Back in January the BBC News website published an article about one of the communities of Jews who immigrated to Israel from India in which readers were told that:
“…the biggest crisis faced by the community was in 1962 when the chief rabbinate prohibited Bene Israelis from marrying Jews from other communities.”
As noted here at the time, that portrayal is inaccurate and BBC Watch wrote to the BBC News website but did not receive a reply.
Mr Stephen Franklin made a complaint to the BBC on that issue which was initially rejected. Mr Franklin filed a second complaint and – two months later – received the following response:
“Thank you for getting in touch again about our feature article entitled: Israel’s Indian Jews and their lives in the ‘promised land’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-42731363) and we’re sorry that the initial response from our central complaints team did not address your specific concerns.
To hopefully do so now, you are quite correct and we’ve since amended this sentence to now read:
But the biggest crisis faced by the community was in 1962, when a rabbinic council decreed that Bene Israelis would have to have their maternal ancestry investigated if they wanted to marry Jews from other communities.
We’ve also added a correction note at the bottom of the article which outlines this change.
We hope you’ll find this satisfactory and thank you once again for getting in touch.”
The footnote added to the article reads:
The continuing absence of a dedicated corrections page on the BBC News website of course means that anyone who read this article in the three months since its publication will be unlikely to know that it included inaccurate information.
BBC News inaccurately reports an Israeli story from the sixties