Thursday 12 June 2008

BBC: Jewish refugees not a central issue to peace

From Point of no return blog (Information and links about the Middle East's forgotten Jewish refugees)

"Last month, when Israel was celebrating its 60th anniversary, I complained to the BBC that its news reports insisted on putting a dampener on the festivities by juxtaposing them wth the lamentations associated with the 'Palestinian 'nakba'. The flipside of the Palestinian nakba, I argued, was surely the nakba of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries. At first the BBC confused my complaint with someone else's gripe about the expression 'Palestinian land' and sent me the wrong pro-forma reply. Now I have just received a second reply, which though more relevant, leaves me more bewildered than ever.

"The specific issue of Palestinian refugees was mentioned in the context of the peace process. It is generally seen as one of the key stumbling blocks to finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We have covered the issue of Jewish refugees in the past, however, it is not something that is generally viewed as a central issue in the peace process in the same way the Palestinian refugee issue is. Should the issue of Jewish refugees become an integral part of the negotiations in the Israeli-Arab peace negotiations or a stumbling block thereto, we would of course look at them in a more in-depth fashion.

Overall, whilst focusing on the celebrations in Israel it seems fair to have mentioned the contrasting marches being held by Palestinians at the time."
Yours sincerely
Stewart McCullough
Complaints Coordinator"

So there you have it. The BBC claims to have covered Jewish refugees in the past, but forgive me if I can't recall when. It does not consider the Jewish refugeees important enough to be mentioned, and certainly not as important as the Palestinian refugees. If Jewish refugees were to make a real nuisance of themselves - become a 'stumbling block' - then the BBC might sit up and take notice."

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