On March 8th three terror attacks took place in Israel within the space of a couple of hours. Earlier in the day an additional attempted stabbing attack by a woman from the Umm Tuba neighbourhood was averted in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Just before 5 pm a Palestinian terrorist stabbed an Israeli man in a shop in Petah Tikva. Around a quarter of an hour later two members of the security forces on patrol in Jerusalem were seriously wounded in a shooting attack carried out by a terrorist apparently from the neighbourhood of Issawiya. At around 6:30 pm a Palestinian terrorist from Qalqilya attacked a number of people near Jaffa port and in the surrounding area with a knife. An American tourist – Taylor Force – was murdered and ten other people, including his wife, were wounded. Mr Force’s death brings the number of people holding US citizenship killed in terror attacks since October 1st 2015 to five.
Some two hours after the attack in Jaffa took place the BBC News website published an article (its first concerning terror attacks against Israelis since the month of March began) which was originally titled “One killed and several wounded in attacks on Israelis”.
Obviously that headline contributed nothing to audience understanding of who carried out those “attacks on Israelis” and the replacement headline which appeared around two and a half hours later – “US tourist killed and several wounded in Israel attacks” – was even more confusing.
Only from the fifth version of the article was the headline amended to include information concerning the identity of one of the terrorists: “Palestinian kills US tourist in Israel“. Nevertheless, audiences were still not able to determine from that headline that the report is about a terror attack rather than a criminal incident.
Among the notable features in the seven versions of this report is the fact that its six initial editions all used politicized terminology to describe the location of one of the attacks.
“Earlier, two Israeli police officers were shot and wounded in occupied East Jerusalem.” [emphasis added]
That same politicized terminology can still be seen in the caption to one of the photographs illustrating the current version of the article: “Earlier in the day, Israeli police officers were fired on in occupied East Jerusalem“.
All versions of the report include a superfluous description of the perceived level of religiosity of one of the victims – but not of any of the others or of the terrorists.
“An ultra-Orthodox Jew was stabbed in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv.” […]
“Meanwhile, witnesses in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva said a Palestinian attacker was killed with his own knife by the ultra-Orthodox Jew who he had just stabbed. The wounded man was rushed to hospital to be treated for wounds to his upper body.”
Once again the background information provided by the BBC includes confused and inconsistent reporting on the number of people killed during the ongoing wave of terrorism.
“At least 29 Israelis have been killed in a wave of stabbing, shooting or car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs since October.”
Remarkably, among the thousands of words used to produce the seven different versions of this report describing three separate terror attacks in which one person was killed and over a dozen wounded, the words terror, terrorism or terrorist did not appear once. In other words, the BBC editorial policy of two-tier reporting on terrorism remains in effect.
Also remarkable is the fact that despite the numerous amendments made to the report, BBC audiences were not informed about Hamas’ lauding of the attacks.
““Hamas congratulates the three heroic operations this evening, in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Jaffa, and considers this proof of the failure for all these theories to abort the Intifada, which will continue until the realization of its goals,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri in a statement.
“Hamas celebrates the martyrs that have ascended through these operations, and confirms that their pure blood will, God willing, be the fuel for escalating the intifada,” he said.”
Neither were they told of similar glorification of terrorism from Fatah or of the fact that Palestinian Authority television repeatedly described the perpetrator of the attack in Jaffa as a “martyr”and his victims (who included Israeli Arabs and tourists) as “settlers“.
The absence of that information obviously compounds the BBC’s ongoing failure to provide its audiences with meaningful reporting on the issue of the incitement and glorification of terrorism from official Palestinian sources which fuels the current wave of violence against Israelis. That ongoing failure – now in its sixth month – actively prevents the corporation from meeting its obligation to enhance audience awareness and understanding of this particular international issue.