Getting it wrong over Gaza
The TUC shares the widely held view that the BBC and Sky have taken the wrong decision in refusing to screen the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for humanitarian aid for Gaza, although it’s clearly right that, as Andy Burnham says, it’s a decision that broadcasters should take, not government. But that shouldn’t stop people disagreeing with or publcily criticising the BBC and Sky for their decisions. Avaaz.org have launched an online petition to “Tell the BBC: stop blocking Gaza aid” and the TUC encourages people to support it – we’d also support protests to Sky, but as the main public service broadcaster the BBC is the top priority. BBC unions BECTU and the NUJ have protested as well.
The basic argument is this: providing humanitarian aid to Gaza is not taking sides. The TUC, which has criticised both Hamas and the Israeli Government – not just now but regularly over the years – has its own humanitarian aid programme (the TUC Aid Give for Gaza appeal) which channels assistance through the international and regional trade union movement, in association with the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU).
Our aid (we’ve given £15,000 so far, but cheques and online donations are arriving every day) is flown from Jordan to Egypt and then up into Gaza under the watchful eye of Bilal Malkawi, Regional Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation and a stalwart of the Jordanian air pilot’s union. He’s organised ambulances, medicines and medical equipment and food for the Palestinians of Gaza.
Please support our appeal if you can (you can make a donation quickly online, should you wish to) and let the BBC know you disagree with them and with Sky.
See more about what the TUC has said on Gaza.