Letter to Sky News re their claim that 'Israel has broken the middle east truce' (15 July 2005)Dear Sir/madam
At approx 10.15pm on 15 July Sky News brought the story of Israel's attacks against Hamas 'militants' in Gaza. The newsreader then stated that 'this attack has broken the truce that has been in place since Februrary'. Was the newsreader not aware that Islamic Jihad had already broken the truce by mounting several suicide attacks inside Israel including one in Netanya as recently as Tuesday 12 July that killed 5 people (including two children) at a shopping mall? And that Hamas had broken the truce by mounting a barrage of Qasam missiles into Israel in the previous few days, including one which killed a 22-year-old woman sitting in the porch of her house in the Negev on Thursday evening?
The Israelis' pinpointed attack killed 6 Hamas terrorists who were in the process of carrying missiles to launch further attacks. An act of self-defence if ever there was one, not a 'breach of a truce'.
Perhaps the newsreader would not have made such an obvious error if Sky News had actually covered any of the previous attacks in any detail. In fact, even the Netanya suicide bombing failed to get a mention on Sky News throughout the whole of Tuesday evening (the attack happened at 4.00pm London time). For a 24-hour news channel this omission was truly remarkable.
Letter to the Sun in response to Anila Baig's article in the Sun (13 July 05)Anila Baig ("All of us must pull together") in explaining the feelings of Muslims says "Feeling sorry for Palestinian orphans ... does not make us complicit in terror". Perhaps if Muslims also felt sorry for Israelis orphaned by the continual Palestinian suicide bombings (such as the two yesterday during a so-called 'truce') this might have more resonance. But they don't. And I have never heard a Muslim leader condemn the suicide bombings in Israel (or even Iraq) without also trying to justify it. It is time for Muslims to condemn terrorism without any 'buts'.
Complaint to the BBC (21 June 2005)BBC World Service, News (10.00pm), 21 - 06 - 05
The leading item on the News stated that, according to Palestinians, the meeting between Israeli PM Sharon and Palestinian PM Abbas ended in disappointment. The report attributed this to 'the tense atmosphere... resulting from Israel's arrest earlier in the day of 50 Palestinian militants'. It is not clear why the BBC should regard only the Palestinian viewpoint as definitive, but this report was in any case seriously flawed since it failed to mention the string of deadly terrorist attacks on Israelis (and the attempted suicide bombing of an Israeli hospital) that immediately preceded the arrests of the terrorists . The BBC's failure to report the context of both the arrests and 'tense atmosphere' represents seriously anti-Israel bias and extremely poor and misinformed reporting.
Complaint to the BBC (20 June 05)Today's BBC news on the Middle East fails to mention the two terrorist attacks in the last 24 hours that both resulted in loss of Israeli lives -- see the details, for example at:
Nor does the news contain any mention of the quite astonishing story of the female would-be suicide bomber who tried to repay the kindness of the Israelis who had been treating her at a Beersheba hospital by blowing them up. The full story can be found here:
Given that these (and many other similar) incidents of Palestinian terrorism are now taking place during a so-called truce I would have thought that it was imperative for the BBC to be reporting them. I would be interested to know why the BBC is keeping this information from its readers and viewers.