Press Release 23 January 2009

Scottish Friends of Palestine condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision by the BBC to break a longstanding agreement with the Disasters Emergency Committee and refuse air time to an appeal for the survivors of Israel’s blitz on Gaza’s civilian population. A decison which has now been emulated by other broadcasters and will deprive many major British charities of the much needed funds to help the immediate needs of Gaza.

This decision is nothing short of outrageous and shocking. How can the BBC possibly ignore the needs of a pulverised, besieged and impoverished population of traumatised people, 50% of whom are children, by claiming the need to preserve so-called “impartiality”?

This reasoning would be laughable if it were not so contemptible and serious. Scottish Friends of Palestine has lost count of the number of times it has complained to the BBC with regard to breaches of its own guidelines, when it has broadcast comments and content which reflect Israel’s narrative and propaganda. We have lost count of the number of times it has compromised its own proclaimed neutral status.

This decision must be rescinded.

Scottish Friends of Palestine is a firm advocate of the total boycott of all Israeli institutions, academic and cultural bodies and Israeli products – until as such times that the Israeli state ceases to boycott the rights of the Palestinian people, and international law as it pertains to the Palestinian people.

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