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BBC News Promotes False and Defamatory Lies About ‘Genocide’ and ‘War Crimes’ in Gaza

The BBC logo is seen at the entrance at Broadcasting House, the BBC headquarters in central London. Photo by Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images/Sipa USA.

As previously noted here, on November 2, the BBC News website published a filmed report titled ‘”Israel-Gaza war: Three reasons Egypt tightly controls the Rafah crossing.”

Presented by Amal Saeed of BBC Arabic in Cairo, that item does not confine itself to the topic of Egypt’s policies concerning the crossing on its border with the Gaza Strip.

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened on Wednesday to allow a number of civilians to leave Gaza for the first time since the war began on 7 October.

The crossing has been open and shut frequently over the years. Why is it so contentious for Egypt? And where does Egypt stand in the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

The BBC’s Amal Saeed in Cairo explains.

Saeed opens with a reference to the “Israel-Gaza war,” despite the fact that Israel is not at war with Gaza, but with the proscribed terrorist organization Hamas.

The three reasons cited by Saeed for Egypt’s tight control of the Rafah border crossing are security (she mentions the ISIS “militants” in Sinai), refugees (she states that Egypt does not have the ability to accommodate large numbers of Gaza Strip residents), and the “Palestinian cause.”

Saeed later presents viewers with her version of Egypt’s “complex history with Israel and Gaza”: “This goes back to 1948 when a war started between Israel and a handful of Arab countries, including Egypt, which ended in Egypt controlling Gaza.” [emphasis added]

That portrayal clearly whitewashes the fact that the war was initiated by those Arab countries with the intention of annihilating the nascent Israeli state and that Egypt illegally occupied — rather than merely “controlled” — territory assigned by the League of Nations for the creation of a Jewish homeland. Saeed goes on:

In 1967 another war started between Israel and some Arab countries, including Egypt, ending with Israel taking over Gaza among other areas.

Once again Egypt’s role in bringing about that second war intended to annihilate Israel is whitewashed by Saeed.

After erasing the fact that Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 as well as the violent nature of Hamas’ coup against the Palestinian Authority two years later, Saeed goes on: “In 2007 Hamas took over Gaza and the situation on the border between Egypt and Hamas became more complex.”

Viewers are not given any explanation of what “more complex” means, and are told nothing about topics such as Hamas’ cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Egypt’s imprisonment of Hamas operatives, or the 2008 infiltration of the border by tens of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.

Saeed fails to make any mention whatsoever of Hamas’ October 7 infiltration of Israel and the murderous rampages that sparked the current war throughout her entire almost four-minute-long report. Neither does she refer to the terror attack perpetrated by an Egyptian policeman against Israeli tourists in Alexandria the following day, before going on to tell viewers about opinions on the Egyptian street that include “condemning what Israel did with the harsh bombardment of civilians.” [her words]

A particularly notable part of Saeed’s report refers to al Azhar Institute: “On the ground you find al Azhar, which is the highest religious institute in Egypt, called what Israel is doing in Gaza a ‘genocide’ and a ‘war crime.’ Al Azhar is widely followed by Egyptians.”

Al Azhar — which is funded both by the Egyptian government and the UAE — is also widely followed by other Sunni Muslims elsewhere in the world, as the BBC surely knows full well. It is therefore particularly significant that BBC Arabic chose to amplify that institution’s redundant allegations of “genocide”and “war crime.”

As recently reported by the INSS:

The establishment that Egypt used to present as a beacon of “religious moderation” and the standard bearer of the ideological struggle against Islamic extremism has been revealed to be a supporter of terror. Since the outbreak of the war, al-Azhar has conducted a campaign designed to foment hostility in Arab-Muslim public opinion against Israel and its supporters in the West. […]

An initial response published by al-Azhar on the day of the October 7 attack, which saw the cold blooded murder of 1,400 innocent civilians and soldiers, Israelis and foreign nationals, and Jews and Arabs, as well as the rape of women and the abduction of elderly people, men, women, and children from their homes, stated that it “salutes with absolute pride the resistance efforts of the Palestinian people.” Al-Azhar also sought to “strengthen the proud Palestinian people who have breathed spirit and faith into us and restored us to life.” […]

…on October 18 al-Azhar issued a fatwa stating that “Zionist civilians on occupied land are not [at all] worthy of the description of ‘civilians,’ but they are occupiers of the land, usurpers of rights, deviants from the way of the prophets, who attack the historical holy places of Jerusalem.” The al-Azhar ruling that there are no “innocent’ Israeli citizens in effect makes it permissible to kill them.

Nevertheless, the BBC chose to provide worldwide amplification on its website for hate speech put out by that institution.

Saeed’s report closes with a tepid portrayal of anti-Israel demonstrations in Egypt: “There were also protests in Cairo and other Egyptian cities, with people raising the Palestinian flag, wearing the Palestinian scarf and chanting ‘free Palestine, victory for Gaza, open the border.’”

Saeed did not bother to inform BBC audiences that those demonstrations also included calls for Israel’s elimination. The topic of the Egyptian president’s unusual encouragement of demonstrations — and, relatedly, the upcoming presidential election in Egypt — was not addressed in Saeed’s account.

The BBC Cairo office’s uncritical amplification of talking points that are part of a propaganda campaign run by “the highest religious institute in Egypt” and the promotion of that messaging to world-wide audiences via the BBC News website and on BBC social media channels once again raises very serious questions about how the BBC interprets terms such as “trusted journalism” and “commitment to impartiality,” which it uses in response to criticism of its reporting.

A media organization that is on the one hand squeamish about using the term terrorism in entirely appropriate circumstances — but on the other hand has no problem irresponsibly bandying about words such as “genocide” and “war crimes” (and Saeed is far from the only BBC employee to have done so) — cannot expect to win public trust.

Hadar Sela is the co-editor of CAMERA UK — an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), where a version of this article first appeared.

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Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta

Illustrative. Anti-Israel protesters demonstrate outside AIPAC President Michael Tuchin’s vacation home in Los Angeles, Nov. 23, 2023. Photo: Screenshot

i24 NewsA protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.

A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.

JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.

The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.

The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a…

— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023

“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.

Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”

“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”

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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed

Relatives and supporters of hostages kidnapped on the deadly October 7 attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, rally for their release, after a temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas ended when the terrorist group broke it, in Tel Aviv, Israel, December 2, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.

Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.

“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”

Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.

A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.

Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.

More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.

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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist

Illustrative. Palestinian attacker near Nablus hurls stones towards Israeli troops during clashes at a riot in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, May 5, 2017. Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

i24 NewsThe Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.

According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.

During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.

ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.

הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו.

— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023

The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.

It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.

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