Media and Israel: Friday night long reads and listens

Adam Levick – managing editor of our sister site UK Media Watch (formerly CiF Watch) – recently spoke with Judy Lash Balint on her Voice of Israel radio show. Readers can listen to the interview here.Adam on VoI

Those interested in joining us in Jerusalem this coming Sunday for our event titled ‘Framing Israel, Framing Jews’ can still register here.

On a related note, writers Ben Judah and Josh Glancy have an interesting interview in Tablet with novelist Howard Jacobson.

“Jewish north London starts just three miles up the road, but conceptually you could not be further from its prim suburbs. Jacobson doesn’t belong there. In that world, the rise of anti-Semitism is the talk of the Shabbat dinner table. People mutter that since the Gaza war last summer there has been “something in the air.” They check property prices in Herzliya with increasing regularity, just in case they need a bolt-hole. […]

“Israel has become the pretext [for anti-Semitism] not because I choose it to be, but because they have,” he says in his gruff but melodious north Manchester accent, still with him despite decades of living in London. “All the unsayable things, all the things they know they can’t say about Jews in a post-Holocaust liberal society, they can say again now. Israel has desacralized the subject. It’s a space in which everything is allowed again.”

The difficulty all British Jews face with growing anti-Zionism is how to interpret it. What is legitimate criticism and what is something else? Sometimes it is clear when the line has been crossed, such as when swastikas and the Magen David start appearing on placards together. But other times it is far less clear, woven into a complex mix of genuine and excessive outrage. Jacobson’s strength on this issue is his ability to sort the anti-Semitic wheat from the anti-Israel chaff. Like many secular Jews he is clearly uncomfortable with the Bennettist millenarian nationalism that has grown in influence there. But he thinks “everyone’s always banging on about that.” Instead the war he chooses to wage is against anti-Zionism; the language, the sophistries, and the double standards. In recent years he has become England’s anti-Zionism code-reader-in-chief.”

Read the whole article here.

 

Why did BBC News cut the word terror from the headline of an article about a terrorism trial?

On February 23rd the BBC News website published a report on both its US & Canada and Middle East pages about the verdict issued by a New York court finding the Palestinian Authority and the PLO liable for a number of terror attacks which took place during the second Intifada.

That decidedly minimalist BBC report was originally headlined “Palestinian groups face $218m Israel terror fine in US”. By the time its third version was published some three hours later, the word terror had been removed from the headline and the article now appears under the title “Palestinian groups face $218m Israel attacks fine in US“.PA PLO trial art

Remarkably, in a report about the outcome of a court case entirely about terrorism, that word does not appear at all.

The first two versions of the article failed to inform readers that the damages awarded would be tripled according to US law, as explained by the NYT:

“The damages are to be $655.5 million, under a special terrorism law that provides for tripling the $218.5 million awarded by the jury in Federal District Court.”

From version three onwards the words “The US Anti-Terrorism Act could yet allow for the fine to be tripled” were added to the BBC’s report but no further clarification was offered to readers unfamiliar with US legislation.

Critically, the article fails to clarify to readers what the Palestinian Authority and the PLO actually are; instead repeating the use of the ambiguous phrase “Palestinian groups” seen in the headline.

“A US court in New York has found the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian Authority liable for attacks in Israel over 10 years ago.

Six attacks in and around Jerusalem killed 33 people and wounded hundreds more during the second Palestinian intifada between 2002 and 2004.

The jury awarded victims of the attacks more than $218m.

The Palestinian groups expressed dismay at the court’s decision and vowed they would appeal.”

Hence, the significance of the fact that the de facto Palestinian government (the PA) and the PLO (the body which is recognised as the ‘sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people’ by over a hundred countries worldwide and the UN and which officially represents the Palestinians in negotiations with Israel) have been found liable in a court of law for terror attacks against civilians is obscured from the view of BBC audiences.

The article also uses the tactic of ‘false balance‘, presenting highly edited versions of statements made by the defendants and claims made by their representatives on an equal platform with what had at the time of writing already been accepted by the court.

