BBC Radio Scotland promotes more ICJ disinformation

BBC Radio Scotland has a weekday show called ‘Mornings with Kaye Adams’. The first hour of the May 13th edition of that programme was devoted to a phone-in on a topic described as follows in the synopsis:

“With a controversial Eurovision and pro Gaza statements at the BAFTAS, is showbusiness the place for politics? Should performers be using their platform to express their views?”

From 03:00 listeners heard from various callers and contributors, including “Eurovision super fan” Adam – who thinks Israel should have been disqualified from the contest – and Brenda (from 18:44), who found it “disappointing” that the organisers muted booing and told members of the audience turning their backs on the Israeli performer to sit down.

A caller named William opined that (from 22:00)  “the people in Israel and Palestine, they take themselves way too seriously” and suggested that ‘Palestine’ should also take part in the Eurovision “so they can get to the heart of the matter of what’s actually dividing them”.

At 30:08 Kaye Adams introduced an invited contributor: [emphasis added]

Adams: “Mick Napier is a founding member of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign…”

Listeners were not given any further information about Mick Napier himself or the organisation he heads.

During their conversation, Napier described the anti-Israel demonstrations outside and inside the Eurovision venue as “superb” and went on to claim that “people in the streets” are “prepared to take a stand because when all is said and done, the International Court of Justice has said we’re dealing plausibly with a case of genocide and people want to act.”

Over two weeks earlier, the BBC had aired an interview with the former president of the ICJ in which she had already explained the redundancy of that claim from Napier.

Donoghue: “I’m glad to have a chance to address that because the court’s test for deciding whether to impose measures uses the idea of plausibility — but the test is the plausibility of the rights that are asserted by the applicant, in this case South Africa. So the court decided that the Palestinians had a plausible right to be protected from genocide and that South Africa had the right to present that claim in the court.

It then looked at the facts as well. But it did not decide — and this is something where I’m correcting what’s often said in the media — it didn’t decide that the claim of genocide was plausible.

It did emphasise in the order that there was a risk of irreparable harm to the Palestinian right to be protected from genocide. But the shorthand that often appears — which is that there’s a plausible case of genocide —isn’t what the court decided.” [emphasis added]

Nevertheless, Adams failed to relieve listeners of the inaccurate impression given by Napier in that and additional references to the ICJ.

Napier: “I think everyone should be allowed to express their views, whether they support or oppose crimes or support or oppose the International Court of Justice.”

Napier: “We welcome these celebrity voices who stand up for the International Court of Justice, international law and so on.”

Later in the item, Adams brought Napier into a conversation about the fact that Israel’s Eurovision entry got the maximum public vote in 15 countries.

Adams: “Were you surprised at the level of support that Israel got from the public…the public voting element of Eurovision?”

Napier: “Not in the slightest. […] We find that when somebody gets fired from their job or something because of alleged antisemitism, the [laughs] university gets emails from all over the world, from New York. The pro-Israel lobby know how to organise and they know how to influence votes, not just in the House of Commons but in the Eurovision.”

Adams had absolutely nothing to say about Napier’s use of the antisemitic ‘Jewish lobby’ trope or his claim that a “pro-Israel lobby” influences voting in the UK Parliament before Napier continued:

Napier: “People aren’t voting for or against the Middle East; they’re voting for or against genocide and the International Court of Justice decision that there’s a plausible case of genocide. So you don’t need a degree in Middle Eastern history to take a position on what’s happening in Gaza…”

Very conveniently, Adams was then able to tell Napier and her listeners that:

Adams: “Yeah, I have that statement…I have that in front of me actually from the International Court of Justice: ‘the ICJ found it plausible that Israel’s acts could amount to genocide and issued six provisional measures ordering Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent genocidal acts including preventing and punishing incitement to genocide, ensuring aid and services reach Palestinians under siege in Gaza and preserving the evidence of crimes committed in Gaza’. So that that is that in full.”

Despite her claim to “have that statement…from the International Court of Justice”, what Adams actually had in front of her was not a statement from the ICJ at all, but a press release issued on January 31st 2024 by a group of UN ‘Special Rapporteurs’ including known anti-Israel activists such as Francesca Albanese and Ben Saul.

Once again we see that despite the former president of the ICJ having clarified the issue in a BBC interview, the BBC continues to spread disinformation on that topic.

Three days after this programme was aired, the BBC’s legal correspondent published an article on the BBC News website in which he explained that:

“In January, the ICJ delivered an interim judgement – and one key paragraph from the ruling drew the most attention: “In the Court’s view, the facts and circumstances… are sufficient to conclude that at least some of the rights claimed by South Africa and for which it is seeking protection are plausible.”

This was interpreted by many, including some legal commentators, to mean that the court had concluded that the claim that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza was “plausible”.

This interpretation spread quickly, appearing in UN press releases, statements from campaign groups and many media outlets, including the BBC.

In April, however, Joan Donoghue, the president of the ICJ at the time of that ruling, said in a BBC interview that this was not what the court had ruled.

Rather, she said, the purpose of the ruling was to declare that South Africa had a right to bring its case against Israel and that Palestinians had “plausible rights to protection from genocide” – rights which were at a real risk of irreparable damage.”

In addition to listeners having heard that ‘genocide’ disinformation and Napier’s antisemitic smear when the show was broadcast, Adams’ programme will remain available online for another three weeks, meaning that more people will be exposed to inaccurate and defamatory content which contributes nothing to their understanding of the topic of anti-Israel virtue signalling at the Eurovision and the Baftas or the ICJ ruling.

The recording of this programme currently available online therefore needs to be amended accordingly. CAMERA UK has submitted a complaint. 

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  1. says: Neil C

    I wonder what all these idiots will say when Israel achieves its goal despite the world plus America and Egypt saying they should not enter Rafah. The latter two of course were in full knowledge that their dirty little secret would be exposed if Israel did enter. Lots of red faces now, but will Israel ever get an apology? Unlikely from either of them, of course the BBC will just carry on with their biased reporting and reporting by omisson. Time for UNWRA the UN the ICC the ICJ and the Red Cross to be disbanded, as for BBC News? #defundthebbc

  2. says: Sid

    BBC provides no “News” regarding Israel but loads of inciteful institutional racial anti Semitism akin to Goebbels propaganda aided and abetted by the DG Tim Davies

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