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Topic initiated on Monday, January 26, 2009  -  5:23 AM Reply with quote
Please complain against the BBC's decision to not

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Urgent Action Alert - Please complain against the BBC's decision to not air the DEC fund raising appeal for Gaza
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FOSIS urges all Muslims to complain to the BBC regarding its decision to not air the Disaster Emergency Committees Gaza appeal.

The BBC has refused to air a DEC TV fund-raising appeal for Gaza � saying it wanted to avoid compromising public confidence in its impartiality. The DEC is an umbrella organization that represents a number of aid agencies including ActionAid, the Red Cross, Cafod, Islamic Relief and Save the Children. These organisations have always been apolitical in their work and are simply attempting to deliver urgent, life-saving humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

Please complain to the BBC at : http://www.bbc. co.uk/complaints

Below is a sample letter you can use as either an email or a letter.

............ .......

Dear Mark Thompson,

As a TV license payer, I am shocked and appalled at the BBC's decision to refuse air time to the DEC's Gaza Appeal,
claiming its decision was based on its attempt to 'avoid compromising public confidence in its impartiality' .

The DEC as an umbrella organization has always been an apolitical organisation that concentrates solely on humanitarian disasters. The DEC is not proposing to rebuild Gaza (which should clearly be paid for by Israel) but rather is aiming to deliver urgent, life-saving humanitarian aid. Once again the organisations involved with DEC are apolitical and the appeal is a response to humanitarian

I fail to understand why the BBC is prepared to air appeals for humanitarian crises in Burma and the Congo, but not Gaza. Why is delivering life saving aid to Palestinians a political act and life saving aid to the Burmese an apolitical act? In essence, the BBC appears to be stating that saving the lives of Palestinians is political? This position is utterly shocking and immoral. In fact by refusing to air the DEC appeal, the BBC rather than remaining impartial has taken a very clear stance.

I urge you, for the sake of the BBC's reputation to urgently reconsider your position before more lives are lost. Please write to me explaining why saving the lives of Palestinians is a 'political' act and saving the lives of other people in need is a 'humanitarian' act?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,


www.fosis.org. uk

Posted - Monday, January 26, 2009  -  5:28 AM Reply with quote
background of the above post:


Posted - Tuesday, January 27, 2009  -  10:03 PM Reply with quote
We can try and meet the influential people e.g.councillors, members of the parliament etc and send across our messge.Prayrs must continue with every effort we make.

Dear Constituent
Thank you for contacting me about the situation in Gaza. I am sure that you are as relieved as I about the ceasefire and that there is so much work going on internationally to try to make it stick and to re-start the political process. You will know that the first overseas phone call President Obama made was to President Abbas – I think that shows his deep commitment towards working for a just solution in the Middle East and the UK government will support him and continue our own work towards peace and justice.

The House of Commons has debated Gaza on several occasions this year – I think the most useful debate was on 15 January, I was able to intervene in the debate and you can see the whole debate at http://pubs1.tso.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090115/debtext/90115-0012.htm#090115102000001. Douglas Alexander also recently wrote to update MPs on what the Department for International Development is doing and I attach a copy of his letter.

ITV and Channel 4 will be broadcasting an appeal for humanitarian aid for Gaza, to add to the government action. I support this and believe the BBC have acted wrongly and have failed to provide moral leadership in refusing to broadcast this appeal. In a conflict where a third of the casualties have been children all of us have a duty to show bias towards children having a future and this appeal offers the children of Palestine the chance of a future. On Sunday I attended a benefit event organised by Medical Aid for Palestine which has raised over £875,000 towards its target of £1 million, all of which will go directly to providing for the people of Gaza. I hope the BBC will soon agree to do so as well.

Thank you again for contacting me about this – I will be in touch again when I receive any further responses to the representations I have made to the Prime Minister and to the Foreign Secretary.

