Last July, BBC programming in honour of the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 terror attacks in London included an interview with the mother of one of the victims murdered in the bus bombing in Tavistock Square and a dramatisation of the story of the mother of an additional victim murdered in one of the attacks on the underground rail system.
For obvious reasons, no-one at the BBC thought it would be appropriate to showcase the mothers of the terrorists in those programmes or to give them a parallel platform from which to ‘explain’ and excuse their sons’ actions.
BBC coverage of the victims of the terror attacks in Paris last November and in Brussels in March similarly did not include any attempt to promote the notion of equivalence between victim and terrorist.
In contrast, a filmed report – apparently also shown on BBC television and produced during the recent visit to Jerusalem by the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen – appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on May 5th under the title “My son the bomber, my daughter the victim“.
“In April, a bombing of an Israeli bus in Jerusalem injured 20 people. The bomber, a Palestinian, died from his injuries a few days later. One of the victims was a 15-year-old girl who was left in a coma with 45% burns.
The mothers of both spoke to the BBC about the attack, and the emotions they were left with.”
Viewers saw the terrorist’s mother given a platform from which to glorify and excuse the terror attack committed by her son (and claimed by the terrorist organisation Hamas) by means of the promotion of simplistic propaganda and the portrayal of her son as a ‘freedom fighter’.
“Of course, I was very, very sad as a mother but when I saw the people – how all the people are proud of what my son did. Because I think he did the thing that all the people wanted to do. He was very angry about what’s happened. He thought that they are our occupiers. They took our land. They kill us. They always do many things to make us angry. They don’t want peace. Always, he said, Israel don’t want peace. Because if they want peace, they give us our rights. We are Palestinian people and we know every people want to have freedom. We have to pay something. (Bowen: You have to pay for freedom?) Of course. Because Abed wanted that, I think. I always respect what my children want.”
One can only imagine the uproar there would have been in Britain had the BBC broadcast a similar item featuring the mother of any one of the 7/7 bombers.
Here we have yet another example of the double standards on display in the BBC’s reporting of acts of terror against Israelis and those occurring in the rest of the world.