Abdel Bari Atwan (YouTube/Screenshot; Shutterstock)
Abdel Bari Atwan

According to a recent report by the Jewish Chronicle, the BBC appointed new “Output Monitors” to “clean up Arabic language reporting,” despite the Director-General’s defense of a pro-terror commentator.

By United with Israel Staff

The BBC remains in hot water over the way it covers Jews and the Jewish state, with a parliamentary probe in the offing to investigate the matter.

Shockingly, BBC Arabic has routinely platformed a Palestinian propagandist named Abdel Bari Atwan who publicly supports violent terrorism. Most recently, he referred to deadly bombings in Jerusalem as the “Palestinian World Cup.” The Palestinian attacks killed a 16-year-old boy and 50-year-old father.

While one might expect BBC Director-General Tim Davie to condemn Atwan, he instead responded to demands to drop him by “insist[ing] that using the pundit was ‘in the public interest.'” the Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported.

With the BBC’s history of biased reporting related to Israel and questionable coverage of anti-Jewish events and figures, Davie’s defense of Atwan is hardly surprising.

With that being said, Atwan’s “sympathy for Sir Salman Rushdie’s attacker” and “[defense of] the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli Olympians” should have raised red flags at the BBC.

Notwithstanding Davie’s public comments related to Atwan, the JC quoted a BBC source as saying, “Team leaders in BBC Arabic have told editors to stop using him because he said some problematic things on BBC English. … We used to have him on a lot, but we have been told not to.”

In addition, the JC reported, “At least four Output Monitors are being newly appointed to clean up Arabic language reporting.”

Scratching the Surface

Atwan’s outlandish praise for terror may only scratch the surface of the BBC’s antisemitism problem.

In October, the BBC’s Dateline London news program was taken off the air after a 25-year run, with the show’s editor hinting that Jews were to blame.

Nick Guthrie has been editor since Dateline London’s beginning, and stated at a farewell party for the show, “Just because a particular group, government, lobby groups, whatever, object to views expressed by others does not mean the BBC has to kow-tow. All the more important it has to stand up robustly for freedom of speech.”

The show was frequently criticized by Jews for featuring Atwan, editor in chief of Rai al-Youm, an Arab news and opinion site.

In addition to praising Palestinian terrorists as “martyrs,” Atwan gloated over the deaths of U.S. and French military personnel killed in a 1983 Hezbollah truck bombing in Beirut.

In 2007, Atwan insisted he would “go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight” if Iran fired missiles at Israel.

The BBC also recently defended broadcasting of a Palestinian song with the lyrics “don’t leave your weapon in its sheath.” Stabbing rampages are among Palestinian terrorists’ favored forms of attacks on unarmed Israelis.

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