The response below was actually to this complaint. From their response (which is by no means the worse I've had over the years) it is clear that the BBC seems to feel that the families of Arab terrorists killed in attacks require as much sympathy as the families of Jews killed by those terrorists. Also note that they actually focus on a single report that described one terrorist attack from an Israeli victim's perspective. I believe that this may have been the only one in the several weeks of coverage (which is one more than Sky News I guess, so that's something positive). In contrast, there have been many dozens of special reports that have focused on Palestinian 'grievances' (the 'occupation', the 'Al Aqsa mosque' ad nauseum) which the BBC implies is justification for the massacre of Jewish civilians. The BBC clearly feels that as long as they present one item from the Israeli perspective for every 100 from the Arab perspective that confirms they are showing 'both sides of the story'.
Thank you for contacting us about the recent escalation in violence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. We have received a wide range of feedback about our coverage of this subject across our television and radio programmes, and the BBC News website. In order to use our TV licence fee resources efficiently, this response aims to answer the key concerns raised in complaints received by us, but we apologise in advance if it doesn’t address your specific points in the manner you would prefer.
We appreciate you believe our coverage of this story has shown bias in favour of the Palestinians and against Israelis and the state of Israel. In this response we hope to explain why we feel this has not been the case.
Across our news bulletins and programmes we have reported on the increasing number of attacks committed by Palestinians on Israeli civilians and security forces. We have broadcast reports where our reporters have spoken to the families of Israelis and Palestinians killed in the recent violence and have heard their respective stories and own specific takes on the conflict.
For example, during BBC One’s News at Ten on 9 October we heard from Odel Bennet. She and her husband were attacked by a Palestinian in the Old City the previous weekend. She was seriously injured; her husband and a rabbi who intervened were both killed. During the report we showed amateur video footage of the attack. We then heard from Mrs Bennet who, from her hospital bed, spoke of her fear and pain, and described how Palestinian passers-by mocked and verbally abused her while she lay wounded on the street.
We have tried to explain how the current situation has come to pass from the Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. This has included reporting on the tensions around the holy sites in Jerusalem. We have also reported on criticisms of the Palestinian leadership’s response to the attacks, in particular the Israeli government’s claim that President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are guilty of inciting violence in the West Bank. We believe we have reported clearly on the threat of violence faced by Israelis on an increasingly regular basis and of the difficulties faced by security forces in stopping these attacks from taking place.
BBC News tries to report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an accurate and duly impartial manner. Sometimes this means we can’t always reflect the full extent of the complexities of the conflict during one standalone report or bulletin. We try to tell the story of the conflict as experienced by both sides, across programmes and bulletins and over time. We believe this has been the case during our coverage of this recent spike in violence.
We have raised your concerns with senior editorial staff at BBC News, who consider the range of feedback received from our audience when deciding how they approach reporting on stories. Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
Kind Regards BBC Complaints
- If the media reported previous acts of violence like they are now reporting those against Israeli civilians
- How the media distinguishes from the truth and lies about Israel
- Compare and contrast responses to terrorism in Israel
- Rules and Guidelines for Western reporting on Israel
- Media ignores or dehumanizes murdered Israelis