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The BBC and absolutely conscious bias

Jefferson Galt

For much of the past two weeks, BBC News has heavily featured criticism of British Labour Party and Prime Ministerial hopeful Jeremy Corbyn. The criticism has been orchestrated by some British Jews who claim that he, and some of his party, are, in their words, "anti-Semitic." The primary concern is not the treatment of Jews in the UK, but Corbyn's long and loud protests against Israel's behaviour in Palestine. Right-wing, one might argue radical, Jews in the UK are incensed. The BBC willingly provides a megaphone for them. So why has the BBC been almost silent on the subject in the past three days?

As this article is written, the front page of BBC.com carries articles about the USA's criticism of China for imposing tariffs on some US exports, including pork, wine and aluminium waste, a report about Russia, weapons and The Taliban, a story about elephants running along a Spanish motorway and figures showing that, for period, the murder rate in London has overtaken that of New York. That latter story has a grammatical error in its headline ("London murder.." instead of "London's murder..."

Other stories cover the death of Winnie Mandela (2) and Russia's criticisms of the expulsion of diplomats. There's sport, there are reports of alleged doping in India's Commonwealth Games contingent and a report of seven Indians killed in protests over changes to caste-laws. There's a section called "Editor's Pick" which covers a story about cartoon characters (they call them virtual celebs) making a profit for their creators on Instagram, a science bit about magnets and brainwaves, the "culture" section talks about "Ten TV shows to watch in April" and travel about the inability of McDonalds to make a dish to compete with an Indian classic. And the Editor's Choice goes on with a suggestion that there is increasing tourism to Russia and that "memes and posters" change "the way we communicate."

There's a very prominently promoted interview with Viktor Yushchenko about being poisoned by Russian agents and, under "Recommended" there's the Yushchenko interview (again), "Muslim woman attacked at Michigan hospital"," aligator pulled from swimming pool" and two more pieces about Winnie Mandella. There are many more items but one major thing is missing.

Since Saturday night, at least 17 people have been killed and an estimated 700 injured by live gunfire. They were Palestinians shot, on purpose, on land which is outside even the illegal borders set up by Israel, by the Israeli Army known as the Israeli Defence Force. A search for "Palestine" on the BBC website reveals a handful of recent entries, only two of which relate to this incident and both of which are "below the fold" of search results. Several hours of monitoring BBC World News yesterday resulted in what can fairly be described as a news blackout on the subject.

It doesn't matter whether one sides with the Palestinians or the Israelis in this context: what matters is that the BBC, which markets itself as unbiased and balanced in all its reporting is ignoring the mass killing and injuring of men, women and children by a state.

The BBC's appeasement of that state and its supporters in this endeavour is, arguably, a fundamental breach of its charter. Like it or not, by reporting the murder of 17 school children and adults in Florida and ignoring or burying the murder (for there is no other word for the IDF's actions) the BBC is proving bias and it's proving involvement in politics.

That absolutely cannot be allowed to continue. The BBC must report fairly and impartially. It cannot be allowed to spend day after day attacking the UK's principal parliamentary supporter of Palestinian rights and then shut up shop when exactly the circumstances he complains of come to pass, as they have done so many times in the past.

But equally importantly, by failing to provide proper reporting and importance to the story, the BBC is acting in dereliction of its obligations to bring news and, indeed, truth to the British public in particular and its self-adopted position of delivering that worldwide.

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