Throughout 2022 CAMERA UK and CAMERA Arabic continued to collaborate with The Jewish Chronicle in London. Twenty-eight items based on our work have been published since the last annual summary (December 19th, 2021): four times the previous year’s number.
More than half of those 28 items related to licence fee funded BBC coverage of Jews and Israel in both English and Arabic. Four concerned the antisemitism and support for terrorism of BBC commentator Abdel Bari Atwan on other platforms: Twitter, YouTube and the Hezbollah-affiliated station al-Mayadeen.
Below is a list of the Jewish Chronicle reports by topic and date.
December 23, 2021 (print edition, p.4): a horse from the Israeli city of Nazareth was described as “Palestinian” with Israel erased from the item.
February 12, 2022: BBC Arabic host Ahmad Fakhouri acknowledged corporation guidelines on broadcasting hate speech but ignored his own past misconduct on antisemitism and homophobia.
March 24, 2022: Tel Aviv was referred as capital of Israel 16 times even though BBC Arabic had promised to stop making that error.
April 14, 2022: terror attacks in Israel were reported by the BBC but (unlike attacks in other countries) were not described as terrorism.
May 5, 2022: Jews visiting Temple Mount were mislabelled as “settlers”.
June 23, 2022: failure to monitor and screen antisemitic and violent comments on BBC Arabic’s social media channels
July 15, 2022: attacks against Israeli civilians seriously underreported.
September 1, 2022: Abdel Bari Atwan expressed sympathy for the extremism of the attacker of Salman Rushdie on ‘Dateline’, blamed the 1972 murders of Israeli athletes on Israeli and German forces.
September 7, 2022: BBC director-general Tim Davie defended the corporation’s impartiality in parliament, ignoring past issues concerning the coverage of Israel and Jews.
October 14, 2022: false equivalence between homophobia in Israeli and Palestinian societies in coverage of the beheading of a gay Palestinian in Hebron.
November 3, 2022: The BBC apologised for inadequate responses from its complaint unit to complaints concerning BBC Arabic.
November 17, 2022: BBC editors refused to recognise songs which glorify terrorists and their actions as condoning violence.
December 8, 2022: Parliamentary inquiry to be set up to examine BBC coverage of Jews and Israel.
December 8, 2022: BBC Arabic output reformed.
December 15, 2022: antisemitic hate speech was allowed to remain in the comments to BBC Arabic World Cup coverage.
The items published on December 8th in particular highlight the importance of transparency in relation to BBC produced foreign language content which is funded by the British public by means of the licence fee and/or tax.
BBC pundit Abdel Bari Atwan on other platforms:
April 14, 2022: Atwan praised a terrorist as a “hero” and “martyr”, labelling news of the attack in Tel Aviv as a “miracle”.
May 5, 2022: YouTube refused to remove Atwan’s videos in which he celebrated terrorism against civilians and promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories.
May 26, 2022: YouTube again refused to remove Atwan’s channel after he continued to celebrate attacks against Israeli civilians. One of his al-Mayadeen interviews was removed.
November 23, 2022: Atwan praised attacks against Israeli civilians as a “Palestinian World Cup”.
Additional CAMERA Arabic research and translations in JC news items:
February 17, 2022: Sheffield Hallam University lecturer Shahd Abusalama boasted of having met “beautiful” Leila Khaled.
February 28, 2022: DW-expelled journalist Farah Maraqa publicly supported murders of Israeli civilians on multiple occasions between 2014-2017.
April 7, 2022: YouTube removed a series of videos celebrating a terror attack in Bnei Brak.
April 21, 2022: NUS president Shaima Dallali backed Hamas targeting Israeli civilians on social media, describing it as the “right” of Palestinians “by international law”.
May 11, 2022: “Eleven Days in May” director Muhammed Sawwaf tweeted repeatedly in favour of Hamas firing rockets at Israeli residential areas.
June 16, 2022: Ofcom ruled that the UK-based, Hamas-affiliated channel al-Hiwar calling the murderer of Eli Kay a “martyr” did not breach regulations.
August 4, 2022: Jeremy Corbyn’s interview with the Hezbollah-affiliated station al-Mayadeen.
September 1, 2022: ‘ghost hospitals’ reveal extent of Palestinian Authority corruption (CAMERA Arabic researchers translated PA-affiliated publications).
October 13, 2022: LinkedIn profiles of suspended journalists responsible for Aljazeera’s holocaust denial video suggest both continue to work there (see also here).
For forty years I have questioned why Israel seems either unwilling or incapable of defending itself on-line or via terrestrial or satellite TV. Going back forty years there were over 600 Arabic channels on satellite TV and not a single FTA Israeli channel receivable in the UK or Europe without a dish of industrial proportions. Twenty years ago when my Israeli niece took a degree in media studies, I asked her the same question, no answer was forthcoming. Even now Israel fails to promote its own side of the story to the media and when given a once a year slot by the BBC the interviewee only gets shouted down by overly aggressive BBC (antisemitic or anti-Israel) interviewers. Yet Israel is a world leader in digital technology despite being out numbered 2000:1 by the Christians and Muslims in the rest of the world. Unless the Israeli government addresses this situation, things will not improve because within Islam it is permitted to lie, provided it is beneficial to the furtherment of Islam. #defundthebbc
Hopefully “Camera” reports do reach – and are read by – competent UK authorities who can and will take the BBC to task over its appalling record of anti-Israel bias – particularly from its Middle East offices.