BBC’s Donnison May Lose Press Credentials After Blaming Israel for Syrian Child Victim in Tweet

November 26, 2012 7:15 pm 9 comments

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A BBC correspondent who found himself in hot water after tweeting a picture of a child, who he claimed had been injured during Israel’s operation in Gaza, but who was actually a casualty of Syria’s civil war, may find himself in even more trouble.

Walla news reports that Israel’s Information Ministry is exploring the possibility of denying Jon Donnison press credentials. According to the report Donnison has been invited to a hearing on Wednesday at the Government Press Office.

If denied the press credential Donnison could possibly lose the ability to work in Gaza and the West Bank as he’d find it difficult to enter each territory from Israel.

Donnison tweeted an apology the day after the initial tweet appeared: “A photo I re-tweeted from another journo yesterday showing children injured was NOT in Gaza as I said but apparently from Syria. Apologies.”

Last week Knesset Member Carmel Shama Hacohen, Chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, said that the apology was not enough and suggested certain sanctions be imposed on channels whose coverage consistently “blackens the face of Israel.”

Denial of press credentials due to the nature of the press coverage is an unusual step, and it would be unlikely to hold up in the Supreme Court. In the past the Supreme Court has ruled that the Government Press Office is not permitted to deny press credentials due to the contents of journalistic work – even if it is libelous. The High Court previously rejected a case involving French journalist Charles Enderlin, in which he reported that a Palestinian boy had been targeted and killed by two IDF soldiers–a story which turned out to be false.

9 Comments

  • Can he be sued for libel?

    Journalists normally escaped under the ‘truth in public benefit’ and ‘fair comment’ defences.

    It clearly isn’t true.

    As a journalist provided with a press pass surely he is obliged to a minimum professional standard of care? Five minutes with Google Image or TinEye reverse image search woulfd have sufficed.

    • Except… this story is a fake. Donnison never lost his credentials.

      It’s high time people at Algemeiner realize that Israel is a democracy where freedom of the press is enshrined in the Law.

      Stop trying to turn Israel into Taliban-country, please, and stop harassing journalists.

  • Israel MUST take a stronger approach to agencies like the BBC, Guardian etc that are consistantly anti-Israel as the population never hears their apologies only the intial demonisation of Israel.

    Israel is considered a pariah State in the UK now because of a generation of demonisation by the BBC. There usual tactics include “last-first” reporting eg Israel’s responses to terrorism are reported in the Headline and body of the report with only a minor note at the bottom that Israel’s response came after Palestinian missiles were fired etc.

    Ban the entire BBC from Israel! They are the enermy as much as ANY Arab terrorism organisation, in fact one of their reporters declared in Lebanon to Hezballah that the BBC WAS on their side.

  • Liberalism will cause the death of Israel. In other words in order to hold the high moral ground it’s perfectly alright for Israel’s enemies to vilify, demonize and accuse Israel of the most heinous of crimes. So this is what the world hears about Israel and this is what they believe.

  • Independent Observer

    The article raises a far greater issue than Donnison: The collusion of the anti-democratic, loony-left Israeli Supreme Court in defaming and ultimately delegitimising Israel.

  • Derry O'Sullivan

    Best news I’ve heard today. I hope this is followed through by Israel with a withdrawal of credentials. The State of Israel is far too nice to its enemies in the press. Let’s see standards of fairness enforced. I’m sick of hearing, seeing and reading biased coverage of the conflict. Donnison failed on a basic foundation of journalism – check it yourself.

  • Ming the Merciless

    The Israeli Supreme court is stuffed with marxist extremists that are more islamist than Hamas…they are a bunch of traitors that should be expelled to Gaza…see if they like it!

  • Gee he’s sorry for the “apparent” Syrian child/ That’s the worst backhanded apology ever. It’s about time journalistic standards are actually enforced otherwise how does the rest of the population know when things are truthful or just photoshopped for consumption of the gullible.

  • Jon Donnison is. Jules Streicher clone. Everyone knows that.

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