What the BBC is telling children about 9/11 (& Palestinian rocket injures 69 Israelis)

September 11, 2007

* Israel among only countries to grant citizenship to Darfur refugees
* Israeli Arab dies from wounds sustained in Hizbullah attack
* San Diego festival reverses ban on Israeli films



1. What the BBC is telling children about the 9/11 attacks
2. Palestinian rocket injures 69 Israelis
3. Attempted attacks on Israel from Palestinian areas on rise
4. Palestinian Islamic Jihad “proud of targeting children”
5. Israel grants citizenship to Darfur refugees
6. Israeli Arab dies from wounds in Lebanon War
7. But Human Rights Watch condemns Israel, yet again
8. San Diego festival reverses ban on Israeli films
9. College presidents continue to condemn British boycott
10. BBC: “In pictures: Lebanon army’s victory”

[Note by Tom Gross]


Below, is what the BBC’s widely-read children’s section of their website (CBBC) is telling kids about the 9/11 attacks, the 6th anniversary of which falls today. (The attacks killed 2,973 people and left 24 others missing.)

It is not quite the al-Qaeda view, but it almost is.

(The last time* I criticized the Children’s BBC website – about their definition of the Holocaust, which omitted references to Jews, etc – they subtly rewrote the entry to include the fact that Jews were among the victims, and then backdated the time stamp to make it appear as if the change had been made prior to my criticism – so I attach the 9/11 entry in full below. There are dozens of employees of the BBC who subscribe to this email list.)


Guides: 11 September 2001 attacks
Last Updated: Friday June 29 2007 10:33 GMT

Why did they do it?

The way America has got involved in conflicts in regions like the Middle East has made some people very angry, including a group called al-Qaeda - who are widely thought to have been behind the attacks.

In the past, al-Qaeda leaders have declared a holy war - called a jihad - against the US. As part of this jihad, al-Qaeda members believe attacking US targets is something they should do.

When the attacks happened in 2001, there were a number of US troops in a country called Saudi Arabia, and the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, said he wanted them to leave.

* [Tom Gross adds: for the way in which the Children’s BBC changed their entry on the Holocaust as a result of criticism, see: Forgetting to mention the Jews: The BBC, Prince Harry, and the Holocaust (Jan. 16, 2005). You can compare what was actually written by the BBC at that time, which is recorded on my website, and what the BBC have now written – which includes reference to Jews – with a backdated BBC time stamp of Thursday January 13 2005 13:57 GMT) when in fact the change was made only on January 17, 2005 following criticism made on this list / website.]



A Palestinian rocket – one of dozens fired randomly at Israelis most weeks – exploded in an Israeli army base early this morning (Tuesday), wounding at least 69 young Israeli soldiers, some severely. The wounded were both male and female, and overwhelmed doctors have struggled to cope with the injured. (At the present time, several of the wounded are being operated upon. At least one has lost a leg.)

The wounded soldiers were all recent recruits undergoing basic training, and were asleep when the rocket hit their tent, the army said.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, speaking on Hamas radio this morning, praised the rocket attack and the number of Israelis injured, calling it a “glorious victory from Allah.”

The latest incident has led to calls within Israel for the government to begin responding firmly to the ongoing attacks from Hamas-controlled territory.

Sderot, a working-class town near the Israel-Gaza border, and surrounding towns and villages, have been battered by thousands of rockets launched nearly daily from Gaza. The rockets have killed over two dozen civilians. Attacks last week on Sderot, including a rocket that landed near a crowded day care center, led anxious Israeli parents to pull thousands of children out of school and brought demands for the Israeli government to retaliate but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert refrained from doing so.

Another rocket hit an Israeli kibbutz this morning, and Hamas has announced within the last hour that they were responsible for a mortar barrage earlier today at Kerem Shalom, a border crossing where Israeli and international humanitarian aid crosses from Israel into Gaza.

At their three-hour summit conference in Jerusalem yesterday (Monday), Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed “ways of advancing the peace process and of reaching a two-state solution,” said Olmert spokesman David Baker. Abbas called the talks “successful”.



The head of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency told the Israeli cabinet on Sunday that attempts to infiltrate from the Gaza Strip and West Bank and attack Israeli targets were on the rise. Yuval Diskin revealed that security forces foiled a planned suicide bombing last week when a car carrying seven terrorists and explosives was blown up near the Kissufim border crossing in the Gaza Strip.

In another incident on Sunday police arrested a Palestinian teenager armed with three pipe bombs, who was on his way to Tel Aviv. The teen was planning to hand over the bombs to a suicide attacker.

