Reviewing BBC coverage of UNSC resolution 2334 in R4 news bulletins – part two

This is a cross post from BBC Watch.

In part one of this post we looked at the way in which the BBC presented UN Security Council resolution 2334 to listeners to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Six O’clock News’ on December 23rd.

The following morning listeners to the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Today’ heard a report (from 00:00:58 here) on the same topic in the news bulletin which began the broadcast. News reader Corrie Corfield opened the item as follows: [all emphasis in bold added]r4-logo

“Israel has fiercely rejected a UN Security Council resolution which calls for an end to settlements on occupied Palestinian land. For forty years the US has vetoed such resolutions. This time President Obama took the view that building homes have been eroding the chances of negotiating an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Donald Trump has said things will be different when he takes over. From Washington, Barbara Plett Usher reports.”

Yet again (see related articles below) BBC audiences were told that the resolution relates to Israeli communities on “occupied” – rather than disputed – land and that the said territory is “Palestinian” despite the absence of any historic or legal basis to that claim and the fact that under the terms of the Oslo Accords, its final status – together with the issue of borders – is to be determined in negotiations. The same language – which exclusively endorses the narrative of one party to the dispute – was used by Plett Usher.

BPU: “For the first time in decades the UN Security Council united to pass judgement on Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land. The resolution demanded an immediate end to construction, saying that it had become a serious threat to a viable peace deal. It was that view which led the US to withhold its customary protection of Israel at the council; a sharp departure from standard practice.

Some critics accuse President Obama of betraying an ally. Others said he’d waited too long; right to the final days of his administration. The White House defended the decision to abstain, saying he’d held out for a meaningful peace process but had felt compelled to act in the absence of one.

The resolution could become a reference point for further moves against Israeli policy in international forums but not for the next US administration. Mr Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, has sided with the Israeli government on this. And although the resolution is legally binding, it doesn’t spell out consequences for ignoring it – which is what the Israelis have said they’ll do.”

By describing the resolution as “legally binding”, Plett Usher is obviously inaccurately suggesting to listeners that it was adopted under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. As the JCPA clarifies, that is not the case.

“The resolution (as all previous resolutions regarding Israel) was adopted under the sixth chapter of the UN Charter (Pacific Settlement of Disputes) and as such is not mandatory. It contains a series of political determinations and recommendations to the international community. The resolution does not make law, and as such, the determinations as to the lack of legal validity of Israel’s settlements are no more than declaratory.”

Read the rest of this post here

31 replies »

  1. One of the four sponsors of this resolution 2334 is the very democratic and civilised nation of New Zealand. Back in the 1860s the British settlers put down an uprising by the Maoris because they saw the Maori attempts to retain their ancestral lands as an attack on British sovereignty. Today the New Zealand government recognising that the Maori nation has been inhabiting New Zealand for nearly 800 years, and for 400 years before the British discovered the place in 1642, are giving back to the Maoris all their misappropriated lands.

    Now, isn’t that a wonderful gesture as an example for Israel to do likewise.

    • Yes, the hypocrisy reeks to the high heavens. When a sincere partner for peace negotiations appears, the State of Israel will negotiate. Meanwhile, Israel could provisionally, legally annex the entire disputed territories. That may or may not be the wisest course, but it would not be any violation of international law, given the understanding that the territory requires governance the can, for instance, protect citizens from terrorism — such as the ability to protect Palestinian dissenters from Hamas and the P.A..
      Happy Holidays to all able to enjoy them in good will!

    • A big thank you for that link. It is a story everyone should read. I have no argument with anyone New Zealanders included until they start to get pompous, hypocritical and sanctimonious The narrative goes “Well, yes – we may have appropriated ancestral lands from other nations, but that was a long time ago. Anyway don’t you realise that as mere Jews you are not permitted ancestral land just like all the other subservient peoples of the world we the British made civilised by our Christian standards.”

      • It is behavior that fits into the paradigm case definition of “antisemitism” — holding Israel or holding Jews to standards not required of other nations or ethnic groups, along with smearing them with nasty stereotypes and other forms of hatred. Given the long history of antisemitism thus defined, no wonder Zionism gained such traction and still flourishes, despite the problems posed by haters in the region and elsewhere. Every other people is admittedly a candidate to have their own sovereign territory, but somehow Jews are supposedly “racists” for setting about the task? No.

  2. New Zealand, lecturing Israel while New Zealand brutally, imperiously, hypocritically, occupies native Maori land in the Southern Hemisphere, is quite an act of willful blindness.