An article which appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on June 6th under the headline “Jesus’s tomb in Jerusalem undergoes restoration work” concludes as follows:
“Work is expected to take between eight and 12 months and during that time pilgrims will be able to continue visiting the site, church officials said.
Each denomination is contributing funds for the $3.3m (£2.3m) project. In addition, King Abdullah of Jordan has made a personal donation.
Jordan controlled Jerusalem’s Old City, where the church is located, until the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and continues to play a role in safeguarding Muslim and Christian holy sites there.” [emphasis added]
Notably, no effort is made to clarify to readers how Jordan came to acquire ‘control’ over the Old City and they are not informed when that began or how long it lasted, meaning that uninformed audiences might well go away with the mistaken impression that Jerusalem was always in Jordanian territory until the Six Day War. As ever, the accurate terminology for the Jordanian presence in parts of Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967 – occupation – is excluded from the BBC’s portrayal.
Despite being obliged under the terms of its remit to “[b]uild a global understanding of international issues”, the BBC continues to distort the all important historical context of the dispute over Jerusalem one throwaway line at a time.
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