Friday, January 22, 2010

BBC slams “racist” Jewish settlers on West Bank while continuing to censor Arab and Palestinian anti-Semitism

Robin Shepherd
Robin Shepherd Online
22 January '10
Posted before Shabbat

Coming hard on the heels of this week’s appalling Panorama documentary on Jerusalem (see last post but one), the BBC is now giving major prominence to a story about the alleged desecration of a Palestinian cemetery in the West Bank by a group of racist Jewish pilgrims.

The story stands in sharp and striking contrast with the policy of de facto censorship operated by the BBC on almost all instances of the deep-seated anti-Semitism that is a central feature of the political culture in the Palestinian territories, in Arab countries and in the wider Muslim world.

The incident in question is said to have taken place in the northern West Bank village of Awarta after a group of Jewish pilgrims were taken to nearby Jewish tombs by a settler group. Opening the piece on its website, the BBC, which is the world’s most powerful English language media outlet, said:
“Damaged graves and racist graffiti have been found in the Palestinian village of Awarta in the northern West Bank after a Jewish group visited the area.”

Now, from a journalistic point of view this is certainly a reasonable story to cover since it follows the arrest of 10 Israeli settlers earlier this week in connection with the arson attack on a mosque in the village of Yasuf in December, and the threats by some maverick settlers to respond to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s settlement freeze with attacks on Palestinians.

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