Home > Gaza, Israel, Palestinian Authority, Turkey, United Kingdom > BBC defends its documentary on Gaza Flotilla against charges of bias toward Israel

BBC defends its documentary on Gaza Flotilla against charges of bias toward Israel

LONDON (WJC)–The editors of the BBC television program ‘Panorama’ have issued a strong rebuff to viewers who claimed that a report into the Israeli flotilla raid in May, entitled ‘Death in the Med and broadcast on Monday, had been biased in Israel’s favor.

Pro-Palestinian groups attacked the BBC for its criticism of those onboard the Gaza flotilla. The program’s presenter Jane Corbin concluded: “The bid to break the naval blockade wasn’t really about bringing aid to Gaza. It was a political move designed to put pressure on Israel and the international community.”

The Zionist Federation in Britain praised the documentary and urged supporters to thank the BBC for its fair coverage.

In response to the widespread complaints, the BBC issued a statement which said: “This program intended to explore the considerable confusion about what actually happened on the Mavi Marmara on the day in question. Israel has been accused of breaking international law by seizing a Turkish ship. Israel says they were terrorists. Turkey insists they were innocent victims. Viewers were shown a wide range of opinions and whenever a question of authenticity of footage arose, we made this clear.”

The BBC said the program makers had spoken extensively “to the groups and individuals involved in the incident, including three Israeli commandos involved in the raid; the head of the IHH, Bülent Yildirim; the Free Gaza coordinator onboard the Mavi Marmara, Lubna Masarwa; three Turkish activists and Irish activist Ken O’Keefe, all who were onboard the Turkish ship on the night it was raided by an Israeli naval command.

“We also spoke to Hamas official Dr Ahmed Yousef in Gaza. They were all given sufficient time and a platform to make their points. Overall we dismiss claims that this program showed bias in favor of Israel. The program’s aim was to try to uncover what really happened on the Mavi Marmara. ‘Panorama’ went to great lengths to give opposing sides the opportunity to air their views and we felt the program accordingly carried out its analysis in a fair, impartial and balanced manner. We simply allowed viewers to make up their own minds in their own time based on what they saw and heard.”

Activist Ken O’Keefe and the Muslim Defense League in the UK have announced that they will stage a protest outside the BBC headquarters on Sunday.

Watch the BBC documentary about the flotilla raid on YouTube:

Part 1

Part 2

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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