As readers may recall, on January 15th the BBC News website published an article concerning the Israeli prime minister’s reaction to remarks made by the Swedish foreign minister which failed to provide readers with the information necessary for them to arrive at an informed opinion about the story.
“Leaving aside the embarrassingly uninformed nature of Margot Wallström’s latest insinuations about Israel, the remarkable thing about this BBC report is that those reading it have no way of knowing which of the two people quoted – Netanyahu or Wallström – is talking facts.
The reason for that is because – as has been noted here previously on numerous occasions – for more than three months the BBC has consistently avoided telling its audiences in its own words that the vast majority of Palestinian casualties during that time were killed whilst carrying out terror attacks or engaged in violent rioting. Instead, BBC reports have invariably used qualifying terms such as “Israel says” or “were said by Israel to be attackers”.”
Five days later an article appeared in the ‘features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom under fire – again“. Written by Laurence Peter, the report suffers from the exact same malaise as its predecessor.
“Israel has found her recent comments about knife attacks by Palestinians to be so incendiary that it protested to the Swedish ambassador and declared Ms Wallstrom persona non grata.
Ms Wallstrom had called for an inquiry to establish whether Israel had carried out “extrajudicial executions” in response to the attacks.
Some 150 Palestinians have been fatally shot in four months of violence, at least 100 of them while they were carrying out attacks, Israel says. More than 25 Israelis have been killed.” [emphasis added]
Once again the use of the qualifying term “Israel says” prevents readers from being able to judge the Swedish FM’s remarks in their appropriate context.
The BBC has had ample opportunity to independently verify the facts behind that now standard insert to any article relating to the ongoing wave of terrorism against Israelis and – especially in light of its supposed commitment to due accuracy and impartiality – should by this stage be capable of telling its audiences in its own words that the majority of Palestinian casualties were indeed shot whilst carrying out terror attacks.
Instead, the corporation continues to employ the qualifying term “Israel says” in a manner not seen in its coverage of similar stories from other countries, meaning that the question which must inevitably be asked is whether that editorial policy has been influenced by other factors.
The circumstances of the deaths of terrorists have been serially misrepresented by the Palestinian Authority which, for example, has claimed that Alaa Abu Jamal (who carried out a terror attack in Jerusalem on October 13th 2015) “died from wounds sustained in an attack by Israeli occupying forces” and that Eyad Khalil Awawdeh (who posed as a journalist and stabbed a soldier on October 16th 2015) “was shot dead near the illegal settlement of “Kiryat Arba” in Al-Khalil” with no mention of what they – and others similarly portrayed – were doing at the time.
For the sake of its reputation as an impartial broadcaster, one can only hope that the BBC’s failure to tell its audiences the facts in its own words is not a nod to such PA propaganda.