BBC papers over UN HRC connection of Swiss PLO deal broker

On January 22nd the BBC News website published an article titled “Switzerland ‘made secret deal with PLO’ after bomb attacks” in which Imogen Foulkes gave a reasonable account of the story and its significance.PLO Swiss deal written

“Controversy is growing in Switzerland over an alleged secret deal, made almost 50 years ago, between the Swiss government and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

The agreement, detailed in a new book, was apparently designed to prevent terrorist attacks on Swiss territory.

In return, Switzerland would offer diplomatic support to the PLO. […]

Almost half a century later, with many countries experiencing terror attacks, it seems outrageous to some Swiss that their own government might have done deals with groups classed as terrorists.

What is more, the relatives of those who died in the bombing of the Swissair flight may be justified in feeling angry that no one has ever been brought to justice, especially as Swiss investigators had identified a Jordanian national as the mastermind behind the attack.”

Foulkes mentioned in her article that the Swiss foreign minister at the time used “a member of the Swiss parliament as an intermediary” in his dealings with the PLO, but did not go into further detail. However, in the January 22nd edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’, presenter Owen Bennett Jones conducted an interview (from 37:40 here) with that “member of the Swiss parliament”.

OBJ: “And the information has been revealed in a new book by a journalist who wrote that part of the deal-making was organized by a very well-known and long-standing Swiss member of parliament who has also been a UN rapporteur for a bit as well – Jean Ziegler from Geneva – and his wife apparently had contacts in the PLO and they were able to tell the Swiss foreign minister who was who within the organization. Well I spoke to Jean Ziegler earlier: what was his role in this deal?”

Listeners would have noticed that throughout the item both Bennett Jones and Ziegler used the euphemism “Palestinian militants” to describe terrorists who attacked, blew up and hijacked airliners. With no challenge from the BBC presenter, Ziegler also described the PLO as a “Palestinian resistance organization” and misled listeners by describing that organization as having been “just founded” at the time (1970) when in fact the PLO was established in May 1964 – long before there was any ‘occupation’ to ‘resist’.

Ziegler noted that part of the deal was “to open official diplomatic office of the PLO in Geneva at the United Nations; European headquarters of the United Nations.”

Notably though, Owen Bennett Jones made no attempt to inform listeners of the contemporary significance of this story.

Jean Ziegler was indeed “a UN rapporteur for a bit”: he spent a highly controversial term as the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food between 2000 and 2008. Ziegler also co-founded – and received – the infamous (and now defunct) ‘Muammar Al Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights’.

But – as shown on the UN HRC commissioner’s website – Ziegler’s UN career is not a thing of the past. He currently functions as a member of the UN Human Rights Council’s advisory committee (despite opposition to his appointment from the Swiss parliament and the US Ambassador to the UN) and – ironically – in that capacity even co-authored a report on ‘Human rights and issues related to terrorist hostage-taking’.

Considering that regularly the BBC uncritically quotes and promotes statements and content produced by the UN HRC as though they were written in stone, it would have been particularly helpful to BBC audiences to have the dots joined between this past story of a man with sufficient contacts inside a notorious terrorist organization to be able to help broker a self-preserving capitulation to its agenda – including the opening of the door to the UN – and the current advisor to that body’s highly politicised and controversial Human Rights Council. 

More Hamas news the BBC is not reporting

We have previously documented on these pages the fact that the BBC has refrained from providing its audiences with information concerning Hamas’ efforts to boost its terrorist infrastructure in Judea & Samaria and take the current wave of terror attacks against Israelis to a more violent level.

An additional facet to that story emerged recently when the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) made a rare statement. Erez 

“Attempts by Hamas to exploit entry permits given to Gazan residents by Israel are jeopardizing future crossings by Palestinians, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, has warned.

