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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Al-Beeb's friends at Hamas

Tom Gross takes the covers off al-Beeb's relations with Hamas. I question why the British taxpayer should be paying for its broadcasters to consort with terrorists and how anyone can seriously argue that al-Beeb's coverage is not biased by this type of relationship:
A senior BBC executive has confirmed that the BBC held private meetings with Hamas – whose gunmen usually wear ski masks to hide their identity – in the days leading up to the release of reporter Alan Johnston.

In a new posting on the blog of the BBC News website, BBC Middle East bureau editor Simon Wilson confirms that he held meetings with Hamas leaders in Gaza and Damascus to discuss Johnston’s fate. In his piece, titled “The Joy of Alan,” Wilson hints he was ordered to do so by more senior officials at the BBC.

Wilson also reveals that he and several colleagues were nearly kidnapped themselves on one of their outings to Gaza:

One grim day, a group of masked and armed men apparently looking for a hostage turned up 20 minutes after one of my colleagues had just left a building in Gaza City. Shortly afterwards, a contact in a western intelligence service gave us chilling and compelling evidence that our every move was being followed by a car full of armed gang members.

The BBC isn’t the only organization apparently now cooperating with Hamas. Yesterday in an interview with Italy’s RAI TV, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Gaza’s Hamas rulers were forging ever-closer ties with al-Qaeda and inviting al-Qaeda operatives to enter Gaza. “Thanks to the support of Hamas, al-Qaeda is entering Gaza,” Abbas said.

Would Wilson and other BBC officials also now like to comment on this report in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida – especially located by my sources in Gaza – that Jaysh Al-Islam (the so-called Army of Islam group who were holding Johnston) received $5 million and a million Kalashnikov rifle bullets in the deal to release Johnston?

I think British TV license-payers are entitled to know what is done with their money.

By the way, RAI has its own history with the 'Palestinian Authority.'
An Italian TV journalist in Israel has been disciplined by the Israeli government and his own company for writing an unauthorized apology to the Palestinians for images filmed by a competing network of a gruesome lynching of two Israeli reservists.

The letter of apology, which many saw as a result of Palestinian intimidation of journalists, became the subject of a fevered e-mail campaign among Jewish activists worldwide. Yet in a vast game of telephone, the story became garbled to a point where some reported that the crew that filmed the lynching, or even the Italian government itself, had apologized to the Palestinian Authority.

The footage that sparked the controversy is arguably the most incendiary of the current conflict. Filmed by a private Italian channel, Rete 4, in Ramallah on October 12, the videotape shows Palestinians throwing the body of an Israeli army reservist headfirst out a second-floor window and a mob attacking the body on the ground. Another image depicts a Palestinian man in a window triumphantly displaying his bloody hands.

Facing what he later said were "heightened pressures" on Italian journalists following the Ramallah incident, Riccardo Cristiano, a correspondent for Italy's RAI state broadcast network, who was not present at the lynching, wrote a letter that wound up on the front page of the October 16 edition of the Palestinian paper Al-Hayat Al-Jadedah. "Dear friends of Palestine," the Italian press quoted the letter as saying. "A private network and not official Italian television filmed that footage.... We would have respected the Palestinian Authority's rules for press working in Palestine."
Is it any wonder why Israel cannot get fair coverage in the international media?


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