Briefing Paper September 2019 (1)

The BBC’s distortion of Palestinian protest and Israeli power Ahmed Abu Artema MEE 17/5/19

The BBC [and PBS’s Frontline] recently aired a documentary titled One Day in Gaza, which concentrated on the terrible events of 14 May 2018, during the Great March of Return. Although more than 60 unarmed demonstrators were shot dead by Israeli army snipers that day and more than 2,000 injured, the documentary clearly and demonstrably leans towards the Israeli version of events, showing blatant disregard for the experiences and testimonies of the thousands of Palestinians in Gaza who participated that day. To my undying regret, I took part in this programme – and for this reason, I feel I have a right to make clear exactly how and where the narrative of that day was twisted in the hands of those very skilful at rewriting Palestinian history.  I do not write this lightly. To justify – even in a nuanced way that appears to give voice to both sides of events – the aggressor’s version of the story is an act of incitement. This is not about whether the film reflects voices and stories on both sides. It’s about how those stories are being told.

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