Notoriously, the BBC recently reported that the Israeli army was “targeting people, including medical teams as well as Arab speakers” – a misreading, it appears, of a Reuters report that stated: “the IDF forces include medical teams and Arabic speakers”. The Spectator‘s Stephen Daisley has taken a look at the long list of the other anti-Israel ‘mistakes’ that the BBC has made in its coverage of the Gaza conflict.
After the explosion at Al Ahli hospital in Gaza, BBC correspondent Jon Donnison editorialised on air that it was “hard to see” how it could have been caused by anything “other than an Israeli air strike”. He provided no evidence to support his assertion. BBC News Deputy Chief Executive Jonathan Munro described this as a “mistake”. When an antisemitic mob stormed Dagestan airport in Russia, saying “We are here for the Jews, we came to kill them with knives and shoot at them”, the BBC described them as simply “anti-Israel” (the BBC says it later updated the piece to reference that the mob targeted Jews). When the Israelis arrested Palestinian Ahed Tamimi for incitement – she is accused of posting on social media: “We will slaughter you and you will say that what Hitler did to you was a joke, we will drink your blood and eat your skulls”; her mother denies she wrote the post – the BBC described her as “an international symbol of resistance to Israel’s occupation”. In fact, Tamimi became an international symbol because she was jailed in 2018 after admitting to the aggravated assault of an Israeli soldier and incitement to violence (the BBC does mention her crimes in the piece). When Emmanuel Macron of France told the BBC: “These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed”, the Corporation reported the allegation without quotation marks in its headline: “Macron calls on Israel to stop killing Gaza’s women and babies.” (The BBC says “Macron calls on” is sufficient for there to be no quotation marks).
While it is content to run headlines like that and describe Tamimi as a symbol of resistance to Israel’s occupation, the BBC refuses to describe Hamas as a terrorist group, saying this would compromise the objectivity of its reporting.
Worth reading in full.