The Unholy Trinity: BBC, UN and Amnesty

Any reader of mine will have noticed by now the number of times I’ve mentioned the anti-Israelism and even antisemitism which motivate and inform the work of many international media outlets, numerous NGOs and of course the UN. This week, within the space of a couple of days, the operational similarities between there of the most famous (or notorious) organizations has become apparent.

With the one-year anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, the BBC has produced a documentary on the Children of Gaza, which (surprisingly for me) also included a section on the trauma of Israeli children. All well and good – so far. See the video clip below:


But this segment displaying Lyse Doucet’s empathy and gentleness with the children is not representative of the whole. The documentary itself is marked by an outrageously deliberate misleading of the public as the BBC made sure to translate the word “Yahud” – i.e. “Jews” – whenever it was spoken by Gazan children – to “Israelis”. This malicious mistranslation serves to cover up the ingrained antisemitism with which Gaza’s children are brainwashed from their infancy. It also disguises the very real Jew-hatred endemic in Palestinian society, particularly in Gaza.

Sandy Rashty at The Jewish Chronicle reports on “Why Jews were lost in translation in the BBC Children of Gaza documentary“:

A BBC documentary has substituted the word “Israelis” for “Jews” in its translation of interviews with Palestinians, its maker has admitted.

Lyse Doucet has stood by the decision to translate “yahud” as “Israeli” in subtitles on her hour-long documentary Children of the Gaza War, which airs on BBC Two tonight.

The correct translation for “yahud” from Arabic to English is “Jew”.

The BBC’s chief international correspondent said that Gazan translators had advised her that Palestinian children interviewed on the programme who refer to “the Jews” actually meant Israelis.

In one instance, a Gazan child says the “yahud” are massacring Palestinians. However the subtitles read: “Israel is massacring us”.

Canada-born Ms Doucet said: “We talked to people in Gaza, we talked to translators. When [the children] say ‘Jews’, they mean ‘Israelis’.

“We felt it was a better translation of it.”

She added: “We checked this again yesterday.

“We are not trying to cover it up – we took advice on it and that was the advice we were given by translators.”

Kol hakavod to Ms. Rashty and the JC for following up with the BBC even though all they received in return was an anodyne denial.

BBC Watch analyses the insidious language and story angles used by Lyse Doucet: first, in a post discussing Doucet’s promotion of her documentary and following that, a post describing the history behind Doucet’s and the BBC’s decision to whitewash the “Yahud” word and cover up the Palestinians’ antisemitism:

Anyone toying with the idea of making a complaint to the BBC on this issue should be aware that this is not the first time that the BBC has mistranslated the Arabic word ‘yahud’. In February 2013 the same issue arose in a series of multi-platform reports by Jon Donnison – the BBC’s Gaza correspondent at the time.

As was noted here at the time:

“In other words, the programme-makers’ “professional judgement” led them to believe that Hamas makes a distinction between Israelis (the enemy) and Jews (not the enemy) and intended by means of this translation distortion to clarify that.

Apparently that “professional judgement” has never come across the antisemitic themes which dominate the Hamas Charter or the words of Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar from 2009, for example.

Two and a half years on, we see that the BBC is still shielding its audiences from the antisemitism which lies at the very heart of Hamas’ Islamist ideology (and from which other Palestinian factions are not exempt) and which shapes the indoctrination of Palestinian children from an early age.

That uncomfortable reality does not of course fit in with the BBC’s narrative on the topic of why the terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip continue their attacks on Israel despite the fact that it disengaged from the territory a decade ago and so – as we see above – the BBC allows itself to use ‘professional judgement’ in order to rewrite the story according to its own political views.

Herod’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem

Moving from the BBC’s bias to the UN, this time it is UNESCO which bashes Israel for basically destroying the Old City of Jerusalem. This breath-takingly perverse and malicious resolution is an exact mirror image of the reality as we all know. Reports of massive Waqf desecration of the Temple Mount through illegal excavations and dumping of priceless relics are legion; the proof is documented and readily available, but for UNESCO it is the Jews who are to blame. Via Honest Reporting, The Jerusalem Post reports: “Israel slams UNESCO for ignoring the Jewish and Christian connection to Jerusalem”:

Israel slammed the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Tuesday for adopting a “completely one-sided resolution” on the Old City of Jerusalem that “deliberately ignores the historical connection between the Jewish people and their ancient capital.”

The resolution, adopted by the World Heritage Committee meeting in Bonn, Germany, takes Israel to task for – among other grievances – the following allegations: engaging in “illegal excavations” in the Old City; causing damage to structures on the Temple Mount; impeding restoration work on the Temple Mount; and damaging the “visual integrity” of the Old City with the Jerusalem light rail.

