In what can be considered blatant anti-Israel bias, the BBC failed to uphold journalistic standards in its reporting on a terror attack last week.
Two Israelis, Nechemiah Lavi, the father of seven, and Aaron Benita, the father of two, were attacked and murdered by Palestinian terrorist Muhammad Halabi on Saturday night in Jerusalem’s Old City. Halabi also attacked and wounded Benita’s wife and baby. He was subsequently killed by Israeli security forces in a shootout.
This was a clear-cut terror attack. However, the BBC failed to report it as such.
The initial headline on the BBC story was: “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” Almost every word in the headline is wrong or distorted.
The main focus of the headline is the death of the Palestinian terrorist who was “shot dead,” portraying his death as an unrelated event, and branding him as a victim. There is no mention of his heinous actions.
“Jerusalem” cannot attack and cannot kill two.
The BBC, as in the past, resorted to its usual anti-Israel sentiments and bias and failed to report professionally on the murder of two Israeli victims who were knifed to death by a Palestinian terrorist.
“Disturbing, yes. Surprising, no,” Honest Reporting, a media watchdog, stated on Sunday. “The BBC has a history of publishing headlines where Palestinian terrorists are sanitized to the point that inanimate objects such as bulldozers are held responsible for killing Israelis.”
American Jewish journalist Jeffrey Goldberg referenced the headline on Twitter, commenting, “To be fair, it takes a great deal of creativity to come up with headlines like this one.”
The head of Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) issued a rare warning to the BBC Saturday evening following their outrageous headline. “”There is a limit to the lack of objectivity in press coverage, and this time we are talking about an outrageous title which reminds one of the headline given by the CNN TV station after the slaughter at the synagogue in Har Nof, which introduced the attack as ‘an attack on an Israeli mosque,'” GPO director Nitzan Chen stated.
The BBC later changed its headline to the more accurate “Jerusalem: Palestinian kills two Israelis in Old City.” It did not issue any apology, as is the custom in these cases.
“While the BBC corrected its title later this evening, tomorrow I intend to reprimand the head of their office in Israel and to warn him directly that we do not intend to let this pass unchallenged,” Chen added.
The Al Jazeera news site was also sharply criticized for its initial reporting of the attack. A tweet it published on Saturday linking to an article about the terror incident read, “Palestinian shot dead after fatal stabbing in Jerusalem; 2 Israeli victims also killed.”
In an editor’s note after receiving complaints, Al Jazeera apologized. “Many people in our audience have pointed out that the tweet appears to minimize the killings of the Israeli victims and leaves out the context that the Palestinian man was their attacker. This criticism is valid and we regret the wording of a tweet written under the pressure of breaking news. The story on the site was briefly headlined with similar wording, which we amended in an update.”
By: United with Israel Staff
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