Last night BBC’s News at Ten featured a report by Orla Guerin on Israel’s commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day which this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. You can see it here.
Guerin said “The State of Israel is now a regional power. For decades it has occupied Palestinian territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”
In thirty or so words Guerin managed to transgress all three of the watchwords in the BBC Charter: Offence, Bias, Factual Error:
Offence: Guerin’s comment was profoundly antisemitic. It portrayed some Israel Jews as so obsessed with the Holocaust that – in the interest of survival – they are even prepared to take over someone else’s land. This is a complete lie. IHRA states that “Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews” is antisemitic.
Bias: Comment on Israel’s policy towards Judea and Samaria has no place in a piece about Holocaust Commemoration. It is utterly irrelevant. For Guerin to introduce it – moreover without explaining the context (that the land was taken in a defensive war in 1967, that Gaza has been returned, that four times the Palestinians have rejected peace offers) – vividly demonstrates her bias.
Factual error: Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005 and as regards Judea and Samaria, the Palestinians have rejected four peace offers including 97% of what they were demanding at Camp David (see Dennis Ross’s book, The Missing Peace). Guerin’s comment was factually wrong.
The BBC must apologise and Guerin must be dismissed for this appallingly insensitive antisemitic obscenity. She knew exactly – exactly – what she was doing – Jewbaiting ………