It also deplored various Israeli projects in and around the Old City and the Western Wall Plaza, which it referred to as the “Buraq Plaza.”

Foreign Ministry director- general Dore Gold issued a statement saying that not only does the resolution gloss over any Jewish connection to Jerusalem, it also fails to acknowledge Christianity’s ties to Jerusalem and refers to the Temple Mount area only as a “Muslim holy site of worship.”

“In fact, the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem has survived from ancient to modern times,” Gold said. “The Jewish people restored their majority in Jerusalem in the mid- 19th century. Their ancient synagogues were destroyed and desecrated by a coalition of invading armies in 1948, who ethnically cleansed the Old City of any Jewish presence.”

It is Israel that defends religious freedom “against the tide of intolerance” sweeping the Middle East, he added.

“As the historical heritage sites of this area are being systematically destroyed by jihadist forces, such as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, UNESCO’s adoption of utterly false allegations about Israeli archeological practices is misplaced and hypocritical, at best,” he said. “The resolution is full of distortions and is totally disconnected from reality on the ground,” he concluded.

View of the Temple Mount (Har Habyit) compound

This UNESCO outrage followed a ridiculous report by CNN which included the Old City of Jerusalem on a “list of places to visit before it’s too late”:

According to CNN, the Old City of Jerusalem is “on the verge of extinction.” That the Old City is on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger is no excuse for its inclusion on CNN’s slideshow. As with many UN bodies, that status can be attributed to anti-Israel politics rather than reality.

CNN was under no obligation to buy into this outrageous nonsense, particularly as the Old City is probably the most protected heritage site in the Middle East. All religious sites are protected by law and freedom of religion. Even the most disputed of those, the Temple Mount, is under the control of the Muslim Waqf under an agreement to maintain the status quo.

In fact, the biggest threat to the heritage of the Old City is from the Palestinians themselves who have carried out unsupervised excavations on the Temple Mount, destroying many priceless antiquities in the process.

Honest Reporting are wrong. Of course CNN was obligated to buy into “this outrageous nonsense”. They would have had a mental collapse had they been required to actually report the truth about Israel – and about the Palestinians’ destruction of a priceless Jewish heritage site and the Jews’ holiest site.  Although the CNN article hides within it a kernel of truth: The Old City is indeed in danger of extinction – but at the hands of the Muslim Waqf.

Watch Honest Reporting’s takedown of the CNN article:

And now we come to the third side of the terrible troika – Amnesty International, who have produced yet another unbearably biased anti-Israel propaganda item. The Elder of Ziyon reports on Amnesty’s new publicity film for its its newly released “Gaza Platform”, and very thoroughly takes apart their entire methodology, as well as examining the way their deliberate editing produced a film reflecting the exact opposite of reality (much the same as UNESCO in fact), and similarly, all in order to smear Israel

Amnesty International created a publicity film for its newly released”Gaza Platform” which I have proven uses inaccurate data meant to bash Israel. under the pretense of being noble.

Watch the clip at Elder of Ziyon that Amnesty edited. The Elder comments:

Watching that video you would think that there was only one minute and nine seconds for the family to flee the house. Amnesty put up a timer and everything! It must be true! There’s no way that a family can escape in such a short amount of time; we must have witnessed their deaths.

But if you look at the original video itself things aren’t quite so clear. Look at the smoke on the side of the house and listen to the background noises – there is a clear edit at 1:16. (It is more obvious at fullscreen.)

Watch the unedited (or partially edited) version at the Elder of Ziyon too.

The edit proves that there was more time than 1:09 shown in the Amnesty timer. Making this video a lie.

How much was edited out?

From The Independent, July 13, 2014:

A video has emerged showing the extraordinary “knock on the roof” technique used by the Israeli military to warn Palestinian civilians of an impending missile strike.

The footage was uploaded to YouTube yesterday by the Gaza-based Watania news agency, and shows from extremely close quarters a small missile striking the roof of a house across the street.

According to the caption, around 15 minutes later – though most of this time has been edited out of the final clip itself – two fully-armed missiles from an F16 jet strike one after the other, blasting the front of the house away and sending a cloud of debris and rubble into the air.

The Watania agency reported that the home in this case belonged to Samir Nofal, who was able to get out in time along with his family and neighbours.

The 15-minute gap in the video was also reported by the New York Daily News, The Daily Mail and CNN.

(Watania’s description, however, says that Israel called the homeowner first, waited 15 minutes for the “roof knock,” and the larger bomb was 5 minutes later after the family was safely out of the house. Only The Telegraph got it right, showing how lazy reporters are in copying others’ stories.

