BBC News finds Halloween costume newsworthy – terror victims and missile attack not

If you happen to get your news from the BBC News website, you might be under the false impression that the wave of terror in Israel has come to an end. The last mention of any of the still ongoing attacks came in an article published on October 24th and the last report on incidents appeared on October 22nd. The news that a third victim of the terror attack on a Jerusalem bus on October 13th succumbed to wounds sustained in that attack has not been reported by the BBC.

However, those visiting the BBC News website on October 27th discovered that the corporation has not entirely lost interest in Israel related topics. Whilst ignoring yet another missile attack from the Gaza Strip and several stabbing attacks, editors did find it essential to inform audiences that “Walmart’s Israeli army Halloween costume sparks controversy“.

Halloween costume on ME pge 27 10

Readers of the report are told that:

“US supermarket Walmart has caused controversy by stocking an Israeli army Halloween outfit for children. […]

Some users of social media expressed outrage at the costume. It comes at a time of spiralling violence between Israel and the Palestinians. […]

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) costume was also heavily criticised by many on Twitter. Walmart has not as yet reacted to the criticism.

More than 40 Palestinians have died in unrest in Israel and the Palestinian territories this month, many killed carrying out attacks on Israelis. Nine Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in stabbings and some gun attacks.”

BBC audiences are not, however, told who “expressed outrage” over the Halloween costume or why, or what exactly “heavily criticized” entails.

According to the Daily Beast’s distinctly partisan article on the topic:

“…members of the Palestinian community took to WalMart’s Twitter and Facebook in an effort to get the retailer to stop selling the item…”

That apparently includes the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Ha’aretz reports:

“One post [on Facebook] called the costume “extremely offensive and highly insensitive, not only to the millions of Palestinian-Americans that shop in your stores, but to anyone who has an ounce of humanity in their bodies.” […]

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee welcomed Walmart’s decision to discontinue the sale of the costumes.

“The Israeli forces are responsible for the continued death and occupation of the Palestinian people. Such a symbol of fear, violence and a long history of dispossession should not be used for entertainment purposes,” ADC President Samer Khalaf said in a statement.”

Globes adds:

“The US giant’s consumers, on the other hand, were less thrilled with the idea. One post, titled “Costume of the Chosen Apartieid Army”, says, “Your little one can now go to his friend’s house, and take over their bedroom, and all of their toys and claim that God has given him/her the right to take it.”

Another based Walmart for the “immoral” product, writing: “Might as well sell a Hitler outfit for children as well! Pitiful!””

The story the BBC is reporting in this article is not about “controversy” over a Halloween costume but actually about yet another coordinated attempt to delegitimise Israel. By concealing that aspect of the story from its audiences, the BBC gives mainstreaming backwind to that delegitimisation.


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