BBC corrects Morsi video article

As we noted here on January 16th, the BBC produced an article relating to the 2010 video of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in which it downplayed his encouragement of and support for terror attacks against Israelis by claiming that Morsi was ‘only’ referring to “Jewish settlers”.

“In the clip from Palestinian broadcaster Al-Quds TV, Mr Morsi referred to Jewish settlers as “occupiers of Palestine” and “warmongers”.

He called for a “military resistance in Palestine against these Zionist criminals assaulting the land of Palestine and Palestinian”.”

Morsi article

On January 17th – and apparently following complaints from readers – the article was amended and the offending passage now reads:

“In the clip from Palestinian broadcaster Al-Quds TV, Mr Morsi referred to Zionists, the term most commonly used by the Muslim Brotherhood to refer to Israelis or Jews, as “occupiers of Palestine” and “warmongers”.

He called for a “military resistance in Palestine against these Zionist criminals assaulting the land of Palestine and Palestinian”. “

correction Morsi article 2

The correction was also pointed out a footnote to the article, which even made headlines across the Atlantic:

“Correction 17 January 2013: This report was amended to take out the reference to settlers from the comments made by the Egyptian president.

correction Morsi article

In addition to this very welcome step, it would of course be appropriate for the BBC to explain to its audiences how that very problematic reference got there in the first place. 

 

BBC tones down Morsi’s support for terrorism against all Israelis

It has taken far too much time, but the US State Department’s recent condemnation of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s antisemitic, terror-glorifying statements – shown in a video from 2010 which was released almost two weeks ago by MEMRI – has left Western journalists no choice but to begin reporting the story. 

However, in its own report on the subject which appeared in the Middle East section of the BBC News website on January 16th, the BBC apparently could not resist ‘tweaking’ Morsi’s words. 

Morsi article

The BBC article states: [emphasis added]

“In the clip from Palestinian broadcaster Al-Quds TV, Mr Morsi referred to Jewish settlers as “occupiers of Palestine” and “warmongers”.

He called for a “military resistance in Palestine against these Zionist criminals assaulting the land of Palestine and Palestinian”.”

Firstly, Al Quds TV is not merely a “Palestinian broadcaster” – it is a television station owned and run by Hamas. Of course this is not the first time that the BBC has elected to conceal from its audiences the terror connections of Al Quds TV and its sister organization Al Aqsa TV

Secondly, Morsi makes no reference whatsoever to “Jewish settlers” in his antisemitic, terror-glorifying rant: that phrase is an invention by the BBC. In fact, Morsi speaks of “Zionists”, by which he means all Israeli Jews – regardless of whether they live on one side or the other of the ‘green line’ – the existence of which Morsi clearly says he does not recognize.

So, the question is this: does the BBC follow the party line expounded by Hamas and other terrorist organisations whereby all Jewish Israelis are considered “settlers” no matter where they live? That is certainly one possible explanation for the choice of wording above. 

And if that is not the case, then we must ask why the BBC is trying to tone down Morsi’s support of terrorism in the whole of Israel by pretending that his statements encouraging violence ‘only’ refer to the use of terror against a specific group of people.  Did the BBC perhaps consider that Morsi’s words would go down a little less badly with its audiences if they were framed as relating to “Jewish settlers” whom – according to the bien pensants of certain circles in the West – it has become perfectly acceptable to demonise, dehumanize and stereotype? 

If that is the case, then it also means that we cannot avoid asking the rather unpleasant – but necessary – question of whether the BBC considers there to be a difference between the palatability of terror attacks inside and outside the ‘green line’.