By a special correspondent

21 May 2009

The BBC is failing in its public service duties, as shown by a series of recent disorderly retreats in the face of internal and external pressures from pro-Israel lobbies. It can therefore no longer justify its privileged position among British broadcasters.

This is cowardice par excellence by Britain's state broadcaster, the BBC. Or is it pro-Israel, anti-Arab prejudice by this dinosaur – a dinosaur that is living on borrowed time? 


First came the decision by the BBC's director-general, Mark Thompson, not to broadcast a national humanitarian appeal for Gaza on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organization for 13 humanitarian aid agencies.

Then came the decision by the BBC Trust to uphold a vexatious complaint by two agents of influence of Israel against arguably the best BBC reporter, Jeremy Bowen.

And now the BBC has banned the play by Caryl Churchill, "Seven Jewish Children", which was written in response to Israel's war on Gaza of December 2008-January 2009.

We say it's time to pull the plug on this leftover from the British Empire.

The BBC might still be a pillar of the rotten British Establishment but it can no longer justify its privileged treatment by using the public service argument.

Here is one litmus test: compare the BBC's flagship News at Six with ITN's Channel 4 News at Seven and decide for yourself which is the better public service provider.

We've already made up our minds. As far as news about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is concerned, the BBC's offer is a tediously spineless hodgepodge whose baseline is invariably consistent with Israel's public relations message while that of Channel 4 News is more often than not courageous and thought provoking.

"Throwing out the baby with the bath water" is rarely good advice for solving problems. However, when the bath water becomes rotten and the baby terminally sick and highly contagious, then it is indeed time to get rid of the lot.

The BBC is not only a lumbering dinosaur that is failing in its public service duties, but it has become dysfunctional. Like a sick animal, it has become vulnerable to all kinds of infections, from British government pressure to the bullying of Israeli agents of influence, stooges and lobby groups. It's time to get rid of it before it infects the public at large. Sauce: