BBC News frames Iranian elections as victory for ‘reformists and moderates’

BBC Watch

Those getting their news about the recent elections in Iran from the BBC will have learned of a sweeping victory for what the corporation terms “reformists”. Readers of the BBC News website’s February 28th article titled “Iran election: Reformists win all 30 Tehran seats” were told that:Iran elections

“Allies of Iran’s reformist President Hassan Rouhani have won a landslide victory in Tehran, in the first parliamentary vote since Iran signed a nuclear deal with world powers.

With 90% of the votes counted, the pro-Rouhani List of Hope is set to take all 30 parliamentary seats in the capital.”

Analysis from the BBC’s chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet informed readers of this article and a later one that:

“This stunning election result will make a difference in Iran’s engagement with the wider world.

President Rouhani’s hand has been strengthened in parliament to help open his country to greater trade…

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British MP’s query on Jerusalem prompting David Cameron’s ‘shock’ is based on lie

UK Media Watch

Widelyreportedcomments last weekhighlycriticalof Israeli construction in east Jerusalem by David Cameron, during Parliament’s weekly question-answer session, set off an Israeli media firestorm and a diplomatic row between Israel and the UK. 

The British prime minister’s comments, which elicited a strong response from Jerusalem, came in response to a question by Bradford East Labour MP Imran Hussain.  Hussain said he had visited a Palestinian woman in east Jerusalem named Nura who had lived in her home for nearly 60 years, but was being forced out by settlers.

PM David Cameron replied thusly:

I am well-known for being a strong friend of Israel, but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what had happened with the effective encirclement of East Jerusalem, occupied East Jerusalem, it is genuinely shocking,”

However, reporters covering…

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BBC News distorts language and mistranslates in report on Palestinian prisoner

BBC Watch

On February 26th an article appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the headline “Palestinian Mohammed al-Qiq ending marathon hunger strike“. The report provides some interesting examples of the way in which information provided to audiences is filtered by means of the distortion of language and inaccurate translation.Al Qiq art  

Readers are told that:

“A Palestinian on hunger strike for more than three months in protest at his detention without charge by Israel has agreed to end his fast.

Mohammed al-Qiq will be freed in a deal which will see him released on 21 May, Palestinian officials said.

Israel said he would stay in custody until then, when it would review the case and possibly extend his detention.

It says Mr al-Qiq, 33, is involved in militancy linked to the Islamist group, Hamas. He denies the allegation.” [emphasis added]

Obviously official Israeli sources would…

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Sourcing an anti-Israel libel promoted on BBC Radio 4

BBC Watch

When anti-Israel campaigner Ken Loach appeared on BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’ on February 25th, one of the more delusional allegations heard by listeners (and the competition was tough) was that during the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas, Israeli troops “executed” Hebrew speakers in the Gaza Strip.The World Tonight 25 2

“Will they go to Gaza and see the rubble? Will they see the schools that were bombed by Israel in 2014? Will they see the hospitals that were targeted by Israel? Will they see the places where families were herded together and then executed? Will they hear about the people who were asked if they spoke Hebrew and if they spoke Hebrew they were executed?”

Not only was that allegation – and the many others – not questioned or challenged by the BBC’s Ritula Shah but Loach was not even asked to provide a source for such a serious…

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BBC promoted NGOs and a question in Parliament

BBC Watch

Back in December we noted that our colleagues at CAMERA had secured corrections to inaccurate information appearing in an article published by Associated Press which was largely sourced from an employee of a political NGO previously quoted and promoted in BBC content.

“”They (Israelis) are trying to uproot us from Jerusalem, they are stealing the houses, the trees and the stones of the city,” laments Nura Sub-Laban, a Palestinian woman featured in The Associated Press article today by Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh (“Palestinian eviction case spotlights Jerusalem settler push“).

Set against the backdrop of the disputed “gold-topped Dome of the Rock,” AP’s account of the looming eviction of Sub-Laban from their home in Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter reflects a narrative of supposed Jewish encroachment in the holy city at the expense of dispossessed Palestinians, blameless “victims of discriminatory use of Israeli property law.” 

It is also fundamentally wrong, based as it is on…

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BBC Radio 4 provides a stage for anti-Israel activist’s agitprop and defamation

BBC Watch

h/t @Sussex Friends

“If it is established during a live programme that a factual error has been made and we can accurately correct it then we should admit our mistake clearly and frankly. Saying what was wrong as well as putting it right can be an important element in making an effective correction. Where the inaccuracy is unfair, a timely correction may dissuade the aggrieved party from complaining. Any serious factual errors or potential defamation problems should be referred immediately to Programme Legal Advice.” (BBC editorial guidelines – Live Output – How To Deal With A Serious Incident In A Live Broadcast)

When BBC Radio 4 producers invited long-time anti-Israel activist Ken Loach to appear on the February 25th edition of ‘The World Tonight’ to talk about a campaign in which he is involved there can be little doubt that they knew in advance exactly what they were…

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The BBC’s roller-coaster reporting on the number of victims of Palestinian terror

BBC Watch

We previously noted the BBC’s inconsistent and inaccurate reporting of the number of fatalities resulting from terror attacks in recent months.

Between October 1st and December 31st 2015, twenty-four people lost their lives in terror attacks – twenty-one of whom were Israeli citizens. Between January 1st and February 24th 2016, a further eight Israelis were killed during additional attacks.

Below is a round-up of the BBC News website’s presentation of the subject since January 1st 2015. One noteworthy point is that all the reporting is framed in terms of the number of Israeli fatalities and hence the fact that non-Israeli victims were also killed during terror attacks is erased from the view of BBC audiences. [all emphasis added]

January 1 – “As of 23 December, at least 21 Israelis had been killed in the recent violence, most of them in stabbings and shooting attacks by…

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