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The Vote

Should the BBC allow the Gaza humanitarian broadcast to be shown?

Published on January 26th 2009.

The Vote
Yes: - 44%
No: - 56%

Even the Arab media are getting in touch with us now. We got this on Saturday from Al Jazeera. It's about the TV appeal for money to help victims of the recent conflict in Gaza. The appeal was produced by the UK Disaster’s Emergency Committee (DEC) which represents all the major British charities working in the area.

Al Jazeera said, '(We have) pledged to run public service announcements in UK prime time on Al Jazeera English at no cost in support of the appeal of DEC. The appeal will be broadcast to UK citizens both in the UK and across the world with Al Jazeera English’s global reach to over 130 million households.’

Very big-hearted of them. But it was more than that, it was also a dig at the BBC. A way of proving to sympathetic audiences that the Beeb and its World Service isn't to be trusted: that Al-Jazeera is the best place to get your daily diet of Middle Eastern nightmares.

This is because Auntie has, like Sky, but unlike every other mainstream UK broadcaster, decided not to broadcast the DEC appeal for victims of the Gaza conflict.

The BBC have stated that this would compromise their editorial integrity. At the same time they're worried that the money will end up in the wrong hands. The inference must be that they feel charitable relief might be used in one form or another to purchase more rockets for Hamas to chuck into Israel. Or to line the pockets of corrupt officials.

Tony Benn, still one of the most lucid thinkers around, said this was nonsense. The real reason was that Israel was leaning all over them and the BBC is cow-towing to the latter.

This is denied by the BBC.

Yet it is an odd decision. What about relief broadcasts for Darfur and other hideous areas of hardship and grief in the world? Surely similar doubts must exist there, especially with regard to the ultimate destination of the aid in an even more lawless situation.

As the Chief Executive of DEC, Brendan Gormley said, “We launched the Gaza Crisis Appeal as the devastation wrought in the Gazan territory was so huge. Political solutions are for others to resolve, but what is of major concern to us all is that many innocent people have been affected by the situation – and it is them that we seek to help.”

So this is about aid to the thousands who were left homeless or injured by the conflict. Nothing else, and in that it is no different from any other emergency appeal anywhere else.

Then again maybe the BBC should be careful. Because this is a conflict different from others, if not in the horrors suffered by a civilian population but in terms of politics.

After all the Palestine/Israeli crisis (forty years and counting - longer depending on your historical perspective) is the most dismal of intractable global conflicts and the single largest destabilising force on the planet. It has polarised opinion from the beginning: it seems to require people to lose impartiality.

Best then for the BBC to step back and say, 'no, all we can do is report. We have to maintain our record of even-handedness. This is a special case.'

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32 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DescartesJanuary 26th 2009.

I think the most interesting thing to come out of this is the admission that the major channels meet behind closed doors to discuss what we should and shouldn't hear about as a viewing public. No conspiracy theories here, just a bunch of people we don't know deciding what we find out about ;)

ChrisJanuary 26th 2009.

Of course they should show it ... yes, although the best way to protest at the BBC's outrageous behaviour is probably to donate to the Gaza Appeal via the DEC website: http://www.dec.org.uk.

Paul MJanuary 26th 2009.

Surely we're missing the point in all this? The Israeli state destroyed innocent civilian property - and lives. It is ISRAEL which should foot the bill.

SwitzerlandJanuary 26th 2009.