In an interview to the Al-Quds Palestinian newspaper, Mordechai said Hamas will force Israel to consider completely close the crossings to the Strip if attempts to recruit Gazans for terrorist missions do not cease. […]

Hamas’s “cynical exploitation of Israeli entry permits is forcing Israel to think twice before it issues permits to Gazans.

This situation will eventually lead to the closure of the Strip and the complete cessation of travel by Gazans from the Strip,” Mordechai warned.

He cited a cancer patient from Gaza’s Khan Yunis area who traveled to Nablus for medical care after receiving an Israeli permit, and was asked by Hamas to gather intelligence for it. A resident of Gaza’s Shati refugee camp who trades in Israel was apprehended by security forces while trying to smuggle goods for Hamas, according to the COGAT head. […]

Hamas charges taxes on Palestinians who pass through the crossings, using the money to build up its offensive capabilities rather than for the welfare of Gazans, Mordechai added.”

Should Hamas’ actions indeed lead to a halt on Gazans travelling into Israel, we can be confident that the BBC will cover the human interest side of that story with great gusto. However, to date the corporation has made no attempt to ensure that if such a development occurs, audiences will be aware of its background story.

 

 

 

When cultural relativism takes over your BBC news

On January 26th the BBC News (World) twitter account sent the following Tweet.

BBC World tweet Djiin

Obviously, the answer to that question is a resounding no.

Nevertheless, the BBC News website found it appropriate to promote a film titled “Egyptian village blaming fires on ‘evil spirits’” on its Middle East page which – true to the dictates of cultural relativism – ‘impartially’ presents two supposedly equally ‘legitimate’ sides of the story – but with the accent heavily on the one which is a bunch of superstitious baloney.

Djiin 3

Djiin 4

So, when the head of the BBC’s Middle East bureau promoted that film on Twitter with the question “Why does the idea of evil spirits – or ‘Djinns’ – still hold power for many in Egypt?”, it apparently did not occur to him that one of numerous possible answers might be because a Western media organization – which is supposed provide audiences worldwide with factual, evidence-based reporting of news – treats bizarre superstition as though it were a serious news story. 

BBC News sidesteps the real issues in Hamas tunnel collapse story

The story of Hamas’ ongoing efforts to reconstruct the system of cross-border offensive tunnels which made it necessary for Israel to carry out a ground operation during the conflict of summer 2014 is one which has been severely under-reported by the BBC throughout the last year and a half.

That of course means that if in the future Israel has to act once again to protect its citizens living in communities near the border with the Gaza Strip, BBC audiences will be oblivious of the background to a story we can confidently predict that the corporation will cover extensively. 

An opportunity to redress that lack of serious reporting recently arose when reports emerged of the collapse of a tunnel due to severe weather conditions.

“At least six Palestinians have been reported killed in the collapse of a tunnel dug under the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening.

The incident occurred in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City.

According to Israel’s Channel 10 television, the six fatalities were all members of the Hamas terror group, as were the five others injured in the incident.”

Hamas later confirmed that information.

“Eight members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas were missing Wednesday after the collapse of a tunnel in the Gaza Strip caused by rain and flooding, a security source said. […]

“The resistance tunnel collapsed last night due to the weather and flooding,” the source said, adding that the tunnel belonged to Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip.

“There were 11 resistance men inside. Three of them escaped in the first hour after the accident, but the security operation… continues to search for the eight others.”

Hamas’s armed wing, Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, later confirmed in a statement that one of its tunnels collapsed.

It said searches were continuing for the missing, without providing a number or further details.”

The BBC News website’s reporting of that story – in a January 28th article titled “Gaza: Hamas militants die in tunnel collapse” – focused readers’ attentions on factors other than the core issue of Hamas policies and actions which will inevitably lead to an additional round of conflict.tunnel collapse art

The article fails to adequately distinguish between the smuggling tunnels in the area of the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt and the offensive tunnels constructed under the border with Israel.

“Palestinian militants have used tunnels on Gaza’s borders with Israel and Egypt to launch attacks on Israel, transport weapons or smuggle goods.”

