I'm sorry, but the decision by the BBC not to broadcast the appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee to help relieve the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza is unbelievable. After an 18 month blockade and three weeks of heavy shelling, 1.1 million people are now dependent upon aid to survive, around 500,000 people are without running water, and 75% of the area is without electricity (upon which the water and sewage systems survive).
BBC Chief Operating Officer Caroline Thomson said: "If we lose the trust of the audience by appearing…to support one
side rather than another, then we will have lost it for the charities
themselves as well as everyone else."
When I heard her on the radio, she seemed to be suggesting that there might be some confusion amongst the BBC's audience between what was reported on the news and a charity appeal. In my mind, whatever your politics, the most important thing is the relief of immense human suffering. And I believe that the British public can distinguish between a simple appeal for humanitarian aid and perceived partiality in a conflict.
You can hear Caroline Thomson defending the decision on the Today programme and Tony Benn rightly being very stubborn in response here. If you'd like to donate to the DEC Gaza appeal, you can do so here.