BBC Radio 4’s uncritical amplification of Ilhan Omar’s falsehood

Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’ are promised “in depth reporting, intelligent analysis and breaking news from a global perspective”. Here is what those listeners heard (from 03:39 here) in the news bulletin which opened the programme’s August 15th edition. [emphasis in bold added]

Newsreader: “Israel has banned two US Democrat Congresswomen from entering the country because they’ve been critical of its policies towards the Palestinians. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar had been expected to begin a tour of the Palestinian territories later this week. Ms Omar has accused the Israelis of implementing President Trump’s ban on Muslims. Tom Bateman reports from Jerusalem.”

Bateman: “The Congresswomen – Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia and grew up in the US, and Rashida Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent – have both supported the movement to boycott Israel. They were due to visit the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem next week in a trip that had become the focus of controversy. Israel passed a law two years ago allowing it to ban entry to supporters of the boycott movement. Earlier on Thursday, President Trump tweeted that Israel would show weakness to allow them in, calling them a disgrace and accusing them of antisemitism. Israel’s interior ministry later said it would not allow them entry. The not-for-profit group that was organising the visit called the move an assault on the Palestinian people’s right to reach out to decision makers from around the world.”

That sixty-six second item prompts several observations:

1) Tlaib and Omar were not denied entry “because they’ve been critical” of Israel’s – unspecified – “policies towards the Palestinians”. They were refused entry to Israel because they openly support a political campaign which negates Jewish self-determination but as ever BBC audiences heard absolutely nothing about the obviously relevant topic of the BDS campaign’s aims in this bulletin.

2) There is no “ban on Muslims” either in the US or in Israel. In fact:

“A record number of visitors from Muslim countries came to Israel last year, including nearly 55,000 from countries that have no diplomatic relations with Jerusalem.

According to figures provided by the Population and Immigration Authority on Monday, 72,109 citizens of Egypt and Jordan (the only Arab countries with which Israel has full diplomatic ties), Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, Malaysia, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia visited Israel in 2018.”

3) Once again BBC audiences heard nothing about the political NGO ‘Miftah’ – opaquely described by Bateman as a “not-for-profit group” without any mention of its agenda and record. Neither were they told that earlier this month Palestinian leaders met with no fewer than 72 Democrat and Republicandecision makers” from the US Congress.

Given the failure by Tom Bateman to provide any relevant background information on the BDS campaign or the political NGO ‘Miftah’, given that listeners were misled with the claim that Tlaib and Omar were not permitted to enter Israel because “they’ve been critical” and given this item’s unquestioning and uncritical amplification of falsehoods from Omar and ‘Miftah’, readers can decide for themselves whether Radio 4 audiences got the “in depth reporting” and “intelligent analysis” touted on this programme’s webpage.

Related Articles:

Superficial BBC reporting of Tlaib and Omar story


8 comments on “BBC Radio 4’s uncritical amplification of Ilhan Omar’s falsehood

  1. err no they were gong to be allowed entry but then were not when Trump ‘suggested’ they should not be.

  2. BBC Anti-Israel ‘s Existence Policy – Rule No. 17 (c) (iii) – Never criticise anyone who criticises Israel.

  3. additional visa refusals halting BDS mouthpieces are on record.
    South Africa…for just 1 example…had a Movie Star female …a young beauty with world wide fame..refused visa by Israel due to her Hollywood borne BDS hatred for Israel.
    Her name escapes me now…but!! Tlaib and Omar are seriously lacking Hollywood support….and..optics for the 2 ” americans” are cartoon level.
    Nothing to see here. Move along.
    Dan Roley. Indianapolis.

  4. The martyrs of congress brought this on themselves, Tlaib sent a letter to Israel’s Interior Ministry asking to visit her grandmother in the West Bank and agreeing to A) abide by security restrictions and B) not to call for boycotts — which Israel agreed to. But Tlaib then changed her mind, insisting she wouldn’t accept Israel’s “oppressive conditions.” but the BBC wish to amplify their own untrue version of events as usual.

  5. Pingback: 08/19 Links Pt2: The Left Can No Longer Excuse Its Anti-Semitism; Brooke Goldstein: Omar, Tlaib Are Enemies of the Jewish State; New documentary gives a glimpse into the mind of Daniel Patrick Moynihan – 24/6 Magazine

  6. Pingback: BBC WS radio listeners get Ashrawi’s unchallenged propaganda | BBC Watch

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