Former chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Michael Grade, criticized the broadcaster for misleading viewers in its coverage of the latest round of Palestinian-Israeli violence, the U.K. Jewish Chronicle reported.
Grade issued his grievances to the corporation’s director of news and current affairs, James Harding, in a letter, following a report by correspondent Orla Guerin on Sunday covering the latest terrorist attacks against Israelis, as well as ongoing clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli security forces.
He said Sunday’s report failed to show a “wide context” that would have raised viewers awareness and understanding of an “undoubtedly complex issue.”
Grade said he was disturbed by what appeared to be implied “equivalence between Israeli victims of terrorism and Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli security forces in the act of carrying out terror attacks,” according to the JC.
He was upset the BBC had not shown footage of Palestinian Authority leaders praising the string of recent lone-wolf attacks against Israelis, which have left eight Israelis dead.
Deputy Secretary-General of Fatah’s Central Committee Jibril Rajoub, for example, recently glorified such attacks as “heroic” and based in the preservation of certain “values.”
Grade also took offense to the correspondent failing to interview Israeli victims of a recent terror attack while talking with the emotional father of the Palestinian perpetrator who had been shot dead.
“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 Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem on October 3. PIJ is a well-known Palestinian terror organisation and it has since claimed responsibility for the attack and been praised by Hamas, another internationally proscribed terror organisation. This directly misleads viewers,” he wrote, according to the JC.
The former BBC Trust chairman’s jeremiad came a few weeks after Israel censured the BBC over a a headline that made the focus of a story the death of a Palestinian terrorist who was shot by police in Jerusalem after he killed two Israeli civilians. It read: “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack claims two.” BBC later changed the headline.