Former BBC Chairman Michael Grade. (AP/Alastair Grant) (AP/Alastair Grant)
Former BBC Chairman Michael Grade
BBC

(Claudio Divizia/Shutterstock)

Even the BBC’s former director believes the network’s coverage of events in Israel is unacceptable, slanted and tainted by its anti-Israel bias. 

Former Chairman of the BBC, Lord Michael Grade, blasted the BBC over its coverage of the recent Palestinian violence in Israel, in a letter to BBC’s Director of News and Current Affairs, James Harding.

In his complaint, Grade, the former head of the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4, said that the BBC coverage was at times misleading and failed to provide a wider context of what is an “undoubtedly complex issue.”

Grade, a member of the House of Lords for the Conservative Party, criticized the BBC’s inability “to fulfill its obligation to viewers” by not showing examples of Palestinian Authority (PA) officials praising the terror attacks and calling for more. The former BBC Chairman underlined that Palestinian incitement, “has played an undeniable part in stoking tension recently and is an important part of the story.”

The complaint was directed specifically at a report by Orla Guerin, broadcast last Sunday, about the recent wave of Palestinian attacks across Israel.

Grade criticized the report’s apparent promotion of “equivalence between Israeli victims of terrorism and Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli security forces in the act of carrying out terror attacks.”

He highlighted that: “An emotional interview is conducted with the father of a dead Palestinian youth who had been killed committing a fatal terror attack. However, the report failed to show the emotional distress caused to Israelis by any of these recent attacks. This is inexcusable.”

Grade continued: “Additionally, it was improper of the correspondent to claim that “there’s no sign of involvement by militant groups”, before immediately showing footage of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) banners at the home of a 19 year-old terrorist who carried out a deadly knife attack at Lions Gate in Jerusalem on 3rd October. PIJ is a well-known Palestinian terror organization and it has since claimed responsibility for the attack and praised by Hamas, another internationally proscribed terror organization. This directly misleads viewers,” the letter, first published by the British Conservatives Friends of Israel (CFOI), read.

Commenting on the footage of an elderly Palestinian man confronting Israeli soldiers in Hebron who were firing gas canisters, Grade criticized the lack of description of the wider context. He said: “The carefully selected footage failed to show the stone-throwing protestors prompting the presence and action of Israeli security forces. While this footage is entirely worthy of broadcast, I strongly feel that viewers lacked visual and oral description of the wider context thereby limiting their awareness and understanding of what is an undoubtedly complex issue.

‘Not the First Time’

outrageous bbc headline

(Screenshot)

The letter went on to state: “Regrettably, this is not the first time the standard of reporting and impartiality has been unsatisfactory in recent weeks. On Saturday 3rd October, I was disappointed to see the BBC News website publish a misleading and counter-factual headline: ‘Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attacks kills two’. I note reports that this headline underwent four revisions following public criticism.”

Referring to a headline published by the BBC news website, Grade’s letter said: “Regrettably, this is not the first time the standard of reporting and impartiality has been unsatisfactory in recent weeks. On Saturday 3rd October, I was disappointed to see the BBC News website publish a misleading and counter-factual headline: “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attacks kills two”. I note reports that this headline underwent four revisions following public criticism.”

The BBC has over the years faced numerous accusations over its pro-Palestinian bias and slanted reporting.

By: United with Israel Staff

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