Revisiting a BBC report from May 2021

On May 10th 2021 the BBC News website published a video titled “Jerusalem: Hundreds injured in violent clashes” which is still available online. Part of that film relates to an incident which took place near Lions Gate in Jerusalem earlier the same day that was described by the Jerusalem Post as follows:

“An injured Jewish driver lost control of his car and swerved onto a sidewalk after he was pelted with rocks by Arab rioters during a violent protest outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday morning. […]

Israel Police said that stone throwers attacked the car that was travelling on Jericho Road and that as a result, the driver lost control of his vehicle and veered off the road, hitting several people.

After the car stopped, more stone throwers approached it and they continued to pelt it, opening the doors in an attempt to attack the driver and another male passenger.

A police officer arrived at the scene moments after the car swerved onto the sidewalk and he fired warning shots into the air to disperse the mob as they tried to get to the car’s occupants.”

As noted at the time, the BBC’s portrayal of the events – bizarrely presented as “an incident with a car” – describes the rock-throwing mob as “protesters”. It distorts the chain of events, stating that “the driver said he lost control of the vehicle” before mentioning the throwing of rocks and without clarifying that it was those attacks which caused the driver to lose control of his car.

On September 12th 2022, journalist Haim Goldberg reported that two of the people described by the BBC as “protesters” (one of whom was supposed to be under house arrest at the time of the incident) had been convicted by the Jerusalem District Court.

“…the defendants were convicted (each according to their part) of a terrorist act of aggravated malicious damage, wilful damage to a motor vehicle, violation of a legal order and obstruction of justice.

The court ruled that “the attack[ing] of the defendants, which was directed at people whose appearance indicates their religious and national affiliation, clearly indicates the existence of a racist motive for their actions and a performance [action] aimed at inciting fear and panic.””

Unfortunately for BBC audiences, as is all so often the case, what will remain available online as “permanent public record” is a sixteen-month-old misleading report which will not be amended to reflect subsequent developments in the story or to give an accurate account of the chain of events as proven in court.

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