An appeal to BBC and Mainstream Western Media to End Bias against Palestinians: Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire
NOBEL LAUREATES, 21 Jul 2014
Press Release 14 July 2014
Mairead Corrigan Maguire calls upon British Broadcasting Corporation and mainstream western media to end bias against Palestinians and their lack of impartiality against Palestinians and in their reporting of Middle East conflicts. She called on the BBC, and world media to give factual, fair and balanced reporting in order that people can be informed and not continue to be subjected to Israeli propaganda. Maguire also called for an immediate ceasefire and dialogue as the only way forward. Maguire said:
“Last week, under the false pretense of self-defence, Israel launched yet another deadly massive military attack on Gaza. (No Israeli people have been killed by rockets from Gaza, which I believe should stop). Israeli attacks have killed 160 people of which at least 26 have been children and another l, 000 at least injured. Over 75% of victims so far have been civilians. 500 homes have been completely destroyed or severely damaged making over 3, 2000, families with young children and elderly now homeless and destitute.
“Thousands of Gaza civilians continue to flee their homes threatened by death and destruction by Israel military as it continues to bomb and destroy them from sea and air strikes and Israel has announced a proposed ground operation. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is desperate, with shortages of medications, of medical supplies of fuel power generators and 350,000 people are affected by major sanitation problems due to destruction by Israel of infrastructure. Following upon Israelis war crimes upon Gaza in 2008 and it ongoing siege where Gaza has been cut off air, sea, border, for the past 7 years, an entire area of one and half million people, mostly under age of 2l, is being destroyed by Israel.
“Collective punishment, the breaking of the Geneva Convention, and the bombing of Palestinian women and children do not deter US President Obama and UN Ambassador Samantha Fox from assuring Israel that it will always be their good friend and support it to the tune of billions for its military and illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
“Alongside the murder of women and children in Gaza, settler attacks and Israeli army and police violence against Palestinian Civilians continue in the West Bank and East Jerusalem with impunity. Who can Palestinians turn to who will stand for their right not to be murdered by this Racist/Apartheid Israeli Government? Palestinians have launched the nonviolent BDS campaign and ask people to support this and break the ‘silence’ and myths being spun by Israeli Propaganda.
“Around the World the civil community refuses to be silenced or intimidated by Israel Gov. and are standing with the Palestinian people to call for lifting of Gaza siege and an end to Palestinian occupation. The World community is increasingly refusing to be silent in the face of such inhumanity and cruelty being perpetrated upon Palestinian people for over 60 years since Zionists occupied their Land and continue today in building ‘illegal settlements’ whilst all the time using propaganda to try to fool the world into believing that they are the ‘victims’.
“Why has this cruel situation of persecution of the Palestinian people by Israel Gov. Policies, supported by USA, been allowed to go on so long with over 60 years of occupation and destruction of the Palestinian people? I believe, part of the reason is, because Western leaders, and others, and mainstream media have been lacked the courage to stand up to Israeli/USA Government Policies and tell the truth.
“Western Leaders and mainstream media have come up with disingenuous statements repeating Israeli disinformation and blaming the Palestinian victims. They continue to tell the Israeli narrative and are biased against Palestinians. It is time, if Palestinians and Israelis and indeed the Middle East are to be saved and move towards peace that Israeli propaganda is shown for what it is – war propaganda.
“This is not an Israeli fight to stop Hamas, who are not the aggressors. On every occasion for dialogue Israel had answered with military attacks on Palestinian civilians. Israel has chosen land and continues to annex Palestinian land demolishing Palestinian homes.
“The war Israel is waging on Gaza is not about self-defence. The war Israel is waging is not about destroying Hamas, it is a war about complete control over a territory and a people and it is being conducted with complete disregard for human life. It is a war aimed at destroying the resilience of the Palestinian people whilst all the time illegally confiscating their land.
“Israel should be boycotted until they uphold human rights and international law as mandated by over 60 UN resolutions which they continue to ignore. The Palestinian people have put out a call for the support of the world’s people and asked people to take a stand with them. They point out that the UN Security Council, paralyzed by the US, will not send an observer mission, so they have appealed for peace observers to go to Palestine to tell the world what is really happening to their people under Israeli military occupation.
“Let us together as civil community around the world continue and increase our efforts to demand mainstream media talk about the real issues and reach out to all people of conscience in Europe and in the United States and elsewhere to support the Palestinians in their struggle for human rights and International law.
“Peace is possible and an immediate ceasefire and dialogue is the only way forward, and we owe it to our Palestinian and Israeli brothers and Sisters who are working for peace and a nonviolent solution, to answer their call and do all we can…. for the sake of the children.”
Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from www.wipfandstock.com. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See: www.peacepeople.com.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 Jul 2014.
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