BBC response to Willcox complaints: he sent a Tweet

Below is the response received by a member of the public in reply to his complaint concerning remarks made by Tim Willcox during the BBC’s coverage of the January 11th march in Paris. Others have informed us that they have been sent the exact same reply.

Response Willcox complaint

It is worth noting once again that the majority of the millions of people who watched that BBC broadcast do not follow Tim Willcox on Twitter.

One of the problems with the response from BBC Complaints – and with Willcox’s Tweet – is that he was not asking a “poorly phrased question” at all. He in fact interrupted his interviewee to make a statement. And whilst Willcox may indeed have had “no intention of causing offence”, he did just that because the notion he found it so urgent to promote to viewers is based on the antisemitic premise that Jews anywhere in the world hold collective responsibility for the perceived actions of the State of Israel.

If Tim Willcox and the BBC do not understand why his statement – and the thinking behind it – constitutes a problem and why an apology in 140 characters or less repeated in a generic e-mail from BBC Complaints is unsatisfactory, then obviously there are considerably deeper issues here. 

Willcox’s Twitter apology does not abrogate the need for an on-air statement from the BBC clarifying the issue to audiences who watched that programme.

42 comments on “BBC response to Willcox complaints: he sent a Tweet

  1. I received this email response to my complaint. It really isn’t good enough, but I’m beginning to think that the people working at BBC News simply don’t ‘get’ it.

  2. Bbc must be in panic mode to get this completely inadequate response out so quickly. How many extra staff did they have to draft in ? How can we find out how many complaints they received?
    Obviously now we must all take our complaints to the next level .

  3. I got this same reply this morning. I am going to try again and if I get no joy, I shall have to think of something else.

    • The bbc send you on to another place to complain about them. I complained twice, as i got the generic letter too. After the second letter, in which i specifically asked a) about the number of twitter followers as opposed to the number of people who heard the interview and b) why the reporter did not know the EU definition of anti-semitism, they gave me the next step.

      The more who take it further, the better. The BBC used it as a platform to promote anti-semitism, and they should at least be made aware that the public are aware that they deliberately did this.

      • I got a similar response to my second complaint, so that was a waste of time. I have resubmitted my complaint to the editorial board via the mailto link provided. I have also provided them with the European Forum definition of antisemitism and suggested that the BBC take the issue more seriously.
        I am determined not to let this go.

  4. Who needs an apology from Wilcox? His question is so ignorant, slanted, and typical of the “British cultural elite.”

  5. The BBC is a massive organisation which can withstand massive controversies. This doesn’t even appear on their radar. In fact, for these odious middle class left wingers, anti-Israel bigotry and increasingly anti-semitism, is actually a badge of honour. If they get complaints from Jews, they actually believe they’re doing their job well.

    Tim Willcox displayed anti-semitism that is ubiquitous in his circles. In fact one could almost exonerate him by saying he actually didn’t realise how offensive he was being because that kind of anti-semitism is just natural for him.

    The idea that no Jew can be a true victim, is disgusting. That a Jew can be beaten up, stabbed, run over or shot to death anywhere in the world, and yet collective Jewry is ultimately responsible because of Israel.

    It makes attacks against Jews “understandable”.

    Which is the prevailing attitude because the French barely lifted a finger when it was Jews being attacked day in and day out, but as soon as their actual own kind were attacked, it was time for action.

    The other disgusting undercurrent to what the odious Willcox was alluding to, is that no French Jew us actually 100% French. There’s always the link to Israel. Then again, his kind then tell Israelis that they don’t actually belong in Israel That they’re just Polish/Russian immigrants.

    It’s the idea that basically a Jew does not belong anywhere.

    Willcox of course has previous for this, when he quipped that the Jewish lobby/Jewish donors would not support the Mansion Tax. Thereby alluding to Jews being rich, having mansions and not being prepared to pay their way.

    A disgusting little oik.

    The only thing you can do is cancel your TV license. Keep watching TV, these turds that come to the door have no authority. Just tell them the TV is for DVD’s and Netflix. End of story goodbye.

    • See the Yougov poll in tomorrows Independent.We have serious problems in the media and the BBC in particular.

  6. So let’s contrast this with another recent story from yesterday. This concerns a terrorism expert appearing on Fox News in the USA who stated that Birmingham was a Muslim only city and no go area for anybody else.

    Following complaints he admitted his overstatement and apologised. Here are the articles that the BBC have run on this story since yesterday.

    Apology for ‘Muslim Birmingham’ claim 12 JANUARY 2015, BIRMINGHAM & BLACK COUNTRY
    Our city: Real life in Birmingham 12 JANUARY 2015, BIRMINGHAM & BLACK COUNTRY
    Nine real facts about Birmingham 12 JANUARY 2015, BIRMINGHAM & BLACK COUNTRY
    Could Fox News comments hit tourism? 12 JANUARY 2015, BIRMINGHAM & BLACK COUNTRY
    Fox News terrorism commentator Steven Emerson donates £500 to hospital 13 JANUARY 2015, BIRMINGHAM & BLACK COUNTRY

    Besides the number of articles published on the subject, look also at the length of them and how the BBC are using this for a variety of issues that match their agenda, not least doing their best to demean Fox, and of course promote Islam.