I may have missed the point here, but were past DEC adverts not specifically to raise awareness of a subject a large proportion of our under informed population knew about and thus get them to empty their pockets in shock and horror? The only exception from this being the Tsunami which will probably be the largest and most wide-ranging disaster of our lifetimes. I believe the Gaza conflict is different in that it was the main story on the news for the duration of the latest conflict, unlike the Congo or Sudan (previous DEC appeals). If you're going to donate you probably already know about it.This doesn't take away from the suffering of the people of Gaza, how anyone could fail to feel sympathy I don't understand. However there are people suffering as the result of conflicts the world over. There are also many good causes that would no doubt benefit from this kind of advert or appeal.The BBC and other channels have to remain impartial and take a step back, otherwise we get to the point where there's a new appeal every day, which quite frankly very few people would watch.It has to be said that this has all created extra pulicity for the DEC appeal anyway.If all the 'hundreds of thousands' of people who feel so strongly about it give £20 each then we've already got several million pounds.I'll be donating however I fear they'll be too busy starting groups on facebook, petitioning, harassing the BBC and it's employees and jumping on their high horse until a passing bandwaggon is convenient to dismount onto.I thank you.

LouJanuary 26th 2009.

Despite extensive effort, this confict is an issue which I still feel is too complex for me to fully understand and therefore feel I wouldn't want to support either territory in rebuilding after the conflict.I think that the majority of people don't truely understnd the whole issue and so unless balance can be added to the apeal it should not be aired.

jean de baptisteJanuary 26th 2009.

Strange the DEC would appeal for this one, they normally only get involved with situations very much larger than the one in Gaza.The Israelis and UN are already supplying aid, so why would DEC get involved? Its a political statement and the BBC are well advised to stay out of this one.

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2009.

Haven't the DEC got more publicity out of the BBC refusing to the air the appeal than if they had agreed to air it?!

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2009.

I find it amazing that the majority of the comments on here are for the bbc to show the DEC appeal. Yet the vote is totally opposite. The BBC has not got any integritty. It has been shown by the years of producing non news items, ie come dancing, on the TV News yet if you look at their website, there is continuous news of the israeli goverment apartheid against the palestinians. The germans knock down a wall that has blocked east and west, yet the israeli's build one, causing further suffering to the population of Palestine, who have to go miles to queue for hours at check points before going to work the doctor, or for the farmer to reach another part of his farm. South Africa condemned for years for apartheid bans it, but Israel continuously segregates the palestinians from the rest of the population. The BBC together with Bush Blair and Brown have kept everyone in the Dark about what is happening in Palestine. They demand a democratic govcerment in Iraq, and go to war illegally against the wishes of the Public. Yet will not talk to the Demedratically elected Government of Gaza. Gaza is full of refugee camps which have been there for the last 60 years the inception of Israel. For the last few years, the economy has bottomed out, because trade is controlled by israel accross the borders. The pay and conditions of ordinary Gazan's is the worst in the world. Why, because Israel controls its borders and airspace. Why is it when Israel attacks another country its, casualties barely make double figures, yet they cause casualties of over a thousand. Is the proportion acceptable. Israle continually ignores the UN and their international court findings. Amazing how they attacked Gaza in the last few days of the administration and accepted a cease fire after over a thousand deaths most women and children had been caused and on the last day of the Bush Administration. So please have a heart for the Inocent women and childrentell the BBC to get some integraty, this is about humane relief of suffering.

NazJanuary 26th 2009.

Have the BBC gone mad?! Families have been destroyed and they are still dieing. I can't believe the BBC can't put some kind of disclaimer in the broadcast to show they are impartial. We all know this war was illegal yet the BBC stand by Israel. It’s ok for the BBC's presenters to use obscene language and cause over 10,000 complaints but oh no lets wave the sensitivity flag on this very humane cause. I've always respected the BBC but those days are over.

NazJanuary 26th 2009.

Have the BBC gone mad?! Families have been destroyed and they are still dieing. I can't believe the BBC can't put some kind of disclaimer in the broadcast to show they are impartial. We all know this war was illegal yet the BBC stand by Israel. It’s ok for the BBC's presenters to use obscene language and cause over 10,000 complaints but oh no lets wave the sensitivity flag on this very humane cause.

scoteeeJanuary 26th 2009.

sureley its news? so cover it...

cigpapersJanuary 26th 2009.

