On the afternoon of August 22nd an article published on the BBC News website’s regional ‘Glasgow & West’ page was also cross-posted on the Middle East page.
Currently titled “Celtic fans raise £85,000 ‘for Palestine’ after Uefa charge” (and with its date stamp having been changed), the article states:
“Palestinian flags were waved around Celtic Park during the Champions League match on Wednesday night.
Uefa later charged the club over an “illicit banner” display.”
Readers are not informed that:
“UEFA said the flag display constituted an “illicit banner,” under a rule which bans “messages that are of a political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature.””
Nearly two-thirds of the BBC’s 223 word article is devoted to amplification (including a link) of a fund-raising campaign organised by the anti-Israel activists who brought about the UEFA disciplinary action. The ten paragraph article includes four paragraphs of quotes from the campaign’s pitch, including:
“We aim to raise £75,000 which will be split equally between Medical Aid Palestine and the Lajee Centre, a Palestinian cultural centre in Aida Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Bethlehem.”
Readers may recall that the BBC News website recently showcased an anti-Israel activist with connections to the Lajee Centre. The corporation has also used the BDS supporting political NGO ‘Medical Aid for Palestinians’ (MAP) as a source of information in the past.
Despite the extensive promotion given to the group described vaguely by the BBC as “Celtic fans”, readers are once again kept in the dark with regard to the litany of falsehoods used to advance their anti-Israel campaigning.
The BBC’s editorial guidelines state:
“Apart from the BBC Appeals and cross-BBC charity fundraising initiatives outlined above, BBC programmes and online content should not appeal for funds for charities or urge audiences to give money to any particular charity.”
Using 64.5% of the word count of a report to amplify a politically partisan fund-raising campaign, together with the provision of a link to that campaign’s webpage, might well be considered a breach of that guideline. At the very least, this report undermines the BBC’s reputation as a provider of impartial news.