Sunday, 15 February 2009

Councillors Rupert Read and Alan Waters, from Labour and Green Parties, call on the BBC to show compassion, and air the appeal for Gaza

At the most recent Norwich City Council meeting, I asked a question of Labour Executive member Cllr. Alan Waters about the BBC's decision last month not to air a humanitarian appeal for Gaza. In an unusual cross-party move, we two have now written jointly to the BBC in Norfolk asking for their support in the quest to get a humanitarian appeal for Gaza aired on the BBC. [ http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/01/27/sky.bbc.gaza.advert/ ]  The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains absolutely critical.
Here is the text of the letter as sent last week:
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

To BBC Norfolk / BBC East;

We write to you  as local politicians who are dismayed that the BBC nationally is refusing to transmit a charity appeal which is aimed at bringing much-needed humanitarian aid to thousands of ordinary people in Gaza.  The BBC's refusal to show the programme unfortunately suggests it is basing its decision on a political judgement when this is very obviously a desperate humanitarian crisis.

We should be doing everything humanly possible to provide the relief and aid the people of Gaza, and their children, so desperately need.  They are living in devastated, inhumane conditions following Israel's prolonged attacks, which killed over 1,300 people, most of whom were civilians, and over 400 of whom were children. There is strong evidence that the Geneva Conventions were gravely breached.

The appeal, which was broadcast on other channels, raised £millions of donations. Support from the BBC could help raise £millions more – and in doing so save lives.


The BBC's having previously aired in recent months and years similar appeals for Burma, Darfur, the Congo makes its decision over Gaza all the more difficult to understand. It opens the Corporation to accusations of pro-Israeli bias. We make the latter point with great regret, since we are strong advocates of public service broadcasting, and we believe that the BBC has a proud history, and hope it will have a strong future.

 

ITV and Channels 4 and 5 have agreed to broadcast the charity appeal, leaving the BBC isolated. We urge you to put pressure on your colleagues at the BBC nationally to change its position; and to ask the BBC nationally for permission to air these appeals on BBC East and BBC Radio Norfolk, in lieu for now of them being broadcast nationally.

Please help end this sad state of affairs, which with each passing day is costing innocent Palestinian lives.

 

We thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Yours Faithfully,

Councillors  Rupert Read (Green), Alan Waters (Labour), on Norwich City Council.

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25. 26. Councillors Rupert Read and Alan Waters, from Labour and Green Parties, call on the BBC to show compassion, and air the appeal for Gaza 27. 28.

29.
At the most recent Norwich City Council meeting, I asked a question of Labour Executive member Cllr. Alan Waters about the BBC's decision last month not to air a humanitarian appeal for Gaza. In an unusual cross-party move, we two have now written jointly to the BBC in Norfolk asking for their support in the quest to get a humanitarian appeal for Gaza aired on the BBC. [ http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/01/27/sky.bbc.gaza.advert/ ]  The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains absolutely critical.
Here is the text of the letter as sent last week:
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

To BBC Norfolk / BBC East;

We write to you  as local politicians who are dismayed that the BBC nationally is refusing to transmit a charity appeal which is aimed at bringing much-needed humanitarian aid to thousands of ordinary people in Gaza.  The BBC's refusal to show the programme unfortunately suggests it is basing its decision on a political judgement when this is very obviously a desperate humanitarian crisis.

We should be doing everything humanly possible to provide the relief and aid the people of Gaza, and their children, so desperately need.  They are living in devastated, inhumane conditions following Israel's prolonged attacks, which killed over 1,300 people, most of whom were civilians, and over 400 of whom were children. There is strong evidence that the Geneva Conventions were gravely breached.

The appeal, which was broadcast on other channels, raised £millions of donations. Support from the BBC could help raise £millions more – and in doing so save lives.


The BBC's having previously aired in recent months and years similar appeals for Burma, Darfur, the Congo makes its decision over Gaza all the more difficult to understand. It opens the Corporation to accusations of pro-Israeli bias. We make the latter point with great regret, since we are strong advocates of public service broadcasting, and we believe that the BBC has a proud history, and hope it will have a strong future.

 

ITV and Channels 4 and 5 have agreed to broadcast the charity appeal, leaving the BBC isolated. We urge you to put pressure on your colleagues at the BBC nationally to change its position; and to ask the BBC nationally for permission to air these appeals on BBC East and BBC Radio Norfolk, in lieu for now of them being broadcast nationally.

Please help end this sad state of affairs, which with each passing day is costing innocent Palestinian lives.

 

We thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Yours Faithfully,

Councillors  Rupert Read (Green), Alan Waters (Labour), on Norwich City Council.

30. 31. 32.