James Forsyth

The problem with the DEC appeal

The problem with the DEC appeal
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As someone who thought Israel’s actions in Gaza were justified and that the BBC did not do nearly enough to explain the Israeli position during the conflict, I was fairly cynical about the BBC’s motives in not showing the DEC appeal last night. But having watched it a couple of times, I find myself in increasing sympathy with the BBC and Sky’s position.

The appeal emphasises the destruction in Gaza. (The charitable explanation for this is that this is the best way to persuade people to donate, an uncharitable one is that these charities have an anti-Israeli agenda.) This emphasis, and the footage used, carries with it an implicit message that Israel’s actions did not take sufficient care to avoid civilian casualties and damage to civilian areas. But Israel did carefully target its attacks, the few tragic exceptions to this were a result of individual error not state policy—those who dismiss this explanation should consider that half of the Israeli military casualties during Operation Cast Lead were caused by friendly fire.

 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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