· BBC News tried to minimise the seriousness of the Trust’s findings by saying that the Six Day War happened over 40 years ago. But as Jeremy Bowen himself wrote “To understand what is happening between Israel and the Palestinians now, you have to understand what happened in the Middle East war of 1967."
· BBC News says “Clearly there is no consensus view of history and it is self evident that there are others who have different analysis - which of course they are entitled to.” Precisely. It was Jeremy Bowen’s failure to refer to the existence of “different analyses” which led the Trust ESC to find him in breach of impartiality.
· BBC News refers to the Thomas Report which gave its Middle East coverage a clean bill of health. But the Israel coverage during the assessment period for the Thomas Report was distorted in favour of a ‘no bias’ result, because the BBC announced the review in advance and journalists, editors and managers bent over backwards to avoid anti-Israel bias during the assessment period.
· Why does the BBC continue to resist publishing the Balen Report – even after the House of Lords decision?
The website article 1 has been changed. But not in accord with the Trust’s findings:
· The article now contains the phrase “the tendency within Zionism to push out the frontier”. The Trust said that the earlier phrasing (“Zionism’s innate instinct”) should have been qualified - but instead BBC News has simply replaced it by “tendency within Zionism”.
· The article states that the settlements are “in defiance of almost all countries’ interpretation of international law except its [ie Israel’s] own”. The Trust noted that the US (for one) does not hold that the settlements are illegal and several other countries have not adopted an official stance.
· Pre-change Jeremy Bowen’s introduction read “To understand what is happening between Israel and the Palestinians now, you have to understand what happened in the Middle East war of 1967". That text has now been downgraded in importance: “To understand what is happening between Israel and the Palestinians now, it is important to understand what happened in the Middle East war of 1967.” (Our underlining). Why has this statement been downgraded in importance?
The ZF again asks the BBC what action it intends to take to restore public confidence, following the Trust’s very serious findings. It is no wonder that the BBC receives so many complaints about anti-Israel bias.
The ZF can be contacted on 020 8343 9756