Are BBC News reports on Palestinian deaths accurate and impartial?

BBC Watch

As noted here earlier in the month, the BBC refrained from reporting on many, if not most, of the terror attacks against Israelis which took place during December. But on occasions when the corporation did cover violent incidents resulting in the deaths of Palestinians, misleading, inaccurate or incomplete reporting was evident.

Here, for example, is how the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Yolande Knell portrayed events which took place on December 24th in a report for the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’. [emphasis added]

“This was in different parts of the occupied West Bank; three Palestinians shot dead, apparently while carrying out attacks. One stabbed two security guards at the entrance to an Israeli settlement. Another is said to have tried to attack soldiers close to Hebron with a screw driver. Another tried to run a car into a military post close to Jerusalem according to the Israeli military. There…

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More PLO messaging from Yolande Knell in Christmas report for BBC WS radio

BBC Watch

In addition to the politicised Christmas Eve feature produced by Yolande Knell for the BBC News website on December 24th, she also reported from Bethlehem for BBC World Service radio’s ‘Newshour’.Newshour 24 12

In that item (from 30:00 here) Knell recycled themes and interviewees seen in her other report, focusing on a low-key Christmas and economic hardship in Bethlehem. Once again audiences were not informed of the Palestinian Authority’s instructions to municipalities to dampen this year’s celebrations or the Council of Churches’ similar dictate.

Setting the scene in his introduction, presenter Tim Franks failed to adequately clarify to listeners exactly which party has been initiating the acts of violence seen over the last three months, using passive language to promote a false sense of equivalence and – through use of the ‘Israel says’ formula – implying that the BBC cannot independently confirm that most of the Palestinian casualties…

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UK Media Watch prompts Daily Express to remove Israel from ‘worst places for Christians’ list

UK Media Watch

On Dec. 28th we posted about an extraordinarily misleading article published in the Daily Express.

The British tabloid actually put Israel atop a list purporting to “reveal” the “worst places to be Christian during Christmas” – a list which included countries like Syria and Iraq where Christians have of course faced massacres and ethnic cleansing.

daily express

As we noted, not only is it false to suggest that Israel oppresses its Christian population, but the truth is that the Jewish state is the only nation in the region whose Christian population is in thriving, and where the rights of this beleaguered Mid-East minority is consistently protected.

Following our post, we complained to Daily Express editors and tweeted the journalist responsible for the article.  Our post got a large number of social media shares, including this tweet from Father Gabriel Nadaf,  the spiritual father of the Aramean Christian community in Israel and

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What does the BBC Academy teach the corporation’s journalists about Judaism?

BBC Watch

If you happened to be a BBC journalist looking for information about an unfamiliar faith, the place to go would be the BBC Academy’s Subject Guide on Religion. There you would find the following introductory statement:

“Attitudes to religion are influenced by understanding – and it’s a journalist’s job to inform. So it’s important to be aware of the principles behind the world’s religions. In this section of the BBC Academy website, some of the BBC’s most experienced commentators […] guide you through the basics.”

One of the eight items on that page is former BBC religious affairs correspondent Emily Buchanan’s guide to Judaism which consists of text and a ten and a half-minute video. At the end of that video Buchanan tells her colleagues:Academy Judaism

“A knowledge of the history and of the different practices within Judaism is essential if journalists are going to report accurately any story connected…

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UK government’s MB review shows 2014 BBC report misleads

BBC Watch

On December 17th the UK Government published the main findings of an internal review of the Muslim Brotherhood which was commissioned by the Prime Minister in April 2014. Mr Cameron also made a written statement to Parliament on the topic on the same day.

The published main findings were the subject of a report titled “UK will not ban Muslim Brotherhood, says David Cameron” which appeared on the BBC News website’s UK page on December 17th.  

Another article relating to the same topic and published over a year previously in October 2014 still appears on the same webpage under the headline “Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Cleared of UK terrorism link’“. The opening paragraph of that report tells readers that:MB 2014 art

“A review of the Muslim Brotherhood’s UK activity has cleared it of links to terrorism, its lawyers have said.” [emphasis added]

Later analysis by…

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Daily Express bizarrely puts Israel atop list of ‘worst places to be Christian this Christmas’

UK Media Watch

It sometimes seems as if the UK media truly can’t help themselves. Not only do news sites fail to acknowledge the undeniable truth that Israel is the only state in the Middle East which fiercely protects the rights of their Christian population, but they also insist – every holiday season – on repeating false narrativessuggestingthat Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ’s birth, are hampered by ‘the occupation’.

However, some UK news sites go even further, and suggest that Israel is actually oppressing its Christian population.

One of the more egregious examples of this entirely erroneous claim can be found in the British tabloid Daily Express in a report published on Dec. 26th.

daily express

Remarkably, Israel is atop their list of worst places to be Christian this Christmas, ahead of Syria, Iraq, N. Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Gambia.

To see the absurdity of…

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Guardian falsely claims that PA official Jibril Rajoub supports non-violence

UK Media Watch

A Dec. 25th Guardian report by Peter Beaumont (West Bank risks being plunged into chaos in 2016, warn Palestinian officials), on the response by PA officials to the latest wave of terror, includes the following passages:

Jibril Rajoub, a former Palestinian security head and now leader of the Palestinian Football Association, is another figure who remains close to Abbas.

Like [Mohammed] Shtayyeh, he insists that Palestinian society should pursue a policy of non-violent resistance but cannot disavow those behind the current wave of attacks, instead arguing that Palestinians need to be patient.

Rajoub may indeed support a policy of “non-violent resistance” when speaking in English to Western journalists, but here’s what he said in October, in Arabic, on official PA TV, per Palestinian Media Watch (PMW):

In fact, that wasn’t the first time Rajoub expressed support for violence. Here’s what he said on PA TV on…

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