With best wishes, Fiona Mactaggart
MP Slough
Royal County, UK

22 January 2009 F .
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2 6 JAN 2009 London SWIA 2AH
Fiona Mactaggart MP
LHoudseo f Commons 6002N vr 9l From... ..r.,£eM t"n" tster O./"JS tate
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Dear Fiona
Thank you for your letter of 1.2 January to the Foreign Secretary. I am replying as the
Minster responsible for our relations with the Middle East.
In light of the announcemenmt adeo ver the weekendI wantedt o give you an updateo n the
situation and the progress made.
We welcome the ceasefire in Gaza. Since the beginning of the current conflict, the Prime
Minister and t!1eF oreign Secretarya rguedf or an urgent, immediatea nd sustainablec easefire.
The Foreign Secretary was at the centre of the negotiations that led to the Security Council
passing of UN Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1860 on 8 January.
In UNSCR 1860, the Security Council:
. Calls for an immediate,d urablea nd fully respectedceasefirele, adingt o the full
withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza;
. Calls for unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian supplies, welcomes
the opening of humanitarian corridors and seeks greater international support for
humanitarian relief and economic development;
. Condemns all violence and hostilities against civilians and acts of terrorism;
. Calls for action to preventi llicit trafficking in arms,a nd to ensures ustainedr e~
opening of the Gaza crossings on the basis of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and
Access; . Encouragess tepst oward intra-Palestinianr econciliation;a nd
. Urges renewed and urgent efforts to reinvigorate the MEPP
The ceasefirei s still fragile. For it to succeeda nd last, the focus must now be immediate
accessfo r humanitariana id and on reconstruction,in cluding removing unexplodedo rdnance,
as well as preventing the smuggling of arms into Gaza and reopening the Gaza crossings.
The voice of the international community was loud and unequivocal in calling for an
immediate,p ermanenta nd fully respectedc easefire.I t is now imperativet hat Hamasp revent
further rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.
We now needt o seet he UN and the other aid agenciesa llowed immediatea ccessin to the
Gazas trip and a guaranteeo f their safety so they may do their vital work unhindered.
~ ~
:; The UK government will do all it can to secure peace and build a political process worthy of
i the needs of Israelis and Palestinians. ,
The EU
In December 2008, the European Council Declaration reaffirmed the Middle East Peace
Process (MEPP) as a top priority for the EU in 2009. The UK government is of the view that
the EU should continue to put its collective weight behind efforts with international partners
to achieve our shared priorities. The EU has an important role to play in the MEPP and the
governmentw ill continuet o work with the CzechP residencya nd other EU partnerst o ensure
the EU does all it can both practically and politically to drive the process forward.
Humanitarian needs
The humanitarian situation in Gaza was already ' severe before the current crisis began. The
recent fighting significantly disrupted the distribution of humanitarian goods. The Prime
Minister has announceda rapid and significant up-scalingo f the UK's contributiont o the
international aid effort. We have made an additional pledge of up to £20 million to help meet
. needsi n Gaza,b ringing the total UK responseto the humanitarianc risis in Gazat o nearly
£27 million since the conflict started. This will help address urgent humanitarian needs, such
as food and fuel. This is in addition to ongoing commitments. In 2008, the UK provided over
£75million of assistancefo r the OccupiedP alestinianT erritories.
The Peace Process
There is no question that the current events in Gaza have required urgent attention and action.
In the long term, however, the basis for stability in the Middle East must be a comprehensive,
just, and lasting resolution to the peace process, based on a two-state solution involving a
secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state, as foreseen by UNSCR 1850 and the Arab
Peace Initiative. This will remain a high priority for the government and we shall encourage
the new US Administration to pursue the peace process with vigour. Events in Gaza were a
tragic reminder of the importance of progress on the peace process.
Yours sincerely
g " ~ {l t1\/.t t (fI ell
{~",:' ~,.. BILL RAMMELL
,. r"..;

Assalamu 'alaikum,

I've sent a message to Mark Thompson, Director−General of the BBC, complaining about the BBC refusing to broadcast the charity appeal for humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza and asking him to reconsider. You can send your own message via the below link. It will take minutes to do so. Complaints stand at 15k which has resulted in the BBC Trustees reviewing this decision. We want to double this to 30k this week. Please take a few minutes to send a complaint and forward this link to all your contacts.



Fi amanillah,
Abdul Rohim

Original email and background below:
Dear friends,

The BBC is refusing to show a charitable appeal for humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of civilians in Gaza −− their suffering is too "politically contentious" apparently.

