In February of this year the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ presented listeners with a highly partial account of the temporary suspension of the anti-Zionist Balad party’s three MKs from Knesset activity after their participation in an event glorifying Palestinian terrorists.
A similarly whitewashed portrayal of that story appeared in a July 2016 report concerning what the BBC described as “controversial” legislation by the Israeli parliament allowing for the impeachment of MKs on the grounds of incitement to violence or racism or support for armed conflict against Israel. In that report BBC audiences were repeatedly told that Israeli democracy is being “undermined” by such legislation.
Given that ‘concern’ for Israeli democracy and keen interest in the workings of the Knesset, one might have thought that the recent story of the arrest of a member of Israel’s parliament would also have caught the BBC’s attention.
“Arab lawmaker MK Basel Ghattas was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of smuggling cell phones, SIM cards, and coded messages to convicted terrorists serving time in Israel’s prisons.
The arrest came immediately after a second round of police questioning under caution in as many days, and just hours after Ghattas, of the Arab Joint List in the Knesset, waived his parliamentary immunity. […]
According to Hebrew media reports, Ghattas allegedly passed as many as 15 cellphones and several SIM cards to inmates serving sentences for national security offenses in Ketziot prison south of Beersheba.
Ghattas was also suspected of handing “intelligence information” to one of two prisoners in encoded notes, a Channel 2 report said. The notes contained information from other security prisoners, the report claimed, as well as mentions of former Balad MK Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel in 2007 to escape a police and Shin Bet investigation into allegations he was paid by Hezbollah to help locate targets for rocket attacks within Israel.
One of the prisoners that Ghattas is alleged to have met with during a Sunday visit to Ketziot is Walid Daka, who was sentenced to 37 years for the 1984 abduction and murder of 19-year-old IDF soldier Moshe Tamam.
The phones, discovered concealed behind plastic molding surrounding a window in the visitors room, were allegedly intended to be collected by prisoners who belong to the Islamic Jihad terror group.”
Had a British, German or French member of parliament been arrested on suspicion of offences involving convicted terrorists (and subsequently placed under house arrest), one can be pretty sure that the BBC would have found the story newsworthy.