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Israel Compares BBC Reporting To

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#1 DWF

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 11:43 AM

http://tv.zap2it.com...n/...1|,00.html

Israel has severed all ties with the BBC, charging that the network's coverage of the ongoing Palestinian uprising represents programming bias of the worst kind.
"The way BBC is trying to portray Israel competes with the worst of Nazi propaganda," says Danny Seaman, head of the Israeli Government Press Office.

According to the AP, the last straw was the BBC documentary "Israel's Secret Weapon" on alleged nuclear and chemical arms programs. The doc, which aired in England in March and abroad on Saturday (June 28) alleged that Israeli forces tested a new gas in the Gaza strip in early 2001 that put over 100 people in the hospital with convulsions. The Israeli GPO maintains that no such violation of international law occurred.

"We stand by our program," says a BBC spokesman. "We regret any response that the Israeli government might make that would hinder our journalism."

The GPO will no longer offer interviews to BBC journalists or offer the services they usually accord to foreign press. The BBC won't, however, lose its accreditation nor its place at the table for government press conferences.

"There was a decision by the state of Israel to cut off all contacts with the BBC because of what we feel to be a bias and an anti-Israeli line apparent in a series of programs that portray Israel in a very evil light," Seaman says.

--------------------------------------------

I don't know what to make of this. :unsure:
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#2 Rov Judicata

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 11:58 AM

-- British soldiers complain about the BBC.
-- One of their most prominent correspondents criticized the BBC's war coverage.
-- Israel is so upset that they're severing ALL connections.

It seems like the BBC is getting criticism from a whole lot of directions. As I don't get the BBC I can't comment myself, however.
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#3 MuseZack

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 12:03 PM

Jeez, first Berlusconi and now this.  What's with all the Nazi accusations lately?  I thought it was the Left that was supposed to have the monopoly on making hysterically overwrought comparsions to the nazis. :wacko:
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#4 DWF

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 12:04 PM

^^Somehow it feels like a power struggle. The BBC won't lose their accreditation, but they'l have no real ability to give interviews? Sounds strange to me. :wacko:
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#5 Enmar

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 12:07 PM

MuseZack, on Jul 3 2003, 04:04 AM, said:

Jeez, first Berlusconi and now this.  What's with all the Nazi accusations lately?  I thought it was the Left that was supposed to have the monopoly on making hysterically overwrought comparsions to the nazis. :wacko:
Some people think that monopoly is Israel's :(
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#6 Enmar

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 12:52 PM

Last week's news seem so far away these days :D

I didn't follow this too closely, this is not the first round, last one was about two years ago, about Vaanunoo (the "atomic spy") IIRC.

I couldn't find anything in English, so I'll translate the main points from here:
http://news.walla.co.il/?w=/201/406594

"Before the broadcast Israeli figures tried to convince the network to cancel the show, claiming that it is an unbalanced show that presents Israel as evil dictatorship and doesn't consider the threat of extermination it's under. They were especially angry about the promos to the show that said, with the photos of the nuclear reactor in Dimona and the biological institution in Nez-Ziona in the background: "What country in the middle east did not declare the nuclear and biological weapon it possesses?"

Later the promo says that Israel is under no external inspection and holds a man who leaked it's secrets 17 years in prison.

The show itself is about Israel's efforts to maintain it's fuzziness policy about it's nuclear weapons and discusses the Vaanunoo story, general Yakob's story and the cancer the workers in the nuclear facility in Dimona have."

Enmar's translation:

Vanunoo is a guy who used to work in the nuclear facility in dimona and sold it'd secrets to the Times. They made detailed front page of them. He was kidnapped by the Mossad back to Israel and is in prison. I think it's called treason, I don't get the point about that. He's isolated in prison, because he knows secrets and didn't prove he can keep his mouth shut :(

General Yaakov is a man who was mainly in charge of some top secret R&D. He's pretty old and he wanted to write a book about his life. When he couldn't print it in Israel because of the censure he decided to do it privately abroad. He was accused of revealing secrets even though he was told that things he did are still top secret. The book never got to print, but some people, including his non-Israeli wife, read it.

The cancer. I don't know, I guess it's the usual "we have cancer because we worked there" vs. "you're statistics isn't different than the rest of the population" classic argument, with "experts" supporting both sides. Doesn't have a thing to do with security IMO.

"fuzziness policy " - that is basically not saying anything about having or not having nuclear arsenal. It has historical reasons and has developed with time. I'll try to explain the logic behind it if you're interested, I'm just a little tired now :blush:
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#7 DWF

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:03 PM

^^^Well, you've got me interested, but there's no hurry. :)
The longest-running science fiction series: decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans... Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us. Fifty years of absolute fandom. That's what it takes to be really critical.

