The BBC supports starving the people of Gaza


THE BBC is part of the British capitalist state whose job it is to look after the interests of the ruling class. It has proven the point by refusing to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) aid appeal to feed the hungry and the homeless in Gaza, who have been under the most ferocious attack by Zionist Israel, Britain’s ally in the Middle East.

This comes after last Friday’s demonstration at the BBC Centre, Wood Lane, by thousands of Tamils who accused it – by its silence over the massacres of Tamils in Sri Lanka – of supporting the bloodsoaked Rajapakse dictatorship.

The BBC is a serial offender in its support of the allies of British imperialism.

Its Gaza intervention, in fact, was a brazen attempt to torpedo the entire DEC aid programme for Gaza, since for the appeal to be broadcast by the different TV companies, the convention is that unanimity is needed.

Such is the outrage throughout the world at Israel’s deeds in Gaza, most of the other TV outlets have been forced to break ranks with the BBC and are to broadcast the appeal on Monday – Sky TV being the exception – although it has the matter under review.

Britain historically has been a major force behind Zionism since the days of the Balfour Declaration, when it promised the Zionists Palestine, as part of the UK’s carve-up of the Middle East.

Since 1948 its has helped arm and support Israel in all of its attacks on the Arab people and in its victimisation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

In 1956, along with France, the UK entered into a conspiracy with Israel to attack Egypt, an attack that was launched, but had to be halted, after the US objected and Russia threatened to intervene.

The world’s anger has prevented the British government from openly opposing the Gaza appeal, but the government-appointed BBC bosses have stepped into the breach to show just where the British ruling class stands.

While over 50 British MPs have condemned its action, the Prime Minister has kept his mouth shut, while one his chief supporters, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, has spoken up for him, to support the ‘right’ of the BBC to show its independence of the opinion of the vast majority of British people, who want to send aid and every kind of support into Gaza.

In fact, the BBC has always been the organ of the ruling class and aided its attacks on the working class of the world and the UK.

The original British Broadcasting Company was founded in 1922 and cut its teeth supporting the Baldwin government and the scabbing operation during the 1926 general strike.

In 1927 it was given the facade of an independent ‘Royal Charter’.

It repeated the same ruling class line during the miners’ strike of 1984-85, and in its open government propaganda during the run-up to the March 2003 attack on Iraq.

The Company, with John Reith as Director General, became the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1927 when it was granted a Royal Charter and ceased to be privately owned.

The BBC World Service has no such independent veneer. It is is funded and run by the Foreign Office, the government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom abroad.

Internally, the BBC has more of a mask, but over the struggle of the Palestinians and the Tamil people the mask has slipped.

Workers in the UK are angry at the BBC attempt to sabotage aid for Gaza.

The TUC and all of the UK trade unions must demand the sacking of the BBC Board, and that the government make up for the time lost by giving £100m to the appeal.

The TUC must also demand that Brown breaks the siege of Gaza by sending food ships under the protection of the Royal Navy. The TUC must begin a campaign of industrial and political action to force Brown to take this action.

This is the way forward.