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February 23, 2016 11:40 am

BBC World Service Erases Israeli Victims From News Reports on Terror Attacks

avatar by Hadar Sela

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A victim being transported into an ambulance outside the West Bank supermarket where Palestinian teens went on a stabbing spree. Photo: Twitter.

A victim being transported into an ambulance outside the West Bank supermarket where Palestinian teens went on a stabbing spree. Photo: Twitter.

The BBC News website’s coverage of four separate attacks perpetrated by Palestinians on February 14 was marred by the inclusion of unverified reports, unnecessarily qualified statements, and superfluous punctuation.

Such issues were not, however, confined to that specific BBC platform; unnecessary use of the word “allegedly” to describe the actions of the Palestinian attackers was to be found in BBC World Service news bulletins on the same day.

The 20:00 GMT bulletin — read by Neil Nunes and later repeated — included (from 02:14 here) the following report: [emphasis added]

The Israeli security forces have shot dead three Palestinians and wounded another as they allegedly attempted to carry out a series of attacks. More than 160 Palestinians have died during a sharp increase in recent violence.

Not only does that portrayal fail to clarify to listeners around the world that the so-called “sharp increase in recent violence” has been going on for more than four months and is caused by hundreds of violent attacks perpetrated by Palestinians, but it also refrains from telling audiences that the vast majority of the Palestinians who have been killed were trying to carry out terror attacks or engaged in violent rioting. The portrayal completely erases the victims — both Israelis and foreign nationals — of those attacks by Palestinians.

The BBC World Service’s 23:00 GMT news bulletin on the same day — also read by Nunes and also later repeated — included coverage of the attack at Damascus Gate, which took place on the evening of February 14. Listeners were told (from 04:07 here) that: [emphasis added]

Five Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli security forces after allegedly attempting to carry out a series of attacks on them. A police spokesman said two Palestinians were killed after opening fire in Jerusalem. Earlier in the city, police shot dead a youth they said had tried to stab them. The other two deaths occurred at Jenin in the West Bank where the Israeli army said it killed two fifteen year-old boys who were shooting at troops.

By the time this news bulletin was broadcast, the circumstances of all the incidents were perfectly clear, meaning that the BBC World Service was able to report them without the insertion of qualifying terminology. The fact that it elected not to do so, together with the fact that its portrayal of the wave of terrorism of which these specific attacks are part is so gravely lacking, once again prompts concerns about the corporation’s impartiality.

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  • I have attended a number of PRO-Palestinian meetings in London.
    It’s quite refreshing to listen to THEIR speakers rail against the BBC for biased reporting “in favour of the Zionists” and, of course, how the BBC is controlled by “Zionists”.

    With equal criticism, equal fury almost, coming from BOTH sides, it probably means that the BBC are acquitting themselves quite well in what is obviously, reporting-wise, a “fool’s ticket to nowhere.

  • Lori

    Britain will get their just desserts. They are so busy allowing the anti Jew/anti Israel rhetoric they are missing the massive hordes of Muslims in their country who will…..I leave you to fill it in.

  • What kind of journalist is Hadar Sela?

    When I was a trainee journalist in London in the early 1960s the National Union of Journalists training scheme lecturers (and my editor!) always stressed that the word “alleged” must always be used when dealing with accusations and charges before and during any trial of the issues.

    Only after a trial in which the defendant (“the accused”) had been found Guilty by due process could one write of the accusations/charges as being matters of fact.

    The reason for this are (or should be) obvious: a Defendant is entitled to a fair trial. A fair trial cannot be held in a society in which the media and/or the government has already proclaimed or strongly suggested that the Defendant is guilty.

    In Britain and America the legal systems are based on English Common Law which was set in train by the ‘Magna Carta’. Under the accumulated weight of the precedents of Common Law, trial verdicts can be set aside if it can be shown that the possibility of a fair trail, including an unprejudiced jury, was not afforded the Defendant as a result of a ‘Trial by Media’ being conducted before the court proceedings began.

