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Media Analyses





BBC-WATCH: BBC Touts Hamas Line


BBC World Service, the global radio arm of the British network, is at it again — presenting a Palestinian view faulting Israel for ruining any chance for peace. This time BBC is serving as a platform for the terrorist group Hamas’s absurd propaganda line that it was not the Hamas bombing of Israeli children but the Israeli military’s targeting of the terrorist group’s deputy leader, Ismail Abu Shanab, that has ended the ceasefire.

Shanab is presented as a "moderate" Hamas member who "played a major role in bringing about the ceasefire which has just been cancelled." The implication is clear– if not for Israel’s targeting of Shanab, the ceasefire would still be in place.

This is patent nonsense. A gruesome attack against defenceless families with young children was carried out by a recognized terrorist organization whose top echelon of leadership included Abu Shanab. As number three, Abu Shanab was closely involved in the building of the group’s infrastructure, its policy decisions, and its campaign of terrorism. Hamas’s leadership, both "moderate" and extreme proudly claimed responsibility for the Jerusalem attack. Does "moderate" mean insisting that a ceasefire is still in place while carrying out attacks?

In its August 21, 2003 BBC World Service report, News Hour’s Alex Brodie — dismissing the August 19 terrorist attack in Jerusalem as "the Hebron man with his bomb attack"— attempts to explicate how this is all part of a "cycle of violence" starting and ending with Israel:

We talk glibly about a cycle of violence but I think it’s worth pointing out what happened in this immediate situation. There were three events, I believe, the killings of two Hamas leaders in Hebron, then came the Hebron man with his bomb attack, then came the killing of Ismail Abu Shanab in Gaza, and now comes Hamas saying the cease-fire is over – they will take revenge. That’s how it goes, is it?

Later, Brodie discussed events with BBC’s Arab Affairs Editor Magdi Abdelhadi.

Equating terrorist bombing attacks targeting defenceless families of young children with the Israeli military’s defensive measures, they emphasized the terrorist leaders “moderate” stance and discussed the “cycle” and ultimate abandoning of the truce as a result of Israel’s actions.

ABDELHADI: Well, the latest as we have heard on the news earlier that Hamas has cancelled its ceasefire which is barely over two months old, in response to what they see as a very dangerous Israeli escalation by killing Ismail Abu Shanab in the Gaza Strip earlier today. He is one of the top leaders of Hamas, probably number three in the top hierarchy. Ironically, he has a reputation as being one of the moderates, not those who want to completely destroy the State of Israel but he was prepared to reach a kind of settlement – as withdrawal to the 1967 borders, establishing of a Palestinian state living peacefully side by side with Israelis. Also, he is believed to have played a major role in bringing about the ceasefire which has just been cancelled...

...

BRODIE: ...I’m afraid for the moment that is it. I mean, we’re back in the cycle, aren’t we? The tit-for-tat or whatever.

ABDELHADI: Absolutely.

BRODIE: And Israel appears to have said, we’ll now re-open, if it ever stopped, its targeted killings, the assassination policy.

ABDELHADI: My reading of what has been happening over the past six weeks: they both have been trying to have it both ways. Say right, we’re prepared for peace, we’ll negotiate, but over the past two months there have been persistent mutual complaints from the Israelis and the Palestinians – each side accusing the other of failing to implement its part of the deal...

So in the eyes of the BBC analysts and reporters:

1) a gruesome bombing of a public bus filled with children is equivalent to killing the terrorist leader who approves and defends such attacks, all part of a “cycle”

2) if the terrorists claim that their attacks do not count as an interruption of their “ceasefire,” then it must be the Israelis who are breaking the ceasefire by trying to stop further attacks.

For more on BBC, click here.


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