On October 14th PA President Mahmoud Abbas (whose elected mandate expired well over six years ago) made his first significant public appearance since the current wave of terrorism in Israel began. Speaking live on PA television, Abbas promoted a string of libels and falsehoods – but one in particular stood out.
“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “executing” a 13-year-old Palestinian who earlier this week stabbed an Israeli boy in Jerusalem and said the Palestinians “will not agree to Israel’s policy of occupation.” […]
Referring to an attack two days ago, in which Hassan Manasra, 15, and his cousin Ahmed Manasra, 13, stabbed a 13-year-old boy and 25-year-old man in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev, seriously wounding both, Abbas said Israel killed the two attackers in “cold blood”. […]
Other Palestinian officials have also accused Israel of executing the teens in cold blood.”
A video of the part of the address reported above can be found here, courtesy of the Jerusalem Post. Notably, when the PLO later released an English translation of Abbas’ address in Arabic, the term ‘executing’ was downgraded.
“In a speech he made on Wednesday evening, Abbas insisted that the Palestinians would not surrender to the “Israeli aggression” against the Palestinian people, their holy places, homes, and the “executions of children like Ahmed Manasra.”
In an English translation of Abbas’ speech released by the PLO, however, the Palestinian president is quoted as saying Israel “shoots” Palestinian children in cold blood “as they did with the child Ahmed Manasra,” replacing the word “executions” with a more moderate language.”
Of course Mahmoud Abbas refrained from mentioning that “the child” in question, together with his cousin, carried out a vicious terror attack in Pisgat Zeev – as footage from security cameras released by the police shows.
Abbas also neglected to mention that Ahmed Manasra is alive and receiving treatment in a Jerusalem hospital.
So how did the BBC report that libelous incitement from the PA president? In an article titled “Attacks continue in Jerusalem despite new checkpoints” which appeared on the BBC News website late on the evening of October 14th, readers found the following.
The claim that the attackers “stabbed an Israeli” is inaccurate – they stabbed two people in that incident – and that point was corrected in a later version of the report. With a link inserted to a Tweet from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, the passage now reads:
Whilst this BBC report amplifies Mahmoud Abbas’ inflammatory and inaccurate claims, the corporation does not make an independent statement of its own to clarify to readers that Abbas’ libels are baseless or provide them with any of the evidence showing that Ahmed Manasra is alive.
Instead, it resorts to a version the well-worn ‘Israel says’ formula, which over the years BBC audiences have been well groomed to understand as meaning that the BBC does not confirm or endorse the information provided by Israeli sources. And predictably – in line with its editorial policy to date – the BBC also refrains from informing its audiences how incitement such as this latest example from Abbas has fueled the current wave of terror in Israel.
So much for the BBC’s claim that it is “standard-setter of international journalism“.