Thursday, February 17, 2005


The big fuss over BBC Thought for the Day, however, is over a recent broadcast by John Bell of the Iona Community. This included inaccurate references to incidents involving the Israeli Defence Forces. The reaction has been predictably swift, one-sided and venomous from the pro-Israeli government policy lobby... with overtones about racism and anti-semitism all round. The BBC have appropriately published an apology from themselves and from John Bell, with a suitably graceful note from him. But they so far decline to publish a corrected version of the talk. I wonder whether Ekklesia might provide this function of free speech?

I sent in this response to the ongoing argument this evening:
Dr John Bell has had the good grace to apologise for the inaccuracies in his Thought [for the Day], a point some of your correspondents barely acknowledge. It is sad that he gave false data, because there is well documented material available from reputable sources on abuses of human rights committed by the Israeli Defence Force. I hope that your outraged correspondents would condemn these. Crimes are committed by both Israelis and Palestinians. Until the two peoples can recognise each other as wounded and hurting, and until both violence and occupation are outlawed as 'solutions', there is unlikely to be peace with justice for all. Meanwhile, could we have a corrected version of Dr Bell's Thought on your site please, BBC?

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