This morning reader Mike called our attention to the article below from the BBC. It’s a live-reporting feed about the war and the situation about the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, the likely victim of a misfired terrorist missile. But I scanned the whole thread, and although it dwells thoroughly on the dead Gazans, there’s not a mention I could find about the mounting evidence that Islamic Jihad caused the carnage. If you can find some in this piece, let me know. My own impression is that the BBC follows the NYT in leaning its sympathetic coverage towards Palestine and away from Israel.
Here’s the summary of the article. It looks to be all about Palestine, except for some accusations regarding Israel:
Now two days ago the BBC did analyze the conflicting claims about the explostion, and concluded that, well, we just don’t know:
Amid the claim and counterclaim, getting to the truth is harder than ever.
BBC Verify is trying to unravel what is and isn’t known – looking at video footage, still imagery and other evidence, including eyewitness accounts. In addition, a BBC journalist has been to the blast site, where there is limited access.
New information is emerging all the time, so we will continue to update this article as we learn more and talk to experts about the evidence.
It is also important to note that as well as the physical fighting, this conflict is playing out as an information war. This is not the first time authorities in Israel and Gaza have given completely different accounts of an explosion. We are also looking at their various claims and statements.
Since then I haven’t been able to find any updates, though all other independent analyses of the blast point to a terrorist rocket, and none point to Israel. What I did find was this article in Variety published last Thursday (click to read):
The BBC has admitted it made a mistake over its reporting of a rocket attack on a Gaza hospital.
BBC correspondent Jon Donnison was reporting live on air about claims that a hospital in the region, which borders both Egypt and Israel, had been struck by a bomb or missile.
Donnision, who has worked for the corporation for 25 years, told viewers the Israeli military had been contacted for comment adding: “But it’s hard to see what else this could be really given the size of the explosion other than an Israeli air strike or several air strikes.”
In other words, the BBC pulled a New York Times stunt, but this time not by reporting what Hamas said, but reporting on a (possibly biased) reporter’s intuition.
Earlier today the BBC issued a correction over the story, admitting it had been “wrong” for Donnison to speculate as to which side had struck the hospital.
“We accept that even in this fast-moving situation it was wrong to speculate in this way, although he [Donnision] did not at any point report that it was an Israeli strike,” the corporation wrote on its “Corrections and Clarifications” page. ” This doesn’t represent the entirety of the BBC’s output and anyone watching, listening to or reading our coverage can see we have set out both sides’ competing claims about the explosion, clearly showing who is saying them, and what we do or don’t know.”
Yep, it’s that fast-moving news again! And, of course, until Friday the BBC still refused to use the word “terrorist” to refer to Hamas or Islamic Jihad. They preferred “militants”:
The BBC’s mea culpa comes days after protesters gathered outside the broadcaster’s London headquarters to condemn its refusal to describe Hamas as a terrorist group. They have been designated a terrorist organization by both the U.S. and U.K. since 2021. The BBC continues to refer to them instead as “militants,” which has sparked criticism from both viewers and politicians, including foreign secretary James Cleverly and culture secretary Lucy Frazer.
Did that reflect some kind of anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian bias in the BBC? For any rational person knows that yes, Hamas and similar organizations comprise TERRORISTS. “Militant” can have very different meanings. Remember “militant atheists”?
Now, however, the Financial Times reports that the BBC has given in as of Friday:
The BBC has shifted its position on using the word “militant” to describe Hamas in the wake of criticism in recent weeks over how the UK public broadcaster has reported on the conflict in Israel and Gaza.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews, a Jewish communal organisation, said that in a meeting with BBC director-general Tim Davie on Friday he had confirmed it was no longer BBC practice to refer to Hamas as militants.
He said the broadcaster would instead continue to describe the group as a terrorist organisation proscribed by the UK government and others, or simply as Hamas.
That’s one small step for journalism-kind.