Where did BBC News get its Essex University story quotes?

h/t M

Last week two reports relating to the same story appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Essex’ page:

February 21st: “Anti-semitism row in Essex University student society vote

February 22nd: “Anti-Semitism: University of Essex suspends worker amid row

The story was portrayed in the first report as follows:

“More than 200 students have voted against forming a new Jewish society, raising fears of anti-semitism.

The national Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said it was “shocking” there were objections to the new society at the University of Essex’s students union.

Some students said they were against society proposals to “explore zionism” and celebrate the Israeli national day. […]

…some students have said they did not object to the society in principle but to its proposals to promote the Israeli national day and explore Zionism, which they argue are political rather than religious topics.

One student who wished to remain anonymous said: “Unfortunately this manifesto excludes a huge proportion of the Jewish community and implies that all Jews support the Israeli state. Judaism should not be conflated with Israel.””

Omitted from the BBC’s account of the story – but reported by other media outlets including the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Jewish Chronicle – is the involvement of the university’s Amnesty International group in the outcome of the vote. The Jewish Chronicle reported:

“Last night, UJS issued a further statement after it was revealed that one group which had urged students to vote against the establishment of the JSoc was the university’s Amnesty International Society.

“The Jewish Society is seeking ratification in Essex, which is very important for Jewish representation in Essex, as we have not had a Jewish Society in Essex for many years”, the statement from the Amnesty Society said.

“Unfortunately, there is something very problematic and upsetting written in their manifesto. The society has written it will celebrate Israel national day, which is nothing to do with Judaism. It is a day where 700,000 Palestinians were illegally expelled from their homes and ethnically cleansed from historic Palestine.

The group said it was “against this”, adding: “Until the society is politically neutral like every other religious society we will take a stance on this. So we urge you to please vote no until they are politically neutral.”

The statement went on to claim: “We support a Jewish society that represents all Jews no matter where they lie on the political spectrum. Unfortunately this manifesto excludes a huge proportion of the Jewish community and implies that all Jews support the Israeli state. Judaism should not be conflated with Israel, as this is problematic with the rights of all in Palestine.””

Those quotes identified by the Jewish Chronicle as coming from the university’s Amnesty International group statement are remarkably similar to the ones appearing without attribution in the BBC’s report.

While the BBC is usually more than willing to quote and promote the political NGO Amnesty International, in this case it appears to have curiously chosen to erase the organisation’s link to the story.  

Related Articles:

No BBC coverage of Amnesty International’s antisemitism vote

BBC News website buries Oxford University Labour Club story

Big BBC yawn at anti-Israel incidents in UK universities

4 comments on “Where did BBC News get its Essex University story quotes?

  1. Pingback: 02/24 Links: Arabs continue destroying Jewish archaeology on the Temple Mount; Palestinians celebrate victory after Israel capitulates, again, on Temple Mount; Dr. Miriam Adelson: In heaven’s name – 24/6 Magazine

  2. Unfortunately, these university dimwits just do not understand what Judaism is or more likely prefer not to admit that they do. It is regretable that these students could one day be running society. Anyone who thinks Judaism has nothing to do with Israel is either indoctrinated, deluded or presumably has never read the Torah or the Old Testament or indeed attended a shabbat service a church service or celebrated Pesach. Next year in Jerusalem is the shout at the conclusion of the haggada at pesach. Not a single mention in the Quran. However this lack of participation an or understanding does not remove the undeniable connection of Judaism to Israel and more specifically Jerusalem and of course visa versa. Only bigots, idiots and the uneducated could deny the overwhelming amount of written and archeological evidence that form the basis of that undeniable connection. If Jews do not wish to have anything to do with zionism then they should become Muslims or Christians or as I suspect in this instance they are already aetheists. Certainly a student body should not be denying other people’s right to create whatever society they wish, especially when you see what some of the societies are about. Free speech is being denied to Jews in this country and the above incident is perfect example of it. Free speech for all except the Jews. As always the BBC are complicit in that denial of free speech by their biased reporting of events in Israel which along with the BDS movement are attempting to turn society against the only democracy in the Middle East and the only Jewish state in the world https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/234797

  3. Thank you BBC for unintentionally exposing this pure racialism by Essex University. High time for the police to step in.

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