Readers may recall that a BBC News website article from July 26th about rioting on Temple Mount failed to inform readers that the events occurred on the fast of Tisha B’Av which took place on that day.
A member of the public who contacted the BBC regarding that omission was recently informed that an amendment has been made to the article.
“After considering your points further we have amended the article and it now includes a line stating:
“It occurred on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the Biblical Jewish Temples on the compound, and which traditionally draws larger numbers of Jewish worshippers to the site.””
However, that welcome change was not the only one made to the report: before that sentence another paragraph was inserted which reads:
“Palestinian media said the clashes were precipitated by the visit to the compound of dozens of Jews guarded by Israeli security forces, angering the youths on the site.”
All changes to the report can be viewed here.
The timeline of events on that day is clear:
“Dozens of masked Palestinian protesters hurled rocks, Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at police officers on the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem’s Old City Sunday morning, before being pushed back into the Al-Aqsa Mosque by security forces who were rushed to the area.
According to police, the protesters had stockpiled homemade explosives, firecrackers and wooden boards inside the mosque, with the intention of attacking thousands of Jewish worshipers gathered nearby for prayers at the Western Wall on Tisha B’Av, a fast and day of mourning that commemorates the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples.”
The original BBC report inaccurately implied that the rioting was the result of the brief entry of security forces into the Al Aqsa Mosque rather than the other way round. Now we see an addition which suggests that the rioting was caused by “dozens of Jews” visiting Temple Mount – despite the fact that the violence was clearly planned in advance. That inaccuracy also previously appeared in later filmed BBC content.
Regardless of what “Palestinian media” say or do not say, licence fee payers expect the BBC to provide them with an accurate and impartial portrayal of the events which took place on Temple Mount on July 26th. Such a portrayal would clarify the fact that the violence was premeditated and that it was perpetrated by “youths” who are paid to be ‘angry’ and to disrupt visits by non-Muslims to the site by Islamist extremists.
The BBC, however, consistently avoids telling its audiences that very important part of the story, preferring to promote the myth of unidentified “youths” uncontrollably ‘angered’ by the Israeli security forces and/or non-Muslims peacefully visiting a site revered by three religions. In doing so, it continues to fail to meet its public purpose remit of building “understanding of international issues”.