    They really think that what this man said about Birmingham is far more important than Wilcox’s shameful muttering to a woman grieving over what just happened in France,
    This is our ‘fair, balanced and impartial’ broadcaster.

  7. Willcox only regrets the publicity generated by his remark. Considering the sick obsession that he and other leftists have with Israel/Jews, the comment itself isn’t surprising. It’s impossible for them to squarely blame Muslims/Palestinians. In such an event, they need to find away to blame Israel/Jews as well.

  8. Most here monitoring usual BBC coverage of Israel would be forgiven for thinking that at best, news reports by Israeli newspapers are never examined by BBC staff to gain ‘the other side’.
    So here’s something to show you that they do, but choose to ignore it if it conflicts with the story they way they want it to be seen.

    Clearly they’ve been scouring Mid-East newspapers to see how they’ve been reporting on events in France. So out of all of them, and no doubt quite a few which would have been supportive of the terrorists, which one did the BBC choose to focus on?

    Well here it is – the third most important story on their Mid-East webpage:
    Jewish newspaper removes women from photo of leaders

    Notice the article is in Hebrew, and is from an orthodox Jewish newspaper Hamavaser, that few will have heard of before, or likely to again. But the BBC think that the fact that the editors photoshopped the photo from France to remove all women leaders was worthy of mention.

    However, if they would have looked at some of the main stories in the Israel media about events in France they would have seen
    Hamas Publication Praises Paris Terrorists
    But this they didn’t think worthy of mention.

    Any wonder the BBC excuses Willcox for his viewpoint?

  9. What else do you expect in a reply from the Biased Broadcasting Corporation that is inherently anti Israel. Think yourself lucky you got a rep;y

  10. ” the notion he found it so urgent to promote to viewers is based on the antisemitic premise that Jews anywhere in the world hold collective responsibility for the perceived actions of the State of Israel.”

    I suspect that that view isn’t Wilcox’s view and , indeed, it was a merely a matter of poor phrasing.

    However, I would just like to add that although this view of collective Jewish responsibility is rather unpleasant, there are those, some Jewish people amongst them, that seem to believe that criticism of the Israel’s policies towards Palestinians is often an anti-semitic attack on all Jewish People.

    Either the state of Israel and it’s policies are to be identified with Jewish people wherever they may live or it isn’t.

    I don’t believe it is.

    • Of course it’s Willcox’s view. Remember that his “poorly phrased” question was in response to the French Jewish lady’s statement that French Jews are suffering increasing antisemitism. The lady’s statement was in turn her reply to Willcox’s previous question.

      It’s clear that his intention was to drag Israel into the debate and blame attacks on Jews in France on Israel, and consequently blame Israel’s actions on French Jews.

      Even if he had used the phrase “Israeli hands” instead of “Jewish hands” his question was still outrageous and totally out of place.

    • Well, in my opinion, it’s an unwarranted judgement for you to make on Wilcox’s view.

      The video here on this website is a small fragment of, what was clearly, a longer piece of a somewhat in-depth wider discussion about religious hatred and its causes.

      It’s is true that many people, Jews and Moslems amongst them,voice their opposition to many policies of Israel finding them to be fuelling religious hatred. Some people, unfortunately, want to resort to violence and claiming Israel’s policies as justification for their actions.

      You say the comment would have been “out of place”, but it is hardly so in such a discussion where people, after such outrages, tend to look for answers and ways to narrow the divisions between people.

      • Tim, The discussion that Willcox was having with the Jewish French lady, and her Muslim friend, was not about the “causes” of religious hatred at all. He asked her, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, about the situation for Jews (not Israelis) in France. She replied that it was reminiscent of the 1930s. Willcox cut her off before she could finish speaking and made his “poor phrased” remark about “Palestinian suffering”.

        In effect he was saying that French Jews deserved whatever happened to them because Jews (even if he meant Israel) made incurred suffering on “Palestinians”.

        In my book that comes damn close to justifying terrorism against Jews!

        I say it was out of place because the march was taking place following terrorist attacks in which two Jews were murdered in the Charlie Hebdo offices and another five in the Jewish supermarket. That’s seven out of a total of seventeen victims with Jews clearly targeted only because they were Jews. That wasn’t the time or place to be discussing, or in Willcox’s case, excusing outright the terrorists motives.

        • I don’t believe that he was, “…saying that French Jews deserved whatever happened to them because Jews (even if he meant Israel) made incurred suffering on “Palestinians”.

          Even after watching this cut down snippet. where much of the context for all of the remarks has been lost, I still cannot see that Wilcox must be interpreted in the way you suggest.

          I put it to you that sensitivities are raised on all sides after outrages such as this. The rational and sensible way forward is to promote tolerance, forbearance and a wider search for the causes of hatred.

          WIlcox had a difficult task when feelings were running so high.

