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Monday, 23 November 2015

'Je suis Netanyahu': BBC headline rewrite caves to Israeli intimidation, again

21st Century Wire

Are Israel and Saudi Arabia really 'friends' of press freedom?
Wait, what about free speech? Ce qui est arrivé à...'Je Suis Charlie'

PRESS INTIMIDATION: Netanyahu's photo-op at Charlie Hebdo seems even more meaningless now after bullying the BBC. Back in April, 21WIRE discovered an interesting media anomaly which no other media outlet picked up.

The New York Times had run a front page story in their early morning US domestic print edition, with a headline that read: "Saudi Defiance on Yemen Reflects Limits of U.S. Strategy"

Later, we looked for this same article online, only to find that the headline has been changed to: "Saudi Resolve on Yemen Reflects Limits of U.S. Strategy"

Why? Was pressure applied on the NYT editors, and if so, who applied pressure to the editors to make such a significant change on a lead story to change it from 'Defiance' to 'Resolve'? In an effort to sanitize the carnage in Yemen, did Saudi Arabia throw its weight around, causing NYT editors to cave in?

Perhaps a much worse situation has been happening recently between the BBC and the State of Israel. It seems that Israel has been pressuring BBC into changing its headlines.

How did Israel manage to do this to the BBC? Incredibly, Israel has been doing this on a regular [basis]. On at least one occasion, Israel even demanded an official apology from the BBC and issued a threat to revoke press cards of BBC journalists working in Israel.

Very few people are aware that the pressure applied to the BBC emanates from an Israel lobby organization that's embedded in the UK called BICOM (Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre). They claim to be, "An independent organisation devoted to creating a more supportive environment for Israel in the UK."

As we can now see, it's anything but independent, and its hardly supportive, especially when it comes to press freedom and free speech. BICOM's mission is simple: to sanitize UK media coverage in the in the event that Israel is ever exposed doing what it does on a daily basis: oppressing the native Palestinian population.

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