UK Media Watch prompts Telegraph correction to false charge by ‘radical’ British artist

As we noted in a previous post, a passage in a Feb. 26th Telegraph report by  on the British graffiti artist known as Banksy included the following unchallenged claim:

In the less than two-minute long video [about Gaza] published on the artist’s website, Banksy refers to the “development opportunities” then adds that no cement has been allowed in to the area.

The clear implication, if you watch the Bansky video and see the claim in context, is that Israel hasn’t allowed cement into Gaza.

Here’s a still shot of the relevant frame in the video:


The Telegraph reporter didn’t challenge Bansky’s allegation that “no cement has been allowed into the area”, despite the fact that Reuters and other media outlets have reported that cement is indeed entering Gaza under an agreement struck with the UN. Thus, Telegraph readers are left with the false impression that Bansky’s claim is accurate. 

After a series of emails with Telegraph editors, they agreed to add an additional sentence (in bold).

In the less than two-minute long video published on the artist’s website, Banksy refers to the “development opportunities” then adds that no cement has been allowed in to the area. However, small amounts of cement are now entering the territory under an agreement stuck by the United Nations allowing in reconstruction materials under tight restrictions.

Whilst the correction is of course welcome, the new claim that only “small amounts” of cement are entering Gaza is also a bit misleading.

As CAMERA noted recently, the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in its monthly humanitarian bulletin, reported the following:

As of 4 February, over 60,000 individuals requiring construction material for shelter repairs have been cleared to purchase materials under the temporary GRM [Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism], agreed between the Israeli and Palestinian governments and facilitated by UNSCO. Of these individuals, around 40,000 had procured construction materials by that date…A total of 56,009 tons (or roughly 1,300 truckloads) of construction materials have been imported by 14 private sector vendors, of which over 43,561 tons have been procured by individuals.

However, the pace of Gaza reconstruction is indeed, by all accounts, slower than it should be. But, again, this has little to do with Israel.

As the United Nations recently reported in its monthly humanitarian bulletin:

The frustration of the Gaza population is heightened by the slow disbursement of funds pledged by member states during the October 2014 Cairo Conference for the reconstruction of Gaza, a factor that severely handicaps the ability of humanitarian and development actors to face the enormous recovery and reconstruction workload….

Additional problems with Gaza reconstruction are related to the political rivalry between PA and Hamas. Daniel Taub, Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, noted this political infighting in an op-ed published in the Guardian:

The secretary-general of the Arab League, Nabil Elaraby, was in no doubt about the cost of this political dispute, telling the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper: “The internal differences and the absence of cooperation between the PA and Hamas are behind the delay in reconstructing the Gaza Strip.”

So, cement and other construction materials are indeed arriving in Gaza.

However, the degree to which Gaza reconstruction is slower than it should be is due largely to the failure of Cairo Conference member states to distribute promised funds, as well as the “absence of cooperation between the PA and Hamas”.

Of course, Banksy is a ‘radical’ political artist, not a journalist, and it’s not surprising that his video agitprop would include such a false charge against Israel. But, it’s the responsibility of putatively serious journalists in the British media to challenge claims by such propagandists, and not to mislead readers by accepting specious claims at face value.

32 replies »

  1. Haaretz headline: Dec. 2, 2014

    “With cement in short supply, Gaza reconstruction could take over 30 years
    Housing minister says Gaza needs 8,000 tons of cement a day to meet demand; Israel allows only 2,000 in a day.”

    • The bloody Jews don’t supply cement to build tunnels. According to Hamas itself they have akready rebuilt the tunnels destroyed last year. Somehow it doesn’t add up to the cement supply problem in Gaza.
      sencar you are simply a gift to the Israeli cause.

    • Sencar’s dead brain: Mar 24 2015:

      “Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel! Israel!”


    Sencar, The issue was with certain type of cements which were much stronger and as such were used to build tunnels and offensive structure near the border.

    You seem to point the finger always at Israel when it is clearly not a viable concern for Palestinians to build a network of bunkers and offensive tunnels while their country is in dire need of repair.

    That does not seem to bother you one bit.

  3. I want to address Leah’s post first before moving to serious business. It was the American Administration of BO that unabashedly admitted tapping PM Netanyahu’s office, home and cell phone as well as those of his Ministers. This is called SPYING. Now before you dream up an excuse, he also did the same thing to England, France and Germany but if the reverse were to happen he would shouting foul. This is one very narcissistic and unethical immoral man.
    Bye the way ADAM I belIeve the ADL had categorized comparisons of Jews or Israelis to NAZIs as a form of ANTI-SEMITISM, PLEASE BLOCK LEAH whoever he/she/they are.

