BBC Refuses To Air Appeal for Gaza Aid

200px-bbcsvgThe BBC has officially refused to air an appeal for aid for Gaza from ten international aid groups, including British Red Cross, Oxfam, and Save the Children. The BBC insists that, no matter how crafted, the aid request would undermine its impartiality in covering the conflict. SKY has now joined BBC in the refusal to air any appeal.

Director general Mark Thompson stated “We concluded that we could not broadcast a free-standing appeal, no matter how carefully constructed, without running the risk of reducing public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in its wider coverage of the story. . . Inevitably an appeal would use pictures which are the same or similar to those we would be using in our news programs but would do so with the objective of encouraging public donations. The danger for the BBC is that this could be interpreted as taking a political stance on an ongoing story.”

I am confused by this position, particularly the “no matter how carefully constructed” statement. I understand the need for requiring a purely charitable appeal without political content. However, I fail to see how an appeal for humanitarian appeal destroys impartiality of a news organization. The company could always add a disclaimer. There is obviously great human suffering and health dangers in Gaza. That should be enough to justify an appeal for charity while preserving impartiality.

For the full story, click here.

31 thoughts on “BBC Refuses To Air Appeal for Gaza Aid”

  1. Mike,

    I don’t think dismantling Israel is a good solution. I’m saying if they continue to act as an aggressor and, more importantly, oppressor, that dissolution may just be a structural inevitability. Especially given the hypocritical rationale that they keep rubbing in everyone’s faces. That’s the real issue I see for Israel is that they talk the talk, but they walk just like the “enemies” that engendered the need for a state in the first place. I’m not calling them Nazis either, but systematic oppression is systematic oppression no matter if your orders came from God, Moses, Hitler, Bush the Chimp or the Maytag Repairman. Just because you don’t institute formalized death camps is a technicality of scale. History shows time and again that repression never leads to stability or peace. It leads to more hatred and war. And while I won’t deny the need of a Jewish state, I’m not going to defend them if they don’t accept the responsibilities of being a sovereign state which includes responsibility for their OWN bad actions. It all comes back to the ends don’t justify the means. “To protect yourself from monsters, be a nastier monster” should be a Neocon T-shirt. And the very definition of a vicious circle. You yourself have admitted that the Israeli state has been (and continues to be) a bad actor in the region. Not up to the Saudi level of being shit disturbers, but hey, they aren’t intrinsically evil like the ruling class of Saudi Arabia – just misguided. Israel can’t keep saying “We were oppressed so it’s okay for us to oppress Palestinians” and expect that to end any way but badly for all involved. It defies logic and runs counter to the examples of history. But by all means, let them keep forcing Palestinians off their land to build settlements, let them keep responding with grossly disproportionate force, let them keep using one horror to justify more horrors and the ONLY result for Israel and the region is bad. Just as bad (or worse) than if you were to stand back and let the Saudis run amok. A blasted out wasteland is a blasted out wasteland no matter who creates it. It doesn’t matter if it was sanctioned by Yahweh or Allah. And I’m not really upset with Israel over being a bad actor as a state, just that they’ve (been allowed by lobbyist corruption) to meddled in our politics so as to drag us down with them. I don’t mind America paying a price for Herr Shrub’s stupidity and malice, but I’m not paying for whole other government full of psychos mistakes on top of it.

  2. Izzy states, “It’s not Iraq, which had been a cohesive nation before Saddam Hussein began his brutal reign and where partition made little sense.”

    WHOA there, buddy. What fairy tale did you read? Iraq was split along social, religious, economic and ethnic lines pre-Saddam. It is preciously this fact the neo-cons neglected to learn and observe that gave us the disaster in Iraq we have today.

    Bron98 Scary, hateful and clueless are you. Besides, you don’t know your history too well either.

  3. the Jewish state has a right to exist and to defend itself. It was created by the allies after WWII by taking land from axis allies, the Arabs/Palestinians. Why pick on the Jews? They have a right to defend themselves. If the Palestinans dont want to be invaded quit pumping rockets into Israel seems pretty simple to me. And if they need humanitarian aid let them take out full page ads in major newspapers around the world or tell CNN. If the BBC dosent want to air those requests that is there right.

