British Jews are furious over BBC’s latest allegation where the public broadcaster took to blaming the Jewish victims in the Nov 29 incident in London, saying that they heckled Muslims first.
Claiming the report to be completely deceitful, the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Marie van der Zyl, published an op-ed Thursday in the Jewish Chronicle of London saying the BBC had made a “colossal error” in its coverage of the Nov. 29 incident.
BBC had previously reported that several young men caught on video harassing a Chabad-affiliated bus of Jews publicly celebrating Hanukkah were actually reacting to an anti-Muslim slur from one of the Jews on the bus- which is absolutely false. According to the Jewish Board’s own analysis of the video from the scene, none of the Jews on the bus had said anything Islamophobic.
In reality, according to the original video, several men can be seen pounding on the windows of the bus with their hands and shoes while shouting “Free Palestine,” spitting on the bus and flipping their middle fingers at the passengers as the bus drives away. At least one of the men performs what appears to be a Nazi salute.
“The supposed slur, which the BBC insists is there, is nothing but fiction,” van der Zyl wrote in the Jewish Chronicle. “This raises serious questions about deep-seated biases within the BBC towards Israelis, and towards Jews in general.”
She added, “That misreporting is a colossal error on the part of the BBC. It has added insult to injury in accusing victims of antisemitism of being guilty of bigotry themselves. But what takes this from an egregious failure to something far more sinister is the BBC’s behavior when confronted with its mistake. Instead of admitting it was wrong, it has doubled and tripled down on insisting that a Hebrew cry for help must be an anti-Muslim slur, despite the concerted outcry from our community.”
As a reaction to the massive uproar from the British Jewry, BBC’s Director-General, Tim Davie, is scheduled to meet with representatives from the Board next month to discuss its coverage of the incident.