Journalists worldwide send condolences to only BBC staffer in Gaza — his infant son killed in Israel’s brutal attacks

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)’s management council has relayed a message of condolences to its Gaza employee for the death of his infant son in an Israeli airstrike.

The 11-month-old baby son of Jihad Misharawi, who is employed by BBC Arabic service, was killed on last Wednesday, when a missile fired by an Israeli army’s fighter jet hit his house in central Gaza.

Misharawi told a fellow BBC reporter in Gaza that “my son is only ten or 11 months old.”

What did my son do to die like this?” he said.

“What was his mistake? He is ten or eleven months old. What did he do?”, Misharawi added.

The BBC said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with Jihad and the rest of the team in Gaza. This is a particularly difficult moment for the whole bureau in Gaza. We’re fortunate to have such a committed and courageous team there. It’s a sobering reminder of the challenges facing many of our colleagues.”

Usual practice for the BBC – like most Western news-cum-media sources – is to forgive Israel any criminal act, to defend Euro-American arrogance at any cost. Nice to see a touch of humanity slip through for an occasion this painful. Sadly, the event received barely a notice on American TV news sources, little eminence in print.

* I’ve edited this comment – see the discussion below in comments.

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3 comments

  1. martynwilsoncopywriter

    I’m interested in your comment on this story – “Usual practice for the BBC – like most Western news-cum-media sources – is to forgive Israel any criminal act, to defend Euro-American arrogance at any cost.” for two reasons.

    Firstly, it’s simply not true. If you listen to the BBC World Service, they regularly broadcast accurate news from both Gaza and the West Bank (as well as from Israel itself), and they aggressively question both Israeli and Palestinian ministers and representatives, calling them to account for their actions. The BBC does not “forgive” wrongdoing by any state: it has achieved a unique status in the media world for precisely that reason.

    Secondly, if you read any of the Israeli apologist websites, particularly those run by the Jewish diaspora, you will see that the BBC is one of their particular bêtes noirs. As far as the “Israel is right even if it’s wrong” brigade are concerned, the BBC is packed to the rafters with antisemites and Arabists who would like nothing better than to see Israel and Israelis swept into the sea. Not that the government of Iran would agree: after all, they jam the BBC because it is packed to the rafters with Zionists, who would like nothing better than for the Palestinians to be wiped off the face of the earth.

    It seems the BBC cannot win: on the other hand, they probably don’t want to win a game like that. One of their journalists noted, when some UK government or other was accusing them of left- or right-wing bias, that pissing off politicians is a sure sign that they are doing something right.

    • eideard

      Unlike the other blogs where I edit/post, here at my personal blog I get to tightrope a bit between a large percentage of readers around the world as well as the [just barely] majority of American readers/commenters.

      Though I often rely on BBC’s world services as source material, what that mythical average American gets to respond to from the UK – is BBC America – the franchised distributor of content from the BBC in the United States. The Beeb is trying for a foothold for BBC World on US TV – not very hard and mostly on the cheap. So, not really much access for the American TV news viewer.

      So, Americans get to see Dr Who, Ramsay, the car turd and perhaps an hour of TV news. It’s better than nothing; but, PBS does a better job of representing BBC content.

      You’re correct, Martyn, I shouldn’t just lump them in with the usual crowd of American Philistines. I’ll try to tidy the comment up a bit.

      • martynwilsoncopywriter

        Thanks for your response. It’s also worth noting that the source you quoted for the original story, PressTV, is owned by the Iranian state broadcasting organisation, so it is hardly the most trustworthy provider of unbiased opinion. I have, incidentally, posted a similar complaint about the original story on their website, although I am sure that it will not be published: bigots only want to hear one side of any story.

        What’s happening in the Middle East is, frankly, appalling, and unfortunately even moderate opinion seems to be hardening on both sides of the divide. Entrenched positions are being reinforced by religious bigotry, which is only going to make things worse, and one does have to wonder when the US, the EU and the rest of the western world will say “enough is enough”. I’m hoping that Obama, with no second term to worry about, can devote as much energy to sorting this out as he did to Obamacare; but I am not sanguine.

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