Saturday, 24 January 2009

TV Channels Run Gaza Charity Appeal without BBC

In an unprecedented turn that goes some way to restoring my faith in people, ITV, Channel 4 and Five are to show a charity appeal for Gaza (due Monday) despite the BBC's shameful decision not to run the film.

We've all seen the horror of state of the art technology versus the equivalent of peashooters in a fish-in-a-barrel shooting spree. A conflict where Palestinian civilians, already run off their land and herded into a 25 mile strip (and when they call it a strip, they aren't kidding), have no-where to run as missiles, phosphorous and "flechettes" rain down on them.

Jonathan Miller's harrowing C4 News films, here, here and here from the battle-zone show us the results of "asymmetrical" warfare: 400 dead children, buildings into which the IDF have rammed families and then shelled them, gloating graffiti scrawled on the walls by the invading Israelis pledging death to all Palestinians.

A population already reeling from a two-year blockade, scant stocks of food and medicine incinerated in the UN compound, 1,400 dead Palestinians since the 2005 Israeli withdrawal, and now a thousand more in the run up to the Israeli elections, have been forgotten.

And the BBC refuses to air the Disaster Emergency Committee humanitarian appeal for aid to the Gazan civilians. Five now says the issue "transcends politics".

The BBC stands to the right of even our lousy government in this. One minister, Douglas Alexander, the International Development Secretary, has urged the BBC to reconsider "in the light of the great human suffering still taking place in Gaza". And Ben Bradshaw says, "I'm afraid the BBC has to stand up to the Israeli authorities occasionally," and considers their excuses "inexplicable" and "completely feeble". While Liberal Democrat media spokesman Don Foster said the BBC's decision was "disgraceful".

Media Workers Against the War reports:
Israel has withdrawn its troops, tanks and bombers for now but says it will not lift the blockade which starves Gaza's population of food, water, fuel and essential medical supplies. The United Nations says that the aid now being allowed by Israel into Gaza is nowhere near enough to meet the basic needs of its people.

"The destruction in Gaza and the loss of the lives of over a thousand civilians and children, has shocked the world" as Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, made clear, when he saw the devastation for himself.

I watched Slumdog Millionaire the other day. One of the most upsetting scenes was the anti-Muslim pogrom where Salim and Jamal's mother is murdered by a mob intent on wiping them all out. The children have to run for their lives past burning people and incinerated houses, but where can they escape to? We weep at this and yet our brothers and sisters in Gaza have just gone through the same terrifying experience. Human beings lie in festering hospitals with no medicine, fuel, food or water. And the BBC denies them this most basic of help?

Give them humanitarian aid and stop selling arms to Israel.

Pix of Saturday's BBC protest by Harpy Marx


graham said...

Thought as a cynical 39yr old i'd seen it all but the bbc refusal to support the appeal takes my breath away.
As a nurse working in a busy NHS hospital i can only imagine the anger and frustration of nurses in Gaza trying to help the innocent victims of Israeli terror without drugs,resources and support.
The bbc worries about being impartial but who are they trying to appease when even the government comes out against their decision? Are they so scared of being wrongly portrayed as anti-semitic that they can't see the shocking injustice right in front of them.I shake my head in disbelief.

Infantile and Disorderly said...

Fingers crossed for the appeal benefiting from all the publicity generated by the BBC's reprehensibe decision

ModernityBlog said...

"The bbc worries about being impartial"

not sure that's true, more likely they are arse covering, just in case

either way they should broadcast the Gaza appeal on the BBC.

Madam Miaow said...

I suppose the positive thing to come from this is that it's raised awareness and revealed how much sympathy there is for the Gazans' plight.

Trouble is the BBC has done in its credibility for a long time with this. A gift for those trying to privatise the corporation. So stupid!

harpymarx said...

Thanks Madam Miaow for linking to my pix.

willis said...

I'm appalled by the story but glad you're telling it. Keep `em honest MM!

Madam Miaow said...

Cheers, Willis. Thanks for reading.

The blogosphere is a bloody marvel for getting stuff out there we're not supposed to see. Amazing to think that only few years ago this would have been buried.