Despite the fact that the tunnel in this particular story has no connection to smuggling, a relatively large proportion of the article is devoted to that topic.

“Meanwhile, tunnels on the Egyptian border have been used to smuggle weapons into Gaza, as well as civilian goods.

The tunnels have played a vital role in the economy of Gaza, which has been under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt in 2007.

The Egyptian military began flooding tunnels on its borders late last year, and says it has eliminated about 90% of them.”

Once again BBC audiences are steered towards the inaccurate impression that smuggling tunnels are a product of the “blockade” when in fact they pre-date the border restrictions. No effort is made to provide audiences with appropriate context concerning the fact that the restrictions imposed by Israel in 2007 came about because of Hamas’ terrorist activities.

Neither is any effort made to clarify the issue of how Hamas acquired the materials necessary for the rehabilitation of its network of offensive tunnels: an omission which is particularly glaring in light of the fact that the BBC has devoted considerable air-time and column space to the topic of the import of construction materials into the Gaza Strip since the end of the 2014 conflict.

“Israel destroyed dozens of tunnels during the 2014 Gaza conflict, but Hamas has been rebuilding them.”

The report embraces the ubiquitous BBC tradition of relating only to events which took place from 1967 onwards and thus fails to tell readers that the Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt between 1948 and 1967.

“Israel occupied Gaza in the 1967 Middle East war and pulled its troops and settlers out in 2005.”

Readers are encouraged to believe that the Gaza Strip remains under ‘occupation’ and are not informed that arrangements concerning Gaza’s waters and airspace are defined by the Oslo Accords, to which the recognized representatives of the Palestinians are party.

“Israel considered this the end of the occupation, but it still exercises control over most of Gaza’s borders, waters and airspace. Egypt controls Gaza’s southern border.”

The BBC knows full well that this story is actually about a terrorist organization making preparations (at the expense of its own civilian population) for yet more armed aggression against Israeli civilians.

Shuval tweet tunnels 2

It continues, however, to refrain from reporting the real story – thus failing to meet its obligation to “build a global understanding of international issues” and laying the groundwork for more of its trademark pathos-rich, context-lite reporting from Gaza whilst ignoring the story of the people who live under the shadow of Hamas aggression.

Related Articles:

Examining Lyse Doucet’s claim that she reported new Hamas tunnels on BBC

More enablement of Hamas propaganda from BBC’s ME editor

Hamas man spills beans on appropriation of construction materials: BBC silent

The drip drip of politicised geography on BBC Two

Throughout this month BBC Two has been showing a series titled ‘Immortal Egypt’ presented by Egyptologist Professor Joann Fletcher of York University. The fourth and final episode opened with footage of Fletcher in Alexandria, telling audiences that:

“This is about as far north in Egypt as it’s possible to get because out there is the Mediterranean. To my west is Libya; to my east – Palestine and Arabia….”

Libya does indeed of course lie to the west of Egypt but to its east, Egypt has borders with the Gaza Strip and a country called Israel – which the BBC has apparently found fit to inaccurately rebrand as ‘Palestine’.

 

 

BBC takes lessons on ‘impartiality’ from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

As readers may have heard, the BBC has described a former employee’s signature on a letter opposing a cultural boycott of Israel as “inadvisable”.

“The BBC has criticised former director of television Danny Cohen for signing a letter opposing a cultural boycott of Israel.

The corporation said that it regretted the “impression” created by Mr Cohen’s name appearing on the letter but that it “had no bearing on his ability to do his day job”.

The letter, published in the Guardian in October, was signed by more than 150 writers, artists, musicians and media personalities including J K Rowling and Melvyn Bragg. It was a response to an earlier announcement by media personalities calling for a cultural boycott of Israel and described boycotting Israel as ‘a barrier to peace’.

