The BBC's flagship news and current affairs programme Newsnight demonstrated what appeared to be a blatant example of the anti-Israel bias of which the corporation is frequently accused last night (02.06.10) when presenter Jeremy Paxman repeatedly referred to the IDF's boarding of the "aid ship" Mavi Marmara as an "attack." The show in its entirety - including excellent features on life inside Gaza and North Korea - can be seen here. In doing so, the BBC may well have failed utterly in its duty to remain impartial at all times, so I've just fired off a quick complaint which can be read below:
"While I understand Jeremy Paxman is fully entitled to his own beliefs, I would like to make a complaint over his continual use of the term "attack" in reference to Israel's raid upon the Mavi Marmara on Monday the 31st of May during his interview with US Assistant Secretary of State Philip J Crowley. At one point, Crowley took issue with this, leading Paxman to crowingly ask which other term could be used. How about "interception?"
While I have sufficent respect for Paxman as a journalist to convince me that he is above anti-Israeli prejudice, the word "attack" suggests that Israel's actions were aggressive and reprehensible, whereas there is a great deal of evidence to support their claims that they made several invitations for the vessel to dock in Israel where the cargo could be inspected and delivered to Gaza - after all, Israel surely is within its rights to take steps aimed at protecting its people from violence and, as it distributes 15,000 tons of aid to the region each week has the infrastructure to do so - and that it was in fact the activists on board who instigated the violence. At present we do not know and will not until any inquiry is complete - however, I feel that the BBC completely failed its duty to remain impartial during this broadcast."
Was Jeremy Paxman's insistence on referring to Monday's events as an "attack" acceptable and/or justifiable?
Hopefully, I'm not the only one - if you saw the broadcast either on television or online and felt similarly angered, why not consider making a complaint of your own via the BBC's website?
I've requested a reply and will keep you posted.