“A joint statement by the PLO and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) described the charges as “baseless” and said they were disappointed by the ruling.

The victims’ families allege that internal documents show the attacks were approved by the Palestinian authorities.

“Those involved in the attacks still receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority and still get promoted in rank while in jail,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Israel-based Shurat HaDin Law Center, a lawyer who is representing the victims’ families.

But defence lawyer Mark Rochon told jurors that the PA and PLO did not have knowledge of the attacks before they took place.

And he said the organisations could not be held liable for the actions of suicide bombers and gunmen, whom he argued acted alone.”

Of course the BBC has consistently refrained from carrying out any serious reporting on the topic of the Palestinian Authority’s past and current provision of funding to terrorists and their families past and present. Likewise, the subject of the PA’s glorification of terrorism is a no-go area for BBC journalists and BBC content typically avoids the issue of Yasser Arafat’s role in instigating and financing the second Intifada.

Had BBC audiences been accurately and impartially informed of those issues over the years, they would clearly be in a better position to understand the outcome of this court case and to place the quoted claims from the defence lawyer in their correct context. Significantly, no effort is made in this BBC report to rectify that situation. 

 

BBC News website parrots Guardian’s leaked cable spin

One really would think that by now the BBC should have learned to take the serial Israel-related journalistic ‘scoops’ produced by the Al Jazeera-Guardian duo with the appropriate bucket-load of salt. After all, the same partnership was responsible for the publication of the so-called ‘Palestine Papers’ in 2011 and the Al Jazeera employee behind those leaks also engineered the ridiculous ‘Arafat was poisoned’ story in 2013.

But no: the BBC has once again swallowed the latest Clayton Swisher creation promoted via Al Jazeera and the Guardian hook, line and sinker, producing its own version of the non-story in the form of an article published on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on February 23rd under the title “Israel PM ‘differed’ with Mossad on Iran, says report“.leaked cable story  

On the website’s Middle East page the article is promoted with the by-line:

“Israeli intelligence took a different view of Iran’s nuclear capabilities from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a leaked cable suggests.”

The article itself opens:

“Israeli intelligence did not share PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s view that Iran was a year away from making a nuclear bomb, a leaked cable suggests.

In 2012, Mr Netanyahu said Iran needed to be stopped, telling the UN the country could build a weapon next year.

But a Mossad report said Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”, according to al-Jazeera and The Guardian.”

Readers can study the leaked cable for themselves here. The spin put on it by the Guardian and Al Jazeera (and faithfully parroted by the BBC) is aimed at persuading the public that the Israeli prime minister deliberately misled the world with regard to Iran’s nuclear intentions in his 2012 speech at the UN and that statements in that cable from none other than the Israeli security services (a nice poetic touch) prove the point. Obviously, the timing of this leak needs to be viewed within the context of both the current stage of the P5+1 negotiations with Iran and PM Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to the US Congress next week – as this paragraph in the Guardian’s report indicates:

“The disclosure comes as tensions between Israel and its staunchest ally, the US, have dramatically increased ahead of Netanyahu’s planned address to the US Congress on 3 March.”

We would not of course expect anything else from the Seumus Milne-Clayton Swisher stable of politically motivated ‘journalism’, but is there actually anything in the leaked cable which backs their claim? As several observers have already noted, the answer to that question is no.

“A cable from October 2012, apparently from the Mossad, assesses the state of Iran’s nuclear program. Al Jazeera notes that the document says that “Iran at this stage is not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons,” but “is working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment, reactors, which will reduce the time required to produce weapons from the time instruction is actually given.” They contrast this with “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2012 warning to the UN General Assembly that Iran was 70 per cent of the way to completing its ‘plans to build a nuclear weapon’” and (in their video report) with his line that “by next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage.”

The Mossad report doesn’t actually contradict this.

