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August 19, 2015 12:52 pm

BBC Promotes Falsehoods About Gaza ‘Blockade’

avatar by Hadar Sela

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Gaza Palestinians at Erez Crossing Screenshot (Photo: Miriam Tazchi)

Gaza Palestinians at the Erez Crossing. Photo: Miriam Tazchi.

The August 16 edition of the BBC World Service radio program ‘Newshour’ included a story (available here from 38:32 or here as an abridged clip) about 3D printed stethoscopes developed by a person described in the introduction by presenter Julian Marshall as “a Canadian-Palestinian physician.”

At the beginning of the story, listeners hear the following false claim from Dr Tarek Loubani:

“I had attended the war in Gaza in 2012. I’ve been working there for about the last five years and while I was there we had patients coming in – no equipment because the siege has gotten so bad even though it’s medical equipment – and we had to listen to patients’ chests by putting our ears to their chests which is exactly what we would have done 200 years ago.” [emphasis added]

There is of course no “siege” on the Gaza Strip and there no restrictions are imposed by Israel on the entry of medical equipment. As it has unfortunately been necessary to point out here on numerous prior occasions due to inaccurate BBC reporting on that issue, shortages of medications and medical equipment in the Gaza Strip are due to long-standing disputes between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Julian Marshall, however, made no effort to relieve audiences of the inaccurate impression created by his interviewee – who, in response to a question concerning the material used to make his stethoscope, later promoted a similar inaccuracy.

“It’s made of plastic. So the plastic that it’s made of is available anywhere. In the Gaza Strip because it’s such a closed system, because things are not allowed in, they have a very rich culture of recycling their plastic….” [emphasis added]

The only restrictions on materials entering the Gaza Strip are of course on weapons and dual-use goods, which can be diverted to the purposes of terrorism.

One presumes that before this item was recorded and broadcast the production team exercised due diligence by researching their interviewee. If that is the case, then the BBC will be aware of the fact that in addition to being a doctor, Kuwait-born Tarek Loubani (who moved to Canada at the age of ten) is a veteran political activist who in 2003 was arrested near Jenin and deported from Israel due to his activities with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Loubani was also arrested in Egypt in 2013 whilst trying to enter the Gaza Strip, and in 2014 was detained at Ben Gurion airport.

Tarek Loubani’s promotion of the Hamas narrative of a “siege” on the Gaza Strip and his promotion of the falsehood that Israel does not allow the import of medical equipment therefore does not come as a surprise.

However, adherence to the BBC’s editorial guidelines on accuracy should obviously have prevented that falsehood from being broadcast literally worldwide and the editorial guidelines on impartiality should have ensured that listeners were made aware of Loubani’s political agenda and the fact that he is rather more than just a “physician.”

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  • edward bowman

    Why are you still shown on this newspaper? Your article is nearly four months old. Please wake up

  • Israel is being buried-alive
    under an avalanche of media bias
    and false accusations.

    These web sites can help refute
    those biases and false accusations:





  • Bruce Rubin

    BBC news is controlled by the British Government

  • Why are the British anti-Semites, why do they hate Israel and Jews?

    Throughout their history, all over the world, in India in the Near and Middle East, British men have homoerotic feelings towards Arab men. And Arab men were more than happy to respond.

    England is a society of mainly sexually inhibited men. This is the reason of the notorious sex scandals and crimes in the UK against children, minors and women.
    Therefore, institutions like BBC, The Guardian and certain politicians, need to compensate their sick minds with antisemitism.

  • Billie

    So the BBC is biased and Hadar Sela is unbiased? And all those little kids in Gaza just went out and blew themselves up? And criticism of inhumanity has suddenly become antisemitism? Shame on you!

    • It is the Hamas regime in Gaza which is inhuman. Hamas is abusing the children in Gaza for their entirely terroristic purposes.

      You have missed the fact, that Israel left Gaza 10 years ago. As a result, since then Hamas is terrorizing Israel. Therefore shame on you, because you do not care to inform yourself unbiased.

      BBC is a biased anti-Semitic institution and is unable to report actualities about Gaza.

  • Anthony Dayton

    Logic would suggest that if there is such a through siege by Israel on Gaza that even stethoscopes are blocked, then how was a 3D printer allowed in? Too much for the BBC to figure out?

    But why spoil such a nice, hateful story!

    Cheerio, chaps!

  • So what do you want from the BBC? Facts!

  • The BBC lost its non bias credentials ,a long time ago .

  • Malcolm Jackson

    The BBC is so untrusted in the UK that it is known as the Brussels Broadcasting Commission. The BBC pumps pro Islam and pro EU propaganda into our schools everyday and has been doing so since the 1990s to my own knowledge. Luckily, having the Internet, we can get our news from all over the world now, without having to listen to or watch the BBC.
    If the BBC were our only news source, the UK today would be akin to living in Germany in the 1930s, from the time the Nazis took over and controlled the media.

    • skai

      Malcolm Jackson ” The BBC is so untrusted in the UK it is known as the Brussels Broadcasting Commission ” Not is known as ” Bolshevik Broadcasting Comrades ” Its infested with Muslims and Muslim sympathisers .

    • Joseph Kelly

      It actually called The Bolshevik Broadcaster of Communism.

  • The BBC World Service news team broadcast almost an anti-Israel report a night. Most amusing was the report by Peter Oborne (a well known Israel-hater who works at the Guardian) that the Cordoba Foundation and the Finsbury Park Mosque had had their bank accounts at HSBC closed. No reasons are ever given but it was assumed it was due to their indulging in alleged terrorist activity and that the informants were the UAE and specifically Qatar. Oborne railed against this “injustice” and in his interview with the imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque (home of Abu Hamza among others) the imam stated more than once that it was visited regularly by “the local M.P.”. And who is the local member of parliament? Jeremy Corbyn of course!

  • Michael Garfinkel

    The anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bias of the BBC is well known, in America and in Britain as well.

    The BBC is fully aware as well, yet they proceed shamelessly.

    In the end, the truth will survive; the BBC as it is presently constituted, will not.