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March 23, 2008

JPost: BBC Apologizes Again, and Again

bbc apologizes again.jpe

This demolition of an Islamic Jihad leader's Bethlehem home apparently stood in for BBC footage of a Jerusalem demolition that never happened/Maan photo

The Jerusalem Post today reports on BBC's fabricated demolition report, which was corrected after CAMERA exposed it.

But that's not the only error that had the Beeb apologizing in recent days. The Post reports:

In a second incident, in a news item entitled "Israel jets strike northern Gaza" on March 14 on their News Web site, the BBC reported that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians in an operation targeting Kassam rocket launch sites in Gaza, and claiming that the United Nations secretary-general had described it as an attack on civilians.

"The Israeli air force said it was targeting a rocket firing team... UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned Israel's attacks on Palestinian civilians, calling them inappropriate and disproportionate," the report said.

In a letter to the BBC, Manchester Jewish community member Jonathan Hantman wrote,

"It is one-sided for the report to describe Israel's operations as 'attacks on civilians' while not describing the Palestinian rocket attacks, to which Israel was responding, as 'attacks on civilians' or 'acts of terrorism.'"

Hantman also pointed out that Ban's attributed comments were made weeks earlier to the UN Security Council and not in reference to that particular attack. He added that it was also wrong to mention the UN secretary-general's condemnation of Israel without mentioning his condemnation of Palestinian rocket attacks in the same statement.

"Ban's statement, made some two weeks ago, did not refer to yesterday's attack and did not describe Israel's operations on Gaza as 'attacks on civilians,'" Hantman noted. "He did, however, describe Palestinian rocket attacks as 'acts of terrorism.'"

In his statement to the UN Security Council on March 1, Ban said: "While recognizing Israel's right to defend itself, I condemn the disproportionate and excessive use of force that has killed and injured so many civilians, including children... I condemn Palestinian rocket attacks and call for the immediate cessation of such acts of terrorism."

Apologizing for the error, the BBC said in its response, regarding the speech: "We accept we should have made reference to what [Ban] said about Palestinian rocket attacks as well as to the 'excessive use of force' by Israel. We have amended the report, also removing the reference to Israeli 'attacks on civilians.'"

These two apologies follow closely behind last month's mea culpa for comparing slain Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri to arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh.

Posted by TS at March 23, 2008 02:02 PM


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