Jerusalem----June 19.......The BBC has aired a program within it's "Panorama" current affairs series entitled: "The Accused". We are sure that they are delighted that we are taking the time to discuss this program. The BBC is interested in improving their audience ratings for their advertisers and if attacking Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and calling him a "war criminal" improves their ratings - then they may have achieved their objective.
BBC's attack on Ariel Sharon for the 1982 Sabra and Shatilla massacre is securing much media attention. Many Cuban cigars are being lit up at the BBC. In fact, the BBC is now out doing itself by transcending the actual airing of the Sharon attack on Panorama and leading off it's World News programs with the story of their "media attack". Yes - Panorama is now more important than two Israeli's being shot to death or teenage girls being blown up by Palestinian terrorists!

The BBC considers Panorama its flagship current affairs program and the world's longest-running public affairs program. Its subject matter is wide-ranging, to "investigate and uncover stories about Britain and the world." Many media professionals believe Panorama is no longer at the cutting edge of hard news reporting. Aired for many years at prime time on Monday evenings, it was recently moved to a late and little-watched slot on Sunday night.

So now Panorama's producers go into action. "Let's see - what's sexy these days? The Middle-East and all the violence coming from there - let's use it. We may have to go back to 1982, but let's give it a go!"
And so the BBC recycled the story of 1982 Sabra and Shatilla massacre of Palestinian refugees by Lebanese Christians.
This horrific massacre of Palestinian refugees by Lebanese Christians should never be forgotten. And for those who were directly responsible for leading this massacre - a "war crimes" trial should be created.

BUT for the BBC to come back to 1982, after many exhaustive investigations were conducted by both the United States and Israeli governments regarding Ariel Sharon's involvement, is a pure abortion of responsible journalism. Don't take our word for it......please watch the program.
Look at the closing frame. You will see a young Palestinian holding his hand up making a V for victory signal.
Let's look at the timing of the showing of Panorama's attack on Sharon. We are in the middle of a fragile cease-fire with Israel, with Arik Sharon displaying maximum restraint in the face of suicide bombs and terror shooting attacks.

The BBC in it's poor attempt to secure more viewer ratings is now inciting the emotions of the Palestinians.
Does this help the cause for peace in the Middle-East?
It does create strange friends for the BBC. "We would like to express our appreciation regarding the objectivity and courage of the producers of the BBC documentary," said Syrian Information Minister Adnan Omran. Somehow we recall that Damascus is listed with several countries as a regime which sponsors global terrorism and is responsible for heroin drug trafficking out of Lebanon.

Does the BBC's timely program encourage terrorism? Yoram Schweitzer of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism suggested today that many Arabs are now planning for a "religious holy war".
Palestinians call their uprising the "Al Aksa Intifada," referring to a mosque at a key Jerusalem holy site claimed by both Palestinians and Israel. Schweitzer said the name provides an opening for the fundamentalists. Ely Karmon, a senior researcher at the institute in Herzilya, said, "The strategic aim of Hamas is to destroy Israel through the armed struggle and to transform the new Palestinian state into an Islamic state." Is the BBC awakening ghosts from 1982 to encourage a regional war?

Is it a highly provocative, inciteful and unprofessional act worthy of the Israel Government Press Office pulling the credentials of the BBC in Israel for a temporary period - yes! Ariel Sharon has every right to exonerate himself as he did successfully with TIME magazine - take the BBC to court and win.
Yes - the BBC may win the first round with increased viewership - but imagine the extensive damage to the BBC's domestic and international credibility after a British court finds the BBC guilty of character assassination, aggravated slander and libel!

This editor will never forget watching in amazement as a female anchor for BBC was questioning an Israeli general a few months back. As if she had been in the Middle-East, on the scene of the violent protests and shootings she kept taunting the Israeli general with: "but you knew you were trying to kill Palestinian children!" This leading question said volumes for the BBC.
When you integrate their bias with a thirst for ratings and added revenue you get Israel bashing.

"This program was not fair; it was biased and provided partial and distorted information," stated the Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The BBC does not have to be liked by all. "I have nothing but contempt [for those charging a pro-Palestinian bias]. At Panorama, we are simply being true to a basic principle. It is a duty of journalists to question the actions and record of those who wield power."

Normally these respected journalistic values are very correct. Investigative journalism can be highly productive and ugly sometimes.

But for the BBC to go back 19 years "to question the actions" of Israel's present Prime Minister in the middle of a critical cease-fire, ignoring US and Israeli court opinions - is beyond biased, beyond distorted information - but yellow journalism at it's best!

The BBC's accusation that the elected leader of the State of Israel is a "war criminal" is a slap in the face of every Israeli and Jew.