Monday, 7 October 2013

Video: BBC admits wrongdoing in presenting pro-Israeli commentator as neutral expert

The BBC has admitted it breached its own editorial guidelines in presenting a pro-Israeli commentator as an independent analyst during Israel’s assault on Gaza in November 2012.

Over the course of just two days, the strongly Zionist Jonathan Sacerdoti made four separate appearances on the BBC’s rolling news channel, BBC News 24, to give his assessment of the events leading up to Israel’s assault.

On each occasion, he was presented as a neutral expert on Palestine and Israel, the director of an independent think-tank, The Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy.

However, Sacerdoti is far from neutral on the subject of Israel.

He previously worked as director of public affairs at the Zionist Federation and, in 2012, he was elected to the International Division of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The International Division’s primary work is to promote Israel.

In August 2011, the BBC’s “independent expert” spoke at a pro-Israel rally in Trafalgar Square organized by the British Israel Coalition and supported by the Israeli government, where he was pictured draped in a large Israeli flag.

Sacerdoti defended Israel’s killing of nine unarmed Turkish activists on the 2010 aid flotilla to Gaza in an interview on Al Jazeera. more

Palestinian refugees in Gaza protest UN aid cuts

Hundreds of Palestinian refugees have held a demonstration in the besieged Gaza Strip against recent aid cuts by the UN relief agency, Press TV reports.

The protesters said the cuts by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) have made life even harder for them in the coastal enclave, which is under an Israeli blockade, a Press TV correspondent reported on Sunday.

The demonstration was organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The protesters demanded UNRWA resume cash assistance and food coupons to thousands of refugees who were cut off by the aid agency.

The cuts have drawn angry reaction from Palestinian refugees in the blockaded territory.

“UNRWA is paying high salaries to its director and executives. It must give us our aid instead of paying high salaries to its executives,” a Palestinian complained.

“The Saudis who are sitting idle while we are suffering here should be ashamed of themselves. Shame on all the Arabs who remain silent while Palestinian refugees are living on handouts. We are only asking for what is rightfully ours, we are not begging from UNRWA,” a female refugee told Press TV.

About 70 percent of Gaza's more than 1.7 million population are refugees who have been displaced from the Palestine land in 1948. They depend on UNRWA for aid and other basic services. more

Leftists protest in Ramallah, demand end to talks

[Sunday October 6 2013] Hundreds of Palestinians held in a protest in the central West Bank city of Ramallah demanding the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, to stop direct talks with Israeli due to its ongoing violations, and its absent interest in real and comprehensive peace.

A number of leftists Palestinian political parties organized the protest.

The protesters marched from the Manara Square, in the center of Ramallah, carrying Palestinian flags and chanting slogans against the political process, and the occupation.

Protest organizers stressed that peace talks with Tel Aviv are futile, especially since Israel has no interest in real peace, and is only interested in legitimizing its illegal occupation of Palestine, and its illegitimate settlement activities.

They added that all Palestinian factions must define a clear strategy to counter the Israeli occupation, and to defend the Palestinian people, their lands and their holy sites.

The protesters further stressed on the importance of national unity, and affirmed that the Palestinian people will never abandon the internationally guaranteed Right of Return of all refugees displaced by Israel.

“No peace without the liberation of Jerusalem”, they chanted, “Unity, Freedom, and Liberation” more