On March 10th BBC News School Report celebrated its tenth annual News Day. Reports produced by schoolchildren in the UK and abroad with the help of the BBC appeared on television and radio throughout the day and it is reasonable to assume that the 30,000 pupils taking part in the project were among the audience.
One of those reports was produced by a school in Jerusalem and it opened with a portrayal of the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism against Israelis which did nothing to contribute to viewers’ understanding of the background to that issue.
“The holy city of Jerusalem. In recent months there has been a rise in tensions and violence between Palestinians and Israelis.
A daily reality of growing intolerance and mutual fear. Despite the divisions, some are trying to get along together.”
We have of course seen similar promotion of the notion of equivalence in reports from BBC journalists throughout the last six months – not least the frequent use of variations of the phrase “Israeli-Palestinian violence” to describe a surge in terror attacks against Israelis. We have also seen that the BBC has during the last half-year conscientiously avoided providing its audiences with any serious reporting on the subject of the incitement and glorification of terrorism from official Palestinian sources which underpins those attacks.
So although we should probably not be surprised, it is nevertheless particularly disappointing to see young people being fed distorted and censored information about current affairs in the Middle East and thereby steered towards the dumbed down view that the quick fix solution to terror in the Middle East is ‘can we all just get along?’.