BBC apologizes for biased Israel coverage

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By Chris Mitchell —

Prime Minister Bennett, interviewed by BBC (CBN screenshot)

Last week, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) completed a two-day raid into the Palestinian city of Jenin.

After more than 50 Israelis had been killed or injured by terrorists based in the city in the past year, Israel decided to launch the raid to stop the wave of terrorism.

However, many in the media blamed Israel for the consequences of the raid.

During an interview with Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a BBC anchor made the following statement: “Terrorists, but children. The Israeli forces are happy to kill children.”

The anchor noted that 4 of the 11 terrorists killed were under the age of 18. Bennett responded with this question:

“You know, it’s quite remarkable that you’d say that. They are killing us.  Now, if there’s a 17-year-old Palestinian that’s shooting at your children, what is he?”

BBC anchor referred to young terrorists as children (CBN screeenshot)

After the interview, the BBC apologized for the anchor’s statement, which read in part, “While this was a legitimate subject to examine in the interview, we apologize that the language used in this line of questioning was not phrased well and was inappropriate.”

Not good enough, according to Gil Hoffman, executive director for Honest Reporting, He told CBN News, “I found their apology to be rather pathetic.  That was just such a preposterous allegation, especially during an operation in which there were how many civilian deaths, Chris?  Zero.”

One of the young people killed by Israeli forces (CBN)

Hoffman’s group monitors reporting about Israel. He says when the media gets it wrong about Israel, it can become a matter of life and death.

He points to coverage during this year’s Ramadan when Muslim rioters barricaded themselves in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. When Israeli police went inside to stop the rioters from harming worshippers, the story got flipped upside down.

16-year-old killed by IDF (CBN)

“They took YouTube videos that made it look like it was the IDF attacking these rioters.  And of course, the headlines around the world were, ‘Israeli police attack worshippers in mosque.’ That was the exact opposite of the truth, but that false reporting was used as an excuse to fire rockets at Israelis from Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza.”

Hoffman says another example is when CNN Anchor Christiane Amanpour claimed Rabbi Leo Dee’s wife and two daughters were killed in a shootout, rather than murdered in a terror attack. Weeks later, Amanpour apologized. CBN News asked Rabbi Dee about her statement.

Young militant killed by IDF (CBN)

“So, we were tremendously upset, I and the kids, to be accused of a family being terrorists,” Dee said. “And then we had two other interactions with CNN – as you say – both of which made me feel like I was the terrorist and the terrorists were somehow the victim, and I think this is endemic in the CNN reporting. And so we are planning to take them to court and the planning for that is currently underway.”

Hoffman believes when people point out the media’s bias, it can make a difference.

He noted, “It’s more important than ever that we get the best coverage possible of Israel to save lives and that’s what Honest Reporting does in monitoring the media and making sure that the coverage improves.” — CBN