Freedom For Pale*****
Many people have asked me why I brought up the issue of Palestine in my BBC News interview on Friday night. After all, it was unrelated to the topic at hand, which was the Metropolitan Police’s self-investigation, concluding that there was ‘no case to answer’ in regards to my treatment at the hands of the police. The reason I mentioned Palestine so early on, but didn’t in a Channel 4 interview earlier that evening, was simple; the BBC’s censorship of the word is completely unacceptable, and amounts to a denial of a people’s history.
Today, ‘Freedom For Palestine’, the brainchild of Faithless member Dave Randall, has been released on pre-order. The question is, how far can the BBC’s censorship of this issue stretch? If the single was to reach the charts, would the BBC add a note to listeners that, “I’m sure Israel would have a response to the title, but they’re not here at the moment.”
The BBC’s interpretation of the word ‘impartiality’ seems to negate all boundaries of common sense. Each time I presented my opinion on the role of the Metropolitan Police or the morality of their actions, I was met with an interview intent on reasserting the point that the police were not there to respond. But the Metropolitan Police’s official statement, broadcast on every major news website before it had even been sent to my lawyer, was the only reason I was being interviewed in the first place! So of course they were present, through the constant repetition of an investigation completely devoid of any credibility.
The BBC’s ‘impartiality’ over Palestine follows a similar line. No pro-Palestinian voice is allowed, unless there is a pro-Israeli voice is present to counter the argument. But this is to miss a basic point; the pro-Israeli voice is constantly present and always heard, from the media’s acceptance to portraying a military occupation as a two-sided conflict, to the British government’s investment in the weapons used to sustain that occupation. Allowing pro-Palestinian voices to air does not show bias, it is a glimpse of honesty through a wall of deceit.
The ‘Freedom For Palestine’ single follows a growing tide of artists speaking out against the Israeli occupation. In the last year, bands such as Faithless and Massive Attack, and artists including Elvis Costello, and the late Gil Scott-Heron, have all cancelled trips to Israel, as part of a growing boycott campaign in response to calls from Palestinian civil society. Inspiration has been taken from the struggle to overthrow apartheid in South Africa, led by a brave and determined South African resistance, but supported by a global boycott movement.
It seems that an eventual victory for the Palestinian resistance is inevitable. The only question for us is, how can we support them in their struggle? As Gil Scott-Heron would say, “The revolution will not be televised, the revolution will be live…”Tagged in: bbc, Dave Randall, Freedom For Palestine, Palestine
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