Does the BBC have appeals to help British families devastated by islamic racist paedophile gangs or drug dealers?

esquiloJanuary 26th 2009.

I might not agree with your opinions but I will fight to the death for your right to remain an utter prick

RobJanuary 26th 2009.

Look he was a great England international so why can't we have the Gazza Appeal? Bloomin' Pudsey gets enough money every year.

MosieJanuary 26th 2009.

I agree with you.Israel have caused all the damage and bloodshed.They should pay.....like Germany did!

Jonathan SchofieldJanuary 26th 2009.

Esquilo, spot on. cigpapers has issues.'islamic racist paedophiles'? What? And maybe let's mention indigeneous racist paedophiles - are they any better? What is the man on about? But let him say it, you're right. Idiocy, rancour and bitterness are always unpleasant and always seen through pretty quickly. cigpapers condemns himself in what he says.

Ralph MSJanuary 26th 2009.

What I usually like about Manchester Confidential is that most of the comments are ok, sometimes even intelligent, sometimes even funny. And mostly people spell properly and use capital letters for names and at the start of sentences. Cigpapers depresses me because he displays none of these characteristics. Aren't there some National Front websites where he'd be welcome?

cigpapersJanuary 26th 2009.

Firstly I'm too polite to get involved in the name calling. Secondly I simply asked a question , why all the abuse?

rosieJanuary 26th 2009.

erm...the abuse is a result of you being a nasty,unintelligent racist and all round s*itty person.

EditorialJanuary 26th 2009.

Now, now folks. This is getting personal. We'll have to start removing rants soon.

rosieJanuary 26th 2009.

it's true though.

cigpapersJanuary 26th 2009.

To Rosie - maybe if we all accept that different people have different views in a free society we would all be happier. LOVE & PEACE

cigpapersJanuary 26th 2009.

I often feel that Rosie and the rest of the people on Manchester Confidential are the only real friends that I have.

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2009.

EDITORIAL..we get round to things honestly. Folks, come on, please. We've removed this foolish, ill-informed and completely irresponsible rant.

jaybeeJanuary 26th 2009.

Jonathan is right too, there is plenty of indiginous paeodophiles on the go. Only last week yet another Labour Cllr was arrested for his disgusting activities, not forgett the long list of his party colleagues also convicted, and not forgetting the Tory and LibDem pervs too! Great isn't it that when the BBC refuses a seat on the Q.T. panel to the BNP Rosie and her pals are in full support, now she is frantic about the Gaza appeal being banned. Why?

cigpapersJanuary 26th 2009.

In Tameside we've got a particular problem ( as have many other areas ) with racist muslim paedophile gangs attacking and grooming British children.The Police seem to not want to get involved in case they're accused of racism so we're starting our own Community based group.

cigpapersJanuary 26th 2009.

Would Rosie or any other Manchester Confidential bloggers care to join?

Michael WestJanuary 26th 2009.

@cigpapers Schofield's point was that you deliberately pointed to "foreign" paedophiles. We have had some pretty nasty ones who were home-grown. It doesn't help your aims to go so far off topic.

cigpapersJanuary 26th 2009.

EDITORIAL...deleted rant

rosieJanuary 26th 2009.

to Jaybee;actually I haven't given an opinion on the BBC not broadcasting the DEC appeal.I'm not informed enough to be getting into the politics of it.My problem is with those who are trying to hijack this forum and use it to try and promote far-right views.Fortunately,as Jonathan(and others)have already stated,if you're given enough rope........

cigpapersJanuary 26th 2009.

To Michael West - where did I state or even imply that you are anything to do with the ANL? On another note I'm organising a Manchester Confidential get together in Tameside - probably each Thursday so let me know if anyone can make it.

cigpapersJanuary 26th 2009.

To: Rosie , Ralph , Esquilo , JS and the rest of The Manchester Confidential Crew , who's up for a get together?Should be a real laugh.

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