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October 4, 2015 5:07 pm

Watchdog Blasts BBC Coverage of Jerusalem Stabbing Spree, Forces Corrections

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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The tweet promoting the article, whose headline was changed three times. Photo: screenshot.

The tweet promoting the article, whose headline was changed three times. Photo: screenshot.

A media watchdog group slammed the BBC for its reportage of Saturday night’s bloody terror attack in Jerusalem, in which a knife-wielding Palestinian killed two Israelis and left the wife and baby of one of them seriously wounded, and the British outlet was forced to change its headline – three times.

BBC Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), exposed the headline – “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two” – for failing to reflect what actually happened during the murderous rampage, making it sound as though the perpetrator had been a victim of Israeli security forces.

“[This] is not only a prime example of the ‘last-first reporting’ regularly employed by the BBC, but of course fails to clarify to audiences that the dead Palestinian was the terrorist who killed two people (later named as father of seven Rabbi Nechemia Lavi and father of two Rabbi Aharon Benita) and wounded a mother and her two-year-old son,” wrote BBC Watch in a dispatch on the coverage.

“Predictably, that headline prompted considerable protest on social media,” the dispatch went on. “And shortly after its publication, the title was changed to one displaying yet another regular feature of BBC reporting; the use of superfluous punctuation.”

The changed headline read as follows: “Jerusalem attack: Israelis killed in Old City ‘by Palestinian.’”

Additional complaints circulated over the implication in the altered title that it was questionable whether a Palestinian had committed the double murder.

The headline was then amended to read: “Jerusalem attack: Israelis killed in Old City by Palestinian.”

Finally, it was altered a third and final time, now appearing as: “Jerusalem: Palestinian kills two Israelis in Old City.”

BBC Watch did not stop there, criticizing the content of the article on the attack, as well its updated incarnations.

In line with standard BBC practice, the word terror does not appear in any of the versions of an article describing a terror attack on Israeli civilians. Readers are told that: ‘It comes two days after an Israeli couple, who were in a car with their four children, were shot dead in the West Bank.’

Of course, BBC audiences had not been informed that was a terror attack either.

Readers of the third version of the report were told that: ‘Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, issued a statement praising the attack which it described as ‘heroic.”

They were not, however, informed that social media accounts belonging to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party similarly praised the attack and described its perpetrator as a ‘hero.’ The information concerning Hamas was later removed.

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  • Osanga Mwase

    It’s hardly surprising that th world is increasingly bcoming anti-Israel, bcause it has bcome more hostile to anything godly, anything holy resulting in th extreme hatred for th Creator as to b termed non-existent. Thus, for those that hate God Almighty’s Prophecy which is intertwined with Israel’s history, Israel will b th first call onto which to pour their virulent hatred. It bcomes th more imperative for Israel to near himself much closer to Jesus th Masiah of Israel.

  • Charlie Stanley


    Well done on making the odious BBC report more accurately.

    I am appalled by the BBC almost daily by their lies and omissions. I am also forced by law to pay almost £150 annually for the privilege of being lied to by them.

    Remember the Fogel family.

  • Graham

    This is typical of the BBC! I’m looking at ways now to opt out of paying the tv license – I hate funding this corrupt organisation! Enough is enough!

  • Ephraim

    As is true of so much of the press today, lies supersede the truth, journalistic integrity is a joke, and, of course, the (B)ritish (B)igotry (C)orporation ‘reported’ a terrorist attack as if it were the rabbis who were the cause. The hate emanating from the UK, and with trash organizations such as the Guardian and the BBC, among many others, is proof positive that antisemitism is alive, well, and nourished in this island of bigotry and hatred.

  • Kate Davy

    whatever happened to truth in reporting? why is the truth such a hard thing to find. It is getting to the point where we refuse to believe anything the BBC has to say. Not very long ago the BBC was the ‘go to’ location for the truth. Sad, eh

  • E Plurius Wombat

    The BBC is an enemy of the Jew and they should be shot on sight in Israel.

  • Oliver

    The BBC or the EEC never reports on Europe. This ‘educational’ broadcaster never reports on Europe. Europe can do no wrong, and any mention of modern history portraying EU in its real Caligula past will be laughed out of court as a paranoid retrograde thinker or even a guilt tripper. Everyone is expected to believe EU is the model of ethics.

  • Pearl

    And you seriously expect the BBC to report honestly, without bias or any show of anti-Semitism?!
    Did you just land on this planet? BBC and others like it, which is a majority of publication, plus your average anti-Semite, which a about 80+% of the world population want Israel destroyed and the Jewish people wiped from this planet. That would make everyone SO happy.
    Well, guess what BBC and the rest of you mean spirited little people, WE ARE HERE TO STAY.
    Learn to live with it and start reporting ALL the news in an unbiased manor.
    Oh, right! You can’t tell the truth. You swallow the lies like gullible children.

  • Kerry Berger

    With the new Labor Party Leadership sympathetic to Hamas and other terrorists, it sounds like the BBC is posturing itself for Labor to find any excuse to take over the Government and spread the anti-Jewish vitriolic propaganda using the BBC. Time to warn Britain that they need to check their anti-Semitism at the door or face boycotts of tourism along with products and services. All of Europe is doing little to stem the tide of rising tensions that are anti-Jewish, and doing little to control immigrant radical Islamists who are fomenting hatred against Jews in the countries they reside. Blaming Jews is what they do because they are incapable of criticizing their own incompetent governments at home and scapegoating is common in most Muslim societies.

  • David Levavi

    The BBC is a demonstrably anti-Semitic news organization and should not be allowed to broadcast in the USA. Bad enough that British taxpayers are forced to support BBC; Americans should not be similarly taxed via BBC newsfeed on taxpayer supported American public television. Time for the ADL to stop promoting itself and begin protecting Jews from foreign slanderers.

  • brenrod

    why is the BBC or their staff allowed into Israel? Its all intentional what they do in order to keep their cash from BBC arabic.

  • jeremy

    Why doesn’t Algemeiner print comments?

    Trust me you will lose readership, over time, if the readers have an alternative.

    It would be better to not give the option, then hold it , at best until the article is no longer read by anyone, cute trick. Or delete it.

    If there were no option, at least you would not be wasting your reader’s time, writing a comment.

    I’m already myself hesitant to read it because of that underhanded bs. While Jerusalem Post forces you to reload the page every minute, a cheap trick to get hits. You can only read that if your sane, if you’re willing to find the rare block antireload software that works (most don’t) on Jerusalem Post scripts.

    This erasing comments trend all across the board on American sites is annoying, if the comment is ot a repeat, or too stupid to print, just print it quickly. People will enjoy your site more.