Making nuclear weapons is complicated. A working warhead is the result of several distinct lines of technical development. You need enough enriched uranium to sustain a rapid chain reaction (the core of the bomb), and you need a way to induce that chain reaction (the mechanism of the bomb). (You’ll also probably want a way to deliver the bomb, a third line of technology.) Netanyahu’s argument rested on this distinction: he said that the world must draw a red line on Iran’s activities that could be useful for making a core because those activities are much harder to hide than those for making the mechanism:

For Iran, amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear [detonation mechanism]….it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. That requires thousands of centrifuges spinning in tandem in very big industrial plants. Those Iranian plants are visible and they’re still vulnerable. In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear detonator…in a lot less time, maybe under a year, maybe only a few months. The detonator can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target that workshop…So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb.

Bibi was, in other words, not asserting that an Iranian nuclear device was coming soon—he was saying that Iran was approaching the end of the phase in which its nuclear program would be easiest to interrupt. The Mossad’s statement that Iran “is not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons” doesn’t contradict that, particularly when read with their line that Iran’s activities at the time would “reduce the time required to produce weapons from the time instruction is actually given.” Iran was taking steps that made weaponization easier, even if it wasn’t weaponizing. A closer reading of the speech, and a better understanding of the underlying technical issues, would have revealed the harmony between the two positions.”

Either the BBC did not bother to check out the substance of the Guardian/Al Jazeera story before deciding to replicate it on its own platforms or it has no qualms about playing the role of amplifier for politically motivated ‘scoops’ originating from a media outlet owned and controlled by a terrorism-supporting Middle East dynasty. Perhaps Steve Herrmann would like to tell us which it is. 

A view of the 2014 Hamas-Israel conflict you won’t hear from the BBC

Since covering the story of the resignation of William Schabas from the position of chair of the jaundiced UN HRC inquiry into the 2014 conflict between Hamas and Israel (see here and here), the BBC has dropped that story.

A house in Be'er Sheva after a missile hit on 13/7/14. Photo credit: IDF

A house in Be’er Sheva after a missile hit on 11 July 2014. Photo credit: IDF

One does not need a crystal ball in order to predict that the inquiry’s findings will be reported extensively when they are finally published. It remains to be seen whether or not the BBC will then finally get round to clarifying to its audiences that the mandate of the commission of inquiry set up by the UN HRC was biased and politically motivated by definition, with its start date defined as one day after the kidnapping and murders of three Israeli teenagers by a Hamas-funded terror cell and its geographic stipulations excluding “violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law” in Israel – such as missile fire at civilian targets.

“Decides to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, whether before, during or after, to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible, to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable, and on ways and means to protect civilians against any further assaults, and to report to the Council at its twenty-eighth session.” [emphasis added]

The deadline for submissions to the commission of inquiry was extended after Schabas’ resignation and one of the people to have submitted evidence is Colonel Richard Kemp CBE – formerly the commander of British forces in Afghanistan. Colonel Kemp’s professional view of the issue makes for fascinating reading, especially for anyone who got their news of the 2014 conflict exclusively from BBC reporters lacking military experience and expertise – such as Jeremy ‘I see no human shields’ Bowen.

A school in Rishon LeZion after a missile hit on 15 July 2014. Photo credit: IDF

A school in Rishon LeZion after a missile hit on 15 July 2014. Photo credit: IDF

“Much of the Hamas military infrastructure was located amongst the civilian population in Gaza. In these circumstances, neutralizing the threat from Hamas made civilian casualties unavoidable. Under the Laws of Armed Conflict this fact does not render such operations illegal assuming they were necessary. However the IDF had a duty to distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilians and to ensure that operations were conducted in accordance with the principle of proportionality as well as necessity.

It is worth emphasizing that proportionality is not, as often believed by critics of Israel, a relationship between the numbers of casualties on either side in a conflict, but a calculation that considers whether the incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated in an attack. […]

Turning now to Hamas’s conduct in the 2014 conflict. During my time in Israel during this conflict I witnessed what I believe to be a series of war crimes and planned war crimes by Hamas and other Gaza groups, both by missile attack against civilians and by construction of attack tunnels from which to kill and abduct civilians. I am also aware of, but did not witness, Hamas and other groups’ use of their own civilian population as human shields. […]

I know of the deliberate policy of using human shields, including women and children, which is also a war crime, by both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. I am aware of this as a result of my previous British government work involving secret intelligence on these groups, from public statements made by the Hamas leadership on a number of occasions since the 2008-09 Gaza conflict, from media reports including film footage showing such action and statements by individuals forced to remain in declared target areas, from publication of training manuals found in Gaza by the IDF and from debriefing of IDF personnel and journalists. From the same sources I am also aware of Hamas’s use of buildings and vehicles protected under the Laws of Armed Conflict including schools, hospitals, UN buildings, mosques and ambulances. Use of such facilities for military purposes constitutes a war crime.”

