BBC Antisemitism anti-semitism antisemitic

BBC ranked third in global antisemitism list for 2021

BBC News hasn’t (yet) reported the fact that the Corporation has been ranked third in the world for antisemitism, coming in just after Iran and Hamas, who were ranked first and second respectively, principally for denying the Holocaust and pledging to “annihilate Israel”. The Simon Wiesenthal Center produces a ‘Global Anti-Semitism Top 10’ each year, and for 2021 they have placed the BBC above neo-Nazi groups and the Islamist hordes across Europe who murder Jews and desecrate their cemeteries with swastikas and excrement. This is the British Broadcasting Corporation, beacon of the values of accuracy, impartiality, and fairness; and dedicated, according to its Charter, “to serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain”.

Except, it seems, when it comes to Jews and Israel.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s ‘Global Anti-Semitism Top 10’ is published today at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Other antisemitic companies include Twitter, TikTok, USC and Unilever, the owner of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, whose board boycotted eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. The head of the Center, Rabbi Marvin Hier, told the Mail on Sunday that “the BBC is there because when a globally recognized organization allows antisemitism to creep into its reporting, it makes it all the more insidious and dangerous”.

Rabbi Hier pointed to the BBC’s reporting of an incident during Hanukkah, where group of Jewish teenagers on a bus in Oxford Street were assaulted by men chanting anti-Israel slogans. “The BBC falsely reported that a victim on the bus used an anti-Muslim slur. But what was heard on tape was a distressed Jewish man speaking in Hebrew appealing for help,” Rabbi Hier explained. Despite audio evidence, the BBC has refused to correct its report.

And then there was former BBC journalist (“Palestine specialist”) Tala Halawa, who tweeted antisemitic statements such as “Israel is more Nazi than Hitler”, and “Hitler was right”, adding “Zionists can’t get enough of our blood… they’re are crying the holocaust every single moment but they’re practicing it every single moment as well”. Another example cited was that of a video tweeted by BBC producer Alaa Daraghme with the caption: ‘An Israeli settler ramming a Palestinian man near the Lions Gate.’ Hier explains: “In fact the car drove on to the pavement after an attempt by Palestinians to lynch the Jewish driver who lost control of the vehicle.”

“People around the world trust the BBC and rely on it for truthful reporting of world events,” explained Rabbi Hier, and the BBC has responded: “Antisemitism is abhorrent. The BBC strives to serve the Jewish community, and all communities across our country, fairly with accurate and impartial reporting.”

And yet just last week, the day before Christmas Eve, there was another egregious example of antisemitism, this time from the BBC Middle East Correspondent Tom Bateman:

What he doesn’t tell his thousands of followers is that the “Palestinian man” was a terrorist. Okay, it’s Twitter, and there’s a character limit, but the slant is deliberate; the omission purposeful. The evil-doers are the Israeli soldiers; the victim was just a Palestinian young man going about his daily business. It is left to Jewish actress Tracy-Ann Oberman to challenge him: “Tom why didn’t you tell the WHOLE story? Is this official @BBCNews remit now? Stoke hatred both domestic and internationally with click bait poorly filled out news?”

And others respond with the fuller picture: the “Palestinian man” was Mohammed Issa Abbas, who seemed to like posing for photos with a vast arsenal of weaponry. He was a Hamas terrorist who first opened fire on the Israeli soldiers. The Jerusalem Post reported the story a whole day before Tom Bateman tweeted, but none of the details informed his report.

Whether or not the BBC deserves to be ranked third in the world for its institutional antisemitism is a debatable, but there is no doubt that many of its reporters, journalists, producers and editors have a Jewish problem and an Israel problem, and this combines to create a culture that is perceptibly and demonstrably antisemitic. Perhaps if in their next diversity drive they employ a few more Jews and Zionists, their reporting and journalism may become more accurate, impartial, and fair.