The BBC’s head of news and current affairs, and some of the organisation’s most senior presenters, have received innovative reminders this week that the Palestinians are an occupied people whose land is still being stolen from them.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign has sent its mugs, printed with maps showing just how much of their land Palestinians have lost to Israel since 1948, to BBC Broadcasting House in London.
James Harding, the BBC’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Evan Davis, presenter of Newsnight, Today presenters, John Humphrys, Mishal Husain, Sarah Montague and James Naughtie, and News at Ten anchors, Fiona Bruce and Huw Edwards, were sent the mugs this week, along with letters reminding them who is the occupier and who is the occupied.
Sarah Colborne, Director of PSC, said the BBC needed the reminder in the wake of its unbalanced reporting of October’s violence, which has seen more than 50 Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in three weeks.
She added: “Despite the huge number of Palestinian fatalities, which have included children as young as two, the BBC’s reporting has focused on attacks on Israelis and presented the occupier as the victim.
“On the Today programme this week, the BBC’s Middle East correspondent, Kevin Connolly, said it was impossible to guess at the motives of the Palestinians who had stabbed Israelis. He chose to ignore the brutal Israeli occupation and its war in the form of settlement building as potential reasons, preferring to present Palestinians as attacking for the sake of attacking.
“On Newsnight last week, the BBC’s Diplomatic Editor, Mark Urban, told viewers that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, echoing false Israeli claims and propaganda.”
Sarah continued: “We hope having a PSC mug, depicting everything the Palestinians have lost in the last 68 years, sitting on their desks will remind the BBC’s head of news and its senior presenters that it is the Palestinians who are the victims in this situation, not the heavily armed Israeli state.
“And we hope they enjoy drinking their morning tea from our mugs.”