Here’s the letter I’ve just sent to the BBC via its complaints form about its Gaza coverage – in particular the interview with Dr Mads Gilbert by Zeinab Badawi. You can watch the interview here.

Whilst listeners and viewers have been expressing outrage about BBC bias since Israel began its latest assault on Gaza (its third such attack in six years) which in turn prompted organisers to kick off the last Gaza protest I attended at the broadcaster’s central London HQ, the BBC has remained staunchly and unapologetically supportive of Israel and contemptuous of the Palestinian position throughout.

I will post a reply if I ever receive one, though I don’t expect it to say anything of substance. I don’t know if many of you saw it, but a few weeks ago someone posted on Twitter an image of a reply they received from the broadcaster. Although the listener’s complaint was about the pro-Israeli bias, the letter detailed the BBC’s critique of Hamas, implicitly confirming the writer’s accusation. I suspect the BBC reply was intended for some other listener altogether.

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I have just watched the HARDtalk interview of Dr Mads Gilbert by Zeinab Badawi.

This interview repeats a familiar pattern in the BBC’s Gaza coverage: the consistent use of Israeli talking points to badger speakers on behalf of the Palestinians while giving Israeli spokespeople free rein to make whatever claims they choose with no challenge whatsoever.

At no point in the interview with Dr Gilbert did Badawi acknowledge that the Palestinians have been living under an 8-year blockade. She dismissed Israel’s flouting of the principles of war and occupation enshrined in the ICC charter and the Geneva Conventions. She made much of Hamas’s ineffectual rockets which have killed 3 Israeli civilians, but ignored IDF bombing of 6 UNRWA schools housing refugees, and other civilian targets, which have resulted in the deaths of more than 2000 Palestinians. While these attacks have attracted international condemnation, the BBC continues to implicitly blame the Palestinians for the horrors they face, based on a ludicrous parity between Hamas and IDF firepower, and a refusal to recognise the right to resist occupation.

These biased interviews coupled with your failure to report Israel’s refusal to allow Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to enter Gaza, and the pressure being exerted on the ICC to drop its investigation of Israeli war crimes paint a completely one-sided picture of this conflict.

If the BBC chooses to model itself on Fox News so be it. But don’t expect UK taxpayers to bankroll it.

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