Former Chairman Criticises BBC’s ‘Misleading’ Israel Coverage

israel coverage
AFP Photo/Ahmad Gharabli

A former chairman of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has accused it of being “misleading” in its recent coverage of Israel and criticised it of failing to consider the wider context of an “undoubtedly complex issue”.

Lord Grade of Yarmouth wrote a letter to the organisation’s Director of News and Current Affairs accusing the BBC of failing to “fulfil its obligation to viewers” by not showing examples of Palestinian authorities praising attacks against Israel and calling for more.

He added that Palestinian incitement “has played an undeniable part in stoking tension recently and is an important part of the story.”

Focussing on one particular news report by Orla Guerin on 11 October, the former BBC chairman accused it of promoting the “equivalence between Israeli victims of terrorism and Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli security forces in the act of carrying out terror attacks.”

“An emotional interview is conducted with the father of a dead Palestinian youth who had been killed committing a fatal terror attack,” he added, “however, the report failed to show the emotional distress caused to Israelis by any of these recent attacks. This is inexcusable.”

In the letter seen by Conservative Friends of Israel, Lord Grade also criticised the report for claiming that “there’s no sign of involvement by militant groups” before showing footage of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) banners in the home of 19-year-old who carried out a deadly knife attack.

“PIJ is a well-known Palestinian terror organisation and it has since claimed responsibility for the attack and [been] praised by Hamas, another internationally proscribed terror organisation,” Lord Grade said. “This directly misleads viewers.”

Referring to another report on the BBC News website, Lord Grade added: “Regrettably, this is not the first time the standard of reporting and impartiality has been unsatisfactory in recent weeks. On Saturday 3rd October, I was disappointed to see the BBC News website publish a misleading and counter-factual headline: “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attacks kills two”. I note reports that this headline underwent four revisions following public criticism.”

The BBC is not the only news organisation to be accused of pro-Palestinian bias in recent days. MSNBC reporter Ayman Mohyeldin was caught lying about a terrorist attack by his own anchor on air yesterday.

Mohyeldin accused Israeli forces of killing an “unarmed Palestinian” man, claiming the man was not holding any weapon when Israeli police shot him. However, his anchor corrected him live on air: “In the video that you have… we can clearly see the man in camouflage t-shirt and pants with what appears to be at least in his right hand a knife.”

Mohyeldin then backtracked, claiming: “Everything was moving fast… it was obviously difficult for us to concentrate on that particular moment.”

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