A post by CAMERA Arabic
(All emphasis added)
That video showed Jewish and Muslim activists on Temple Mount and mentioned “two biblical temples which the Jews claim both were at the site of the Jerusalem Sanctuary.”
Text reads: “The Jews claim both [Temples] were at the site of the Jerusalem Sanctuary.”
Other than “claim,” the Arabic verb يزعم [pronounced Yaz’umu] may also be translated as “purport,” “contend,” or “argue,” and less commonly as “say” or “believe.” Its passive form, مزعوم [pronounced Maz’oum] is frequently used in Arabic discourse concerning Jerusalem as part of the catchphrase الهيكل المزعوم [pronounced al-Haykal al-Maz’oum], which translates as “the alleged Temple.”
Notably, the English version of the same BBC video stops short of mentioning that “claim” and is thus shorter by a couple of seconds.
Of course “The Jews” do not just “claim” the Temples once stood where Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is located today. At the very least, the Second Temple’s presence there until its destruction in 70 CE is a well documented fact in ancient history and archaeology. Furthermore, a variety of classic Christian and Muslim sources also consider the Jewish Temples (both First and Second) to be well-established elements of the site’s past, meaning that their existence should not have been ascribed to “the Jews” alone but to Muslims and Christians as well.
The first BBC response to CAMERA Arabic’s complaint eventually came 160 working days after submission: 16 times longer than the timeframe for addressing complaints as set by the BBC itself. It contended that while it was the rarer translation of the verb Yaz’umu which reflected the authors’ original intentions (i.e., they had meant to say “the Jews believe” or “say” and not “the Jews claim”), the video was nevertheless removed from all online platforms in order to “avoid any possible confusion.”
The BBC did not consider the possibility that presenting the existence of the Temples as something that Jews “believe” or “say” is the case is false in and of itself. Nor did it provide any explanation for the absence of the problematic frames in the English language version of the same video.
In its reply to a second CAMERA Arabic complaint urging the corporation to publicly acknowledge the Temple’s past existence on Temple Mount as the appropriate way to “avoid any possible confusion” among its Arabic-speaking audience, the BBC declined our request as follows:
“We are sorry to hear that you are unhappy with our decision to remove the videos in question. It is important to note that the confusion we spoke of was about the linguistic meaning/interpretation of the word يزعم which could mean saying or claiming something that is beyond any doubt. So to ‘publicly acknowledge the existence of the second temple’ would imply that previously we did not – which is not the case.
“To add, whenever possible, we amend any content to correct mistakes or dispel confusion, but this is sometimes difficult or not possible for technical reasons. In these cases we remove the content in question.”