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26 Dec, 2021 11:40

BBC branded ‘anti-Semitic’ for ‘insidious’ reporting – media

BBC branded ‘anti-Semitic’ for ‘insidious’ reporting – media

An anti-Semitism watchdog has reportedly ranked the BBC in third place – behind Iran and Hamas – on its annual list of the world’s worst offenders after it allowed anti-Jewish bias to “creep into its reporting” over the past year.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center judged the British broadcaster to be “guilty of several incidences of anti-Semitism” when compiling its ‘Global Antisemitism Top Ten’ rankings for 2021, according to the Daily Mail. The list is due to be released on Tuesday.

The center’s founder and head, Rabbi Marvin Hier, told the paper that the decision to put the BBC on the list might be a “[surprise]” to some, but it “came after months of intense debate and discussion.”

“People might assume we would put neo-Nazi groups on our list but ... when a globally recognized organization allows anti-Semitism to creep into its reporting, it makes it all the more insidious and dangerous,” he said.

Referencing its reputation for “truthful reporting,” Hier pointed to several cases covered by the BBC, which raised questions. For example, Alaa Daraghme, a journalist producing video for the BBC, tweeted a clip with the caption: ‘An Israeli settler ramming a Palestinian man near the Lions’ Gate’.

“In fact, the car drove onto the pavement after an attempt by Palestinians to lynch the Jewish driver who lost control of the vehicle,” Hier said. Daraghme later published another video to clarify the context.

Noting that “anti-Semitism is abhorrent,” an unnamed BBC spokesman told the Daily Mail that the corporation “strives to serve the Jewish community, and all communities across our country, fairly with accurate and impartial reporting.”

The list, which features Iran and Palestinian militant group Hamas in the top two spots, also reportedly includes “social media giants” (for permitting hate speech) and the Unilever corporation, whose Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream brand courted controversy after a sales boycott of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.