I wrote about Jeremy Bowen’s embryonic “I didn’t develop the full condition” PTSD. “Things in life leave a mark”, he ruminated. Things certainly left their mark on Jeremy Bowen. And the BBC still saw fit to appoint him as their chief Middle East editor.
Over on BBC Watch Hadar Sela clarifies the situation further. Anyone who believes Jeremy Bowen is a suitable character to represent the contractually impartial BBC where Israel is concerned should consider the context of the situation that caused his ‘symptomless’ condition and led him to interpret it as ‘Israelis trying to kill him’.
“At no point during that four minute and 22 second-long item were listeners provided with any explanation of the context to that event and Bowen referred to “the Israelis” as a group as having “tried to kill me” without clarifying the actual situation.
As we have documented here in the past, early on the morning of Tuesday May 23rd 2000 – the day before the completion of the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon – a tank crew stationed on the border fence near Kibbutz Menara received an intelligence alert concerning the likelihood of terrorists firing anti-tank missiles at IDF tanks and armoured vehicles. Later in the day, the crew spotted a Lebanese vehicle transporting men in civilian clothing and suspected that these were Hizballah terrorists carrying equipment for firing an anti-tank missile. The tank crew was given permission to fire at the suspected terrorists.
Later it emerged that the men were actually a BBC film crew headed by Jeremy Bowen and that driver Abed Takkoush had been killed. The IDF investigated the incident and issued an apology. Understandably, that tragic incident appears to be still very much at the forefront of Bowen’s mind, although he does not appear to accept that it was possible to mistake three men travelling in a war zone in a car with Lebanese plates, and carrying camera equipment, for Hizballah terrorists dressed – as was very often the case – in civilian clothing.