What makes a war?

Heads are rolling at the BBC this week as the falsely accused Alistair McAlpine pursues the BBC for misinforming the public by alleging he was a paedophile. Well over £150,000 will be paid in compensation, and the BBC Director General, George Entwistle, has already resigned following the fiasco.

However, something quite different is happening in the BBC’s reporting of the events in Palestine.  The BBC have been carrying out a systematic manipulation and misinformation campaign since the launch of Operation Pillar of Cloud last week. And for those who followed the reporting of Cast Lead 4 years ago, it seems oh so familiar.

Phosphorus shells hit Gaza

So before people race to regurgitate the tripe the BBC manage to palm in to their ‘reporting’, know that before Israel launched Operation Pillar of Cloud, not 1 Israeli had been killed in 2012 by a Palestinian rocket. On the other hand, over 70 Palestinians have been killed in the last 11 months by Israeli jets, tanks and drones.1

Know that many of those who reside in Gaza are refugees who’s ancestors were driven from their homes by violence and force. Many have lived under Israeli military occupation their whole life and since 2007 have been blockaded in the worlds largest open-air prison, with Israel patrolling the seas, the land and the skies.

Know that what is happening is not a ‘religious war’. In fact it is not a war at all. What is happening right now is a slaughter of men, women and children by one side which has stolen and occupied the others land, imprisoned and tortured it’s people and uses the memory of all those who suffered through the anti-semitism in Europe 70 years ago to justify these actions.

Protest against Isreali aggression by Rabbis in New York

Last week, Israeli forces shot a 13 year old boy in his head as he was playing football in the Gaza strip. Following that instigation of violence, the Palestinian resistance responded by returning fire onto a military vehicle on the Eastern border. On Monday 5th November, Palestinian groups agreed to an informal truce which was again broken by Israel on Wednesday by the assassination of Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing.

The BBC bare some responsibility for the ongoing atrocities in Gaza. Unlike the case of McAlpine, where money can settle a grievance, Gazans will die today, tomorrow and everyday Israel continues it’s offensive. By denying the context of what is happening now and deliberately misinforming the public, the BBC have become an important cog in Israel’s military machine. The BBC are complicit, not because they pay for the bombs or because they pull the triggers, but because they speak of a war when it is not. Because they speak of a Qassam rocket landing in the middle of nowhere, whilst at the same time a pregnant Palestinian women is blown in half by an Israeli F-16 attack.

This article finishes today as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu threatens another escalation of force. The UK Foreign Secretary’s response to that is to announce that ‘Hamas bare the principle responsibility’ for what is happening and that de-escalation can happen only if ‘Hamas stop firing rockets’.

Content without context is meaningless. By refusing to report the context of what is happening in Gaza today, the BBC distort the true meaning behind every rocket. This is not a fight between 2 equal sides, nor is it a war between 2 neighbouring states. This is a decades old military occupation. There is a resistance to that occupation. But unless pressure is put on Israel to stop the slaughter now, there will be another massacre in Gaza in the coming weeks.

By Moqlieh


UNITED NATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory Protection of Civilians Weekly Report, 31 October – 6 November 2012

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *