Jewish leaders to confront BBC over ‘colossal error’ in anti-Semitic attack coverage

From the Telegraph

Jewish leaders will confront the director-general of the BBC after an investigation revealed a “colossal error” in its reporting over an anti-Semitic attack in London’s Oxford Street.

Earlier this month, Jewish teenagers celebrating Hanukkah faced anti-Semitic harassment after a group of men performed Nazi salutes and chased their bus.

Boris Johnson described the video as “disturbing” and the Metropolitan Police opened a hate crime investigation.

However, in its original report, BBC News said that “racial slurs about Muslims could be heard inside the bus”, an allegation that has been criticised by organisations, including the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

The board also commissioned an independent report which, in a press release issued on Thursday, it claims disproves the BBC’s allegations.

It has now emerged that Jewish leaders are set to confront Tim Davie, the BBC’s director-general, over the organisation’s “misreporting” amid concerns that its behaviour “raises serious questions about deep-seated biases within the BBC towards Israelis, and indeed towards Jews in general”.

Writing in the Jewish Chronicle, Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies . . . called for the BBC to publicly apologise to the victims of the Oxford Street attack and referred to a meeting the Board of Deputies will be holding with Mr Davie and other senior executives in January, which will include “a full and frank discussion of this issue”.

The Board of Deputies commissioned an independent report by an open-source internet and social media company, as well as a separate report by an expert forensic linguist, with both concluding that the original BBC story was erroneous.

It said that both the investigations agency and forensic linguist concluded that the findings show that, rather than an “anti-Muslim slur” being uttered, as the BBC claimed, the words in question are Hebrew: “Tikra LeMish(eh)u, Ze Dachuf” (the translation of which means “Call somebody, it’s urgent”, in English).

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre (SWC), the global racism watchdog, issued a scathing criticism of the corporation earlier this week, concluding that it “slanders Jews”. Because this isn’t an isolated incident of biased reporting. 

Lord Pickles of Brentwood and Ongar, the former communities secretary said: “That a respected organisation like the SWC should single out the BBC is a wake-up call for the mighty corporation. Once the trust of a community is lost, it is difficult to regain it. The UK expects the BBC to set an example in tackling anti-Semitism.”


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