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Commentary :: Human Rights
Silvia Cattori : BBC The child victims of repeated lies
30 Jan 2004
This is the commentary that accompanied the BBC's televised pictures of Palestinian children from Balata camp (1) throwing rocks at a tank : "The violence in Palestine continues ».
BBC:The child victims of repeated lies

Silvia Cattori

Translated from French : by Dean Thom


During weeks the military occupation forces lead an atrocious battle against the children of Balata, the small refugee camp near Naplouse. Miltary forces, it must be said, entered their forlorn camp with orders to terrorise and provoke the children, in order to lure them to their armoured jeeps where they lay hidden, like mice to a trap from which they would never escape in one piece.



This is the commentary that accompanied the BBC's televised pictures of Palestinian children from Balata camp (1) throwing rocks at a tank : "The violence in Palestine continues ».



And so he who sees these pictures, real, but accompanied by a distorted commentary, only sees a pack of aggressive children throwing rocks at a tank. A tank, attacked by the rocks of these little monsters, which doesn't look good.



If the journalist's commentary that accompanied these pictures had said " The Israeli violence in

Palestine continues", it would have painted a different picture.



He who sees these children at the foot of the tank, but with commentary explaining that the violence was provoked by the Israeli army, would have noticed an entirely different reality: he would have seen the tank as something terrible and the children as innocent victims.



When I saw these televised pictures, distorted by the BBC journalist's commentary, I forgot that the day before, I had seen violence against the children of Balata, brought about by Israeli soldiers. Therefore the victims became the lynchmen.



By not specifying that the "violence was Israeli", the children who threw stones appeared to be the aggressors and the Israeli army who responded with machine gun bullets, wounding 20 children, the victim.



Therefore, whether through negligence or intentional omission, the journalists betray ther viewers.Just how far does their biased presentation of the facts, covering the injustice and the crimes of Israel, go towards influencing others?



To be a true witness, whilst trying one's best to detach oneself from the current impressions that are only too real, is to shed light on the intolerable things that are happening to innocent lives.



Now, that which the Palestinian children suffered so terribly on this bloody day in Balata, perfectly

captured by the cameraman who risked his own life in order to do so, has been completely erased by a commentary that distorts the facts.



These children, injustly targetted by the insanity of soldiers who seek them out in their homes, to such an extent that they are driven to throw stones against attacking vehicles - without ever hitting any of the hidden soldiers - deserve to be recognised as the true victims of the barbaric acts of these soldiers who incessantly persecute them.



(1) December 4-12-2003

This work is in the public domain
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