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July 21, 2017 12:14 pm

BBC Ignores French President’s Comparisons Between Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism

avatar by Hadar Sela

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French President Emmanuel Macron greets Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 16. Photo: Screenshot.

At the July 16th event in Paris marking the 75th anniversary of the deportation of French Jews to Auschwitz, the French president made a significant statement:

French president Emmanuel Macron on Sunday condemned anti-Zionism as a new form of anti-Semitism, in what observers said was an unprecedented statement from the leader of France in support of the Jewish state.

“We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism,” Macron said at an event in Paris marking the mass deportation of French Jews during World War II. He was directly addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who attended the event.” [emphasis added]

Macron’s statement is, of course, in step with the IHRA working definition of antisemitism that was adopted in recent months by the British government and the EU parliament; it is also in accordance with the US State Department’s definition. Macron’s words were reported by numerous media outlets including the Independent, the Times, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

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However, the BBC News website’s report on the ceremony made no mention whatsoever of the French president’s recognition of anti-Zionism as a manifestation of antisemitism.

Should we be surprised at the omission of that statement from the BBC’s coverage of the event? Not really.

Last April, the BBC considered itself sufficiently qualified to produce a backgrounder titled “What’s the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism?“.

As was noted at the time, that article promoted the Livingstone Formulation; failed to inform readers what anti-Zionism actually means; and focused on promoting the inaccurate and misleading notion that anti-Zionism is the same thing as criticizing the Israeli government. The BBC‘s piece also advanced the ‘Zionism is racism’ canard.

Subsequent BBC reporting again amplified similar themes.

The BBC’s funding public should therefore not be overly surprised that a statement from the French president that contrasts starkly with the BBC’s repeated woolly misrepresentations of anti-Zionism and spotlights the corporation’s calculated disregard for accepted definitions of antisemitism was sidelined by BBC News.

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