BBC Today Programme, 19.3.15: Ya’alon

I’d be grateful to receive a reply to this complaint. Thanks.
The Today Programme Thursday 19th March 2015 showed institutional pro-Iraeli bias when, at 08.39, Sarah Montague hosted Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon. I say ‘hosted’ rather than ‘interviewed’ for the following reasons:
Ya’alon was given free rein without being challenged to claim that Palestinians “enjoy political independence,” “decided to be divided,” and that “Arabs” have “the same civil rights as we enjoy.”
Ms Montague facilitated Israel’s extremist, illegal actions by presenting them as normal. She went further, plugging the Israeli narrative and drawing out further excesses from Mr Ya’alon. By treating with kid gloves a putative war criminal representing a self-avowed racist government that has vigorously reaffirmed its determination to defy international law, Ms Montague was actively enabling war crimes.
How was it possible that she remained silent while a torrent of lies was disseminated on air? Can you tell me why she did not challenge the fantasmagoric assertion that “Actually, they enjoy already political independence. They have their own political system, government, Parliament, municipalities and so forth…We don’t want to govern them whatsoever.”
Mr Ya’alon was allowed to speak for nearly three minutes, uninterrupted, unchallenged, before Ms Montague decided to ask him another simpatico question.
Is it possible that Ms Montague has never heard of checkpoints, the apartheid wall, the military occupation under which the life of every single Palestinian in the West Bank and Gaza is jeopardised, restricted and terrorised? Where was she when white phosphorous rained down on Gaza? When whole families were wiped out? Is it possible that the BBC is more obliging to the Israeli regime than even the United States of America, whose government has today expressed concern over the racism and extremism that was manifested during the election campaign, and Netanyahu’s rejection of a two-state solution?
Had Ms Montague not heard about Mr Ya’alon’s colleague, the Israeli FM who has recommended “beheading Arabs”? Had she not heard about Mr Netanyahu’s Jim Crow warning to get the right-wing voters out: “Arabs are being bussed to the polling stations”?
Did Ms Montague not know that Israel reacted with extreme violence to the formation of a Palestinian unity government? Otherwise, how come she did not challenge Ya’alon when he concocted his fiction that “they decided to be divided into two principal entities.” Has she not heard of the UN partition plan of 1947 that imposed the State of Israel in the region and divided Palestinian land to make way for Israel?
Why did Ms Montague focus on ‘security’ issues for Israel raised by the spectre of a unitary state with equal rights for all citizens? This echoed Israel’s racist ‘demographic problem’ that manifests in ethnic cleansing, threats of ‘transfer’ and keeping Palestinians in a state of constant terror.
Ms Montague showed no concern for the victims of Israel’s extremist, apartheid policies.
While she has no such inhibitions when she interviews Palestinians – a rare occasion, admittedly, isn’t it strange that she becomes meek and obliging when ‘interviewing’ Israeli war criminals?
Yours sincerely,
Diane Langford


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