The headline of Melanie Phillips's latest piece sums up her point punchily:
The BBC's problem is worse than "wokeish" bias.
When it comes to its approach to Israel, it incites baseless hatred
She doesn't believe that the next BBC chairman, whoever that may will, will make inroads when it comes to changing "the BBC’s appalling treatment of Israel":
For years, it has presented Israel in the most distorted way, portraying it falsely as the rogue state in the region while downplaying or ignoring the attacks on Israelis and the incitement and antisemitism that are daily features of Palestinian Arab life.
And she details an extraordinary piece of broadcasting from BBC Arabic that "whitewashed" Ahlam Tamimi - a notorious Palestinian terrorist who murdered 15 people, including seven children, and injured more than 130 in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. The piece "sympathetically presented" the story wanted to tell about herself" and was titled with her name and the words "Your voice is loud and clear". Lasting six minutes, it was "framed as a sentimental human interest story" which "whitewashed the murderous activities" of her and her terrorist husband and "presented them as victims of censorship and the Americans". It ended with a plea from the terrorist to Jordan's King Abdullah. Melanie writes:
The media watchdog CAMERA UK has observed that the programme made no criticism of either of the Tamimis. None of those who were murdered in Ahlam Tamimi’s terror attack was mentioned. The item said she was merely “accused of involvement” in the Jerusalem bombing (despite her own public admission of the crime) and failed to mention the reason for her husband’s imprisonment at all.
The true wickedness of the Tamimi item is that it was broadcast on the BBC’s Arabic service. The BBC’s foreign-language services have a global reputation for broadcasting supposedly factual, trustworthy information to countries where objective news is in short supply.
Yet this item gave a platform to a heinous terrorist to spout her propaganda, thus confirming the lies about Israel and the west that incite the Arab world to hatred and violence. More specifically, it added to the mythology around her in Jordan which, despite its peace agreement with Israel, has a population consumed by hatred of Israel and the Jews and for whom the murderous Tamimi is a rock star.
"This is hardly an isolated example", she adds, citing other examples, before concluding:
These are but a tiny sample of the BBC’s institutionalised hostility towards Israel. For years, it has uncritically recycled Palestinian propaganda as innately credible and true, while treating demonstrably factual Israeli statements as mendacious propaganda.
It systematically downplays or disregards Palestinian attacks on Israelis and generally treats any eruption of violence as a story which only “kicks off” (as one BBC reporter said gleefully during an escalation of hostilities) when Israel retaliates with force. Israeli victimisation is simply not seen as a story at all.
When Israel is forced to defend itself, the BBC frequently portrays its armed forces —the most ethical and human rights-obsessed military in the world — as monstrous child-killers and aggressive destroyers.
The immediate and demonstrable effect on the British population is hatred of Israel and a spike in attacks on British Jews. It is no exaggeration to say that when it comes to Israel, the issue is not BBC bias. It is BBC incitement to baseless hatred.
The BBC is regarded around the world as a byword for objectivity and accuracy. That’s why its departure from those ideals is so pernicious.
Perhaps the most chilling thing about it, though, is this. BBC executives are genuinely, painfully aware of the news outlet’s unique power and reach, and of their duty under its founding charter to uphold objectivity and fairness and hold the line for the middle ground.
But they are simply unable to process the fact that they view Israel, among other issues, through a profoundly distorting ideological prism. And that’s because they believe implacably that the positions they hold are unarguably objective and fair, that they do represent the middle ground, and that therefore by definition those who claim the BBC is biased are themselves extremists and can be safely disregarded.
In other words, BBC group-think is a hermetically-sealed thought system. Which is why, if whoever takes over at the top wants to restore the once iconic BBC to elementary standards of objectivity, fairness and decency, they will have their work cut out for them.
The full article can be read here.
And a further startling article on the background to the terrorist story above and the BBC's involvement with it can be read here.