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BBC bias over Israel – the report they still won’t let you read


NATURALLY there is saturation media coverage of the Dyson Report about how the BBC obtained an interview with Princess Diana 26 years ago. The report exposes BBC professional incompetence and moral indecency, and those responsible should be ashamed of their disgraceful behaviour.

This is therefore an appropriate time to ask the BBC hierarchy why they continue to suppress the Balen Report, which was commissioned to investigate biased BBC coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian issue of the type which has been so current these last weeks.

The fact that the BBC has withheld this report from the public is a national outrage, and it is no coincidence that many of the BBC management responsible for the Bashir fiasco were in positions of responsibility at the date of Balen’s report. Why did our public broadcaster spend hundreds of thousands of pounds and months of management time ensuring the Balen Report went unpublished? What has the BBC hidden from those who fund it for so long?

One does not have to take a side or political view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to see that this particular geopolitical area commands major coverage within BBC news. Why did the BBC devote at least three months daily reporting on its BBC online news pages to a teenage Palestinian girl slapping an Israeli soldier, and naturally sympathising with her when arrested, and yet left unreported, for example the genocide in Rwanda? No sympathy for any of the 800,000 Rwandans slaughtered during a similar three-month period.

One might also ask why the BBC devoted so little news coverage to two other African genocides, in the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo.  Perhaps those Black Lives Do Not Matter to the BBC. Just think about how many times the Israeli-Palestinian issue arose under the Dimbleby brothers when they presented Question Time or Any Questions compared with the genocides in Africa alluded to. Why are the deaths of Palestinians so important to the BBC and the misery of indigenous black Africans so unimportant? Maybe the Balen Report can answer the former if not the latter.

That the BBC has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress the report is presumably because it produced unpalatable reading. Had the BBC broken the Charter it has to abide by and were BBC reporters guilty of bias and misreporting? 

My recent article in TCW exposed the absurdity of Alan Johnston’s role for the BBC in Gaza, when both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas described him as a ‘friend of the Palestinians’.

It is for the Government to ensure that the BBC publishes the Balen Report. It could be even more devastating to the BBC than the Dyson Report. Let the nation see it and decide.

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Peter Baum
Peter Baum
Peter Baum has had a career in international finance, working mainly in the Far East, Middle East and Europe. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and is a Deputy on the Board of Deputies for British Jews.

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