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BBC apologizes for misleading headline on terror attack in Israel

JERUSALEM, Israel – It’s not the first time BBC News has been cited for its decidedly pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel slant in its reporting. This time it elicited a swift response from the Israeli government, as well as President Trump’s family.

The BBC’s most recent anti-Israel perspective was exposed in a headline on Friday’s terror attack at the Damascus Gate: “Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem.”

There was no mention that 1) two of the three terrorists opened fire with automatic weapons near the crowded entrance to the gate, while about 100 yards away, a third jihadist fatally stabbed 23-year-old Border Police Staff Sgt. Hadas Malka. Her’s was the seventh terror-related fatality since the beginning of the year.

Immediately upon seeing the post, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Foreign Ministry to censure BBC News, later telling ministers that security forces were preparing to demolish the terrorists’ homes. He also rescinded previously issued measures to allow Muslim residents of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) more freedom of movement during the month of Ramadan to visit family members and worship at the Temple Mount.

Both the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah faction and Hamas, the Gaza-based terror group, praised the attack.

“Instead of condemning the attack, Fatah – which is headed by Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] – issued a statement in which it condemns the Border Police fighters who killed the terrorists and praised the murderers as heroes. It seems that mendacity and brazen gall know no bounds,” Netanyahu said, noting that the P.A. “will now pay financial compensation to the murderers’ families.”

“I call on the countries of the world to condemn both the murder and those who praise it and demand the immediate cessation of Palestinian Authority payments to the families of terrorists, something that only encourages terror,” he said.

For more details on the P.A.’s response to Friday’s terror attack by the Palestinian Media Watch, click here.

In London, a complaint filed by the Israeli Embassy prompted an apology from BBC and a reworded headline that read, “Israeli policewoman stabbed to death in Jerusalem.”

The BBC also issued a statement taking responsibility for its “original headline.”

“We accept that our original headline did not appropriately reflect the nature of the events and subsequently changed it,” the statement read, saying it didn’t intentionally “mislead” their audiences. It concluded the statement by offering “regret for any offense caused.”

In response to the incident, U.S. President Donald Trump’s eldest son called it as close to “misleading” as possible.

trump

“Need a new term for this nonsense,” he continued. “Sort of the opposite of victim blaming. How about Culprit Coddling? Maybe Criminal Cozying? Thoughts???”

Netanyahu thanked him in a tweet “…for standing up for Israel and the truth.”

The prime minister and his wife, Sara, paid a condolence call to the Malka family.

The bottom line is it’s not the first time – and maybe not the last – the BBC’s decidedly anti-Israel slant has been evident.

During the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, senior Israeli officials were quoted by Honest Reporting as saying, “The reports we see give the impression that the BBC is working on behalf of Hezbollah instead of doing fair journalism.”

In 2010, a detailed report examining BBC News showed that the news agency often pitched its stories from a pro-Palestinian perspective, quoting organizations known to be critical of Israel.

This article originally appeared on CBN News, June 19, 2017, and reposted with permission.

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Tzippe Barrow is the CBN News Internet Producer - Jerusalem. She and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) nearly two decades ago. Barrow hopes that providing a biblical perspective of today’s events in Israel will help people in the nations to better understand the centrality of this state and the Jewish people to God’s unfolding plan of redemption for all mankind.

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