    To prejudice a trial and pervert the course of justice in this way can lead to editors being jailed for Contempt of Court.

    To judge from her comments, Hadar Sela evidently feels that in any conflict between Jews and Palestinians (or any other people opposed to Israel/Jewry) the media must always treat reverentially accusations from Jews and that their opponents’ behaviour and statements must always be couched in terms which indicate their guilt.

    It is that kind of thinking by Jews — in Israel and in the Diaspora — which is bringing on them increasing opprobrium in the ‘court’ of world public opinion.

    As to the ‘partiality’ of the BBC, I suggest Hadar Sela research the number of occasions in the recent past in which major BBC news programmes have been found guilty by the BBC Complaints Commission (a body independent of the BBC management) of gross misreporting and news/fact suppression of events in Israel/Palestine in such a way as to favour the Israeli government/Zionist position and denigrate the Palestinian case.

    This is hardly surprising since the overall head of BBC news and current affairs output on all of the corporation’s TV, radio and web-site platforms is Richard Harding, former editor of ‘The Times’. Mr. Harding is Jewish, and a self-proclaimed Zionist whose grandparents co-founded he Belsize Park Synagogue in north London.

    Other prominent Jewish BBC executives are Danny Cohen, until recently the head of BBC TV, Alan Yentob the BBC’s cultural guru and Mark Damazer, the former head of BBC Radio 4, the corporation’s major news and current affairs station. The list goes on and on…. if you had space to publish it all.

    The Algemeiner’s support for Israel is often so strident as to trample on the concepts of justice in fits of what can only be described as hysteria. Hadar Sela’s article exemplifies that tendency.

    • Raymond

      So, the BBC should do the same when it comes to Israeli’s being involved in incidents including the Gaza war etc. They do not do this on a consistent basis. They try as hard as they can to indict Israeli’s and let off Palestinian’s.

    • Laura Todd

      QUOTE [the author of the article} feels that in any conflict between Jews and Palestinians (or any other people opposed to Israel/Jewry) the media must always treat reverentially accusations from Jews and that their opponents’ behaviour and statements must always be couched in terms which indicate their guilt.

      It is that kind of thinking by Jews — in Israel and in the Diaspora — which is bringing on them increasing opprobrium in the ‘court’ of world public opinion. END QUOTE.
      So, what you are saying is that the world is justified in its “opprobrium’ of Jews, because Jews get mad when their side of the story is ignored and suppressed?

      OK then, I hope someone breaks your nose, and then complains that they hurt their hand, and the media writes a sad story about how they hurt their hand. If you complain, I’ll say “you’re a jerk, and everyone is justified in hating you because you always try to change the story around!”

      • Harold

        Perfect Laura, well put

    • Harold

      It appears that you are will fully ignoring the facts.
      Attempted and effected stabbing attacks were carried out against Jews
      There is nothing “alleged” about it
      As you refer to above, alleged is only used in incomplete court cases or when a report is aural with no evidence. Its clear from the video and witnesses what happened, so using the word alleged has no justification except for interminable bias

    • Joe Diesendruck

      A criminal shot on the crime scene has had its veredict on the spot – he’s not ‘an alleged’, he has been fully verified – all the rest is stupid minds trying to foul people’s common sense!

    • geoff menzer

      When there is a terrorist who has been encouraged to attempt to stab to death an Israeli,or is armed with a knife gun or suicide vest,their target or guard must act immediately.It is a case of protecting lives.
      If these teenagers and others were not set on causing trouble,there would be no need to instantly react to their potential intent to cause harm.
      Therefore it should be obvious who is the intended agressor and who needs to be on the defence.
      The terminology in the BBC reports is misleading and evasive in order to cast doubt of the ongoing situation in which Isreal now finds itself.
      The race or religion of various BBC bosses is not relevant,as the nett result of the reporting conflicts with any influence that they might potentially hold.

