BBC rejects complaint about whitewash of Hamas praise for terror

Back in March we noted that a news bulletin aired on BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’ amplified Hamas propaganda in reporting on a terror attack in Be’er Sheva.

“A news bulletin aired on the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘The World Tonight’ later the same evening (from 06:38 here) qualified the description of the murders of four people by an ISIS supporter as a terrorist attack and threw in some Hamas propaganda for good measure. [emphasis added]

Newsreader: “Four people have been killed in what police are calling a terrorist attack in southern Israel. The country’s prime minister Naftali Bennett praised those who shot the alleged assailant. Hamas has blamed what happened on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. From Jerusalem, Yolande Knell.”

Knell: “This is one of the deadliest attacks of its kind in several years according to Israeli medical services. Police say the man stabbed a woman at a petrol station in Be’er Sheva then drove off and rammed into a cyclist and others. After leaving his car at a shopping centre, he stabbed another man and a woman. Mobile phone footage shows a man brandishing a large knife before he’s shot dead by a passer-by. The Shin Bet security service has identified the suspect as an Arab-Israeli citizen from a nearby town, saying that he was a known supporter of the so-called Islamic State group who’d spent time in jail.””

With that programme scheduled to remain available online for over a year, CAMERA UK submitted a complaint to the BBC in which we questioned both the editorial decision to amplify whitewashed Hamas propaganda and the failure to inform BBC audiences of Hamas’ praise for the terror attack in which four civilians were murdered. We provided the BBC with a link to Hamas statements lauding those murders and describing Israelis as “settlers” and the Negev district of Israel as “occupied”.

“The heroic Beersheba operation is a natural and legitimate response on the gradually escalating crimes of the occupation and its settlers.

We in the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas bless the heroic operation perpetrated by Palestinian guerilla warrior, freed detainee Muhammad Ghaleb Abu al-Qi’an, in the occupied city of Beer Sheba on Tuesday evening, claiming several dead and wounded among the Zionist occupiers. [The movement] views it as a natural and legitimate response on the crimes of the occupation and its militias of settlers against our steadfast people.

We celebrate the martyr and hero of the enduring Hura town in the occupied Negev […]

We affirm that this heroic operation is a link in the chain of our steadfast, heroic people’s resistance, confronting the Zionist arrogance which ventures on Palestinian blood. We call our struggle-engaged people in the rebellious occupied Negev, in the West Bank with occupied Jerusalem in its heart, and the enduring people of our 1948-occupied lands, to further escalate the confrontation against the occupation and its flocks of settlers, in defense of the land and the sanctities and in fidelity to the martyrs’ blood – until liberation and return.”

CAMERA UK pointed out that:

“The BBC’s failure to report Hamas’ official praise for the attack and the celebratory distribution of sweets in the Gaza Strip is all the more jarring given that promotion of Hamas propaganda.”

Eight days after it was submitted, we received a response informing us that it would take more time to address our complaint. On April 21st we were informed that the time frame for addressing the complaint had expired. On June 9th – two and a half months after the complaint was made – we received a rejection of our complaint:

“Thanks for contacting us about BBC News. We apologise for the delayed response.

We have discussed your concerns about a BBC Radio 4 bulletin, broadcast on 22 March, with senior editors in our newsroom. Having reviewed this item, we believe the introduction to the report, and the report itself, were both duly impartial, reflecting the circumstances of the attack, and the response from the Israeli Prime Minister and Hamas.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to get in touch.”

In other words, the BBC is of the opinion that Yolande Knell’s extensive ‘clean-up job’ on Hamas’ glorification of terrorism and rejection of Israel’s existence, together with the promotion of the vague and trite slogan “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians”, meets standards of “duly impartial” news reporting.

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  1. says: Neil C

    They would reject it because the BBC are totally in cahoots with the Hamas terrorists, indeed I recently heard that at least one actually works for them. #defundthebbc

  2. says: Richard Turnbull

    The “so-called” Islamic State group is a nice touch as well: they organized under that name, recruited under that name, gained world-wide attention and critical scrutiny under that name, were designated an international terrorist group and threat to the peace and safety of contending sects in Islam and all other religions or non-religions under that name, gained fanatical followers who so fervently agreed with their ultra-literalist and dogmatic Islamist interpretation of what was crucial and of paramount importance in their “sacred text” that they were ready to enslave and murder tens of thousands of human beings under that name…in short, I think it’s a fair and accurate name, given those circumstances.

  3. says: Daniel Bentley

    Clearly more pressure needs to be brought to bear. What are the next steps? The BBC never responds properly or in time to complaints. I have tried numerous times. I even complained once to the British High Commission here in Ottawa and they referred my complaint onwards. Still got no response. Once I got a much belated response, a year later I think.

    The BBC sees itself as immune. This attitude must be broken. It will take much political effort. Who and how is this being organized?

  4. says: Dupont Pierre

    The BBC for ages consists of the same anti-Jewish Arabist civil servants in the Foreign and Home Office who were prevalent in Britain in the 1930’s and apparently have reinvented themselves at taxpayers expense. As long as its comfortably funded without any ability to change their ethos we shall have much more of this. Strangely listening to the BBC World Service now, particularly Newsday, you would observe their view of the world is from an African angle

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