Recent weeks have seen two cases in which the BBC chose to inaccurately translate the Arabic word ‘Yahud’ (Jews) when it was spoken by Palestinian children. In Lyse Doucet’s programme ‘Children of the Gaza War’ the word was translated as ‘Israelis’ and in Adam Wishart’s ‘The Train that Divides Jerusalem’ as ‘soldiers’.
Members of the public who complained about the former programme received a template response from BBC Complaints.
A reader who contacted the BBC about the same issue in the second programme received a reply which included the following:
That BBC Trust decision from 2013 – apparently viewed by the BBC complaints department as a one-size-fits-all precedent – can be found here.
Of course the real issue here – and the reason people have made complaints – is that the BBC’s substitution of ‘Yahud’ with its own choice of different words denies audiences understanding of the incitement and indoctrination to which Palestinian children are subjected. That topic has not been addressed in any of the responses we have seen from the BBC complaints department.