The BBC has a vacuous idea of balanced reporting. While it is happy to pass judgment on Israel in almost entirely negative terms, value judgments and even values themselves are dispensed with when it comes to pushing the Palestinian narrative.
How then to explain the latest piece of BBC coverage of the Gilad Shalit prisoner deal, focused on the Palestinian side? In Viewpoint: ‘Released Palestinian prisoners are heroes’, Nasser Ziad is allowed to spew what amounts to terrorist propaganda.
According to Ziad, the Palestinian prisoners and their families have been “reunited after years of unlawful separation and inhumane treatment.”
Is being convicted by due and lawful process and imprisoned for the murders of innocent Israelis really “unlawful separation”? Compare the healthy-looking Palestinians upon their release with the gaunt, malnourished Gilad Shalit, deprived of even sunlight for over five years. Who exactly has been treated inhumanely?
In Ziad’s eyes, the victims of the story are not those Israelis targeted by Hamas terrorist Omar al-Ghoul but al-Ghoul’s son and wife:
It has been difficult to grow up without getting to know his dad. “It’s like you are told you have a father but you have never seen him,” Ibrahim told me.
There is so much catching up to do that he still does not know what stories he and his father will be able to share. “Let’s see if I will get used to him quickly,” he says.
Ibrahim’s mother, Suheir al-Ghoul, has done her best to raise her children and look after 18 grandchildren in her husband’s absence.
If anyone needs reminding who the real victims are, watch this short video highlighting some of the horrific crimes carried out by some of those Palestinians now enjoying their freedom.
As for the terrorists themselves:
Suheir has always said that her husband Omar is not a murderer, but a hero. He was fighting for our freedom and our dignity. He never wanted to fight anyone but living under the Israeli occupation is very tough. …
As a Palestinian, I also perceive Omar and all the Palestinian prisoners as national heroes. They have sacrificed themselves for the Palestinian struggle.
Thus the BBC gives a someone a free hand to promote a narrative that supports or excuses terrorism as equal to that of the Israeli narrative. But while the BBC is consistently critical of Israel, Palestinian support for terror is treated with kid gloves.
It may very well be that Ziad’s views are representative of the Palestinian population at large. If that is the case, why then did the BBC decide that a corresponding Israeli Viewpoint should be given over to someone opposed to the Shalit deal? This when some 80% of Israelis polled were broadly supportive of the terms of the exchange.
While opposition to the deal is perfectly legitimate, it was not representative of the Israeli public and continues a trend whereby the BBC interviews Israelis who represent unrepresentative opinions or those highly critical of the mainstream.
In the final analysis, however, the BBC has given an uncritical voice to for Palestinian terrorist propaganda.
Let the BBC know what you think by sending your comments through the BBC Complaints website – www.bbc.co.uk/complaints. For detailed instructions on how to navigate the BBC Complaints website, click here.