BBC News can’t prove the false moral equivalence it drew between antisemitic goons and Jewish kids celebrating Chanukah.
On November 29, Jewish children traveling on a bus in London, on their way to a Chanukah celebration, were viciously harassed by a group of Muslim antisemites. The young men shouted “Free Palestine,” made Nazi salutes and other profane gestures, and spat and banged on windows.
They were also seen waving their shoes at the Jewish passengers, an act considered offensive and belittling in Arab culture.
Even more disturbingly, this incident took place on Oxford Street, the heart of London’s city center and shopping district.
The suspects are still at large, and the Metropolitan Police are rightly treating the attack as a hate crime.
Unfortunately, BBC News skewed the story with reporter Harry Farley falsely claiming that Islamophobic slurs could be heard from inside the bus.
The problem? No such slurs could be heard on the video.
Amid outrage, the BBC made an inadequate revision to its online story. The BBC now falsely says that only one anti-Muslim slur was heard.
The report doesn’t indicate exactly what was said, but in a Twitter exchange with a London activist who goes by the name GnasherJew, Farley said, “At about 3 seconds into the video you can just about hear someone on the bus saying ‘dirty Muslims’. This was actually something picked up by my editors not me and they wanted to reflect that briefly in the piece.”
But Jews aren’t buying that, saying that the only Hebrew heard in the video is someone saying “tikra lemishehu, ze dachuf,” which in English means, “Call someone, it’s urgent.” Based on Farley’s tweet, Jews speculate that the misinformation was added at the behest of editors looking to create any kind of moral equivalence between the Jewish children and the Muslim abusers. In fact, police investigators told the Campaign Against Antisemitism that they found no evidence corroborating the BBC’s reporting. Nor have any translators stepped forward to defend the BBC’s reporting.
The facts simply don’t back up the BBC’s skewed narrative of moral equivalence. Even former BBC chairman Michael Grade called out the news service.
“Given the available evidence, or rather lack of it, it is worrying that the BBC has so far defended its report that there were ‘clearly’ anti-Muslim shouts from the bus, while the antisemitic gestures were only ‘alleged,’” Grade said. “They need to provide the evidence to support their defense or rethink and issue an urgent correction and apology.”
Demand that the BBC apologize and correct this story!
Contact BBC London News on Twitter.
Contact BBC London News on Facebook.
File a formal complaint with the BBC Complaints online.
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