BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ keeps Arafat conspiracy theory going

BBC Watch

The BBC’s flagship interview programme ‘Hardtalk’ is broadcast on both BBC World News and the BBC News channel. On August 27th, both those channels showed a repeat of a previous edition of the programme originally aired in January 2015 (and previously discussed here) in which Zeinab Badawi travelled to Malta to interview Suha Arafat.  

As readers may recall, Badawi made no effort at the time to correct the inaccurate impressions given to audiences by Suha Arafat via statements such as:

“When there’s a rocket on Israel we have 1,000 people who are killed in the same day.”

“Gaza…the most crowded city in the world…”

“…more than 1,000 people who are still in the coma…” [after the conflict last summer]

“….nothing happen [with the peace process] because Israel continue to do settlements, Israel continue to build the wall….”

Obviously the corporation supposedly committed to editorial standards…

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BBC: it’s not our job to tell audiences what the BDS campaign is about

BBC Watch

h/t L

A reader who complained to the BBC about inadequacies in its coverage of the BDS campaign in three separate reports aired on television, radio and the internet in July received a reply from the BBC complaints department which was unsatisfactory and so contacted the complaints department again. The second reply received – this time from the ‘BBC News website’ with no name attached – includes the following interesting statement:Not my job

“We cover events as they happen and have reported on the Matisyahu affair. It is not our role to seek out any “true agenda” but to report events fairly and accurately.” [emphasis added]

Quite how the anonymous writer of that response thinks it is possible to report accurately and fairly about the BDS movement’s anti-Israel campaigning without informing audiences what that campaign really seeks to achieve remains unclear.

Notably however, when the EDL appeared on the scene in the…

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Why is BBC Arabic amplifying Syrian regime propaganda?

BBC Watch

Readers may recall that some two and a half years ago the BBC got itself into hot water by promoting Assad regime propaganda on its English language website. Two days after the appearance of an article claiming that “Israeli strikes on Syria ‘co-ordinated with terrorists'” the corporation responded to considerable public outcry by amending the headline.

Apparently though, lessons have not been fully learned from that incident.

As has previously been noted here, on August 21st a report appearing on the BBC News website’s Middle East page amplified a claim promoted by Syrian state TV according to which five men killed in an Israeli strike following a missile attack on northern Israel were “civilians”.BBC Arabic Sana propaganda

BBC Arabic however went even further. In a report dating from August 20th relating to Israeli airstrikes on regime targets in Syria which took place in response the same day’s missile attack…

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A Polish reporter’s account of the human shields the BBC refused to see

BBC Watch

Last year the BBC Complaints department responded to complaints concerning the lack of BBC coverage of terrorist missile fire from the Gaza Strip by claiming that “it was very hard for journalists in Gaza to get to see rockets being fired out” and by citing a filmed report by Orla Guerin from August 12th 2014 as support for the claim that it did in fact report “on allegations that Hamas and other militants put Palestinian civilian lives at risk by operating from residential areas, as well as launching rockets near schools and hospitals”.BBC Trust

Earlier this year the BBC Trust’s ESC produced a decidedly tortured and self-contradicting verdict rejecting complaints from members of the public about a statement made by Orla Guerin in that same filmed report from Gaza in which she said that there was “no evidence” to support the claim that civilians in the Gaza Strip were being…

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Guardian defends publication of letter deemed antisemitic

UK Media Watch

On August 20th, the Guardian published several letters in response to an article published in the paper which noted questions raised about Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism (Corbyn faces questions over meeting with alleged extremist, Aug. 19th).

One of the letters was signed by Lydia, Joel and Andrew Samuels of London:

We write as members of a Jewish family, current and former constituents of Jeremy Corbyn. The accusations of antisemitism are, of course, political manipulations (Corbyn faces questions over meeting with alleged extremist, 20 August). Influential sections of the Jewish community, maybe guided by their Israeli contacts, are frightened that a notable critic of Israel’s policies and actions might attain a position of prominence in British politics. There are two background issues to which we would like to draw attention, aside from joining in the increasing number of Jews who say, of Israel’s behaviour, “not in our…

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BDS is failing: A continuing series

UK Media Watch

Here’s the latest installment of our monthly series detailing BDS fails. 

Economic BDS fails:

• ZIM ranks 1st in schedule reliability

For the second consecutive month, the Israeli shipping company ZIM ranks 1st in schedule reliability on the Asia-US East Coast trade. The July Global Liner Performance Report published by SeaIntel’s, analysing results for May-June 2015, once more positions ZIM’s at the top among global carriers, indicating ongoing improved performance.

• Ramat Gan based energy savings solution company has raised $22.5 million from Berkshire Hathaway and GE Ventures

Israeli energy savings solutions company eVolution Networks announced that it has raised $22.5 million from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary IES Holding, and GE Ventures. With the funding, eVolution Networks, which develops energy savings solutions for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), plans to expand its worldwide presence and promote its solutions to new industries, such as data center energy management.

• Kibbutz…

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Telegraph article on “alleged” antisemitic attack in Paris has ‘little do with reality’

UK Media Watch

Major media outlets – including Associated PressThe New York Times and the Guardian – agree broadly on events which took place in France on July 13th last year, in which a violent mob of over 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators tried to storm the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue in the Rue de la Roquette in eastern Paris, trapping hundreds of Jews inside.  French Police and the members of the Jewish Defense League protected the synagogue, and eventually chased the mob away.

There are multiple videosand photos of the incident – one of many alarming antisemitic incidents in France that summer.

Yet, a bizarre article published in The Telegraph raises doubts about what the authors term the “alleged” antisemitic attack.

The writers, Peter Allen (a Paris based journalist) and James Rothwell (a trainee reporter for The Telegraph), focus their piece on a long article (over 6700 words) in the August edition…

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