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#8 Ilphi

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 09:15 PM

Well, the BBC was originally Britain's wartime properganda network, so hey they're not far off  :cool:

Well, I didn't see a problem with the program. Israel *does* have weapons like that which are undeclared. It is also true that Israel is a country under constant threat. Enmar's right, the whole situation isn't black or white at all, but I don't think this measure is neccesary.
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#9 Enmar

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 06:50 AM

I didn't get to see the program because my cables company for some reason thinks that since the war in Iraq is over only its digital customers need BBD WORLD :glare:

But I did see a part of an Israeli TV show that is about the media. They showed the promos and they DO look very bad. It's not about an opinion, it seems to me to be warped in a semi serious investigation when it was actually old information, biased guests interviewed and not a chance for Israel to answer the charges. Very low journalism standards are really the point :( (<-but I'll repeat, I didn't see it, that's what they said)

Edited by Enmar, 04 July 2003 - 07:33 AM.

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#10 Enmar

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 07:30 AM

Israel's fuzziness policy

I'll try to explain the little I know or guess, but please remember that ironically it's easier for you to know anything about Israel's nuclear arsenal than to me because most things are censured here, including books you can easily get in other places, like "Israel and the bomb"

Israel was granted independence in 1948 and was attacked by its neighbouring Arab countries. When the war was over everyone knew it was only a matter of time until the next one. Israel faced overwhelming bad population ratios and trying to build an atomic bomb was a rational, though very ambitious, solution.

While building it, they decided on this fuzziness policy. It was simple - no one knew how long it will take to get the bomb ready. But the whole concept of nuclear weapons in Israel isn't about using it. It's about having a lever that will prevent the Arab countries to push too hard, using WMD of their own, because Israel can retaliate.

So it all started with the concept that said "it doesn't matter whether we have a bomb, it only matters what they believe". Officials interviewed that were asked about it said things like "Israel has a nuclear potential" and when asked how long it will take to turn this potential into a bomb they said "Something between years and seconds".

That was phase one, that fuzzily merged into the time when there was probably a bomb, but they kept being fuzzy about it. I guess they didn't want the world to know exactly how long it took, more things were in R&D, ect.

Then there was MAD. And the Americans and the Soviets had all those missiles pointed at each other and Israel, for some reason, didn't feel like being caught in the middle. Being a clear ally of the US, openly declaring that it has nuclear arsenal would bring it into the MAD game, adding it to the list of targets on preemptive strike. Bad idea. Since the world still doubted Israel had a bomb, beeing fuzzy about it seemed like a good habit.

These days. Well these days there are all those agreements that basically says that if a country signs them it has to open it's nuclear facilities for inspection, report it's arsenal and stop developing new weapons.

The problem, imho, is this:
Do you honestly believe that the US is doing it? Are there no secret bases somewhere in the desert where new things are developed? Do you really believe they report everything? Of course not, this is politics, this is still a war and all those agreements are always sets of rules to cross.

But Israel can't do that. It's a very small country, with nice weather that allows satellites to watch it closely. We probably don't have more nuclear facilities than the two the public knows about. So we stick to the policy... we're still building the first one. We have nuclear research and potential, but not a bomb and they always say that with a wink. That's the policy.

One last thing - I have no doubt that this couldn't be done without silent American agreement, probably in exchange for the Americans knowing the details of the Israeli nuclear program.

Edited by Enmar, 04 July 2003 - 07:38 AM.

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#11 Rov Judicata

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 07:34 AM

^

Bingo. Never show all of your cards. Israel is fully justified in hiding its capability. Israel has consistently done the savvy political WMD thing, and the country is to be applauded for it.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#12 Fire_Storm20

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 08:04 AM

I find that to keep a more worldly perspective, as well as one that has rhetoric balanced out, I watch 3 different news programs nightly.  I watch the BBC World News, Deutsche Welle Journal/Tagesthema, as well as either the CBS or NBC nightly news.  All three of them balance each other out, because each of them puts a different spin on major stories/events.  

--PS the Soldiers complaints over the BBC are over the British "Television Tax", where they tax televisions that can recieve the government sponsored BBC

--FS20 :cool:

#13 tennyson

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Posted 06 July 2003 - 03:07 PM

I've never seen a single piece of documentation about Isreal having chemical weapons as they are defined under internationmal treaty in my now more than a decade of being an amateur military watcher. But they have nuclear weapons and that's fine because they never signed the NPT(NonProliferation Treaty) so they aren't doing anything wrong. Most sources I've found places Isreal's nuclear arsenal at between 100 and 200 now very advanced nuclear weapons carried by the Jericho 1 and Jericho 2 missiles that could reach Georgia( the country not the state), the Lance missile, F-16s and F-15s and possibly even tactical nuclear weapons. They are generally considered to have crossed the threshold to fusion warheads in the late 1970s( see Future War, a collection of essays on security concerns published in 1984) but Isreal has ducked the issue as much as possible. But Isreal is a modern, advanced nation and as I was constantly saying with Loontex on the old Slipstream board Isreal is all but self-suffiecient in virtually every area of weapionry and doesn't need the US to help defend it but its needs require measures that other countries might not have the context to understand.
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#14 MuseZack

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Posted 06 July 2003 - 03:49 PM

For an interesting article on hidden nuclear programs, including the famous "Vela Flash" (a suspected joint Israeli-South African nuclear test in the Indian Ocean in 1979), see http://popularmechan...kes/print.phtml
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin



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