A foreign diplomat has to be evacuated under threat from a British university.
A British MP flounces out of a debate at another UK university because of his opponent’s ethnicity.
One might have thought that both those stories would have been reported at least on the respective regional pages of the BBC News website, if not in its UK section.
But no: the February 20th incident (not the first of its kind at a UK academic institution by any stretch of the imagination) in which the deputy Israeli ambassador Alon Roth-Snir was prevented from speaking at Essex University (details here, courtesy of Avi Mayer) is not reported in either the Essex section, the England section or the UK section of the BBC website.
Neither will one find in those latter two sections or in the Oxford section of the BBC News website any mention of George Galloway’s petulant exit from an Oxford University debate on the same day after discovering that his British-born debating opponent Eylon Aslan-Levy holds Israeli nationality.
As The Times succinctly put it:
“Given his willingness to talk to Saddam Hussein and congratulate the murderous dictator on his ‘indefatigability’, and to present programmes on the Iranian state-run Press TV, one might be forgiven for thinking that George Galloway would talk to anyone. But now we learn that Mr Galloway is rather picky. It is just that in picking, he prefers dictators.”
So perhaps instead, one may be thinking, the BBC chose to report these two dismal incidents in British institutions of higher education on its website’s UK Education page? Well actually no – but one can find two reports there on another subject: one filmed report entitled “Palestinian children in Gaza start to learn Hebrew” and one written article titled “Hebrew taught in Gaza schools, but barriers remain”.
By any standards, those are strange editorial priorities.