Anti-Israel slurs and inaccuracies go unchallenged on the BBC’s ‘Dateline London’

Anti-Israel slurs go unchallenged on the BBC's 'Dateline London'.

h/t BR

The July 8th edition of the BBC News and BBC World News programme ‘Dateline London’ included an item (from around 14:00 in the video below) about India’s border disputes with China and Pakistan.

Regular BBC contributor Nabila Ramdani managed, however, to steer the discussion away from that subject matter for some opportunistic promotion of predictable – though particularly vicious – anti-Israel messaging (from 23:00). [emphasis in italics in the original, emphasis in bold added]

Ramdani: “I think this is also to do with an arms race and I think [Indian PM] Modi’s visit to Israel testifies to that. To me it’s another example of a populist global leader who’s trying to humiliate millions of Muslims around the world, not only in his own country but also in neighbouring Pakistan. He wants to portray them as the enemy within but also one that threatens externally and instead of conciliation and indeed resorting to democracy, he’s…he sees the future in a constant arms struggle with his side being armed to the teeth and ready to dispatch [kill] as many Muslims as possible when trouble arises. And this I would call it the Israeli model and this is why Modi has chosen to actually break decades of overt Indian support for the Palestinian cause and indeed decided to paly up [sic: pal up] effectively with a notorious far-right hawk like Benjamin Netanyahu. And his behaviour in Israel included snubbing Palestinian leaders – not least of all Mahmoud Abbas – but also stocking up with weapons. And frankly I found it quite outrageous that a leader like Modi chooses to side with the State of Israel which stands accused…which regularly breaches international and humanitarian laws and whose leaders past and present stand accused of war crimes and who constantly expand its illegal colonial entity. I found this quite distasteful.”

The BBC’s editorial guidelines – which of course apply to all content broadcast by the corporation – include guidance on live output which has a sub-section titled ‘Offensive Comments’.

“If offensive comments are expressed during live interviews, the interviewer should normally intervene, challenge the comments where appropriate and/or distance the BBC from the comments. If this doesn’t happen we should make an on-air apology at the earliest opportunity. Potentially offensive comments include remarks that may be interpreted as, for example, racist, sexist, homophobic, prejudiced against a religious group, or reflecting an unflattering national stereotype.”

That same guidance also claims that:

“Due impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC’s standards. It is a core value and no area of programming is exempt from it. It is vital that any package or interview broadcast during a live event is impartial and fair. Care should be taken to ensure that there is no suggestion of bias. This can be achieved by careful casting and ensuring the presenter/interviewer is properly briefed to conduct a robust interview.”

So did host Jane Hill challenge Ramdani’s claim that Israelis kill “as many Muslims as possible when trouble arises”? Did she bother to explain that the prime minister of India also signed agreements on travel, technology, science, agriculture and water conservation during his recent visit to Israel? Did she demand that Ramdani provide evidence for her allegation that Israel “regularly breaches international and humanitarian laws” or clarify to viewers that no Israeli leader has been convicted of “war crimes”. Did she at least take issue with Ramdani’s inaccurate and biased portrayal of Israel as a “constantly” expanding “illegal colonial entity”?  

Not at all: obviously entirely unperturbed by Ramdani’s inaccurate statements and politically motivated slurs, Jane Hill instead promptly redirected the conversation to the topic of her contributors’ holiday plans.

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