Electronic Intifada interviewed former BBC Mideast reporter Tim Llewellyn, who openly acknowledges his pro-Palestinian sympathies. Excerpts:
– On BBC ‘restraint’: ‘[BBC] are adopting what they see as an even handed attitude. To me this is a cowardly attitude, it is an attitude which confuses occupier with occupied.’
– On ‘the real story’: ‘BBC reporting doesn’t tell the story. I don’t mean that it doesn’t tell the story from a particular point of view. It doesn’t tell the story: Which is that the Palestinians are occupied and are fighting for independence in the same way that practically every other developing country was fighting for independence in the 30 years after the Second World War’
– On suicide bombers: ‘The problem with suicide bombings … it’s never been explained properly, as to why it happens and what provokes them… the lack of context of why these things happen and the profiles of the people that do them. Quite often people that carry out these acts are people who have suffered at the hands of the Israeli occupation in the most ghastly circumstances. But we don’t hear that side of the story, certainly not in the BBC’s or ITV’s main news bulletin.’
– On Barbara Plett’s tears for Arafat vs. Sharon: ‘I think she was in a particular situation, at a particular time, and she found it moving. I don’t think she should have been reprimanded… It was a moving experience. It was the circumstances. I don’t think Ariel Sharon is comparable. His record is not one that would induce tears.’
Llewellyn made similiar pronouncements in a 2004 Guardian editorial.