    Israel has been attacked time and time again without cause, it defends itself and it gets condemned. Maybe next time the Arabs/Palestinians will side with a winner and not NAZI Germany.

  4. Buddha Is Laughing: “Because Israel can NEVER be wrong. Riiiigggghhht.”

    “Tell me I’m wrong baby.”

    “I can’t; cause you’re not.”

  5. Buddha,
    You miss my point, I fear. Yes there are some who obfuscate the issue by using the Shoah as justification for Israel’s existence, while that is really not the case. Secondly, the Shoah can not be used to justify illegal conduct and it would be disrespectful to do so. However, just as Bush/Cheney did not talk for me as an American when they invaded Iraq, the Israeli government does not talk for all of its’ citizenry when it justifies brutality. In fact the polls in Israel show this to be true. The old joke is that if you have three Jews on a desert island, you’d have four political parties. The right holds power in Israel because of deals made with tiny fundamentalist parties and the peculiarities of parliamentary government. I and many Jews like me refuse to be held responsible for some Jews, or some Israeli’s.

    Think of it this way. We know that for at least four years the American Public opposed the Iraq war and its’ concomitant horrors. It’s been more than forty years now since the majority of Americans have opposed racism. In both instances one can make the point that the US government has ignored the will of its’ citizens. My point is that the suffering of the Shoah, for all
    peoples that suffered, is not something to be denied because of Neocon’s attempts at co-optation. While as I said in my other comment it has never been the historical “raison d’etre” for Israel’s existence, despite those who would use it as such.

    “Once again, not denying the need for a Jewish state”

    I don’t doubt your word on this because your writings have shown you to be an intelligent and good man who states his beliefs clearly and honestly. I know that you also understand that a good part of this whole conflict is the belief by some, many of good will, that Israel should not exist. The conundrum of all of this is how does the safety of Israel become assured, with the yoke of oppression lifted from the occupied territories, when many on the other side believe the only solution is the dismantling of Israel. I consider myself to be a pretty smart guy, but I can’t think of an answer and I bet neither can you, another smart person. I am sure that when it comes to the evils of this world, done to innocents by those with money and ego and their henchmen, we both feel a similar mixture of sadness and anger.

  6. Mike,

    Once again, not denying the need for a Jewish state, merely pointing out if a large part of your behavior as a state – good and bad but especially the bad – is based on or justified by past atrocities that were war crimes, that justification turns from a stone foundation to feet of clay when your actions “merit” protecting your own war criminals. It’s no more illogical than wanting our domestic war criminals to face justice. And just as hypocritical on their part. War crimes are war crimes simply because the ends do not always justify the means. That’s part of the rationale for defining a war crime (which seems oxymoronic on first glance) in the first place. I also think it’s a huge disservice to those who did die in the Holocaust as it undercuts the lessons of their suffering by using it to justify creating yet more suffering. Machines are not the only things capable of falling into circular logics.

  7. “This should remove once and for all the right for Israel to whine about the Holocaust as an excuse for their actions.”

    Really now, I think in your passion you’re not quite thinking this through. Olmert is a fool to make this statement (a fool in general) and it is horrible. That’s part of the reason he does not have long to be in power. Bush and Cheney have been pushing this line of reasoning since 2001, is it any wonder that other leaders make the same spurious claims.

    Now when you mix this stupid bit of Olmert’s “realpolitik” in with the Holocaust you are getting into apples and oranges territory. The Shoah affected all Jews, homosexuals, mentally challenged and Gypsies. A side effect was an influx of many Jews into Israel, because frankly there weren’t a lot of country’s that would take them. Zionism was a movement that Jews began in the 19th Century that dreamed of a homeland for Jews to escape worldwide oppression. The Shoah wasn’t the cause of Israel, though it might have somewhat speeded the effect.

    That some Jews use the Shoah as justification for the existence of Israel, I know is seen as offensive to non-Jews. however, tell me how that differs in substance from Afro-Americans using slavery to justify their aims; Native Americans referencing their genocide and degradation; or even Arabs claiming the ill effects of Western Imperialism? It doesn’t and all those groups have a case to be made.

