Link to full online copy of Craig Murray's excellent book here:
This is the standard response from the BBC to complainants like myself about the Gaza Appeal cop out. I was going to comment but it's speciousness speaks for itself:
Thank you for your e-mail.
We note your disappointment at our decision not to broadcast an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee to raise funds for Gaza.
We decided not to broadcast the DEC's public appeal because we wished to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC's impartiality in the context of covering a continuing news story where issues of responsibility for civilian suffering and distress are intrinsic to the story and remain highly contentious. We also could not be confident that the aid resulting from audience donations could reach those it was intended for at a time of a fragile ceasefire and sporadic border access. We will of course continue to report the humanitarian story in Gaza.
The BBC's director-general Mark Thompson has therefore explained the decision in more detail in a number of television and radio broadcasts and online at our Editors' blog. Please follow the link to read his explanation in full:
Please be assured that we have registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their senior management. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us.
Regards - BBC Complaints
Posted by TONY on 29.1.09
From The Independent : The worrying part about whether the ceasefire in Gaza can hold together will be whether the international community can stop the flow of arms to the terrorists. Because Israel's getting their planes and tanks and missiles from somewhere and until the supply is cut there's every chance it'll start up again.
The disregard for life from these terrorists and their supporters is shocking. For example Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, wrote that the purpose of the Israeli attack must be to "inflict a heavy death toll .. on the Gaza population".
Replace "Gaza" with "western", and that could have been written by al-Qa'ida. Maybe this is the problem: the Israelis are writing their policies by downloading statements from an Islamic Jihad website and just changing the place names. Also, if the Israelis think the Hamas rockets are as lethal as they say, why don't they swap their F-16 fighters and helicopters for a few of them?
These things are capable of terrorising a whole nation for years apparently, yet the Israelis have neglected to buy any, wasting their money on gunboats and stuff. Given that their annual arms budget is $7.2bn plus $2.2 bn in "aid", they'd save enough to buy a selection of banks in every country in the world.
Whatever you say about Israel, at least it moves its weapons about legally – except for when it secretly built a nuclear arsenal against an array of international agreements. But they did it above ground and not in a tunnel that's the main thing.
Watching the reports from Gaza, another reason why the ceasefire may break down becomes apparent. The Israelis might claim that their satellite pictures now show Palestinians in possession of huge mounds of rubble – lethal if thrown over the border. Luckily these weapons are easy to spot. Most of them are next to women howling, "Look what they've done to my house," but perhaps the airforce should bomb them again – just in case. The Israelis say they fear Hamas will once again break the ceasefire by sending over those rockets. But the whole point of the operation was to make that impossible. Because they must have asked themselves the question, "If we slaughter 1,300 people, including 300 children, is that likely to make people: A. less cross or B. more cross?" And presumably they concluded it will make them much less likely to grow up full of hatred and determination to retaliate. Perhaps they saw medical research that shows when someone is suffering from anxiety and bouts of irascible ill-tempered behaviour, the best treatment is to pen them in with no food or medicine and then kill some of them, and that calms them down.
Another way to allay their worries about Hamas breaking the ceasefire is to read the report from their government's own Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre. This states that during the ceasefire "Hamas did not take part in any rocket fire and sometimes prevented other organisations from attacking." Still, with all that's been going on I suppose they haven't had time for reading.
Despite all this there might be one cheery sign, which is that never before have so many people seen through the Israeli government's excuses for handing out mass destruction. The demonstrations in support of Palestinians have been bigger than ever before, and even the United Nations and the Wall Street Journal have suggestedIsrael has committed war crimes. One poll in America suggested that 60 per cent of people opposed the bombardment, and the change of opinion reached the point that an Israeli diplomat has admitted that "The harm to civilians in Gaza is causing us huge damage."
Maybe, best of all, was genetics expert Steven Rose who appeared on Radio 4's Today programme to talk about a new study that's located "morality spots", the part of the brain that deals with our morality. Asked how we could know whether this was true, he said in a marvellously posh academic Radio 4 voice "Well we could test the brains of the Israeli cabinet and see if they've got no morality spots whatsoever."
And the most immoral part of all is the perfectly cynical timing, as if three weeks ago Bush shouted: "Last orders please. Any last bombing, before time's up? Come along now, haven't you got homes to demolish?"
Posted by TONY on 21.1.09
Blair has committed the ultimate in obsequiousness. Accepting a decoration from George Bush. If the value of the medal for subservience is in direct proportion to the cravenness of the poodle, it will be made of pure diamond. You may recall that Bush anointed him as his
stooge/Middle East Peace Envoy. I wonder how that's going. Time for another self-congratulatory medal? Bush could have one as well. 'For Services To Peace In The Middle East' would be a good inscription.
Posted by TONY on 11.1.09
Why does it take Annie Lennox, Mick Jagger and Alexei Sayle to condemn these Israeli atrocities? Where is Gordon Brown's voice? Tony Blair? As Robert Fisk has said, not a bloody word. Blair a Middle East Peace Envoy? Is there a bigger sham of a human being in the world than him?
Posted by TONY on 2.1.09