Monday, May 2, 2016

Surprise? BBC News tries – and fails – to explain antisemitism and anti-Zionism - by Hadar Sela

...There is nothing very surprising about that given the BBC’s record on antisemitism and its past repeated failure to inform audiences what anti-Zionist groups such as the PSC and the BDS campaign really stand for despite frequently showcasing their agendas. But what this so-called backgrounder does demonstrate once again is that (notwithstanding beacons of light such as Andrew Neil) the BBC is currently incapable of properly serving its funding public’s interests on this topic.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
01 May '16..

As regular readers of BBC Watch know, the corporation has a pretty gloomy record when it comes to preventing, identifying – and correcting – antisemitic discourse in its own content. BBC programmes were adduced in two reports published last year by expert practitioners tackling the issue of antisemitism in the UK – the February 2015 Report of the All-Party Parliamentary inquiry into Antisemitism and (not for the first time) the Community Security Trust’s annual report on Antisemitic Discourse.

On several occasions the Board of Deputies of British Jews has found it necessary to comment on issues concerning BBC content, including the corporation’s rejection of complaints relating to antisemitic remarks made by one of its reporters in January 2015 following the terror attacks in Paris. As has been noted here on numerous occasions, BBC-run message boards and phone-in shows have become fora for the spread of hate speech, dehumanization and delegitimisation of Jews, Israelis and Israel.

So when, in March, the UK Labour party’s burgeoning antisemitism scandals prompted British journalist Nick Cohen to write about antisemitic conspiracy theories we asked:

“Is it really at all surprising that the adoption of such conspiracy theories by the “leftwing activists, institutions or academics” described by Cohen is so widespread when we consider that the broadcaster with the most extensive access to British audiences is not averse to mainstreaming such ideas?”

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