Perhaps, you might say, this is an innocent mistake. Somehow Amnesty saw this video without the explanation that was easily available in major news outlets and in the YouTube video that they edited to create their propaganda film.

Perhaps it is possible, but every one of those stories quoted Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International, saying how Amnesty is against the “roof knock” procedure. Amnesty, like any large organization, follows its news coverage closely. They read each of these news stories that emphasized that the video edited out several minutes of inactivity.

The only conclusion is that this little propaganda film was knowingly deceptive. Amnesty knows the truth and chose to create a film that strongly implies that Israel cruelly bombed houses that they knew still  had civilians inside scrambling to grab their belongings.

This is a blood libel.

Amnesty’s on-screen timer is the exact same kind of deception that the entire Gaza Platform propaganda is. They are overlaying their own spin and lies on top of flawed information and presenting it as if it is more accurate than what had been seen before.

The Elder of Ziyon is to be highly commended for his series of investigative reports into the Gaza wars and the misleading (libellous) numbers published by the UN, Amnesty, and the foreign media as well as by Hamas.

The Elder’s conclusions are as relevant to the BBC and the UN (and CNN and others) as they are to Amnesty International:

Amnesty has a halo around it as a reliable, major human rights NGO. Any fair observer, looking at only the evidence I have compiled over the past three days, must conclude that it Amnesty is a travesty. 

To Amnesty, truth is sometimes just an inconvenience that gets in the way of a good story.

Spread the word about these lies and deceptions and slanders to your friends and family. Let us hold these organizations accountable for the inevitable backlash that they are inviting against Israel and the Jews.

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7 Responses to The Unholy Trinity: BBC, UN and Amnesty

  1. The British are responsible for the mess in the Middle East. They have always stabbed the Jews in the back, nothing has changed. As history has proven for the Jews, “If I am not for myself who is”. Anti-semitism is as old as Judaism itself. See my sons comment:
    Israel must do whatever it takes to protect its Jewish population. Any Arabs who attacks a Jew in any shape of form must be dealt with with extreme prejudice, Israel must not change its action to pacify world opinion. The world has always stood silent while Jews were exterminated, tortured and violated. (Nazi Germany over 6 million Jews exterminated – Arab countries over a million Jewish families persecuted and expelled).
    Any capitulation, appeasement and concessions to the Arabs is detrimental to Israel and its population, as the past has proven, Israel must deal from a point of strength without a Ghetto mentality.
    YJ Draiman

    • anneinpt says:

      To be precise it’s the British and the French who messed up the Middle East, but yes, I agree with your general point. The funny thing is that the establishment of Israel was supposed to create a “new Jew”, without the ghetto mentality, but that mentality seems to have followed us to our own country. We shook it off for a while, up to 1967, but the insidious influence of the Left, ironically davka after the 1967 victory – when they didn’t like the idea of the strong independent Israel – has left its mark on the entire political spectrum.

      I don’t know how long it will take to recreate our sense of pride and independence.

      And, wow! I didn’t realize we had a celebrity amongst us! David Draiman is your son?! Respect! I read his article at Israellycool at the time and was highly impressed. Kol hakavod on raising such a wonderful son. I’m sure you are (rightfully) very proud of him.

  2. Reality says:

    This is so depressing.I feel sick after reading this blog.I feel that we are always on the defense,which anyway won’t help. Blood libels,lies,whatever will smear Israel,and the Jews.

    • anneinpt says:

      Yep. Now you know why I didn’t blog for 3-4 days. I suddenly got burnout. I could not face writing one more post on Hamas/Gaza/Iran/UN/NGOs/terrorism/antisemitism. It all just repeats over and over. I could in theory just regurgitate blogs from years ago and they would be as relevant today as then. It is indeed exceedingly depressing.

  3. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Along with friends, we have recorded the Lyse Doucet programme, and intend to go through it, line by line, to inform our almost inevitable letters of complaint to the BBC (which we, at least, will copy to our new MP – the one who seems to believe that (a) Israel was equally to blame for the events of Protective Edge, and (b) seems to think that we might have voted for her in our General Election), so thanks for the heads-up on the mistranslation of “Yahud”.

    • anneinpt says:

      Good for you Brian! Keep us updated if and when you hear anything back from your MP or the BBC. (Not holding my breath…)

      • Brian Goldfarb says:

        But we haven’t yet watched it. Too much time spent watching Murray fail to reach the Wimbledon Final or actually being there to watch other matches…

        How hedonistic of us! But we will, we will!! Promise.

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