BBC’s ME editor says “there haven’t been all that many” terror attacks in Israel

The BBC’s Middle East editor recently gave a long interview to Paul Blanchard at ‘Media Masters’.

“Jeremy Bowen is the BBC’s Middle East editor. One of Britain’s best-known war correspondents, over the last 35 years he has brought the region’s most important stories to our screens – despite being shot, robbed at gunpoint, threatened, arrested and even thrown in jail. In this in-depth interview, Jeremy relives some of his most pivotal moments, from his first foreign assignment covering the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 to his recent battle with cancer; discusses the practical challenges of reporting impartially on issues like Israel, when both sides complain every report is biased and even the choice of individual words have to be taken carefully; and takes us behind the scenes of his interview with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.”

Listeners to that podcast (transcript available here) may have been surprised by the extent to which Israel featured in the conversation in comparison to the rest of the region supposedly covered by Bowen. [emphasis added]

Q: “I mean, it fascinates me about the impartiality of the BBC, how they’d cover something as divisive as the Middle East and Israel. The old cliché, wasn’t it, is that if you got complaints from both sides then you were kind of right. But is it more complicated than that now?”

A: “It’s more complicated than that.”

Q: “And I read the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines a while ago and it’s talking about even the words that you use. Can you say barrier or security barrier? Because even the words that you choose is impliedly choosing a sign.”

A: “The language you use is really important. Language is powerful and it carries a lot of meaning. So you have to be careful just how you use it and the words that you use. At the BBC we have some words we like and we have some words we like a bit less. And there is no word that’s officially banned that I’m aware of. Of course, apart from rude words. […] But words which are sometimes controversial like terrorism, we can use them but they have to be qualified. That’s my understanding of the rules as they stand at the moment. So you have to explain. You can’t just say, “There’s a lot of terrorists.” You have to say because they’ve done this or the other, they’ve been accused of terrorism or something. Find the correct form of words. Words are powerful, words are important. So you’ve got to be careful how you use them.”

The interview includes some noteworthy comments from Bowen.

“I would say that the conflict, it looms with real weight and damage on the shoulders of many Palestinians, because they are weaker and don’t have the resources and many of them live under occupation. That’s the key thing, if you live under occupation, life becomes way, way more difficult.”

“…plenty of Palestinians feel very threatened by settlers, armed settlers, by soldiers, by raids in the middle of the night, by helicopters, you name it. And many Israelis have been hurt by and continue to be worried about attacks by Palestinians, though there haven’t been all that many in recent years.”

What Bowen means by “recent years” is not entirely clear but in 2015 there were 2,398 terror attacks in Israel (of which the BBC reported 3.2%). In 2016 there were 1,415 attacks (of which the BBC covered 2.8%), in 2017 there were 1,516 attacks – less then one percent of which were reported by the BBC – and in 2018 the BBC covered at most 30.2% of the 3,006 attacks launched. During the first nine months of 2019 the BBC reported 23.6% of the 1,709 attacks which took place.

Obviously the BBC’s ongoing failure to adequately report the scale of terror attacks against Israelis serves its Middle East editor just as badly as it does the corporation’s audiences.

 

11 comments on “BBC’s ME editor says “there haven’t been all that many” terror attacks in Israel

  1. I have yet to hear one complimentary word about Israel from Bowen, who obviously i is an anti-Semite and anti-Israel. He is also a puppet controlled by the Iranophiles in London.

  2. ARABS IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA ARE NOT THREATENED AT ALL.
    2000 JEWS ,MEN,WOMEN WERE MURDERED BY ARABS.
    ITENTIONALY AND WITH CRUITY.
    BY SUICIDE BOMBERS.
    GUNSHOTS.
    RUNNING OVER.
    KNIFING AND MORE.
    WHEN IT WAS RARE SO MANY YEARS AGO,THERE WERE NO BARRIERS AT ALL. THE JEWS HAVE TO BEWARE AT ALL TIMES.
    ENGLISH PEOPLE SUFFERED FROM SUICIDE BOMBERS,STABING,RUNNING OVER AND SO ON.IS THERE AN “OCCUPOTION ”
    IN ENGLAND?!.
    YES.P.C OCCUPATION..THERE IS A CONSTANT INCITMENT AGAINST JEWS ,SINCE TERRIBLE OSLO CRIME WAS PERFORMED.
    ARAFAT PUT IN PRACTICE THE STAGES TO WIN OF ISLAM.
    THE TRUTH IS THAT NANY ARABS IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA,THE AREA YOU CALL WRONGLY ,THE WEST BANK,ARE SO AFRAID OF BEING ABANDONED BY US.ISRAEL.
    THE SEE GAZA AND HAMAS.

  3. Totally agree Grimey, he is an example of the worst kind of antisemite, one that claims he has no bias and is totally impartial yet claims there are few terror attacks in Israel. Bowen is in charge of this travesty of reporting by omission, then also has the cheek to bait anyone who knows the truth by going on TV and spouting yet more lies to a worldwide audience. What a disgusting pathetic little man who still has not got over his own stupidity of allowing his driver to go between the front lines, between Israel and Lebanon in a Jeep with Arab number plates and wonders why after he had got out, his cameraman was blown to bits when the jeep was fired upon by an Israeli tank, has he never heard of suicide bombers using vehicles, what an ignoramus…..

  4. Pingback: 10/15 Links: Israel and Kurdistan – time for an alliance of the ages; UNRWA in trouble; Fatah official calls for “escalation” so Israelis will “pay a heavy price every day”; Failed mass murder in Germany’s dysfunctional liberal democra

  5. An Israeli company has announced that it has developed a treatment for all types of cancer that will be available next year. I trust that Bowen will not avail himself of it. Or maybe he will.

  6. Absurd comment from a damaged man. I have to assume that because he’s been in the region for decades and ought to know better, but he still not only comes out with ridiculous comments like that, but also teaches BBC staff, how to cover the ‘situation’, thus compounding the problem by putting his inescapable bias into the mouths and minds of his students,

  7. Are you worrying about the Kurdim like u worry about the Palestinians. The palestians receive hospital treatment in Israel and work in all the shops, pharmacy’s, bank and hospitals with equal conditions perhaps u should visit us and see for yourself

  8. There is still a certain self righteousness from on high in discussing Israel that forgets that since Churchill split [Trans]Jordan from the Palestine Mandate (Cairo 1921) the two state solution was accepted by the Zionists and /or Israel in 1937 Peel Report , UN 181 in 1947 and every proposal since. The Arabs rejected and reject every two state proposal that would have got Israel “out of their hair” including the June 1967 offer of Israel to return to the “Green Line” in return for a peace treaty that would end the conflict and its claims. As the oil era continues to wane the PLO, Hamas and BDS continue to miss their boat and meanwhile deserve every inconvenience they have brought and bring upon themselves.

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