BBC’s ‘Echo Chambers’ blog promotes inaccurate information on kidnapped teens

h/t BK

The BBC News website blog titled ‘Echo Chambers’ (edited by Anthony Zurcher) purports to present audiences with “a review of the best commentary on and around the world”. Its June 18th edition included a section titled “BBC Monitoring’s quotes of the day” with the sub-heading:

“Israeli and Palestinian commentators offer their views on the three missing Israeli teens the Israeli government believes were kidnapped by Hamas militants.”

The first of those selected quotes comes from the pro-Fatah Palestinian daily Al Ayyam.

Echo Chambers 1

As we see, the words “of the three settlers” have been added to the quote in square brackets – presumably by BBC Monitoring.

The term “settlers” is of course used pejoratively by the BBC to describe people – specifically and exclusively Jews – living in towns and villages in geographical areas in which, according to the BBC’s political views, they should not be living. Those geographical areas are located on a particular side of the 1949 Armistice lines and apparently even children or teenagers whose parents decided to make their homes where the BBC thinks they should not have done so can be termed “settlers” , even if they had no part in that decision themselves or were actually born there.

In the case of the three kidnapped teenagers who are the subject of this quote, the assertion that they are “settlers” is not only loaded with political intent; it is also inaccurate. Sixteen year-old Gil-ad Sha’ar comes from Talmon: a village founded ten years before Gil-ad was born which is located in Judea & Samaria and hence would be classified as a ‘settlement’ by the BBC. Naftali Frenkel – also aged 16 – comes from Nof Ayalon and nineteen year-old Eyal Yifrach lives in Elad. Both those two latter communities are on the ‘right’ side of the 1949 Armistice lines according to the BBC world view.

map yishuvim

As we see, however, the BBC has chosen to describe all three of the kidnapped youths as “settlers” even though that description is both inaccurate and – quite frankly – irrelevant. Unless the BBC is trying to press a political point to readers of this blog post (and if it is, that is another topic altogether which goes far beyond mere inaccuracy), then the politically motivated epithet allocated according to the location (mistaken or not) of the family homes of the three missing boys is of no consequence to the story itself.

The second selected quote promoted in this post comes from ‘Filastin Online’ and there the three abducted youths are inaccurately described as “soldiers”.

Echo Chambers 2

No effort is made by the BBC to clarify to readers that this “quote of the day” includes inaccurate and misleading information.

As a reminder, BBC editorial guidelines on accuracy and impartiality apply to all BBC content. 

6 comments on “BBC’s ‘Echo Chambers’ blog promotes inaccurate information on kidnapped teens

  1. The three teens who were abducted attended a religious school located in a settlement in the West Bank. All three were abducted as they came back from this settlement in the West Bank, in the Palestinian territory. It is therefore logical to call them settlers.

    Always good to remember that settlements are a violation of international law and are considered illegal by the international community and the International Court of Justice.

    • They were kidnaped from area C which is under Israel control according to the Oslo accord which the Palestinian sign. The Gush etzion block was a jewish area whose jews were ethnically cleansed from in 1948 by Jordan. So it was stolen from the Jews. It is dipsuted territories not occupied according to international law because there was no legal sovereign of the area. it was called by the way Judea and Samaria by all the world including the UN until Jordan annexed it illegaly in 1950 and changed it name to the west bank .

  2. The fact that these three teens were abducted from a settlement is relevant. A kidnapping in Israel is different from a kidnapping in a settlement located in the occupied Palestinian territory. Very few Israelis would send their children to school in a settlement because they know it is not safe and outside Israel.

  3. Bravo Hadar! You miss nothing. The problems of bias, miss-description and reduction of Jewish rights which are all propagated by the BBC are as a result of the past Israeli governments not dealing as you do with prompt and swift surgical observations and criticisms. There was a complacency which somehow thought that the solution was only military success. If there would have been someone like you on the scene from 1914 reports today would have been more honest and accurate; all the verbal propaganda, distortion and replacement theories against Jewish history and claims which was created by the Arab ‘twisted tongue’ tactics when talking to foreign ears would have been nipped in the bud. The history would be seen as it was and not covered up and decorated with lies. They resorted to a ‘twisted tongue’ war on the Jews deliberately after 1949 when they increasingly failed militarily to ‘drive the Jews into the sea’. I see this as a very cunning and delberate manipulation of the facts being used through the media machine by a loser who really wanted to be a bully; he had his ego and selfish desires stopped and then decided to resort to a ‘twisted tongue tactic’ to achieve what he could not with his fist. He soon realised that by diminishing the rights of Jews as describing them as ‘Illegal’ and ‘European converts’ and ‘not true descendents of the ancient people of the land’ and that ‘Arabs are Palestinians who are the ancient Filistin or Philistines’. All this is to redefine history in such a way so that ownwership by Jews of their ancestral homeland cancelled dead in its shoes. The fact that the name Palestine was used by the Romans as a punishment for the Jews who resisted them is wiped away by this deliberate ‘twisted tongue’ tactic: repeat something often enough and it gets a life of its own and eventually becomes reality. ‘Illlegal occupation’ is one such newly created ‘reality’. For me this word smacks of deep undertones of deception and a delberate way of winning approval against Jews without the listener feeling the slightest desire to do his own research as to the validity of this ‘twisted tongue’ word. It is like a hypnotic venom which once landing on a listener’s eardrums hypnotises him/her into submission and acceptance of this accusation as true. Much in the same way as a hunted animal becomes hypnotised by a snake just before it goes in for the kill. The kill in this instance is winning a 3rd party over to the ‘twisted tongue’ point of view. The Jewish/Hebrew/Israelite homeland was illegally destroyed and stolen from them first by the Romans, then Christians and various Molems onslaughts including the Turks. THEY illegally occupied Jewish land for 500 years. Arab propaganda ‘twisted tonguedly’ ignores and wipes all this history away as if it is irrelevant and of no consequence. All of these genuine non-Jewish illegal occupations resulted in Arab present day illegal claims to occupation of Jewish land.
    Hadar, continue to inject your antidote of truthful observation and comment into this snake-like ‘twisted tongue’ and anaesthetise it and stop it from continuing to spread its venom of lies. Bravo again!

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