Read Colonel Kemp’s entire submission here.  

 

Watching the BBC’s Israel election coverage

There are 5,881,696 people in the world who might have a practical interest in the subject matter of the article published on February 17th on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Israel PM Netanyahu criticised for ‘excessive’ spending“.Expenses art  

Those five million and some people are Israeli citizens with the right to vote in the upcoming elections and estimates of how many of them are native English speakers vary, with the more generous appraisals putting the number at around 200,000. Of course even they can hardly be said to be in need of a BBC report on the topic because their local media has covered it (to put it mildly) extensively, including the English language version of Ha’aretz which coincidentally produced a similar article on the same day, along with the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post to name but some.

45.9% of the BBC News website’s visitors come from the UK, 14.5% from the US, 3.6% from India, 2.6% from Russia and 1.8% from Brazil. In other words, the editorial decision to publish a four hundred and nineteen-word article about a report by Israel’s State Comptroller and Ombudsman on the subject of expenses at the Israeli prime minister’s official residences cannot be said to be based either on the degree of relevance that subject has to the website’s audience or the importance of the story in the overall framework of major news events in the Middle East.

Related articles:

BBC News, impartiality and the Israeli elections

Tim Franks on BBC WS Newshour: ‘you make Israel sound like a normal country’

What makes a story newsworthy for the BBC?

BBC’s Paul Adams makes correction to audio report

As was pointed out here recently, the audio version of Paul Adams’ report about a Syrian man given medical treatment in Israel included the following statement:

“Well, if you drive about an hour and a half west from Haifa, you come to this place: the wind-swept Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.”

One member of the public who obviously noted the same point took to Twitter to inform Adams of his geographical error.

Adams twitter convo 1

However, Paul Adams did manage to edit the report to cut out the word ‘west’ from the recording and thus correct the error.

Adams twitter convo 2

It is refreshing to see a BBC journalist responding so quickly to a member of the public and making effective efforts to correct an obviously genuine mistake. 

 

BBC ‘analysis’ of Copenhagen terror promotes faux linkage to Israel but erases attacks on Jews

On February 18th the ‘Features & Analysis’ section of the BBC News website’s Europe page included an item promoted as follows:Denmark security chief art

“Ex-security chief looks at how Denmark terror threat was handled”.

The article – titled “Viewpoint: Denmark prepared for attack but nowhere is safe” – was written by the former head of the Danish intelligence services, Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen, but will obviously have been subject to BBC editorial review before publication.

Readers are informed that:

“The two attacks [in Copenhagen] replicated the terror directed at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.”

Of course the terror attacks in Paris were not only “directed at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo”, but also at shoppers and staff in a kosher supermarket. That missing information is crucial in light of the reference to “symbolic targets” which appears in the next paragraph.

“The Danish copycat gunman, named locally as Omar El-Hussein, followed the same modus operandi and aimed his desire for revenge against the exact same symbolic targets as the French gunmen.”

The writer then goes on to claim:

“The attackers all sought revenge for the insulting depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the actions of police, who represent what they see as the state oppression of Islam.”

Let’s break that sentence down in order to appreciate what BBC audiences are actually being told.

In both Paris and Copenhagen the first target to be attacked was connected to cartoonists who had drawn images which some chose to regard as insulting to their religion: the Charlie Hebdo offices and a venue hosting a discussion on free speech with Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. In other words, there at least exists some sort of connection between the claim that “[t]he attackers all sought revenge for the insulting depiction of the Prophet Muhammad” and those “symbolic targets” selected by the terrorists.