  • Joel

    What do you expect from the BBC!

  • sidney sands

    The BBC which is supposed to relate the news in a truthful manner, is now so heavily biased in its anti Israel presentation, it tries to recount that Israelis kill the Palestinian murderers, after they are dead, and its always “allegedly” The BBC is so staffed by left leaning reporters, the BBC is not to trusted, and that we are forced to pay for it is a further insult.

  • D Cripps

    I am always puzzled why the “Palestinians” were not “allegedly shot dead”…and maybe those were not real Israelis and Palestinians either, just alleged ones.

  • Peter Joffe

    Terrorism will not be defeated by ignoring it our by reporting that the perpetrators are the victims. Politically correct BBC will further the goals of terrorists and it will eventually lead to atrocities against their own people.

  • stevenl

    When will the British people clean their BBC “PORCHERIES”! It stinks petro$ thousands of miles around

  • Paul Rosman

    It’s just more of the same anti-Israel / anti-Semitic bias which the BBC utilises as it’s standard in portraying anything emanating from Israel – a shameful situation to be sure but also a scandalous situation for the British government for not having rectified this blatent bias years ago.

  • Fred

    There seems to be a hard core that does not understand that
    the BBC has become a biased & prejudiced mouthpiece for the Arab squatters. It gets financial support for petro oil. It has become a mob supporter against Jews & Israel. As for honesty & truth in reporting these are being appreciated in such a way as precious the honesty & truth is hidden away not to be used. BBC has became a beacon of darkness in a dark world it has no light.

  • gregg solomon

    And do we think the BBC could also have possibly used the phrase “shot-dead” any more. And how about that wonderful phrasing “the Israeli army said it killed…,” like it was an outing.


    Could we not ask Duchess Camilla to teach the BBC about telling the ‘truth’?

  • Patrick J. Roche

    BBC reporting on Israel is an utter disgrace which is financed by a compulsory levy on UK citizens

  • That is why I no longer pay attention to BBC news, though once I respected the reporting. It lies. I don’t need to read lies. An ommitence is a lie.

  • BBC is spelled Der Sturmer. Got it!

  • enufizenuf

    The BBC’s blatant prejudice against Israel is mainly due to the fact that both its male and female reporters have arab boyfriends.

  • McQueen

    The BBC should be held accountable for their false reporting of facts.
    The reporter obviously is anti-Semitic and should be fired for not reporting the facts of the story.
    This isn’t their first omission of facts, when they report on the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. They obviously don’t get the seriousness of their reporting. They have had plenty of chances to get this resolved. The BBC should be closed, finished, done. Never to report their lies to the people ever again.
    Pathetic they are!

  • Jonathan Goldsmith

    When will people realise that Israeli and Jew alike wear a Star of David or a Chai around their necks.. One is a symbol of peace the other means LIFE and is a sign of how sacred life is. Meanwhile the Arab nations shout “Death to all Jews” “Death to Israel” Death to Zionism”. Is it that difficult to work out who the attackers are and who is trying to defend their people from these attacks? If the Muslim / Arabs would put down their arms there would be peace – If Israel put down their arms there would be genocide…. AGAIN !!

  • Uriel Priwes

    It is no surprise that the BBC produces unfair reports which are clearly biased against Israel. So far as the BBC is concerned, a Palestinian who is dripping with Jewish blood is “picturesque” while an Israeli soldier who is washing his hands is a “dirty Jew”. This has always been their attitude, and it has not changed.

  • HaroldT

    I am appalled at the cowardice of the UK Jewish organizations and Rabbis in not having the guts to publicly condemn the blatant anti-Semitism of the BBC.

  • doodad

    WHAT impartiality? None exists. They are clearly on the side of Jew killing terrorists.

    • Joel

      The Beeb was never a friend of Israel
      The fact that they continue with often false and invariably biased reporting speaks volumes about them
      I find myself watching (aghast) Fox News by default now. It keeps my blood pressure down!!