    Regarding the Telegraph article and Bansky, I think the correction that they made was feeble at best. I would have countered it with a “Letter to the Editor” asking for print space in the name of honesty and integrity then I would cite the UN and Arab League statements you’ve written here.

      • I then sincerely apologize! I did believe it was posted by you or I never would have replied argumentatively and ask for your removal. Once again I am sorry for my post.

    • lehi48,
      A certain miscreant (or more) often comes and usurps the names of regular commenters to this site to write disgusting comments. Several of us have experienced this.

  4. I wouldn’t call the US administration Nazis but this is only me…
    BTW You don’t have enough fantasy to find new monikers and are forced using others? The hero of the Palestinian cause shows his/her moral depths…

  5. Banksy’s the little shit who painted the ho-ho mural about the separation barrier – the one with a Palestinian girl searching an Israeli soldier. I’m still waiting for his humorous take on picking up body parts after one of his friends’ attacks on Israeli civilians.

  6. Getting a full throated correction from these ‘journalists’ where Israel is concerned is like trying to take a bone away from a dog.

      • Miranda,
        So Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel for Allah and got bombed in return and this caused more damage to them than to the Israelis?

        • Jeff –

          Hamas no more fires rockets at Israel “for Allah” than Israel’s government drops bombs on Gaza “for Jehovah”. They do these things because they’re fighting an earthly war over earthly territory.

          • This is a peculiar statement since they’ve controlled ALL of Gaza for nearly a decade and any Israeli or Egyptian blockade OUTSIDE of Gaza exists for the very same reason Rocket fire into the INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED BORDERS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL! Therefore they are initiating a War of Aggression on Israeli Citizens (a War Crime and the PA/Hamas was advised by a Muslim on the ICC not to open Pandora’s Box on themselves by coming to them). Oh maybe you mean they are fighting to liberate the UN mandated and Internationally accepted country of Israel? This is what is in the Hamas Charter to eliminate by force only the State of Israel and the Jews in it. Another clause calls for killing Jews any where in the World that you may find them.Now we’ve gone full circle, and this is where Jeff derived and is 100% correct that they are firing missiles for Allah. The notion that the infidel has any real-estate, the Temple Mount, in the Middle East or anywhere that the Muslims are (in their mind-set the power) is unacceptable. At best if Jews and/or Christians live in the “Land of Muslims” they live in a subjugated status paying Muslim a Jizya to live there as a 2nd class citizen. All this is stated in the Qur’an. Yes, the Hamas belief is that they are in Jihad for Allah and it won’t end until Israel is destroyed and the Jews are dead. 

          • Adam,This comment was by me lehi48 in response to someone contesting the idea that Hamas fires missiles in the name of Allah

          • “Hamas no more fires rockets at Israel “for Allah” than Israel’s government drops bombs on Gaza “for Jehovah”. They do these things because they’re fighting an earthly war over earthly territory.” –

            More ignorance. Arab antisemitism is significantly informed by religious hatred.

          • If by “For Jehova” you mean in order to stop a bombardment upon 10 million civilians, then you’ve got a point. But I don’t really think you mean that, “Miranda.”

            Zionism is a secular thought. Israel is a secular country. You are a fucking moron.

            • koufaxmitzvah –

              Errm… I distinctly, specifically and unequivocally said Israel DOESN’T bomb Gaza “for Jehovah” … which is exactly what you’re saying here.

              So I guess if that makes me a “fucking moron”, it makes you one too.

  7. We all know that we’ve been squatting on Palestinian land for too long now, and the US administration has called us on it.
    You shouldn’t use this rude language speaking about Muslim people from the Maghreb, Lebanon and Syria.
    Let’s do the decent thing and stop killing Palestinian children.
    Sadly your address to Hamas is in vain – they wouldn’t listen. Killing infidels irrespective of their age is dictated by their Holy Quran.

  8. Wake up little Suzie No one asked the Gaza Mob to Attack Israel -Building tunnels belonging to the best dramatic actors society plus having a very efficacious charity collection society (Money used to buy weapons) So If you feel these people being deprived How about you the generous should be collecting and supervising the donations. Ah western society you are suffering by fantasies – You have to be reminded every time that Gaza was handed over as a working enterprise and not an underground town to promote sufferings killings etc etc.