Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I'm normally a big supporter of the BBC, but Auntie has called this one wrong.

Whatever your opinions of the situation in Gaza - whether you blame Hamas for bringing it on their people or think that Israel has grossly over-reacted - the truth of the matter is that ordinary people are suffering on the ground. The Disasters Emergency Committee isn't going to funnel cash to terrorist groups - the charities are way too savvy for that. They are going to relieve suffering that is happening right now.

The chief executive, Brendan Gormley, adds
We work on the basis of humanitarian need and there is an urgent need in Gaza today. Political solutions are for others to resolve, but what is of major concern to us all is that many innocent people have been affected by the situation – and it is them that we seek to help.

With a touch of irony, the BBC news website covers the controversy and then provides a convenient link to the DEC website to allow donations. Of course, the extra publicity over the non-broadcast of the appeal will only help to heighten public awareness of the real plight of fellow human beings in Gaza. According to the UN, 50,000 people are now homeless across this pocket-sized territory - roughly the same geographical area as Birmingham and Sandwell combined, but with 40% more residents.

With a death toll running somewhere around the 1300 mark - and a quarter of them children - and devastation wrought across swathes of this land, helping these people is a moral duty that transcends simple politics. I find it hard to believe that someone considers it reasonable to deny them basic humanitarian aid.

Yet, if you watched the excellent Unseen Gaza on Channel Four this week, you would have seen the pressure put upon media organisations as part of the attempts from both sides to spin the conflict - although it has to be said that Israel has been far more effective in controlling the agenda with an iron grip on the media on the ground and ensuring that a spokesman is always available to put the Israeli case across (although sometimes, they have an interesting relationship with the truth).

Send 'em a donation.

1 comment:

Praguetory said...

Agreed. It gives the SWP/pro-Hamas crew a justifiable reason to dust down their placards. Their representatives don't appear able to justify the decision so I can't help but think that the Beeb are trying to make some sort of clever point.