On Tuesday the world witnessed yet another atrocity perpetrated by young British Muslims against innocent civilians and non-combatants, following in the footsteps of actions such as the attack against the USS Cole, the beheading of Daniel Pearl and the attempted shoe-bombing of a civilian airliner.
Yet the BBC continues its highly one-sided reporting as though it plays no part in creating the climate in which these misguided young people are nurtured and sucked into the path of violence.
Our TV screens came alive (Thursday 1st May at 9 am UK time), with close-up images of the grief of Palestinians after an Israeli incursion into Gaza which left six people dead and a number of others injured. There was no mistaking the anguish of the civilians – and the numerous armed militants – as the camera caught every line of bitterness and sorrow on their distraught faces. The cameras really were that close.
Of course, this came just 24 or so hours after two young Muslim assassins – by all accounts holders of British passports – killed 3 innocent bystanders and maimed about 50 others in a bar in Tel Aviv. No pictures on the BBC of anguished Israeli civilians, of distraught survivors looking for loved ones or friends amid the rubble. Only a few fleeting images of broken concrete, smashed furniture, torn curtains. The inanimate detritus of any violent action – a tropical storm, a hurricane, an earthquake. Not much graphic connection to the human perpetrators, not much graphic imagery of the human suffering.
It is about time the BBC publicly acknowledged its responsibility in the creation of the climate of violence that many young extremist Muslims find so appealing. This climate is a direct result of the asymmetrical image of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict that this publicly funded public-service organ conveys with such unbounded enthusiasm and unwavering determination.
With an ever-sharper focus on the need to combat terror and prevent the targeting of civilians, there may well be a case for fighting a legal case against those responsible for encouraging the perpetration of such acts. A terrible shame if the BBC were to become embroiled in a legal battle to save its face when it should instead be following its charter – reporting the news, not shaping it.