Following a complaint to the BBC about Mr Cohen’s involvement, the BBC responded in a December email describing Mr Cohen’s actions as ‘inadvisable’. The email went on to say that senior employees “should avoid making their views known on issues of current political controversy”. However, no further action was taken as Mr Cohen, who announced that he was leaving the BBC the week before the letter was published, no longer worked for the corporation.”

Via the Guardian’s account of the story, we learn that:

“Sara Apps, interim director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said the views in the letter opposing the boycott were “those of the Israeli state” and called on the BBC to provide reassurance that staff “are impartial and seen to be impartial, in their work at the BBC” .

She said: “By failing to take any action against Cohen, the BBC sent a message to licence fee payers that it only pays lip service to the concept of impartiality when it comes to the subject of Palestine and Israel, and that BBC executives are free to publicly express their views on this subject with no regard for the code of impartiality written into the royal charter.”PSC campaign against Danny Cohen

One cannot of course disagree with the demand for the BBC to ensure that its staff  “are impartial and seen to be impartial, in their work at the BBC”. One also cannot disagree with the claim that when BBC staff “publicly express their views on this subject” there is a risk that the BBC’s impartiality may be compromised.

The trouble is that Ms Apps and her friends at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign who organized the complaints against Danny Cohen (the group’s second campaign against a Jewish BBC employee in just over a year) do not in fact care a fig about BBC impartiality.  

If they did, they would have similarly protested when a BBC staff member with considerably more influence on the impartiality of the BBC’s reporting of news from the Middle East than the corporation’s director of television collaborated with an anti-Israel political campaign run by one of the signatories to that February 2015 pro-boycott letter, Leila Sansour.Knell Crouch End 2

They would surely also have had something to say on the topic of ‘impartiality’ in relation to the fact that the BBC has broadcast content made by a former employee who pinned his own political colours to the mast by collaborating with the Palestine Solidarity campaign.

There is of course nothing novel about this latest episode in the PSC’s employment of selective outrage over BBC impartiality for anti-Israel PR purposes. Sadly, there is also nothing remarkable about this latest example of the BBC allowing itself and its editorial guidelines to be used as tool in the political campaigning of an opaquely funded group which provides support for a terrorist organization proscribed by the British government.

And whilst we’re on that subject, if readers are wondering why the Palestine Solidarity Campaign currently has an ‘interim director’ (and what happened to the previous flotilla participating one), the answers can be found here.  

Related Articles:

BBC upholds PSC inspired complaints against ‘Today’ programme

BBC’s ECU upholds complaint from the UK’s pro-Hamas lobby

No BBC coverage of antisemitism at event organised by its most promoted NGO

BBC’s capitulation to political pressure on Gaza casualty figures: tip of a bigger iceberg?

Selective PSC outrage over BBC impartiality and integrity

Why does the BBC Trust’s ESC pretend that the 1947 Partition Plan is a thing?

The return of the BBC’s political narrative on Israeli construction

Visitors to the BBC News website’s Middle East page on the morning of January 27th found two reports – one written and one filmed – ostensibly about the Israeli prime minister’s response to remarks made by the UN Secretary General the previous day.UNSG remarks Bryant filmed

The filmed report (made for BBC television news programmes) appears under the title “Netanyahu: ‘United Nations encouraging terrorism’” and it opens with the BBC’s Nick Bryant telling viewers that:

“It’s Israel’s settlement building that’s particularly angered the UN Secretary General and the government’s latest decision to approve plans for over 150 new homes in the West Bank: moves that most of the international community regards as illegal or illegitimate.”

Viewers would therefore quite reasonably conclude that there has been an official announcement from the Israeli authorities concerning “plans for over 150 new homes” but that is not in fact the case.

The source of this story is the political NGO ‘Peace Now’ and an article which appeared in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz on January 25th. As the Times of Israel points out:

“There was no official confirmation of the new approvals.”

Nick Bryant nevertheless chose to make that absence of official confirmation disappear from his portrayal of the story.

Bryant goes on to tell viewers:

“Addressing the UN Security Council, Ban Ki Moon demanded a freeze in settlement activity.”

