Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gaza: Does the BBC have a death wish?

Having outraged Daily Mail releases over Jonathan Ross, the BBC now seems determined to do the same for Guardian readers. Soon there will be no one left with the motivation to speak up for it.

The Independent reports:

Hundreds of protesters are expected to gather outside Broadcasting House in London today after the BBC defended its decision not to broadcast a public appeal to raise funds for Gaza.

The corporation said the decision was taken with other broadcasters not to show the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) crisis appeal because of impartiality concerns. There were also doubts about the delivery of aid in such a volatile situation, the BBC said.

Speaking on the radio this morning, Caroline Thomson, the BBC's "chief operating officer", waffled and was unable to give a reasoned defence of the corporation's position. In particular, she could not explain why the BBC was a better judge of whether aid can be delivered than the experienced charities who form the DEC.

But don't despair. As someone said at the time of Manuelgate, when faced with complaints the BBC has no middle position between arrogant dismissal and abject surrender. We are still at the first stage.


Anonymous said...


THANK GOD Jewish communities around the world are at last coming to their senses! Killing unarmed civilians, men, women and children with missiles, bombs, white phosphorus, or a bullet through the head is a criminal act - A WAR CRIME. No amount of propaganda from the Israeli embassy will alter that fact. These atrocities are not done in the name of ordinary Jews and we condemn these acts, outright. Judaism expressly forbids such terrible killings. Please use your voice to get President Obama to STOP THE SALE OF ARMS TO THE MIDDLE EAST NOW - tanks, planes, cluster bombs, white phosphorus, guns and spare parts.

Let this senseless brutality cease! Do NOT support the killing of any civilians – particularly children. It is an act against God.


Jan 22nd, 2009

“We Shall Not Be a Party to Their Counsel!”

As human beings, we are shocked and appalled at the mass destruction unleashed by the State of Israel against the people of Gaza in its current military operation, following years of Israeli occupation, siege, and deprivation.

As Americans, we protest the carte blanche given Israel by the US government to pursue a war of “national honor,” “restoring deterrence,” “destroying Hamas,” and “searing Israel’s military might into the consciousness of the Gazans.”

As progressives, we reject the same justifications for the carnage that we heard ad nauseam from the supporters of the Second Iraq War: the so-called “war on terror,” the “clash of civilizations,” the “need to re-establish deterrence” – all of which served to justify a misguided and unnecessary war, with disastrous consequences for America and Iraq.

But as Jews of different religious persuasions, from Orthodox to secular atheist, we are especially horrified that a state that purports to speak in our name wages a military campaign that has killed over 1,000 people, a large percentage of them civilians, children, and non-combatants, with little or no consideration for human rights or the laws of war.

While the moral and legal issue concerning Israel’s right to respond militarily in these circumstance can be debated, there is near-universal agreement that its conduct of the military operation has been unjust and even criminal – with only the usual apologists for the Jewish state disagreeing.

As Jews, we stand united with another Israel, the patriarch Jacob, who cursed his sons Simeon and Levi for massacring the people of Shechem in revenge for the rape of their sister Dinah. Like Jacob, “we shall not be a party to the counsel of zealots. We shall not be counted in their assembly. (See Genesis 34. 49: 5-7).

As Jews, we stand united with the Jewish sages who rejected the zealotry of the Jewish “terrorists” at Masada, those who masked ethnic tribalism in the cloak of “self-defense” and “national honor.”

As Jews, we listen not only when the sage Hillel says, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” but also when he says, “If I am only for myself, what am I?” Hillel’s closing words also ring true in this hour of decision when a full cessation of conflict is demanded of both sides: “If not now, when?”

Finally, as American Jewish progressives, and as human beings, we condemn Hamas and Israel for violating the human rights of civilians on both sides, although we do not necessarily declare these violations to be morally or legally equivalent. We affirm the rights of both Israeli and the Palestinian peoples to self-determination and self-defense, as we affirm the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Rabbi Leonard Beerman
Rabbi Brant Rosen
Rabbi Rebecca Lillian
Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak
Tony Judt, NYU
Howard Zinn
Brian Leiter, Wilson Professor of Law, Univ. of Chicago
Irena Klepfisz, Barnard College
Adam Rubin, PhD, HUC-JIR (Los Angeles)
Mark Le Vine, UC Irvine
Daniel Garber, Princeton, Philosophy dept. chair
Ned Block, Silver Professor, NYU
Gideon Rosen, Princeton
Matthew Noah Smith, Yale
Aryeh Cohen, PhD, American Jewish University
Ilya Kliger, New York University
Paul Loeb
Alice Rothschild
Murray Polner, former editor, Present Tense
Larry Yudelson
Jerome Slater, SUNY Buffalo
Joanne Yaron, World Meretz
Chana Bloch, UC Berkeley
Marilyn Hacker, CCNY
Rita Karuna Cahn, UC San Francisco
Nance Goldstein, University of Southern Maine
Gordon Fellman, Brandeis Univ.
Harry Mairson, Brandeis University
David L. Green, University of Illinois
Stephanie Sieburth, Duke
Priscilla Wald, Duke
E. James Lieberman, M.D., George Washington University School of Medicine
Norbert Hornstein, University of Maryland
David Auerbach, Univ. of N. Carolina, Raleigh
Joseph Levine, Univ. of Mass., Amherst
Shari Stone-Mediatori, Ohio Wesleyan Univ.
Ido Roll, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
Philip Wadler, University of Edinburgh
Assaf Oron, Univ. of Wash.
Clare Solomon, Washington Univ.
Judith Norman, Trinity Univ.
Steven Bell, Berry College
Charles Manekin, Univ. of Maryland
Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam
Dan Fleshler, Realistic Dove
Dan Sieradski, Orthodox Anarchist
Bram Hubbell, Friends Seminary

