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Israel and the UK Media

John Simkin

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Report on the BBC website:


A protest is to be held outside the BBC's London HQ over its refusal to broadcast a charity appeal for Gaza.

The BBC says it cannot show the appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee because it does not want to compromise its commitment to impartiality.

But health minister Ben Bradshaw, a former BBC journalist, said it was "an inexplicable decision" and that the reasons given were "completely feeble".

Veteran politician Tony Benn will be at the protest at Broadcasting House.

The Disasters Emergency Committee - an umbrella organisation for several major aid charities - wanted to run TV and radio appeals to help raise funds for people in need of food, shelter and medicines as a result of Israel's military action in the Palestinian area.

ITV and Sky have also said they will not show the appeal, with an ITV spokesman saying that no consensus could be reached.

The government has already asked the BBC to reconsider its position.

The International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander had urged all the broadcasters to reconsider this decision in light of what he called "the great human suffering still taking place in Gaza".

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Tony Benn appeared on the BBC News Channel this morning. He insisted on giving out the contact details himself (twice!) so that people could contribute to the charity appeals for Gaza, despite the valiant efforts of the interviewer to 'move on'.

I imagine that the BBC will eventually back-down on this. It seems ITV will be broadcasting the appeal.

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