East would be totally impartial. The Zionist lobby operates at the highest levels of the British government. Both Blair and Gordon Brown are members of Labour Friends of Israel. Foreign Minister David Miliband has relatives who are Zionist settlers on the West Bank. Three fundraising scandals implicating Labour government leaders in the past five years have involved wealthy Zionists. Being ‘impartial’ to the premeditated murder of a people is to be complicit in that murder.

Trevor Rayne

FRFI 207 February / March 2009


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