The issue of whether “we are being brainwashed into confrontation with Iran,” as posed by Simon Jenkins in last week's Guardian, might reasonably be extended to the BBC given the public service broadcaster’s publication of this ‘analysis’ by Jonathan Marcus, the BBC diplomatic correspondent titled ‘How Israel might strike at Iran’.
The article looks like it was copied and pasted “from an internal policy document from the Israeli ministry of “Information””, writes Hicham Yezza, editor in chief of Ceasefire magazine. Yezza, incidentally, was one of the Nottingham University students who was wrongly imprisoned under the Terrorism Act, along with fellow PhD student Rizwan Sabir.
Yezza jokingly writes that Marcus as a journalist can’t possibly exist because “no serious journalist would write such a long, detailed piece about a looming act of war without once using the words “death”, “civilian” or “casualties”.
“There is, of course, the possibility that Jonathan Marcus does exist (as a “BBC Diplomatic Correspondent” no less) and is simply struggling with knotty concepts like “truth”, “balance” and “is”. In which case, and in a spirit of public service, how do you report the possibility of a devastating attack that could lead to the deaths of thousands, if not millions, of innocent civilians, not to mention a likely conflagration that would reverberate across the region and beyond for years, possibly decades?”
Yezza continues with the most overlooked reality, that “no evidence has been presented so far, from anyone, that Iran has a nuclear weapons programme or is seeking to develop one. Indeed, you can tell your readers about the recent IAEA report, which found no conclusive evidence of a weapons programme. Or you can quote Leon Panetta, the US Secretary of Defence, who recently said of Iranian leaders, “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No”.
Which returns us to the point Jenkins makes in The Guardian today on our being “brainwashed into confrontation with Iran”.
The further question to ask is what role is the BBC playing in this “brainwashing” when it sees fit to publish ‘analysis’ such as that of Jonathan Marcus?
You can pose the question to the BBC yourself via its online complaint form here.
You can read our letter to the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, on the British Government’s inconsistency of approach on Iran and Israel here.
You can contact your local MP and address your concerns on the Government’s handling of the Iranian issue, details of how to contact her/him can be found here.
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