On September 1st the BBC News website published an article titled “Lana Del Rey: Singer postpones Israel performance after backlash” on its ‘Entertainment & Arts’ and ‘Middle East’ pages.
Readers were told that:
“The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (Pacbi) welcomed her decision to cancel next week’s headline performance.
“Thank you for your principled decision,” the group said in a statement. It had earlier urged the singer to “reconsider”.
Pacbi is part of the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement, which campaigns for a complete boycott of Israel over its policies towards the Palestinians.
Israel says that BDS opposes Israel’s very existence and is motivated by anti-Semitism.” [emphasis added]
So is it really the case that just “Israel says” that the BDS campaign “opposes Israel’s very existence”, as the BBC would have its audiences believe?
As the BBC well knows – having interviewed him two years ago – the co-founder of PACBI (or as the BBC described him: “the man behind it all”) is Omar Barghouti.
“Barghouti does not merely call for sanctions against supposed racist policies; his professed goal in calling for boycott, like that of other BDS supporters, is to permanently end Jewish autonomy in the region. He advocates for a Palestinian state to replace a Jewish one within all of historic Palestine.”
Over the years Barghouti has repeatedly expressed his opposition to Jewish self-determination and the existence of the State of Israel.
“According to Barghouti, the BDS movement focuses upon the three goals that enjoy the support of virtually all Palestinians, namely ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, ending discrimination against Palestinians within Israel proper, and implementing the right of return for up to eight million Palestinian refugees. However, Barghouti has acknowledged in public that implementing the “right of return” would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state, thus establishing (superfluously) one Palestinian state alongside another Palestinian state. Hence, the logic of the BDS movement with its three demands points toward the one-state solution.”
The same ideology has been expressed by numerous other leaders of the BDS campaign.
The BBC, however, refrains from telling its audiences what the people behind that campaign declare to be their ‘end game’ and instead frames their ideology as merely something that “Israel says” exists.
Concurrently, the BBC avoids explaining to its audiences why – along with others – “Israel says” that the BDS campaign’s aim to eradicate the one state in the world where Jews practice self-determination is antisemitic and readers are not told that “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is included in the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
We have noted many times before on these pages that while the BBC often provides a platform for proponents of BDS against Israel (and some of its own journalists have been found amplifying and mainstreaming that campaign), the corporation consistently fails to provide its audiences with the full facts about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) and makes no effort to inform its audiences in its own words that what it ultimately seeks to achieve is the end of Israel as the Jewish state. Moreover, in August 2015, we learned that the BBC considers the provision of such crucial background information “not our role“.
As we see in this article that editorial policy continues and that “Israel says” line (previously employed earlier this year) does not – as the BBC apparently believes – mean that the story has been reported accurately and impartially.
Why BDS is antisemitic – David Hirsh (Engage)
BDS, Academic/Cultural Boycott of Israel, and Omar Barghouti (CAMERA)
Bolstering and airbrushing BDS on BBC WS ‘Business Matters’ – part two
Reviewing BBC reporting on the BDS campaign in 2017