Hundreds of Jews Protest Outside BBC Over “Shoddy Journalism”

Lord Grade, a former Chairman of the BBC, described the BBC’s reporting as “shoddy journalism”, and called for answers in a video supporting the protest. Dame Maureen Lipman encouraged people to attend “Because you care, and you will be demonstrating against my often-times employer asking for parity with other victims of racism, prejudice and abuse.” At the rally, Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said to the crowd: “We don’t want to be here, but we have to be here, because we have to say: ‘BBC News, stop blaming Jews’.” He added: “We see no evidence for the BBC’s claim, which is a distraction from the real story, which is that Jewish teenagers were prevented by racist thugs from celebrating Chanukah.”

The rally was prompted by the BBC’s coverage of an antisemitic incident on Oxford Street over Chanukah, when a group of Jewish teenagers celebrating the festival were accosted by racist thugs who forced them back onto their bus and began hitting the vehicle with their hands and then their shoes, spitting on it, trying to break windows and performing Nazi salutes, as well as shouting antisemitic insults and swearing. The BBC reported on its website that the explicit expressions of antisemitism evident in the video were mere “allegations”, and simultaneously claimed — alone among all media outlets — that “some racial slurs about Muslims can also be heard from inside the bus,” an assertion made with no evidence to support it.  It is fair to say people are angry…

UPDATE: A BBC spokesperson gets in touch:

“Anti-Semitism is abhorrent. We strive to serve the Jewish community, and all communities across our country, fairly. Our story was a factual report that overwhelmingly focused on the individuals the police want to identify; those who directed abuse at the bus. In the eighth paragraph of our news article, there was a brief reference to a slur, captured in a video recording, that appeared to come from the bus. It has been claimed what we considered to be an abusive term in English was in fact someone speaking in Hebrew. We have consulted a number of Hebrew speakers in determining that the slur was spoken in English. The brief reference to the slur was included so the fullest account of the incident was reported.”  

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