On the afternoon of November 15th the BBC News website published a report about a terror attack which had taken place earlier that day in and around Ariel.
Titled ‘Three Israelis killed by Palestinian in West Bank knife and car attack’ and credited to Raffi Berg, that report’s 322 words do not include the terms terror, terrorism or terrorist, in line with the selectively applied BBC editorial policy concerning ‘use of language’.
The report opens with signposting regarding the location of the attack:
“Three Israelis have been killed by a Palestinian in a knife and car-ramming attack near a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, the military says.” [emphasis added]
Although the information was available at the time of publication, the BBC’s report (despite having been subsequently updated) does not identify the three victims of the attack and no mention is made of the three additional people who were wounded:
“Two men in their 40s died from stab wounds and a third, in his 50s, died after being rammed by the attacker, medics said.”
The victims were in fact aged 59, 50 and 36.
The report makes no mention of the praise for the attack put out by various Palestinian terror factions and was not updated to include mention of Fatah’s lauding of the terrorist or a rally organised by Hamas.
However, the BBC did consider it appropriate to dedicate over 40% of the article’s word count to the topic of Israeli politics:
“The attack comes as Israel’s prime minister-designate is in the process of forming a new right-wing government.
Elections earlier this month saw a bloc led by Benjamin Netanyahu win enough seats to take power, with the support of a far-right party, one of whose leaders has vowed to deport terrorists.” […]
“Prime Minister-designate Netanyahu tweeted he was “Praying for the peace of those injured… and [for] strengthening the security forces operating in the area”.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, a leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, who is seeking to become public security minister in a government formed by Mr Netanyahu, said the attack was “a wake-up call for the future government.
“The death penalty law for terrorists must be passed to put an end to terrorism. Only an iron hand will stamp out terrorism,” he tweeted.”
The recent Israeli general election and its results are of course entirely unrelated to the timing of this attack or its causality: Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis have taken place under Israeli governments of all stripes.
Nevertheless, the BBC clearly thought it more pressing for its audiences to be made aware of Tweets from two Israeli politicians than the fact that eleven sons and daughters lost their fathers and two children lost their grandfather in a terrorist attack it refuses to name as such.