He does not clarify that, according to both the sources of his story, an informal construction freeze has been in place for “almost two years”. The Ha’aretz report opens with the following words:

“Israeli planning authorities approved the construction of 153 new apartments in West Bank settlements last week, effectively putting an end to an informal construction freeze that has lasted about 18 months.

For almost two years now, the government has largely refused to advance new building plans in the territories…”

Bryant’s failure to disclose both that point and the lack of official confirmation for his story is all the more egregious given that via the written report – titled “Netanyahu says UN chief Ban Ki-moon ‘encouraging terror’” – we can deduce that the BBC is in fact well aware of both factors.UNSG remarks written

“Israel has approved the construction of 153 new settler homes in the West Bank, the NGO Peace Now said on Monday.

The move marked the end of an informal construction freeze in the West Bank that lasted for 18 months, Peace Now added.”

That written article materially misleads readers with regard to the reasons for the collapse of negotiations between Israel and the PLO in 2013/4.

“US-backed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2014.

The Palestinians complained that Israel was building settlements on land they claim for a future state.”

The link provided leads to a problematic BBC report from January 2014 which, like many of the BBC’s reports on Israeli construction, also promoted political messaging from ‘Peace Now’.

As is well known, the 2013/4 negotiations ultimately failed because the Palestinian Authority chose to form a ‘unity government’ with the terrorist organization Hamas. Even before those negotiations officially ended, the BBC’s portrayal of their collapse was serially inaccurate and fundamentally driven by a specific political narrative. Despite the fact that the agreed conditions for the resumption of negotiations in late July 2013 did not include a freeze on construction, the BBC’s efforts at the time to persuade audiences that negotiations were gravely endangered by Israeli construction plans were intense and even obsessive – but far from accurate or impartial.

BBC audiences have been serially misinformed about the topic of Israeli construction in Jerusalem and Judea & Samaria for years. As has been noted here in the past:

“The prime cause of the inaccurate impression received by audiences on this issue is the fact that the BBC refrains from reporting on actual building and instead focuses its (and its audiences’) attentions on requests for building tenders, even though it is a known fact that a considerable proportion of those tenders do not result in one breeze-block being laid or foundations being dug either because no bids are offered by contractors or bids which are made are too low.

Unsuccessful tenders are sometimes reissued, which often means that the foreign media – including the BBC – report the same tenders more than once. Such was the case, for example, in early April of this year when reissued tenders for 708 housing units in Gilo were reported by the BBC News website no fewer than three times in nine days.

Neither does the BBC overly trouble itself when it comes to reporting where exactly building tenders are located and whether or not they are in areas which, under any realistic scenario, will remain under Israeli control in the event of a peace agreement. Hence audiences remain oblivious of whether or not the plans cited by the BBC have any actual bearing or significance.”

That means that BBC audiences – including the viewers of Nick Bryant’s report – are ill equipped to put statements such as those from Ban Ki Moon amplified in these reports into their appropriate context and to engage in critical thinking on this issue. With Bryant having failed to inform them that construction has been frozen for many months, they will not be asking themselves, for example, why – if Ban’s remarks hold water – that did not prevent the outbreak of the current wave of terrorism against Israelis.  

But of course the BBC has amply displayed over time that it has absolutely no intention of providing its audiences with impartial reporting, context, relevant background or alternative views concerning the topic of Israeli construction in locations in which – according to its adopted narrative – Jews should not reside. Instead, it continues to blinker them by limiting the information provided to that which bolsters one politically motivated narrative alone.  

Related Articles:

BBC promotes ‘Peace Now’ campaign material yet again

BBC cites ‘large increase’ in Israeli building but fails to provide context

The BBC’s inaccurate and misleading representation of Israeli building – part one

The BBC’s inaccurate and misleading representation of Israeli building – part two

How Pavlovian BBC responses can lead to inaccurate reporting

On January 22nd the BBC News website published a report titled “Syrian arrested in Germany over UN kidnapping” which opens as follows:Syrian arrested art

“A Syrian has been arrested in the south German city of Stuttgart on suspicion of helping to kidnap a UN peacekeeper in Damascus, prosecutors say.