Ilana Abramovitch, Ph.D.
Kate Abramson
David Adler
Dina Afek
Delmas and Sally Allen
Tracy Allen
Marshall Ansell
Paul Ansell
Harry Appelman
Darwin Aronoff
Jesse Bacon
Sonia M. Baku
Walter Ballin
Adam Barolsky
Kathy Barolsky
Tsela Barr
David Basior
Elliott Battzedek
Elizabeth Biele
Peter Belmont
Nicolas M. Benacerraf
Lori Berlin
Judith Berlowitz, Ph.D
Murray & Marcia Bernstein
Nancy Bernstein
David Eugene Blank
Alan L. Blitz
Hedy Bookin-Weiner
Elisa Bowyer
Sallye Steiner Bowyer
Dennis Brasky
China Brotsky
Ellen Brotsky
Robert Browne
Patricia Carmeli
Rina Chomsky
Liza DiPrima Cibula
G Sherman Cole
Mariani Didyk
Pioter Drubetskoy
Ann Colleen Dunham
Bacia Edelman
Carole Edelsky, PhD
Steven R. Edelstein
Dr. Amy Eisenberg, Center for World Indigenous Studies
Lynne Eisenberg
Liz Elkind
David M. Ellis Ph.D
Anita E. Feldman
Andrew Felluss
Eva Ferrero
Raya Fidel
George Figdor
Daniel Fisher
Terry Fletcher
Dr. Chris Fox
Stephen Saperstein Frug
Racheli Gai
Ellen Garvey
Doris Gelbman
Myles Gideon
Jim Glionna
Roberta Gold
Mary Goldman
Daniel Goldstein
Julius Gordon
Bruce Gould
essica Greenbaum
Kathy Grisham
Sherrl Grosse Yanowitz Rogall
Kay Halpern
Tony and Hillary Hamburger
Lawrence R. Hamilton
Peter Handler
Hasibul Haque
Wendy Hartley
Glen Hauer
Katherine Herman
Dr. Annette Herskovits
Hanna J. Hoffman, PhD
Jack Holtzman
Rebecca Hughes
Nomi Hurwitz
Barbara S. Kane, PhD, LCSW
Ilene Kantrov
Wendy Kaufmyn
Aimée Kligman
Susie Kneedler
Judith Kolokoff
Steve Kowit
Rebecca S. Krantz, PhD
Judith Laitman
Sheldon H. Laskin
Betsy Lawrence
Mirna Lawrence
Shamai Leibowitz
David Leipziger
Jack Leiss
Oded Adomi Leshem
Yossi Levanoni
Jeremy Levick
John F. Levin
Rebekah Levin
Joan Levitt
Mary-Lee Lutz
Marsha C. Manekin
Richard Manekin
Gideon Manning
Yitzhak Y Melamed
Alan Meyers
Gert Meyers
Katya Miller
Sherin Miller
Susan Miller
Daniel Millstone
Sarah Anne Minkin
Cary Moskovitz
Rick Nagin
Dorothy Naor
Germana Nijim
Sara Norman
Joel Dansky
Henry Norr
Leonard Bruce Novick
Diane O’Bannon
Elijah Oberman
Miller Oberman
Abigail Okrent
Benjamin Orbach
Dr. Stephen Oren
Tova Perlmutter
Karen Platt
Lynn Pollack
Dr. Betty Potash
Harriet Putterman
Joyce Ravitz
Susan Ravitz
Deb Reich
Avram Rips
Mara Rivera
Lee Robinson
Jennifer Rose
Dorah Rosen
Ellen Rosner
Sue Rouda
Novelle Saarinen
Lawrence Saltzman
Meg Sandow
Linda Siegel Sang
Marlena Santoyo
Karl Schaffer, PhD
Cindy Shamban
Wendy Scher
Madeline Schleimer
Eugene Schulman
Kayla Schwarz
Janet Settle
Lee Sharkey
Dr Peter Sheridan
Brian S Sherman
Meryl Siegal
Jessica Siegel
Rich Siegel
Earl Silbar
Marc Silverstein
Shayna Silverstein
Miriam Simos
Jeffrey Sklansky
Laura Sklarsky
Jerome Slater
Kathrin Smith
Daniel Sniderman
Louisa Rachel Solomon
Talli Somekh
Nicole Witte Solomon
Dr. Wendy Elisheva Somerson
Doug Sparling
Neta Stahl
Aaron Stark
Burton Steck
Jane Stein
Mark Stenzler
Mae Stephen
Lynne Strieb
Danny Stone
Robert Stone
Shirley Stone
Debbie Stone-Bruell
Uri Strauss
Leslie Sudock
Yaakov Sullivan
Michele Sumka
Cecilie Surasky
Lois Swartz
Amir & Roni Terkel
Theodore Warmbrand
Tom Weltsch
Janis G. White
Robin Winogrond
Rachel Farrell Wofsy
Bruce Wolman, MD
Michael J. Zigmond

Frank Little said...

According to a Radio 4 news bulletin this morning (2009-1-25), the government has now made things even worse for the BBC by calling for the corporation to change its mind. BBC surely cannot be seen to bow to government pressure, however worthy the cause.

dreamingspire said...

CT was indeed dreadful. Why do we pay these people?