Gaza Strip academics & journalists call for BBC to get out of Gaza

Posted on January 29, 2009

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Gaza – Ma’an –

Date: 29 / 01 / 2009  Time:  21:31

Palestinian academics and media personnel, as well as international activists, demanded the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) leave the Gaza Strip over its refusal to air an appeal for aid on the network.

Academics organized a sit-in near the entrance to the BBC’s office in Gaza, accusing it of bias toward Israel and “its crimes,” as well as denouncing its stance on rejecting to publish an appeal for humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip on its satellite channel.

The BBC said it would not play the appeal due to its policies on neutrality.

Protesters demanded that BBC reporters Paul Wallet, Andrew Herill and Paul Martin leave Gaza immediately, threatening to “use the shoes of those killed on them” if they remain in the Strip.

Other demonstrators chanted slogans against the BBC’s administration, including General Manager Mark Thompson, accusing him of lying and carrying banners reading, “BBC out of Gaza,” “Boycott BBC” and “BBC: Biased toward Israel and complicit in Israeli war crimes.”

British activist Ewa Jasiewicz called for her country to stop supporting Israel, end investment within its borders and boycott Israeli products. She added that many other members of Palestinian solidarity organizations “were eyewitnesses to Israeli crimes in Gaza.”

As’ad Abu Sharkh, a university professor in Gaza, said, “The BBC has become a partner to Israel in its war on Gaza.”

He insisted the BBC should equally refuse to air threats to “turn Gaza into a larger holocaust more grotesque than that of the Jews,” a reference to Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s statements during the three-week assault, “while refusing to air an appeal on behalf of the very victims of that holocaust.”

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