The peacekeeper escaped in October 2013, eight months after being captured in Syria’s capital.

Germany’s federal prosecutors say al-Nusra Front, an Islamist group affiliated to al-Qaeda, was behind the kidnapping.”

The article goes on to state:

“The peacekeeper, whose nationality was not named, had been based in the demilitarised zone on the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights and it is not known why he was in Damascus.” [emphasis added]

As anyone familiar with the region will know, the area still known as the demilitarized zone (although it long since ceased to meet that description) is not “Israeli-occupied” at all and has not been throughout more than four decades of its existence.Camp Faouar

But a closer look at this story demonstrates even further how the Pavlovian response “Israeli-occupied” to the term “Golan Heights” from a BBC journalist led to inaccurate reporting.

Whilst the German authorities may indeed not have mentioned the UN peacekeeper’s identity and nationality, as other reports on the story note, the only person of that description to have escaped his kidnappers in October 2013 after eight months in captivity was the Canadian national Carl Campeau who acted as a legal advisor to UNDOF.

And – as noted in several interviews given by Mr Campeau after his ordeal – at the time of his kidnapping he was actually based in Syria – at UNDOF’s Camp Faouar which is located to the east of the demilitarised zone.

In other words, there was no reason whatsoever for the term “Israeli-occupied” to appear in this report.  

BBC’s Director of Standards: it ‘aint what they say, it’s the way that they say it

h/t CST

As readers no doubt recall, on December 22nd listeners to a BBC Radio London phone-in show heard an inadequately challenged thirteen-minute antisemitic rant which later garnered both media attention and complaints from the general public, with the latter receiving dismissive responses from the BBC.BBC Radio London

In an article titled “Bigotry on the Air: Why broadcasters need to challenge hate-mongers” which appeared at the Ethical Journalism Network, some insight into the background to the BBC’s handling of those complaints emerges. Relating to that BBC Radio London show, the EJN’s Tom Law writes:

“This case raises serious ethical questions: How do people working on the edge of live news protect themselves – and their audience – from people with a hateful agenda? How can journalists ensure that they allow free speech, but maintain their ethical duty to do no harm? And what more should be done to help journalists to counter bigoted speech?

According to chair of the Ethical Journalism Network Dorothy Byrne, many of the answers are found by applying the regulations imposed by Ofcom, Britain’s independent state regulator of broadcasting, but much depends she warns on how “hate speech” is defined.

A good broadcaster, she says, would cut the person off and apologise to the listeners, depending on the content, while some programmes would challenge the speaker. She quotes a recent example when a young Muslim woman attacking gay people on the radio. “Instead of cutting her off, the presenter argued with her vociferously and you could say that was the best way to deal with that,” says Byrne.”

The article goes on to quote the BBC’s David Jordan.

“David Jordan, Director of Editorial Policy and Standards at the BBC told us that for live radio shows where members of the public phone in, presenters and producers are obliged to follow the ‘Harm and Offence’ provision of the OFCOM code, which states they must:

“…provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material.”

The code goes on to say that offensive material must only be used where it can be justified by journalistic context.

In addition, the BBC has its own editorial guidelines on live output. People spouting offensive views are normally dealt with directly, says Jordan. The decision to challenge offensive speech is left to presenters and journalists. The BBC also pre-screens telephone calls into phone-in shows. […]

The issue, says Jordan is not about people saying things that some people may find offensive whether it is in relation to immigration or race or the Holocaust. “It is about how those views are expressed. If they are expressed in clearly racist ways using racist phrases or words then you might cut the debate off,” he says.” [emphasis added]

David Jordan does not expand on how “racist phrases or words” are defined (or by whom) but apparently, just so long as such terminology is not employed, the BBC is not overly concerned about acting as a conduit for the mainstreaming of antisemitic discourse – which for some reason it appears not to view as falling under the OFCOM category of “harmful and/or offensive material”.

