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March 29, 2015 5:07 pm

BBC Honcho Says ‘Tough’ to Present Balanced Coverage of Israel-Hamas War

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BBC Director-General Lord Hall commented on his network's coverage of Israel at a London event on Tuesday. Photo: Twitter.

BBC Director-General Lord Hall said on Tuesday that though his publication strives to achieve balance in its coverage of Israel, reporting on the country’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip last summer was “tough,” the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported.

“It is hard… tough. We do aim to give as impartial coverage as we can across the period,” he said, while addressing 200 people at a business breakfast in London hosted by ORT UK. “I do not want you to doubt for one second our commitment to the coverage of Israel and Palestine – but also the wider Middle East.”

The BBC head made the comments after Laura Marks, senior vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, asked him to respond to sentiments among Israel’s supporters that the BBC’s coverage of the summer conflict was unbalanced against the Jewish state. Marks told Hall that the network’s coverage of the conflict “dented my trust in the BBC.”

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“And whilst I fully appreciate the enormity of the problem and the disaster facing civilians in Gaza, I think that Jews in the country felt that you did not put the case for both sides,” she told the BBC chief. “How would you respond to a feeling in this room that the BBC did not cover the problem facing Israel clearly because it had the humanitarian problem facing the people of Gaza – which overrode all of your coverage?”

Hall claimed that every BBC employee is committed “to making sure we cover broader issues in the Middle East. And that to my mind is really important.”

He added: “What I hope you have seen – in terms of what we have covered in Iraq, in Libya, Syria and broader – is a real commitment to ensure we are covering those terrible wars and countries, as best we can.”

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  • jonathan Black

    Sir.
    Sadly, the comments highlighting the very left wing attitude of the BBC towards Israel and the Arab states are also prominent in their General Election coverage, particularly anti UKIP propaganda.
    The UK is about to undergo a monumental political shake-up, because large sections of the UK population are utterly fed up with the lies and deceit of the mainstream parties.
    I speak as a previously life long conservative of around 50 years, nothing would now induce me to vote for Cameron, my vote will go to the UKIP.
    The BBC receieve ”hand-outs” from the EU, on top of the £3.4 billion in TV Licence fees, and take every opportunity to extol the ”virtues” of the EU, despite the published fact that a majority of the UK population would like to leave the EU so please do not expect to have balanced reporting from an organisation that is the despair of many of the UK population.

  • As Basil Fawty might say, ‘Don’t mention the Beilin Report!’ The BBC, so often suspected of biased coverage, appointed someone to fully investigate this question. The Beilin Report was completed, BUT never made public. When the courts were involved they ruled that an internal report is not covered by the freedom of information law. We still pay our anual BBC licence fee and we still believe the BBC has a moral, if not legal, obligation to show us what we paid for.

  • M. Davison

    As far as I can see, the BBC has had no interest in reporting the Arab-Israeli conflict since the time of the British Mandate for Palestine.

    Jews resisting the oppression of long-term British occupation were branded “terrorists” by the BBC, while they have never referred to the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad et al as anything but “militants”.

    Even elsewhere in the Middle East, where Israel has no involvement, the BBC often manages to blame Israel, just as it recently blamed Israel for the fact that Palestinian husbands beat their wives.

    Maybe it’s time the BBC had an external audit on their policies and history of reporting about Israel, conducted by a third party… perhaps an independent auditing committee made up of journalistic auditors from several countries, NOT including Commonwealth countries.

    • M. Davison

      “As far as I can see, the BBC has had no interest in reporting the Arab-Israeli conflict since the time of the British Mandate for Palestine.”

      Sorry, that should read “As far as I can see, the BBC has had no interest in reporting the Arab-Israeli conflict honestly since the time of the British Mandate for Palestine.”

  • Eve Laing

    HE NEVER ANSWERED LAURA MARKS COMMENTS ON BIAS IN THE BBC TOWARDS ISRAEL. I APPLAUL HER ATTEMPT TO INFORM LORD HALL OF THE EFFECT OF THIS CONTINUAL BIAS HAS ON MANY OF THE BBC’S SUPPORTERS.

  • J van Gelder

    This is special for the UK and very British (BBC), similar to the mindset of a pedophile, first to molest children, physically and mentally, and then saying that you love children.
    BTW, the historic European antisemitism in Europe, has never stopped after the end of World War II.

  • Dale

    So basically, he didn’t respond to the question. Weasel.

  • Ephraim

    What do you expect from a blatantly Antisemitic organization? The B(British)B(bigoted)C(conspirators). Surely you would never expect this disgraceful editorial body (no reporting involved) to see truth.

  • Scott

    Further….Why is “hard” to present a balanced (read that as HONEST) reportage on the Israeli – Hamas conflict?

    Why? Because when you’re in the bag for an agenda instead of HONEST reporting….well…”it’s hard” to be balanced

  • Harold Moskowitz

    It they are going to lie, and they ARE going to lie, then just don’t let them in at all. Tell them to cover the story from London. Same with the NYT.

  • Scott

    What a dodge of the question….!!!!
    The BBC has become to the UK what MSNBC and CNN are to the USA.

    A propaganda arm of the progressive movement….period!

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