As dozens of MPs, church leaders and journalists have already said, no fair or decent broadcaster should have to block a charitable appeal like this to protect perceptions of its impartiality. It is not taking sides to give food, shelter and medicine to the civilian victims of conflict −− and the Red Cross, Save the Children and the Disasters Emergency Committee )DEC( have an exceptional record of helping such victims impartially.

The BBC is funded by us, the British public, and it says it really cares about keeping our trust and its own reputation for impartiality −− but it risks losing both with this terrible mistake. We've got the email addresses of Director−General Mark Thompson and his colleagues: just follow the link below to send your own message urging the BBC to broadcast the appeal, and forward this email to friends and family −− let's deluge them with tens of thousands of messages this week:


In an interview on the BBC's own Radio 4 Today programme this morning, Mark Thompson was clearly on the defensive, dodging questions from presenter John Humphreys. The number of complaints is being broadcast daily in the media, and this approach has made a big difference in getting the BBC to back down previously. Already over 15,000 complaints have been made −− if we act now and spread the word, we could more than double that by tomorrow.

The BBC's policy says, "Impartiality is an essential part of the BBC's contract with its audience, which owns and funds the BBC. Because of that, the audience itself will often be a factor in determining impartiality" −− in other words, by showing them the strength of support for this charitable humanitarian appeal, we could make them realise their mistake. Even if they refuse, keeping this story in the media through our campaign all week will help many people who were prevented from seeing the appeal to hear about it and donate.

The DEC has answered every question raised about whether and how aid can be delivered. There's a standing public service agreement to broadcast DEC appeals, and commercial terrestrial channels ITV, Channel 4 and Five are all doing so. If the BBC continues to refuse, it will set a terribly dangerous precedent −− implying that civilians in politicised conflicts shouldn't get humanitarian aid, that we have to stand aloof from their suffering to maintain some kind of amoral neutrality.

It would be deeply unfair if political disputes about blame are allowed to taint or reduce humanitarian assistance to the civilians who, beyond all arguments, need it desperately right now. David Hind, the chief executive of the Charity Commission regulator, said the BBC's refusal would have a direct impact on the money raised, adding: "I can't see how members of the public will confuse a humanitarian appeal for people in desperate need in Gaza with unbalanced reporting."

We're providing links on our website so that you can give a donation yourself, make a phonecall to the BBC or contact your MP about this. But the first step is to send your own message to the BBC now at this link, using our special email tool, and forward this email widely:


With hope,

Paul, Iain, Alice and the whole Avaaz team


1. The Guardian: "Clamour for BBC to show Gaza appeal intensifies", 26 January 2009

2. Mark Thompson interviewed on the BBC's Radio 4 Today Programme:

3. Disasters Emergency Committee responses to the issues of access and impartiality raised by the BBC are at this link, as well as in the Guardian story above: http://www.dec.org.uk/cgi−bin/item.cgi?ap=1&id=320

The DEC's assessment of the situation in Gaza is below:

After an 18 month blockade of Gaza and three weeks of heavy shelling the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is now completely overwhelming. Thousands of people are struggling to survive with many having lost their homes and most down to their last supplies of food and only limited amounts of fresh drinking water.

Just £25 can buy warm blankets for 8 children
Just £50 can provide a food parcel for a family for one month
Electricity − supplies to Gaza are erratic at best with 75% of the area cut off completely.
There is a significant public health risk arising out of the almost total collapse of Gaza’s water and sewage system, the running of which is dependent on electricity.
Water − Around 500,000 people are without running water with 37% of Gaza’s water wells not working effectively and fuel reserves depleted due to restrictions on access and damage to pipes.
At least 412 Children have been killed and 1,855 injured 60% of the population is living in poverty
1.1 million people are dependent upon aid to survive.
Health − The capacity of the health system has been significantly reduced due to the damage of at least 21 clinics. Ten primary health care clinics are functioning as emergency clinics and hospitals and intensive care units continue to treat the mass casualties.

Take action now to stop the BBC blocking the broadcast of the DEC appeal, and then please consider donating to the DEC: http://www.avaaz.org/en/bbc_charitable_appeal/97.php?cl_tf_sign=1

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