    In the case of all those groups the depredations/degradations of their history has taught them certain lessons and therefore informs their view of the world and their environment. As a Jew who has personally experienced mild anti-Jewishness growing up and whose forebears experienced tangible anti-Jewishness both in the US and in the loss of their European relatives, my view of the safety of my family and my people is jaundiced. This would be true if I was black, despite Obama, looking at the inordinate number of my people locked in jail.

    Israel is a Country, acting in its’ perceived interests and it is true that the justifications Country’s use are often self serving. Iraq is a prime example. When it comes to the Shoah though, please understand that even I, born in the US towards the end of WWII still feel its effects and the fear it engendered. I have that right, as does any Afro & Native American who worries for the safety of their children in the good old US of A.

  8. Ishmael

    Obama’s closing of Guantanemo is the ONLY way back to justice and the rule of law. Even the Supreme Court has ruled that the legal justifications underpinning putting people at Gitmo, denying them a degree of rights and the kangaroo courts were deliberately intended to circumvent American justice, not to support it. Obama hasn’t said these prisoners would be relased into American society as the breathless morons at Fox Noise would have one believe. Our America courts have already tried and convicted domestic terrorists McVeigh and Padilla. Gitmo was never necessary except to hide the Bush/Cheney approved illegal torture that went before and after detainees were sent there. I personally recommend releasing these remaining 250 detainees near Bush and Cheney’s new homes with detailed maps.

  9. Because Israel can NEVER be wrong. Riiiigggghhht.

    Neocon scumbags. And this? This instance here? This should remove once and for all the right for Israel to whine about the Holocaust as an excuse for their actions. Don’t EVER bitch about war crimes if you are going to commit them too. Especially if you are going to do so with this much arrogance and impunity. That earns you “the finger” is what that gets you. That’s what will bring the Neocons down here too ultimately – arrogance and hypocrisy. You want to see evil in the world? Look no further than the mirror, Likhud. You have become the very thing you fought against for your people.

  10. rafflaw, even QUADAFFI says you are clueless:

    Qaddafi: Try the one-state solution

    posted at 9:39 am on January 22, 2009

    Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi offers Israel some free advice in today’s New York Times, and it’s worth every penny. Qaddafi suggests that Israel consider flinging open its borders and allowing the Palestinians to become Israelis in the one-state model, since Israel has already assimilated a million or so Arabs.
    Assimilation is already a fact of life in Israel. There are more than one million Muslim Arabs in Israel; they possess Israeli nationality and take part in political life with the Jews, forming political parties. On the other side, there are Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Israeli factories depend on Palestinian labor, and goods and services are exchanged. This successful assimilation can be a model for Israel.

    Qaddafi makes a few interesting admissions for a leader in the Arab world. He acknowledges that the Israelis did not drive the Palestinians out in 1948 despite the rhetoric of the PLO, Hamas, and almost every Arab state over the last 60 years. He also admits that the Israelis treat Arabs as full citizens of the state and gives them the same rights as anyone else, rejecting the allegations often made by neighboring states of “apartheid” within Israel. That much at least sticks to reality.

    It runs off the rails, though, when Qaddafi suggests that having Israel annex Gaza and the West Bank would solve all of the region’s woes. Qaddafi, after taking these surprisingly realistic stances, indulges in fantasy when he states that Palestinian Arabs in these areas have an interest in assimilating into Israel. Neither Fatah nor Hamas have ever given any indication that they want an Israel at all, let alone live in one. Hamas has a specific agenda for Islamist rule over what is Israel today, and they’re backed by Iran for that very purpose.

    In fact, Qaddafi never even mentions Hamas once in this essay, despite their popularity at the polls in the last Palestinian election. Clearly, the Palestinians didn’t support Hamas in order to pursue a policy of assimilation and accommodation. They supported Hamas because they support a policy of annihilation. Qaddafi never addresses Hamas because it completely undermines his argument.

    Regardless of whether the borders exist in Gaza or the West Bank, the Palestinians want to destroy Israel and claim the land for their own. Taking the borders away would only change the conflict from a partition issue to a full-scale civil war, in which the Palestinians would be overmatched and would have no ground to call their own. When conflicts arise, tens of thousands would die rather than hundreds, and Iran at the very least would ensure that conflicts arise on a regular basis.

