Caledoniyya

BBC Gaza Aid Block: Where Is the Moral Army Now?

Following the BBC’s stance of staunch reluctance to facilitate awareness of the plight of Gaza, it seems that the British government has joined the fray after contacting the broadcaster to complain about its decision to refuse a humanitarian appeal.

The move by the BBC has been heralded as the first in almost fifty years of humanitarian appeals, and in doing so masks the urgency of the circumstances.

It is currently estimated that £10 million of aid is required, but will now not be sent, due to the restriction.

According to Tony Benn, President of Stop the War, the block “is a betrayal of the BBC’s obligation to be a public service. To deny the help that aid agencies and the UN need is incomprehensible.”

After the numerous catastrophic events that have hit communities around the world in recent years, I wonder how the BBC board meeting progressed to the conclusion that somehow, thousands of impoverished and traumatized families could be ineligible for their air-time.

A few months back the BBC became embroiled in a ’scandal’ concerning a number of phone calls made by Russell Brand and  Jonathan Ross to Andrew Sachs, which for the sake of this post we shall abbreviate to ‘Sachsgate‘.

The repercussions and moral posturing continued unabated for weeks, both in the press and on the news.

Indeed, as this weekend marks the end of Ross and Brand’s suspension, the case never really left the news.

The BBC was chastised, and in turn made a very big hoorah of its moral obligation and the need to adhere to its responsibility as the leading public broadcaster.

Let us see then, whether OFCOM, the newspapers, the comment-happy critics on The Daily Mail, or the news networks pick up on the appeal block to the same degree.

A phone call, in jest, brought a torrent of complaints; yet the refusal to assist in drawing awareness to a humanitarian tragedy should be a more worthy a cause for the moral army than any other.

The BBC is failing one hundred times more than it did through Sachsgate, and unless the wider media ensures it receives as much publicity, it will escape unnoticed.

What a terrible society it is that we live in, that incidents such as Sachsgate draw national ire, but the refusal to assist those in aid does not.

In addition to today’s march and protest, Stop the War has provided the means to vocalize your disdain to the BBC through the following details:

To complain to the BBC:

Telephone: 037000 100 222

Text: 037000 100 212

Online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

One comment on “BBC Gaza Aid Block: Where Is the Moral Army Now?

  1. Roger
    January 24, 2009

    here is a shorter and less political complaint based on the previous poster

    Sir,

    I am shocked and appalled that the BBC is refusing to air the DEC Gaza Charity Appeal, stating that it wishes to ‘avoid compromising public confidence in its impartiality’.

    Please write to me immediately explaining on what ground raising funds to save and restore people’s life would compromise my confidence in your impartiality. The DEC is an umbrella organization representing a number of aid agencies including ActionAid, the Red Cross, Cafod, Islamic Relief and Save the Children. These organizations are apolitical and are only concerned with delivering urgent, life-saving humanitarian aid.

    In this circumstances, I fail to understand why the BBC is prepared to air appeals for humanitarian crises in Burma and the Congo, but not Gaza. In effect, the BBC shows its partiality by stating that saving lives of Palestinians is political, This position is utterly shocking.

    I urge you to urgently reconsider your position before more lives are lost. As a TV licence payer, I am entitled to a written explanation.
    Looking forward to hearing back from you,

    Sincerely yours.

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This entry was posted on January 24, 2009 by in Conflict Zones, Europe, Israel, Middle East, Palestine and tagged , , , , , , , .
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