Terror in Tel Aviv: scare quotes at the BBC.

Here is the BBC’s report on the terrorist bombing of a number 142 Dan bus in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday lunchtime, November 21st:

A deliberate terrorist attack is termed a ‘Bomb blast’ – in ‘well, that’s what they’re telling us’ inverted commas.  

The article continues:

“There has been an explosion on a bus in Israel’s commercial capital Tel Aviv, police say, amid continuing exchanges between Israel and militants in Gaza.

There are at least 10 injuries in what police called a “terrorist attack”.”

Further down, the liberal sprinkling of scare quotes continues:

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Ofir Gendelman said on his Twitter account that the explosion was caused by a bomb and that it was “terrorist attack”.

Emergency services say five of the wounded in the bus explosion are in a serious or moderate condition.

An Israeli who witnessed the explosion told Army Radio the bus was “completely charred”.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said the blast occurred on the corner of Shaul Hamelech and Henrietta Szold.

It said the injured were being taken to Ichilov hospital and that roadblocks had been set up in the area to search for a suspected bomber.

The attack took place on the eighth day of exchanges between Israel and militants in Gaza.

Some 139 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed.

Celebratory gunfire reportedly rang out in Gaza City when local radio relayed news of the bus attack.”

Before we are tempted to attribute the generous use of so much unnecessary punctuation to BBC caution until the picture is fully clear, we should perhaps compare and contrast with its reporting of the strike on the antennae of two office blocks in Gaza City earlier this week. 

What the above report does not include is reports on Twitter by its correspondents on the ground in Gaza that Hamas immediately took responsibility for the attack. 

The BBC’s Paul Danahar appeared to be trying to suggest that the target of the attack was of a military nature, which makes an interesting contrast to some of his tweets earlier in the week. 

(By the way, here is a recent event in Gaza which the plethora of BBC reporters on the ground there appears to have decided not to report, apart from a brief 29 words in this item.)

Update: 

The BBC now has footage of the aftermath of the attack up on its website – also broadcast on BBC News.

Note the wording of the report’s synopsis as it appears on the website: [emphasis added]

“At least 10 people have been injured in an explosion on a bus in Israel’s commercial capital, Tel Aviv, in what one Israeli official described as a “terrorist attack”. “

 

 

 

About these ads

20 comments on “Terror in Tel Aviv: scare quotes at the BBC.

  1. Hamas has already started a ground attack on Israel. There are at least 10 injuries in what police called a “terrorist attack”.” What would BBC call it “a militant uprising”?

  2. I was at home wallpapering and had BBC News 24 on at the time the story broke, and for most of the morning. There were two excellent interviews – one with the adviser to the Mayor of Tel Aviv, and one with a British man who’s visiting his Israeli girlfriend – at least one of the interviewees got in excellent points about Islamic terrorism akin to London on 7/7, and the young man stressed the use by Hamas of human shields and the leafletting by Israel of Gaza for the benefit of civilians before strikes – I don’t think he’ll be invited back again! There was also a comment from Donnison who said that it was not clear whether Hamas actually meant to kill anybody on the bus!

    • Of course they didn’t mean to actually kill anybody on the bus they just planted a cuddly bomb with nails and nuts and bolts inside. What on earth gave any of you the impression they wanted to kill Israelis?

    • “There was also a comment from Donnison who said that it was not clear whether Hamas actually meant to kill anybody on the bus”

      I am beginning to wonder if Donnison isn’t displaying signs of a psychological condition with an aetiology similar to Stockholm Syndrome.

      It’s either that or he’s fallen in love with the whole radical chicness of it all – or, as you suggest below, Daphne, he dare not cross the Hamas line.

  3. I always thought Bowen was bad but Donnison is in a different league. He clearly and obviously identifies with Hamas and the people of Gaza and reports accordingly. All very well for a pro Palestinian activist – entirely inappropriate for a news reporter. He really needs to be reassigned as he is devastating the credibility of BBC News, such as it is.

    • The BBC have a factory where they manufacture anti Israel reporters. They have nearly perfected a line of ugly women with accents like Orla Geurin and Lyse Desett (sp). The bitter and twisted men like Donnison and Bowen don’t seem to need much adjustment though. One wonders why they don’t release the Balen report because he was no friend either but he must have said something because they have spent £300,000 of taxpayers money preventing it.

  4. Donnison is demented in his hatred. To suggest that the deliberate bombing of a bus wasn’t meant to kill anyone is beyond parody.

  5. Pingback: BBC’s Wyre Davies lies about rocket fire and the blockade | BBC Watch

  6. I agree that Donnison surpasses Bowen in the bias stakes. He really is something else. I wonder whether the kidnapping of Alan Johnston makes Gaza-based reporters too afraid to be scrupulously objective, thinking that if they don’t slant their reportage against Israel they’ll suffer the consequences.

  7. Pingback: BBC repeats use of loaded punctuation in reporting terror attacks on Israelis | BBC Watch

  8. Pingback: BBC repeats use of loaded punctuation in reporting terror attacks on Israelis | Blogs about Israel aggregation

  9. Pingback: BBC bizarre punctuation mystery solved? | BBC Watch

  10. Pingback: BBC bizarre punctuation mystery solved? | Blogs about Israel aggregation

Comments are closed.