Last week, Egyptian police officers said they discovered more than two tons of TNT in the Sinai Peninsula. Police said they believed that the material, found in more that 50 bags, was en route for Gaza to be used in attacks on Israelis.

Also last week, during a night operation on September 5 in the West Bank town of Nablus, a large explosives lab was uncovered.

On August 30, Israeli troops stopped a 15-year-old Palestinian suicide bomber at an army checkpoint.

Israeli intelligence says that since June, 40 tons of military grade explosive materials have been smuggled into Gaza (the same amount as was smuggled in total during the previous two years), along with thousands of guns, about 5 million units of light ammunition, 150 RPG bombs and 65 launchers, 20 advanced anti-tank missiles and 10 anti-aircraft missiles.

An increasing number of Israelis now believe that withdrawing from Gaza in 2005, prior to the emergence of a Palestinian government that wanted peace with Israel, was a mistake.



The Palestinian Islamic Jihad website claimed the volleys of Qassam rocket fired at Sderot last week were launched to mark the beginning of the Israeli school year. They boasted that they had disrupted the studies of Israeli schoolchildren and the daily lives of Israeli civilians.

The posting which appeared on PalToday (one of the PIJ’s Websites) on September 2 in the afternoon (the first day of school) said: “Rockets of the [Jerusalem] Battalions met the Sderot children when their new school year began.”

They were accompanied by photos of Israeli children screaming in fear as they fled rocket attack from Gaza. (These photos were taken by international press agencies such as AP but are rarely chosen for use by western news editors.)



Unlike almost any other country in the world, Israel is granting citizenship to those who have fled the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing campaign in the Sudanese region of Darfur.

Indigenous black African Darfurians are being murdered by Arab tribes invading from the north, supported by the Sudanese government. (Sudan is a member of the Arab League.)

At least 2,000 African refugees have made it into the safety of Israel and Interior Minister, Meir Sheetrit (formerly of Likud party, now of Kadima), has announced that hundreds of Darfur refugees will be granted full Israeli citizenship.

This refugee group had previously fled to Egypt where several of them were then murdered by the Egyptian security forces.



Muhammad Saloum, a 40-year-old Israeli Arab, has died in an Israeli hospital, over a year after being wounded during Hizbullah’s war with Israel. Saloum was dubbed a hero in Israel because he was attempting to rescue family members from a burning building that had taken a direct hit from a Hizbullah missile. He sustained shrapnel wounds and burns over 85 percent of his body, and never regained consciousness.



Meanwhile the New York-based group Human Rights Watch (which is supported financially by several anti-Israeli American Jews) last Thursday issued yet another report condemning Israel for defending itself against Hizbullah attack.

The report gained widespread international media coverage. For example, it was the lead international news story in the Washington Post on September 7, 2007.

In an editorial last week, the Israeli daily Ma’ariv criticized Human Rights Watch and its director Ken Roth saying that: “Instead of advancing universal human rights, HRW uses $40 million-plus to promote an extremist, post-modern and anti-democratic ideology” … Roth [who is Jewish] is “obsessed with Israeli ‘war crimes,’ and has used inaccurate and misleading data to bolster his case.”

The paper condemned the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for inviting Roth to speak without rebuttal at an upcoming conference.

(For more on HRW, see previous dispatches on this website, and also HRW’s damage can’t be undone, by Gerald Steinberg, in the Jerusalem Post, Sept. 6, 2007.)

Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Hizbullah’s rocket arsenal was now bigger than before the war.

Hizbullah continues to rearm thanks to Syria and Iran while the French and Italian-led UN force in south Lebanon does virtually nothing to stop it, as seen for myself during a visit I made last month to the Lebanon-Israel border region.



The San Diego Women Film Foundation and Festival has issued an apology about its previous intention to ban Israeli films. The annual festival opens October 4. The Film Festival’s apology has been posted on its website, currently the first item here: www.sdwff.org.

A spokesperson for the San Diego Festival added in private that she was aware that a campaign of lies and smears against the state of Israel and Jews who support her had been launched in the U.S. and abroad recently by the American academics John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard, providing a bandwagon for other anti-Zionists and anti-Semites to jump on to, and the San Diego Festival did not want in any way to contribute to this.



Eighty-one more presidents of American colleges and universities have joined the petition denouncing the UK’s University and College Union decision to promote a boycott of Israeli educational institutions.

Over 400 college and university presidents have now condemned the British decision. These include the presidents of several of the leading universities in the world.

The petition has been organized by the presidents of Princeton and Columbia universities.



Here is the new BBC photo essay on the Lebanese army’s victory in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon last week, where hundreds have been killed. Can you imagine the BBC’s reaction and photo selection if Israeli soldiers had emptied out a Palestinian refugee camp?

-- Tom Gross

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.