Back in March we noted that a report on the BBC Arabic website included an inaccurate description of nine victims of a Hamas terror attack that took place nearly fifteen years ago.
“In paragraph 15 of that report the victims of the 2002 Meron Junction terror attack are described as “nine Jewish settlers”.
Four of the nine people murdered in the attack were not Jewish. None of them lived in what the BBC would term ‘settlements’.
This is not the first time that BBC Arabic has portrayed Israeli victims of terror attacks to its audiences as “Jewish settlers” regardless of their ethnicity and place of residence. Clearly that description is neither accurate nor impartial.”
BBC Watch submitted a complaint to the BBC on that issue. Having failed to receive a reply during the designated time period, we sent a second complaint. The response received from BBC Complaints reads as follows:
As recently as February of this year BBC Watch had another complaint upheld concerning the use of partisan language in a report published on the BBC Arabic website. In his response to that complaint the editor of the BBC Arabic Service stated:
“We apologise for this editorial mistake which we take very seriously and will be addressing it formally with the journalist responsible for publishing the article.”
Whether or not the same journalist is responsible for both these articles is unclear but it is certainly obvious that BBC Arabic (which is of course part funded by British taxpayers through FCO grants) has yet to satisfactorily address the issue of the use of inaccurate and politically partisan language by its Arabic-speaking employees.