BBC’s Knell reports on the Tamimi case again – and raises a question

On January 17th the BBC News website published yet another report about Ahed Tamimi – its fourth item in less than a month.

Written by Yolande Knell, the article is titled “Ahed Tamimi: Spotlight turns on Palestinian viral slap video teen” and much of its content is recycled from an audio report by Knell that was aired on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme the previous week.

As was the case in that radio report, Knell’s written article does not inform BBC audiences that the video she describes in her opening paragraphs was filmed by Ahed Tamimi’s mother, Nariman, or that the latter has collaborated (along with additional members of the family) with B’tselem’s ‘armed with cameras’ project. Knell does however provide readers with a link (the only one in the article) to Nariman Tamimi’s Facebook account.

Throughout the article Knell describes Ahed Tamimi in the following terms:

“To some she’s a modern-day Joan of Arc.”

“…Ahed Tamimi is now a famous Palestinian prisoner…”

“For many Palestinians, Ahed is a hero of their nationalist struggle for the digital age. They see her standing up to the reality of Israeli occupation, defending her home with her bare hands.”

Knell tells readers that:

“Aged 11, Ahed was filmed threatening to punch a soldier after her older brother was arrested. Two years ago, she bit a soldier trying to detain her younger brother.”

As was the case in the audio report, she did not bother to inform readers that Tamimi’s then 12 year-old brother was throwing rocks at the time.

The four interviewees who appeared in Knell’s audio report – Ahed Tamimi’s lawyer Gabi Lasky, her father Bassem Tamimi, Israeli MK Anat Berko and former IDF chief prosecutor Lt-Col (res) Maurice Hirsch – are also quoted in this written report.

As was noted here when the indictment against her was issued at the beginning of the month, in addition to charges of assault and stone-throwing, Ahed Tamimi was also charged with incitement.

“Regarding the incitement charge, the MAG [Military Attorney General] cited a statement given by Ahed to her mother, who was filming the December 15 incident on Facebook Live. Immediately following the squabble, Nariman asked her daughter what kind of message she wanted to convey to viewers.

“I hope that everyone will take part in the demonstrations as this is the only means to achieve the result,” she said. “Our strength is in our stones, and I hope that the world will unite to liberate Palestine, because [Donald] Trump made his declaration and [the Americans] need to take responsibility for any response that comes from us,” Ahed added, apparently referring to the US president’s decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Whether it is stabbings or suicide bombings or throwing stones, everyone must do his part and we must unite in order for our message to be heard that we want to liberate Palestine,” she concluded.”

However, in one of her final paragraphs Knell presents BBC audiences with a very different interpretation of Tamimi’s call for violence.  

“At the end of the online video, Ahed calls for large demonstrations as “the only way to reach results”, but says US President Donald Trump must bear responsibility for any Palestinian violence, including stabbings and suicide attacks.”

Interestingly, a report in the Jerusalem Post shows that Tamimi’s lawyer Gabi Lasky used a remarkably similar claim in court.

“Gaby Lasky, a high-profile human rights lawyer and Meretz activist who is defending Tamimi, told the court Monday that the Palestinian teen mostly was protesting US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

She said Tamimi’s message was “Trump needs to take responsibility” for a negative decision which led to an outcry of Palestinian protests.”

And that raises the question (not for the first time) of whether Yolande Knell is a reporter or a political activist who compromises the BBC’s reputation for impartiality. 

Related Articles:

BBC News website promotes the Tamimi clan again

BBC News omits a relevant part of the Tamimi charges story

BBC radio’s inconsistent coverage of charges against Ahed Tamimi


7 comments on “BBC’s Knell reports on the Tamimi case again – and raises a question

  1. Propaganda Yolande of the corrupt BBC, like Ahed, is an agent provocateur. Both are engaged in agitation propaganda dissemination. The difference between them is that Ahed uses slaps and kicks as well as poisonous language.

    • Ahed’s activities prompt Duvidl to verse:

      If you want to get Ahead, do go to Gaza,
      Where the IDF just might indict a slap.
      If you want to lose your head, best go to Sinai,
      Where IS wants to wipe Jews off the map.

        • Careless talk costs lives. It makes no difference what the victims background is, one death begets another. Play the pipes of peace. The victor today becomes tomorrow’s victim. Or worse still someone else suffers because we opened our big mouths.

  2. It matters not who is doing the video unless you are alleging something on it was fiddled so why the mention?
    You fail to note both are CHILDREN. No mention of poor parenting at all. you conflate adult behaviour onto children. Why?
    Your bias means you fail to see the tress for the forest.
    how ironic you are what you allege others to be.

  3. Sadly you are losing the propoganda war
    People’s minds are closed against Israel.
    Arrogant Israeli people play into the Hezbollah’s hands. It enables them to reinforce the idea of Palestinians as victims. If only all Israeli leaders would
    think before opening their mouths.
    We all always need to consider whether our set ideas and prejudice is right. Both sides. But the Palestinian militants just keep trotting out the same old mindless phrases. Perhaps they are not too bright! Is so what excuse do Israeli leaders have for behaving the same way? The old saying is engage brain before opening mouth.

  4. Pingback: 01/19 Links Pt1: Melanie Phillips: Palestinianism is over – someone please tell the British; Ambassador Haley: Palestinians ‘Not Serious in Truly Getting to Peace’ With Israel – 24/6 Magazine

Comments are closed.