As recently noted on these pages, the BBC refrained from providing its audiences with any follow-up reporting on the subject of Palestinian reactions to the agreement between Jordan and Israel to place surveillance cameras on Temple Mount in a bid to reduce tensions at the site. Khaled Abu Toameh provides some interesting insight into “Why Palestinians Do Not Want Cameras on the Temple Mount“.
“Why is the Palestinian Authority (PA) opposed to Jordan’s proposal to install surveillance cameras at Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews?
This is the question that many in Jordan have been asking in light of the recent agreement between Israel and Jordan that was reached under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry. The idea was first raised by Jordan’s King Abdullah in a bid to ease tensions at the holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Shortly after Israel accepted the idea, the Palestinian Authority rushed to denounce it as a “new trap.” PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki and other officials in Ramallah expressed concern that Israel would use the cameras to “arrest Palestinians under the pretext of incitement.””
Since the current wave of terrorism in Israel began, the BBC has produced two articles which relate to the topic of social media. “Jerusalem attacks: Social media fear and defiance” was produced by BBC Monitoring on October 15th but does not comprehensively portray the role of social media in spreading incitement. On October 22nd an article also published on the BBC News website asked “Is Palestinian-Israeli violence being driven by social media?” but audiences learned little about that topic and the use of social media by the PA and Fatah was ignored.
“Watching the well-wishers congregating in the intensive care unit, however, I realized that the world leaders who were having the most impact on the situation in the Middle East right now weren’t Mr. Ban or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and other young entrepreneurs who shape the social media platforms most of us use every day.
It may sound strange to talk of Twitter and Facebook as relevant players in the war against terror, but as the recent wave of violence in Israel has proved, that is increasingly the case. The young men who boarded the bus that day intent on murdering my 76-year-old father did not make their decision in a vacuum.”
BBC reporting on the ongoing wave of terror has included very little coverage indeed of the victims of those attacks. One rare exception was seen in a filmed report by Orla Guerin in which a brief interview with Odel Bennett (who was wounded, along with her son, in the terror attack in which her husband was murdered on October 3rd) comprised a total of thirty-eight words.
Here is Kay Wilson, who survived a terror attack in 2010, telling one of the many Israeli stories BBC audiences do not get to hear.