Regarding the claim that the terrorists “sought revenge for […] the actions of police”, the writer makes sure to include the qualifying phrase “who represent what they see as…” in order to indicate to readers that the grievance he attributes to the attackers is not established fact but a matter of perception.

However, no such signposting qualifier is applied to the claim that the terrorists “sought revenge for […] the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories” and, crucially, at no point in his entire article does Bonnichsen clarify to readers that half of the targets of the terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen were identifiably Jewish locations – a kosher supermarket and a synagogue – with no connection whatsoever to Israel. 

The writer’s unqualified claim that the terrorists in Paris and Copenhagen attacked “symbolic targets” because of “Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories” would have been egregious enough had he actually bothered to inform readers that European Jews were targeted in those attacks. The notion that French and Danish Jews are “symbolic targets” of revenge for something entirely unconnected to them taps into the exact same theme used by Tim Willcox following the Paris attacks and promotion of that theme without adequate qualification and clarification not only erases the antisemitic motives of the terrorists themselves from audience view, but also helps propagate and mainstream the antisemitism which lies behind that faux linkage.

However, the absence of any mention of the fact that Jews were targeted in Paris and Copenhagen makes Bonnichsen’s promotion of the dumbed-down cliché “the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories” as a motive for the terror attacks even more problematic because, in addition to concealment of the antisemitic ideologies of the attackers, the uninformed reader seeking to understand Islamist terrorism in Europe is being encouraged to believe that it can be blamed on Israel. 

The BBC claims that it meets its public purpose remits by ensuring that its output is focused upon:

“Providing in-depth explanation of the most significant issues facing the UK and the world (such as the Middle East, global terrorism, climate change, public service reform, crime and immigration), all of which will help to support citizenship around a serious news agenda. The BBC will offer in-depth, multi-platform seasons as a means of engaging audiences in these big issues and helping them make sense of the world.”

If the BBC really does aspire to meet the above public purpose remit, its editors need to acknowledge that the amplification of facile sound-bites such as that promoted by Bonnichsen is no substitute for honest presentation of the ideologies which inspire Islamist terrorism. Relatedly, they also need to urgently ask themselves why ‘analysis’ of specific incidents of terrorism in two European capitals – which from the BBC’s point of view was presumably intended to augment audience understanding of the issue – erases from view the fact that the victims of half those attacks were targeted for no other reason than their being Jews.   

 

 

A part of the Israeli story consistently ignored by the BBC

Nearly two years ago we wrote about a terror attack which took place on Route 5 but – like so many others – was not reported by the BBC.Adele Bitton

Adele Bitton, who was three years old at the time, was badly injured when Palestinian stone-throwers (later arrested and currently standing trial) attacked passing vehicles. She suffered serious neurological damage and spent the next eighteen months in hospital and rehabilitation. Earlier this week Adele, who never fully recovered from her injuries, was hospitalized again after having contracted pneumonia and yesterday afternoon she died.

In the year in which Adele was injured (2013) an additional 115 people suffered injuries as a result of stone-throwing attacks on civilian vehicles but BBC audiences remain unaware of the scale of everyday terrorism in Israel because the vast majority of non-fatal terror attacks are simply not reported.

That policy does not only mean that the BBC fails to meet its commitment to enhance its funding public’s “awareness and understanding of international issues“: it also means that BBC reporters are able to misleadingly frame the incidents it does chose to report as “sporadic” or “rare“.

Whilst the BBC is not expected to report every single instance of rock or fire-bomb throwing in real-time like the local media, it is obvious that untold stories such as that of Adele Bitton and her family are no less important than the fatal attacks which do get headlines in helping audiences to understand Israel’s policies, counter-terrorism measures and the concerns of the Israeli people. Any media organization genuinely committed to fully informing its audiences would make efforts to periodically report that essential context. 