    The one-state solution is national suicide for Israel. This is not a land where nationalism could get shared between the two peoples; they have never before shared a nation together. It’s not Iraq, which had been a cohesive nation before Saddam Hussein began his brutal reign and where partition made little sense. Partition in this case is the right policy, and advice to the contrary from a dictator who has a clear bias towards the Palestinians should be taking with a five-pound bag of salt.

  11. See? You point out the Israel are a bunch of hypocrites and the trolls come out of the woodwork. Yeah, you Zionist Neocon war mongers are just so predictable. Jews are perfect, meh meh meh! Bullshit. They’ve acted like repressive thugs since at least 1967. And misunderstanding about 9/11? No one here but you is protecting the honor of the Neocons, and by default the Saudis that DID actually attack us, but YOU. No, if anyone hasn’t got a clue, Ishy, it’s you, sport. Try to color it as partisan if you like. It has nothing to do with party and everything to do with you backing criminals. CRIMINALS. Got that? And nothing you say will stop the rising storm against them. You had better pray Obama can ride herd over the masses that are coming for justice. The more you fight turning over YOUR guilty NOW, the more likely We the People are to become a lynch mob than a jury trial. Your choice how violent it will get, but your boys not being removed from power and paying the price for their treason is not an option.

  12. I do think a way needs to be found to filter the spam that the trolls are spewing.
    The BBC decision is one made by a George W. Bush neocon who actually wants the Israelis to kill as many Palestinians as possible and to destroy as much of the infrastructure as possible. They mistakenly believe that they can solve this problem by killing civilians. The truth of the matter as the US has found out in Iraq, this type of action only creates more terrorists. It looks like England needs an Obama like overhaul.

  13. A 9/11 family member chides the new President for closing Guantanamo terror camp

    This morning, the many newspapers published my op-ed on President Barack Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo and suspend the Military Commissions:

    With his shameful order to close Guantanamo Bay, President Obama has perfectly filled the stereotype of the classic clueless ultra-Liberal — the one who can generate great passion for the rights of the guilty defendant and none for the innocent victim.

    With a single stroke of the pen, Obama has delayed justice for the victims of 9/11, and in essence granted a reprieve for Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11.

    America does not honor our “rule of law and the rights of man” as he put in his inauguration speech by such an action. Instead, this nation abdicated its duty to justice.

    It seems the new President is too far removed from the victims of 9/11. Victims like 11-year-old Bernard Curtis Brown, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. Everyone onboard was killed, as well as [125] people in the Pentagon. Curtis was on a trip with several of his classmates to California sponsored by National Geographic.

    Obama and the Democrats have had a blind spot for 9/11 and have yet to show they have an ounce of understanding what happened that day.

  14. Afghan president: US forces killed 16 civilians; War Crimes by President Obama must stop

    Sunday, January 25, 2009 8:15:08 AM


    President Hamid Karzai condemned a U.S. operation he said killed 16 Afghan civilians, while thousands of villagers denounced President Obama during an angry demonstration Sunday.

    Karzai said the killing of innocent Afghans during U.S. military operations “is strengthening the terrorists.”

    He also announced that his Ministry of Defense sent Washington a draft technical agreement that seeks to give Afghanistan more oversight over U.S. military operations.

    The same letter has also been sent to NATO headquarters. Karzai in recent days has increasingly lashed out at his Western backers over the issue of civilian casualties.

  15. Name that party (Sunday edition)

    Saturday’s New York Times national edition (page A9), William Yardley reports on the disgrace of Portland’s openly homosexual Mayor Sam Adams. Adams admitted last week that he had a sexual relationship with a then-18-year-old male intern in the state legislature and that he had repeatedly lied about the relationship. The improbably named intern is one Beau Breedlove. Adams also admitted that he had repeatedly asked Breedlove to lie about the relationship.

    The mayor’s credibility remains an issue. Adams may have initiated the relationship when Breedlove was underage. Adams claims he waited until Breedlove turned 18 before he allowed the relationship to turn intimate. There is no reference to Mayor Adams’s party affiliation.

    By contrast, no such obscurity affects the Times’s story on the indictment of former state senate majority leader Joe Bruno The Times story is headlined “Longtime New York G.O.P. leader indicted by U.S. on corruption charges.”

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