BBC licence fee: Ian Collins discusses ‘crack down’
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Earlier this month, the corporation reported on men making Hitler salutes and threatening a bus carrying Jewish children across central London. In their report, the BBC said from the bus there were “some racial slurs about Muslim people”.
However, the Board of Deputies of British Jews said the words were a cry for help in Hebrew.
The BBC claimed they had consulted Hebrew speakers before concluding the words were in English.
Now, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre – a Jewish human rights organisations – accused the BBC of being anti-Semitic.
Marvin Heir, head of the organisation, told the Mail on Sunday: “We believe the BBC has been guilty of several incidences of anti-Semitism during the past year.
“People might assume we would put neo-Nazi groups on our list but the BBC is there because when a globally recognized organisation allows antisemitism to creep into its reporting, it makes it all the more insidious and dangerous.”
With regards to the BBC report, Rabbi Heir said: “The BBC falsely reported that a victim on the bus used an anti-Muslim slur.
“But what was heard on tape was a distressed Jewish man speaking in Hebrew, appealing for help.”
In their annual “Global Antisemitism Top Ten” list, the BBC was placed third, while Iran and the Gaza-based terror group Hamas were first and second respectively.
The full list – which also included a former BBC journalist who tweeted “Hitler was right” in 2014 – is set to be released on Tuesday.
The centre also criticised the corporation for “often” referring to Israelis as “settlers” and cited a video tweeted by senior BBC producer Alaa Daraghme.
The tweet read: “An Israeli settler ramming a Palestinian man near the Lions’ Gate.”
However, Rabbi Heir said: “In fact, the car drove on to the pavement after an attempt by Palestinians to lynch the Jewish driver who lost control of the vehicle.”
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The BBC said the original tweet had been posted when there was “some confusion” over the incident.
Mr Daraghme clarified what had happened in a later tweet.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Anti-Semitism is abhorrent.
“The BBC strives to serve the Jewish community, and all communities across our country, fairly with accurate and impartial reporting.”
Earlier this month, around 250 demonstrators gathered outside BBC headquarters in London to protest their “appalling” news coverage of an anti-Semitic attack.
The protesters, led by Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA), held up signs that read: “BBC News: Stop Blaming Jews!”.
They also chanted: “BBC News where’s the proof” and “BBC News tell the truth”.
A spokesperson for CAA said at the time: “Tonight’s rally sends a message to the BBC that the Jewish community has had enough of years of the BBC victim-blaming Jewish people for anti-Semitism, downplaying racism towards Jews, platforming anti-Semites and fuelling anti-Semitism in Britain.
“We demand explanations over the BBC’s outrageous coverage of the recent anti-Semitic incident on Oxford Street, when the BBC’s reports victim-blamed Jewish teenagers for being attacked.
“We also call on the BBC to finally adopt the International Definition of Anti-Semitism and accept anti-Semitism training from us for its staff and reporters.”
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