Biased BBC

star-BBC-agenda_150Israelis charged

The BBC starting the year as they ended it — with half a story. They don’t have to straight-out lie to show bias. They have all tricks of semantics, positioning and omission to do it for them.

Israelis charged over fatal West Bank family arson attack

The BBC would never write a similar piece of the trial of Palestinians by the Authority for killing an Israeli family if for no other reason that one has never happened.

Amiram Ben-Oliel, 21, has been charged with murder, and a second suspect, a youth, as an accessory to murder. Had this been a Palestinian the BBC would have interviewed his family and accompanied it with a photograph of grieving mother denying her son could be involved and the accused as a butter-would-not-melt-in-his mouth teen.

The killing of Saad and Riham Dawabsha and their 18-month-old son, Ali, in the village of Duma last July sparked international condemnation. It also sparked condemnation in Israel going up to the President and the Prime Minister. Moderate, democratic Mahmud Abbas has never condemned an attack unreservedly except in terms of the wrong timing or not helping the Palestinians’ case.

According to the indictment, Mr Ben-Oliel carried out the attack in retaliation for the killing of an Israeli settler in a drive-by shooting one month before the Duma attack. Didn’t the victim have a name or details? Does living in the wrong place justify murder? Did the BBC even report the attack?

Saad’s brother Naser was unconvinced by Israel’s commitment to the prosecution.
“We have no trust in the Israeli judiciary. They would not have launched an investigation were it not for the international pressure on them,” he said.
Reported without reply from any Israeli. PM Netanyahu made this statement the following day after the attack, “This is a terror attack in every respect. The State of Israel deals forcefully with terror, regardless of who the perpetrators are.” It was reported by the BBC although predictably within the body of a report about how furious the Palestinians were.

It also prompted the Israeli government to approve the use of administrative detention – a procedure under which a military court can order suspects to be detained indefinitely without charge or trial – for suspected Jewish terrorists.The BBC has even a guideline directive against calling someone a terrorist. Wouldn’t the BBC have fudged the ‘T’ word — militants. perhaps — had the alleged perpetrator been a Muslim? 

The arson case has been cited as a factor in a spate of attacks by Palestinians on Israelis across Israel and the occupied West Bank. Has it? I don’t recall. Most captured attackers blame the presumed (and untrue) Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa.

And the very last sentence: Lawyers for some of those detained over the arson attack allege their clients were tortured to extract confessions but this has been denied by the Israeli authorities. Surely that is news hidden in plain sight. Under the inverted pyramid theory that every journalist is taught the further down the page it is printed the less important is the content and the more likely to be edited out for space considerations.

Without a single direct lie the BBC has made it quite clear where they stand.

Extra credit

Late amendment

The BBC did not report the murder of Malachi Rosenfeld. ht BBC Watch

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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