Is the BBC Getting it Right?

Since the BBC, like most British media outlets, isn’t highly regarded for balanced coverage of Israel, I felt it worth pointing out a notable exception. “Gaza-Israel clashes: The view from each side“, although nearly a month old, reflects a level of accuracy and fairness we’ve seen rarely, in a far longer time.

In typical BBC fashion, “the view from each side” includes not a word from anyone in Israel. But they do quote the residents of Gaza a little too accurately when the citizens, untrained in propaganda, wander away from the pre-packaged Palestinian narrative.

A four-storey house had been completely destroyed. Its roof had collapsed inwards; tables and chairs, bedclothes and children’s toys spilled out of its squashed floors like shopping from a torn plastic bag…

On first inspection it looked like one of Israel’s missiles must have gone astray, a case of collateral damage.

But on closer questioning the picture changes.

“I have already lost one son to the struggle for liberation,” the man told me. “I have two more, and I am willing to sacrifice them too.”

One of his sons is in the al-Qasam brigades, he says, the other in Islamic Jihad…

I asked another local how it was that so many people could have escaped relatively unscathed from a building that was so completely destroyed. “Sometimes the Israelis call up the person beforehand and warn them that they have 10 minutes to leave the house, then they strike.”

Whereas the Palestinians aim at Israeli population centers in order to kill as many civilians as possible, the Israelis warn residents even before depriving terrorists of their homes.

“What do you mean when you say you are struggling against the occupation?” I asked one Gazan. “After all Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005?”

“We mean the occupation of Jerusalem, and Jaffa and Haifa and all the other places that belong to us,” he said without hesitation.

As expressed by this typical Gaza resident, the idea that Palestinian terrorism will end with “self-determination” is a pipe dream, the pursuit of which has already cost thousands of lives. Palestinian terrorism will only end once the Arab residents of Gaza and the West Bank recognize that the destruction of Israel is an unattainable goal, and abandon it in favor of a better life. Either that, or they attain it. Forcing Israel into further concessions weakens the first possibility, and strengthens the second.

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