CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP condemned “inexcusably one-sided” reporting by British media outlets on the recent wave of terror attacks against Israelis, in an article published in Jewish News this week.
Condemning the lack of international media coverage on the spate of terror, Sir Eric said: “Israel has been shaken to its core in recent weeks. Israelis are being attacked for little other reason than because they are Jewish. As the attacks have escalated in number and severity, the relative silence of the international media has been deafening. The little coverage that there has been is all too often inexcusably one-sided”.
Sir Eric outlined a number of examples of biased coverage by the BBC and the Independent newspaper, where both outlets had included coverage and headlines that misrepresented events.
One such example cited by Sir Eric includes a headline by the Independent: ‘Israel kills pregnant Palestinian mother and her baby in revenge attacks’.
Sir Eric stated of the newspaper’s inaccurate use of the words “revenge attacks”: “The mother and her child were not selected for murder as a calculated reprisal by the Israeli Defence Force as this newspaper implied. The Palestinian family was tragically killed due to their proximity to a Hamas weapons facility targeted by Israel’s Air Force in response to rocket fire towards Israel’s civilian population by Gaza-based terrorists. Israel did not set out to kill innocent civilians”.
Addressing a report by the BBC, Sir Eric said: “The BBC – legally obligated to display total impartiality – set a very low standards in its reporting. On Sunday, 11 October, correspondent Orla Guerin produced an extraordinary report on the recent wave of attacks that claimed “there’s no sign of involvement by militant groups”, before immediately showing footage of Palestinian Islamic Jihad banners at the home of a 19-year-old terrorist who carried out a deadly knife attack at Lions Gate in Jerusalem on 3 October”.
Sir Eric underlined that readers are entitled to fair and balanced reporting on sensitive issues: “No one objects to robust reporting, and reporters must follow through on incidences of violence, even if it makes for uncomfortable reading in Tel Aviv, London or Washington, but readers are entitled to balance and fairness so that they can make their own mind up”.
He concluded: “No doubt the BBC will seek to rebut these claims about bias, but it would be helpful if they published the much anticipated Balen Report into the impartiality of its reporting of the Israel-Palestinian issue. Events in the Middle East affect all our lives. We deserve better reporting”.
Click here to read Sir Eric’s full article.