 

 

Don’t try this at home: BBC driving directions show basic ME geography fail

On February 16th the BBC broadcast and published several reports by Paul Adams on various platforms – all of them telling the story of a Syrian man who received medical treatment in one of Israel’s hospitals.Adams report 1

On the BBC News website’s Middle East page readers found a report titled “Israeli hospital rebuilds injured Syrian man’s face“. On the same page a filmed report – also broadcast on television news programmes – appeared under the headline “Syria war victim given new jaw in Israel” and two additional filmed reports (here and here) were also available. An item on the same topic appeared in the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ (from 17:38 here) and a version of that audio report was also promoted separately on Twitter.

In several of the otherwise largely reasonable reports Adams tells BBC audiences that:

“Syrian patients started arriving in Israel soon after the war began. They’re now a common sight in hospitals like Rambam.”

In fact, whilst the uprising in Syria began in March 2011, it was only almost two years later – at the beginning of 2013 – that the first of the wounded arrived on the Israeli-Syrian border. Since then, thousands of Syrians have been treated in Israel – although the BBC’s coverage of the topic has been sparse (see related articles below) and these are the first reports on the subject since November 2013. That makes it all the more unfortunate that Adams’ extensive reporting did not also inform audiences about other aspects of the story such as the existence of an IDF field hospital in the Golan Heights and the fact that the cost of the treatment for thousands of Syrians there and in civilian hospitals (over 33 million shekels the latter establishments alone as of October 2014) is borne by the Israeli tax-payer.Adams report 2

Adams’ reports all inform audiences that his interviewee was scared when he found himself in Israel and that for all the Syrian patients arriving in Israel “it’s a journey into the unknown”. He does not, however, approach the topic of the Syrian state-sponsored propaganda which was the root cause of their views of Israel before they saw it for themselves.

In the audio report Adams tells listeners:

“Well, if you drive about an hour and a half west from Haifa, you come to this place: the wind-swept Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.”

Of course if you drive about an hour and a half west from Haifa (or even a lot less), you’ll actually end up in the Mediterranean Sea: the Golan Heights are to the east/north-east of Haifa.

Related Articles:

BBC throws mud over repatriation of Syrians

BBC Arabic reports on Syrian patients in Israeli hospitals – but not in Arabic

At last: an accurate and impartial BBC report on Syrian patients in Israel

Northern exposure: what the BBC isn’t reporting about the Israel-Syria border

BBC mantra on Gaza casualties further challenged by new information

Readers cannot have failed to notice that the standard insertion into any BBC report relating however circumspectly to last summer’s conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip goes along the following lines:BBC

“The war left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, the majority civilians, according to the UN.”

As has been noted here on numerous occasions over the past few months, the BBC continues to promote those problematic UN supplied figures to its audiences without having carried out any independent verification of civilian/combatant casualty ratios and whilst concurrently ignoring the fact that investigation into the lists of casualties provided by Hamas and other Palestinian sources carried out by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center indicates a different picture.

On February 11th the Center published an additional report relating to the subject of seventeen casualties classified by Hamas’ Information Office as ‘journalists’ – and therefore categorized as civilians. The Jerusalem Post reports:

““The study, not yet complete, found that eight out of the 17 names were operatives who belonged to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or who worked in Hamas media outlets,” the report, published Thursday, stated.

“The Palestinian Journalists Union and the Gazan branch of the Information Office tried to hide the military-terrorist identity of the terror operatives, and present them as journalists in every way,” it added.”

Notably, two of the people listed who really were civilians were not killed during Israeli operations.

“AP photographer Simone Camilli and Palestinian translator Ali Shehda Abu Afash, both who appear on the list, were killed during a truce while covering Palestinian police sappers who were trying to neutralize unexploded Israeli munitions. There were no IDF units in the area at the time.”

As we have previously noted:

“The footnote added belatedly to the BBC article on casualty figures which was revised due to political pressure stated:

“We expect to return to this subject at a later date.”

That has not happened and the BBC’s continued blind promotion of unverified statistics is clearly not only an issue in terms of accuracy but, as time goes on and the BBC continues to stubbornly and inexplicably ignore later work done on this topic, it also obviously becomes a growing issue of impartiality.”

Related Articles:

BBC Complaints defends its use of Hamas supplied casualty figures

BBC promotion of the inaccurate notion of exceptional civilian casualties in Gaza