Hello all,

Tonight’s (Monday) Panorama programme was truly appalling
even by the BBC’s dire standards.

Willem happened to spot it just before it started – to the
best of our knowledge it had not been advertised in advance.
It claimed to be looking into “what really happened” when
the Israeli navy attacked the Mavi Marmara. No chance.

It’s hard to know where to start, but here are just some of the
aspects of bias that struck us:

– copious interviews with Israeli military spokespeople including
one who took part in the assault, whose anonymity was
preserved by blurring his face and anonymising him as “Lieutenant A”;

– use of film footage either shot by the Israelis or stolen
by them from those on the boat;

– use of some film footage by “Cultures of Resistance”, but always
with the implication that this was a group which encouraged
violence;

– portrayal of the IHH as a terrorist group which took control of
the ship;

– NO interviews with any Palestinian person, to the best of my knowledge,
apart from a Hamas spokesman;

– interviews with only ONE non-Turkish person on the boat, so that
most of the testimony from those on the boat was mediated by
translation;

– no interviews with representatives of any organisation participating
in the flotilla apart from IHH;

– no interviews with anyone on any of the other boats, indeed hardly
any mention that the Mavi Marmara was part of a large flotilla
organised by international humanitarian groups;

– no indication whatsoever that Israel’s attack might have been illegal
under international law – the emphasis was only on whether the force
used was “proportionate”;

– scheduling the broadcast during the evening in the first week of
Ramadan when many Muslim viewers were unlikely to be watching because
they would be breaking their fast;

– worst of all, playing the tape provided by the Israelis which has a
voice supposedly saying to them, from the Mavi Marmara, “go back to
Auschwitz”.
This tape has been SHOWN to be a fake. Any pretence at investigative
journalism has gone right out of the window.

As some of you know, Tony Greenstein has been collecting signatures for an
advertisement to be placed in the Independent (and also the Guardian if funds
permit) raising the issue of the BBC’s consistent pro-Israel bias. Now is
the time for that advert to be published! But Tony still needs funds. Send
your pledges to him at tonygreenstein@yahoo.com and he will tell you where to
send the cheques. You can add your signature too if you have not yet done so.
Tony can let you have the full text of the proposed advertisement.

Here are the BBC web pages covering this abysmal piece of broadcasting – the
tone of the web pages are exactly the tone of the programme itself:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/default.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_8909000/8909361.stm

And here is how to make a complaint to the BBC if you saw any of this
shameless hasbarah and want to tell them what you think of it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/homepage/

Please forward this post to appropriate lists and individuals. Apologies
for the inevitable duplication.

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