          • Thats what he s paid for!
            He s suppose to exercise judgement and put his brain in gear before he speaks. This is NOT HIS FIRST OFFENSIVE REMARK.

          • Talking about promoting tolerance, it’s a pity the clip doesn’t include Willcox’s introduction to the Jewish lady and her Arab companion who are part of an association which dedicates itself to teaching Arabic and Hebrew.

            In my opinion the search for understanding of the causes of Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Israel.

            Do you really believe that if Israel and the Palestinians were to live in peace there would be no more Islamist terror?

            Just take a look around the world.

    • Bio and Helena, I wouldn’t waste too much time on this Hoddy
      This should make clear why he finds nothing wrong with how Willcox views things.

      Bet he can’t explain why Israel found it necessary to wall in those ‘poor Palestinians’.
      He’d rather think of himself as caring and concerned.

        • The cartoon is of course abhorrent but do I have any inclination whatsoever to murder the cartoonist? Of course not .If I did I would be a primitive savage.

      • Well if you think your time is wasted then I shall leave.

        You are referring to a retweet I made recently. This retweet, in light of the reaction to the cartoons in Charlie Hebdo, draws our attention to an apparent double-standard.

        Double-standards never serve anyone in the long run.

        • ‘Double-standards never serve anyone in the long run.’
          Speaking of which, you see this cartoon as a JUSTIFIED CRITICISM of Israel, but you avoided the explanation as to why Israel walled in the ‘poor Palestinians’, which is the way you want to see it.
          But you don’t see your double standards – do you? You couldn’t be a racist – could you?
          Perhaps you’ll also tell us how many Jews live in any of the Palestinian areas, as opposed to Arabs living in Jewish ones?
          Also your thoughts on a recent poll that shows the majority of Arabs in Israel are very supportive of Israel and have no wish to live in any future Palestinian state.

          I won’t hold my breath waiting for an answer, I know your type. Time to start some sort of personal attack…

          • Whether or not I see the cartoon as a justified criticism of the Israeli Government is neither here nor there. It has no bearing on my argument about double-standards.

            I hope I am wrong but you seem to be the one spoiling for a fight. If this is the case, then I am not going to oblige you.

            Please understand that whilst you make some good points, they are not properly pertinent to the current discussion except as part of fallacious arguments.

            Please save them for a different discussion and not as the groundwork for an ad hominem attack.

          • Do you see that you AGAIN avoided answering the question put to you?
            Did I see you coming or not?
            Do you know why YOU HAD TO?
            Because it would show you up for the mindset you are.
            You are the one who brought up the issue of DOUBLE STANDARDS – and you are the one who’s displaying them.

            You will NEVER understand the points put to you because you see Willcox as justified in his statements.
            You don’t pursue your thinking with an open mind because you would have to reconsider your stance in light of the evidence.
            Since all you do is dodge the points being made to you, what do you expect is going to be the eventual response to you?
            Notice I’m still using reason and logic.

            You could surprise all of us here and try allowing your mind to open and consider whether you might be wrong.

          • Well, you know, I think we’d better leave it there.

            You seem intent on abandoning logic and argument and are, as I suspected in my previous post, determined to attack ad hominem

            Further, you seem to raise questions about my motives which are not warranted by what I have said here.

            Reason and logic are what we should be engaged in.

          • Yup – you fit my predictions perfectly.
            Here’s something for you jackass – the first of my ad-hominems, but you’ve worked hard for it, I didn’t write anything for your benefit, like I said, I know your mindset and predicted your response, just for anybody who has an open mind to see an example of what is being examined here.

            Now you can run along you foul bigot racist – this is not an ad-hominem, just a statement of fact.

  11. In my opinion, and as many Islamists themselves say, the policies of Israel clearly play a part in radicalising many Moslems.

    It is not only Israel of course. The USA and the UK have played an even greater role.

  12. France envoy to JPost: Jewish crisis has ‘nothing to do with Israel and the Palestinians’

    Ambassador Araud says anti-Semitism isolated to Muslim community; WH: Paris “latest in a series of very troubling incidents in Europe and around the world that reflect a rising tide of anti-Semitism.


    France’s challenge, he said, is delineating between criticism of the Israeli government and a growing, radical opposition to the existence of Israel as a vehicle for hatred against the Jewish people.

    “When does it become anti-Zionism and when does it become anti-Semitism? It’s very difficult. That’s for the judge to decide,” Araud said. “The problem is that we have, in the Arab community, this sort of mixture between the two elements which is explosive.”

    Protests over Gaza last summer, for instance, were largely legitimate— and can be expected to continue, he says, as a majority in France remain opposed to a host of Israeli government policies.

    But “in this case, what is happening right now, in a sense, has nothing to do with Israel and the Palestinians,” Araud said. “It’s a general trend within Islam toward radicalization that is not coming from the conflict. It’s a long-term trend in Islam.”

    Only at that radical fringe do protestors peel off from demonstration and begin firebombing Jewish shops and synagogues, he said. Asked whether he believes anti-Semitism in France is isolated to its Muslim community, Araud said, “yes, I think so.”


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