Every time such issues arise, the responses from BBC officials make the dire lack of education and awareness about the issue of antisemitism within the corporation more and more glaringly obvious.

Related Articles:

BBC Trust’s ESC rejects complaint about Tim Willcox’s ‘Jewish faces’ remark

BBC ECU rejects complaints about Tim Willcox’s ‘Jewish hands’ remarks

BBC News belatedly reports fatal terror attack, ignores praise from Abbas’ Fatah

At around 5pm on January 25th, two terrorists armed with knives and IEDs infiltrated the village of Beit Horon, situated just off Highway 443.

“Two terrorists stabbed two women and planted home-made bombs outside a grocery store at the settlement of Beit Horon on Monday afternoon. A security guard shot and killed both of the attackers.

 Security forces found three home-made bombs in the vicinity of the store, apparently planted there by the terrorists, and a bomb squad was called to the scene to neutralize them.

According to Motti Shalem, who worked at the grocery store at the time of the attack, “the two terrorists came from the direction of the fence, and must’ve breached it and got in. Then they stabbed a woman on the sidewalk, and another at the parking lot, and then tried to enter the store. Me and another guy pushed them back with a supermarket cart, and then they ran, and were shot by the security guard.””

Medical staff were unable to save the more seriously wounded woman, 23 year-old Shlomit Krigman, who died several hours later.Beit Horon art

The first reporting in English of that terror attack appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page some 19 hours after it took place in a January 26th article titled “Israeli woman dies of wounds after West Bank stabbing attack“. The story was however covered on the day it happened in Arabic.

“An Israeli woman has died of wounds she suffered in a stabbing attack by two Palestinians in a West Bank settlement on Monday, a Jerusalem hospital says.

Another woman was wounded before a guard shot dead both assailants.

The attack, which happened outside a shop in Beit Horon, was the third inside a settlement in eight days.”

The report continues the ongoing policy of qualifying information given as background to the story.

“Since October, 28 Israelis have been killed in stabbing, shooting or car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs.

More than 155 Palestinians – mostly attackers, Israel says – have also been killed in that period.” [emphasis added]

As ever, the words ‘terror’, ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorism’ do not appear at all throughout the article and the incident’s perpetrators are described as “assailants” and “attackers”.

Although the information was available by the time this report was published, the victim is not named, no personalizing details are given and her photograph does not appear.

Another piece of information which was in the public domain by the time the BBC got round to reporting this incident was the ‘martyrdom poster’ for one of the two terrorists produced by the Fatah movement – which is of course headed by the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

KAT tweet Fatah Beit Horon terrorist

Whilst the BBC ignored that aspect of the story, in a link offered together with this article (worded “What is driving the violence?”)  it did promote a very problematic article originally published last October.Beit Horon attack on ME pge

Recently, Fatah’s armed wing claimed responsibility for a drive-by shooting attack (unreported by the BBC) which took place near Dolev on January 24thDuring questioning, the terrorist arrested on suspicion of the murder of Dafna Meir in Otniel on January 17th told investigators that he was influenced by content appearing on Palestinian Authority television.

As readers will no doubt be aware, in recent months the BBC News website has repeatedly supplied its readers with ‘context’ along the following lines (for example here, here and here):

“Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks. The Palestinian leadership has blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.”

Whilst promoting that mantra, BBC News has for the past four months studiously avoided any serious reporting on the topic of incitement in general and that produced by the “Palestinian leadership” in particular.

The result of that passive-aggressive editorial policy is that the BBC does not merely fail to meet its defined public purpose of enhancing audiences’ understanding of international issues by failing to provide them with available, relevant information: it is in fact actively preventing that legally binding remit from being fulfilled.